Wednesday, January 26, 2011


My friend wrote something yesterday that has led to a flurry of emails. Can I share my thoughts to her this morning with you?


It was a late night for me last night. On the phone with a dear friend who is trying to fight the “monster”. You and I have fought that monster too. That voice that paralyzes hope and holds captive joy.

Today the Lord led me to Psalm 40. And it’s comforting, but still… you know when you’re at that point where comforting words just aren’t cutting it anymore? We need a breakthrough, Jennifer!

Today my heart is heavy. For her, for Johnny the Brave, for my own sick kiddos at home, and zero sleep for this mom. For dreams that seem too big to ever be real. For teenagers whose moms don’t love them. For girls willing to do anything for love, and are living with regret and shame.

Today is one of those days when the weight of this fallen world is tangible, and hard to carry. I know I’m not meant to carry it. He is. My job is to simply lay it all at his feet. And pour out my tears on Him, much like Mary did.

Today I'm learning to Let Go and Hold On!


I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the LORD. Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD, who have no confidence in the proud, or in those who worship idols. O LORD my God, you have done many miracles for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them. You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand -- you don't require burnt offerings or sin offerings. Then I said, "Look, I have come. And this has been written about me in your scroll: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart." I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O LORD, well know. I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. LORD, don't hold back your tender mercies from me. My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness. For troubles surround me -- too many to count! They pile up so high I can't see my way out. They are more numerous than the hairs on my head. I have lost all my courage. Please, LORD, rescue me! Come quickly, LORD, and help me. May those who try to destroy me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace. Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, "Aha! We've got him now!" But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, "The LORD is great!" As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now. You are my helper and my savior. Do not delay, O my God. Psalm 40

Will you pray with me today?

Father, today is one of those days that makes the heart ache. Trouble and heartache surround us. Pits, mud and mire hold us captive. We are poor and need. But You, O God, You think about us. What am amazing thought! You know. The hurts, the worries, the questions in our hearts. You have not forgotten us. You have not abandoned us. You have loved us, and love us still, today, in this moment. So here it is, God. All the burdens of our hearts. We lay them at Your feet. We let it go, give it to You. Will You rescue us? Will You hold our hearts? Will You hear our cry? Will You come and set us free? We invite You to show off. To show us Your glory. To grow our hearts in these moments of suffering. To make us more like You. Come quickly, Lord and help! Our only hope is in Your unfailing love!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Someone, somewhere started preaching the message that if we were balanced we would be happy. For years now I’ve tried to walk the tight rope, spinning my plates and striving to stay balanced. And can I be honest with you? I’m so over it.

I’m sure whoever started the “balance” message was well intentioned. I’m sure they were feeling stretched too thin, pulled in too many directions, run ragged. And in an effort to regain a little control went searching for balance.

The problem I see with “balance” is that I don’t really find Jesus setting that example for us. Jesus was extreme. When He fasted it wasn’t for a day or so, it was for 40 days. When He prayed He didn’t just recite nice poetic words, He sweated blood. When He loved He didn’t just love His friends, but the prostitute, the tax collector, the demonic. When He said He wanted to provide a way for us to be brought near to God He didn’t just invite us over for tea, He hung naked on a cross and took the burden of our sin.

Jesus was extreme. Fully engaged. Wholly immersed in every moment, every activity.

Recently I’ve been wrestling with the concept of “rest”. God commands us to rest. Yet, I don’t think I have any idea what it means to rest in God. Lazy? I’ve got that down. Rest? Not so much.

Today someone said to me that the purpose of rest is to be refreshed and renewed in His glory. Vegging on the couch is not rest. Getting my 8 hours of shut eye is not rest. It’s not about balancing work and leisure. Getting rest requires us to be purposeful. It’s a decision we make to position ourselves to really be with Jesus. Our rest should be extreme. Fully engaged. Without distraction. Enjoying Him.

My mentor has an amazing way of painting visual pictures of what my heart is wrestling with. She told me that a lot of times we find ourselves chasing after Jesus, running to keep up with Him, striving to be doing His will. Resting in Jesus, however, is like climbing on a sled and letting Jesus hold the rope. We’re still moving, still going with Him, still busy about His work. But like a little child tethered to a trustworthy dad we can simply enjoy the ride.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of running.

I think I’m ready to rest.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Land of Not Enough

In the book of 2 Kings there is an obscure passage where the newly anointed Prophet Elisha finds himself in the Land of Not Enough. He arrives in Gilgal to discover there is a famine. No other description was given of Gilgal except that one word: famine. No other description was needed.

Famine. shortage. hunger. lack. Not enough.

The people of the land were hungry, desperate, longing to be filled. They were famished.

And so am I.

Sitting here in my Land of More Than Enough. Surrounded by surplus. I too am famished. But not because of a lack of food, or clothing, or warmth, or shelter, or entertainment, or comfort. No, all of those I have in excess.

But there is a holy dissatisfaction. A deep, unfulfilled longing. A famine in my soul.

It cannot be quenched by routine quite times… it aches to feast at the banquet of His Word.

It cannot be satisfied in simple recited prayers… it must pour out under the waterfall of His presence.

In cannot be appeased in participation in a song service… it longs to be wrapped up in worship.

In the Land of Not Enough I am desperate to be filled. I try to appease the hunger in my soul. Work. Fun. Fellowship. Shopping. Eating. Volunteering. Performing. I try and try to fill the void. And yet, after all my trying I am still needy. Still hungry. Still famished.

A famine in my soul.

The people of the Gilgal came to Elisha and told him one simple thing. They told him they were famished. Elisha provided food for the hungry.

And they ate and had some left over. 2 Kings 4:44

They ate.

And they had some left over.

From famine to abundance.

From lack to surplus.

From needy to whole.

I too am famished. I too come. Asking to be filled once again. And my Jesus answers me with at sweet and confident yes. Yes child… you can be filled.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Mat. 5:6

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pew Dweller

We passed in the paper goods aisle at the grocery story. She was wearing a bright red t-shirt with “Pew Dweller” in bold print across the front. Something about it bothered me, but I wasn’t sure what. Later that night I read this…

“When the Church retreats from the world, she becomes a fortress. She is seen as little more than an irrelevant, archaic, outdated, decaying institution on the fringes of society. Sadder still, she becomes filled with people who are of the world but not in it rather than people who are in the world but not of it. Now, this might sound like mere semantics, but there’s a big difference.” Christine Caine

And this morning…

“If the altar of our churches has become a place of celebration only and not a place of sacrifice, the result will be shallow, self-centered people filling pews that have no real intention of serving the Kingdom.” Dane Hall

I’ve spent a lot of years living my life as a “pew dweller”. My motives were pure. I loved the church. Loved everything about it. Church is where I felt most at home, most welcome. Why would I not want to dwell there?

But lately I’ve been feeling like I live in a bubble of Christianity. Like everything in my life is sanitized and safe. And I’m fairly convinced that’s not why Jesus suffered and died… for me to be safe.

Recently I’ve found myself praying “God, make me dangerous”. And it’s a prayer that scares the snot out of me. But I can’t quit praying it. I’m tired of being safe. And I’m insanely tired of the Enemy feeling like he's safe around me. I want to be dangerous to the kingdom of darkness. I want to disrupt the schemes of evil. Fight for the lost. Tear down strongholds. See the captives set free.

I want to be a part of feeding the hungry. Clothing the naked. Loving the broken. Healing the sick.

I want to be IN the world.

I want to be a light in the world.

No offense to my sister with the “pew dweller” t-shirt, but I’m bored with a faith that simply sits on a pew. I’m ready to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”.