At this time of year, during the Christmas season, the word “Miraculous” gets passed around more than chips and dip at a Super Bowl party.  I’m convinced few people really have any clue what it means.

The reason I say this is that by definition, whatever event or occurrence this word is used to describe, the word demands the person using it believe in a supernatural power to intervene, and the “miracle” is the manifestation of that power.  It is used to describe the highly improbable, the extraordinary, the “only possible” through divine intervention.  And it usually includes a favorable outcome or consequence to the event.  Since many people using this word don’t believe in God, much less Santa, there’s a bit of hypocrisy in the over-use of this word.

A man and a woman come together to share in the creation of another human being, well that’s a natural thing.  How that process works inside the human body, the design and fulfillment of another human being born into this world, now that’s miraculous.

But think about it from a larger perspective.  That God would use a man of the Old Testament to prophesy about a young girl from a no-name town, who would have a male-child (even though she was a virgin), and then for it to come true 400 years after the prophecy is revealed, now that’s miraculous.

Go larger, and see it from Jesus’ perspective.  The Son of God, in eternity past, before the world was ever created, looking across the eons of time, chose to come and be this male-child Savior of the world.  Emptying Himself of His God-ness, and shrouding Himself in human flesh, this baby became a young child who became the Man of God to stand in the gap for humanity.

Now that’s miraculous.

But if you or I were to be able to ask God one question, and actually have the opportunity for God to answer this question, I believe my question would be, “Why did it happen this way?”

And I believe God’s answer to be, “It’s what I do.”  God does things differently than humans.  We define God’s actions to be “miraculous.”  Yet, from God’s perspective, it’s just what God does.  They are supernatural, inexplicable, unaccountable actions that define who He is, and what He does.

Ephesians 1:4
He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. 


Thank you God, for the miraculous work of salvation, found only in Jesus.






What makes you tremble?

via Tremble

When your North Face jacket doesn’t even begin to cut the cold north winds, chilling your whole body to the bone?  The soundtrack to Psycho, with Norman Bates in the shower scene?  When every opinion spewed on FaceBook makes you want to lash out in your own version of “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore“?  When the overwhelming sense of loss you experience because the person closest to you in this world dies leaves you feeling dead?  When you top the crest of the highest rollercoaster you’ve ever been on, and you’re stomach drops out your toes?  When the earth moves under your feet, literally, and the tremors just keep coming?  When you watch your child being born?  The swell of the orchestra in your favorite opera?  That first kiss?  When you continually become aware of the Creator through the unbelievable complexity of the earth we inhabit?  A sunset, a flower, the crashing of waves, the millions of species, gravity, air, water, sunshine?

All these and a million-zillion other experiences can elicit a physical response: the tremble.  I wonder why God wired us this way?  My personal belief is perhaps God desired that we not miss anything.  The emotional, psychological, and physical aspects of human life are supposed to be so intertwined, one cannot exist without the others. Just because people don’t cry the same, doesn’t mean they don’t all feel like trembling.  Likewise, just because we all don’t tremble at the same things, doesn’t mean we don’t all feel like crying.  God wired us to tremble, but all in different ways, according to what touches us.  This knowledge alone should make everyone tremble.

Psalm 99:1
The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake!

Joel 2:1
Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; surely it is near.

I have often had a particular sensation when teaching or preaching; an awareness of something larger than me, not controlled by me.  In those moments my wiring, my DNA, my genetically programmed response, was to smile or laugh momentarily as I trembled on the inside.  This is what some would call a “nervous” response.  It was often misinterpreted by my listeners to think I was making fun of my topic, when in fact it was an unsolicited and totally uncontrollable response to what God was saying to me, and through me at the moment.  I trembled a lot during those times.

I love music of all kinds, and I have sung in choirs, as well as solos in contests and church.  Not one single time did I stand to sing, in any of those environments, when I wasn’t trembling inside.  In the middle of some song, I would become so involved in the words and the sounds coming from all around me, that I would begin to feel my legs go all wobbly, my breathing would change, my heart would pound,  my throat would constrict, and I could not speak or sing another note.

When I read the Word of God, I am often moved to tears, completely overwhelmed by the power of His love and grace. In those moments of communion with my Creator, I feel like David, the Psalmist, and my feelings are recorded like this:

Psalm 2:11
Worship the LORD with reverence, and rejoice with trembling.