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About adam r. holz

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So far adam r. holz has created 3 blog entries.

“Make It Your Own, Dawg!”

By |2022-07-31T02:33:04-04:00July 31st, 2022|

On June 11, 2002, the singing competition American Idol debuted. Each week, hopefuls performed their own versions of popular songs, and the viewing audience voted on who advanced to the next round of the competition.

As one of the panel judges on the show, Randy Jackson’s signature feedback was this zinger: “You made that song your own, dawg!” He lavished that praise when a singer took a familiar tune, learned it inside out, and then performed it in a new way that gave it unique, personal spin. To “make it their own” was to own it completely and creatively, and then offer it to the world onstage.

Paul invites us to do something similar, to own our faith and our expression of it, too. In Philippians 3:7–14, he rejects attempts to earn right standing before God (vv. 6–8). Instead, he teaches us to embrace “the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (v. 9). That gift of forgiveness and redemption transforms our motivation and goals: “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (v. 12).

Jesus has secured our victory. Our job? To take hold of that truth, internalizing God’s gospel gift and living it out amid our broken world. In other words, we’re to make our faith our own and in so doing “live up to what we have already attained” (v. 16).

God Focus

By |2022-06-04T09:06:04-04:00June 4th, 2022|

When I was shopping for engagement rings I spent many hours looking for exactly the right diamond. I was plagued by the question, What if I miss the best one?

According to economic psychologist Barry Schwartz, my chronic indecision indicates that I am what Schwartz calls a "maximizer," in contrast to a "satisficer." A satisficer makes choices based on whether something is adequate for their needs. Maximizers? We (guilty!) have a need to always make the best choice. The potential outcome of our indecision in the face of many choices? Anxiety, depression, and discontent. In fact, sociologists have coined another phrase for this phenomenon: fear of missing out.

We won’t find the words maximizer or satisficer in Scripture, of course. But we do find a similar idea. In 1 Timothy, Paul challenged Timothy to find value in God rather than the things of this world. The world’s promises of fulfillment can never fully deliver. Paul wanted Timothy to instead root his identity in God: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6), Paul writes. He sounds like a satisficer when he adds, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (v. 8).

When I fixate on the myriad ways the world promises fulfillment, I usually end up restless and unsatisfied. But when I focus on God and relinquish my compulsive urge to maximize, my soul moves toward genuine contentment and rest.     

One Day Closer to Christmas

By |2021-12-31T03:00:00-05:00December 31st, 2021|

“I can’t believe Christmas is over,” my dejected daughter said.

I know how she feels: The aftermath of Christmas can feel dreary. Presents have been opened. The tree and lights must come down. Listless January—and, for many, the need to shed holiday pounds—awaits. Christmas—and the breathless anticipation that comes with it—suddenly feels eons away.

A few years ago, as we were putting Christmas stuff away, I realized, No matter what the calendar says, we’re always one day closer to the next Christmas. It’s become something I say frequently.

But far more important than our temporal celebration of Christmas is the spiritual reality behind it: the salvation Jesus brought into our world and our hope for His return. Scripture talks repeatedly about watching, waiting, and longing for Christ’s second coming. I love what Paul says in Philippians 3:15–21. He contrasts the world’s way of living—with “minds set on earthly things” (v. 19)—with a lifestyle shaped by hope in Jesus’ return: “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 20).

The reality that our “citizenship is in heaven” changes everything, including what we hope for and how we live. That hope is fortified by the knowledge that with every passing day, we are indeed one day closer to Jesus’ return.

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