Monthly Archives: April 2014

//April
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Tongue and Speak

What comes out of my mouth freaks me out. A lot.


I feel like, many times, swords are shooting out rapid fire from this stupidly selfish, critical piece of flab that is my most deadly weapon. I can testify how my tongue has ruined someone, slashing them to pieces, and has crushed the spirits of those around me. When I’m angry, words I wish I could undo fly out like arrows haphazardly seeking the nearest target. Where on earth does this poisonous vitriol flow from? Why am I even saying all this? How come I didn’t think before I spoke?

Spirit, why didn’t you guard my mouth?

Answer: self-discipline. The Spirit is totally there–it’s whether or not we actually want to cooperate. Our flesh is boiling with rageful words, and for quick thinkers like me, my

Peace and Perseverance

“When Peace like a river attendeth my way…”


Most of us are familiar with this line from the famous hymn “It is Well with My Soul.” We say, smiling, without thinking, that Jesus is good and we are thankful for his precious peace, and that we will always praise him and glorify his name.

But what about the next line, “When sorrows like sea billows roll”? 

Well, sometimes stuff happens. And the last thing we want to do is praise Jesus. Sometimes people get sick, or people die, or people ignore us, or people say hurtful things. Sometimes things break, or things fall apart, or things crumble, or things don’t come through for us. 

Sometimes there is no backup plan, or it’s all our fault, or we did something really, really stupid.

Faces and Fakers

Everyone has a mask. You know what I’m talking about.

The plastered smile we stick on when we’ve having the worst day but we don’t want to say anything. The bright face we glue on haphazardly when we’re deeply struggling with sin and worry and fear, but we want to remain “good Christians” in the eyes of our peers. The persona we slip into subconsciously in order to avoid dealing with our pain, shame, and problems.

When we want to be someone else. When we manufacture someone else and zip ourselves into them. When we cycle through endless “someone elses” because we are avoiding our deepest regrets and

Blinded and Restored

Uncomfortable. Nobody wants to feel that.


Today, Chicago was hot. Humid, blazing, gross. It rained for like two seconds, and then decided to go back to being a hot mess. Some of us fair-skinned people aren’t fans. To add insult to injury, the air conditioning around here has been jacked up due to the weather.

Already, I can’t WAIT for this fall. Sweater weather, scarves, and boots. Yeah. 

It’s hard to be productive when you’re uncomfortable. I couldn’t remember most of what was on the docket for today. Our pains, frustrations, and discomfort can seem like the only thing on the windshield when in reality there is a long, exciting road packed with blessings and challenges awaiting us. Suffering blinds. It eats joy for breakfast and has the uncanny ability to magnify itself so much that

Renting and Resolving

Closure-less conflict is inevitable in this life. Sometimes, it seems like our only companion.

I went out with some friends tonight to get some air and walk the city. We took public transportation to the Lincoln Park area to wander and look in shops. It was good to be together for one last adventure before Easter weekend. We were cool, checking out the scene and acting ridiculous, when one of the guys suggested going into a boutique that was doing a liquidation sale. The atmosphere was hip, the clothing overpriced, and the random household goods were really unique. Essentially, your typical upscale Chicago shop, albeit with flip-flops from Morocco splattered in among table decor resembling fish. 

My friend was checking out an unorganized shelf of goodies and picked up a container labeled in French. I turned to examine

Arrogance and Insides

My logic won out today or maybe it was the Spirit working in me. God gets the credit in my life.

I realized today that the guy I have a terrible crush on isn’t as great as I thought he was. I realized how UNattractive spiritual pride was. Arrogance is ugly; from afar, though, it can look like wisdom and confidence. 

The biggest factor in all this lies with the witness of my closest friends. I admire them for being hesitant, for they care about their words and gossip is something they wish to avoid at all costs. They shared with me their personal thoughts on this guy and how they aren’t fans. He treats relationships pretty casually and doesn’t mind challenging professors in a negative way. 

Our actions matter. We can have

Sickness and Satiation

16 of my friends had the stomach flu last weekend. Yikes. Needless to say, it was a solo weekend staying away from humanity and working like a dog on homework.

Sickness is scary. It takes up residence in you and affects your responses. Before you know it, you could be infected.When something has invaded your body and it feels like you’re your own worst enemy, that can be a terrifying experience. When you forget what “healthy” feels like, that’s when you know something’s wrong.

Sin is like that. It resides deep within us. We can forget it’s there, until it strikes and lashes out and we realize it’s too late. We need medicine, a way to be saved from the spiritual sickness inside of us. Thankfully, there is a cure.

I attended a

Provision and Perspective

Do I already have everything I need?

I’m sitting outside with a dear friend of mine listening to what the Lord has been teaching her through His Word. She mentioned Psalm 73…a piercing one which wonders whom have we in heaven but the Lord and states that there is nothing on earth to desire save him. 

My prayer is for these words to become mine. If only I could speak them with truth; if only I really did desire nothing save my Savior. 

But he has already given me everything! I have nothing to fear. I have the same power inside of me that raised Christ from the dead! Christ crucified! Christ IN ME! Christ, the Living Water, IN MY SOUL!

….

Why

Whole and Broken Wretches

It’s easy to hate yourself.

I hate my flesh. I hate my sin and the ugliness that is constantly creeping up into my thoughts, playing out in my actions, and rearing its ugly head in my conversations. My own depravity is frightening. The lusts, the lies, the lukewarm apathy that seems to always show up the moment I recommit to Christ. 

Paul puts this into better language in chapter 7 of his letter to the Roman church: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” He uses the personal pronoun “I” THIRTY THREE TIMES in this passage. Thirty three. Paul, the “super-apostle,” is so frustrated with his indwelling sin that he nails himself over and over. What are we to do? For I

Neglecting to Love

I’m really grateful my fish aren’t dead.

Let me explain……my roommate and I keep two goldfish, Dwight and Lyman, that we’ve had since September. It’s been fun having fish, and we feed them consistently. However, I lapsed. For over a month, I just “couldn’t find the time” to change their water. Day after day, I watched them drift towards the surface, searching for oxygen and becoming more and more listless. They needed my attention and care; I was in charge of maintaining their lives, and I was failing. 

In a similar fashion, we as Christians have been given much to steward and take care of: our time, our finances, our relationships. When we neglect these things or use them for our own purposes, we are not obeying Jesus’s instructions to be good and faithful servants. When we don’t