Sunday, December 28, 2008


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

There is something I must confess. I have not always been a believer in this passage. I have wrestled with it in some very deep ways. How can someone who promises so much strife and turmoil also promise to give me rest? How can I trust such clear dissonance coming from the same mouth. It is like two separate pieces of music, in different keys, being played simultaneously. Oh, my foolish thoughts.

I have another confession to make. These very thoughts arise out of my own wrecklessness, my own selfish pride. In my spiritual superiority, I forgot the most important thing: I am weak. I have attempted to carry on a relationship without communication. I have fought bitterly for rights that are not my own. I have lost my first love, and with it the security that it brings. It is time I reclaim it.

Jesus is saying here that if I would only trust him, I would lose sight of all the other things. I may be worried about money, but in reality I make more than 90% of the world! I may be concerned about where I live, but I have a roof over my head, a warm bed, and food. So what do I have to worry about? My Father in heaven is watching over me.

That relationship I have been neglecting is coming back. It takes time. It takes intentionality. It takes work. Of all the things I dedicate my time to, I can't think of a better one to pour myself over, to dig in deep and beg for more. I want to be in head first, with no way out. I want to be bound so I could not escape. I want to be starstruck so the world fades away. I want to trust.

I have been weary. In my own selfish pride, I have thought I was above being weak, all while thinking I was acting weak. I am a helpless babe, and I need the rest to grow. Thanks be to God that I have that place, time, and love to do just that.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Up Against the Wall

The grey clouds cascade quickly over your head, unleashing a flurry of rain pestering you from every angle; the towering slick rock-face behind you offering little shelter from the onslaught. Hands patting each inch of the wall, hoping to find some relief, some haven to offer sanctuary. Your eyes darting in every direction, searching for your assailants.

It was moments... or maybe it was years ago that they peppered your fragile body with attacks. Your beaten, battered, bruised. One more attack, and your knees will buckle, succumbing to the overwhelming weight, leaving you to drown in the deluge.

There they are. Stepping as ghouls into your vision, their outlines framed by the drizzle by the dull light. Their frames lurch threatening as they edge closer to you, each moment spelling your doom. The situation is entirely hopeless. Their very presence is suffocating.

Following Christ is unlike any other. A juxtaposition on it's very basic level. To know oneself, you must deny yourself. His load is light, but it will cost you dearly. Your a visitor in the only land you've ever known. You're called to deny your family, but take care of the orphans and widows. You work at your faith, but you're saved by grace.

You are constantly under siege. A battle rages on around you with every passing moment of cosmic proportions. Forces battle for your soul, your loyalty, your mind. Your choices can have far-reaching consequences either way.

You are constantly under protection. A moment never passes where you are alone. No matter the trials or tribulations that you face, you can always find peace in knowing that you will soon be home. Anything in life only has meaning if you let it. What you decide has meaning has far reaching-consequences.

I was once told that I can do whatever I set my mind to. No matter the scope, difficulty or absurdity of my dreams, it can be accomplished with God's help. Somewhere along the way I let that light go out. I got lost in fighting my own fights, and running from my foes. It is far past time that I relight the torch. That I through conventions to the wind, and remember what it's like to have my back up against the wall. Fight and live for what is true, and right.

Perhaps the biggest juxtaposition is that to be strong, we must first be weak. To fight, we must surrender. To claim victory, we must do it in defeat. When the demons close in, and there is no escape, we merely have to remember that it is not our fight to win. In those moment we discover that slick precipice at our back is our fortress. Within that fortress is our most powerful advocate, who holds dominion over everything. That battle has been won.

So what's your back up against?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Hebrews 6:13-15

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was
no one greater for him
to swear by, he swore by himself,
saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many
And so after waiting patiently, Abraham
received what was promised.

It's a sure thing. There's not a doubt in your mind. You've thought out every possible angle, and then... it slips through. Like dry sand through your fingers, it sifts through and you're left with nothing but a dry residue to remind you anything ever happened. It's frustrating, infuriating.

I feel I've spent the past 2 years of my life in a constant state of flux. The undulating rhythm of my life pushing me up, dragging me down. Sprawling vista's; deep chasms. The sun beaming down on my face, warming my cold skin; the damp walls leeching every warmth from my heart. Frustrating.

Perhaps you've felt like this? Each step a labour. Every breath a chore. But you keep moving forward, each day.

With my hope faltering, and my outlook becoming ever shallow, I realize that it's moments like these that test one's resolve. A hurricane is not weathered when you're boarding the place up. Each board placed makes a difference, each sandbag laid prepares for the ensuing floods. But regardless of the preparations you makes, it's when the winds test your work. When the water seeps through, and trees are uprooted that you find what lays deep in your heart. Some cower, some freeze in fear, or form an icy resolve, and others rise to the challenge, digging into energy deep within them to press through the worst of the storm and pick up the pieces.

I've had a bit of all of them inside of me. I've cowered, frozen, fallen within myself, and I hope that I can yet rise to this challenge. But like any other moment, I'm not enough. I'm always back to square one, my energy spent, my heart broken, and my vision dulled. I'm so short sighted. I long to be home, to be away from these struggles, this constant warfare that I am so terrible at. I want to be free, free to fly, free to discover what it means to live this life.

Weight... dragging me down. Threatening to pull me under. And with every passing day I am drawn to my own iniquities. My own failings. No matter how 'good' I may be, I'll never be good enough.

I'll never be good enough.

There's a lesson I need to learn. It's not about me. It was never about me. But I long so much for it to be about me. Each day, attempting to pull my skin off like Eustace. Tearing at my scales, longing for the boy I used to be. But it's not I that should pull those scales off. I need God. I need those promises, those moments when He rips me deeper than I ever thought possible, when my heart, mind and body cry out for relief. I hate even saying it, but I need it. Make me bleed, take my life, as long as I can be free. Whatever the cost, wherever the journey, I want to be free.

But I'm so ... uncertain.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


There is nothing quite like a good kick in the pants to get your butt in gear. When everything is going smoothly, or so I think, a big kick to the kiester, pushing you to the curb really puts things into perspective. Makes you wonder if it's ever even possible to walk the 'straight and narrow' and not meander off into the local shops, just for a peek.

What the heck? What on earth are you talking about?

As some of you know, I've been on a journey of self-discovery over the past 8 months. Discovering who I am. Discovering who the world is. Discovering who you are. Discovering. Some thing I've uncovered have been exactly as I suspected. Others, however, have been a surprise to my calculating side. Not because they failed to live up to my predefinition, but in how I failed to live up to my own standards.

If there is any one thing I could say coming out of the past two years, it's that I'm a certified failure. I will never be good enough, smart enough, or wise enough to carry my own weight. No amount of planning will account for the variables. Something will always go wrong, and that something will usually be me.

An errant word... a flippant action... words unspoken. These things haunt me.

The hover over me, calling out my faults, casting the spotlight upon my imperfections, daring me to prove them wrong.

Cringe as I might, contorted into various precarious positions, I can't hide in the shadows. I'm a big screw-up.

Heavy. Like an anchor around your neck, dragging you down. Rancor builds up in your accusers as they tug at your ankles. You tread water faster, harder; but it's not enough. You can't keep your mouth above the surface, and your lungs begin to fill. Hope abandons ship, praying that they take you, not it before the shore is in reach.

A lifeline. A hand around your wrist. You forgot something... the spotlight was never meant to be on you. You weren't designed to stand up to scrutiny. You are imperfect, that was the whole point all along.

I screw up. I screw up a lot. I say strange, awkward, horrific things. Sometimes, they hurt other people, and not just myself. They often bare a striking resemblance to everything I wish I wasn't. If I was a construction site, I'd be a giant hole, and they'd be building it upside down, putting the roof in the ground. It's just backwards.

But thankfully I'm not in it alone. I'm hopefully dependant on something greater than myself. If I want to be like Jesus, then I need Jesus. I need Him in every aspect. I need to get up in the morning asking Him to be my guide. I need to eat my breakfast keeping in mind that He provided it. I need to drive to work, conscious that the person who cut me off is in a rush to get to work, because if they don't, they will likely be fired. I need to be aware that the pushy person in the office is probably fighting with their spouse at home.

Every person I meet is just as much a wreck as I am. The difference is that I have Christ. The question is, does that show? Am I joyful? Am I patient? Am I kind? Am I willing to give grace?

I'm a total screw-up. And I'm totally thankful for that.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Roar Behind

It's no secret I quite enjoy the writing of CS Lewis. I enjoy their rhythm, I'm awed by their depth, and I'm intrigued by their implications. As I reread through the Narnia series I am continually in a state of admiration for how he takes some very complex theological ideas and distills them into finger-food anyone can comprehend.

I often laugh with my friends about how I pray for things and I'm begrudged when God happily answers my cry. Usually this is because I foolishly, but not really at all, ask Him to tear me apart and rebuild me in His image. To strip me of my pride, to teach me a lesson I know I need to learn, or to put me over the coals and hammer me into a tempered sword for His use. Foolish prayers, because I know that without a doubt these are prayers that will be answered.

Deep down they truly reflect my hearts wish. I want to be useful, I want to be pure; I only struggle with the process from which he culls those impurities. They are hard, they hurt, and they leave scars marring every inch of my body, mind and soul. In hindsight, however, I can't think of a single one that I would trade in, because each of them have been entirely worth it.

Shasta, Bree, Hwin and Aravis are moving through the desert North towards Archenland and eventually Narnia. They have been travelling for days, and are hot, tired, and thirsty. But they know they have to press on nonetheless, in order to beat out an attacking group and warn the Archenlanders. And in that final stretch, when the danger is most immanent, a lion chases them down.

I'm sure you can imagine what comes next. More importantly, I be you can empathize with that feeling, I know I can. You are tired ans sore from the journey. You feel as though you have nothing left inside, and God asks you for just a little more. In this case, it's the threat of danger and death that is used as a motivation. But the Jesus we have constructed in our heads holds children, hugs lambs and always smiles. Imagine the fear it would inspire in you if he growled at you and threatened your life.

God is not tame. He doesn't fit nicely into our pretty boxes, our leather Bibles, or our consecrated churches. He is not a tame line. His leaping for Aravis at ripping her back open, drawing blood is entirely in His character. But His intention is never to kill, merely to inspire and teach. Had He wanted to kill, the mere thought of it would turn it into reality.

I have claw marks. They sting from time to time, but I have learned to welcome them as a comforting reminder that the Lion watches over me, and deems my journey important enough to spur me forward in the times of my greatest danger. I'm fearful to think what would have been had I not received that nudge.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


"But when he had said "Yes," he thought of his Mother, and he thought of the great hopes he had had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump came in his throat and tears in his eyes, and he blurted out:

"But please, please -- won't you -- can't ou give me something that will cure Mother?" Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonders of wonders) great shining tears stood in the lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared to Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.

"My son, my son," said Aslan. "I know. Grief is great. Only you and I in this land know that yet. Let us be good to one another. But I have to think of hundreds of years in the life of Narnia."

-From The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

How our perceptions change. What once was so bright and clear becomes foggy. The monster that once plagued our closets is now our best friend. The lion that threatened to devour us in it's majestic power is now the only source of empathy we find in this lonely place.

I just finishes reading through this book (thanks Felicia) again, and I come at it with new eyes. Eyes that are less innocent than the last read through, and a heart that bares more weight than it once did. Where I was a child, I am now a boy. Where I once saw plot, I now see life. It speaks no longer to my fictional mindset, and my imagination, but directly to my life experiences. This is no longer just a story about beginnings, it's a story about me.

The questions of 'what if?' Temptations. Lust for power. The wrecklessness of hope, lashing out in it's ignorance. Very deep topics for a children's book. Yet as I reflect upon my few short years, I identify all to well with these things. 'Was it my fault? Where were You? How come it couldn't be me? Why won't you help?' I struggled, I wrestled, and I fought these questions to the bitter end. And now... as I read about the tears of the Lion, I understand.

Where I once saw God as an aloof observer, who I could bend to my will, I now I see a gentle (yet ever so powerful) ruler, who empathizes with me. In my innocense, and my ignorance, I thought that no one could understand. But who better to understand than the one who created me? Am I so selfish as to think that He has never lost anything? That He would not understand my pain? No... that would be foolish of me, for every ache that I feel in my heart, He feels tenfold. For every loss that stings humanity, a stake is drive through. In our pain, we are drawn closer to our creator, because we understand the empathy that is involved.

Some are driven further, seduced by the promises of power through anger. They seek to harness their pain to whip their souls and hearts into greater heights. But in their bloodlust, they lose something so precious that the consequences are not small. They lose empathy.

"Yes, Aslan. She wanted me to take an apple home to Mother."

"Understand, then, that it would have healed her; but not to your joy or hers. The day would have come when both you and she would have looked back and said it would have been better to die in that illness."

And Digory could say nothing, for tears choked him and he gave up all hopes of saving his Mother's life; but at the same time he knew that the Lion knew what would have happened, and that there might be things more terrible even than losing someone you love by death. But now Aslan was speaking again, almost in a whisper:

"That is what
would have happened, child, with a stolen apple. It is not what will happen now. What I give you now will bring joy."

We are not always given a choice as to our path. But in our humility, we are brought to the absolute knowledge that our path is what is best. And I am brought closer yet again.

Monday, July 07, 2008


What a precarious position we find ourselves in. A slick precipice on either side, the thick rain pouring in waves upon you, with only the flashes of the distant lightning to guide your feet. It seemed like only yesterday that I was skipping freely among the daisies and gliding my hands over the tall grass with a smile in my heart, and a laugh in my throat.

I am jealous of my memories. I covet their innocence and their free spirit. Not a care in the world, not even of where I would sleep that night. Surely the birds that listlessly careened around me would lead me to a sanctuary where I could lay my head.

Now my head lays in my calloused hands. Tears streak down my grimy face. A shudder crawls it's way maliciously up my body as the cold seeps in. My legs mock me in their cramped state, as if they know what the future will hold.

There was a time when I would call that carefree person foolish. How could you act so free with the midnight clouds billowing over the horizon, snaking their way towards you. Surely you could not be dumb enough to not anticipate the battles that lie in wait for you, the traps that nip at your ankles wanting to drag you into their subterranean lair. This is a fight for your life, and hardly a time to enjoy the gentle breeze before it grows into a gale.

Then it pierced me like an arrow. Who is the fool? The one who spends the day occupied with where his food is going to be found or whether he will be safe when he lays his head down? Or the one who lets those things worry about themselves and keeps his eyes up. How often do you find those with their heads in the clouds suffocating beneath your feet?

I am the fool. The deep chasms on either side are nothing but landscapes created out of the schisms in my own mind. I'm in the meadow. The scent of the flowers seems so distant in my nostrils, yet their proximity seems to comfort me. The rain soaks me to the bone, but I hear the sonnet of the birds dancing about me and the warmth begins to kindle inside, roaring to life. My legs are atrophied not from the journey, but from sitting. I have forgotten how to use them. The days when I would dance and leap to be one step closer faded away when I allowed my foot to be still, and my ankle entangled.

A glimpse. A ray of light through my clouds. Irradiating me with the truth that has been so absent. "Your sins are forgiven. Get up, take your mat and go home."

I am in the meadow once more.

It is a fragile state of mind we exist in. Draw not your strength from your own wells, for they run dry. Drink of the Living Water, and you will never thirst again. Put your heads firmly in the clouds and pray that it is never yanked to earth.

In my innocence, I wish to be enlightened. In my 'enlightenment' I wish to be innocent. What a foolish man I am.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Journey

It's a very small world. Just 75 years ago, crossing an ocean took two weeks. Travelling the country took equally as long, due to the necessity for trains. Wanted to get somewhere off the beaten track? There was still a chance you would be going horseback.

We've come a long way in the past 75 years, learning to travel at breakneck speeds. You can talk to someone on the other side of the world instantly, and share some form of a relationship with them without ever knowing their real name.

It's a world of instant gratification, where you want something, and you want it now. Taking a few hours out of your day to travel somewhere seems like a waste. Phoning someone can seem cumbersome when you can post on their wall, or send them an IM.

Somewhere in there, I lost the sense of a journey. Where I was forced to sit back, smell the flowers, read good books, and get outside. I got caught up in making money, in paying the bills, and in the petty politics of everyday life. Concerned more about those around me than myself, my feet began to stumble over the uneven ground, and my eyes fell to my cumbersome steps.

Life your eyes young man. Lift them to the mountains, to the heavens, and gaze upon your salvation. The light emanating from your destination should mesmerize you. Don't let the flashing lights along the way pull your attention from the finish line. You don't need to worry about lifting your feet, for it was not you who had the power to step out of the mire to begin this journey. You were waist deep and unable to move, but someone lent you a hand out. And you took your first step. Your path will be steady if you keep your eyes on the end.

I forgot the stumbling. The scraped knees, the open wounds, and the fierce battles for my life. I was lulled into a sense of security, and let my armour grow rusty. Brandish it once more, for the hunter lurks in the shadows, stalking you. Unsheathe your sword, awaken your sore muscles to do battle once more. You need not fret the scrapes you will endure, for you know a Doctor who pays keen attention.

This is a battle for your life. And you are not alone. There are thousands, millions of us on that same path with you. We have fallen wayward, and become distracted from our home. We have settled for far less than we will know. Show us the path. Live a life worth following, not just in your words, but in your actions. Take the precarious precipice, daring to scale the slick cliff face that threatens to throw you to the rocky ocean below. Take it because it is the path we all wish to take, but are too afraid to scale.

I have been distracted, but distracted no more. I will dance the dance, fight the fight, and run this race. I will set my sights not on my feet, but on that city. I will fall, I will fail, I will hurt, I will learn. And each time that I want to stop, that I beg for relief, I will find times of refreshing knowing that this is not my home. This rocky road, this comforting bed, this seductive shortcut is not my home.

My home lies ahead, and I long for it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I wonder what it would have been like to be Jesus. Each and everyday, walking around Israel, meeting people that desperately need your help. Teaching them all, touching some, healing less. How much of their pain would have he felt directly? Would it have been frustrating to see all these people and know that you just don't have time to talk to everyone, to help everyone.

What would have his relationship with God have been like? Was it personal? Did it come and go? Did he memorize scripture as a boy? Was it all in his head? From the early tales we have of Jesus in the court in Jerusalem, it's pretty clear he has wise far beyond his years in interpreting the scriptures, but did he ever become apathetic?

While a lot of the answers to these questions are clear in mixing his humanity and divinity, and even more of them become unclear in that mix, it's important to remember that Jesus experienced many of the same feelings we have, if not all of them.

In the past few weeks, I have been learning that I need to be soft again. Soft in all the right places, and let the calluses that have grown fade. I'd be lying if I said Fiji didn't do a number on me; didn't threaten my spirituality. It was a trying experience, a time in the desert, and while I knew that God walked me through each and every moment, including the months afterwards, it left me tired.

I'm still tired. But the time has come for me to wake up and no longer use that as an excuse or a crutch, but instead to use it as my catalyst. Time to dig in deep, to remember my roots, and revive the parts that have dried and withered. Remember that if I am going to be soft to one thing, receptive to one voice, it's God's. That means more time in the Word, more time on my knees (literally), and more time meditating after both of those things.

This is my commitment.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

There is No God (And You Know It)

Before you start, read this article:

An interesting read, no doubt. Sadly, however, it is filled with equal bias as those I read from fundamentalist Christians, without the slightest concern for equal consideration that a topic like this demands.

His ending paragraph, about how we establish the goodness of God by our own moral standards is a great example of his misunderstanding of Theology. God is aloof to our morality, because our morality is drawn from Him. See Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis to have this argument flushed out in detail.

Furthermore, his basic assumption that anyone who believes in God must be entirely ignorant to scientific advancements, or that God is diametrically opposed to common sense is haughty at best, and ignorance at it's worst.

I long for a real discussion by people who are not entrenched in their ideas lobbing mortars at the other side from behind their tall walls. Instead, talking to the other side with hands, and minds open. Maybe then we could actually learn something. I'm open to this chat if you are.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Survey Says...

Read through that article, because it is very telling. While I live in a different country (Yes, Canada is not a state) we are intimately tied to our Southern Cousins.

The general tone of the article is this: religion is not cutting it. There are few converts (across all faith's), and those that are 'wins' are merely cross-pollinated from another denomination. Catholics suffering the worst from this symptom.

Penn State University sociologist Roger Finke, who consulted in the survey planning. "Right now, there is a dropping confidence in organized religion, especially in the traditional religious forms."

Let's unpack that a little bit. Notice how the problem here is not with faith in general, although one could argue that the assault on faith is beginning to take it's toll, but rather the problem is with organized religion.

If you've talked to me at any point in time during the past 8 years, you know I'm no fan of 'organized religion.' I don't think that Jesus mandated it, and I don't think it has any place in Christianity. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying the Church should be dissolved, and any source of authority removed. Rather, I'm stating that the four walls of church's should be demolished, and the big front doors torn down.

Instead, we should meet in the streets of our communities, meeting with the people who live there, learning their needs, and then meeting them. We have become an increasing irrelevant faith. We talk about how much good we do, but then what do we actually do?

The majority of the unaffiliated — 12 percent of the overall population — describe their religion as "nothing in particular," and about half of those say faith is at least somewhat important to them. Atheists or agnostics account for 4 percent of the total population.

Notice that. 12 percent say they have no religion, that means a staggering 88% classify themselves as having and actively believing in some faith. Another 6% are saying that faith is at least somewhat important to them. Where are those 6% falling? Who is meeting their needs?

Many Americans have vague denominational ties at best. People who call themselves "just a Protestant," in fact, account for nearly 10 percent of all Protestants.

This is also a very significant trend, and something I have stated time and time again -- denominations are not cool. Yes, we need to identify with something, and we need to have clearly defined beliefs. But why on earth (pun intended) are we dividing ourselves over such trivial things? Would Jesus, Paul, Peter or the countless others really be satisfied with these divisions, or would they condemn us for being legalistic and, dare I say it, pharasitical?

Although evangelical churches strive to win new Christian believers from the "unchurched," the survey found most converts to evangelical churches were raised Protestant.

Note that statement right there. You know what that screams at me? We aren't doing our job. People keep searching for the depth they long for, and they aren't finding it. They go from one nuance to another in hopes that it will revitalize their dying selves, and in reality they are looking in all the wrong places.

We must live our our faith. Not in the talk about it, preaching kind of way. But in the practical saving lives, handing out food, talking with our neighbours kind of ways. These are the things that make the difference. Digging under the skin, asking the hard questions, pushing through the difficulties of a relationship and showing people that they are worth it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pushing the Boundaries

Here's a thought. How much time do we actually sit down to think?

Did you just graze over that? Or did you stop to really think how much time you spend just meditating on the day or particular topics. It's alarming how much of our days we fill with white noise, background something or other that will ensure we don't have to think or be concerned with what is really going on.

Take that and apply it to the upcoming generation. The ones who grew up with computers, the internet and every way imaginable to communicate with someone who isn't right in their face. You bored? The internet has your fix. Games, reading, movies, music, anything you could ever want right at your fingertips. But it comes at a cost.

You shut down. You stop really thinking, stop evaluating what is going on in and around you. The question is it worth it? And you stop asking, could it be better?

How many times have you heard that youth have a naeve vigor? That they will dream, without any thought for possible consequences? And how often have you heard it said that people lose that as they get older? I have a single question to ask, why?

Why are we satisfied with letting the hard questions slide, and the big dreams go unrealized? Why do we allow life to weigh us down? When can we push the boundaries a little further than they were before, and dare to dream that our lives could be more than they are today?

Church is a prime example of this, and it is a symptom that I am fighting as I grow older. Never stop dreaming, never stop hoping. I was thinking today, and it occurred to me that Jesus only lived until he was 32. He began his ministry when he was thirty. In the Jewish culture, he was but a young pup, barely ready for the primetime. And you had to know that you would not have wanted to be his rabbi. How could you contain the knowledge and dreams that must have come pouring out of him? More importantly, should you?

Jesus called all the little children unto him, and said that the kingdom of God belongs to ones such as these. We have often taken that to mean their innocense, but I would like to propose a different thought to add to the traditional one. Jesus also meant that they would inheret the kingdom of God because they were entirely uninhibited. They saw Jesus, they wanted to run to Jesus, so they did. Nothing stopped them to say it might not be appropriate, or that he might be busy. A + B = C without any modifiers. Simple.

Dare to dream, because our heavily Father dreamed when He created us, and he has big dreams for each and every one of us. He wants us to imagine all that we could be, and then pursue it without abandon. To imagine the world as He sees it, and then do everything in our power to make it so. And that change, those boundaries that need to be pushed, start with us. With me.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

At The Centre of it All

The interesting thing I've always found about human beings is our ability to so aptly lie to ourselves and others around us. We lie about how wealthy we are, about our relationships, about how we're feeling, about whether we like something or not, we lie about who we are. Let's get right down to the nitty gritty... we hate to face who we really are.

I've spent my fair share of time living with other young men in the past few years. Even some older men, and if there is one thing I've learned about men, it's that they love to ignore the messes that they live in. As long as it is not directly effecting them in some detrimental way, then it is not affecting them at all. It mine as well not exist to them. It's functional.

And from my conversations and the observations I've made about the majority of women it is this, that as long as everything is neat, tidy and appears clean, then they are also happy. Their house can be a wreck five minutes before guests walk through the door, but as long as everything is neat and tidy when the doorbell rings they are happy. It's all about appearances, and everything has it's place.

If there is one thing that I have a hard time accepting about my faith it's this: grace. There is nothing I can do (or not do) to earn grace. It is offered freely to me, without conditions or standards. I did not pass a grade so I could be accepted into grace. Rather, it is because of my inadequacies that I am in need of grace. By very nature, I want to earn something, I want to be proud of my accomplishment when it is given to me. Grace, on the other hand is a badge of unaccomplishment. I accept it simply because it is offered to me, and I need it fully.

There is something humbling about that realization. Where I have to stop and ponder, in the midst of a busy world the implications of something offered freely. We work for everything that we earn. But this is not something I worked for, or that I earned. Yet it is more important than any of those carnal things. Where they will fade away to dust, this gift is eternal. And all I have to do is accept it.

To be honest, I'm dumbfounded. I'm confused, disillusioned, frustrated and dazed. I want to do SOMETHING, say SOMETHING that would give me credit for such an awesome gift, but I am left short of the mark. In it's very nature, I am inadequate. And in that moment of disillusionment, I get a glimpse of God. I am not focusing on myself, but on Him. And in that moment, He smiles at me, and simply says, "I know."

No lies. No facade. Just truth.

At the centre of it all, I'm not good enough, and that doesn't mean a thing.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Steady The Course

A dank smell lingered in the musty air. It must have been centuries since the last human thing moved through these halls. The walls on either side were slick with a thin sheen of water, and were spotted with moss like a leopard. Rays of sunshine pried their way in through the broken ceiling, and fjorded through the thick dust. The floor was cobbled with weathered stones that had once provided an adequate walkway, but now only intermittently broke through the mud.

Each step was a chore, lifting a foot out of the gripping mud, while the other was sucked in deeper. Breathing was like standing in a wheat field in the thick of harvest. The armour that he carried weighed heavily upon him, and many had called it old fashioned and outdated. It was less than fashionable, but it was the only real way to protect himself. And even here, when it seemed entirely impractical, it was a necessity.

It only took one small crevass in the wall holding a single trap to end the entire journey. Already he had survived three attempts on his life. One was a metal trap falling from a hidden compartment in the roof after he carelessly stepped on a loose stone. Had it not been for the rust, his sword would have never broken through. He was saved from the second trap by his sturdy breastplate, as sharp spears lunged for his heart as he opened a door. While not penetrating the steel, it pushed him back nearly fifteen feet, and left more than a few bruises on his body. The last was a form of quicksand that lay in waiting for an unsuspecting adventurer, and when it clutched at his ankles, arrows shot from the wall. His shield deflected them at the last moment, and his boots allowed him to slowly climb out of the sand. Unfashionable as the armour may be, no one could deny it's practical uses.

As he tread softly down the muddy path, he began to wonder if this was the right way. He'd seen that tree before, was he travelling in circles? The mud began to seep into his boots, and branches at the trees began to scrape at his face, clawing viciously at him. Thorns and vines clutched at his ankles at legs, seeking to slow or stop him. The light that had once guided him was now failing as night began to dawn and the few rays of light began to lose their luster.

It was going to be a long night.


I don't know if you've ever felt that way. I know I have. I know that I do. Over the past few weeks, I have been reciting to myself the many promises that God makes to me. That He will watch over me and protect me. That I will not go hungry or be unable to live, because He cares for me. That He knew me in the womb, and has a plan for my life, not to harm me, but help. Yet I struggle to find peace.

I seek to equip myself with the armour, and yet I find it constantly wanting to fall off. I find forces all around me clawing at me, scraping, scratching and meticulously combing me over for any sign of weakness. And I am weak.

God, I need peace. I need hope. I need to feel your presence. I need to know that there is stability in the storm, and I need to know that you are still in control of the waves and the rain. Because I know that I cannot swim through this one, I will surely drown. I need your help.

So please, meet me here. It's been over a year since I've had any stability in my life, and I'll wait the rest of my life if I have to, as long as I know that you are in control. Meet me here, in this dark, damp hallway. Give me rest, give me sustainence. But above all, give me You.