Jesus is the CEO of Restoration

Jesus is in the business of restoration. It’s who He is. He is the CEO of restoration. He has restored. He is restoring now. And he will continue to restore for as long as it takes until His global restoration plan is complete! All things will be new again.

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite stories of Jesus restoring two different women in two very different ways, yet both resulting in finding their place in the family of God.

Read Luke 8:40-56.

Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.  Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house  because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.  Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.  Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.  But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.  Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

This story is packed with counter cultural acts made my Jesus. Here we see a synagogue leader, Jairus, with a family emergency. Culturally, at the time this story was unfolding, synagogue leaders were held in high esteem, much like our Church Pastors and leaders are to us today. We respect them and care deeply for them and their families.

Jairus was correct in asking Jesus to go to his sick and dying daughter. He had great faith and he believed Jesus could heal and restore his daughter's health.

As Jesus sets out towards Jairus’ house, something unexpected happened, causing Jesus to stop on His way to an emergency. He felt healing power go from Him and He asked an intriguing question to a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of people surrounding Him. It’s intriguing because with a crowd pressing in on Jesus, it would not be surprising if a number of people touched Him along the way. So why does He stop for this one?

And when we learn who He stops for, it’s even more counter-cultural. He stops for a woman who had been subjected to 12 years of bleeding. Culturally, during this day, women were second class citizens behind men, especially elite men such as synagogue leaders. Why would Jesus stop helping a prominent leader in the community for a woman, a bleeding woman at that. Also during that day, if a woman bled, it meant she was unclean and therefore was required to stay outside the walls of the city until the bleeding stopped. She was an outcast of society.

This woman had a condition that caused her to bleed for 12 years! She was isolated and poor because she had spent all she had in search for a cure.

She too had incredible faith to believe her cure was found in the touch of Jesus. And she too was right. The moment she touched even the hem of the Jesus` clothing, her body was healed and the bleeding ceased.

But we know Jesus isn’t only in the business of healing us physically. He cares about all of us and is in active pursuit of those desiring a holistic healing of the mind and heart and soul. He died for all of us.

By this time Jairus must have been sweating bullets. He must have known time with his daughter was fading fast. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long Jesus spent listening to bleeding woman’s story. All we know is He took the time to stop, turn, listen and the result of that relational encounter not only healed her physical ailments, in that moment Jesus restored Her into her God-given place as His Daughter in His family. She was no longer an outcast; she was now a daughter in the Kingdom of God.

And, as the crowd likely suspected by this unusual behavior of Jesus, while He took the time to see the culturally shunned woman and heal her, restoring her, Jairus gets word his daughter has died. In that moment he must have been devastated.

As if Jesus had accomplished enough crazy on this day, He says to Jairus, “she will be healed.”

He finally makes His way to Jairus’ home and commands his daughter to get up. Her life restored, she stood up again, living and breathing.

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Are Christians Biased?

Christians are often accused of being “biased” simply because we believe in the supernatural. This accusation has power in our current pluralistic culture. Biased people are seen as prejudicial and unfair, arrogant and overly confident of their position. Nobody wants to be identified as someone who is biased or opinionated. But make no mistake about it, all of us have a point of view; all of us hold opinions and ideas that color the way we see the world. Anyone who tells you that he (or she) is completely objective and devoid of presuppositions has another more important problem: that person is either astonishingly naive or a liar.
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Why I Know the Disciples Didn’t Conspire to Fabricate the Resurrection of Jesus

How do we know the resurrection of Jesus really occurred? Were the gospel authors and disciples telling the truth about this central claim of Christianity, or did they conspire to fabricate the most compelling story of all time? Is the Resurrection simply a lie? In my experience as a detective, I have investigated many conspiracies and multiple suspect crimes. While successful conspiracies are the popular subject of many movies and novels, I’ve come to learn that they are (in reality) very difficult to pull off. Successful conspiracies share a number of common characteristics:
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Learning about God from my Son: The Ferris Wheel Ride

I don’t do carnival rides.

New Book: Create vs. Copy

Have you ever wondered if it’s possible for your brain to explode with all the thoughts you have swirling around in there? Between to-do lists, grocery lists, work calendars, personal calendars, church calendars, domestic duties, monitoring social media notifications, emails, texts, don’t you sometimes want to turn it all off, sit in a big comfy chair with a steaming hot cup of coffee in absolutely silence? I certainly do!

As a wife, a mom of a hilarious and very active 2 year old boy, a full-time working professional in a demanding and fast-paced industry, an active participant in my local church and a friend to others, I often get the feeling I’m coming up short, falling behind and totally unprepared for all I have before me.

Would God Actually Use Evil to Draw Us to Himself?

In God’s Crime Scene, I make a robust cumulative case for the existence of God from eight pieces of evidence in the universe. Evidence that points toward a particular conclusion (or suspect) is described as inculpating evidence, and evidence that points away from the same conclusion (or suspect) is called exculpating evidence. Given the abundance of inculpating evidence pointing to a Divine Creator (as described in God’s Crime Scene), it’s reasonable to conclude this is the best explanation for the first cause of the universe. But many believe the existence of evil presents a problem for our case. While evil is only a single piece of exculpating evidence relative to the many other inculpating evidences we’ve discovered, it is not an insignificant piece of data. Professor of Metaphysics, Robin Le Poidevin, describes the problem in the following way:
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Did Free Will Simply “Emerge”?

In my book, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for A Divinely Created Universe, I describe eight pieces of evidence “in the room” of the natural universe and ask a simple question: Can this evidence be explained by staying “inside the room” or is a better explanation “outside the room” of naturalism? One important piece of evidence I consider in this effort is the existence of “free will”. Some philosophers and scientists have speculated free will might simply “emerge” from a deterministic system. Emergence is a concept described in sciences such as physics, chemistry and sociology. When a property appears spontaneously in a system, unpredicted by the laws governing the individual parts of the system, it is said to “emerge.”
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Spiritual Lessons From My Fitbit

I received a Fitbit as a gift for Christmas. I knew a little about this data-collecting device you wear on your wrist—that it counts how many steps you take, tracks your heart rate, measures how many calories you expend, etc.—but I had no idea just how popular these “activity tracker” devices are.

In fact, the Fitbit and similar products (such as Jawbone UP and Nike Fuelband) are part of the “Quantified Self” movement, first proposed by Wired magazine editors in 2007 as “a collaboration of users and tool makers who share an interest in self-knowledge through self-tracking.”

Nothing new about that. Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Benjamin Franklin tracked 13 personal virtues, and Jonathan Edwards developed a list of 70 spiritually centered “resolutions,” which he vowed to read once a week.  I’m certain Socrates, Franklin, and Edwards would have worn a Fitbit had one been available to them.

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Would God Really Allow Us to Suffer Evil In Order to Develop Our Character?

The “problem of evil” is often cited by skeptics to defend their disbelief: Why would an all-powerful, all-loving God allow His children to experience pain and suffering? In my latest book, God’s Crime Scene, I examine the problem of evil as one of eight pieces of evidence in the universe. Evil is typically considered a form of “exculpating” evidence, eliminating the reasonable inference of God’s existence. An ancient form of the problem is sometimes attributed to Epicurus:
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Where will you go this Year?

In Elton Trueblood's book entitled Lessons in Spiritual Leadership, he notes that Abraham Lincoln's leadership was influenced not only by a growing self-awareness and events of real suffering, but he was also influenced by Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Washington D.C.

In 2015, I found myself in: New York, Italy, East Africa, the Netherlands, Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Washington D.C. and a host of other spots. And my worldview is impacted at various points along the way. Now, if you believe a worldview is simply a stoic framework, then you probably have a bit of trouble with the idea that a sense of place can impact one's own awareness. Yet, I dare say that we are all influenced by and influencers of the places we find ourselves in.

How you influence those places that you pass through and how those same places influence you matter.

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