Showing posts from September, 2020

Even If

"Even if He doesn't..." that line reverberates so deeply within my soul. I just can't get away from it. It's really good theology. Yes,  we reach for the stars, we pray and believe for audacious and ridiculous things in Jesus name all for his glory. Because why not? God is our Father. We have a present and gracious Father. And as sons and daughters, I can and am invited to come boldly to my Father with my heart, desires, dreams and longings. It's for the asking, so why not.  I can and am given permission to ask of my Father and I will trust in His faithfulness and wisdom to answer me in accordance with His good will and purposes.  In this season, God has been reminding, stretching and strengthening my core. He's helping me to ensure that my heart is continually fixed, steadfast and anchored in His love and goodness alone. So that if and when there should ever be a prayer or situation that God doesn't "answer" or "respond" in the way


If prayer were a "love language" (google it), that'd be hands down the way to my heart. If you want me to feel loved and seen, pray for me. Pray with me. For me, prayer is a powerful and priceless gift. Why? Ultimately because of who we are praying to. I simply want God's will to be fulfilled in my life. I want to experience and step into all that God intends and desires for me. I want to live victoriously bringing the Father much glory.  1. Prayer or intercession is where our petition and cries intersects with the heart and ears of God. I can't think of any other act of love or care than to offer up prayers and petitions on behalf of someone to the God almighty, who is the only one able to answer, change, and move things on earth as it is in heaven.  2. Prayer is the heart in action. You create time and space to pray for someone. You intentionally and deliberately consider the needs and desires of someone else. You demonstrate sincere care. Prayer involves your h


In case you didn't know or was wondering, the answer is yes. Yes, pastors have answered the call to serve God in the capacity of a leader, minister, overseer, pastor, teacher, shepherd and so forth. But we didn't somehow get zapped when we answered the call and some how are no longer human. Yes, w e are still humans - with hearts and all the feels.   We have feelings, needs, desires, wants and longings too. We are not immune to discouragement, criticism, isolation, weariness, fatigue, loneliness, rejection. We too feel pain, We too are human. We too are people. This is not a cryptic message of any sort. It's just the plain truth. If you are praying people, please remember to pray for your pastors and those who lead and care for your soul. Please remember to be gracious and grace giving towards them and their families. Please refrain from judging them and feel free to talk to them like normal humans and ask rather than assuming. Please fight the temptation to criticize and s

Okay Even When It's Not

It's going to be okay even if everything is not okay because of Jesus. And because of Jesus, I too am going to be okay. Incredibly thankful for this truth that is clearly shown throughout scripture. But the only way that that statement "works" is based on how we define "okay."  We've got to define "okay" according to the scriptures. For those in Christ, we're not okay because our circumstances are perfect, free of pain and problems, hardships, heartbreaks, loss and disappointments and setbacks. No one is immune from difficulties. But even in the face of those challenges, our soul can be okay. Jesus offers his peace that the world cannot understand. God gives us his unconditional love. The Holy Spirit comforts us and intercedes on our behalf when we are unable. Our eternal inheritance and resting place is firm and secure. Death and sin has no hold on us because of grace. We are held by and held together by God. That's why it's going to b

Another in the Fire

Song: Another in the Fire (Hillsong United)  There's a grace when the heart is under fire Another way when the walls are closing in And when I look at the space between Where I used to be and this reckoning I know I will never be alone There was another in the fire Standing next to me There was another in the waters Holding back the seas And should I ever need reminding Of how I've been set free There is a cross that bears the burden Where another died for me There is another in the fire All my debt left for dead beneath the waters I'm no longer a slave to my sin anymore And should I fall in the space between What remains of me and this reckoning Either way I won't bow to the things of this world And I know I will never be alone There is another in the fire Standing next to me There is another in the waters Holding back the seas And should I ever need reminding What power set me free There is a grave that holds no body And now that power lives in me There is another in


Over the past few weeks, my kids have reminded our family of a timeless, classic and beautiful hymnal. The words are still true today and is very much relevant and applicable - Nothing but the Blood.." It has been a sweet and powerful reminder that truly if we have Jesus, we have every thing and every thing we need is found in Jesus and his finished work on the cross. Without the blood, I am nothing. I can do nothing. But because of the blood shed by the perfect Son of God, I can live in peace. I can sleep in peace regardless of the raging storm because I am covered and washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. I am protected from head to toe. Not only has the blood cleansed me, it's saved my soul and is continually at work flowing through me and sanctifying me by his grace, amazing grace.   The precious blood of Jesus that was poured for al is enough. It is sufficient to save and continues to rescues and is my victory.  What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; Wh


So may the words of my mouth, my meditation-thoughts,  and every movement of my heart be always pure and pleasing,  acceptable before your eyes,  my only Redeemer, my Protector-God. Psalm 19:14 Create a new, clean heart within me.  Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you.  May you never reject me!  May you never take from me your sacred Spirit!  Let my passion for life be restored,  tasting joy  in every breakthrough you bring to me.  Hold me close to you with a willing spirit  that obeys whatever you say. Psalm 51:10-12 Over the past few weeks the verses above and various song renditions inspired by those scriptures has been speaking to my heart. The words that keep coming to mind are purify, pure, sanctify, clean, holy, true. It's a great season for introspection now it's time to do something about what God has been revealing and rise up and be the church - pure and holy. 


I realized today while at work, I am most impatient when I feel entitled, or feel the pressure to "perform" or "produce" due to expectations and demands, or simply the affects of technology gone wild (every thing should be instant and available 24/7, including my availability).  So I rush, fret, pace and go bonkers all the while I'm telling myself slow down, chill out, it's going to be okay. And I know that, I believe that but yet I still feel the pressure. Why? Because other people are involved, and sometimes they are quite frankly unreasonable, difficult or have loss touch with reality.  I can be proactive, playing offense and defense and in some situations and with some people, it's never going to be "enough." So I have to daily remind myself to simply resolve to do my best with integrity and diligence, stay focused on what is my portion and control what is mine to do. And not as a last resort but the posture of my heart is to trust God sees

So True

I read this recently and it resonated deeply with me, "Sometimes our experiences don't fit with our understanding of what the Bible teaches..." That's only a one sentence excerpt of an interview but I find that statement to be accurate in describing how I feel at times.  The truth is this, every single word in Scripture is true. But that space between truth and our present reality sometimes feels really far and distant. And as believers, that is where faith comes into the picture, it bridges the gap. Hebrews 11:1 says, " Now faith is the reality   of what is hoped for, the proof  of what is not seen."  Now the distinction I want to make is this because I too am finding that I need to intentionally remind myself often that this faith is not a faith that I muster up in my own strength or will but it's a faith that intentionally puts, throws and casts my hope, confidence and trust upon the person of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus not only is the foundation, t

Philippians 2:13

For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. (HCSB) For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. (CSB)  God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him. (TPT)  For it is God who works in you  to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (NIV)  Whichever translation you choose, it's all really really encouraging news! It's not all up to me and I'm not alone! Truly he is our help and our provider. God himself is working in and simultaneously willing, enabling, implanting in me the desire for his will and purposes but he will too act and carry out his good purposes and will in and through me. So if I just show up... if I have as small as a mustard seed... if I say "yes" even if a small, faint and whisper what can he not do and what will he won't do!?!  Surely God desires his good plans for our lives more th

Burn Out

The burn out rate for those in the ministry is increasing (understatement?) While I don't really have the actual statistics and data to back up my assessment, I'm sure it's out there somewhere for those who need a hard number as a point of reference. I don't bring this up to be discouraging or negative. I am also not hopeless for the state of the church. Scripture has already spoken to this deficiency and is pretty clear, "the workers are few."    So when I hear or read another person who has left the ministry or walked away, a part of me really wonders what happened? Why? Especially if it is a church they planted. I'm like, what changed? Did you do this, try this, consider this before walking away? Then the other part of me goes, sigh..... Sad but I understand all to well "what happened" and my heart aches with exhaustion and heaviness for them. I deeply empathize and really do understand. Ministry is rewarding but incredibly hard at the same ti


This year has been interesting, to say the least. It's hard to neatly describe or concisely summarize all that we've experienced because first, we are all still in the middle of it and second, we actually don't know when we'll come out on the other side of all this. Third, there is no "one size fits all" narrative that would adequately or accurately articulate each of our unique experiences over the past few months (and even for the months and years to come). Although there are similar and common symptoms, the virus physically affects the body differently from person to person and so each of our experiences will be varied as well. Among the many things this pandemic has highlighted and brought to the forefront, one thing that really comes to my mind is the important role that compassion plays. We need to be compassionate towards other people's experiences. We should allow and give people the time, space and freedom to share their story.  We need to honor a


The anthem of my heart is this powerful and unchanging truth that GOD IS GOOD . Regardless of the circumstances, in the face of suffering and pain, and seemingly unanswered prayers, GOD IS GOOD. And because he is good, all is well with my soul and all will continue to be well with my soul.  2020 has been an unusual year marked with uncertainty and wilderness like components. It's been such an interesting juxtaposition, so much feels fragile and flimsy but firm and solid at the same time. It's been an unusual and awkward but simultaneously sacred and holy. We're social distancing, on restrictions and somewhat isolated but yet it also feels intimate, freeing and connected. It's been a wild season! One thing that God is really driving home for me is relearning (discipline) of how to (practically) live in his daily presence.  With the current state of affairs, it's a bit challenging to plan for "tomorrow" not alone the future. And if it took a pandemic to help

Jesus I Need You

Song: JESUS I NEED YOU (Hillsong Worship)  Hope be my anthem Lord when the world has fallen quiet You stand beside me Give me a song in the night And Jesus I need You Every moment I need You Hear now this grace bought heart sing out Your praise forever Beauty for ashes You find the weak and contrite heart Shoulder its burdens And carry it into the light Jesus I need You Every moment I need You Hear now this grace bought heart sing out Your praise forever And Jesus I need You Every moment I need You Hear now this grace bought heart sing out Your praise forever Remember love Remember mercy Christ before me Christ behind me Your loving kindness Has never failed me Christ before me Christ behind me Remember love Remember mercy Christ before me Christ behind me Your loving kindness Has never failed me Christ before me Christ behind me Remember love Remember mercy Christ before me Christ behind me Your loving kindness Has never failed me Christ before me Christ behind me Jesus I need You Eve

May the Words

Song: May the Words of My Mouth (Christy Nockels and Janna Long)  May the words of my mouth And the thoughts of my heart Bless Your name, bless Your name Jesus And the deeds of the day And the truth in my ways Speak of You, speak of You Jesus For this is what I'm glad to do It's time to live a life of love that pleases You And I will give my all to You Surrender everything I have and follow You I'll follow You Lord, be my vision Lord, be my guide Be my hope, be my light and the Way And I'll look not for riches Nor praises on earth Only You'll be the first of my heart For this is what I'm glad to do It's time to live a life of love that pleases You And I will give my all to You Surrender everything I have and follow You I'll follow You I'll follow You I'll follow You (I'll follow You, I'll follow You) I'll follow You For this is what I'm glad to do It's time to live a life of love that pleases You And I will give my all to You

Out of Control

It's extremely troubling, concerning and unsettling the things we see, hear and read that is taking place in our country today. I think that's putting things very mildly. Of course, there is always two sides to the story and it's imperative to take what we read, see and hear on the news and internet with discernment. However, there's enough evidence for us to all agree we are facing very challenging times on several fronts and at times, every thing feels and appears totally out of control. The hate, anger and quite frankly the rage is very real and very apparent and very alarming. In some instances, there seems to be pure disdain for anything decent or civil with lawlessness gone wild. And if I'm not careful, I can easily find myself caught up in all the madness. The chaos and unrest leaves me at times feeling out of control, tense and wound up.   It's apparent our society is hurting. We've been hurting and fractured for a very long time - long before COVID-

Be held

"The LORD will fight for you, and you must be quiet." Exodus 14:14 God holds our hopes, dreams, desires, longings, yearnings and future in his capable and loving hands. And the most profound and beautiful part is this, we too are being HELD by God himself.  Beheld and rest as we confidently stand and move forward and towards his love. 


Labor:  expenditure of physical or mental effort especially when difficult or compulsory.  Birthing = labor. It's laborious. Whether it be bringing new life into the world in the form of a human being, growing that human being, or bringing new life into the world in the form of a creative gift or product, or growing that gift or product it's all marked with labor. There is no substitution for labor and hard work. As we labor to birth new dreams, visions and bring life into this world, it's important to take time to pause, remember and rest. God is the ultimate giver of life and the source of all our dreams and visions. If he rested, so should we. 

Miracles Part I

We pray and want miracles but if we’re really honest, we actually just want God to simply do it for us. If our prayers are honest, it sounds more like, "God, please just make it happen with minimal effort on my part and void of or with little work, especially hard work and pain."   First, I'm not minimizing the power of God to perform miracles, the instant and clearly so out of this world type of miracles that it is abundantly clear no amount of human effort could have yielded that outcome or result. Second, I'm not shaming those, myself included who have prayed these type of prayers. We've all been in situations or circumstances that are unbearable and impossible if not for the divine intervention of God. We get weary in the journey and our patience wears thin with all the waiting so there have been a time or two we've cried out in desperation for God to please rescue and fix things now. I've been there a time or two. Again, no shame.  I actually don'

Spicy Saturday Musings

Thank God for his patience and loving kindness constantly leading us back on the right path cause one too many times... We want the return on investment but not willing to do what it takes to invest and grow it.  We want the path of least resistance. We want easy.  We want all the benefits but with minimal sacrifice.  We want a big pay off from little sweat equity.  We really just want to sit back and have God do his “genie” magic.  We want instant results because we’ve yet to develop endurance, determination, faithfulness, tenacity, persistence, perseverance, obedience, prayer, long suffering, diligent, work muscles.  We misunderstand rest as inactivity.  We inappropriately equate striving and hustle to be the same as hard and diligent work. We think prudent planning is not demonstrating faith in God.  We assume as long as we’re doing some activity in church or for church or in God’s name is the same as having sought the heart and mind of God for his guidance in leading us in purposef


Feelings come and go but the faithfulness of God endures forever.  There is absolutely nothing more valuable and encouraging than the counsel or attentive, compassionate listening ear of a good and trusted friend. There is nothing more comforting than being able to express myself without fear of judgement, shame or condemnation. God is really first and foremost that faithful and true friend.  And if it were not enough for him to offer himself to us, he allows for people to come into our lives who end up being friend who are actually like family. They end up being our sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers.  If you have been ever so rich and fortunate to have those kinda of friends who are like family, please do not take them for granted. Also, pay the richness forward and be that kind of friend for someone else! And if you are in the category of those who are desperately longing, crying, aching and groaning to God in prayer for that type of community, I empathize deeply and my encourag

Rolling Eyes

Some days, it's all the feels, emotions and moods. And to sum up how I really feel is the rolling eye emoji. Don't judge me, for all you super Christians who are even tempered and never get offended, feel annoyed or feel the best response to the crazy is a rolling eye emoji. OK, I kid but not really! I particularly speaking to the situations when people simply don't do what they are suppose to do. Example, you are paid to work but you don't work. You are a professional, but don't take the time to compose a professional email. Now for anyone who think I'm talking about grammatically, sophisticated writing, no. I'm talking about the basic - for starters, spelling the recipients name correctly, especially when their entire name is spelled out in their email address. I'm talking about taking the extra second to write a complete sentence, especially when they are the person asking for assistance. Or how about someone "reaches" out to you under the g

Flip it

Now more than ever, it's imperative that we filter, view and see all things through the lens of God's goodness. He is good. He is loving. He is faithful. Always.  God's character is firm. There is no shifting or changing in who he is and his goodness. This is especially true during these turbulent and tense times we live in. God's goodness is not dependent upon our circumstances. His faithfulness is not contingent upon our ability to comprehend all that he is doing in our lives and in our midst. His loving kindness is not measured or validated by our ability to neatly and concisely reconcile all wrongs, hurts, and the injustice and evil in our world. So  why is this important? Because the slow drifts are the ones that eventually lead us to a place in our thoughts and mind that are not true to who God is. The enemy wants to plant seeds of doubt and question in regards to the goodness and nature of God. And if we are not careful, our beliefs began to shift and our lives f


What if it has been all preparation up until this point? What if you are getting ready to step into that very thing that you have been praying, preparing and waiting for - and it's just around the corner?  For all those moments and seasons - the long days, months and even years when you thought you had "peaked." For some, perhaps you feared missing the opportunity altogether or you've been passed over. For others, maybe you questioned your own sanity or whether you heard God correctly. Or maybe you wondered if you have been chasing the wrong dream or calling. And for others, perhaps you thought you were finally experiencing the reality of that dream but you are/were left feeling less than satisfied or fulfilled  so you considered changing the course altogether or actually felt shame and guilt as if you are  a "bad" christian for not being "grateful" and wanting "more."  Friends. What if what you thought was "the end" is just the