Saturday, November 23, 2013


i've thought about checking it out
you said
my friend goes there every sunday and she goes home crying sometimes
i definitely don't want to cry
but i'm curious what's so great about it
if you only knew that i've prayed for this curiosity for you for 10 years
life and joy - abundantly - that's what's so great about it
only the very things you've been wanting for as long as you can remember
so i continue praying
as one who can only plant seed and water
begging that the One who makes it grow will do His work
and that you'll finally know joy
not just happiness
not affected by circumstances or moods or the weather
but that foundational certainty that things are as they should be
for now
until final reconciliation
He who designed and sustains everything
is only ever good
and you, i've seen as you've worked hard to be good and kind and selfless
in your own strength
but now you're coming to the end of yours
and your limited grace is running out
and it just might be now
that He deems the appropriate time to remove the scales from your eyes
so you can see and taste that goodness is tactile
and those little ones can follow in your footsteps as you follow in His
just maybe now
i hope

Monday, November 11, 2013


the exodus.
God made a way where there was no way he said,
plenty of you have similar stories. stand up where you are and tell us
and one. by. one.
marriages restored from the ashes
faith infused into dry bones
adoption/reunion/a biological father who now loves Jesus...and slow healing because the adopted dad reached out to the biological father and the daughter now watches with a heart a little more open than it has even been before
you should all have a story of how God made a way when there was no way he spoke again
and if you don't, you haven't yet received the Gospel.
you don't have to have a story like these
yours is yours and it is unique
mine is mine, also unique
and it has to do with God's biggness and my smallness
He made a way for me to see,
He gently, but necessarily painfully, peeled away the scales, the ones that had been growing there since my conception and the ones that i had stitched into place myself and the ones that i had allowed to be glued into place by the well-meaning friends and the deceiver himself
to get out of my head this idea that God owes it to me to give to me what i want when i want it.
when i get mad at Him for allowing the pain,
for asking me to wait,
for letting my questions go unanswered
and when i used to feel this way about Him,
that He's unfair,
that He is unconcerned with what is best for me,
that He doesn't really know my desires even though He supposedly placed them there...
that He isn't good, loving, wise
when really
graciously, He allowed me an accurate perspective of meta-reality
that i, the created, have no authority over Him, the Creator
that i am so many transcendent steps short of Him that for me to be convinced that i know what He's doing, what He's forgotten to do, what He's done incorrectly
i get this picture of an ant, working tirelessly to trek his way to the oval office,
or to take over the mic at a passion conference
or be the authority responsible to declare war on north korea
he'd have no right.
he'd have no credibility, and absolutely no respect
he's ridiculously limited in what he could ever do or understand
and his agenda would always be only self-seeking, always failing, just stupid
and there you have it
it took a miracle
to part the sea of my selfishness, my short-sighted tunnel vision
to see that beyond the kingdom of me is a kingdom far bigger than the point of a pin
bearing the significance and glory of a realistic kingdom, one that covers the expanse of sky and space and land and sea and all the space yet undiscovered by man and science
and covering also everything beyond physical matter.
a way where there was no way
my eyes opened
my destiny rewritten.
a way made
and all of my humble gratitude.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


can i talk to you for a minute? you said
of course, i respond, anxious,
excited to hear the news, the recommendation, the encouragement,
the invitation for dinner, the request for childcare
because every conversation with you, your family, has always poured life into my spirit,
i've always felt love, unquestioned safety, respect
sitting at your feet,
soaking up even the smallest bits of wisdom and grace that i can take in,
watching a marriage established on the unshakable rock of Christ
watching a family dynamic that bleeds worship
and a home that illuminates the order (yes, really) and honor for which you were drawn from the chaos of unbelief.
i experienced from you an irreplaceable gift [1 corinthians 4.15-16].
we're moving, you said
oh!.. to where..? i asked
400 miles, you answered
and i cried.
and i'm quite certain that neither of us expected that from me.
you, definitely, unaware of the blessing that you and your family have been to me
and i, evidently, didn't know either
until the tears came
and kept coming for the next days.
but i recognize that it has to be more than this opportunity that you, your family, have been given
its a larger sense that my world is being shaken
two pillars of theological bedrock being removed from our community in the same week
and you, incredibly talented communicator,
a rare, profound perspective of the Church, the family, the Gospel, eternity
gifted for a season to this church family.
my security again questioned,
and i have to determine where my ultimate security is planted,
where my hope is truly found,
where my joy in anchored.
yes, though, you+she offered to me one of the safest places of theological sanctuary,
because very few people have my respect and trust the way that you+she have earned
i have the Spirit of Him who created and sustains all things by the words of His mouth
i have, by His divine power, all that i need for life and godliness
i have the unshakable foundation of truth in Christ. alone.
i have an unspeakable joy set before me
i have your love and influence still promised to me
even from 400 miles away.
you, far too gifted to be unused for the Kingdom,
far too needed,wanted,respected in that community to say no,
you+she with far too much to offer in terms of discipleship,
your intimate knowledge of our Savior, to stay here,
she, with so much to say to the young women in her influence about
marriage, motherhood, commitment to our precious Jesus and His Word,
you have to go. i know. i understand. i agree. and i bless you as you plan, go, and begin all that God will do through you there.
soli deo gloria. 

but whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. what is more, i consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake i have lost all things. i consider them garbage, that i may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. i want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. not that i have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but i press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. brothers and sisters, i do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. but one thing i do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, i press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus...only let us live up to what we have already attained.
[philippians 3] 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


when you let a friend into the stirrings of your mind
those ones that i see whirling behind your eyes
but they just never quite make it out of those tightly sealed lips
like a prison,
the key held by yourself
that fear needn't be so controlling a taskmaster
when you have One greater living within you
because intimacy comes after risk
true freedom comes as a result of true surrender
and when you place your full trust in He who can never fail you
never abandon you
never turn His back on you
never hurt you futilely
never overlook you
never hold out on you
you're free
to open
and let go
to be known
but that risk knows that mere men
can and will hurt you
betray your trust
be unable to read your mind
occasionally feed your fears
break your heart
if you can trust
He who is faithful
you can trust Him working, always, in those tender hearts and minds
of those who just may hurt you some day
let me encourage you
that the risk
is well worth the pain
because the pain is temporary
the growth, grace, trust, holiness
is of colossal value
so take a risk, friend,
knowing that you cannot fall from grace
and your identity and eternity are sealed in Him who has called you by name.