Thursday, March 1, 2012


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Thursday, February 23, 2012


Just so you know…

There is nothing—


You ever need to do for the Father to be proud of you


~You could flunk geometry twice

~Graduate with a 2.0 GPA

~Date dumb people

~Pledge to love the wrong ones

~Quit jobs without notice

~Get numerous speeding tickets

~Run out of gas perpetually

~Always arrive late

~Burn the dinner

~Forget to make dinner

~Miss your child’s class party

~Hold a grudge

~Wall up your heart

~Stay in your comfort zone


~Allow dishes to pile up

~And laundry to go undone

~Spend more money than you make

~Never finish any of the books you start

~Never make time for the in-laws

~Forget birthdays

~Make “To Do” lists during church

~And hate the very people who love you the most

You could do all this—

And the Father would still be proud of you—

Not for what you did or didn’t do…

But for WHO you are.

And you are His Beloved.

On the journey with you,

Are you striving to earn God’s favor?
What expectations of yourself do you need to let go?

Here or somewhere…be real.
Share your journey.

Relevant Worship
Amazing Grace by the Celtic Woman  {Beautiful}

My Dear by Bethel Music/The Loft Sessions (Hunter Thompson)

Your Grace is Enough by Chris Tomlin

 Reflective Scripture
God’s grace is enough.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In His Gaze

Just a girl in pigtails—I longed to be loved.

His eyes locked on mine—my heart pounding in my chest. I wanted to look away—but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. There was something I needed to see—something I needed to feel.

Hold My gaze

I looked deeply and saw the lenses of His eyes change. I could see His heart looking back at me. I looked away unable to bare the intensity any longer. His love was too deep too, too powerful for a girl in pigtails.

The next morning He came near again. The music of His heart swirled in the air between us. Standing before me I heard Him whisper.

Hold My gaze

Tears came in floods. I was just a girl in pigtails. How dare I look into His eyes—let alone hold His gaze?

He said nothing. Placed His hands on my scrawny shoulders and waited. His touch brought a surge of warmth within me. There was something He needed me to see—something He wanted me to feel.

Courage met deep longing and I looked up and held His gaze. Within a moment the intensity of His gaze became like laser beams into my soul. His eyes said one thing—

I love you

The truth of His love penetrated me instantly as deep powerful waves rushed through every part of me.

His laser beam eyes wrote Beloved Daughter across my identity.
I was secure. I was loved.

It was something I needed to see—something I needed to feel.
I saw it in His eyes, and felt it in my soul.

His arms opened wide and I fell into Him. Clinging to Him as a girl in pigtails would do. Love embraced me. Love consumed me.

Wrapped in my Father’s embrace I knew who I was. I knew where I belonged—

In my Father’s gaze.

Every moment of every day we have a choice--whose gaze will you hold today?

On the journey with you,

Here or somewhere…be real.
Share your journey.

Relevant Worship
Beloved by Kari Jobe

How He Loves by Kim Walker-Smith

Reflective Scripture
The Lord God will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's Not Enough

My fingers grip the tiny plastic cup. I stare deep into the crimson. Silence thunders through my hollow soul as I swirl translucent red round and round. Communion compels reflection over the wellness of one’s soul. Sacred are the moments of soul-baring introspection.

“Remember His death,” they say, yet I can barely remember His presence. If life comes from death, then do I dare to hope this cup bears that in which will bring me life…and awaken my soul?

I feel death—my own. I move about, but feel death lurking within me. This soul, dark and vacant, void of the voice, heart, and breath of the One who claims to be my God. The One who promised His presence would go
with me—always.

I can not lie. I want this cup to be His Spirit flowing afresh within me. I want this store-bought juice poured from a recycled jug to supernaturally flow under my skin through my veins, so that I may know and feel He is real.

If I bring this cup to my lips—will He come to me? Can not this holy and reverent sacrament provoke Him to draw near? Is there not anything I can do to conjure up a sign of His presence? Oh how I long for His closeness—to feel the warmth of His breath on me.

I part my lips and drink from the cup.

This tiny splash of crimson runs over my tongue,
And down my throat.
It travels deeper—

As He empties His cup into me.

I pause to feel it drop deeper—

But it does not.

I look to the cup.


Clinging to the bottom of clear plastic a lone drop taunts me. This one drop is the “more” I desperately crave to fill the emptiness. Yet, no matter what I do it refuses to leave the cup and drop into my mouth. The cup had no more to pour out.

My mouth touched by the crimson—yet my soul remains empty.

How can this be?

When His cup was emptied—for me?

Desperation wells up within me…
And a frightening thought dares to fleet through my mind—

It’s not enough

I wince as this mere thought slaps the face of the One I call Lord. The One who prayed as sweat beads burst into droplets of blood upon His brow. The One who pushed through the pain to do His Father’s will.

But is not this cup His will?
Is not the renewing of my soul His will?
Is it not the will of the Father to restore me through His Son’s blood?

Isn’t it?

My heart numb from disappointment. My footing shifts nervously on this Rock I stand. Although the Rock itself is solid—immovable—my feet scramble to keep from slipping off. If I believe this cup is not enough—who or what will fill the void?

Oh no. God. Where have You gone?

Methodically I stack one empty cup into another and set it carefully under my chair. The music swells and flows throughout the sanctuary as I lower myself to sit, rest, and push away the disappointment. I pretend to ignore the inner struggle of a soul untouched and longing for more. I can not keep my feet firmly planted on this Rock. The eyes of my heart go in and out of focus as I will myself to stop slipping off the Rock. Doubt and faith battle for my attention. I kneel down to touch the Rock with my hands—to steady myself—as I wait.

Faith speaks:
He will not leave me. He promised.

Doubt shouts:
Get used to the emptiness.

Please God. Please.

Dare I ask for more?

If loaves and fish can multiple to feed thousands—can not the tiny splash of 8% tart-tasting juice increase into gallons if my soul needed it. My soul needs it God. As I hang on to this Rock, I choose to believe even a single drop clinging to the bottom of a tiny plastic cup can become an ocean wave of His glory rushing over me—making all things new.

I believe. I really do.
I have to believe. If I don’t—all is hopeless.

A voice booms through the microphone.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”


He can do MORE than I ask or imagine?

I rise to my feet. My soul stirred awake. It was as if God Himself reached in where the tiny splash stopped short and thrust the crimson to flow deeper and deeper until it reached my soul. And there, in my cavernous and neglected space, His cup turned over to flood my dry and depleted soul with His Living Water.

For a moment I am swept into His presence and I know He is near. One moment blends into the next and the service continues and eventually ends. Plastic cups are collected and tossed to the trash, but I have hope in His promise

He has MORE to give.

On the Journey with you,


Do you have a void you long to fill?
Who or what fills your longing and emptiness?
Do you believe God wants to reveal His presence to you?

Here or somewhere…be real. Share your journey. 

Relevant Worship
Come to Me by BethelMusic/The Loft Sessions (Jenn Johnson)

Fall Afresh by Bethel Music/The Loft Sessions (Jeremy Riddle)

Agnus Dei by Michael W. Smith {listen to the very end}

Reflective Scripture
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Galatians 3:20-21

Friday, February 3, 2012

No Pretending

I will not pretend.

The inkwell is dangerously close to being dried up.

How do I write when the ink is no more?

How does the pen flow with words to affect hope and healing when there is nothing to give?

I will not pretend.

If I believe this is writer’s block…

Then this—all this—is only about words on a screen.

It is more than that.

It’s about my soul journey.

I will not pretend.

I am the one empty…not the inkwell.

And yet, He knows this.

And I know He cares—deeply for me.

So what is He waiting for?

Why not fill me now, Lord?

I will not pretend.

I struggle with this.

I really do.

On the journey with you,

How about you?
How do you fill the well of your soul when you feel depleted and empty?

Here or somewhere…be real.
Share your journey

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hope Arises

My eyes open to the morning glow of a new day casting light into my room. I lay still blinking back the sleep. I feel the quiet of my soul. Something has changed.
What is it?

Am I…
Is this peace?
Hope—I thought I would never feel you again. But here you are. Settling back in where the stuff of life pushed out.
And for the first time in a long time I believe everything is going to be okay…
...I believe I am going to be okay.

As the sun rises in your day, I pray Hope also rises within you.

Today let this melody of hope wash over you and together let’s us walk in His promise.

On the journey with you,
Walk in the Promise by Jeremy Riddle (Bethel Music)

Our souls wait in silence
In rest and in quiet for You, spirit
In trust and dependence

We walk in the promise of You coming
With hope and healing in Your wings
With fire and with wind, You fall on us again

Here we are waiting for this house to be shaken
For the boldness to carry Your name to the nations
Your signs and Your wonders to go now before us

For the weight of Your glory to rest as we lift You up
We lift You up, be magnified in us

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Bench

The door flung wide open. A little boy ushered by his teacher walked into the school office. Floods of tears accompanied his uncontrollable sobs as his chest heaved to catch his breath.

His face red and wet from crying he took his seat on the edge of the bench. He was condemned to time-out. My heart broke as I watched his tears stream down his face.

There he sat his head sinking lower and lower as the minutes ticked by. His 5-year old shoulders hunched over in attempts to weep in private.

His offense?

He didn’t obey.
He wasn’t responsible.
He couldn’t focus.

My heart broke for him. I desperately wanted to go to him. Not to lecture, but instead validate life is hard, but there is grace. I sat from afar holding him with my eyes as he cried it all out…

All the frustrations,
the pressure,
the expectations,
the fears,
the disappointment,

…and the shame.

I knew just how he felt.

Really, it might as well been me. Sitting there on that bench with my shoulders hunched in crying it all out. Even today I too have been at fault for disobedience, irresponsibility and the inability to focus.

But must he— or I —cry alone?

Who will come alongside this boy in life to validate his heart and tell him of the great grace there is for him? Who will accept him even in his lack?

Who will accept me even in my lack?


If you see me on the bench crying and my head hung low in shame for the wrong I’ve done or presently doing—please…

Please don’t let me cry alone.

Don’t leave me there on the lonely bench to sink deeper into shame.

Come to me. Hold me. Wipe my tears with grace. And sing to me of the One who loves me in spite of what I do—or don’t do.

And friend, I will do the same for you.

On the journey with you,

~What are you dealing with today that you need to just “cry” it out?
~Do you have someone safe who will accept you no matter what?
~How deeply connected are you to an authentic community?
Thank you for sharing your journey.

Relevant Worship
How He Love by Kim Walker-Smith (Jesus Culture)

Reflective Scripture
2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dead Leaves

Leaves brown and brittle crumble through the Blonde Boy’s fingers.

Tiny broken pieces float silently to their grave.

His hands reach for more leaves to crunch in his grasp.

There was no horror in watching the dead become dust.

The pale coloring and parched foliage gave evidence to the end of life.

Everyone knew it was time—

Time to die.
Time to return to the earth.
And begin again.

One lone leaf green and vibrant sits at my feet.

The Blonde Boy’s youthful eyes spot it.

“This one won’t crumble.” I tell him.

There it lay green—full of life surrounded by the brittle and broken.

Life rests among the dead.

It fell before it’s time—

The boy’s hand inch closer.

“It’s green,” I remind him.

Life still thrives in it—today. Even just for today.

In spite of my lesson on colors and chlorophyll he reaches out.

He needs to touch, experience, and know the truth with his own hands.

His small hand squeezes around life.

I wait for his hand to open for the green foliage to return to shape.

But it doesn’t.

Instead…it crushes to a thousand pieces and falls flat to the ground.

How could this be?

It wasn’t time.

It still had life in it…

There at my feet life and death lie together.

It wasn’t right.

How many others had the life squeezed from them too soon. Even in these last couple weeks?

A little’s boy’s mother
A friend’s boss
A young daughter
A friend’s favorite uncle
A co-worker’s aunt
A student’s teacher
A friend's father

We knew their time would come—but not now. Not today. Not this year.

Its just not right.

“Why?" spills out of my heart, interrupting the prayer of peace for the ones who mourn.

If it is true He holds all things in His hands…Does He also hold death?

Can we trust Him to care for the heartbroken husband as he cares for his young son— alone? Can we trust Him to comfort the ache of a mother as she buries her little girl? Can we trust Him even in death?

Can we trust Him when He says it is—

Time to die.
Time to return to the earth.
And begin again—with Me.

Can we trust Him to bring life to the dead?

My friends, I don’t always understand, but something—Someone urges me to trust…even in death.

God, stretch out Your grace across the many who mourn and say good-bye to loved ones.

This blog is dedicated in the memory of:

Elaine, a beautiful wife and mother of a 2-year old son,
Phil –who inspired my friend to live life to the fullest,
Little Emma whom I never met, but know if I did her 6-year old heart would have captured mine.
My friend’s favorite uncle-Joey,
Margaret, educator of many children,
Lydia's dear father,
And the beloved aunt of my husband’s boss.

Although I never met your loved ones—I felt your grief this week.
Praying comfort over you all.

Songs to Comfort

You Wouldn’t Cry for Me Today by Mandisa

No More Tears by David Nevue

Reflective Scriptures

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die."  John 11:25 NIV
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him. Jesus was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.  Colossians 1:15-17 The Message

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”  John 14:6 NIV

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Something Brand-New

A new year brings with it the hope of new beginnings.

God is about to do something brand-new.

I can feel it deep within me. I believe it for me—and I believe it for you.

Please know as you read the below text that I have declared this ancient holy breathed promise over you…my companions along the journey.

This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,

The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then  . . .  c a n 't   g e t   u p;
they're snuffed out like so many candles:

"Forget about what's happened;
don't keep going over old history.

Be alert, be present.

I'm about to do something brand-new.
It's bursting out!
Don't you see it?
There it is!

I'm making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.

Wild animals will say 'Thank you!'
—the coyotes and the buzzards—

Because I provided . . .

water in the desert,
rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me.   Isaiah 43:16-21 The Message

Trust Me, Beloved. I am about to do something brand-new.

Believing with you and for you,

What are you believing for in this new year?

Here or somewhere…be real.
Share your journey.

Relevant Worship

Hope’s Anthem by Bethel Church

Our God by Chris Tomlin

What Faith Can Do by Kutless

Reflective Scripture
Isaiah 43:16-21 The Message (posted above)