Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Running for the Prize

I did not know how far I could run until I ran as long as I could and ended up running into you. Only it was not a coincidence or an accident because you stood there waiting for me the whole time. Still, I believed the distance from where I stood was far too great. But I knew just how wrong I was when you embraced me with open arms.

"Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."
1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Love Him

Once I realized a religion could not save my soul, I started pursuing a relationship with Jesus. To me, his blood stained body is more beautiful than any stained glass window. It reminds me that God has not called me to decorate my faith, but to declare it. So I stopped raising my communion cup to toast him and I started taking communion because I love him.

"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
-Jesus (John 15:9-13)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fighting with my Flesh

I've figured out how to fight with my flesh well enough to win most times. But there are moments when my flesh does not fight fair. So I embrace my humanity by confessing quietly, knowing that a little bit of anonymity goes a long way. Because sometimes I fail to live up to the standards the rest of us seem compelled to create, when the only standard I really need to live up to is that of a Holy God.

"So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:13-16

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I Confess

My surrender sings sweetly to the heart of my Savior. But how many times do I say, "Here I am Lord, send me!" when I only mean it with half my heart. So I confess to you that I have unclean lips when my mouth says one thing but my heart says another. And in your mercy, you soften my heart until it sings.

Inspired by Isaiah 6:1-8~
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

Friday, February 24, 2012


The years roll by, bringing times when faith feels fragile, especially when my flesh feels weak. So my sin leaves me looking less than becoming until your grace makes me look pretty in perseverance. And as the years roll by, there is one thing I continue to learn; I may not necessarily mature with age, but I most certainly mature with Christ.

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed."
-2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Fickle Heart

With one breath, I hold my resume in my hand and flash a prayer toward heaven. Then with the next breath, I flip-flop, holding a prayer in my hand while flashing my resume toward heaven. I'm not sure which is worse or which is better. But if there is truth in the statement, "it is more important to seek the giver than the gifts," then I don't know where my fickle heart falls. So I reach for my pen to scribble a few more notes about what I think I can do for God, until he gently reminds me that I can search my heart for anything I have to offer, or I can search his. And when I finally do, I find more than I could have ever dreamed.

What about you? Are you trying to build your resume to do great things for God? If so, pray about checking in with him first.

"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
-Ephesians 2:10

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


We live in layers. And those layers are a testimony to the complexity of our Creator. We did not just accidentally evolve. We have been hand crafted, knit together, designed with a purpose.

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."
-Psalm 139:13-16

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Brick by brick I built a wall around my heart. But instead of feeling more guarded, I only felt more alone. I was trapped until you came along. Brick by brick you tore that wall down only to build a bridge instead.

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." -John 8:36

Monday, February 20, 2012

Walking in the Spirit

We were not made for a cookie cutter Christianity. We were made to walk in the Spirit. So when we start to play the comparison game, we are left with a recipe for disaster. Which walk of faith will you take today? The one God intends for you or the one he intends for your neighbor?

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
-Galatians 5:25-26

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Sometimes we fail to possess the faith we need because our needs already possess our faith. We may have a physical need the doctors cannot heal. We may have a financial need the banks cannot solve. We may have a relational need the counselors cannot address. And our needs grow into problems that hover over our faith like looming giants.

But Jesus does not call us to have a faith the size of mountains. He calls us to have a faith that can move mountains.

"You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." -Matthew 17:20

Friday, February 17, 2012


In a portrait called Provision, hope dawns on the horizon while despair fades in the distance. It's not Van Gogh, neither is it Monet, it's God.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -Romans 15:13

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chasing Freedom

She chases after something she can barely see. Some say it is just an illusion. Others call it a fairytale. But somewhere in her once upon a time, a dream stays nestled in her heart. It is not one of romance or one of adventure, but one of freedom. And freedom is neither an illusion nor a fairytale. Freedom, she claims, can be found with a little bit of faith.

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." -Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

God gives

I keep patience in my pocket because I don't always have enough to go around. But instead of holding on to patience, I should be holding on to prayer. So I let go of the little bit I do have, trusting that God gives so much more.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control." -Galatians 5:22,23

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Mirage

We sleep in the shade to hide from the scorching sun. But shade can be nothing more than a shifting shadow. So we pick up and move in hopes of finding the comfort we crave. Until we realize that true comfort, apart from the Comforter, is simply a mirage.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
- 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

Friday, February 3, 2012


On paper we live our lives somewhere in the middle among the well-dressed and the well-fed. And on most days that is good enough. But on the days when it is not, we scribble our faith down in the margins of our lives, trying to hold onto something bigger. But God is not asking us to squeeze him in the margins. He is telling us to keep him in the center.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -Jesus (John 15:5)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Weighty Words

Words carry weight when they drop into deep places, falling from either the tip of the pen or the tip of the tongue. So with heightened awareness, I try to carefully construct a creative flow from somewhere in my head or from anywhere in my heart. But even with the best intentions, my flesh sometimes gets in the way, causing words-to-get-jumbled or lost in translation or simply left out or stated in excess. And in those moments, I ask God to give me the words from somewhere in his head or from anywhere in his heart.

"The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
-Proverbs 12:18

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Taking Thoughts

Memories take shape when something from the present raises a toast to something from the past. Like scenes from familiar films are the moments that flicker through our thoughts, some pleasant enough to embrace, others destructive enough to refuse. Still they masquerade, either as welcomed guests or as unwanted ghosts. But just as guests can be escorted to the door, so also can thoughts or memories we no longer wish to entertain.

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ..."
-2 Corinthians 10:5