Monday, October 27, 2008

a strong stench arose

Well, it's not everyday you get dragged on your belly through dog poop so I thought I'd write about the occasion. I was letting the dog out after church and she had been in her crate for a couple of hours so she was quite excited to be free, and plus there was a half-duck, half-swan right along the lakefront (yeah, we're not really sure either...) so obviously she was excited about that, and couldn't wait to get out side. I had her sit, wait and and then I opened the door and innocently enough gave her the OK and she took off, I just happened to be on the other end of the leash and, well the dog is a lot faster then me, and before I knew it was running out the back door with her and down the back steps right toward the lake, but I couldn't keep up and too stubborn to let go of the leash was dragged down face first into the ground. I cut myself slack cuz I'm recovering from being sick and not at my full strength, and I give myself credit for managing to dive to the side and hit grass rather than cement. But I did end up letting go of the leash eventually, just a little too late and the damage had been done. As I stood up and assessed the damages and re-gathered the now wet dog, I noticed a somewhat strong smell raising up from very near me. Only to look down and realize it had not been just grass i slid through, but there was a little extra present from the dog that I managed to collect on myself. First it was just my sleeve and then a little on the right hand, oh and somehow on the left hand too, and oh wait on the sweatshirt too. well at least the jeans are still in good shape minus the grass stain. i go inside and start shedding layers only to find that the "present" had also ended up on my jeans and somehow under my i decided there was no mistaking it, all clothes including jacket would go in the wash and i would go in the shower. and finally the ordeal was over...thanks Murf for helping wash my clothes. So then I ponder, what could i possibly learn from this, how is life compared to this? Here's what I came up with. Sin smells like poop to God, the smell of it is offensive to him, and it needs to be to us too. Because I didn't smell too bad to begin with, though it was almost time for a shower, I noticed the smell of poop right away and was disgusted by it. But had i just rolled in a little over time and let it sit, and kinda forget about it, I'd get used to it and so if i rolled in more poop somehow, I probably wouldn't notice as much, or wouldn't be so bothered because that's what I've been used to smelling. Same with sin. If we sin and don't immediately ask Christ to forgive and cleanse us, we start getting used to it, we convince ourselves, well that's not so bad. We don't notice how offensive it is to God and to those around us and to ourselves. We become so used to it and it becomes so much a part of us, that we go around all stinky and think things are just fine. (kinda like when I don't shower for a few days and my family notices my smell before I do...) We sin more and more and get deeper and deeper into sin and don't realize the stench that we are putting off. My prayer is that I would be so close to the heart of Christ that any even hint of sin in my life would be so offensive to me that I would run to Christ and ask him to forgive and cleanse. I do not want to be running around smelling like poop and not even know it, that would be terrible. And thank God that every time I roll around in smelly stuff and then come to realize I've messed up again, He is able to wash me clean by the blood of Jesus. My stench is never too great for Him to overcome with the precious bloood of Jesus. And that's something I do not want to abuse.

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18

Friday, September 26, 2008


Yesterday I found a small spring on the ground at work, it was about an inch long and I liked it. Anyway, I started pulling it apart and stretching it out and when I pulled hard enough it didn't go back to it's original size, but stayed stretched out. I even tried to push it back to it's original size, but no such luck. As i thought about it a prayer came to mind. And I thanked God that I am like that spring, that as i go through things that stretch me, as He pulls me along I am changed and i can not go back to the way I was. Everytime i went to Africa, I could feel Him pull me, when I went off to college, and when I went to camp to councel, I could feel Him stretch me out whenever I took these steps of faith and obedience. And when i had to quit my job to go to Uganda, when my engagement had to be broken, when my car blew a tire and spun around and was totaled, when my cousin died, when my grandma died, when my uncle died, I could feel Him pulling me, stretching me, and I would never be the same. He taught me, saying, beloved, you must trust me when you don't understand, when it makes no sense to you, trust me, none of these things caught me by surprise beloved, no, not one thing. These things that happened, these steps of obedience can not be undone and even the steps of disobedience, the steps of faith, every bit of stretching and pulling, it's been done, and I am not the same and I can't go back. Now when the unexpected happens I know that God is still in control, I can't go back to being not sure, too many times He's been faithful, too many times He's stretched me to what I thought was my limit and now I can't help but believe, that He is for me and He is stretching me for His glory and my good.

Friday, July 18, 2008

good gifts

So today I was riding to work on my bike when I noticed that my IT Band (I forget what it's short for) didn't hurt anymore. For a couple weeks it was hurting and it made riding my bike painful and not as much fun. One day I prayed Jesus please, would you please heal my IT band, and don't worry I gave Him a good list of reasons why this would be beneficial to me and Him even though the healing wouldn't be at some major event for all to see. Well this morning I realized that He had answered that prayer, (it must have been my great reasoning skills =), actually more like His grace). My leg doesn't hurt anymore. So that's awesome, praise God! But you know what was the disappointing thing, I was afraid to thank Him, thinking for whatever reason, once I saw how He had blessed me and acknowledged it He'd take it away. Do I really think He's that cruel? I sure hope not, but I quickly prayed for forgiveness for treating Him that way. Instead of rejoicing in all circumstances, I'd let bitterness from previous circumstances and experiences dictate my present response. I allowed satan to steal my joy. I've found one of the most helpful things when I struggle with this is constantly reminding myself that God is FOR ME not against. He is a God that gives good gifts, that works all things out for the good of those who love Him, who left paradise to join us in suffering in order that we might join Him in paradise. Why is this so hard to believe sometimes, so hard to accept that God wants to lavish us with His love. Who am I to judge God and consider whether He is fair or not to me? Holy Spirit be our teacher, reveal the Father's beautiful heart. And Father forgive us for living in such a way that we forget that you are for us and long to lavish us with your love. Jesus, thanks for being the best gift of all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I started riding my bike to and from work when I can and it's pretty nice. well, i just wanted to say that sometimes when it's still dark in the morning and i'm riding down a road parallel with the highway, going down hill, when i look over at the highway and kinda squint it almost seems like for a second that i'm going just as fast as they are. and then i think biking is fast.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

considering mercy

This morning one thing that Holy Spirit brought to mind is that Jesus Christ defines me, not Satan. In the mercy of God when I am His child I am made a new creation and given a new name. We are no longer defined by what we've done, but by who we are in Christ. So we are no longer drunkards or thieves, homosexuals or liars, idolators or murderers, but we, we the children of God are called out by our new names, Beautiful, Faithful and True, Princess, Merciful Soldier, Light, Gracious. Christ has given me a new name and this kind of mercy, this kind of love, it stirs something up in my heart, something, that cries out for more Him, something that makes me want to offer my life right back to Him. And this offering of my life right back to Him, this is my spiritual act of worship. Jesus, thank you that you're shaping us, that you are sharing with us your characteristics, that we are no longer sinners, but saints defined by your love and mercy. In view of Your mercy Lord, we offer up our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You, for this is our spiritual act of worship. PRAISE the LORD!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the mercy of the King...intro

I'm thinking about how the mercy of God leads to worship. I think it'll be a few days before I report more on it, but consider it with me. A couple different texts we can meditate on,
Romans 12:1, 'Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."

and Romans 15:8-9. "For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs 9so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: 'Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.'"

Glory, Mercy, Worship, Service and Sacrifice.
Jesus draw us in and teach us.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I guess I had an idea of what it involved, but living it out, day by day, moment by moment is quite another story. Today God revealed a little more about what selflessness means and how it's lived out. My grandma is dying. She has just begun comfort care, aka hospice. She has nearly died probably 3 or 4 times it seems like in the last year. I had a chance to talk to her today, and I asked her what she was thinking about, she gathered her words and through cracked lips and hoarse voice said, "i'm ready to die, but I don't want to put Grandpa through that." Wow. I asked her if she was scared at all, she said, "a little bit" but quickly added that she wasn't really because she would be going to heaven. she had hope, she was ready to die. It seems like every breath is hard, yet she's holding on for the sake of her husband, to her dying day she's going to be looking out for his best interest, she's going to throw aside her pain, her comfort to hold on for one more day, for the love of her husband. Thank you Grandma for teaching me about selflessness. Jesus would you teach us this?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

too cool not to skip

I went for a walk this evening, it felt good after sitting around all day. As i made my way around the neighborhood, i felt light on my feet and i caught myself wanting to skip. a quick look around, well i don't think anyone is watching, a quick little half skip that would be put to shame by any kid in 1st grade. I thought to myself, are you ashamed to skip? what's wrong with skipping, what's wrong with skipping and singing and enjoying your God, the creation and the day? nothing. so why are you so half hazardly throwing a pathetic little hop in your step. I got a little bolder, a couple skips in a row, alright, i'm doing good now, oh no, I hear a car coming, better pretend like i'm just walking plainly down the street, la-de-da-de-dah, ok they're past, a couple more skips, wow this is kinda, really fun. Finally i hear another car, i hesitate, but continue bursting forth in the air with unexpected freedom. and for good measure i even throw a little wizard of oz, yellow path step or two in. awesome. oh there's someone, normal, walk normal, no you can skip, skip away.
Why is it so hard to skip as a 25 year old? Skipping shouldn't be this hard. If my soul is bursting with joy, why not let my body show it? Have we allowed our culture to force us to downplay excitement and joy? Why not walk around with a big smile on your face? What's so wrong with that? Why not skip down the street? Why not wave at unsuspecting passerbyers or cheer on the neighbor kids basketball game. Let outbursts of joy penetrate into our culture, rather than letting the culture shape us, let's start shaping the culture. Don't be afraid to show emotion, to show pure joy, give a little shout out, whistle, skip, run, jump, hum or sing as you walk, draw a pretty picture, or give some one a big smile, laugh heartily. Live life abundant. Enjoy life, God's not some mean old boss who wants always to rain on our parade, in reality, He's probably the drum major, or on the trumpet, or oh yeah, maybe throwing candy...whatever, He wants us to enjoy life, to delight our selves in Him and He will give us the desires of our hearts. Are you enjoying life, or just going through the motions? Are you enjoying God or just trying to stay off His "bad side"? From now on I'm too cool not to skip...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

as children

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 john 3:1
I feel so blessed to be able to watch my niece Annabella grow up. She's only 6 months old, yet we all say, 'oh, she's so big.' This morning i was observing my sister Jamie give her bath, she loves the water so it's fun to watch her play in it. While Jamie was scrubbing her she sat her up to get her back and for the first time Annabella stayed sitting up with no assistance, just a splashing in the water. In that same bath time she also stuck her toe into her mouth, another first, and quite impressive if I must say so myself. I did not know that these were firsts for hers, but you better believe my sister did and proud of her too. She marvels at her growth (and flexibility!) Just like our Father notices all the little growing that we do. He knows that extra little step of obedience that we took, that any old outsider, or even close relative (or even yourself) might not have noticed. He noticed how we went just slightly out of our way to help somebody out, or share His love with someone. It's easy to get discouraged when we don't get noticed, or feel like we're not going anywhere, but just like a loving parent notices their child's every little growth so too does the Father, and He is proud. He calls you child because He knows you like a loving father and mother know their own children. He recognises when you are deliberately disobedient, but He also recognises when you joyfully obey. Will you let the Father lavish His love on you? It's a lot harder than it seems. But if you let Him lavish you with His love, it will change your life and you will find you can't resist but to love Him back and to love the one in front of you. He takes great delight in you, He quiets you with His love and rejoices over you with singing! (zephaniah 3:17)

Friday, March 7, 2008

it's cold out there

I did not want to get out of bed this morning because I was so warm and the house was so cold, eventually though I got up. It's still dark when I leave for work at about 5:30am and it felt so cold this morning I think it was 12F maybe. I started driving and kept waiting for my car to warm up, finally it did, just a couple miles down the road. As I was nearing the highway entrance I came across a woman pushing an overfilled shopping cart down the road. And it hit me. Wow, what a life. To think I thought the cold house was cold, (probably some where around 65F) and complained to no one that my car needed to get warmer faster. And here this woman probably slept out under the nearby bridge, in 12F weather, but probably couldn't sleep cuz of the coldness and started wandering to keep warm. I offered up a prayer on her behalf, but I didn't do anything else. I was going to be late for work if I stopped and offered to take her to the closest coffee shop that was open and let her warm up some and listen to her story. But I don't think that's a good enough excuse. I think Jesus would have stopped what He was doing to be with the one, to let her pour out her heart to Him, and He in turn would pour out His heart for her. I challenge you and I challenge myself to reach out to whoever crosses our paths and be the hands, feet, ears, eyes, mind, and heart of Jesus. Your paths may never cross again.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

in a day

It's amazing how much you can learn in a single day. If I don't write it down I'm going to forget it all, and then is that really learning? This blogging will be my effort, guided by the Holy Spirit to share what God whispers to me in the secret, or shouts into my stubborn ears. He is too good to keep to myself and as He shows parts of Himself to me, it is my obligation to pass it on. I must embrace the love that He has shown me and try not to get in the way of Him showing His love through me. this is one such attempt.
Learned today:
Every single person I come into contact with I must view them and treat them as made in the image of God. I must look for what it is beautiful about them, what part of the Father is coming through them whether they know it or not, or like it or not. Lord, teach me this graciousness.