“Will you give me your hopes and dreams?” I heard these words spoken in my spirit several months ago as I was walking out of my house. I was perplexed and annoyed, and my response was, “Really, Lord? After all that’s been going on, that’s all I feel I have left.”
Later, I read the story of the rich ruler in Mark 10:17-27. In this story there was a man of great wealth who eagerly approaches Jesus and asked, how to have eternal life? Jesus explains about keeping the commandments, which the man says he has done from an early age. Then the story says, Jesus looked at the man and loved him. Jesus, tells him to go and sell what he owns and give it to the poor and then to come and follow Him. The man then walked away saddened because he had wealth and things, and he didn’t want to let them go.
Oh, how I can relate. Continue reading “Will You Give Me Your Hopes & Dreams?”
No one asks for a map when they know where they are going. In fact, maps are pulled out, dusted off and unfolded only when the user has no idea where they are or where they are going.
Maps are for the helpless.
Maps bring order and definition to the unknown. They give the user a picture of all surroundings and succinctly and precisely say, “You are here.” With a few glances, one can figure out where they are, where they need to be and the quickest way to get there without much effort or thought. There is no question about the authority of the map. What the map says, goes.
I treat God like a map. I intend on using God to show me where I am at, where I need to go and how I need to get there. And when I find myself in times of the unknown, when I do not understand where I am going, I cry out asking for clarity. In the moments of uncertainty, I believe that God has abandoned me or I am listening improperly to the map.
I thought that God’s intention was to reveal my entire life plan to me. I assumed God would show me exactly what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. God has a plan and if I just listen close enough I can make all the right choices that will lead me to the perfect life. Or so I believed. Continue reading “You Are Here”
I’ve had Psalm 23 memorized for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those Sunday school staples that just seems to nestle itself in your long-term memory.
You know it:
The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not be in want
He makes me lie down in green pastures…
Even though I walk through the darkest valley
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me
I have a vivid memory of a family trip to Durango, Colorado when I was in the fourth or fifth grade. We had been hiking all day long in search of a lake at which we would finally bust out our brand new fishing rods. The day ended up being a real bummer because the lake was nowhere to be found and exactly zero fish were caught. On the final stretch when just about all hope was lost, we peaked over a cliff edge to find not the elusive lake but a huge field in the valley of two mountains. It was one of those Sound of Music scenes where the wind is whistling through the grass and if you closed your eyes just right, the sun glares would peak through your eyelashes. Bliss. The feeling of laying down in that field after a day of disappointment is up there on my list of favorite things.
When I think of a green pasture, this is what I think of. However, I’m learning that in our walk with the Lord, laying down in a green pasture doesn’t mean that everything in our life makes sense, and it doesn’t mean that everything is easy. Continue reading “The Pursuit of Green Pastures”
My closest friends will tell you I’m loyal to a fault. A wrong against one of them is a wrong against me. And boy, can I hold a grudge. Sometimes I can actually feel my heels digging into the ground.
I’ve been in church long enough to see plenty of good people, good friends in fact, be wronged by the church. It’s even happened to me a few times, and each time I want to protest in outrage. I want to hurl some insults and point a few fingers. I want to walk away from church entirely.
Because church is messy, community is hard and people get hurt. Continue reading “Radiance”
Patricia, Patricia, Patricia. I just can’t seem to stop thinking of Patricia. I wish I could, but I can’t. Sometimes, I can put her out of my mind for a period of time, but something always happens which makes me think of her again, and it seems to have gotten worse over time. I even told my wife about it, but that hasn’t helped at all.
I’ve known Patricia for over 15 years. At first, she was just another employee of mine. But a couple years ago, things took a turn and now I can’t get her out of my mind. You see, Patricia is the name that comes immediately to my mind every time a pastor says, “Go out and share the Good News with someone who needs it.” And that would be Patricia! She’s sort of a lost soul, in a difficult marriage, alienated from portions of her family, with alcohol being used by people who shouldn’t. Lots of struggling in lots of ways that a relationship with Jesus could really help.
So why haven’t I stepped up and shared the Good News with her? I wish I had a good answer. Continue reading “An Awkward Situation”
It was in the midst of the mountains. As I peered up, I drank in the view. A blanket of stars winked at those below. The sky was so dark, and the stars so bright; it seemed as if someone had taken a pin and poked through the atmosphere that separated us from the glories of heaven. Leaving holes with which small reflections of the light heaven held could glint through. They became an array of splendor amid the blackness of the night.
I stood still, mouth agape, focusing on one star in particular. Even in the middle of what seemed to be the deepest dark, that star’s light was brilliant and unfaltering. It was in that moment that God whispered to me: “I want you to be like that star.” Continue reading “Like A Star Shining Brightly”
The curtain falls, demarcating the pause between Act One and Act Two. However, this is not just any pause. This is a pause long enough to allow you to grab a Diet Coke refill or some fresh snacks. A pause allowing you to empty your bladder or fill up on gossip with the fellow theatre-goers around you. A pause which creates conversations about the direction of the play or musical you are in the midst of watching. A pause which, from the outside, seems to be nothing more than an excuse to step outside for a bit of fresh air.
This is the intermission.
To the casual theatre aficionado the intermission is a mild inconvenience or a welcome respite from the world of staged performances. For all the audience member knows, behind stage all is calm during the intermission. A chance for the actors and actresses to breathe and rest up for their upcoming scenes. Yet those with any sort of knowledge, minute or vast, about the theatre life knows that the intermission is anything but a respite.
You see, the intermission is created to allow the actors, actresses, and stagehands to prepare for Act Two. Act One is over and Act Two is impending so there is much work to be done. Costumes are changed, sets are swapped out, and lines are rehearsed. The intermission is a vital part of any theatre production. Those involved in the intermission must perform their roles perfectly or Act Two will be delayed, or worse, ruined. The intermission is not just an excuse for the actors and actresses to prop up their feet and relax, rather it is an intense period of preparation which directly influences the quality of Act Two.
We are in the midst of the greatest intermission of all time. The Intermission. God’s Intermission.
Continue reading “Please Pause For Intermission”
I have had these thoughts in my head for months now and for what it’s worth I’m sharing them.
I am about love and commitment, I am not opposed to young love but a soul mate…? For me that is reserved for one man; his name is Jesus. Continue reading ““Soul Mate””