Sunday, December 5, 2010

That's what He said

* Phil 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

* Col 3:1-10, 12, 16 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

* Rom 12:1-2 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

* Gal 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

* Matt 12:33-37 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

* Eph 5:1-4 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

* Ps 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

Sunday, August 1, 2010


When can I look into your eyes and see Jesus piercing my soul with tender words?

When can I cancel my plans because you had a bad day at work and need to talk?

When can I read scripture over you as you lie next to me peacefully sleeping?

When will I lack nothing of value and have full confidence in you, offering you my praise?

When can I roll my eyes as you put in your favorite movie for the 100th time?

When will I have the privilege and the challenge to love you as Christ has loved the church?

When can I send you a flower at the most random time to remind you I'm thinking of you?

When will I be infused with anxious anticipation as the test turns blue?

When will I be naked before you in all ways, feeling no shame?

When will I become we?


When Daddy says, “It's time.”

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!” (Song of Solomon 4:9-10)

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” (Song of Solomon 2, 3, 8)

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Monday, July 5, 2010


I listened to a sermon this morning that mentioned seeing the joy in a child from simple pleasures, and how the Father has so much joy in His children. Not the joy we have contained within us, but the joy He has in being our Father. That really struck a chord in my heart and grabbed me in a way I haven't felt in a little while. Part of that came from hanging out with some parents and their infant son last night, and spending more time recently around middle schoolers. It had me so strongly desiring to lead and raise a son. I think about it somewhat frequently and often consider how hard fatherhood will be, giving up the best of my life for him. And knowing in the end, he could throw away everything I give him and walk a life of destruction (kinda a heavy transition there).

With that thought, God reminded me it's not about sacrificing for my son, but rather being obedient to the Lord. By giving my all for my son, I am serving the Lord, which will have lasting impact in various ways; the outcome of my son's life isn't the lone consequence. Whether my son takes hold of what is offered or leaves it is out of my control. My focus should be on loving and serving God and my son the best I can, not trying to be the best father my mind can imagine. Putting your efforts into serving a person/idea/cause can lead to bitterness and disappointment if/when it's not returned. But the Lord never disappoints and richly rewards His servants with eternal gifts beyond our comprehension.

And reflecting on all this brings my attention to the steps that need to take place before any of this is a reality in my life. At one moment, I feel like an immature adolescent enjoying a fairly free schedule and the flexibility to do whatever I want. Then in the next breath comes on the angst of impatience and the drive to force a relationship, even if it seems godly. Caught in the cross hairs of confusion. And I generally have found that confusion reigns when I'm trying to make my own will happen. But what even is that will right now?

If it wasn't for God's hand and peace in my life, I feel I'd have legitimate reason to freak out. But worry was made unnecessary at Calvary. This isn't quite the worst of painful trials that Peter speaks of, but I do think it's a form of trial. And I will and do indeed rejoice in this type of emotional/mental “suffering”/battling, because I know God is refining me, and the outcome will be worth the fight. No, the process itself is worth the fight, because it draws me closer to my Father. Man, God is good. May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Excerpt from A.W. Tozer's "The Price of Neglect"

"Dear Lord, I refuse henceforth to compete with any of Thy servants. They have congregations larger than mine. So be it. I rejoice in their success. They have greater gifts. Very well. That is not in their power nor in mine. I am humbly grateful for their greater gifts and my smaller ones. I only pray that I may use to Thy glory such modest gifts as I possess. I will not compare myself with any, nor try to build up my self-esteem by noting where I may excel one or another in Thy holy work. I herewith make a blanket disavowal of all intrinsic worth. I am but an unprofitable servant. I gladly go to the foot of the cross and own myself the least of Thy people. If I err in my self judgment and actually underestimate myself I do not want to know it. I purpose to pray for others and to rejoice in their prosperity as if it were my own. And indeed it is my own if it is Thine own, for what is Thine is mine, and while one plants and another waters it is Thou alone that giveth the increase."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


As I heated up lunch today, I was again thinking of how grateful I am
(and wish I was) for all the Lord provides. It feels impossible to
not take for granted the fact that I'll have decent (at a minimum)
meals available to me everyday, whenever I want them. How much would
have to change for me to be without a meal? Even if I lost the great
job the Lord has provided for me, there's still the bank account that
He has entrusted to me. And if that dried up, then there's the
friends, family, and church body the Lord has graciously given to me.
And I realized just how far from the reality of starving I really am;
seriously, that's a lot of levels to go through before I'm on the
street begging. I hope and pray I don't take it for granted and
assume I deserve any of it; I haven't done a thing except accept Him.
I won't dare delve into why there are poor and hungry people in
abundance. I guess I hope as well that I don't forget that this
provision isn't just "all for me." God is good.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day to Day

Such freedom is found in knowing that my walk with God is about the day-to-day living and interaction with Him, not about achieving some sort of “spiritual level” in life. It really takes a weight off my chest, letting me breathe again after I've weighed myself down with the pressures and anxieties of task-based Christianity. I'm saved by faith, not by works. Sometimes I still feel like I have to do certain things. Nope. I don't. Of course, there are spiritual disciplines to pursue, and I want to move towards the things that draw me closer to God and give me greater knowledge of and intimacy with Him. But I am already saved and justified by Christ's blood. Can't add to that.

Funny how doing things for people can be driven more out of wanting to be a certain type of person rather than a love for people or for God. Once you realize you're still not that person, that kind of kindness fades quickly. Needs to be for Him, with strength from Him.

Also, I'm seeing over time how God has been changing me into the man I'd rather be, but am unable to be on my own. Still don't like the time lag. But it's His timing (and to some degree a factor of my own willingness) that determines this path before me, and what lies behind. If I truly view these scant years on this Earth as preparation for eternity, which is something I cannot possibly prepare myself for, then the pressure is off of me and on the Lord. And He's someone I can trust to get the job done.

Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Philippians 1:6 “...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flowers from God

Imagine a husband coming home with a dozen tulips, giving them to his wife, and saying “I love you.” Now imagine the wife turning for her purse and getting money to pay for the gift. How do you think the husband would feel?

God loves us freely, thanks to the price paid by Jesus Christ. He showers us with love and gifts. I know I have a hard time receiving them. My first reaction is, “Well, I must it give away to others” or “I must do something out of response.” To just sit there and receive God’s gifts is so hard. I feel like the wife turning for her purse. Perhaps it’s still a humility issue, I don’t know. Perhaps as well I don’t trust that I will respond “the way I’m supposed to” if I just receive and stop there. But I know that isn’t true. Letting God shape and fill me will lead to an overflow of His goodness in me. Sigh.

God is good. I’m still learning how to receive His love. In light of recent world events, I’ve been more prone to quickly say “Why me?” when getting His gifts. But that question implies “Why do I deserve it?”, which is falsely loaded. We don’t deserve it. We’re not given flowers because we earned them. We’re given flowers because He loves us.