Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Just one day to give thanks? 

What if we try with our one single life to *LIVE* thanks?

To find ways every day, in every way, to give thanks, show thanks, and live thanks all in response to the incredible gift of simply living.

If only we would remember, deep down in our glory-made souls, that each day is a precious gift from God and never our entitlement. 

How different this world would be if every day we would take time to look up from our selfishness, take a deep breath and a good look around --- at all the goodness around --- and simply say . . . 


Thank You for my life. Thank You for my family, my friends, my home. Thank You for the great-outdoors. Thank You for children laughing, and birds singing, and sun shining, and water sparkling, and hearts racing, and art-making, and joy, joy, joy! There is so much JOY in giving thanks!

Why don’t we do it more? 

When did we forget that giving thanks inspires not only living joy, but also giving joy to others!
How foolish we are if we've failed to realize we were never meant to live these lives for ourselves, but to willingly share them with one another. Each one of us was fashioned with a purpose and has been given a unique set of gifts that no one else in this world has ever had or ever will have. No one has the exact same talents, abilities, and set of circumstances as us and no one in the past, present, or future will live the exact same days in the exact same ways we will.

That’s pretty amazing when you think about it!

And truly, it should awaken us to the fact that this life is really short so we need to be all about using our God-given gifts to bless this world while we have the chance. Not one of us knows for sure how many breaths we've been given, so we should be living to the very fullest each day we find ourselves opening up our sleepy eyes to a brand-new-sparkling-fresh morning.

And choose in that moment to start

Living thanks!

Every breath is a gift, each new day a gift, and every life a gift, to the glory of God.

All to be spent in Thanks-living.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Do Not Blame - Bless

How often do we want to blame God for so many of the troubles in our lives and then rationalize those thoughts, offering, “If He really loved me, He would never have allowed this to happen to me.”

We are human. We are fallible. We often choose to blame rather than to bless.

But what if the hardest trials in our lives are truly merciful blessings? What if it is because of His unending love for us that He allows us to go through hard times? And what if our reaction to what befalls us could not just bless others, but actually bless God?

The good in our trials may be hidden for the moment, but we are only seeing a very small part of a much grander picture. God however, sees the whole thing --- the completed masterpiece that He designing and it is glorious beyond our greatest imaginings.

It can be very difficult for us to look outside of ourselves when we are going through a tough time, but so often what we are going through changes other lives as well. It was not just meant for us, but God sees all the ways in which other lives will be touched.

It can be like ripples on the water, whether caused by a pea-sized pebble, or a mountainous rock crashing right into the middle of our proverbial pond, the splash and reverberations that follow flow out with enlarging circles that we can lose sight of.

But God doesn’t. He sees it all. Every motion on the waters of every life.

We each tend to have our own ideas of how our lives should go, but God knows infinitely better than us what we truly need and what will actually be a blessing to us not just now, but far into the future, and He sees all the ways it will continue on to others.

Our trials and pain tend to remind us there is something wrong, that it is not supposed to be this way, and we can either choose to react in despair, anger, or resentment, with ripples of these emotions reaching far into other lives, or we can remember there is so much more to come than what is contained in our short years on earth.

With our eternal future in mind, we can choose to have hope, and have faith, and to trust in the One who does see the bigger picture, who loves us infinitely, and who is already there and can see the good He is working out through every trial.

When we trust in God’s goodness and give thanks to Him, even in the midst of our pain, it is pleasing to Him, and it blesses Him.

Doesn't that thrill your heart? 

The realization that our faith lived out with thanksgiving and praise can bless the God of the universe?!

Oh, how I want to bless my Father!

I want to live my life in such a way that when a trial comes plunging in, 
the effect of it will actually flow out in circles of endless praise that will

Bless His Name!!

I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
- Psalm 145:1–2 (ESV)

All your works shall give thanks to you,
Lord, and all your saints shall bless you!
- Psalm 145:10 (ESV)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Summer Dreams

I’m pretty sure summer will always be my favorite season.

It makes me incredibly giddy to open wide the windows, letting in the bright golden sunbeams and soft, warm breezes. 

In my mind’s eye I imagine summer as a girl with a beautifully confident smile, inviting us to come outside and play, to dream and to dance, and to fill our hearts with her wonder.

Popsicle days slowly melt into firefly nights that often we wish would never end. Still warm evening air seems thick with hope when shooting stars soar across the clear velvet sky and the moon paints the grass and the all tree-tops in a shimmering silvery glow.

But then, it just seems all too soon, that Summer turns . . .  and slips away down a tree lined path, to open the gate for her sister Autumn. 

Though the change in season carries with it a profound beauty all its own, it also ushers in some cooler breezes and perhaps a snowflake or two that remind us there is still more change to come.

Yes, winter will come. There's no doubt about it.

But, you know, so does the spring, and soon. . .

 The sweetest summer dreams, will start all over again.

* * *

Golden shines the crescent moon
And summer dreams are gone too soon

Now softer hues will paint the sky
While autumn sings a lullaby

Then sleepy winter with whispers low
Will fill our world with fallen snow

But soft will come new summer dreams
Awakened by the songs of spring

* * *

My beloved spoke and said to me, 
“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. 
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one,
come with me.”

- Song of Songs 2:10-13

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Worship should never be something limited to an hour a week when we meet together at church, but should be the continual response of our lives and the attitude of our hearts.

May we be awestruck today by incredible beauty in surroundings, mighty power in the wind, the sweet laughter of a child, a heavenly song rising up in our hearts. . .

and may our immediate and sincere response be to worship!

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God and we are
the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care. 

- Psalm 95:6-7

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Call of Silence

This world can be so noisy. So filled with distractions and loud voices, glaring thoughts and swirling images, slamming doors and spinning tales, it can leave you dizzy and gasping for air.

Gasping for something real, and true, and good to fill back up the empty spaces, realizing it’s been too long since you’ve just been still.

When I feel like this soon the guilty questions start to come.

Why do I wait so long to be still?

Why do I fill up my days busy with trivial things that never add up to much more than a hill of beans once my head finally hits the pillow?

Why do I walk through some days with blinders on and proceed to trip over the ones I love, because whoops, I didn’t see you…   I’m just too wrapped up in myself and whatever else has stolen my attention, my identity.

When I find I’m feeling lost in a world of frustration, it’s then that I hear it. . .

This quiet call from deep inside to come and be still.

The Call of Silence.

* * *

Silence. . .

I can hear it calling

From the deepest part of my soul

To come and be still

Where He is there waiting


My name

The one that only He knows

Because He made me

He loves me

He saved me

For eternity.

* * *

And softly and quietly the healing comes. I was too busy to realize how broken I had become, but He knew. He always knows.

Silence in His presence fills me back up to full, to overflowing, because His love for me is like a river that gently flows --- soothing, smoothing, singing over me.

And I make a promise to Him and to myself,

that I will not wait too long,

but will come again,

very, very soon.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
 - Psalm 23:2-3a

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…
Rather, it should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God’s sight.
 - 1 Peter 3:3-4

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

God is Good

God is good. This has been the quiet echo of my heart lately.

Over and over again, this beating truth --- That He is good. He is always good.

This is truth that never changes and a foundation that cannot be shaken. ALL the time, every moment, for all time, God is good. I know it with all of my heart.

Though my circumstances in this moment may not be what I would have chosen, there is larger purpose in it all that I cannot see. God has a plan and because of His great love for me, He will use the good things, the hard things, the sad things, and absolutely everything in my life for good which in turn, will be for His glory.

I love what James MacDonald once said; 

“God’s love is not a pampering love, but a perfecting love.”

He doesn't shower His children with blessing upon blessing and make life easy and effortless for us. There’s no plastic bubble of protection causing bad things to bounce off of our lives and out into the atmosphere. What kind of character would that build in His children? He loves us too much to leave us as we are, but instead will allow us to struggle in this life so that we will become stronger, more compassionate, and ultimately more aware of our great need for Him.

Each day He works in our lives like a Master Sculptor, chipping away at the hard edges of our character, gently smoothing rough places of contention, and lovingly shaping us into the perfect masterpiece He can already see.

He changes us for our good, yet in this world full of pain and suffering, evil and disaster, hunger and heartache, it can be very difficult for some to believe it.

But remember this, there was a tree in the garden…   the only forbidden tree…   the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Before the first bite of that fruit was taken, man had no knowledge of evil.

It is because of sin that we experience evil, it’s not because God isn't good. He has always been good. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

One day all things will be made new. Until then, we will groan in this fallen world, but we can always rely on one never-ending truth, 

God is good. Period.

Friday, November 8, 2013


    Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
- 1 Chronicles 16:27

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Breathing His Name

His voice. . .

 A gentle whisper with the power to create. . .

this world and everything in it.

The sun, moon and stars, and every galaxy came to be by the whispering of God.

With His breath, He breathed life into our lungs, and the very sound of our breathing is continually speaking His Name.

The Name of God - YHWH. (Yahweh)

We inhale Yah-h-h and exhale Weh-h-h, and with every single breath, we are calling out to Him, the Creator and Sustainer of Life.

Can you hear it?    

. . .every breath on earth joining in with the rhythm of each beating heart, singing a constant chorus of His Name.

Every person alive is forever speaking the Name of the One who formed them, knew them, and loved them, before they ever came to be.

His voice a gentle whisper. . .

Our breath is whispering His Name.

And with the very breath that keeps us living,

           we fill the whole earth with His glory.

Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.  – Psalm 72:19

This is what God the Lord says—
He who created the heavens and stretched them out, 
who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.”
– Isaiah 42:5-6

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Morning Song

Song lifted high at the break of new dawn
Fire-brazen sky, night's echoes now gone

Morning breeze dancing with shimmering light
Unspoken praises find wings to take flight

Soaring to heaven in urgent release
Exploding through clouds, fiery brilliance increased

In humble adoring arriving to bring
Every glorious morning, praise to the King!

Hallelujah! Praise God from heaven, praise him from the mountaintops; 
Praise him, all you his angels, praise him, all you his warriors, 
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, you morning stars; 
Praise him, high heaven, praise him, heavenly rain clouds; 
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God— he spoke the word, and there they were!
Pslam 148:1-5 MSG

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do Not Worry - TRUST

I’ve never been much of a worrier, but I know a lot of friends who are and I wish I could get them to see a bigger picture. I just don’t spend a lot of time dwelling in the past or fretting about the future. I think that’s why these words of Jesus recorded in the book of Matthew have always made a lot of sense to me,

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

In other words, take “one day at a time.” (Not just a 70’s show, but good advice. Ha!)

Now consider a statement I once heard that went something like this: 

If we ever had the chance to see, all at once,
all that we would face over our lifetimes,
the shock would be enough to stop our heart.

Wow! I mused at the time, we might just drop dead if we saw our whole life flashed before us?! Now, there’s no way to know for sure if that’s true, but I dwelt on that thought for a while.

If I could see my whole life before me,

all that I would have to endure,

how would I react?

It took some time of contemplation, but eventually, this heartfelt prayer is what came from those thoughts…

If You allowed me to see
What my future will be,
LORD, how would I respond?

If I saw pain in my life,
And great trials and strife,
Would my faith be a rock to stand on?

Knowing You would be there
In my sorrow to share,
Would that take away my fear?

Would I trust Your protection?
And Your plan of perfection?
That You’d capture every tear?

LORD, You are my reason
For life through all seasons,
So I believe I can honestly say…

I will go where You lead me,
Through the fire or the valley,
I will trust in You all the way.

There’s no need to think twice,
For You paid the hard price
To give me life that’s new.

Counting all else as loss,
I will take up my cross,
And follow hard after You!


Oh how He loves us and wants what’s best for us! Just look at the price He paid for us.

Why do we ever worry and doubt?

God is bigger than all of our problems.

Ask yourself this, do you really think there’s anything He can’t handle?  That there might be an issue too complicated for the God who spoke this universe into existence?

If you worry your problems are too big, then honestly your idea of God is much too small, and you need to quickly adjust your thinking.

Just think about how big, how enormous, how incomprehensibly H U G E God is, and suddenly, your problems are looking pretty darned small.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  (Matthew 6:25-27)

Well? Are you not much more valuable than all of the little birds you see outside your window?

Let that question swirl around your heart for a while. And then this one:

“Can any one of you by worrying, add a single hour to your life?”

Decide for yourself what the answer will be,


Trust in the One who is big enough. 

He is so much more than enough!