Friday, September 18, 2015


Image result for pre dawn cityscapeAs the days grow shorter, it feels like it takes longer and longer for the light of dawn to come. The other day, I was in denial of this fact as I kept reassuring myself that if I waited just a few more minutes, daylight would come. Morning eluded me, so eventually I decided to run in the dark. Except it didn't seem to stay dark long. Away from the bright lamps of my house, the dim beams of dawn appeared brighter. Basic optics, I guess, but it's message was stronger.

As I speak to several of my friends as to why they don't believe in God, many of them tell me they simply don't need Him; they're doing just fine without Him. Sure, life has it's hiccups and misfortunes, but overall they're doing just fine. Maybe. Or maybe their lives are like the light. In the dim dawn, one can see well enough, but once introduced to the brightness of true light, oh baby! The world suddenly becomes that which we could never see before.  And what once appeared as light is only darkness now.


The other night as my husband read from Acts, a line down his neck caught my eye. As I traced the scar that testified to the healed broken neck twenty some years ago, I silently thanked God for sparing his life. My eyes drifted to a scar of my own, one more recent that speaks of where a sample was taken of a suspicious lump that by the grace of God was healthy. And my mind wandered to the scars of  the pierced hands of my Savior, scars that prove death has been defeated. I praise God for scars, for they declare that what was intended for death and destruction, God overcame. My God is greater.  I praise Him!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The 10 Percent

My freshman year of college, I remember one of the leaders in student formation talking to me about the 10%. After being frustrated when a beloved student leader was asked to step down from a leadership role simply because she was too involved-because she was trying to balance too many leadership hats- I marched into Student Formation and asked for an explanation. That's when Chuck explained to me about the 10%.

He explained to me that often in Christian ministry, it's the 10% that does 99% of the work Christ followers are called to- engaging in leadership roles, serving behind the scenes or front stage, raising knowledge and awareness of justice issues, caring for the poor and vulnerable, teaching and disciplining, spreading the name of Christ. And while it seems like the 10% are to be held in high esteem, in reality, this is a dangerous pattern.  While the go-getters seem to be getting it all, they're often leading themselves straight into burnout, or failing at ministries that aren't gifted in, or becoming bitter at others who they judge aren't pulling their wait, or preventing more timid folk from stepping up and shinning in the gifts God's given them. Further, try as they might, their efforts fall short; the 10% are limited.

Yesterday, my church launched it's Compassion is initiative, committing to serve 5,000 hours in our community this year. Commitment cards are in, and we've already surpassed our goal of committed hours.  That's right, thanks to just over 10% of our congregation, we've had already 5,000 committed.

While this is wonderful, I wonder about the other 90%.  How can we engage them as well? How do we encourage them to utilize their talents and skills? How do we build on their strengths? How do we set up systems to include them? How do we mobilize the entire body of Christ? What would it look like if we had 90% rather than 10% actively engaged in our world? What mountains could we move? What injustices could we overtake? What eternal impact could we make?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Work misfits

I've been working in the communications department of my church for about a month now.  Part of my role there has been updating staff bios for our website.  As I sit with coworkers and hear their stories, I'm amazed by the theme that appears: for so many of them, this is not the path that they envisioned.  They pursued other educational focuses, or feel unqualified for the position they've been entrusted with, and yet here they are.  Here they stand, trusting God to be the strength in their weakness, to do what they can't.  Here they stand, obediently saying yes to God when it means saying no to their own plans.  Here we stand, united by Christ alone.  As one who also feels like a misfit trusting God's leading, it's nice to know I'm in good company.

For the Long Haul

It appears that my blog has become evidence of my training schedule, or at least how God likes to speak to me through one of my favorite ventures.  Regardless, here's my latest running lesson.

Recently, I had a bit of a health scare.  Awaiting my results and pondering different possibilities, I began to pray.  I prayed for peace and focus, for wisdom and hope.  And as I prayed, I was reminded of who my God is.

My God is the God who turns the impossible into the incredible.  He is my Healer and Sustainer.  As I listened, I was reminded that God isn't bound by our choices or science or the medical community; He can and does bring miraculous healing.  I could be sick at that very moment, yet my God is big enough to heal me.

And even if He did not.  Even if He did not, I would still trust Him.  He's already gotten me through so much in my young life; why would I doubt that He could get me through this too?  He's greater!  Still uncertain of what my test results would say, I found perfect rest in Him. Trudging through 16 miles, I was reminded of my God's faithfulness, both in my personal life and throughout history.  He will not fail. His plan is perfect.

PS I got my results back today.  Everything is healthy.  Praise God!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


 When raking in the miles, one does strange things to keep entertained.  Personally, I try to take in my surrounds, noticing things that I've past a hundred times but never really seen.  Yesterday morning as I ran past a baseball field, I noticed that it was filled with seagulls.  Here's a glimpse of my inner dialogue:

"Whoa!  Look at all of those seagulls!  That's actually kind of cool looking.  Wait, aren't seagulls the rats of the bird world?  No no, that's pigeons!  But still, seagulls are pretty close.  Wait, should I talk about God's creation like that?  Seems kind of disrespectful.  I mean, they have to have some sort of good purpose, cause God made them.  But what about mosquitos?  Are they good for anything?  I wonder what God originally created them for.  Hmmm... Maybe it's not so much a diss on God's creation, but a proper grieving of the Fall.  Maybe honestly looking at the peskiness of some creatures allow us to truly express the brokenness that sin, mine included, brought into the world.  So maybe it's a healthy balance of both, of seeing God's beauty and also grieving what has been lost.  And more so, maybe it's hoping for what He's promised, waiting in jubilant anticipation for the renewed world where there will be not death, pain, or bug bites.  What a glorious hope!"

Sinking Sand

 A few weeks ago, we went camping with a group of friends.  Energized by the new surroundings, I decided to take a run down the beach.  My feet graced the packed sand as waves rushed over, stride after stride, until suddenly, slurp!  Out of the blue I was calf deep in sinking sand.

Sinking sand.  What a beautiful illustration of the dangers of putting our hope in worldly things.  What a glorious picture of pulling ourselves out of the muck onto the solid Rock.  What a perfect reminder that our hope is found in Christ alone, that the foundations of our lives must be Christ, and Christ alone.  Sinking sand.

Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.  Matthew 7:24-27