Friday, September 28, 2012


Stray twins from a spring litter 2012 

I feel like it's so easy to fall into a pattern of believing life should be a certain way because it has been a custom of our own little world; of our generation; of our society.  We look at this in the physical sense most of the time (looks, tastes, feels), but what about the spiritual?  What about our thoughts?

Often, I've found, I've justified something or classified it as a character trait of God because of the way society tells me God is (or should be).  May I be a person that seeks truth above standards and that seeks to honor God above doing something simply because it's the custom.  

And may I also be a person humble enough to accept the customary when I find it to actually be an honor to God.

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sometimes My Heart is Heavy

I just do not know what to do.

I once heard my pastor say this: if you’re praying for an answer, and you just don’t know what to do, don’t do anything about it, except keep praying. 

So when I don’t know what to do, I just pray. 

When I sense something is up with a friend, I pray. 
When I have an idea but I’m not sure it’s the right time, I pray.
When I’m not confident about interfering in a situation, but there’s no mistaking what I know in my heart, I pray. 

Then, when I get answers, confirmations, and stories, of how God has “come through”, I laugh.  My laughter comes from a grateful heart, because the burdens that have weighed so heavily on me have been so easily answered, and all I did was pray. 

I know you probably have something you’re just not sure what to do about in this very moment.  I encourage you to just pray.  Put aside the temptation to fix the situation and set your heart on waiting for God to take care of it or give you the wisdom to know what to do.   We honor God when we trust Him.  When we honor God, we prove our thanks for all He is going to do.  

And He answers.

James 1:5
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Retro Word

I'm curious: when was the last time you pulled out an old-fashioned leather or paperback Bible?

Devo Time :)

I'm a huge fan of the Bible applications that come on the fancy phones these days, but something special happens when I take time and effort to turn those thin pages. At least, for me it does.

Thank goodness for technology that reaches the un reached!! But what a privilege to hold something like a Bible, freely and openly, in my own hands.

Friday, September 21, 2012


I'm well aware that battlegrounds usually involve blood sweat and tears. So you may be surprised that this is one of my battlegrounds.

My office Battleground

When I've received devastating news, when I've thought my world was falling apart, when I've been weighed down with the burdens of coworkers or clients, this is where I've duked it out. This is where I met with God on my knees during my work day to receive victories won by Jesus. Not that all my answers came as I asked for, but I was given peace despite the unbearable weight.

This chair knows my tears and my elbows. Where is one of your battlegrounds? Do you have one?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brilliantly Pure starts out Ugly

In May, I had the incredible privilege of touring the great country of Israel with some dear church family members.  We stayed in Jerusalem for a couple of days and then made our way to the western side of the Sea of Galilee, where we stayed at a beautiful resort in Tiberias.  I certainly enjoyed the entire trip, but having a thing for water, you can imagine why I soaked up Tiberias...

Looking South:  View from our Hotel in the Afternoon

And if the afternoon was not quite soothing enough, perhaps you would fall in love, like I did, with the invigorating sunrises over the Sea of Galilee....

Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee - Looking due West from the Resort

Little do many from our trip know, however, that there was something even more beautiful happening within my room.  Late one evening, a woman from our tour came to my room and prayed with my roommate and I.  We talked for a while and discussed life.  And we prayed hard.  We prayed hard, the three of us, to break down walls and seek God for turning points in our life.  And we broke down walls, spiritually speaking.

My prayer that night was to see Jesus' face more clearly in my life.  I want to focus on what is right and push aside what is wrong so I can "achieve my destiny", if you will, according to God's plan for my life.

My prayer wasn't bad.  But my prayer requires an answer that is not quickly forthcoming.  How much have you lived, like I, hoping for an answer to really just slip out of nowhere?

Recently I read an old devotional entry from Smith Wigglesworth's Devotional dated May 20:
"In the melting pot, He removes the skimmings until His face is seen.  When the metal reflects Him, it is pure."  
Remember how I mentioned I wanted to see Jesus' face more clearly?  Well I finally figured out the key to this task: Give God time and expect some heat.  There's always fire involved in a purification process.

So I'm doing that.  I'm choosing to make changes in my life that will give me more focus on the One I love and that will help me develop that lasting relationship where, even when the burner's on and I'm boiling, I'm still getting brighter.  This is why I can be called brilliantly pure: because I'm choosing to face the fire for the gold.

Will you?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Robin's Peanut

My friend, Robin, has a dog named Peanut. She found him abandoned at the side of a major highway quite a while ago, and couldn't help but show him mercy and compassion.

She took him in and he quickly adapted to farm life with all the other animals. Now he runs and chases ducks with the other dogs, gets into he chicken coop to explore while Robin is collecting eggs, and most importantly, he is full of gratitude toward Robin. There is no denying that he knows she rescued him, she loves him, and she shows him mercy every day. Being a stray, street dog doesn't deter her from letting him romp and make mistakes. She readily shows him mercy.

And so God is with us.

Romans 9:16
So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

So what, then, can we do positively with mercy when we have been given it?

1. Be thankful for it
2. Reciprocate it (give it back to others)

There's nothing more. I can't earn it, and I don't have it as an option to buy at the store. All I can do is receive it gratefully, and give it back to others.

This week, I want to practice receiving mercy gratefully, and lovingly passing it on to others when they, too, don't necessarily deserve it. I know I'm setting myself up for a challenge, but it's worth it if the God I love so much is glorified in me.

Will you join me? If you have a mercy story you can share, I'd love to hear it! Leave me a message below!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Problem with Compliments

Oh Calvin...

Do you relate to this?  It seems so silly, but there is truth in the fact that a compliment can make or break us - in the long term.

Often in life, we receive compliments from people that are true, but the person ends up disappointing us.  In our minds, the compliment can become a lie from that other person, and if the compliment is given again, it may be received as a lie.

I’m learning this.  There are good things – gifts – God has placed inside of me.  I’ve been complimented on them before and been burned by the person giving the compliment.  Later, these same compliments become a poison that holds me back from growing in the gift, because I’ve received them as a lie. 

I’m also learning to take a compliment as a statement, give it to God, and ask Him what He thinks.  He alone can affirm or deny the validity of the compliment.

The deeper issue here is this: I’m learning to find my affirmation in God, and not in people.  It’s easy to feed off of the affirmation of people when you’re a do-gooder like me.  But I’ll never be satisfied with the affirmation of a person unless I’m secure in my affirmation with God.  And because of Jesus, He affirms me. 

I don’t believe compliments or affirmation are bad.  In fact, this is one way to speak love into people’s lives!  I believe it can become an idol for me if I know I’m pleasing the person by affirming them, though; and it can become an idol for them if they live for that affirmation alone. 

Am I trying to win the approval of people, or of God?  Am I trying to please people, or God?  If I am trying to please people, I am not a true follower and servant of Christ Jesus.  (Galations 1:10)

While I think many people may be disappointed to know it, I no longer hope to please them.  My first priority is to please God, and when I do that, He makes good things come from my decisions – even if they are difficult to swallow at first. But generally, my choice to please God is a blessing to those around me.

How would your decisions be different if you questioned them in this light?  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Day Closer

to no more pain
to no more struggle
to no more strain
to no more ache

to knowing true love
to knowing deepest grace
to knowing real completion
to knowing His face

I can’t wait to see Him
To never sleep or walk in pain
But to be with Him forever
And to breathe in His dear frame

Oh! How I need my Savior
How I want to be with Him
There is no delight like Jesus
Aside from Him, no gain