All mine are yours and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:10-11 Many years ago, a friend of mine (father of 3 and long-time friend who I’d worked and done life within many different capacities) told me it meant a lot to him that I loved his children so well. He is not an incredibly emotional man so the strong feeling behind his statement struck me, and I never forgot the importance of the moment. I don’t have children, but I think I’m beginning to see the depth of what he felt. In recent years, I’ve seen a lot of […]
It’s that time again. Christmas is often either a favorite or most dreaded time of the year. Christmas is for hot chocolate and mistletoe. Family and loved ones. Lights and gifts. For some people, it is a magical season full of warm memories, hopeful feelings, and fond family affairs. For others, Christmas aims a spotlight at life’s unfulfilled wishes. For me, it’s a little of both, but I have grown to appreciate that. I can appreciate the sweet memories I make and still long for something more. The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize this tension is the perfect picture of Christmas. Instead of dreading the duality of feelings, I let them remind me of the complicated, miraculous, and life-changing truth of ‘already and not yet.’ And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with […]
When I was in elementary school the Ku Klux Klan held a march through my hometown. I don’t know the exact route they took, but I know they passed the Bus Center where all the public busses met to exchange passengers and start their routes over again. I know because that is where I was introduced to the Klan. I had heard the name before, knew it wasn’t something good… but I couldn’t have imagined the fear and confusion that I would feel when I saw them. There was never a time in my life when I didn’t understand what unjust hatred was. I knew there was something about me (that I couldn’t control) that made people actually hate me. I knew there were people who wanted to hurt me. I knew the world was not safe for me, and for weeks I jumped at every noise while I walked […]
2020 has had a ROUGH go of it thus far. There is a lot to say about the suffering happening around the planet, but I don’t want to say any of it. Not today and not in this medium. Instead, I thought I would share the only realization that is getting me through this time. God (the creator of the universe, the Everlasting, the I AM) calls me His child and wants intimacy with me. The longer I have walked with Jesus, the more and more I have realized there is nothing as important than intimacy with Jesus. It is a simple truth but one we effectively overlook every day. When we struggle to “make time” to read His Word, when we neglect to pray until we have exhausted all other options, when we treat the people God loves like burdens instead of the beloved… Here we admit that we […]
I said, “Would You take it away?” He said, “I will not.” This is pain you can live through, though I know it is a lot. I don’t think He sees me, and I don’t think He knows. He thinks I can handle more than I’m able. He thinks it helps me to grow. But it is dark and deep, a messenger from Hell. You say, “Let it perfect you.” But how can You tell? I’m scared it will break me if it will not relent. He must not love me. What else makes sense? I said, “Would You take it away?” He said, “I will not.” But I am Good and you know it. Or have you forgotten? Can you remember the days when you first saw My face, When the hope in your heart became an all-consuming blaze? Can you remember how it felt when it all […]
“It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.” – Aristotle
“This is my prayer in the desert, when all that’s within me feels dry. This is my prayer in my hunger and need. My God is the God who provides.” (Desert Song, Hillsong United) I often think the Bible is filled with stories of people doing good that I could never achieve or evil that I would never fall to. I know there is much to learn in those stories, but I have to admit, they don’t always feel personally relevant to me. The journey of the Israelites from Egypt into the Promised Land (Exodus 6- Joshua 4) is not one of those stories.
I’m currently wading in the most difficult season of my life. Waves the size of all my hopes, dreams, and fears threaten to drown me everyday. Every day, I am reminded of the safety in not trying and in the predictable comfort of a life that requires no lifeguard’s watch, no fear, and little excitement. Sometimes, I think it might have been better if I had chosen a safer path, something that required less of me. I could have stood on the shoreline and looked out at the people who dared to swim. After all, it’s pretty hard to drown when you’re standing on the sand.