The Builder Behind it All


A new year is coming.


Perhaps you and I are of a different sort, but when I think of the start of a new year, well, these bubbly feelings of joy and excitement start to well up inside. I feel a thrill of something beautiful begin to burst out. I think of a fresh start and I think of all the unknowns-large or small-that will come to pass in this new, upcoming chapter in life. The unknowns that are always and forever 'knowns' to my Father.


There are going to be some hard times. There always are. Yet, in the grand scheme of things I know deep down, that those hard times are always turned into beauty-whether it be on this side of heaven or someday on the other side. He's working it all together, weaving it all into a grand story that displays the beauty of a good and faithful God.

A Needed Sorrow



One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in 1 Peter...


"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you...In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials."


"If need be."


These three little words hold so much weight.


Lift up Your Eyes


                                        

It was a few nights ago, while the snow was yet still falling. The house was filled with its usual chaos, and we decided to go off on a little adventure. We put on our jackets and I pulled on some oversized boots. I swung the little girl up into my arms, and we slipped out the back door. 

Instantly we were surrounded by a perfect stillness as we looked around at the muffled world. We watched as snowflakes danced down from the heavens; admired the sparkle and glimmer of the fresh blanket of white that covered the ground. 

Look to the One Who Holds it All



With Christmas time in full swing, it seems I've had a constant stream of Christmas music filling nearly every moment of day, with joy and beautiful reminders of what this season's true purpose is.

I’ve always been one to appreciate the classics. It’s hard to beat Frank Sinatra's soothing voice. And each time I listen to one of Bing’s classics, it's seems every beautiful childhood memory of Christmas time comes flooding back to my mind and heart.

Present and Yield


                                             

I wonder what your response would be if I were to come up to you and say, “Hey, I could use some help! Could you go to this meeting for me?” So far you might think, “Okay, I could probably handle that.” But then I add a little something to the request. You see, in order for this to work, you need to say the exact things I would say, behave in the same way I would behave and look exactly like me so that when people look at you, they are convinced that they are seeing only me. Now, do you think you could pull it off? 

To Hear and to Change


You know those moments when you're talking and the person sitting across from you is hearing your words, but they aren't really listening? They make eye contact, nod along, and yet they remain visibly unaffected, uninterested and unchanged by the conversation. You suddenly begin to wonder if perhaps you are talking more to the walls around you than the person opposite you.
I don't know about you, but I don't exactly enjoy these types of conversations. 

Faithful to the End

                                    

I heard it said once, that you need not fear the future because the whole purpose of your existence is to prove the faithful character of your God. He will not let you down. He will not let you be destroyed, and He will not abandon you. Your life is living proof that He exists.

I've heard of His faithfulness often enough, but when troubles come and uncertainties are ahead I can easily waver. The truth that I know so well in my head get's easily disconnected from my heart.

Have We Forgotten

                                            

Right now in America, there are a million and one reasons to fear, there are a million and one reasons to be discouraged and there are a million and one reasons to worry.

This is what every person has to face at the start of each day. That is, unless of course, you are a child of God. And yet, are we any different?

Doing What We Ought

                                                 

Say we're sitting across from each other right now and I ask you the question, "Do you want a stronger walk with Christ?" What would your answer be?

Most likely, if you're reading this post the answer would be an easy "Ah, yes. Don't we all?" So, here's my next question for you. Does your desire match your doing?

Chasing Happiness

                                     

I remember it clearly. I was sitting in my last church service before the big move back to my little hometown in Wisconsin. God had made it so clear that He wanted me to move back by my family after spending a year out in Colorado. Because of my assurance that this is what he wanted I embraced the change and made plans to head back without fear of what may be on the other side-that is, until that day. As I looked around the church full of people I'd grown to love and appreciate, people who had become like family to me, I started to doubt. Questions like "Are you sure this is what will make you happy?" or "Is this really what you want to do?" started filling my mind. The bate to analyze these questions was so intense and I started down that road, trying to determine if this is the way I wanted to go. It was so subtle and seemed safe until later that afternoon, I realized what the enemy had been up to. Since when was this about me? 

Sea of Faces

I've seen new places, experienced new things, learned new cultures and grew in my knowledge of history. I've learned more of what it means to be adaptable to different ways of living, but one thing has always remained the same in this month full of many changes, and that is the people.
Yes they look different, act different, have their own personalities and styles, and yet, they all have something in common. It's the need for a Savior, the cry and hunger for something more. They are all in need and searching for the same thing. My eyes have been opened in a whole new way. What I once saw as just the lost, has now become a sea of faces. No longer a vague people group across the world, but instead, individual lives, and they are somethings of far greater worth than any castle or monument.

If You're Not One to Wait


I don't like to be an idle person. I like to do and achieve. That means...I do not like waiting.

In fact, a few years ago I decided to get rid of the word "wait" from my vocabulary all together. After all, I live in a world full of opportunities to go, to do, to serve. I wasn't about to spend any time waiting.

I would hear of those "waiting" for their future spouse, and sure that's all good and fine for you, but I'm not about to be caught putting life on hold until someone decides to come and sweep me off my feet.

To Those Whom Little Feet Follow

Let me give you two little glimpses into my life recently...

The day I tried to clean the kitchen...
There's two little kiddos eating lunch at the table. I race to try and get the kitchen clean before they are "let loose" to destroy once again. Two minutes into the cleaning I hear a crash and look up to find pieces of what once was a plate strewn across the floor and pieces of food everywhere. They're both demanding to be freed from their chairs so I hurry to let them go, praying they miraculously find something quiet to do and begin to clean up the mess. Five seconds in and I hear screaming from the youngest. I look up to see her being pulled to the ground by her bib as her older sister tries to "help" by attempting to remove it. I sit down, pull the sobbing child into my lap looking around at what was supposed to be a clean kitchen and instead looks like a battlefield. Then I hear the word "Smile!" and look up to see my phone held up in my face by little two year old hands, and I decide right then and there to stop caring and do as I'm told.

Courage that Remains

"Your way was in the sea...
...You led your people like a flock."
-Psalms 77:19-20-

I like to think that I have a good amount of courage. I like to say that I am immovable. I like to believe that when winds and waves come, I'll remain standing strong. But when the storms blow in that's when reality is revealed, and sometimes, it's just not what I was hoping to see.

It's easy to say that our faith is strong, it's easy to claim to be fixed on the solid rock, but at the first sign of a storm, where then are you found?

When We're Made Bold as Lions


Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived happily in her own little world. She loved playing the day away and lived quite a good life, safely surrounded by her family and quite protected from this world. There was only one thing that distorted this beautiful picture of a happy childhood however, and that was fear. Though it would seem there was no reason at all for it to be present, still present it was.


The Cost


I should probably warn you ahead of time, this is going to be some straight up, real life, vulnerable honesty for ya'll. Life is difficult sometimes and somedays are just those run-to-your-bed-through-the-covers-over-your-head kind of days. Don't worry though, this is not a post without hope, because the best part is that even on those crazy, overwhelming days, there is still a God in Heaven, who sees my every worry, my every fear and my every anxiety and He stands ever ready to take them from me.

Seek the Person, Not the Plan


The will of God is an interesting thing. Sometimes it seems we view it as a great mystery that's always around the next corner. We seek it, pursue it like we feel we ought, and yet we're often left at the fork in the road still wondering where we're supposed to turn.

The strangest part of it all is that in His Word, God says that He loves to reveal Himself to us. He promises to give wisdom when we ask, He says to us "Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door shall be opened."