Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Christmas Prayer

I am amazed,
humbled, crushed
by Your Light crashing
through my heart, my life.
That You have saved me from darkness,
the confusion of my flesh,
is almost more than i can take.
I am yours, merciful Savior!
You are the meaning
of my life, the Lover of my soul,
my Rescuer, Friend,
Brother and King.
The mystery of Your great Love
come to earth
staggers, confounds me
with Joy!!
Before You I bow,
God of Heaven and
Creator of all that is.
I love You Father,
Guide and lead me to Life!

"The pure light walks the earth; the darkness, received into the heart of Deity, is there swallowed up. Where, except in uncreated light, can the darkness be drowned?" - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Everlasting Man

And now we begin to see what it is that the New Testament is always talking about. It talks about Christians ‘being born again’; it talks about them ‘putting on Christ’; about Christ ‘being formed in us’; about our coming to ‘have the mind of Christ’.
Put right out of your head the idea that these are only fancy ways of saying that Christians are to read what Christ said and try to carry it out – as a man my read what Plato or Marx said and try to carry it out. They mean something much more than that. They mean that a real Person, Christ, here and now, in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you. It is not a question of a good man who died two thousand years ago. It is a living Man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old natural self and replacing it with the kind of self He has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity.

C. S. Lewis, The Business of Heaven

Sunday, December 12, 2010


There is a silence in the snow.
As if the world holds its breath.
Lighting gently from the sky on my face,
pieces of frozen beauty.
Time stands still.
A sigh,
a melancholy,
soft Joy…
Silence falls,
stillness comes;
brushing my face with carefree fingers.
Wind-blown touch,
the embrace of the Maker.
There is a stillness in falling snow,
silent gaspings of frozen Grace.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Rabbit Must Disappear

All right, Christianity will do you good – a great deal more good than you ever wanted or expected. And the first bit of good it will do you is to hammer into your head (you won’t enjoy that!) the fact that what you have hitherto called ‘good’ – all that about ‘leading a decent life’ and ‘being kind’ isn’t quite the magnificent and all-important affair you supposed. It will teach you that in fact you can’t be ‘good’ (not for twenty-four hours) on your own moral efforts. And then it will teach you that even if you were, you still wouldn’t have achieved the purpose for which you were created. Mere morality is not the end of life. You were made for something quite different from that…The people who keep on asking if they can’t lead a decent life without Christ, don’t know what life is about; if they did they would know that ‘a decent life’ is mere machinery compared with the thing we men were really made for. Morality is indispensable: but the Divine Life, which gives itself to us and which calls us to be gods, intends for us something in which morality will be swallowed up. We are to be re-made. All the rabbit in us is to disappear – the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit. We shall bleed and squeal as the handfuls of fur come out; and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy.

-C. S. Lewis, ‘The Business of Heaven’

Monday, November 22, 2010

Get out!

I just spent a weekend away with my brothers. We went to Pisgah, AL to stay at a Christian camp there. We spent the weekend hiking, rock climbing and rapelling in some of the most raw and beautiful scenes the Creator has made. Whether you are the outdoorsy type or not, I really feel it is a necessity to get out in nature, to see what He has created. How else can we know how small we are? How else can we know His creative genius? How else are we to know the majesty of His creation? Get out people! Go outside, sit in His creation and feel His embrace!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I was pulling out of my subdivision this morning headed to work when I saw it. The sun was rising and was just visible between two houses in a brilliant red-orange glow. Light was shooting up; it appeared at an angle through some light clouds on the horizon. The bottoms of the clouds were a bright reflection of light. It was gorgeous…and I was moved. See, the Father knows that I love those beautiful moments in nature. You know what I’m talking about? Those times when you see something and for that moment, God reaches down and squeezes your heart, kisses you on the cheek with the breathtaking touch of His hand in nature.

Then what happens? I got stuck in a traffic jam. Figures. And that beautiful moment, that sigh of joy began to suddenly fade. That sucks and I found myself asking why that moment was gone. I was reminded of John 10:10 where Jesus reminds us that the enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy.

I really hate that punk Satan. I hate him for trying to steal my joy. I can’t wait for the day when this fight is over and Jesus comes back to kick some satanic ass. Because, when that day comes, these moments of joy, those touches of His hand will never be stolen again. In the meantime, I have to hold on to His promise that He came to give me life and life more abundantly. So take that, thief! You won’t steal my joy! Not today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Big L

I wonder about the purpose of the Father in my life sometimes. I mean, there are things I believe He has asked me to do, dreams and visions I believe He has called me to. So what's with the delay? I keep having to remind myself that His ways are not mine, His time is not mine. I keep having to sacrifice my goals, dreams, plans...indeed my heart on the altar of His goodness.

And I'm finding real Life there. Not "life" with a little l but "Life" with a big L. The Life. His Life in me.

How cool is that?!

Strength and Honor!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

We Must Choose

Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the Devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else – something it never entered your head to conceive – comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror in every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we will discover which side we have really chosen, whether we realized it or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.

- C. S. Lewis, The Business of Heaven

Thursday, October 21, 2010


There are a lot of things in life I don’t understand. And truthfully, I will more than likely never understand some things. And I’m becoming okay with that. It’s funny in an ironic way how long it has taken me in my life to learn some valuable lessons. For example…pain.

I don’t get pain. I don’t understand the necessity of feeling pain. I’m talking about heart pain, emotional pain. I hate that sometimes life sucks and sometimes I experience pain. I don’t like pain and I hate the necessity of it. That’s right, I said necessity. What I’m learning is that pain is, at times, necessary.

Once upon a time, I ran from pain. I ran from life actually, well real life. I shut my heart off behind walls and a tough exterior. Truth be told, inside those walls I was dying. My heart was suffocating. But I didn’t know that. I thought this was the only way to deal with things, with painful things. I would take those little pain nuggets and stick them in a bottle. Then I’d cork that sucker and put it on a shelf way back in the back of my heart…never to be looked at again, never to be discussed again. And man, were those walls around my heart high and thick. And there were a lot of little dusty bottles on those shelves.

I remember the pain that engulfed me when my sister Katrina died. That was a pain that I cannot begin to describe to you. And yet, it was that exact pain that God began to use to wake me up and very slowly begin to work on those walls. But I would not go quietly into His peace. Behind those walls I raged and worked to put the bricks back up that He was annoyingly beginning to take down. I mean, what was I without my walls?! If those walls came down I was vulnerable. Inside those walls, that “safe” little world I had created, I was in control.

And I was dead.

A couple of years ago, things changed forever in my heart. I was abruptly confronted by the wild and passionate love of Christ and those stupid walls around my heart came crashing down. He set me free, he set my heart free to be who I really am in Him. How liberating it was and is! How painful it has become.

See, He promised to set us free and He promised us life. What He did not promise was that it was going to be easy and pain free. Look at the life of Christ here on earth. He was free and completely alive and yet His time on earth was racked with pain. His earthly death was an excruciatingly painful ordeal. And never once did He whine about it. Oh sure, He prayed to His Father that the cup would pass if possible but followed it right up with ‘Your will be done, not mine’.

I’m learning, painfully, that life hurts sometimes. When your heart it awake and free, it will lead you places that will be wonderful. And it might not always end well or be pain free. But, I’m learning that to be free means that I can live without fear now, without the walls, without those dusty bottles. I’m learning that this might hurt a little but, despite the pain, He has never left me. He has always been here, walking the path with me, crying with me, laughing with me…living life with me.

Wherever you are, whatever is going on in your life, know this: Jesus is right there with you, holding your hand, feeling your pain. Don't shrink away from it. Learn from it. There is healing but you must receive it. Open your heart to His love and let Him carry that pain for you. His burden is easy and His yoke is light.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I put my body through its paces like a war horse; I keep it clean, sturdy, prepared. I harden it and I pity it. I have no other steed.
I keep my brain wide awake, lucid, unmerciful. I unleash it to battle relentlessly so that, all light, it may devour the darkness of the flesh. I have no other workshop where I may transform darkness into light.
I keep my heart flaming, courageous, restless. I feel in my heart all commotions and all contradictions, the joys and sorrows of life. But I struggle to subdue them to a rhythm superior to that of the mind, harsher than that of my heart – to the ascending rhythm of the Universe.
The Cry within me is a call to arms. It shouts: “I, the Cry, am the Lord your God! I am not an asylum. I am not hope and a home. I am not the Father nor the Son nor the Holy Ghost. I am your General!
“You are not my slave, nor a plaything in my hands. You are not my friend, you are not my child. You are my comrade-in-arms!
“Hold courageously the passes which I entrusted to you; do not betray them. You are in duty bound, and you may act heroically by remaining at your own battle station.
“Love danger. What is most difficult? That is what I want! Which road should you take? The most craggy ascent! It is the one I also take: follow me!
“Learn to obey. Only he who obeys a rhythm superior to his own is free.
“Learn to command. Only he who can give commands may represent me here on earth.
“Love responsibility. Say: ‘It is my duty, and mine alone, to save the earth. If it is not saved, then I alone am to blame.”
My prayer is not the whimpering of a beggar nor a confession of love. Nor is it the trivial reckoning of a small tradesman: Give me and I shall give you.
My prayer is the report of a soldier to his general: This is what I did today, this is how I fought to save the entire battle in my own sector, these are the obstacles I found, this is how I plan to fight tomorrow.
My God and I are horsemen galloping in the burning sun or under drizzling rain. Pale, starving, but unsubdued, we ride and converse.
“Leader!” I cry. He turns his face towards me, and I shudder to confront his anguish.
Our love for each other is rough and ready, we sit at the same table, we drink the same wine in this low tavern of life.

- From The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises by Nikos Kazantzakis

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The book is coming!

So for those who read this and are not on my facebook page...the book is coming soon! Proofs are being approved and hopefully, things will be at the printer by the end of next week. Blessings on you all!

Strength and Honor!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No fear

I learned something today. Well, several things but I’ll try to stay focused here. I started a new book today. ‘Wild Goose Chase’ by Mark Batterson. So far so good. But convicting so far as well. And I just finished reading ‘Radical’ by David Platt. But, I think the greatest book I read today was the Word of God. As I study the life of Jesus, I discover more and more of His character and how fierce, tender and fearless His love is.

Jesus gave all He had because that’s the only way to love. That, I am learning, is the only way to live. What’s the point of life if we’re not all in, ya know?

Hey, I get the fear thing. I’ll use women as an example for my fear. It’s not a secret to anyone who knows me that my first marriage was a trainwreck. For a lot of reasons. After I was divorced, it didn’t take long for the fear to rush in. I know a lot about fear. I’ve lived my whole life in fear of being found out. I hid my hurt, my heart and soul behind a tough guy wall because I was afraid. I was afraid that if people found out who I really was, they wouldn’t like me. I was also deceived. Satan used my fear as a weapon against me to make sure I stayed safely cloistered behind those walls.

See, behind those walls, my heart was hidden. God’s son was hidden behind those walls. The glory that He has brought me to live in and live out was hidden behind those walls. But, back to fear…

So, I was living in fear. What if I fell in love again, what if I got hurt again? I have often said that I do not know if I would emotionally survive another crash like the last one. And so I have lived in fear.

Until I met Jesus. Along this path He has brought me to, I have found healing, purpose, meaning, love, peace…and a voice. So as I’ve journeyed and poured my heart out on paper and in person, I have begun to learn not to fear. Fear paralyzes life, kills it. And fear is unbiblical. After all, He has overcome sin, death and the grave and given that gift freely to me. What have I to fear?

So, He was teaching me that lesson today during my time with Him, speaking His love and strength into my heart, saying “Don’t fear. I am with you. Trust me.” So, I prayed to Him, “I’m sorry for being a coward, Jesus. I’m sorry for holding out on You. I’m sorry for holding out on life and living out of fear. Take my fear away and help me live and love freely.”

Fast forward to tonight. As those who know me know, I’ve been dating someone for awhile now. We agreed when we began dating to take it as it came. The whole idea of “pacing” a relationship kind of seemed dumb. We’ll just move at a pace that is comfortable, right?

God has, over time, put my heart back together and shown me that to love is exactly what He has called me to do. However, being me, I was holding back. You know, putting a lid on this thing, right? But being with Nikki has shown me a lot of things. This is a woman who gets it. Does that make sense? I’m not saying she’s perfect ‘cause she’s not. But she gets it. She’s enjoying fulfilling the role in our relationship as the woman and I’m loving fulfilling the role as the man. Awhile back, as I began to study the Word and redefine what manhood was, I realized there are certain ways we guys are to treat women. See, Nikki is the daughter of God. You men reading this; the woman in your life, be it your mother or wife or girlfriend or daughter or whatever. The woman in your life is the daughter of God.

You had best not forget that. Treat her accordingly.

But, I’m rambling again. So, Nikki has a daughter. Gabi. A beautiful, precocious ball of little girl. Today was Gabi’s birthday. I was at Nikki’s house during bedtime for Gabi. A few minutes after we put Gabi to bed, Nikki and I were sitting on the couch talking and we could hear Gabi crying. She wasn’t bawling her eyes out, just fussy. You folks with kids know what I’m talking about. So, Nikki and I went to check on her. And what I witnessed was a moment of poignant beauty that even now brings me almost to tears.

Nikki crawled in the bed with Gabi. She held her, stroked her arm and soothed her, speaking softly and kissing her gently. I sat on the floor in the doorway of Gabi’s bedroom and fought back tears at the tenderness and vulnerability I was witnessing. And He spoke to me. He whispered to my heart, “This is how I love. I will hold you and speak peace to you. I will kiss your tears away.” I began to pray in worship, in awe at His tenderness. It was a radiant moment that I wish words could do justice to.

So, Gabi finally gets settled in and back to the couch we go. We began to talk of life, our relationship with Christ and each other. I began to share with her how I had gotten this whole live without fear thing today. And then it happened.

I’m an emotional guy…have I mentioned that before?! I don’t even know how it happened but I suddenly heard, coming out of my mouth, “I’m in love with you.” My heart completely stopped beating when I realized what I had just said. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t mean it, I just didn’t mean to say it out loud. I looked into Nikki’s eyes, expecting to see total panic. “Wow, I just told you I was in love with you,” was the next genius thing that came out of my mouth. Then, my heart really stopped because I saw her face.

Nikki had a look on her face of utter contentment and joy. A huge smile came over her face and she said, “I love you too.” And she kissed me. Then my heart officially stopped. Immediately, the deceiver piled on. ‘What are you doing? You barely know this woman, how can you say you love her?’ I reject those insidious whispers of doubt. I have no idea where this is all going but I have a pretty good idea and I know who is controlling it and He’s way smarter than me. And I knew the truth of what had just happened.

I knew, in that moment and hopefully for many other moments to come, I was living without fear. It’s time for me to stop being afraid of life, time to stop being afraid of love. I know it’s going to hurt sometimes. I don’t expect it to be perfect.

But I expect a perfect God to show up and show me how to love perfectly. And He does. Don’t be afraid, dear friends. Stop being so cautious. He calls us forward into a life, an adventure that may be fearful at times. We are going to get hurt sometimes. But, the cost of not loving as He does far outweighs the potential of pain.

And now I can’t stop smiling.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A prayer

"Seek first My kingdom..."

I hear this call on my heart, Father.

Above all else, seek You.

Help me, Jesus, to seek Your face above all else.

Above my own voice, above the noise,

above the heartache of separation from You.

Above all else, help me to seek You.

To hunger and thirst for You as a dying man.

Above all else...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Prayer for today

You never cease to amaze me, Father. And yet the pain of becoming, the pain of submission never ceases. You are in a constant process of chipping away what is me, burning off the me to get to more of You. Reading Luke 6 today. Wow!

Why do I call You Lord and do not the things You say? Why do I pray to You and not submit to You? Why do I pick up again the burdens I have already laid down?

Because I am broken, a hollow man. Without You, I have nothing and I am lost in myself. I don’t want to be the guy who builds his house on nothing, on myself. Rather, I will build my house, my life on You.

Forgive me, Jesus, for not taking up my cross to follow. Forgive me for forgetting who I am. Thank You for the love You shower on me, the grace You give and the pain of life You allow. Only in the fire of Your love can I be forged into Your son, Your brother, Your soldier.

And so today I submit to You. Take my heart, Father. I am Yours. Take my will, Jesus. I will follow!

You are the light, Jesus! Shine through me in this darkness.
You are the way, Jesus! Use me as You will to show others Your path.
You are the truth, Jesus! Help me to stay grounded in You so my life speaks Your truth.

Thank you, Father, Friend, Savior, Lord, Messiah…King!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


So I meet with a group of men once a week. We dive into the Word and talk about life and walking the Path. It’s a wonderful, wonderful time with fellow sons and warriors! So we started a new study last night. Revelations. After last night’s conversation, I am really excited to keep digging into this.

But, we were talking and a few things came up. It’s interesting to me how many Christians seem to avoid The Book of Revelations. Something sort of popped into my head last night, a word He spoke to my heart and now, I just don’t get it. Why are so many Christians afraid of this book? I mean, I know there is some deep stuff in there and some really apocalyptic images but really, it’s not a complicated book. I think too many wanna-be theologians and over zealous Christians try too hard.

So, anyway, we were sitting there talking about all this last night and this whisper came in my heart. So, I said to the guys, “I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. If you stop all the trying to figure out all the symbolism and reading between the lines, this book is really simple. This book is simply about Jesus. Period.”

But, here’s the thing really. I think we who call ourselves Christians have really overcomplicated this whole Christianity thing. We’ve kind of created this gaudy monstrosity that just really over-burdens people I think. And it just kinda gives me a headache. I mean, since when did Jesus put all these rules on people and make things so complicated? Didn’t the Pharisees do that? And didn’t Jesus blast them for that?

I actually think Jesus made things real simple for us. Well, for me He did, cause I’m not always the brightest crayon in the box. But, He made things pretty simple for his disciples as well. He told them to follow, love God with all they were, love others and then go out and tell people about Him.

That’s not complicated. I mean, it can be really difficult to do but it’s not complicated. So, maybe we need to kind of “dumb it down” here. Maybe we need to get back to the basics. And those are really simple:

Go tell others

Christ came to love us, redeem us, rescue us from our bondage to ourselves. To set us free. So why are we volunteering for slavery to religion, to lists and whatever else comes along? In the end, this whole thing is about Jesus. It’s not about our churches or our denominations or our missionaries or anything like that. And I’m not saying those things are bad, I’m just saying that I think we’ve really overdone this whole thing.

Here’s what I know. When I met Jesus, everything in my life radically changed. Love has a way of doing that. When Love gets inside you, life changes. And, in the words of the immortal Forrest Gump, “I’m not a smart man but I know what love is.” I know what Love is and Love is simple. Love, aka that fellow named Jesus, just wants to bring you life and freedom. Love wants to give itself away for you. Love wants you to follow and then go tell everybody else what you found.

Now that’s not so complicated, right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Am I the only one out there who gets frustrated by the nothing of waiting? I know that God has something else for me, I know that this is a time of preparation. But man! Can a brotha get a break here?! I pray and seek Him, His path, His way. I feel His embrace, His love and I know Him to be guiding me. I'm just not sure where. I cannot describe the differences He has made in my life but the waiting is frustrating, is all I'm saying.

I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief. I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Prayer for today

What is this restlessness in me, Lord? What are you doing in me, in my heart? I feel You moving most times, speaking and I can often easily distinguish Your voice. Then, there are times like now.

Times when there is silence. A waiting for You here.

I know You are here. I just don't know what You're saying, where You're leading. And it' frustrating. I burn to follow, draw my sword, charge into the fray with You. Then silence and I am lost. What do I do with silence, without the call to arms?

Meet me here, Jesus. Come into this silence and love me as only You can. You are my rest, my place of coming home. Show me how to rest, to wait in Your presence.

Come, Jesus.
Teach me to be still.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The goal of perfection

I was having a conversation with someone awhile back. I don’t remember exactly how the conversation came about but I mentioned not doing something. I said there were certain things that I don’t eat. I made the comment that I didn’t want to eat said items because they had sugar in them and I’m on a pretty strict diet. So this person says to me, “That’s right cause you don’t want to mess up your perfect body.” To which I replied that I was far from perfect and had a long way to go, especially in that area. So then, the other statement from this person sort of took me off guard and I was taken aback. They berated me for my desire for perfection and told me I was arrogant to even say that.

This little exchange spurred some thoughts for me. First of all, it caused some self-examination, which is never a bad thing. Was I being arrogant in my desire for perfection? I don’t think so. I say that because Jesus said for us to be perfect.

“But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

Not good or better. Notice He didn’t say ‘Be nice, don’t cuss, drink or smoke. Pay your taxes and go to church.’ No, He said be perfect as our Father is perfect. Now THAT is a mission for your life right there!!

Now, I know this has immediate push-back here. Some of you reading this are thinking right about now that I’ve gone off the reservation. I get that. I never said this was going to be easy. Jesus never said this was going to be easy. Then again, do you really believe that He would have told us to do something that was impossible? What I love about this statement by Jesus and indeed His whole existence here on earth is that Jesus didn’t really beat around the bush about a lot of things. And He didn’t give us a lot of warm fuzzy feelings about some things. I mean, He talks about loving your enemies, praying for those who hate you, taking up your cross, giving up everything to follow and lots of other hard things. Then, He pulls out this perfection thing. None of it sounds easy.

I think perfection IS to be our goal. In ALL aspects of the life He has given us. I think that He is working toward the perfection of not only the earth but the perfection of humanity as well. Jesus taught His disciples, when they prayed, to ask for the Kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven. Heaven is perfect. So, shouldn’t we strive for perfection on earth as well?

I really believe we do ourselves and Jesus a disservice when we are lazy in our approach to anything. Be it jobs, family life, marriage, child rearing, exercise or whatever it is. We owe it, if we are His followers, to strive for perfection. And I believe that effort should be in all aspects of life. If you read Jesus’ words, He didn’t compartmentalize life. Everything was one big piece. For Jesus, life was about the perfection of His life to bring glory to God the Father. To bring glory to the Father.

How dare we do less? What are we striving for and do we need to set our goals just a wee bit higher?

I know this. I don’t want to stand before Jesus one day, look in His eyes and tell Him I thought He meant somebody else when He said ‘Be perfect.’ I don’t want to look at Him and tell Him that I didn’t even try because it was too hard.

Do you?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A picture of mercy

As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

- John 8: 3-11 (NLT)

As I travel this new path He has me on, I have learned so much. I have learned to begin to see myself as He sees me; through the eyes of redemption and freedom. I have learned to begin to believe in who He made me to be; a voice calling out ‘Freedom!’ and so many other facets of my heart He is showing me over time. I am also learning how much Satan hates me, how cunning he is and how well he knows his targets. We are his targets.

I think we do ourselves and the kingdom of Heaven a disservice when we do not acknowledge Satan’s hatred of us and his knowledge of us. He knows where we are vulnerable, where to hit us, how to weaken our defenses until we give in. Almost without thinking.

Isn’t it amazing how easily we give in, how little resistance we put up? I am deeply alarmed at how easily I give in, how sneaky Satan is and how pleasurable sin is.

I feel like I’ve been in a boot camp type thing for awhile. For the last eighteen months or so, He has lit me on fire. He has set me free, given me a new heart and told me who I really am. He has taken me deep into my wounds to receive His healing. He has opened my heart to His word and to people. It has been a remarkable journey, a time of preparation, training if you will. I know He is preparing me for something.

So, when He sends me out from my comfort zone in Him, my “training place”, it is as if I were on a short incursion into enemy territory. A test of my resolve, to see what I have learned, so to speak. I am reminded of the movie scene where a young Luke Skywalker is sent into a dark and cold cavern to face some thing, he knows not what. He asks the wise master Yoda, “What will I find?” Yoda’s reply, “Only what you take with you.” In Luke goes and comes face to face with his darkest fear, only to discover that he is his own worst nightmare.

How like the dark one that is. How like Satan, to prey on our weakest point! He knows where we are vulnerable, remember?

So, sent out, I go. A temptation occurs, my first test. I heard the voice of Jesus in my heart, the call of my Shepherd, “Stop now, Scott. You are playing with fire and I cannot protect you if you go on without me.” I saw in my mind the stop signs and warning flares going up.

And, I walked right past Jesus. Standing there with His arms open wide, I brushed Him aside and dove intentionally into my temptation. How easily I ignore Him. As I thought of it later, I was devastated by how casually I spurned Him.

I took my failure to Him, weeping at my indiscretion, shamed at my failure. Wrapping me in His arms, He smiled at me and said, “You are already forgiven. What have you learned?” No yelling, no condemnation. Only mercy. Only love pouring from His open arms. “Stop beating yourself up. Everyone falls. Now get up and move on,” I heard His whisper in my heart.

This passage from John, this story is me. I am the adulterous woman, caught in sin. The accusers, Satan and the poison he tries to plant in my heart gather stones to beat me with. Yet, Jesus stands before my self-loathing, before Satan and all the other hypocrites who would accuse and says, “Forgive and let’s move on. You are not without sin either.”

Then, He reaches out His hand. Groveling in the dirt at His feet, I am overcome with my failure, my shame. Picking me up, dusting me off, He says, “I don’t accuse you. I love you. I forgive you.” Then, with love in His eyes, He speaks freedom into my heart. “Now get up, move on and sin no more.”

Here’s my point. You do not have to be defined by your failures. I don’t have to be defined by my failures. If we stay groveling in the dirt of our sin and failures, we play right into Satan’s hands and the stones fly. But, the Master calls us upward and forward to a new day, a new direction, singing a song of freedom…”Go your way and sin no more.”

Friday, May 28, 2010


“The Lord says, ‘Am I not storing up these things, sealing them away in my treasury? I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time, their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’”

- Deuteronomy 32:34-35

Have you ever felt assaulted, beaten down, drained? Life seems to just be too hard at times. Pain seems to be everywhere you turn. You open your eyes to a new day and the pain comes rushing in, the feeling of chaos and numbness just blasts you before you can even get out of bed.

Doesn’t it feel sometimes like there is something out there that is just against you, derailing your life? There are days when it seems as though someone is out to get you, to steal your life and your joy, right?

Those feelings are all true. There is something out to get you. There is someone who hates you with a hatred you cannot imagine. There is someone who wants to steal your life and kill your joy. You are under attack. We have an enemy. His name is Satan and he’s not alone. He’s coming after you and he’s bringing his little demonic friends with him.

I think it is very important that we recognize a couple of things here. First, we need to redefine our source of Life. Our only source of Life is God. Period. Without Him, there is no Life. Secondly, we need to recognize spiritual warfare for what it is. We live in a world at war. We have an enemy and he hates us.

I watched a movie again recently. I have seen this movie several times but this last time, Jesus showed up and said, “Let’s turn the dial here and look at this through another lens.” It changed my perspective on some things in the movie. The movie is named ‘Man on Fire’. The main character is a man named John Creasey, played by Denzel Washington. Creasey, as he’s called in the movie, is a haunted, broken man. He cannot get away from the pain, violence and shame of his life. So, he has done what many do. He surrenders his heart; he drowns his pain in booze and self-loathing. Until…

He is hired as a bodyguard for a wealthy family. His job is to protect their daughter, Lupita Ramos. Pita, as she is called in the movie, is played by Dakota Fanning. Pita is a precocious, vibrant little girl. Her innocence and child-like joy in life awakens Creasey’s heart. He crawls out of the dark and learns to love again. Then, tragedy strikes. Pita is kidnapped and presumed dead. Creasey is badly wounded during the abduction.

When he receives the news of what is believed to be Pita’s death, Creasey is crushed. His rage is palpable. He vows to have his vengeance. Through the course of the rest of the movie, Creasey takes that vengeance on those responsible for the abduction. He completely dismantles a criminal organization. With cold-blooded, brutal efficiency, he finds those responsible. He tortures and kills all who had a hand in what he believes is the death of the person who taught him to love again.

How like Jesus this is.

We too were innocent and vibrant once.


Before we were assaulted and our innocence and joy stolen. Violated, attacked, ravaged by the enemy, by pain and fear.

Jesus vow vengeance. Don’t believe me? Read Revelation 19:11-21. Our Warrior-King is coming to rescue us, to avenge our losses. He will have His vengeance on the enemy. Read that passage, look at the images. The passage speaks of His robe dipped in blood. It speaks of Him waging war with our enemy. And when that war is over, He will have His revenge. He will throw the leaders in the enemy camp alive into a burning lake of fire and kill the rest with the sword of His word coming from His mouth.

That, my friends, is vengeance.

Do you know that God is angry about what has happened to you? Do you know that He is angry for the pain caused by the enemy? Throughout the movie, Creasey is haunted by the sound of Pita screaming his name. God is listening, my friends. He too, I believe, is haunted by our cries of pain, weeps at the echo of us screaming His name. He is coming to take that pain away. It might not happen immediately. Pita was in captivity for several days but was rescued in the end. He will rescue you. Perhaps not now but one day, He is coming again.

In the latter part of the movie, Creasey’s friend Ray says this about Creasey, “Creasey’s art is death and he’s about to paint his masterpiece.”

Jesus is coming for you, my friends, to rescue your hearts. Jesus’ art is redemption and He is about to paint His masterpiece!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Choices Of Maturity

I am reading in Hebrews right now. In my study Bible, there is this little blurb on the page where chapter 5 is. I found this to be do true, I wanted to share it. So, enjoy.

"Mature Choices Vs. Immature Choices

Teaching others rather than just being taught

Developing depth of understanding rather than struggling with the basics

Self evaluation rather than self criticism

Seeking unity rather than promoting disunity

Desiring spiritual challenges rather than desiring entertainment

Careful study & observation rather than opinions and half hearted efforts

Active faith rather than cautious apathy and doubt

Confidence rather than fear

Feelings and experiences
evaluated in the light of God's Word rather than experiences evaluated
according to feelings

One way to evaluate spiritual maturity is by looking at the choices we make."

So...what do your choices say about you and your maturity? What do my choices say about me and my spiritual maturity? Yeah, kinda uncomfortable, isn't it?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Alone in the dark…
Silence pierced
by shrieking pain,
hissing hate.
Shredded by loathing,
torn by lies,
bound by chains,
crawling, screaming my rage.
Then, You came.
Light pierced,
strains of Love’s music
brought comfort, company,
Quiet shoutings, whispers
of Joy, Truth!
Awash in the Light
of Your smile,
chains crumble, walls shatter.
Weeping at Your embrace,
fingers of grace brush over my heart,
bringing Freedom,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


“This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.””

- Jeremiah 6:16

Ever get lost? You’re driving around or worse yet, you’re out hiking in a forested wilderness and you get turned around. To be lost in the woods is a terribly lonely feeling. It can be kind of a panicky feeling, if you let it. I’ve been lost. I’ve also discovered that I am one of the few men on the planet who don’t seem to have a problem admitting I’m lost and ask for directions.

I can remember when I was younger – before I met Jesus. I used to say I was looking for “the answers”. Whatever that means. Funny thing is, I don’t really think I was asking any questions. I think I was mostly running around shooting my mouth off about stuff I had no idea about. I really want to give Jesus a round of applause when I see Him face-to-face. He has really put up with a lot of crap out of me. I’d have struck me dead years ago. Anyways, answers…

I used to say all the time, ‘I don’t understand’, or ‘Why is this happening’ and so on. Then, I met Jesus. He became my friend. He showed me a book He wrote for me. A book with answers.

God keeps bringing me back to this verse in Jeremiah. Recently, I’ve been getting a really consistent message from Him of holiness, purity. So, this verse keeps coming back to me so I thought I should probably pay attention. So, I thought I’d dissect it a bit.

“Stand at the crossroads…” This is pretty straightforward, right? Whatever proverbial crossroads you are at currently, stop there. Just chill for a sec, relax. Stop all the running around and fussin’ and get still. “Be still and know that I am God!” Ring a bell? (Ps. 46:10) How can we hear Him speak if we won’t just stop and be still?

“…and look around.” Again, pretty simple. Pay attention is what I think He’s saying. People say to me, “God doesn’t speak to me.” Yes, He does. It’s just that we don’t pay attention. We don’t look around, we don’t listen. He may just speak through someone else, a song, a sunset, a moment with your family. He is everywhere. Look for Him.

“Ask for the old, godly way…” God hasn’t been around since before time began because He’s bored, you know. There is a reason, a purpose in everything He has said and done since before time began. Perhaps we should heed His word. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the old godly way is? He had it written down for you. It’s called the Bible.

“…and walk in it. Travel its path…” Have you seen the movie The Matrix? There is a line in that movie that perfectly illustrates this. Neo has been given a message from the oracle, a message he interprets one way. During a conversation with Morpheus, Neo says that the oracle told him he wasn’t “the one”, the savior they had hoped for. Morpheus says to Neo, “Neo, sooner or later, you’re going to have to realize just as I did there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” Wow.

A lot of truth there. See, there are a lot of people who have “knowledge”. But they don’t follow. They “know” the path on an intellectual basis. But it has not changed their course. The path, the way of Christ, is not to be known. It is to be traveled. Jesus didn’t say ‘be smart and well educated Christians’. No, He said, “Follow Me.” In other words, walk in it. Travel His path.

“…and you will find rest for your souls.” Isn’t this what we’re all looking for? Peace? Jesus uses these same words in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Here’s what I’ve found. As I’ve stopped at my crossroads, I have gotten still before Him. I am learning to listen and pay attention. He is teaching me, guiding me in His word and by His Spirit in the godly way. I am learning, and it is a process, but I am learning to walk in His path.

Sometimes slowly.
Sometimes I stop.
Sometimes I step backwards.
Sometimes I step off the path.

But, He is there. Beside me.


I’ve found that my “answers” don’t matter anymore. What matters is His presence. Ah…rest for my soul. Peace!

Would you care to take a walk?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Death of Lazarus

“The world, knowing how all our real investments are beyond the grave, might expect us to be less concerned than other people who go in for what is called Higher Thought and tell us that ‘death doesn’t matter’; but we ‘are not high-minded’, and we follow One who stood and wept at the grave of Lazarus – not, surely, because He was grieved that Mary and Martha wept, and sorrowed for their lack of faith (though some thus interpret) but because death, the punishment of sin, is even more horrible in His eyes than in ours. The nature which He had created as God, the nature which He had assumed as Man, lay there before Him in its ignominy; a foul smell, food for worms. Though He was to revive it a moment later, He wept at the shame…Of all men, we hope most of death; yet nothing will reconcile us to – well, its unnaturalness. We know that we were not made for it; we know how it crept into our destiny as an intruder; and we know Who has defeated it. Because our Lord is risen we know that on one level it is an enemy already disarmed; but because we know that the natural level also is God’s creation we cannot cease to fight against the death which mars it, as against all other blemishes upon it, against pain and poverty, barbarism and ignorance. Because we love something more than this world we love even this world better than those who know no other.”

C.S. Lewis
The Business of Heaven

Friday, May 7, 2010

The D Word

There is a word out there that, when you use it, people cringe. I’ve literally had people make a ‘pain face’ at me when I say it. And I don’t get it. I don’t understand why this concept is so difficult for people. It seems especially difficult for those who claim to follow Christ.


There, I said it.

The funny part is that some of you reading this actually mentally flinched when you read that word. Let’s be honest, we suck at instilling and keeping discipline in our lives. Among the many irons I have in the fire, I am a CrossFit trainer. It never ceases to amaze me when I speak to people about their physical well-being. They will freely admit that they need to be in better shape, need to lose weight, need to control their diet. Yet, when I begin to try and coach them on it, they say things like, “Oh yeah, that sounds hard. Sounds like a lot of work.” Or my personal favorite, “I don’t have time for all that.” That one makes me want to slap people.

But let’s not stop there. If we are to follow Christ, we must have discipline as well. Why do we run from the idea of spiritual discipline? Why do we find it so hard to deny ourselves what we know is wrong, detrimental to our relationship with Him? We don’t really want to deny ourselves something, right? It’s not that bad after all, we say. But then, when we get sloppy and lazy in our relationship with Jesus, things in our lives get sloppy and lazy. And then, we have the audacity to question Him about why our lives are so jacked up.

I love Jeremiah chapter two. Read that and you’ll see God’s frustration with His people. He’s like, “Dude, how many times do I have to tell you? You abandoned me, you don’t want to listen to me, not the other way around. I never left. You did.”

When did we lose the fear of God? When did we lose that sense of awe in the presence of the Creator? But I digress…

I’m reading in I Timothy right now and the idea of discipline keeps popping up. Paul is counseling and mentoring this young pastor Timothy. Paul uses a lot of chapter 4 to counsel Timothy on how to live out his faith. Starting in verse 7, “Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promises benefits in this life and the life to come.”

Training for godliness. What a concept.

I love how the Message phrases that passage, “Exercise daily in God – no spiritual flabbiness please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.” I love it…spiritual flabbiness. Are you spiritually flabby?

Paul goes on to tell Timothy in the latter part of verse 12, “…Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity.” And he closes out chapter 4 with this final encouragement, “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.”

“Keep a close watch on how you live…”

Discipline. Now, lest we trivialize this, I’m not talking about not cussing or smoking cigarettes. This is much deeper than that. Our lives should look so different from non-believers, our attitude so other-worldly, our love so bright that people stop and wonder at the presence of Something different in our lives. Jesus did say we are to be salt and light to the world, after all.

I know this is hard. But is it harder than living in slavery to our sin? It’s hard for me as well, at least in my own power it is. So, let’s not try to do it on our own. Let’s hitch our wagon to His star and just see where He takes us. We might just find that this is a lot easier if we allow Him to do the heavy lifting of changing our hearts.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

- Isaiah 6:8

I learned something this last weekend. I am active in a men’s ministry here where I live in Indiana. The Father has used this ministry to touch my heart and speak healing into my life so I love what these men do, the war we wage for the heart of men, for the Kingdom. So, I went to this retreat this last weekend as a small group leader. Now, my job as the ‘platoon leader’ is merely to facilitate, ask questions and draw out conversation. As I arrived, I spent some time talking to the Father. I said, “Lord, I just want to be with You. I don’t want to take your place in these men’s hearts. I just want to be a vessel. Use me as You will.”

So, the men arrive and the weekend kicks off. This is a powerful message we bring to these men. We bring a message of freedom in Christ, real life in Him, healing for wounds and what it means to be a son of God. To say that powerful things happen is seriously minimizing it. We know that He will be there, we just have to show up and listen to what He has to say. We have to accept His healing, His love and His direction. This is not always easy for men.

I want to tell you the story of James. He was a man in my platoon this last weekend. James is a few years older than me. James’ wife paid for him to come this last weekend because she could see that he needed his heart back. So, James came. Like a lot of the men who show up, they know they’re fine, they don’t have any wounds. It’s all good in their world, ya know? James told me later that, when he first met me, he didn’t like what he saw. He thought I was a punk with way too many tattoos and that I had nothing to say to him. James was right in one sense. I had nothing to say to him.

But Jesus had a couple of things to say to James.

I watched on Thursday and Friday as Jesus came crashing into the wall James had built around his heart. I watched as the love of Jesus took down that wall, brick by brick. James had a lot of darkness in his past, some deep deep wounds. James was chained to his past, a slave to guilt and shame. I could see that as clearly as I see the screen of my computer. I watched as James wept his sorrow. I also watched as James refused to talk about the deepest darkness in his heart. He couldn’t go there, he wouldn’t go there.

See, the deepest darkest corners of our hearts are often ugly. It is dark and cold there. It is painful to pull that out, put some light on it and face it. Satan has told us that our hearts are dark, we are nothing but filthy sinners who deserve to be in pain. What a lie!

Saturday night, James and I sat on the porch of our cabin and talked into the night. I was able to share a part of my story with him so that he would understand me a bit, where I was coming from, how dark my own heart had been, how wounded I had been. I wanted him to know that there is Freedom from the pain, there is Life for the taking. James looked right into my eyes and was able to speak some deep truths into my own heart. It was a good conversation. As we realized it was getting late, I stood up to go to bed. I heard His whisper in my heart, “Speak to your brother James of his pain. Tell him to lay it down.” So, I did. I said, “James, I know you don’t want to talk about some things in your past and I get that. But, one day, you must lay this down if you are to experience real peace. God has already forgiven you but you have to forgive yourself and let it go.”

The response was not what I expected. James literally emotionally imploded right before my eyes. He began to weep uncontrollably, sobbing and shaking. He could barely speak out of the pain in his heart but I could hear him saying, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this.” God showed up in that moment. We sat and talked some more and James confessed his pain, spoke of the burden he had carried for many, many years. I asked him, “James, do you want to be free from this? Do you want to be healed? He is here and He wants to heal you, to take this for you. You can’t carry this, let Him.” He looked at me with tears streaming down his face and said, “Yes, with all my heart, I want this.” I was honored to lay hands on him and lead him in a prayer of healing. I watched as God made a new man that night.

I have chills even now recounting the story. Never doubt the power of the moment you are in, my friends. Listen to the voice of God and He will speak. I witnessed the new birth of a man and it was awesome.

Sunday rolled around and we were wrapping up the retreat so we could return to our own individual battlefields. There was another man at the retreat who wanted to be baptized into a new life of freedom so down to the water we went. After he was baptized, Mike (our leader) looked into the crowd of us standing beside the pond and said, “I’m already wet. Who else?” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw James start taking his shoes and shirt off. As he walked to the edge of the pond, he was crying and said to Mike, “I am free. I want to be raised into new life.” Mike smiled at him and said, “Well, come on then.” Then, something happened that even now moves me to tears. James pointed at me standing in the front row and said, “I want you to do it.” Before I could even think, I realized I was taking my shoes off. I walked to the edge of the pond and James wrapped me up in a big hug. I have to admit, I had some tears in my eyes as well. Into the water we went. I don’t remember exactly what I said to James before Mike and I baptized him. There were words about slavery, freedom and healing. I don’t remember thinking about what I was saying, it just came out of somewhere inside me, from Someone inside me.

To describe that moment is impossible to do in words. This story is about James but it’s about me as well. When James came up out of the water, I felt something that I cannot describe. I felt not only James’ embrace but I felt the embrace of the Father on my heart. In the smile of James, God smiled at me and said, “Thanks for being available.”

Know this. Wherever you are, He wants to use you. He will use you, if only you will be available. And, if you’re not there but if you are like James, drowning in your pain and darkness, lay it down. Come back to the Light and He will set you free. There is no pain He cannot heal, no darkness He cannot bring light to. Lay it down at His feet. He will carry it for you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A prayer for today

I feel a need for you, Jesus. I am thirsty for a water that I cannot seem to find. Hungry for a food that I cannot yet taste.
My soul feels dry, Lord.
Desolate without You.
Come, Jesus, and be the Water that quenches the thirst I have for your touch. Feed me with Your sustenance and I will be filled. Rain down Your peace and bring new life to this desolate place in my heart.
I love you, Jesus.
I need You.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pick Me

Lord, why have you allowed us to turn from your path? Why have you given us stubborn hearts so we no longer fear you? Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people.

-Isaiah 63: 17, 19 (NLT)

I used to wonder why we are allowed so much freedom. Take the story of Adam and Eve for example. Why in the world did God allow them to sin? Better yet, why would He even make the friggin’ tree of knowledge? Ok, so He made the tree, not much we can do about that. But why wouldn’t He stop the serpent from tempting Adam and Eve? Seriously, am I the only one who wants to ask God ‘What were You thinking?’ So, thanks a lot God. Good job Adam. Way to go, Eve. Screw it up for the rest of us.

I have a lot of questions for God. I used to say that I was going to ask Him every last one of them when I got to heaven. Now, I think not so much maybe. I don’t think it’s going to matter then, do you? Life will be perfect then so who cares about my questions then.

But since I’m not currently in heaven, I wonder some things. Apparently, according to this passage, so did Isaiah. I love how real he is in this. ‘Lord, why did You let this happen?’ And, my favorite part of this, “Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you”. Ouch.

So, why do we do these things that cause pain to us, create distance between us and God? More importantly, why does He let us get away with it? Well, we do it because we are flawed, broken people who cannot seem to accept His love. Seriously, think about that. We cannot accept His overwhelming love for us.

It seems too good to be true. It just feels wrong, right?

Well, that’s because we’ve lost sight of something. We cannot fathom His forgiveness, His love because we don’t understand the nature of God. It boggles our little brains to think that He loves us that much because, somehow, we have not learned about Him. We don’t know Him.

Why does God allow us to turn away? Because He loves us. That sounds weird, I know. Parents will tell you they stop their kids from doing things out of concern for their safety, out of love. I get that. So, why doesn’t God stop us if He loves us so much? Because love allows choice. He lays it out there for you.

You have to choose right.
You have to choose holiness.
You have to choose love.
You have to choose Him.

I love the heart of God for His people in this passage. As you read further, you see God’s response to Isaiah. His response tells you a lot about Him. Chapter 65, verses one and two speak of His love.
“The Lord says,
I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.
But they follow their own evil paths
and their own crooked schemes.”

Picture that. God calling out to His people, with love in His eyes, ‘Pick me, pick me!’ Hear the desperation in His voice! He is desperately in love with a people who do not return His love. With open arms to our rebellion, He just wants to hold us. To take away the pain of our actions, the stain of our sin. To show us a better way, how to walk in communion with Him, in holiness.

Why would we choose any other way? We already know how dark that path is because most of us spend a lot of time in voluntary emptiness. Do you hear it, the call of the Savior?

‘Here I am, here I am! Pick Me!’

Saturday, April 17, 2010


If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
- Jesus (John 15:18-19)

I have recently had a change at work, an assignment change. Although I requested this reassignment for a lot of reasons, I discovered something. I was ill prepared for the emotions I was going to experience. I mean, totally not ready for it. I think the last time I felt this awkward was my first day on the job (that was a long time ago). I told one of the other guys on my shift that I felt like I had just parachuted on to Mars naked with nothing but a compass and a bag of jellybeans.

Change is awkward. Change is hard. I used to say, with a bit of pride, that I had no problem with change, that change is good. I got part of that right anyway. Some forms of change are good.

About a year or so ago, my life changed dramatically. Its not like things had not begun to be different; a shift was taking place in my life. But, in April of last year, my life radically changed.

I met Jesus.

Now, nothing is the same. When I met Him, I asked Him to change some things about me that I didn’t like. Oh, I acted like I liked them. I kept trying to tell myself that I was all cool and didn’t need anyone to run my life thank you very much. The truth is I was miserable. I hated myself and most of my behavior.

I think there’s a reason for our misery with ourselves. See, I think that we are not really alive, not really ourselves until we meet Him. Until He gets into our hearts. Then, we discover who we really are. So, I asked Him to show me who I really was. He called me ‘Son’ and ‘Friend’. He told me He loved me. He told me there was nothing I could do to change His love for me. I wasn’t ready for that either.

So I said, “Ok Jesus. If I’m really your friend and God’s son, like You, then show me how to be your friend. Show me how to be my Father’s son because I’m not real sure what that looks like.” He smiled at me and said, “Are you sure? I’ve wanted to give you this gift for a long time. So, if you’re serious, I’m in. This is going to take awhile and it’s going to hurt sometimes. But, just hold on to Me. Stay with Me.”

And so the adventure began. I told Him I wanted a new heart. He said, “How ‘bout I just give you your real heart back?” And He has begun to do just that; not only to show me my real heart, but to change my heart to be more like Him. I find myself with no desire for who I was, what I did. I find that He is loving and patient, kind, fierce, bold and gentle all at once.

As He has begun this heart “surgery”, I find that I feel like I don’t belong anymore. Those “places” I used to go, I no longer desire. Wait, that’s not entirely accurate. Rather, He has changed me to feel even more alive, more human, to feel that I finally truly belong.

I was having a conversation with a dear brother recently and I described some of this feeling of not belonging, this new reality which has become mine. He said, “You’re like a Martian who’s been dropped off on Earth.” How perfect.

So, earthling, do you want to be really alive and fully human like the other ‘Martians’? If so, I have a guy I want you to meet.

His name is Jesus.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


What else can I do
but follow you?
What else can I do
but run after you?
At times, your Spirit is
as a leaf, fluttering,
floating on an unseen breeze.
Following, falling,
feeling your hand,
your Heart.
Pushing into me, you speak
words of Love.
Hard and steep the way of Love.
Soft and gentle,
fierce and passionate
the arms of your embrace.
How you love moves me,
shakes my soul,
crumbling in your arms.
What else can I do
but follow, run after You?
Maddening, it seems.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Getting out of the way

I have a group of my fellow officers that meet in my home on Sunday nights to discuss the Word, talk about our lives together, pray with one another and reflect on His goodness. It’s been a little hit and miss lately. There have been some scheduling snafus and other things and we haven’t been able to meet as much recently. Right now, we are doing a study on the book of Luke. The study is written by Max Lucado.

So, we were to meet tonight. I knew there weren’t going to be a lot of guys show up, as we’re not a big group anyway and some guys had already told me they weren’t coming due to family obligations. But, hey, who am I to begrudge them that, right? I’m flexible. It’s not like I have anyone to worry about spending time with.

I love these guys. We’re all police officers. This job is tough enough and it’s been really wonderful to see a few guys who love Jesus as much as I do and seek His face as much as I do. We have some really great conversations and love the challenge of living out His truth in the environment in which we work. For the record, that’s not easy. Not that it’s easy anywhere but it’s tough in law enforcement.

Lots of peer pressure to deal with.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that cops are bad people or any more immoral than anyone else. But there is a certain stigma that all of us who wear a badge have to deal with. That stigma is tough to live with for those of us who actually attempt to live a life of integrity, honor and faith. I’ve had to listen to all the “you know how cops are” for a long time now and, quite frankly, I’m tired of hearing it.

But, I digress.

So, tonight the guys were coming over. So, 6:30 rolls around and one dude shows up. My immediate reaction was to be disappointed. I’m not upset that people don’t show up to listen to me, cause I’m not sure I have a lot valuable to say anyway. I was disappointed because I need this time with other men. They need this time with other like-minded men. Without it, we are weak. Without the support of like-minded Jesus followers, we are cut off from the herd, we are easy pickings for Satan and his little punk minions that do his bidding.

In fact, let me just go off on a tangent here for a minute. You cannot stand alone. I cannot stand alone. Life was never meant to be lived alone. If we were meant to be the rough and tough, do it on our own types, why did God make Eve? It’s not like God needed Eve to create other people, for procreation. He could have made as many people as he wanted from more dirt or twigs or whatever. No, He made Eve because Adam needed someone. It was not good for Adam to live alone; He needed a helper, companionship. He needed to do life with someone else. So, just when you feel all cool and stuff, be careful. You cannot do life alone. Alone is exactly where Satan wants you.

Sorry, focus…

Back to this evening. So, my buddy that showed up and I were just kind of chillin’ and chattin’, waiting to see if anyone else was going to show up. Talking about CrossFit, because he’s part of that “good cult” too. As the conversation went on, I could feel that something was going on here. I could hear His voice in my heart saying, “Hey stupid, stop talking about your clean and jerk. This man needs to be ministered to.” So, I began to listen to what he and He had to say. As the conversation ensued, he began to talk about some recent difficulties in his relationship with his wife, past issues, things left unhealed.

And I heard myself talking, heard my voice but it wasn’t me talking. Not really anyway. We began to talk about healing, our fathers, how we have failed at past relationships, a lot of unresolved stuff. But we kept coming back to the idea of healing and then, Jesus showed up.


I began to talk to my friend about the night Jesus finally healed over the last of the hurt between my dad and me. As I described the beauty and power of that moment, I saw tears in my friend’s eyes. I saw Jesus touching his heart. And I was overwhelmed.

See, the point of tonight was my buddy. Jesus knew a long time ago that my buddy was going to show up at my house tonight and take his first step toward healing some past hurts, wounds that have held him down for too long. The point of tonight was for Him to show me that it doesn’t matter what my plans are, I just have to get out of the way and let Him do His thing.

Don’t ignore those moments. There are times when He speaks, when He shows up. Don’t ignore it. I promise you this; if you will listen, He will speak. When He speaks, act on what He has said to you. You will be amazed at what you learn and how much easier it becomes to hear the voice of God, calling you forward into His adventure.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hi, my name is Peter

About three years or so ago, I began my own Easter tradition. On every Easter day now, I watch Mel Gibson’s movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’. Now, I know that Mel Gibson seems to be a bit of a nut but that movie is, to me, an excellent telling of Jesus’ final hours as a human. Every time I watch it, I get something else out of it, something new and fresh. This time around was no different.

This time, I was Peter. I literally was sitting there, seeing my face on Peter’s body. Hearing my voice speaking Peter’s words. Peter reminds me so much of myself, which is probably why I love him so much and why his story rings true in my heart. So, I want to talk about Peter for a bit. I think you will see, as I did, some similarities.

Peter was, by far, the biggest loud mouth of all the disciples. At least according to biblical accounts, Peter seems to be discussed more than anyone else. John gets talked about a lot as well but Peter seems to have taken up the lion’s share of Jesus’ time. This is obvious for several reasons. Peter was clearly the leader of the band, so to speak. He was the mouthpiece for the disciples and the most dominant personality in the bunch.

What I love about Peter is his humanity. This is a dude that I get because he wore his heart on his sleeve and didn’t seem to be afraid to shoot his mouth off. He jumped before looking most of the time. I mean, look at what he did on the Sea of Galilee, jumping out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. That, in most of our estimations, is reckless. Another time, after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter recognized him, stripped down basically naked and jumped into the water and swam ashore. He was so excited, he didn’t even wait for the boat to get there.

Peter was the one who swore that he would follow Jesus, no matter what. To prison, even to death if necessary. When Peter said that is when Jesus hit him with the big one. “Peter, I love you man but you run your mouth too much. Before the sun rises tomorrow, you’re going to swear you don’t know me at least three times.” (Scott’s version of Jesus’ words)

Later that night, Peter was swinging a sword, trying to cut Malchus’ head off, defending the Master. I’m like Peter there, give me something to do. Give me a sword, give me somebody to smack, give me a mission. Peter was so eager with a sword in his hand. Aren’t we all?

Then, came the scene that hit me right between the running lights. Jesus has been “tried” before Caiphas. Have you seen the movie? The guards and people in the crowd are putting a beating on Jesus. Peter is struggling through the crowd and people are grabbing him, saying ‘Hey, I know you. You’re one of them.’ Peter, afraid for himself, denies Jesus. Three times. And the moment that wrecked Peter…Jesus looks right into Peter’s eyes.

Peter is undone. Weeping, he staggers away, only to come face to face with Mary, Jesus’ mother. She reaches to console him and he says something that even now rings in my ears. I heard my own voice say it.

“I am unworthy.”

I wept watching this, feeling it, being it. I am Peter. I have told Him I would follow, no matter what. I have told Him that I love Him. I’ve been in there swinging the sword for Him. And I have run away when it came time to claim Him. I have denied Him, not by word but by action. I have failed to act in His name when I should have. I have denied Him by not speaking out against some things, by not speaking out for some things. I have denied Him by not living out His love at times in my life. Haven’t we all?

Here’s the good news, though. Peter’s story doesn’t end there. When Jesus was raised and saw Peter again, did He get angry, did He chastise Peter? No, He loved Peter and gave Peter a new mission; “Feed my sheep.” Peter went on to become, as we know, one of, if not the greatest, leaders of the early church. And Peter did follow the Master in death. Peter was crucified for his refusal to deny Jesus.

My story doesn’t end with denial and failure either. Neither does yours. You have the love, mercy and forgiveness of a Savior that, above all else, loves you. He has forgiven us for our denial, our lack of courage, our failures. He has restored us, He has given us a new heart, a new mission:

To love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
And to love one another as He has loved us.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lest we forget

Who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected –
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weakness he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.
But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

- Isaiah 53

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The point

Phillip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Phillip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.”

-John 14:8-10 (NLT)

I was having a conversation with someone recently and something was said that just completely floored me. We were discussing the difference between religion and faith, between “organized” religion and relationship. I made the statement that there was a vast difference between religion and a relationship with Jesus. This person said, “What’s Jesus got to do with it?”

I’m not sure I could have been more stunned. This person claims to be a Christian. Well, they claim it and they attend a “Christian” church. I probably had some weird look on my face cause they just kinda stopped and said, “What, what did I say?” My response was probably a bit sharp, cause I tend to have a bit of a sharp tongue. I just looked at them, aghast, and said, “What do you mean by ‘what does Jesus have to do with it? Jesus is IT! Are you stoned?”

Maybe it was the ‘are you stoned’ question that made them angry, I’m not sure.

That’s when all this thought process began, so bear with me here. Two thousand years or so ago, the Jews were slaves to an oppressive set of rules and regulations. They were slaves to religion. Then, this man Jesus shows up. He immediately started pissing people off. Seriously, His first sermon almost got Him killed. (Luke 4) The Pharisees, religious elite and other leaders of the people really hated Jesus. They hated Him so much they eventually had Him killed.

I fear that, two thousand years later, we are no better. We have allowed ourselves, in many ways, to become slaves again. We are slaves to our religion, our “churches”, and these edifices we’ve built that we call the church. We have cut Jesus out of the equation again. Seriously, think about it. I know I’m not going to be popular after saying some of this but it’s the truth. We’ve cut Jesus out. Without Him, we are the Pharisees stuck in an enslaving religion. We’ve been stuck in religion so long, we’ve forgotten the Man that this is all about.

Don’t get me wrong, I know why people don’t want to believe in Jesus. Believing in some mystical “God” out there somewhere is way easier. That “God” is not really a person, or so some say. But, Jesus is and was a real person. Believing in Him means you have to follow Him. Believing in Him means you have to change, or more appropriately, allow Him to change you. Belief demands action. Change is scary and action sometimes demands sacrifice.

I get that.

Where I think many people get off base is that they have a misconception of who Jesus is. Let me tell you who Jesus is not. Jesus is not the guy out blowing up abortion clinics. Jesus is not the guy spewing hatred for those different and trying to use scripture to back it up. Jesus is not walking around in a two thousand dollar suit while some of his people starve to death. Jesus is not getting on TV and telling people that you’re not a Christian if you voted for Obama. Jesus never hated anyone, even the people that killed Him.

So, if you don’t know Him, allow me to introduce you. Jesus is the Word of God, who existed before time began. Jesus is the guy who knew you before you were born and decided right then and there to love you, no matter what you do. Jesus is the single most controversial figure in the history of humanity because He dared to love everyone, just because He is love. Jesus is the Friend walking beside you on your darkest day, holding you in your darkest hour, celebrating with you at life’s joys. Jesus is the guy standing there smiling at you when you give a nickel to the homeless guy on the corner who’s begging for money. Jesus is the beginning and the end, the answer to all of life’s questions.

Jesus is the Son of God, the King of all. And He loves you. THAT is the point of it all.

Do you know that Man?

Monday, March 29, 2010

The name that makes people squirm

As the time for Easter celebration draws near, I find myself thinking more and more about Jesus. I suppose this is natural during this time of year and yet, when I talk to other people, I guess it’s not natural for some. I’m not really sure how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus got translated into rabbits and eggs but then again, I don’t understand a lot of things.

The more I dwell on this and the more I get to know Jesus, the more things change for me. I spent awhile praying yesterday and found myself in the middle of a love fest. A Jesus love fest. It was like an hour spent in the arms of the love of your life, only better. It was like an hour spent in the most beautiful spot in the galaxy, surrounded by exquisite beauty that takes your breath away and brings tears to your eyes, only better. I found myself in the presence of the Love of my life, both in the now and forever.

Jesus has changed my life so dramatically, that I found myself unable to express to Him how appreciative I am and how much I love Him. Words to Him can’t express it, tears seems shallow. For those who knew me or have known me for a long time and those who know me now, I believe you will agree. Meeting Jesus has completely changed my life. Don’t get me wrong, I was a “believer” long ago. I signed my ‘get out of hell free’ card at a young age. But, Jesus wasn’t real to me, He didn’t reveal Himself to me as my friend until relatively recently. My dad put it well last night when he said, “You believed but didn’t walk with Him.”

That was perfectly put. What I have discovered is a walk, a journey through this thing we call life with a real Friend, a true Lover, a Brother and Father, a Savior and Redeemer, a King. That He would love me and want to walk with me was something I wasn’t really ready for. Nor do I think many are. We find it such a foreign concept that, not only does He love us, but He wants us. He desires to walk with me, with you. He desires you.

Imagine that.

Seriously, stop what you’re doing and dwell on that for a few minutes and let it sink in really good. The Creator of all that is loves you and wants to walk through your life with you. He cares about the little things of your life. He cares so much that He sent His Son, the perfect human incarnation of Himself to this crappy place to live, die and come back from the dead.

For me.

For you.

Now that you’ve thought about that for a minute, riddle me this. Why are people so uncomfortable with the idea of this Man? Why do we fight against this Jesus? The only being ever who will always love you, no matter what, just wants you to choose Him, to follow, to love Him back. Why does that make people so uncomfortable? Why does it make those who call themselves believers so uncomfortable, this name of Jesus?!

Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this. He said He would divide families, He said He would bring a sword rather than peace. He told us people were going to hate us, revile us, treat us differently. He knew this because everybody seemed to hate Him so much. Why????

All He wanted to do was show them the way to the Father. All He wants to do is love us and show us a way of living that honors our Creator. Why do we shun that, why are we so angry about it, why would we reject that? Here’s what I really don’t get about God. He knew that His offer of salvation, His offering of love to the world that He created was going to be rejected, killed, mocked, shunned.

By His own people.

And we are still rejecting Him, still killing His spirit in our lives, still mocking His call to service, love, humility and holiness, still shunning His call to our hearts. Why? Two thousand years ago, the Jews and Romans crucified the only Man who loved them even while they were killing Him. Today, we are still crucifying His love every time we reject His call on our hearts.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Words from one of the greatest Christian thinkers...

Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it: the old Christian rule is, ‘Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.’ Now this is so difficult and contrary to our instincts, that obviously either Christianity is wrong or our sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone wrong. One or the other. Of course, being a Christian, I think it is the instinct which has gone wrong.
But I have other reasons for thinking so. The biological purpose of sex is children, just as the biological purpose of eating is to repair the body. Now if we eat whenever we feel inclined and just as much as we want, it is quite true that most of us will eat too much: but not terrifically too much. One man may eat enough for two, but he does not eat enough for ten. The appetite goes a little beyond its biological purpose, but not enormously. But if a healthy young man indulged his sexual appetite whenever he felt inclined, and if each act produced a baby, then in ten years he might easily populate a small village. This appetite is in ludicrous and preposterous excess of its function.
Or take it another way. You can get a large audience together for a striptease act – that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let everyone see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?
They tell you sex has become a mess because it was hushed up. But for the last twenty years it has not been hushed up. It has been chattered about all day long. Yet it is still in a mess. If hushing up had been the cause of the trouble, ventilation would have set it right. But it has not. I think it is the other way round. I think the human race originally hushed it up because it had become such a mess. Modern people are always saying, ‘Sex in nothing to be ashamed of.’ They may mean two things. They may mean ‘There is nothing to be ashamed of in the fact that the human race reproduces itself in a certain way, nor in the fact that it gives pleasure.’ If they mean that, they are right. Christianity says the same. It is not the thing, nor the pleasure, that is the trouble. The old Christian teachers said that if man had never fallen, sexual pleasure, instead of being less than it is now, would actually have been greater. I know some muddle-headed Christians have talked as if Christianity thought that sex, or the body, or pleasure, were bad in themselves. But they were wrong. Christianity is almost the only one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body - which believes that matter is good, that God Himself once took on a human body, that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty, and our energy. Christianity has glorified marriage more than any other religion: and nearly all the greatest love poetry in world has been produced by Christians. If anyone says that sex, in itself, is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once. But, of course, when people say, ‘Sex in nothing to be ashamed of’, they mean ‘the state into which the sexual instinct has not got is nothing to be ashamed of’…
I think it is everything to be ashamed of. There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives…There are people who want to keep our sex instinct inflamed in order to make money out of us. Because, of course, a man with an obsession is a man who has very little sales resistance.

- C.S. Lewis, The Business of Heaven

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Face to face

Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked.

John 18: 37- 38(a), NLT

I’m a little different than a lot of people. Go ahead, laugh now and get it out of your system. What I mean by that is, I find myself looking at things a little differently than some people. I meet with several different groups of men to study the Word, do life and hang out together. One of the groups meets on Tuesday nights. Right now, we are in the process of finishing the gospel of John. This week, we read most of chapters 18 and 19; Jesus’ arrest, trial before Caiphas and Pilate, beating and crucifixion. The trial, if that’s what you call it, was of course a mockery. So, we’re all talking about this and the focus of most of the conversation was on Jesus. Rightly so, I might add.

But, as I said, my mind works a little differently than some and I became fascinated by the exchange between Jesus and Pilate. If you read the passage, it appears that most of their conversation occurred in private. Just the two of them. So, all the other guys were talking about this and I began to wonder how Pilate felt. I began to wonder what emotions he experienced while talking with Jesus and afterward, when Jesus was crucified.

Here’s why I say this. Pilate came face to face with Jesus, inches from God in the flesh. Do you think he felt that? The presence of something different, Someone unlike anyone he had ever known? I mean, Pilate had probably sentenced a lot of people to die, had a lot of people beg for mercy, curse at him, weep at his feet. But, Pilate had to be thinking that this dude was different.

Imagine what Pilate felt, what he experienced. He looked right into the face of Jesus. I wonder what he saw in Jesus’ face, His eyes. Pilate looked right into the face of God and froze, incapable of action, unable to believe in the moment of truth.

So what about us? There are times when we come face to face with God. Jesus meets us where we are. We’re cruising along with our lives, we round a corner and there He is.

Inches from us.

Face to face.

What do we say when we look into the eyes of our Savior, when we see His love pouring from His wounds? What do we do now? Do we freeze and refuse to act, like Pilate? See, I identify with Pilate. I am Pilate at times, standing there looking into the face of Truth, asking stupid questions like, ‘What is truth?’

I believe that Pilate walked away from this encounter with Jesus and was crushed by what he saw. Haunted by the pain and love he saw in Jesus’ eyes. Why do I say that?

Because you cannot come into the presence of Jesus, look in His eyes and be unchanged.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I used to wonder if Jesus was married. I brought it up in a conversation with my dad one day and it was like I farted at somebody’s funeral. The idea of Jesus being married seemed to be kind of offensive to him. I’m not real sure why. I don’t know if Jesus was married or not and, frankly, I’m not sure if I care one way or the other.

I guess I wanted to know because I think I just needed to get in touch with His humanity, to see Him get pissed off at somebody like I do at my brother or the loud cell phone talker in the line at Starbucks or that dude in the truck who cut me off in traffic. I’m not trying to be sacrilegious or make light of anything, I’m just sort of talking out loud here.

I mean, if Jesus was fully human, then He had to worry about stuff like a job or his neighbor’s dog barking in the middle of the night and paying bills and stuff like that, right? Every day stuff. I know Jesus was and is God. What I think is cool is that He also came to us as fully human. Makes me feel a little better about being human with all my screw ups and mistakes and screaming at people in traffic. Then, I read in the Bible where it says He was perfect too and I thought, ‘Whoops, there goes my excuse.’

Seriously though, isn’t it cool to know that God himself took time out of His busy schedule to become fully human and save us? He didn’t have to do that. Then, just to show it could be done, He was perfect. He never sinned. I know a lot of people who say, “Yeah but He’s God.” Gee, I never thought of that. Well, yes He is God. But Jesus was also fully human. So, he got hungry and tired and impatient and angry, right? At least He didn’t have to deal with rush hour traffic. Or those annoying kids at the grocery store that won’t stop screaming for gummy bears and you just want to smack em upside the head. Or smack their parents.

I find a lot of comfort in the fact that Jesus is human. That means He gets it. He knows what it’s like to be us. To be cold, hungry, have a pot belly, go to family dinners, wake up in the middle of the night to pee and have trouble going back to sleep. I love it that He’s human because I can connect with a guy who gets me.

Jesus gets us.

He understands.

And He loves us anyway.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Walk

“Abide in Me.”

I hear the call of Your voice in my heart. ‘Take me there, Lord. Show me what it means to abide. Show me what it means to be where You are.’

“Walk with Me,” I hear Your voice from up ahead.

…A foggy morning. A clearing, small and intimate it seems. Seated at a small fire at the edge of the wood, You are there. Smiling in the gloom of the pre-dawn hush, the flickering of the fire draws stark relief on Your face, etching it in sharp lines. A quiver runs through me. Anticipation. Fear.

“What are we doing here, Lord?” The question hangs in the air, shattering the silence in sharp tones, shrill it feels. You look at me over the orange-red of the fire, piercing me with the love in Your eyes, the strength of Your passion, the purity of Your fire. And then, a smile as the words seem to tumble from somewhere deep inside You, all around me. Your voice as clear as trumpets, soft as the dawn. “Walk with Me.”

Your robe whispers as You stand. Your hand reaches for mine, pulling me to my feet. Walking into the wood, I longingly look back at the warmth of the fire fading in the fog. With a start, I realize You are nowhere in sight and I don’t know where I’m going. Panic jumps into my throat, thickening it. From the fog ahead, Your voice on the path. “Stay close to Me. Stay with Me, don’t wander.” Rushing ahead, I find You mere feet ahead, waiting. A soft chuckle rolls from Your smile. “You don’t have to run. I won’t leave You. But, stay close.”

The climb feels long, taxing. I find myself gasping for air in the thick morning, the low air. Scrambling, it feels, to keep up. No sound, save our footfalls and my breathing. The trees seem to press in close at times, grasping it seems, and I want to cry out to You not to move fast, to wait, to speak to me, say something. Your silence is deafening. I can hear the birds as we climb, singing, warbling their song in the trees. All around me I feel, sense the moving vibrance of the wood, creation.

Stumbling, I look up in frustration. “What are we doing here, Lord?” I cringe as I hear my voice echo but I can’t stop now. “Why won’t you tell me…”my voice dies in my throat as I realize; we have broken free of the fog and the wood.

Standing on a steep mountain path, the world opens up around me. The wind is sharp, cold. The air is crystal clear. The silence is so deep it feels as though it might crack. Looking down, I see what I thought was the choking, close wood. What I see takes my breath. Tears begin to slide down my cheeks, dripping from my chin as I am overcome by the majesty and aching beauty around me. A lake sits below me, wrapped in trees. Glistening in the sun, the water is absolutely clear; like glass, I can see through it to the rocky bottom of the lake.

Then, I feel Your hand on my shoulder. Its warmth presses into me. I can feel You near, hear You breathing with the exertion of the climb. I turn to look at Your face, glowing with Your smile. Weeping and laughing simultaneously at the beauty around me, at Your touch, I am swept into a silence of awe. And then, I see the smile creeping at the corners of Your mouth, growing into a huge, luminous smile. Throwing Your head back, You laugh in utter abandon until tears begin to roll down Your cheeks. Wrapping me in Your arms, You speak.

“See? Just walk with Me.”