Friday, December 14, 2012

Why I Believe

There is a darkness that dwells in us, that constantly nurtures our fear and drives us to be twisted. This is the flesh. The carnal. The broken. Our darkness is so deep that even we do not want to admit it to ourselves, much less to each other. But it is real. It is here.

There is no hope in us alone. Many men have tried to place the darkness and produce light- all efforts including education, positive thinking, money, or willpower. Many have tried and many have failed. History will hold true to the fact that we are broken, and no carnal man has ever found a solution as to how we are fixed. This is why no perfect government has been made, nor can our imperfect government save us. This is why there is war, why there is hunger, and why there is death.

Even our current situation is gleaming with the statements of our perversion. Philosophers, theologists, psychologists, authors, and atheists alike all agree on one thing. That we are broken. That there is something each of us knows we ought to be, that we ought to measure up to, and yet none of us do. And we see the brokeness. We see it in distant and conflicted families. We see it in government that divides and people that divide with it. We see it in school shootings. We see it even in religion- when the world looks from outside in and sees that we make claims we have not lived up to, and shames us and is ashamed of us.

And what have we done? We have written about it. Self help books, philosophy books, therapy manuals. Everywhere from the internet to newspapers and magazines. Everyone is trying to the solution to our depravity. Pondering as people must, we suggest more beauty, more money, more fame, more power, more government, less government, more family time, more self-control, and higher education.

But here's the problem with these approaches. None of them have worked. Certainly if they were working, we would see new ideals being realized and old ideals being reborn. I'm not going to make any morality judgements- that we should support or bash homosexuality, that abortion is pro-life or pro-choice. The solution isn't found in measuring up to a moral code that no one consciously seems to be able to agree on. But I propose that we look at the things we are united on...that abusing and murdering young children is wrong. That beating our wives is dark and inhumane. That crime without punishment is injustice. That we humans have a heart that is bent against good things.

So what's the solution? Here's what I believe, and why I believe it. I believe in a God of light, in a savior of the world. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe that He is and has always been the solution, and the reason we deny that is because we have never fully tried Him. Why? Because we, in our feeble attempt to understand His entire nature, believe it costs too much. But I believe that the benefits far outweigh the costs.

I believe in a God whose heart breaks at the sight of sin. I believe in a God who has planted some of Himself in each of us in such a way as to make us yearn for Him. I believe in a Jesus who came and lived a perfect life we could not so that His nature could be combined with ours, that while we may still sin, we could love and be kind and show compassion. I believe in hope.

Why Jesus? Why not any other religion? Firstly, because He identifies the solution as Himself. He doesn't tell us that we can fix ourselves. He doesn't convince us that the answer is to just try harder. He tells us that He is God and we are not. I can no longer believe that the answer to mankind's problem is found within mankind.

Secondly, because I have found no progress in any other pursuit. No other desire has ever given me rest except for Jesus. No other place I have gone has had still waters to restore my soul. No other place has had a Father who loves me in every perfect way. I've yet to find the answer in politics or authority. But with Him, I have improved. I have gained in strength and maturity. I have grown in faith. I have seen fruit.

I have seen others improved. And above that, I have loved and seen others love, and love is after all our most prized possession and pursuit. We desire unconditional acceptance above all other things, and my Jesus is the only place I have found unconditional and everlasting love, and I have found this same love in others who found their love in Him as well. He is the source.

And this is what I believe and why I believe, and I pray that my belief finds you and rescues.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Divine Romance

At the essence of who I am, there is a desire we all share. This is the desire to be loved, and along with that, liked. To know there is some one not only out there, but right here. Some one who will love me unconditionally, that regardless of how I write or how often I write, my letters are cherished. Yes, even the paper is cherished.

But more than that, I don't simply want a love that overwhelms but a desire that overwhelms. To feel so secure and captivating, that even one word from my lips would cause some one's heart to beat faster, some one's step to pep up, some one's eyes to grow wet with passion.

I want some one that enjoys me, but not because they only see what's good in me. I want some one who sees even the darkest parts of me and likes me anyways. Some one who's eyes are endowed with the ability to look past this flesh I dwell in, and see my vibrant and ravishing heart.

I want life.

I want breath.

I believe it is in the very nature of love to be incomprehendable. I believe it is in the power of love to be so gripping that even pagans and prisoners can be won. I believe that every parent who loves their child will tell you that they can not find enough ways to express their love, that their care and warmth goes beyond what any words could say or actions could do, because even the years of nurture may not seem to be enough.

I believe in a God who is like this.

A God who dances over us in violent and elegant ways. Who sings with a booming voice that makes me wonder how we so rarely hear it. Who with gentle hands touches places no one else can touch, and with eyes of fire sees places that no one else can see. Who's heart is the only one big enough to love all mankind and creation as fiercely as he does.

Every once in a while we see a glimpse of His love shine through us. Whether it's the saddened woman who forgave the man who murdered her daughter, and pleaded for his sentence to be halved. Or it's the teenage girl who just wasn't popular enough, and despite her peer's hurtful ways got meaning and hope from a community who cared enough to do something. Whatever it is and however it comes, we know it when we see it.

And this is love, that a man who had no need of us nor anything to be gained from us came to earth and lived the life we could not, died a death we deserved, and rose again so that we might also be resurrected. This is truth. This is the gospel. I hope it finds you in a place that is receptive and redemptive, and gives you hope for a brighter day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Uncreated Light

Have you heard this voice? This voice of almost and never good enough. This voice that demands and harbors just outside the ears of your heart. This voice that constantly reminds you that you have darkness, and sarcastically begs you to create light.

It's a cruel and rough voice, and while it has no pleasantries to be named, it's the voice we so often hear louder than any of the others. It's the voice of condemnation.

Write better, work harder, worship purer it says. Commit to that group you really never wanted to associate with anyways. You know that if you don't, you're a failure and worthless. Raise your hands higher, sing to this God you're not sure of it says.

This is the voice of fake testing that says to do something seemingly attractive, but only to steer you to an end of blame and worthlessness. Try to lift that weight as the ideal man could, but only to embarrass yourself and hide in your shame.

This voice is not God.

It is true that you have sin within you. You have a flesh that constantly strives to kill you, and will fight in every way it knows how in order to stay alive. All have fallen short of what our King created and what He deserves. There is none righteous, not apart from him.

It is true that you will fail and fall, and fall into those moments of your own strength.

But here is The Truth. Jesus Christ.

If you didn't know, let me clarify to you (as best I can) the wonder of His heart.

He is the scarred hand that picks you up after you've fallen. He does not yank, nor let go, nor fall with you.

He is the softest voice telling you all the words you wish He'd say- "I love you, and there is nothing I wouldn't do for you."

He is the One who loves you and likes you too. He enjoys being with you, to simply dwell in the color of your eyes and the warmth of your breath. He's excited to seek you, and excited to find you.

He is the Light in the darkness. He is the One who became sin for us so that we might be blameless. He is the candle in the lantern, bringing warmth and light to the farthest reaches of your soul.

We are the uncreated light, that we do not manufacture our own humanistic form of false hope. We can't, and that is because we were never designed to, but we step into His light, and He shines on us. He removes the darkness. He removes the shame. He removes the voice.

My dear friends, do not give up hope and love, nor faith or peace, but give up the estranged and disarrayed idea that you can do it alone. Healing is found in holiness and community, and nowhere else. Surrender is the gateway to these things, and it does not come by you find Him or measuring up to Him, but by Him finding you. He is not far from anyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Perpetual Smile

There she was- an angel. An angel in my house? She stood there casually and comfortably, as if she were ordinary.

I won't lie and say it was at-first-sight, as though people have only the depths of a painting to their character. As though anything seeming ordinary or even slightly unique from every other wonder like it is deemed to forever be ordinary. In fact, precious diamonds are found from the coal and beneath the coal.

It was a short time before I knew her name, and we talked as all "soon-to-be's" tend to talk, with a glimmer of hope in every word and an underlying attraction to tie it all up.

Twas only a week I got to see her beautiful face on regular occasion, and while it wasn't yet the growth of something extravagant, it was the birth of something potential-loaded, like a pistol waiting to be aimed and fired. We went from sketchy Mexican restaurants to famously acronymed chicken wings, and even the the presence of God Himself. While we weren't yet sure, He was looking not from above to where we were, but from our future to our present, from the simply starting to the graciously going.

Via wild lines and symbolic signs I've yet to comprehend, we typed and wrote and dreamt. We spoke not yet as lathered significance, but as friends who could one day be more. We saw it and yearned for it, and our horses were ahead of our cart. And she didn't tell me the depths of her heart, nor did I tell her what lies in the deepest cave of my being, but we became more than acquainted, like a flower knows the wind.

2 months went by, and we had "the talk." You know, that talk in which you lay things out on the line in hopes that the other party will lay things out on it too, and that your puzzle pieces might fit together. Is it by chance? All newlyweds would say certainly not, while singles might say it's quite plausible. I'm not yet sure, but philosophy and speculation don't in themselves change what is happening and what has happened. For now I choose not to know or care.

She exclaimed her standards and I, embarrassingly compared, told her mine. A couple hours and a few lines later, we had openly discovered there was something to this, and that there could be more. So, for another 3 months we were, what you strange younger people might call, "talking." It had everything from the moments of doubt when you think to yourself "is this really what I want?" to "I'm going to marry this girl."

Through much prayer and helpful friendly guidance, and a wee bit of human introspection, I discovered that my earlier question had been meaningless and void, and my second question was all the more favorable (and hopefully probable.)

And here we are, the day after our special day, loaded with early text messages and facebook overload, daunting that perpetual smile I could not hide if I tried. Am I happy? Of course I am! But not simply because I'm closer to having her and she's closer to having me, but because I look back and see that we've done it right thus far. We weren't hasty nor foolish, nor forceful nor arrogant, but through much prayer and guidance and a heart that waits (and a parent that permits), we've arrived at a new level, a new commitment.

So here's to you, my darling, for finding me and being found, for a new story to call our own, and may each day of your wonderful and precious life be evermore righteously and lovingly intertwined with mine.

Friday, November 16, 2012

You Did Not Choose Me

You did not choose me, but I chose you.

I chose you to love, to cherish, to hold.

I chose you to have affections for, affections far above those of anything and anyone else, and to hope you'd return those affections.

Why did I choose you? My child, not for war, nor for offering, nor power. I did not choose you for what you can do or offer, but I do and offer all things.

For purity? I am holy and righteous, and no more pure with you than I'd be without you.

I did not need you, for I need nothing. I am not a god created by man's hands, nor a rose grown from the dirt of the earth. I am not a God that I should need what you offer.

I chose you. I saw you and I was captivated. I knew you and I rejoiced. I met you and danced over you. I rejoiced with loud singing. I wrote your name on my hands.

I did not see your value through your eyes, but through mine. You are altogether beautiful my love, and there is not a flaw in you. You are a bride cleansed, now without spot or blemish. There is no one I'd rather keep. There is no direction I would rather look. There is no option I would rather choose.

Dance with me. Eat with me. Sing with me. Speak with me.

And our love will be sweet
Sweeter than the rain
Or the petals on the rose
Or life in your eyes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Deepest Darkness

Lately I've been studying the idea of light. Not simply that it allows us to see, but that where it is, darkness can not also be. That when light is present, shadows flee.

I've been studying the idea of change, of how when a man or woman such as yourself, who is tainted with this thing we call flesh, has light shine on you and into you, it changes you. It allows you to see things you've never seen. It allows you to believe things you never considered before. My only fear is that men no longer seek the light because they've lived in darkness for so long that they don't remember what light looks like. My fear is that we are able to walk into the light and live in it, but we don't realize the full possibility and the need.

In the bible there was a man named Saul. He was not only absent from light, but delving in the darkness- dwelling in the darkness. If the normal person is just absent minded under stars in the night sky, Saul was several hundred feet in a cave. He even says about himself "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of which I am the foremost." You might ponder what it was the Saul did that was so bad, and what could drive him to say such a profound statement.

Saul was a murderer.

Worse than that, he was a hypocritical murderer who believe that was he was doing was right, and that he was serving God by killing.

But God. God one day revealed His light to Saul, and it was so bright that Saul became blind. Saul became humbled. Saul became different. And God, in His infinite kindness and mercy, redeemed Saul to not only give Him life, but to use him to bring others to life. Saul was changed so much that even his name changed from Saul to Paul. This brutal man whom everyone feared became so bright and loving that God used him to write most of your New Testament.

The point is this. If God's light can shine in even this deepest darkness, He can shine in your darkness too. "The light shines in the darkness." God purposefully seeks you out so that you may no longer be blind and bound, but free to see and believe. He hopes that you will be no longer stumbling and falling in this dark world, but will come into the light where there is peace, joy, and hope. He wants this for you. I want this for you.

"And the darkness has no overcome it." The darkness only has two options when light comes- flee or dissipate. God, whose light is bright, whose holiness is pure, has no darkness at all. His light shines and it can shine in you. But you might ask how? How do I do this? First, you confess. You confess that you have darkness and you don't qualify it, you don't justify if, you simply expose it. Secondly, you seek Him. The deeper you get into Him, the less of you there is. Where do you seek Him? In bible studies, in services, in prayer, in Scripture, and in loving friends. It is my hope that this inspires you, and that darkness would have to flee. May the God who is all expansive and the source of light find you gently and move you in.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


No weakness. No hurting. No pain. No shame. No heartbreak. No darkness. No brokenness. No sick. No lame. No blind. No loss. No deficiencies. No insecurity. No death. No separation. No poor. No sadness. No depression. No chains. No bondage. No aching. No falling. No hate. No judging. No wandering. No evil. No end.

This is Heaven. This is the offer of Christ. This was the creation of God. P

erfect harmony with His will and our desires. This is eternal life. Believers-this is what you signed up for. Unbelievers-if this is what you desire, it can be yours.

The fact is that we are broken. All philosophers, psychologists, and authors agree. There is something wrong with humanity. What is it? Separation from our original purpose, from our original essence, and our original unity. The problem was and still is sin. That we turned from light to darkness. From worth to worthlessness. From selflessness to selfishness.

But there is One who thought we could be redeemed. One who thought and thinks we are worth saving. And this love abundant came and lived among us, and taught us, and died among us, and lived once again. Why? Why do it? Simply this. To bring us back to ourselves-our original selves. To bring us back to the origin. To bring us back to Himself.

And to anyone that should call upon Him, they shall be saved. Will life be sudden bliss? Is that the promise? No. The promise is that one day we will enter into His perfect and spotless kingdom. And in this kingdom...

There is peace. Full peace. Full joy. Full prosperity. Full unity. Full hope. Full purity. Divinity. Wonder. Amazement. Health. Abundance. Fruit. There is love. There is light. There is Christ.



His love is deep. It goes into the depths of us, into the most secret and quiet places. Is he safe? Yes, but He will change you and remove you in every way. He is gentle and lowly in Spirit.

His love is wide. It is strong as death. It is sure. There is no one and nothing that is not affected by His love. It is all expansive, reaching all places and all hearts.

It covers us. It doesn't j

ust touch one place, but every place. From hearts to minds, from bodies to finances. It covers all there is to be covered. There are no gaps. No insufficiencies.

He love is fierce. It is forceful. Will He barge into your house? No, but He will knock on the door every single day in hopes that you'll answer. He will do all there is to do to reach you, and to show you Himself.

His love is strong. It doesn't fail. There no odds with God, and no limits to His power. His grip on you is no weaker or less capable than it was yesterday, and could not be greater tomorrow. It can not be measured, and it does not give up.

It is furious. He will defend you and redeem you at any cost. It will love you to the point of all emotions, that He is so obsessed with you it overwhelms you. This is not of works, but by grace and through faith.

His love is sweet. It is pleasurable and altogether desirable. There is no greater craving we could have, and no greater satisfaction that comes from anywhere else. Like a mother holds her child, so the love of the Father comforts us.

His love is wild. No one could ever talk Him out of it, and no one contains it. It is not hold back, even by you. He can not be tamed, but will seek you in hopes that you find Him.

It awakens hearts to life. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Though you were dead in your sin, His death in love made you redeemable, so that you could live, and that your life would reflect His life. Wake up sleeper...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Unlovable

Matthew West has (still relatively) new song out called Forgiveness. I don't know how many people have researched it, but the story behind it is powerful.

Matthew decided to write all of the songs for his newest album about real life stories people had sent him. In this story a mother's child was driving home. As the daughter was driving, she got hit but a drunk driver. He survived, but the daughter passed. There was of course a court hearing, and after x amount of months he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for DWI and manslaughter.

The mother started going around to various schools and organizations talking about the importance of driving safely, and the dangers of drinking and driving. She became a spokesperson for what she had experienced, and a warning beacon that has hopefully saved lives. I respect her a lot for that. After somewhere between a few months and a few years of doing this, God began to speak to her about forgiveness. She of course responded with the natural responses that all of us would give. "I have forgiven him/her. I'm not holding a grudge. I'm fine God." But after enough time and prayer, she realized she hadn't forgiven enough, and definitely hadn't forgiven this poor and lost young man who had killed her daughter.

Through radical change and a radical God, she forgave him. No, not just in her heart. She went to the prison to visit him, and told him she forgave him. The story doesn't end there though. She now considers him to be a friend, even a member of her own family. I don't know about you but I don't have a lot of confidence that I could do that. As if this wasn't enough, she also pleaded with the judge to have his sentence cut in half. That's right, 50%! If I remember correctly, he gets out this fall/winter some time.

So what's the point? Why write about this? First, it's to show the power of forgiveness. It's to remind us that forgiveness isn't just for the forgiven, but the forgiver. Second, it's to remind you that the word "impossible" is not in God's dictionary. Third, it's to demonstrate loving the unlovable.

Here's the thing. This story is a perfect allegory to the Father, Christ, and us. The Father is the mother, Christ is the daughter, and you and I? We're the drunk driver. We spat in His face. We crucified Him. We slaughtered Him. Even now we sin against Him. But His forgiveness, His love, His mercy is strong enough to go past us-for love is as strong as death. He didn't just forgive us, but He welcomed us to be with Him. He invites us to enjoy life everlasting. Truly there has been and never will be a greater love story than this. The Father, lover of the unlovable.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Of Mud

John 9:6-7 Having said these things, he spat on the ground, and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him "Go,wash in the pool of Siloam." So he went and washed and came back seeing.

Jesus, a man of all kindness and glory, sees a blind man whom we learn in the next verse has been blind and poor for some time. He used to sit and beg on the street side. Jesus then spits in the dirt to make mud, rubs it on the man's eyes and tells him to go wash. The man washes and comes back, and for the first time in a long time (or maybe ever) sees color, light, darkness and beauty.

When I first read over this I just saw it as a miracle. Not that miracles are amazing, but they're sort of expected when I read about Jesus. It's easy to pass them by. But the last time I read this I just had the sense I was missing something...and here's what it was.

First, God has seen one of the "least of these" and not only stopped to recognize him, but heal him. So Jesus, a King, the one whom through all things were created, the full explanation and exact copy of the Father in Heaven, stops and cares for this man- a man whom He has not practical human attachment to. It's incredible to think that God would notice this man, but also notice me, and also you.

Secondly, Jesus spits in the dirt to make mud. I asked myself "why use mud? Why not just speak as before?" Here is why. Dirt is the most worthless thing on the planet, We have it in abundance, and unlike water, it isn't necessary (directly) for sustainence. It is the cheapest and most free thing in the world other than air. God took this thing that we don't just not value, but that is disgusting and avoided, and He used it for glory. In the same way, He uses us. We were lost in sin, in total death and helplessness and utter sorrow, and He, in His goodness and love, decided to save us. He adds Himself to the dirt, and through it comes a miracle. Sight.

We serve a God who is not only mighty and strong, but compassionate and kind. Yes, He has higher standards than we could ever reach on our own, but He has continued to give and in His generosity, Has given His son so that we could be free of sin and death. He has loved us. He loves us. He will continue to love us. Come.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crazy Thought

Crazy thought.^

We were created as wholly intimate with God. In perfect harmony and shalom, we walked with Him. Then one day man turned away, and sin caused us to die.

It's well known that conflict, when occurred and resolved properly, can bring the conflicters closer than they were before the conflict. We see this not only in healthy marriages, but also in Song of Solomon. Solomon goes to his wife's chambers but she denies him. He leaves, she repents, is punished, and goes to find him.

What's incredible is that after we resolve conflict, which in the case of Christ and man is sin and forgiveness, we are drawn a little closer to Him, but not as close as we were originally. And if our fellowship with Him is this great while living in our flesh, how much more glorious will it be when we are once again in His likeness? When we no longer see through a mirror dimly, but see Him as He is, and are His perfect and spotless bride.

Maybe though, you haven't begun to walk in the Spirit here on earth. Even though it isn't perfect fullness, it is communion. In that communion there is comfort, peace, and forgiveness. There is also suffering, but power and purity. We have the promise that we will be rewarded both here on earth and in heaven, and that the rewards far outway the costs.

How do we enter into this communion? We learn of Him, who He is and what he's done by reading His Scriptures, and we believe and accept Him. He is faithful to not only be present but moving.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All That Matters

All that Matters

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

I think we typically read this and think "love is important." I know I've read it multiple times as simply a way to boost the ideal that is love, and naturally we think of brotherly love and romantic love first. However, I thought of it in a very different and more simplistic way today.

A lot of times in Western Christianity we have a tendency to focus on knowledge, insights, and some of us miracles. And yes, I'm talking about Christians here, not the world. I know for me, I love philosophy and theology, and I have a really deep yearning to see miracles and visions. However, while these are wonderful and Godly things, they aren't the main point.

Paul isn't just saying that if you have all things but love you are nothing, but I believe He's also saying the opposite. If you have love but nothing else, you have everything. The difference between a good Christian and a "bad" Christian is not that one reads the bible more or prays more, writes more or sees more miracles. The difference is that one loves with the love they've been shown, and the other doesn't.

As we go about the mundane and routine, remember what matters. Love is shown only when we have the courage to show it. There is no such thing as unintentional love. Do things you've never done before. Be things you've never been for some one before. Love in new ways and new strengths you've never loved before. Thats all that matters.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Place Where He Is

"Take me to the place where you are. I love you. Lord, I love you"

"Just to be with you I would do anything. There's no price I would not pay.
Just to be with you Ive done everything. There's no price I did not pay" -Third Day, Love Song

Where has God been? Jesus was in the quiet. he was comforted by His disciples and the Spirit. He taught the disciples. He healed the sick. He made the blind to see. He had dinner with the prostitutes and tax collectors. He was betrayed in a much bigger way than any of us have been. He prayed until He sweat blood. But most of all, He suffered a painful, brutal, and gruesome death on the cross.

These are all these places He's been. He has been all things to all people. He experienced everything that includes suffering and comfort, mourning and joy, sadness and peace. He was a man of great sorrows. Ask yourself "am I willing to go to all of those places? For even Christ?"

He paid every price there was to pay to be with you, and bring you with Him. He asks the same of us. He demands the same of us. The only thing that could come between you and Him was sin, and He took care of that problem. His work to conquer sin is finished. There is forgiveness and healing for all who will choose to be chosen.

If your answer is "No, I'm not willing to do that," be honest. For most Christians it's not. Don't lie to yourself, and certainly don't try and lie to God. But, as you go about your life, don't expect anything more from Him than youre willing to give.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Daddy's Strong Arms

Daddy's Strong Arms

I'm on my way to Kansas City. My daddy is driving and I'm in the passenger seat. It's raining heavily outside, and my knees are on the seat, tucked into my chest. During normal weather conditions my daddy drives comfortably with just one hand on the wheel- but not right now. I look over to see that he has both arms firmly extended, both hands gripping the wheel, and both eyes constantly observing what's ahead.

In that moment it occurs to me that he is protecting me. Every decision he is making is in effort to protect me. Whether or not to turn the lights on and how bright, to slow down or resume normal speed, which lane to be in, all decisions he is making for my benefit-for my protection. He knows exactly where we're going and how to get there, and he didn't need my help to figure it out. He is my guardian until we arrive to safety.

My heavenly Father is the same but more so. He knows how to protect me and guide me. He knows how to be in control and the wisest decision to make. He doesn't require my knowledge or my guidance, just to be obedient and trust Him-to trust that He, Creator God, Yahweh, Father, the Glorious and Perfect One, has my best interest at heart. He may choose to slow me down, or speed me up. He may keep me in a season of winter where things are dormant, or to move into the growth and life of spring. He may remove others that I love from my life, and add those that test me to my life. But no matter what He does, it is out of a loe that's deeper than I can understand.

To the believer this is a great comfort. We are safe to know that His love is driving Him to be closer to us, to speak to us, but not to love us more. He could not love us more, and will not ever love us less. To the unbeliever this is a great conviction and invitation. It is an invitation to join the family of Christ, of Jesus who came in the flesh as a man and died to kill your sin, and was resurrected to save you. To be His son and have rights to see Him, hear from Him, and speak to Him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Wonder

Wonder: A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

He is the sign. He is the wonder.

These lyrics point to something inexplainably amazing about God. He is the wonder. Notice it says "the" not "a" because He is the beauty above all beauties, and the perfection of all that we see and do not see. The more we know Him, the more we find this to be true. A boring God is no God at all.

His wisdom is infinite. His compassion is overwhelming. A greater love we could not find, for infinitude is above all things. The nature of our spirit is to desire His spirit, and we were indefinitely created to love and be loved. That is what it's all about; loving God due to the love He has shown us, then out of that love we desire to bring others to Him.

My end point is this. If God is boring to you, you must be worshipping the wrong God (or have the wrong definition of the right God). His very nature is to astound us and conform us to it. To motivate us to new revelations while still satisfying. This is an absolute truth.

The more I seek Him, the more I find Him
The more I find Him, the more I love Him.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


It's the fuel of Christ. All that we are to do is supposed to be motivated by intimacy. Consider this. The more intimate you are with a person, the more you talk about them-they naturally come up in conversation with anyone at anytime. Just talk to any newly weds. You cant talk to a new bride for very long without some story or characteristic of her husband coming into the conversation. 

Also, we can hear that persons voice. Not only can we recognize it among all the other voices, but we can hear it anytime at all.  I've even gotten to the point of being able to imagine how someone would say something. Furthermore, if it's a healthy relationship, their voice is comforting. We love to just hear the persons voice, and often it doesn't hardly matter what they say. 

Sometimes He doesn't have to say anything at all.

This is intimacy. We can't love God until we know Him, and we can't know Him until we seek to know Him. We'll never want to know Him until we know how badly He is seeking to know us. That my friends is the gospel-that a perfect, loving, perfectly loving, strong, willing, and powerful God wants to know us intimately, and to help us radically.

The difference between those who walk in the Spirit and those who don't is not knowledge, not even scriptural. It isn't understanding. Shocker I know but most people who perform and see miracles have no way to describe what actually happened. The things of God are far beyond comprehension. His foolishness is our highest wisdom. The difference between those who are walking in holiness and those who aren't is those who are simply know him. How do they know him? They spend time with Him. The more they seek Him, the more they find Him. The more they find him, the more they love Him.

You truly cannot know him intimately without wanting to share Him, to talk about Him, to simply dwell in His presence, and to hear his voice. Seeking and discovering His love for you will naturally cause you to walk with Him, cast out demons, raise the dead, and lay hands on people for edification and healing. If you haven't before, start today.

The Desires of Your Heart

In "The Seven Longings of the Human Heart" by Mike Bickle, he talks about how we are to delight ourselves in the lord, and he will give us the desires of our heart. Most people think this means "if im a good Christian, God will give me what I want. If I live a good moral life, give to charities and attend church once a week God will give me a new car and nice house and white pocket fence." I agree with him that most people think this is what it means.

At best, you'll find a few people who think it means "as I get closer to  God, He will change my desires to be his desires. Before I wanted to get married, but once I'm closer, I'll want to be single. Before I wanted to be rich, but God will make me content with just enough." while I think this is closer than the first option, it's still not quite right. This concept seems like God is undermining us or manipulating us, making his love conditional, as if he's saying "if you loved me, you'd want this instead"

The reality is this. No dream is a bad one. Sex is a beautiful thing when inside the context of marriage. Marriage is a beautiful thing when the first love is Christ, and the second love remains as the spouse. You should not try to kill your dream, and many times you really don't even need to change it- you just need to pursue it in a righteous way. God would not give you a dream just to kill it.

The reality is that if your dream is to be a great mom, God probably wants you to be a great mom. If your dream is to own a big business, God probably wants you to own a big business. No dream is bad, and our God is a good God. However, the first and most important mission of our hearts should be to know Him, to grow in intimacy and passion for our Savior and Friend. Secondly, you are to let His love shine through you in such a way that others want what you have, so that as many as possible may be saved. So cling to your dream of that business, but remember that it is not simply an end, but a means for you to show the world how people of God run honest businesses. Cling to that dream of being a great mom, but remember that its another way to glorify him. Show all the other moms what it means to love their children with the love of Christ by loving your own children with His love.

All things were created by and for him, for his good pleasure. Thus, no dream is a bad dream, it just may be being pursued in a bad way. Pursue it by, through, and because of Him, through the power of the Spirit that works in you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


So I recently went through a pretty serious separation from a close friend and romantic interest. It's amazing though how looking back on it I see things so much clearer than I did when I was actually going through them. It's almost like I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Hinesight is 20/20 as they say. My friends have been telling me how much more stable and even restful I seem, and I actually agree with them (don't get me wrong. there is a certain sadness and mourning that comes, and I don't mean to downplay that). Two of my friends today have used the word toxic in reference to the relationship. Also, they both pointed out how I revert back to my normal self when that toxin is no longer there.

So, of course with my analytical and allegorical mindset, I started to relate the whole experience to quitting smoking. Firstly, despite how unhealthy and unattractive it is, most smokers can't give it up. You can tell them a million times that it's killing them and yet, their addiction usually stays with them. They can't refuse it. If and when they finally do decide to quit, the first few days (about 5) are absolute hell. They're beyond stressed and worn out. It impacts every part of their life for those few days. Here's the part I'm really interested in though. If that (now) ex-smoker has just one cigarette, the odds of him getting addicted again are tremendously high. Furthermore, his odds are higher than if some one who had never smoked before smoked one.

One more point. After a great amount of time (usually 1 year or more), the smoker can be around other smokers and control himself, even be fine.

I think this is a lot like sin. At first it may seem fun, attractive, and even addictive. We can get so stuck and so ruled by fear that we can't even see it for what it is anymore. It's killing us but we're blind. Then, if we ever do give it up and refuse it, the first few battles are the hardest to win. Once we've one them though, we experience part of the life of a conqueror. You can't however, ever return to that sin and expect to not be overwhelmed by it- or at least not until a lot of time has passed. It's like you're on the edge of a steep hill. Once you take one step, you're likely to fall all the way down.

How do we avoid falling down? Don't take the first step. What if you've already taken the first step? Find a brother or sister to help you up. Bring your sin to light, for sin can not dwell where light dwells. What if you're stuck in sin right now? Our God is an awesome God. A God of abundant grace and redemption. Seek Him in humility, confess your sins and ask for forgiveness, and get around people who will encourage and strengthen you. After all, even Jesus needed 12 men to keep His strength up.

I do pray that this entry finds you in good times and good spirits. If not, I have seen and firmly believe in the Master who sets slaves free, and in the Spirit whose perfect love casts out fear. If you'd like to meet them, ask me about it :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Mountain

It’s long been said and known that God is in direct opposition by comparison to the nature of man. Even most theists, deists, agnostics and atheists agree that if God does indeed exist, He is incomparably better than the world. Some of those people will use this very argument to conclude that God does not exist, or does but is very hands off about it. However, I’m not getting into that argument today.
My purpose in this entry is to give you another analogy or allegory that strives/attempts to express the amazing story of grace.
It has become a popularized idea that all religions worship the same God, and we’re all going to heaven but taking different paths to get there. It’s like God is at the top of the mountain, and each of us is hiking towards Him, each taking our own path to the top. Some of us have harder paths while others have easier paths. Some have longer paths while others have shorter paths. No matter how toilsome or rugged, a spirit of pride has told us we each deserve to get to heaven and we will.
Christianity completely disagrees with this concept. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” –Jesus
What if I told you that God, instead of you working your way to Him, worked His way toward you? Selah.
What if I told you that God’s compassion so strongly compels Him to save you that He, in humility, approaches you? What if I told you that it’s not based on anything you have ever done, and nothing you ever could or will do? “While we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Grace. In the beginning God created The Mountain. There were 3 men, 1 women, and 1 spirit in perfect harmony as God the Father created it to be. After some unkown time, the woman was deceived and fell down the mountain, and the man after her.
One important note- Before the fall , God had perfect plans, a Word that made man perfect, and in man was a spirit God created to be loved, to dwell in perfect love and harmony. It was not simply that you were created to be loved, but God had plans to be with you in eternal bliss, and after He lost you, He would do anything to get you back. When Adam and Eve fell, not only did they fall but so did all of mankind, and the Father grieved.
The only thing that could keep them from God was the exact thing they committed- sin. In agony indescribable and compassion unbearable, the Father upheld justice- that the punishment for sin is death.
Again, in perfect love, God sent His Son to the bottom of the mountain to remind us of who He is, and make a way for us to once again dwell in purity and holiness with Him. And that way was death, followed by a wonderful resurrection. This was also to symbolize our own death to sin, and resurrection through grace.
This is where our story begins. This is where we find that God is at the bottom of the mountain with an outstretched hand, motivated by love to ask you to take it and follow Him.
God does not  see your sin and condemn you. He does not punish you in revoltion, but disciplines you in love. He is just. Love is here to bring us back to where we started, and that place is beautiful.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Lovesick- In love, or missing the person one loves so much that one is unable to act normally.
Most of us know the feeling. If you go on, you will find many people who know it and can describe it to its utmost extent. Most of us over the age of about 15 or 16 have been lovesick with a romantic love. It’s that yearning in our hearts to be with him/her. Everything reminds us of them; we’re hopelessly anxious. They’re all we can think about- and usually most of what we talk about.
Now imagine what the world would be like if we had people who felt that way with Christ.
In the bible Jesus tells us how we should pray. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…” Our daily bread. The bread is relating to a natural food that satisfies our hunger, but Jesus is speaking with a metaphor here. He’s relating bread to His presence, to a devotion time with Him. We are supposed to speak with Him and experience Him daily. We are supposed to thrive on that, to be at peace and completely satisfied-daily.
Imagine a world full of people who could not go one whole day without feeling desperate for Jesus. Imagine what it would be like if just skipping one day of quiet time with Him, one day without His manifest presence, if just that one day would cause you to be unable to act normally. To rely and depend on Christ this much is what He asks and requires of us. How long could you go without Him?
Imagine what it would be like if you acted so abnormally that people could spot it. Even acquaintances would come up to you and ask what was wrong today. Your friends could just see you from afar and know that something was off. This, my friends, is a life of complete devotion and surrender to Christ; to be unable to function without Him.
I believe the reality to be that none of us ever act like ourselves unless we are in His presence. We were designed to be in His presence continuously, but sadly, the devil and our sinful nature have done an outstanding job of making us forget that. When you are walking with Him, talking with Him, and communing with Him, you are being more of who you were meant to be than you could be at any other time or in any other way.
There is a void in you, and whether you are aware of it or not, no one can fill that void properly except our Father.
To close this entry I’d like to finish by reminding you of one very key ingredient to this life you’re about to step into. Jesus loves you. He wants to know you. That doesn’t mean He wants to know about you, because He already knows all about you. He wants to speak with you, to trust you, and for you to trust Him. This love, this astounding and abounding grace is the fuel for this life- He will draw you to Him, it is only your responsibility to receive and be drawn.