Seeds and Soil

I often wonder how the interests and passions I feel came to be.  Were they drummed up from my own imagination, my own ego? I question their virtue and wonder if I justify them unjustly. 
Sometimes I imagine they were placed purposefully into the soil of my heart. I picture a gardener’s calloused hand, skillfully drawing a single seed from his palm with his thumb, then pushing it down into the dirt. I’ve wondered why some seeds lie dormant season after season. I esteem quick growth to be far better. Productivity! Measurable yields!  But then I realize, the soil itself needs the seeds. 

Yesterday I wondered toward God while shampooing my hair.
Musings that don’t seem to fit in the category of prayer are often our best conversations.  My thoughts pointed backward, realizing that for more than a decade I’ve wanted to teach. Through written and spoken words I want to point people to freedom in Jesus! I pondered the timing of it all, letting the self-sufficient, omnipotent God of the univ…

The Pull of Popularity

I remember the huge ads hanging inside the store. Group shots of young adults sitting around a campfire or playing a wildly amusing game of pickup football. Some showed shirtless guys with six-packs, not a single strand of body hair in sight. The thin, young women stared out of their frames, not smiling per se, but bemused. I was fourteen and had just come out of that awkward, middle school stage. I stood and wondered what secret these beautiful people were privy to. 

The photos with couples seemed to capture my attention the most. I was a proper Disney aficionado, a sucker for all things depicting love. I knew the photos didn’t necessarily show real life. Yet, I also desperately wanted to be like those picturesque people. I realized that buying a particular pair of low-rise jeans wasn’t going to magically give me the life shown in those oversized stills. I somehow also believed that wearing clothes with this particular logo would make me more likeable. And I desperately wanted to fit …

Comfort Comes from the Creator

The blank walls around me provide a stark contrast to  the scenic backdrop I recently enjoyed. Just “four sleeps” ago (as my children count time) we stood looking out at the Atlantic ocean. That simple act was so full, and my mind can recall the details and sensations vividly. My feet felt sand and bits of shells that the waves tirelessly crashed in, then quickly took back out again. I heard the distant calls of seagulls, felt the breeze move my hair, and smelled fish that had just been caught on the pier. I squinted my eyes and looked as far as I could, trying to pinpoint where the ocean and sky met. As I enjoyed this feast of common grace, I couldn’t help but worship the Creator. Because God made everything, he alone determines how it works, and he alone should receive the glory from it all.  
As creator, God knows how all things best function. When he spoke all things into existence he included a pattern, which if followed, will lead to human flourishing. His commands, like “die to …

Why Should I Write?

It happened again this afternoon. I told my kids not to watch a certain show on Netflix, and my seven-year-old daughter immediately responded with, “Why?” Her tone and timing both indicated her inquiry was more of a challenge than a genuine desire for information. There are times when I’m guilty of asking my heavenly Father the same type of “Why?” Yet, there are also moments when I ask the same question with a different heart, going to him in hopes of gaining insight or understanding. As I asked God why he has led me down this path of writing, he brought to mind an answer I often give my own children - “Because I love you, and I know what’s best for you.” He also helped me develop a mission statement for the why of my writing. I write to grow in my belief of who God says I am, to rightly reflect who he is, and to help readers joyfully discover who he’s created them to be.

In an unknowable act of scandalous grace, God chose to awaken me out of spiritual death and give me a brand new ide…

It Doesn't Belong to You

“It doesn’t belong to you.”  A simple truth communicated to children whose hands want to grab what their eye deems lovely. Adulthood picks up responsibility and productivity and reputation, but arms too full sometimes let simple truths slip out. So we lust with our eyes and turn worship inward on self. We view other image-bearers as objects for our own satisfaction. “It doesn’t belong to you.”
Anxiety becomes an unnoticed metronome. We run frantic, either our visible bodies or unseen minds, trying to prove we are worthwhile.  Worth, all the while, was never meant to be determined by us. We want desperately to be deemed loveable, equating the admiration of others with that core longing.  Glory belonging only to God appears so lovely that we snatch at it, with our hands, with our whole selves. “It doesn’t belong to you.”
Childlike trust fades and we buy the lie of self-determination. Masters of our own fate, we pretend our backs don’t bend beneath the weight of autonomy. We cast oursel…

Coming Home

Returning to all that’s familiar is a comfort that has weight. Safety shares a coin with responsibility, and as it flips, all the to-dos flash in a blur. But the One who breathed out the idea of spaces, then filled them all with glorious reflections, is just as in control as when you left. He knows your going and your coming. What you long to lay down and how you will rise up. Nothing you hoped to leave behind or were surprised to pick up along the way is outside of his sovereign hand.

Seeking Faces and Justice

“Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.” Prov. 29:26
We swap, steal, and sell power like currency. Ignoring the only true source, we window shop one another and stick price tags on our own reflections.  We scoff at Kingdom economy and embrace one we curate, where we fear rejection and vie for acceptance, all from equal sojourners who are fearing and vying in unison. This exhausting dance follows the rhythm that sin ushered in. Because we hand out power, we later come back to collect justice. I buy in to the idea that powerful people can right my wrongs, or write my pardon. I’ve created a carboard bench which I ask to approach and fear a paper gavel.  In the only courtroom that will never crack or crumble, the verdict has already been given.  The scales of mercy and justice balanced perfectly on a cross-beam. My debt has been paid, and my account has been filled with a glorious inheritance. That is a transaction that changes everything.  

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