Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Parent's Love

Stop and look at that photo for just a moment. What are some emotions that go through you? What thoughts do you think?

Sadness. Joy. Relief. Love. All of these feelings flooded through me when I first saw that picture. This is a woman who has spent seven months in Iraq, coming home to her daughter. It's powerful, it's moving. It's one of those photo's that can change the world. It conveys real, honest, raw emotion.

We live our lives behind veils and masks, attempting to mislead others to our true thoughts and emotions. We mask our own pain and hurts from those around us. But there are rare moments, just like this one, where they are transmitted uncensored for the entire world to view. It appeals to everything that is real within us, everything that screams out to be let loose.

A parent's love. All caught up in a single photo.

How much more does our Father in heaven love us? What kind of message does that speak to us about how much He wants everyone to come to know Him? Do we feel this same emotion when someone comes to know Christ?

Because you know that God hurts for the lost even more than that woman longed to see her child. He loves us that much.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Sometimes you have to wonder what is really going through the minds of the people around you. Are they serious? Do they think the same way you do? Are they really as free and happy as they like to let on, or is nothing more than a facade?

It is moments like this that I stop to remind myself that I am not alone. No matter how much I feel like it is me against the world, it does not have to be that way. I choose that path, no one makes me take it. It is a lie. When I am in a room of people, feeling entirely alone, that is really my own insecurities stopping me from reaching out to those around me.

Take a risk, take that leap off the cliff face to say hello to someone you don't know. It is irrelevant how good looking they are, what kind of clothes they have on, how many piercings adorn their face, or what style their hair is. What matters is that they are a human being, not so unlike you, and most likely thinking and feeling the same way.

"What does that mean?", you might be wondering. It means that no matter how many times your inner voice tells you that you are unique, that you are the only one who is feeling this way, and that everyone who looks at you is doing so with scorn, it's lying. That is your voice of insecurity shouting into your ear. It knows your fears, your weaknesses, and it will exploit it with vengeance.

Don't buy into it. Dig a little bit deeper, below those layers that have grown over because the path has not been used in years. Slice through your own inhibitions and find the other voices that have been smothered by your comforts and luxuries. The ones that tell you to take a risk, jump off the deep-end and live your life like you've always wanted to. Free, careless, joyful, and accepting of others.

That is a very real possibility. The only thing standing in your way is you. Your fears, your hates. It is time to pay them back. Smother them in turn, and seal those tunnels shut, marking them for demolition. You don't ever have to go back to that dark place.

Come into the light, and begin to live once more. You won't regret it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Trust? Trust!

I believe in you. I'd give up everything just to find you. I'd leave the ninety-nine to find that one. I would give my life, and my only son so that I could be in a relationship with you.

I don't know if you have noticed, but we have bred a culture of mistrust. The Army of One. A society where each other person is really only out to get you, and no matter how genuine they may seem, it's really just them attempting to extract something from you. Eventually it will come to the surface.

My conversations recently seem to be orbiting around this topic. Every person has their own story, but it always ends in the same statement, "I don't know why, I just can't!" Can't trust, won't trust, afraid of being hurt. Is this really what we were meant to be?

Adam needed a partner. He was alone, and this was not good in the sight of God. The first time in the Bible that God said something was not good. That's pretty significant. Can you imagine if Adam's first thought was, "I wonder when she's going to hurt me?" I bet he would have been heading in the opposite direction from Eve that that moment.

Jesus rebukes he disciples firmly, because they were turning away the little children. The disciples foolishly thought that Jesus didn't have time for these little tykes. Yet he calls the little kids around him, and blesses each of them. Then (are you paying attention?) he turns to the crowd, and says that the kingdom of heaven belongs to little ones like these! That must have been such a shock to those listening... "I have to be a little child?" they may have asked.

But I believe that just one aspect Jesus was touching upon here was their innocence. They wanted to come before Jesus. Have you ever watched little children play? They have their nasty sides at time, but they generally are trusting. They trust authority, they trust each other, and are good natured.

Who was the last person you trusted? Did they hurt you? Are you willing to trust again?

I guarantee you that if you want no one to hurt you again, no one will. You can lock the world outside, and have no contact with them, never let them close enough to hurt. But you'll be lonely.

You can live in community, and risk loving and hurting, or you can live alone. Absolutely alone.

Start today. Trust someone, put yourself out on a limb, and you may just be surprised to make a new friend who is not so different from yourself; afraid to trust.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tired of my Tears

Ray Charles

Girl, you better go back in your mind
Try and find yourself a brand new life
I love you but you're toying with me
So if you can't change, go on, let me be

Well, I'm sick of your lies (sick of your lies)
Tired of my tears (tired of my tears)
Girl, if you want me, better tell it like it is

Oh, when a boy meets a Girl he likes
He starts to dream
Before he know it, he's caught right in her scheme
I used to believe every word you say
But realize now, that was yesterday

I'm sick of your lies (sick of your lies)
Tired of my tears (tired of my tears)
Girl, if you want me, tell it like it is

When I'm with you, I lose control
That's why I'm offering you my heart and soul
You better take it now 'cause when it's gone
I won't even answer my telephone

Monday, September 10, 2007


Have you ever wished you could have peered into Jesus' head and see what all goes on in there? The day to day thoughts, like what he must have thought when he was hungry, and the group's change purse was running a little low. Did Jesus worry about these little things? Would he have gotten to his knees in true worry about whether he was going to eat, or would it have been in complete and total trust, without even a little bit of worry?

I wonder if Jesus ever stopped to do a little navel gazing. We see at the Garden of Gethsemane that there were torn feelings that were ruled by an overarching sense of trust in the Father, but how often did these moments happen? Did he weep before God about the disciples? About the Pharisees? About himself?

I wonder these things.

Undoubtedly, however, it raises an interesting practice that we so often neglect in our own lives. The practice of introspection. Not the piffly five minutes we spend to say our daily prayers and apologize for any sin that we may have committed, but the honest and true inward looking. Much like the day you finally get sick of your bathroom tub and get down on your hands and knees to clean it. No matter how much cleaner you spray on it, you HAVE to get down there and scrub with everything you've got. Put some elbow grease into it! It's hard work. It's abrasive, and it cleans.

When was the last time you've done that? When was the last time I did that? How often did Jesus do that?

I sat down a few days ago and scrubbed. I scrubbed, and I scrubbed, and I revisited those things that were hidden underneath the soap scum. Surprisingly, it was freeing. But perhaps the surprise only reveals to you how little I have done it. Like standing up and gazing upon a shining porcelain bath tub, there was a sense of accomplishment, a deep sigh was released from within me. Like removing contacts from sore eyes after a long day, I was refreshed.

And God met me. God met Jesus in the garden. God will meet you too.

Start there, and see where He'll take you.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007


There comes a time in all of our lives where we have to take a giant leap off the deep end and see where we land. It's never an easy thing to do, because it requires letting go of all that we hold sacred, and throwing it to the wind. We look deep into the chasms of our own lives, and we question everything that we have avoided, in an effort to clean out the dark, damp corners. And in the end, we are still completely unprepared for what lies ahead of us.

But it's healthy.

Healthy in the sense that we should never cling too tightly to our own castles. Never should we allow ourselves to become 'satisfied' with where we are. Always pushing forward, always growing, always seeking to better ourselves. But we are a complacent people, choosing to rest on our laurels when we should push another mile before the sun sets. So God pushes us off the deep-end with only the phrase, 'trust.'

So trust I will. I will not be the rich man, who cannot follow Jesus, but I will be a fisherman, who drops his nets and goes. God, help me to be a fisherman.