Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Ever reminisce? Ever think back on “the way things used to be” and say, “Man, I wish I could go back to that.”? It could be anything. High school (really, who wants to go back to that?), before you “got old”, had kids, whatever. Funny how we spend so much time looking back that we usually stumble over what’s right in front of us. I do anyway.

So recently, “life” has been rough in a way for me. Somewhere along the journey of my life, I became bitter and I really struggle with that even today. I’ve found that bitterness and anger just taste bad but it’s like that ridiculously sour pickle that you just can’t stop eating even if it causes you to make that stupid face. You know what I’m talking about? (Oh and you parents that do that to your kid and get a laugh out of the faces they make oughta be ashamed of yourselves…just sayin’)

So, back to it. A couple of years ago, I got woken up to what was really going on in this place we call the world. The eyes of my heart and soul were opened to some very stark realities. There is an enemy out there and he hates me and wants to destroy me. And you. I am, of course, talking about Satan. So when I was woken up to this fact, it was a little shocking I must admit. I mean, I was raised in the church so it wasn’t like I didn’t know the Bible. I just didn’t take some stuff in there very seriously apparently. Like the part where Peter says for us to be aware that our enemy “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

So along comes Jesus and sets my heart free. He shows me what real life is like and helps me begin to get rid of all that crap that was weighing me down. He takes me into my wounds, all those scars I carry and begins to heal me with Love and Mercy. And some of that hurt…and still hurts, ‘cause the healing isn’t finished. He also told me this was going to get a little nasty but what He didn’t tell me was that, with His help, I had just painted a target on my chest for that little punk Satan and his band of trouble-makers.

Boom! Along comes attack after attack…lust, anger, bitterness (my old friend), relationships falling apart…and the list could go on. (And I sometimes suck at fighting these) Jesus didn’t warn me about that. Or did He? Didn’t He say something about that to His disciples, warning them that the world would hate them because they hated Him first? (That goes back to the whole not taking the Bible seriously) And it’s not just the world. The world only does what Satan tells it to do, only makes the choices it chooses to make.

Fine. Apparently I was warned.

But really? I suppose I should have listened to my brothers in Christ who warned me, heeded the words of Jesus. After all, why would Paul tell us in Ephesians to “put on the armour of God” if we weren’t going to be in a fight? So I should have listened ‘cause here’s the thing: I’ve discovered that we don’t get to just be neutral observers (sorry Switzerland). We have to pick sides here. Either you are with Jesus or you are not. If you’re not, then Satan probably won’t spend a lot of time on you. You’ve made your choice. If you’re with Jesus, you are going to get blasted. Get ready; it’s coming in some form or another.

Ever reminisce and wish it was “the way it used to be”? Ever hear that old saying, “Ignorance is bliss”? I must beg to differ. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is willful blindness. Don’t be willfully blind. You know there is something else out there other than your own little bubble, you just don’t want to admit it. Hey, I’m not crazy about having a target on my chest either but I’ve made my choice so I guess I better strap it on and get ready for a fight.

My choice is Jesus.

What’s yours?

Monday, April 11, 2011


I wonder if you know the desert. I wonder if you know the dry times when the soul feels cracked, parched, barren. I know those times. I have learned that to walk with Jesus means that sometimes I will be lead into the wilderness. Those wilderness times, desert times are times of purification. The problem is I tend to gripe at my Savior rather than listen and learn. After all, who wants to be hot, sun-burned and thirsty when the Giver of Life-Giving Water is standing beside you? Who wants to stand in the hot, sandy desolation of silence when the Author of Peace holds your hand?
Recently I have been in the desert. My time with Him has seemed dry and fractured, leaving me grasping at Him, whining at times. “Lord please, speak to me. What do you have to say to me today? Why can’t I feel You?”

You know, questions like that.

I don’t think it is the questioning He minds. I think it is the attitude with which we question. Why does He owe me anything in the desert? After all, isn’t He there with me? What more do I need?

Today, I went to church. The worship band at the church I’ve been attending is a scruffy-looking bunch of dudes with long hair, scruffy facial hair (except the lead guy who has an epic beard) and tattoos. Needless to say, I like ‘em. I dig ‘em. My kinda people right there. But those dudes clearly love Jesus and love to worship. So, we’re listening to some rowdy worship music played really loud and it happened.

He spoke.

He spoke to my heart at first without a word. I felt His embrace, those mighty arms around me; holding me close to whisper in my ear, “Is this what you had in mind? You just need Me and My Love. Let the rest of it go.” And His love poured over me like rain. And my heart soaked up the rain of His Love like the thirsty, dry place it was.

Oh how He renews our hearts in times of need!

Look around you. He is there, pouring His love like rain into your heart. Only trust Him when the quiet times come. He is with me, with you.