If you've ever felt in need of happiness

I hear the steady hum of it from the world that dances all around me, surrounding me with their idea of where I can find my own fulfillment.

In a grand wide world, with a vast amount of cultures, it would seem that this one single way of life is one of the few things that are universal-breaking through boarders and keeping a steady familiarity no matter where in the world you go.

It’s the continues pull to a life that pleases myself.

Isn’t that what the world tells us that this whole, crazy life is all about?

If something doesn’t make you happy, then let it go without a backwards turn. If a person’s left you broken down and disappointed, go ahead and take a few steps away, maybe even go all the way and leave them cold. After all, we’re all just looking for a little space of happiness in this busted-up world.

Maybe if we all find just the right hobby, or accomplish the right degree we’ll unlock the right door into the elusive path that lead us to blissful living.

We’ve heard the message loud and clear; that when we’re doing what pleases us, then and only then will we hold on to happiness.

We’ve been told that we all just need to dig deep and do what we are meant to do, but do we even know just what it is that we are really meant to do?

In all of this searching for self-fulfillment, are we so quick to tag along to the world’s ideas of how to live a life? And yet, the Word of Truth tells us each of a very different way of life.

I remember it clear, city streets and the cold air whipping around me. I’d just had my first chance to share a bit of Gospel Truth with a stranger along the way.

Hands shaking, and voice cracking, and yet somehow the words started to tumble out. Awkwardly at first, then gaining a fragment of confidence.

When it was all over, I felt the mixture of the emotions, both of them swelling up inside of me simultaneously. First came thoughts of trembling fear, as the mess of it all was made clear to my weak and stuttering self. But then through the tumbled up emotions inside, came the quiet voice and I knew it was true from the moment I heard it.

This is what I was meant to do. And then the flood of heaven's joy poured down, overtaking this fragile, human soul.

Because the fact of it all is that the real way to buy happiness, isn’t like the world will try to tell you.

It’s not ever going to be found in your selfish desires met. It’s never going to be found in your chase for greatness. If that’s all you’ve tasted as of yet, then you’ve got one of the best gifts of this life yet to unwrap.

You see, if happiness could be bottled and put on shelves, the cost it would take to transfer it to your possession, is a whole lot of giving. It will take all of the I Wants, or My Ways that we've got, or maybe a great big pack of our precious selfish-ambition.

When you give of yourself, you’re going to receive the most. Not in earthly measures, or personal gain, but the arm loads of His grace will rush through your veins.

The world only knows of this one sort of joy. It’s the deluded, dismantled, crushed up and dived by a million kind. It comes with a rush and then leaves you bone dry.

Your greatest success is always going to be found when you become less, and the perfection of Christ becomes greater within you.

I write these words, and yeah, I know they're all true, every one of them, and yet here I am still finding myself in the awful mess of fighting for my own rights, or selfish desires.

Friends, it is true. The glorious freedom that we all are so broken-down hungry for, is found when we peel back our hold on our own selfish gain, and instead give someone else the right of way.

Isn’t that what our Master taught us all while He walked this sin-sick earth? Didn’t He live the greatest life of giving that this hollowed out world had ever beheld?

Don’t wait for the greater moments. Don’t wait until it’s more comfortable. Don't wait till there's sure to be an applause. Give yourself away to a desperately dying world every single day that your lungs breath in the air of this life.

Give yourself when you’ve got to go pick up the couple of things at the store. Give yourself when the kids are asking you for more. Give yourself when you’re feeling the pull for you. Give yourself when it’s the last thing that you want to do.

And if it’s His kind of giving and you’re in tune to His grace-if the goodness of a Saving Father has taken up residence in that space in you heart- you’ll never, not once, ever have to worry about running out of love to be given. It’s coming in endless supply.

Remember that women, who’s last possession was that old jar of oil and a few crushed grains of wheat? Well, just like that jar of oil never hit empty, never will the love and grace of your God ever run out.

So go out and give and taste the sweet beauty of a life filled with happiness-a happiness that this world has never even tasted.

The tension of a tragically, beautiful world

I've been wanting to do a count of all the miles I've traveled in only a few short days.

I'm thinking the numbers would add up to something quite high, but no matter what they amount to, they'll never compare to the vast amount of emotions, joys and sorrows that this heart has covered in a mere couple of days.

From sitting by your friend's side while her dad lies sick with cancer, to sharing beautiful moments of truth with a small band of Christ-followers, to holding those who've just laid a loved one to his final rest, to celebrating the exquisite beauty of a dear friends wedding day.
There are painfully tragic moments all weaved together with the gloriously beautiful moments in this great span of time that we each call our lives. 

And this is the tension we rest in here on earth, while waiting for a perfect eternity. 

We're all caught up in the midst of awful pain and breath-taking beauty. 

We're forever wondering how we can be holding on to both in one single heart. How it's possible to one day grieve a loss, and the next day dance with joy at another's celebration.

We'll forever face the tragic whether or not we're okay with facing it. But tragic can become a thing of beauty too, when we go and lift our eyes up, right there in the midst of it. 

It can become a window to the very truest beauty of all-the beauty of seeing His hand working amidst it all, bringing it all into a glorious display or redmption.

Tragic can be turned upside down and begin to shape a steady row of miracles, if we go on and let it.

Tragic can begin to shape you and I into greater lovers and greater followers of the One who faced the greatest of all tragedies- of a Savior being slain by the lost lambs He came to save.

May we not waste away our moments of tragedy by simply trying to rush right through them. May we look up instead, and see what is to be gained right there in the midst of them.

Live strong and full right there, in the tension of the tragic and the beautiful.

Take it all in and let it guide you to the one who will one day wipe every tear and will rejoice with you forevermore.

Yes, this painful, broken world is one day coming to an end. Spend your days below letting yourself be broken for the others in your life, that the beauty of heaven can shine through every crack.

And when life is marked by the beauty of Another World, don't let it slip by without a heart full of rejoicing invested within it. For there lies the reminders of our own after life. 

There within those moments of blissful glory, lies the reminders of what exactly is to come for the heart that believers in the One who won our victory forevermore.

There's a whole lot of us-the dreamers, Christ-followers and seekers of grace. 
Would you care to join us in our great pursuit? Join here

If you might be called a dreamer

There are countless times in my life when I could be found scribbling away on a pile of blank pieces of paper, filling them full of the plans that I had. Perhaps if you're a fellow dreamer, you can understand.

I made up the goals. I laid it all out. First this step and then the next. I called them my dream-these ideas that I'd chase. I told myself that I could do it all if I just reached up high enough and gave it my all. 

A dreamer is a beautiful thing to be in this world, and yet, it's a messy thing to be when done in the natural ways of the world.
Time and time again, in my short little life, I find myself dazed and confused by the sharp turns of life. Then one day I'm stuck in a place that's far from the words that were scribbled away on those precious little pages, all those days ago. I'm stuck in a place where dreams seem far from coming true.

When I look around at where I'm at I think the goals just weren't meant to be met after all, and decide that I must not be the dreamer that I thought I once was. I try then to keep myself from dreaming to freely in order to miss out on the pain of dreams not coming true. 

But what exactly is it that a dream is meant to be?

A dream ought to be something that, once made true-once you can touch it, see it and feel it-you've reached the very top, there's nothing more to climb. You wouldn't change a thing from then on in life.

Now, have I lost all the realists out there in this world? Sounds like what, you say? An impossible life? You're right. 

Unless, that is, you've dreamt things up just right.

See, back then each plan I had was for a dream that if I'm honest, once reached, I'd still be looking for more. But what if my dream went a little like this...

I didn't care where I was, and I didn't care where I went. I didn't care what became of me really at all. 

What if the only thing I sought after was something that could never fade-something with eternal weight? 

What if I cared more about the hearts alive around me then the destination at the end of the journey? 

What if I dreamed of sharing more of a soul-transforming love, instead of trying to be the one that's always running in the lead? 

What if I gave a little more of what I've got inside, rather than trying to keep it all to myself in order just to get ahead?

Perhaps the greatest dreamers can only exist inside the Love that lights a fire that can never be dimmed. 

You see, I think all of us are meant to dream and chase them with full force, but better look close at what it is you're dreaming. Don't let yourself become deceived. 

Let me ask you this, once you've reached all that you are after, will it be the end of cares and maybe full of laughter? Or do you sense that you'll begin to look for what it is that could be next? Do you think you'll feel a little sinking when your worldly success is reached? 

Let's you and I dream a dream that will lead to everlasting, soul-satisfying bliss in eternity. Let's give our lives over to the dreams of our Heavenly Father. He's an applauder of the dreamer that dares to reach for more than this world could ever offer.

He's the author and the builder of the greatest stories and creations. The One who saw fit to give us our imaginations. He gave all that He could give in order to show us what it means to really live.

Those who walk behind His guidance will never want for more adventure. They'll find their fill along that narrow road, where willing and ready vessels are needed in a greater supply. They'll find the joy that lights the eye and never will grow dim.

Let's you and I be dreamers, making sure our dreams are really what our hearts are after-making sure that they will please the Master. Because it's only when His heart is filled with joy, that our own hearts find their infinite worth for all of eternity. 

The dreamers that follow Christ can dream without limitations and those are the few that He seems to entrust with those out-of-this-world sort of tasks. He's looking for the ones who will willingly accept when He's got a special task. He's looking for the ones who will transform small living into something with meaning. He's looking for the ones will accept with a ready yes when the road has not yet been revealed.

Let's all be dreamers. Let's be dreamers that are building another Kingdom that this world can't even fathom. Dreamers that love without limit and don't hesitate for a moment when the call of Christ is placed upon their lives. Let's dream of the beauty of His radiant majesty, and bring it to our little places on earth.

Why it's safe to let it all go

There are times in life when it seems that everything we've got has somehow been tied up in knots. It seems that the harder we try to make things right, the tighter it all gets.

Truth is, that's when we're meant to just let go. 

We let go-not to forget, and not to give up-but to be released from the burden of trying not to mess it all up.

We can let go because Christ never lets go of us. 

We can release our hold on this fragile life, because Christ never moves from His place of control.

Just as He stood sovereign on the day that He breathed this whole wide world into existence, so He stands in control of it all now.

Just as He stood as Lord over the great flood waters, so He stands sovereign over the raging seas inside of our lives.

Our letting go might make us feel like all is falling out of control, but in reality, it's simply a step out of the way so that He can have His better way.

When we refuse to release our hold on the way that our life goes, we are refusing to let the God of the universe run our life the way He intended to from the beginning.

When we try to lend a hand, try to choose the course we think we should take, we dim the light of His unfathomable grace. When we try to make it all turn right, we've begun to limit His power within our lives.

If you find today that your mind still tends to believe that the working of your hands will simply be enough, perhaps it's time for you to take a closer look at what exactly you are out to gain. If you're after earthly achievement then you might very well be enough on your own, but if it's His glory that you're after, than He along can do that work.

Let go today, and trust that He will never let go of you. He's painting a beautiful masterpiece with each of our lives, but first we've got to let Him have the canvas free and clear of any disruption.

Our hearts are prone to forget, our hands quick to try and grab control once more, but today let us release our hold. We'll fight again tomorrow to continue to let it go.