Thursday, December 27, 2007


Have you ever cleaned a dirty bathtub? I'm not talking about the once a week clean... I'm talking about the once every three months clean. Your once shiny bathtub has accumulated a layer of filth. Soap scum builds up, a scaly monster upon the landscape. Pieces of unidentified dirt have caked themselves onto the surface.

You boldly approach that challenge, with a hopeful heart. But as you begin to scrub, it seems to crawl deep within your skin, burrowing. You feel dirty as you peel layer after layer of dirt off of the tub. High powered chemicals aid you, but even after an hour of hard scrubbing that tub still has caked on dirt. Very few things will actually lift that dirt from the surface, and it seems like it will never, ever come off.

I feel that way often. No matter how much time I spend on my knees, scrubbing my soul and heart out, I just can't get clean. There is always that layer of crud clasping onto me, fusing itself to my very being. I feel weary, worn, and incapable.

The reality of the situation is that I am incapable. I can spend all day scrubbing, but I'm scrubbing with the wrong stuff. I will never be able to remove that crud. I don't have the 'elbow grease' to get it off. I am the one that put it there in the first place. But the news is not all bad, I'm right in at least one thing: I'm on my knees.

Despite all the scum that has caked itself onto me over the years, God doesn't see any of it. His grace, however undeserving I am, covers it all. It renews me, refreshes me, and adds that fresh smell all over again. To Him, each time I repent of my sins, I am brand new.

Amazing what cleaning a bathroom will teach you.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

To all those...

Isaiah 9

To all those who find themselves outside on a cold night, unsure of which was is home. Scared, wet and all alone. Rejoice. A warm fire is near.

To all who are weary, tired from the journey, afraid of the fight, wounded from the enemy. Rejoice. Rest and safety is at hand.

To all those who are distraught, unclear of how to proceed, and disillusioned with where the path has brought them. Rejoice. The path has been set, and your footing is sure.

To all the broken hearts, which were once filled with hopes and dreams, now lost to the waves of time. Rejoice. Hope has come again.

To all the young, with the world ahead of you, and very little behind you. Rejoice. For you are blessed in not knowing better.

To the adult, who feels the world passing them by, and can't help but wish for more. Rejoice. For you will have everything you need.

To all the old, with the weight of time upon your shoulders, and the bright eyed days of your youth long since faded. Rejoice. The weight is lifted.

To all the downtrodden, whose legs will not carry them any further, and who suffer from cuts innumerable. Rejoice. For you will find a warm bath, and healing for your wounds.

To the sinner, whose actions reveal true character and whose judgement lies over the close horizon. Rejoice. For you are free.

To the Church, whose potential knows no limit, and whose character seems endlessly tainted by our flesh. Rejoice. For we are cleansed.

To the saint, who strives to leave this world behind, and go home. Rejoice. Home is at hand.

To the entire world, which finds itself in the mire of it's crumbling humanity. Rejoice. For you will be rebuilt.

Rejoice in a Saviour who has redeemed us from exile, and brought us back into home. That we may find rest, healing, and purpose. And upon him a kingdom has risen that cannot be conquered.

Friday, December 07, 2007


How often do I want all the benefits without any of the pain? I want everything that my relationship with God should bring, without any of the shaping that comes from a loving Father. I want to be wise, mature, balanced and Godly, but I don't want to have to work for any of it. Wouldn't life be easier if I could just choose what characteristics I want? How foolish would I be.

I am not a wise man. I wouldn't even call myself a Godly man. I desire deeply to be both of those things, but I struggle. I struggle with myself; a constant state of turmoil between my desires and reality. I want to be free from all of this, I want to be wholly dependant on God.

So what does the foolish (or wise?) man do? He prays for God to do just that. Make him fully dependant on God. God is always faithful to answer. Whether you want it or not, the words have been spoken, and the intent expressed.

Each day, I am made to be more dependant on God. Less dependant on myself. And I'm completely resolved to that fate. Each day brings less money, and a little more stress. Each day finds me turning over more, and depending less on my own strength. I have little choice, because I'm running out of options.

Yet I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Every part of me wants to leave, to fall back on something easier, something familiar. But there is a still small voice telling me to wait. "Not yet," it says. So I wait, I search, and I turn over every prayer and petition, with faith, to my Father in heaven.

This is a staging point. Every major Biblical (and faith) character had to first learn to depend. Not on their own strength or wit, but only on the Provider. Noah had to build an Ark. Abraham had to leave his home. Moses had to go back to Egypt. The Israelites had to wander the desert. David had to run from Saul's men. The prophets were outcasts. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. Paul was blind. There are lessons to be learned, and God asks for one thing: all of us.

So You have it. Take it, because I can't do it. I never could. I am dependant on You.