daily thoughts

/Tag: daily thoughts

The Door Opener

It’s funny how He does it.

My life has consisted of a progressive unfolding, a journey of steps and many, many doors. My heart has been rent and reformed dozens of times–expectations derailed, God switching my direction, people hurting me, me hurting people, disillusionment, and other assorted inconsistencies with my fallen logic about how things are supposed to be. The Lord always uses it to grow me into a deeper disciple.

This moment is a moment of sweetness, a door that has been steadily opening in segments with little slits of light peeking through. God has been showing me glimpses of the future by intersecting my present: affirmations that I am gifted and blessed, future plans falling into place, expressions of love by my family and dearest friends, reminders that our God is the Lord of all.

I sometimes stare into space, mentally pinching myself because it’s hard to believe that I am

The Door Opener2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Pieces

Crumbs. Pieces. Fragments. Slices.

The Bible, when you think about it, doesn’t offer us that much. This book is, by its own attestation, God’s complete self-revelation, everything he believes is necessary for us to know about him, ourselves, and this world in order to live the way we were meant to. And all we have? Some history of an obscure people group in the Middle East, poetry, strange prophecies from even stranger times, and some random letters written by preachers on the run. Not much.

But this is everything. Life, truth, light. We can KNOW GOD through these seemingly-random desert scribblings. This is how the Creator and Redeemer of the universe has decreed it, and the fact that he used the vehicle of language is shocking. When you examine the Bible through the lens of humility, of knowing God, this is what you see.

Currently, I am staring at a dusty passage from

Pieces2016-01-29T20:07:41+00:00

Wonderstruck and Bothering

I’ve been pondering this one phrase that has so completely captured my imagination:

God bothered.

This Incarnation Celebration Season, aka Christmas, we rave about the commercialism and the church services, the cookies and the presents, even our fiercely-held traditions of being with family or reading the Story itself, but shame on us if we neglect the powerful condescension that fuels this entire thing.

There is a God, and he has bothered to make himself known to us. There is a God, and he has called himself our Father in Heaven. There is a God, and he came.

As J.I Packer writes so plainly and beautifully in his book, Knowing God, despite the magnanimity of Him, we have made God so common, so base–we have lost the sense of awe and reverence for him. God has bothered! The fact that the God of the entire universe wants to know us demands a response of absolute love

Wonderstruck and Bothering2015-12-25T05:03:49+00:00

They held feasts in their homes on their birthdays

Tragedy comes in different packages.

It’s a suicide bomber at a Parisian concert hall. It’s a phone call that dad has brain damage from a slip on the linoleum. It’s a cursory glance at the Bible instead of a long drink. It’s an alcoholic beverage or a frosted sugar cookie or one more click on the computer even though you vowed to stop and “just do today” in God’s grace. It’s realizing that you got something really, really wrong.

For Job, tragedy was a gaggle of breathless messengers who delivered the worst news of his life. I wouldn’t ever be able to hear running feet the same way again if I had been him.

His life had been idyllic, blessed by the hand of God for being obedient. And yet, in his sovereignty, God destroyed his life: his children, his material wealth, his personal wellness.

Friends came, sat in silence for an eternal seven

They held feasts in their homes on their birthdays2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Altar Altercations

It was straight from the Enemy.

Right as communion was about to be served, a commotion began in the front of the sanctuary. A man was yelling something, the worship pastor and the ushers formed a net around him and tried to calm him down until a security officer could escort him out. The organist began to play a tune to smooth everything over. I was dumbfounded as the man continued to put up a fight, shouting, “This church sucks!” as he was led quickly down the main aisle.

Right before the most important celebration believers partake in, when our minds were fully focused on the sacrifice of Christ and the goodness of God. The most holy moment during the entire service. Coincidence? I think not.

How often does a dirty wrench get tossed into our lives right in the middle of sweetness and spiritual growth? Sometimes it’s from the Enemy or our

Altar Altercations2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

“Wake Up, You Need to Make Money”

M and her family are missionaries in Africa. Their life has been characterized by moves and shifts, encountering the most broken people, and utter reliance on the Lord.

She didn’t finish her degree at Bible college and is in the process, after almost 20 years, of completing her last two semesters. Because, hey, there was no money, and then they got good jobs and had kids, and then they moved overseas where ministry happened. Now she walks into brothels and shares the Gospel and rescues babies from their pimps and brings them home.

We were eating dinner at Dr. G’s apartment, and I was fascinated by her story. Her husband’s business is what completely supports her ministry to these women, and because of his connections, he’s been able to get them out of trouble on many an occasion.

She said, “What God redeems, he uses.” Her husband’s terrible childhood and exposure to the

“Wake Up, You Need to Make Money”2015-09-28T05:00:25+00:00

Today I ran errands

It’s too easy to worry. I hate it.

Sometimes I look around me and wonder if other people are even thinking about some of the things that drive my mind to oblivion. Like, the kind of thinking that just snowballs races runs jumps until I’m standing teetering on the edge of anxiety. Where are the brakes on my thinking?

I know I’m analytical. I write to help me understand what’s going on in my life and what God is doing. Sometimes, though, the analysis slowly draws my head downward until I’m navel-gazing and trapped inside a melodramatic bubble where I forget Jesus is still Lord and that he’s in control because, hey, he made the universe and holds it together. Col 1:15-20.

I’m reading Luke. I’m taking each piece and just studying it, instead of glazing over and neglecting to ask questions: what does Jesus mean? Why did Luke choose to include this

Today I ran errands2015-06-12T21:29:21+00:00

We’re having leftovers for dinner tonight

There is so much left to know about God.

Until about two years ago, I was sort of “yeah-okay-cool” about reading the Bible; I was frustrated that I had a hard time reading it, and I dutifully tried my best to please God by reading it. I didn’t really “study” a whole bunch. I didn’t invest a lot of time into thinking about what I had read, how it affected my beliefs, and what it all meant for reality, for life.

After all, growing up in church, I had essentially heard it all before. Right?

I think that, all too often, we as Christians forget about why we do what we do. Why do you read the Bible? Why do I?

“…that I may know Him,” wrote Paul in Phil 3:10. For too long, I was really only reading the Bible to check it off a list, to feel better, to assuage my own personal

We’re having leftovers for dinner tonight2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00