Daniel Foster | @danielfoster07
Mountain top experiences. As Christians, most of us have experienced such moments whether it was a camp, retreat, revival, or church service (etc). We have all had these mountain top moments where we have felt the closest to God. Moments we often wish we never had to leave. But like most good things in life, there usually comes an end, a time in which we must climb down from these mountains.
I want to take a look at Exodus 34:29:
"Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him."
Matt Coker | @BackRowOnline
I wasn’t even there when it happened, but it’s still one of the worst things that I can remember.
The night I was arrested, my wife of 16 months was in the car with her parents when they had to pull over. In a parking lot, in the darkness, my wife was so worried, so heartbroken, and in so much pain that she violently threw up.
Over the next couple years, while waiting on a court date and then spending 6 months in prison, my wife would be the strongest person in my life. She had to be, because I was a wreck.
I’ll never know how arms as small as hers were strong enough to keep a man my size from falling to pieces.
For the first several years of our marriage, I was a mess. Everything was focused around me and my problems, and my wife bottled her issues up, to be strong for me.
But the damage being done inside of her and to our marriage because of me was growing. Time and time again I failed, slipped, relapsed, lied or got caught. Time and time again, I told her that this was “the last time.” I told her that I would be honest with her. And when things went wrong again, I told her everything was fine.
I told her she was the most important person in my life, but I was lying. If that were true, I would have put her needs above my own, but instead, I selfishly focused on myself without a second thought.
My actions forced my wife to sleep alone for 6 months. No one to hold her, to cuddle with her, to talk to her as she drifted to sleep. No, my interactions with my wife were cut down to ten minutes a day on a smelly telephone and a handful of letters.
My wife bottled up her emotions for so long that, for a while, she had a hard time feeling anything. She had to learn how to feel again, learn how to soften again, learn how to stop bottling things up.
Even to this day, our marriage feels the ripples of the stone I dropped in the water when I was 11-years-old. And while there hasn’t been a time when either of us wanted to separate, there have been times when neither of us were happy in our marriage.
We’ve been married nearly 11 years, and every one of them has been hard. There have been times when I wasn’t sure we were going to make it. And while my wife would chastise me for trying to take all the blame, I’m sure that if I had gotten my life straight before marriage, or, at the very least, had the courage to be honest with her, we would be a lot better off now.
Kevin Welborn | @TheKevinWelborn
Imagine this scenario…you are on an airplane seated next to a total stranger. Conversation begins. I know this already seems implausible, but pretend this is happening back in an era where humans interacted with one another.
How would this dialogue begin? Probably with small talk. Something like, “Hot outside today.” Or, “What’s the deal with Chicken McNuggets?” Or my personal favorite, “Flying somewhere?”
You get the idea. Soon a series of standard questions will surface. Particularly, inquiries as to what your name is, where is your hometown, and what do you do for a living. These are fairly non-invasive questions with the end game being to determine this stranger’s identity. What makes Dave who he is?
One can actually ascertain some understanding about another person by asking a few simple questions. Obviously though, this in itself doesn’t create a complete understanding of the person in question, nor does it conjure up an authentic relationship.
By Matt Coker / @MatthewSCoker & @BackRowBeliever
There was a time when I was dead inside.
I spent several years of my life entombed in my own depression, bitterness, and fear.
During those years, I fed addictions and bad habits, just to feel something. Just to convince myself for a moment that I was still alive.
I spent more nights than I want to admit contemplating suicide and once began to make an attempt before chickening out.
Later in life, I finally accepted Christ, but instead of asking Him into my heart, I asked him to remain in his tomb.
I didn’t deserve redemption, I didn’t deserve salvation, I didn’t deserve his resurrection. I didn’t want them. I wanted what I deserved – misery.