Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Loving the World Back To Life

In this world there is so much hurt. There is slavery. There is poverty. There is prostitution. There is sorrow to the point of death. Child labor exists. There is death from hunger. There are babies without mamas. Innocents are abused. The thirsty and hungry survive off of alcohol and drugs. Children are trafficked. Widows go homeless. Loneliness resonates in the largest of cities. Emptiness lingers in the unsuspecting. And so much more.

This is a fallen world that we live in. Full of sorrow and lacking hope. Full of hate and lacking love. Full of death and lacking life.

Sometimes I find myself asking God why things so awful even exist. Sometimes I wonder how the world even got this way. As I lay awake, restless at these thoughts, I dare to wonder-“God, why don’t you do something?” His gentle reply is, “I did, I made you”.

We, who have so much influence and resources at our fingertips stand by and allow the world to spin out of control. We allow another beautiful creation to slap another in the face. We allow the widows to go homeless. We allow injustice to thrive. We are greedy with our cash. We are greedy with our attention. We are even greedy with our time.

I want to dedicate my life to being an ambassador of love. If God is love then I desire to be in the front line of the battle passing out my heart. Front and center.

Call me crazy but I am sold out for God. I want the least of these to know what I know. To know the hope that I have found in Christ. I can’t do much, but I can go.

I’m going to dance with lepers and run with orphans. I’m going to recklessly abandon this world and all that it has to offer in exchange for the calling upon my life to love, and all that it has to offer. I am going to make the choice to love so much that I feel exhausted.

We are children of God. We are the Body. His body. We are His hands and feet. We are it. We are His great plan.

This is my great aim in life.

To love like Jesus loves me.

This is what burns inside of me. This is what I yearn for.

I know this may not seem like much to you. I know that this may sound wild. I know that I may sound off the rocker to you, I understand.

All I know is that I am called to go, wherever that may be. I’ve got no plans; I’ve got no “to-do list”.

The agenda for my life is love. And I’ll never stop trying.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

St. Francis of Assisi


Growing up in a culture that sells you love, sex, and beauty we have it programmed into our heads that we must acquire all three to be considered “whole”. Through the conversations that I have been having lately I have realized that many girls, including myself, find it hard to be single when everyone else is not. It is hard to desire love and not have it. You find yourself beginning to believe that it’s because you aren’t skinny enough, pretty enough, funny enough, or that you have the wrong clothes. You start to think that you are boring and eventually fall into the fatalistic thought that you aren’t worth any man’s time anyways.

We’ll we all know that it takes two to tango, correct? In this dreamy relationship that we have cooking in our brains there is somebody else involved, it’s not just us. Why do we somehow make it all about us?

Let me propose something to you.

Instead of thinking that something is wrong with you and that you’re not good enough to be loved, consider that God is working on your husbands heart. Consider that you God is preparing him for the ministry and marriage that you two will have together. Consider that God is molding him into the man He designed him to be and the man that you need him to be. After all, our husbands are to be our spiritual leaders, yes? Therefore we should desire for them to be seeking God fully before coming into our lives.

Never settle for anything less than a man who loves God more than he loves you. Never. It isn’t worth it. Wait for somebody who makes you feel alive. Wait for somebody who makes you think, “I can’t believe he chose me”.

There is nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful and you are worthy of the relationship you desire.

Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and allowing Satan to deceive you in his schemes, start praying for your husband and praying for yourself. Speak against those whispers and denounce them. Pray for your husband’s walk and for his heart as well. Pray for yalls lives together and pray that it will be glorifying to God.

You deserve this.

You are worthy.

You are beautiful.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Power in Believing

In Mark chapter 9 there is a desperate father whose son has a demon spirit living within him. This demon causes the boy to seize and fall to the ground and be sick. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, becomes stiff and unable to move.

The boy was brought to the disciples and doing what they were taught to do, they prayed over him. The father, the boy, and the disciples were amazed that nothing had happened. They had come no step closer to healing. Not even one.

Questions were raised. Doubts were fueled. Accusations were thrown and anger was alive.

One day as Jesus was passing through the city the father caught up with him and said, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus replied, “If I can! All things are possible for one who believes.”

Chapter 9 goes on to tell us that the father ended up screaming, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

That day the boy was saved, he was cleansed, and the demons were cast out.

I wonder how often we walk in disbelief? I wonder how often we ask and pray and yet we still doubt the faithfulness and power of God to pull through? How many times do we look Jesus square in the eye and say “If you can…”?

My question to you is: Do you fully believe in the power of God? Do you believe that He will always come through for you? Do you believe that you’re worthy?

You are.

We have only to believe.

All things are possible for the one who believes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This is where the healing begins:

Everybody’s got something. Some sort of pain that keeps you in bondage. Wether it be emotional, physical, or mental. Maybe it’s somebody else’s pain that keeps you bound-Your husband hits you. Perhaps the doctors say you are sick-you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, AIDS, you’ve got migraines, or multiple sclerosis. Often times it’s the emotional pain that seems to wear us down to our bones-your spouse died, you can’t get along with that one person you love, “why do people make fun of me”, you’ve been abandoned, or you can’t find a way to love and forgive yourself.

These are just a few of the pains that are living and breathing in our presence all the day long. Most of the time we aren’t even aware because either people don’t tell us or we don’t give them the time to. Instead of leaning on the community of believers and friends that God has so specially placed amongst us we keep it in. We accept what is being dealt to us. We accept that probably somehow we deserve this pain.

Let me tell you something.


Do you remember that Cross? Do you remember 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was nailed to it? And do you remember what for?

To set the captives free.

On that glorious day Jesus carried all of our sin, all of our pain, all of our sadness, all of our sickness, all of our anger and put them to death. On that day He put to death anything you can think of that holds His children in bondage.

As they drove nail after nail through His skin and bones, He screamed in pain. As they forced that crown of thorns on His head, He cried in agony. As He got splinters in His back from hanging on that tree, He was trembling. They whipped and flogged Jesus until His was shredded.

The most perfect person to ever walk this earth took the most horrid pain ever displayed and said “I’m carrying this for you beloved. Rest and be free”.

Any pain that you are enslaved to today, speak against it. And while you’re doing that come to Jesus. He wants to hear your voice and know your heart. Good or bad, tell him. Nothing you can say will knock Him off His throne.

You need somebody who will identify with you? Jesus knows pain.

You were never meant to carry this alone.

Remember the Cross. Remember His wrists. Remember the stripes on His back. Remember the blood that was shed.

He didn’t leave us. No, He didn’t turn back. He didn’t accept the pain that we ourselves were accepting. No, He didn’t abandon us. He didn’t say our sin was too great. No, He still came for us.

He’s never left us. And He never will.

Let me leave you with some words:

“God heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds” –Psalm 147:3

“He Himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” –1 Peter 2:24

“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.” –Malachi 4:6

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Picture of Jesus

How do you picture Jesus during His time on earth? Do you picture Him as being an all-knowing King, therefore never being surprised? Do you picture Him being a leader and walking in front of the disciples instead of behind or beside? Do you picture the disciples catering to Him instead of Him catering to them? I know sometimes it is easy to forget how real Jesus is and was during His time on earth. It’s easy to imagine Him as being so holy that of course He acted as royalty. Wearing nice clothes, nice shoes, bathing twice a day, and wearing nice jewelry.

The good news is Jesus isn’t like any of those things, He’s more real than that.

The bible gives us the most beautiful picture of who Jesus was and how He lived his life in John chapter 13.

It was the Feast of the Passover and, “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

If you sit in this passage and really imagine what’s happening here you’ll see our God taking off his clothes, wrapping only a towel around his waist, getting on his knees, and washing his children’s feet with his own two hands. You’d see Him on the floor and them in the chairs.

And if we get even more real, there wasn’t silence in the room. People were bewildered at this sight! This, at the time, was a duty of the meanest or lowest slave. There was talk going on around the room about this peculiar man and his peculiar actions.

In the midst of it all I imagine Jesus being so sweet and kind during this moment. The crucifixion was coming up quickly and He was preparing his children to be sent out. He was probably saying, “John, you are stronger than you think you are, be brave and don’t be afraid. I am always with you.” or “Matthew, I love you so much.” and “Peter, don’t be sad, I’ll never leave you.”

Most of all, Jesus was becoming a servant to His disciples. He was tangibly showing them what it looks like to love and serve others. He was being a leader by becoming last and challenged us to do the same. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (verse 15).

If you ever forget Jesus’ character, take a look in John chapter 13.

This is the man we call Abba Father.

The one with the towel around his waist and dirt under his nails.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Amazing Grace

There is a girl sleeping below me who is blind. Despite her blindness she is so sweet and genuine and I can’t help but wonder how somebody can be that way. She acts as if she’s not disabled at all.

Maybe she’s not.

She knows where her treasure is. This much is evident. She is so alive and so loving that I am humbled by her lifestyle alone. The way she lives is so joyful and the question that I keep asking myself is, “What does she know that I don’t?”

Being around her this week has made me realize how much I take my eyes for granted. My eyes and my vision are taken for granted every second of every day. Even right this second.

I am in the Rocky Mountains! What if I never got to see this?! Yet, she’s just happy to be here. To be in the presence of fellow believers working for a shared cause…to make Jesus known.

She seems childlike. Pure, innocent, and gracious. Unweathered by the sin that I’ve been burned by. She’s inspiring. I don’t think I’ve come across somebody that has made me think this much in a long long time.

Luke 11:34 tells me that the eye is the lamp of the body. Jesus says that if He is present in someone’s life we can see it through their eyes. Their eyes will light up like a lamp and you can’t help but notice. Those eyes will be different than most because they’re rare in this dark world.

Jessica’s eyes aren’t what you would expect. They are hazy, murky, out of focus, and her pupils are misplaced. But in her eyes I see light. Her eyes have brought me to a place where now I can see a little bit more clearly. Her eyes have moved me.

As I spend time with her I have found myself desiring to touch someone’s life the way she has touched mine. To share some sort of quality with her so that I can feel what it’s like. As I sat there wishing these things Jesus revealed something to me.

Jessica and I do have something in common. You see, I’m blind too. My eyes aren’t what you would expect either. They seem to be healthy but they’re not. I can’t see a lot of the time. This world and it’s lies blind me. Satan robs me of my vision sometimes.

But through my eyes come a light as well. His name is Jesus.

Only through Jesus do both of us see. Only because of His truth do my stumbling feet know where to step next.

Only because of the cross Jessica and I can boldly and honestly stand up and scream, “I once was blind but now I see!”

Amazing grace has captured me.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I know it hurts when you break. When your heart breaks you feel helpless, alone, and confused. You no longer know what to do with yourself and you question wether you’re strong enough to go back out into the world. You wonder why this had to happen to you and sometimes you get angry about it. Sometimes you don’t even feel at all.

But still you find yourself clasping tightly to Jesus and one day you start to see the light. The mess that has become of us is something that we created. It’s our mess. It’s the result of you and I walking around as if we own this world. As if we own our own lives. We make decisions, we take risks, and we commit to things without even taking the time to speak to our Maker. To say, “Is this your will Lord?”

We so tragically make a mess of our hearts chasing all the wrong things.

Until one day, one glorious day, our hearts break. The glass walls that we set up around our idols fall to the ground. And as we lay exhausted at the feet of God we realize that He is making a mosaic of the pieces. He is putting our heart back to together piece by piece in a more perfect way than we could imagine. He puts us back to the way that He fully intended for us to be. The way He so intentionally made us to be.

And we feel freedom. We feel alive.

Now that Jesus has stepped in we once again feel whole.

The Artist has arrived. Step aside as He so gloriously creates beauty from ashes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I’d like to say that I don’t judge myself, but I do. I keep track of what I’ve done right and the things that I’ve done wrong. If I slip up it throws all of the “good things” away and I am forced to start all over again. It’s a scorekeeper lifestyle and it goes directly against what the gospel stands for. What’s more is that it goes directly against what Jesus stands for and against His character.

This means that somebody or something is whispering in my ears these lies and I’ve got a hunch at who that could be. The Jesus I know doesn’t do that.

Actually, scratch the “hunch”. I know who it is. It’s Satan. The accuser. The liar. The prince of darkness. He takes all of my shortcomings and throws them in my face. He says, “Ha! You’re not as good as you think you are!” or “You’ll never be able to _______”. He craves to make you feel less than you are. It’s what he lives for.

Jesus says the opposite. He craves for you to feel like royalty. After all, you are the son/daughter of the King of Kings, right?

In John 8:1-11 the scribes and the Pharisees bring a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. They go on telling Jesus of what He should do and what the law says He should do, but He remains silent. The people are screaming, “stone her!” Yet, not a sound was made as He bends down and writes with his finger in the sand.

Silence was in the air.

Amazement was hovering, as the man who claimed to be the King of the world said nothing.

He stood up and said, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone at her.”

What a statement. He didn’t stand up and call people out one by one. He didn’t stand up and condemn everybody nearby. He didn’t even raise his voice or get flustered at all. His calmness was unsettling, I can assure you.

You can probably guess what happened after that. The people left one by one. They realized that they are no better than she. They left with a head full of thoughts, conviction and questions about the way they treat people. They, witnessing what they did, were forced to reevaluate how they thought of one another. (Which is brilliant on Jesus’ part).

Pretty soon it was just the Savior and the adulteress standing in each other’s midst. She can’t move and she can’t speak. She’s in awe that a man would treat her in such a way. A way that’s different from anything she has ever known. Worlds apart from the way the men in her life have treated her. At that moment she was no longer as object but a child. She was no longer condemned but loved.

The story goes on to tell us that the dialogue went like this:

Jesus: Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?

Adulteress: No one, Lord.

Jesus: Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.

Today, don’t let anyone condemn you. Don’t let Satan or his workers. Don’t let your friends or family. But most of all, don’t let yourself.


Because Jesus doesn’t.