Break it Down Like David!


I’m fairly certain I’m never shopping at Walmart Grocery again. I say this often, but I mean it.

I’ve watched a grown man beat the pulp out of female security guard, though she did hold her own for the most part.

I’ve been cornered by a man asking how to make sloppy joes in the Manwich aisle. 

I’ve been hit on by a man in the dog food aisle. He literally asked if I was married. I thought, “Dude, you must be desperate for one and two, if you think you’re hitting on an animal person, know that I’m buying regular sized dry dog food for an 8 lb mutt with no teeth. I do not plan to water it down either.” 

And today, I was barracaded in the chip aisle by a random dude asking where I go to church because it’s the last days. If he only knew just how right he was at that moment. I was hot, hungry, and in a hurry.

While going to church means nada in the sense that it won’t save your tail from hell, I appreciate his concern. Okay, not really. Well a little. I suppose he thinks he’s doing what he can to spread the gospel, though, that wasn’t at all what he was doing. I sort of wish I’d have said no to hear what he might have said next. Maybe he would have started with, “Hey random lady, have you broken the 10 commandments because that makes you a sinner going to hell. And it’s the last days. Get saved.”

I don’t know. I suppose I get the “Do something!” mentality. I love that people are in love with Jesus and want others to know about Him, His saving grace, His love and mercy. But scaring the literal hell out them isn’t exactly the right approach in my opinion, or cornering them in a market to ask where they go to church. Church doesn’t save people. Jesus does. Granted, you could meet Jesus at church. 

I believe that God can ask you to do something out of the ordinary concerning Him–like praying for a random stranger in McDonald’s, buying the coffee for the car behind you in a Starbucks line, or even speaking a word to someone in the grocery aisle (if you are most certain it is the Lord and you are supposed to) however, there are things that I think happen out of zealousness but they backfire and sometimes do more harm than good.

A youth pastor (not our rocking youth pastor) once told the kids to be radical in their faith. I agree. Be passionate. Then he told a story about a boy so on fire for God he jumped up on the cafeteria tables and started preaching.


I had to explain to my daughter that the Bible says to obey earthly authority (not if they tell you to go against what you know is biblical authority). Drive the speed limit, etc…Authority at the school says not to jump on cafeteria tables. It will get you detention. Is it right to break the rules God tells us not to, to preach Christ? Why can’t that boy just live his life out loud, love the people he encounters and preach through his daily living? He could. 

Now, I know that boy was excited about his faith. But his still-on-milk-mentality drove him to break rules that ultimately led to detention and not a revival. I explained while the youth pastor had good intentions, he got it wrong. 

Radical faith isn’t preaching from cafeteria tables or cornering folks at the store with pointed questions that ultimately don’t matter. You can die in your sin and go to church every Sunday.

Radical faith is saying, “No, I won’t go to that movie because I know they take the Lord’s name in vain and show nudity.” “No, I won’t go to that party because there is drinking involved.” It takes bigger faith to look peers in the eye and draw a line than it does to stop a stranger and scare them half to death. (There are always exceptions.)

It’s like that commercial from the 70’s. Hey Koolaid. What is up with
that? Remember those commercials? Did I date myself? As a kid, Kool Aid running
through the wall to save the day was pretty kool.


He was passionate
about his drink and helping others. Passionate about the right thing. Kool Aid
had lots of zeal.
However, did he
really need to bust through a wall? Was that really the right way to go about
being passionate? Is impulsiveness the answer?
Look with me at 2
Samuel Chapter 6. David is king and he’s bringing back the ark. The presence of
God! The Philistines had captured it, then they were plagued with rats and
tumors until they sent it away and at this point it was in the home of
Abinadab, and David was ready for it to be back in his city.
He was zealous.
Passionate. And so were the people.
They busted out the
harps, lyres and wooden instruments and played music. It was a joyous occasion.
They loaded the ark
of God, whose name is called by the Name, the LORD of Hosts, who dwells between
the cherubim onto a new cart and Abinadab’s sons pushed the cart. The people and
David went ahead of the cart, rejoicing. Dancing. Singing. Breaking it down.
And the cart hit a
And Uzzah, one of
the sons, reached out to steady it.
And he dropped dead.
That last party horn
gave a sorry “hrrrrngh” and everyone stopped. The singing halted.
That woman near the end carried her note maybe 30 seconds longer than the rest
until it died off in a weak echo.
The Lord had struck
Uzzah down. In his passion. His zeal. Why?
Because though their
motives and passion was pure, they did not follow the proper order.
God was specific
about that ark and how to carry it. He had them make poles that slipped into
the four grooves on the ark. And the sons of Kohath were designated to carry
it. No carts.
This was the very
presence of God. A holy God. As if man could just reach out and touch Him
(then–before Christ came and made a way so we could). 
RC Sproul says, “The presumptous sin of Uzzah was this…He assumed that his hands were less polluted than the dirt.” 
They got caught up
in being passionate that they forgot order. God is God of order.
David was angry. Not
the same Hebrew word for angry that God was. He had no reason to be angry. He’d
disobeyed. But God’s anger was righteous.
David left the ark
at Obed-Edom. Everyone went home, solemn. Probably confused. Some ticked–like
But David was a man
who took his emotions to the Lord. He had a teachable spirit. And three months
later, David did it right.
He went to the Lord in his passion and consulted God. This time (verse 13) those bearing the
ark, with the poles carried it about six paces and no one died so they stopped
to sacrifice an offering to the Lord.
And then they danced
before the Lord and David was in nothing but a linen ephod, making merry. Full
of passion and joy. Not caring what others thought.
He’d done it right.
His wife, however
wasn’t so happy about it. “How dare you dance around like a fool, half
naked. You. Are. King.” (my paraphrase)
And David said,
“In God’s presence I’ll dance all I
want! He chose me over your father and the rest of our family and made me
prince over God’s people, over Israel. Oh
yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory—more
recklessly even than this. And as far as I’m concerned . . .
I’ll gladly look like a fool . . . but among these maids you’re
so worried about, I’ll be honored no end.” 2 Samuel 6:21-22 MSG
Some translations
say, “I’ll be even more undignified than this!”
I love it.
Passion plus order.
Then you can dance recklessly!
It’s important that we go about things God’s
way. We consult Him first with the steps. The fact is, David knew the steps,
but he got so caught up in his excitement, he left the most important part out.
Obedience in all
areas. God wants us to delight in Him and be full of joy. But He also expects
us to follow each step accordingly. And to follow man-made authority that doesn’t directly go against what He says.
Be radical. Be passionate. Be full of zeal. 
But be smart.


What makes you want to dance before the Lord?


Knot Again!

I thought how fun it
would be to title this Christmas in July until I realized, July is behind us.
My kids go back to
school tomorrow. I have a daughter in high school. Do I really even have to ask
you for prayer on that one? I didn’t think so. Thanks for praying for me. And
for her.
I’ve been going to
the gym with my maniac husband six days a week. I’m working into my fifth
week–I think (Remember I thought it was July until a few minutes ago). The
other morning, I grabbed my earbuds and the cord was tangled into this
ridiculous knot.
My first thought
was, “Got a little knot here, Russ. You work on that.” Did you guess
the movie?
Christmas Vacation.
I love those crazy Griswolds.
I was on a time
crunch–had to get out the door and to the gym by five a.m. So I started shaking,
tugging, stretching and you know what I did?
I made the knot
Which irritated the
snot out of me.
I was ready for that
crazy knot to be

untangled so I could move on with my day.

Knots aren’t always
quick fixes. The bigger and tighter the knot, the harder to unwind it–to make
it straight.
It takes several
deep breaths before a close examination.
You pick one strand
to work with. And you use that strand to dip under, through and around until
you can break free. Even if a little.
It takes a few
minutes of concentration, patience, and endurance.
But when the knot is
untangled, you can move on with your day. With your life.
You ever get knots
in your life? You neglect it and becomes entangled with other areas of neglect
or dare I say unconfessed sin?
You may think,
“I ought to just go for the world record of the largest sin and neglect
knot. I could win the Guinness.”
One big knot looks
But one strand…
I thought about
Russ’s father, Clark, leaving him there to untangle that huge knot all by
himself. The look on that boy’s face was utter hopelessness.
God never leaves us
to sort out our own knots. While we’re jerking, shaking, and getting frustrated
trying to do it on our own. He patiently waits for us to bring it to Him.
Sometimes He helps
us in a matter of minutes. And sometimes we have to work that one strand for a
period of time.
But He never leaves
us or disappoints us. Not like Russ’s dad.
Maybe it’s a bundle
of nerves. A knot of despair. A ball of worry. Whatever it is, you can take it
to God and He’ll help you straighten it out.
“Disciples so
often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.”
Psalm 34:9 MSG 




What’s got you in knots today? 
And how can I pray for

It’s Not Always a Hop, Skip, and a Jump

You are beautiful.
Don’t look around or behind you. I’m talking to you.
Yes. You.
You’re beautiful.
You’re a work in
progress. Can’t see it? 
You, the one who
wonders if your dreams will ever come to pass.
You, the one who
teeters on the edge of tossing in the towel because your passion might be too
big after all.
You, who’s been told
“no” more times than you’ve ever been told “yes.”
You, who feels
unworthy for such big dreams, ministry, a family, a nice home, a great job,
children, extras.
You, who feels
abandoned by loved ones. By God.
You, who can’t make
sense of what’s going on in your life, why circumstances are bleak and painful.
You, who rolls into
a fetal position at night and cries so your husband doesn’t ask you what’s
wrong. You, who can’t admit the truth.
You, who longs to be
so much more for God but can’t get out of the rut you’re in.
You are a dot to
dot. Not a puzzle piece. Your life may be a mystery to you. But it is not
puzzle to God.
He knows where you
begin. He knows where you end.
“Your ears
shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in
it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the
left.” Isaiah 30:21
It may look like a
mess at times. Dot to dots can be tricky. One step to the  next may be a short skip.
And sometimes it’s a
long stretch to the next point. But each one is necessary.
Necessary to create
the beautiful picture called YOU.
You don’t see it all
right now. You’re going from glory to glory gazing into a dim mirror.
When the steps are
completed–in the proper order–you will see in full.
But know with each
stretch, no matter what.
You are beautiful.
God isn’t finished
with you yet.
He’ll get you to
each dot.
You’re made in His image. And that makes you…
 “For I know the thoughts
that I think toward you, says the Lord,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Do you feel like a dot to dot or a puzzle and why?


Holy Thunder!


“When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the
ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing
from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.” Exodus 20:18

I am always awed by the holy sound of God. Can you imagine
the horn blowing from the heavens? No trumpeter to see. No horn to gaze on.
Just a holy blast.
Lightning in a slicing flash, so bright you’d have to
thunder that surpassed a mighty roar.
Last week at my mom’s, it stormed. A fierce storm. The
garage door was up and I opened the kitchen door to hit the button and let it
down, but the second I swung it wide, thunder cracked and lightning struck the
ground ten feet away. Pink and purple sparks flew like fireworks and the house
across the street lost power.
I’ve heard loud thunder. I’ve seen vivid lightning, but
never struck so hard and close that my chest shivered. It terrified me so much,
I shrieked and ran.
Before I had a single thought.
Before I could tell myself I was safe.
Before I could rationalize it was only lightning and thunder.
And I think that must have been what kept the people
trembling with fear at the foot of the mountain.
I think it’s why they refused to go back, telling Moses he
could relay God’s word to them but they would not get closer.
God is awesome. He is holy.


And our first reaction is to run as far away as we
can. We are sinful. The wages of sin is death. And we are to fear a holy God.

And that is why I am so thankful for a holy Savior—who came
so that when the awesomeness and holiness of God thunders, we bow. We fear, but
not in a dreadful manner. But with deep respect. We don’t run.
We draw near.
We are
safe. Thanks to Jesus. Thanks to His righteousness covering us.
“Christ ended the law so
that everyone who believes in him may be right with God.” Romans 10:4 NCV
This morning on the way to work, it was storming. Loud
thunder. Brilliant strokes of lightning.
And I was listening to this song–new album out from Kim
Walker-Smith with Jesus Culture. Take a few minutes and feel the holiness of

Absorb it. 

Tremble at it.

Bow to it. 


you ever watched lightning strike the ground? 


Bottoms Up!

I took my son to see
Monsters University on Monday.  Totally
cute movie and unlike Man of Steel, I
didn’t cry through the entire film. You can read my post Man of Steel vs. the Cross HERE.
But something hit me
for sure. (I don’t think I’m giving away spoilers, but it’s a kids’ movie, so
do you really care?)
All Mike ever
wanted was to be a scarer. But no one believed he could. Yet, he had
faith. It was his dream.
was going to show the world.
Enter Monsters
University and the Scare program. He worked harder and longer than
anyone–especially Sully. He had a lot to prove.
During an argument
(Mike once again proving he was good enough) he and Sully caused an accident
and it landed them out of the Scare program.
Mike and Sully’s
dreams seemed destroyed. Then Mike remembered the Scare Games–a competition
amongst fraternities. He bet the dean he could win them and if he did, she’d
have to admit she’d been wrong and he was the scariest.
again, Mike sought his dream. But it was for his own glory. His own good. His
own fame.
The most unlikely
band of monsters came together and they learned valuable lessons: Team work,
camaraderie, and even friendship. But Mike still had his eye (ha, don’t pardon
the one-eyed pun) on himself. His end goals.
While they seemed to
have won, Sully cheated. Because Mike, well…he just wasn’t scary.
That little diddy
landed their expulsion.
What happened to
Mike’s dream? Poof! Gone.
Was it?
What he learned
through a few more scenes was he was okay being just okay. And what Sully learned was, Mike wasn’t just okay.
He was brilliant. They never could have made it as far as they had in the games
or in that final battle had it not been for Mike.
Mike decides, you
know what? We’re not beaten. We’re not down. And he and Sully start out at the
Scare Company’s mail room. Photos in their work locker show them moving up in
the ranks. Starting at the bottom and working up.
Until finally, they
make it to the scare room floor.
And that’s when a
spiritual lesson hit me.
Sometimes we fail
because we’re chasing after our own glory. We want to prove we can do something
just for the sake of being somebody special.
you are special. I’m special. To God.
And sometimes our
dreams won’t always come in the ways we expect them. They won’t be big and
flashy. They’ll come small and steady. You can read about small beginnings
Sometimes it’s a
process of starting in the mail room, being diligent and persevering that
inches us toward our passion.
Sometimes, God keeps
us low, so He can go high. He has lessons in character building He needs us to
learn, and He wants the glory. If we are faithful with little, we’ll be ruler
over much.
is hard work. It takes time. Endurance.
“For God is not unjust to forget your
work and labor of love which
you have shown toward His name, in
that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
Hebrews 6:10
The question is, who
are you laboring for? Love for God or for yourself?
“Be…not lagging in diligence, fervent
in spirit, serving the Lord;  rejoicing
in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;…” 
Romans 12:10-12


you say you’ve been enduring with diligence and the 
right focus or not? 

Small Beginnings and a Big Finish

We want the big. We
want the great. We want the finish without the start. The grand finale without
the in-between.
In the book of
Zechariah, God is using him as a voice to the people. That’s why he’s called a
prophet. His ministry was to the exiles returning to Jerusalem.
(Babylonian empire) had invaded, taking the captive (including Daniel–the one
from the lion’s den) the people, and destroying the cities. You can read more on this in my post, Joy from Light bulb moments: A Lesson in Daniel. 
Then the Medo-Persian
empire took power and Cyrus began letting the people go back home to
rebuild–Jeremiah the prophet prophesied this. These were the scrolls Daniel
read (the ones Baruch had written for Jeremiah. You can read about that in my post, Pick up the Pen and Do it Again).
The exiles were
going to go back home to face utter chaos and ruins.  Imagine that. But like last week’s post, It
isn’t over until God says. He hadn’t forgotten His people.
In fact, they had a
constant reminder from Zechariah. Just by hearing his name. It means, “Yahweh Remembers.” Isn’t that
This book is full of
visions about the Second Coming of Christ and is very interesting, but what I
want to hit home today comes from Chapter 4, concerning the finishing of the
temple which had been destroyed when the Babylonians invaded.
God is talking of
Zerubbabel, the grandson of king Jehoiachin and leader of the first group of
returning exiles from Babylon.
Verse 9-10: “Zerubbabel has laid the foundation of this Temple, and he
will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord All-Powerful has
sent me to you. “The
people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant. They will be happy when they see Zerubbabel with tools,
building the Temple…”
In the
NKJV, it says in verse 10, “For who has despised the day of small
verse hit me hard. It reminded me of something a friend of mine always says
about publishing. That she’s okay with small beginnings. I agree with her. I am
too. If we are faithful with little, we’ll be ruler over much. Jesus said that,
not me.
But the
morning I read this, it really stuck with me. I was thinking over a twenty year
dream (not about writing) and things have been so small. A door is about to
open which is huge and yet…compared to my big dreams, it’s still a small
But small beginnings aren’t unimportant.
So, I
cross-referenced it for further insight and it led me to 2 Chronicles 16:9.
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro
throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose
heart is loyal to Him.” 
word loyal stuck out to me. Here were a few of my thoughts directed to God in
that moment:
What do
you mean by loyal, Lord?
I feel
like I mess up so often, I couldn’t be considered loyal.
But I
want to be loyal.
translates kindness in some passages…what exactly is this?
But I
didn’t have time to pull up my Lexicon and see what that word meant in the
Hebrew. I decided I’d come back to it later.
grabbed my iPad and headed out to the gym with my husband. After our strength
training session, I climbed on the treadmill and pulled up a John Piper sermon,
using my Desiring God app.
The last
thing I’d read was 2 Chronicles so I clicked on a sermon from that book and
began to read. You can read the full version of his sermon HERE.
When you ask God questions, when you’re curious
about His Word, He answers.
Here is
what I read from John Piper:
one of my favorite verses in all the Bible. I hope you will learn it by heart.
‘The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show his
might in behalf of those whose heart is blameless…”
The same
verse I’d read in NKJV earlier from 2 Chronicles. But he went on to share what
that word blameless (loyal) means.
i.e., wholly relying on Him, that’s what the context requires toward him.”
~John Piper
there the Lord spoke to me. Through His Word. And into my heart.
God is
looking, searching for those who will rely wholly on Him–to be strong on their
prayer on that treadmill was a picture. In my head I saw the menu screen of the
Shrek movie–where Donkey is pacing the crowd and jumping up over their heads.
me! Pick me!” He chants repeatedly.
I said,
“Lord, I will rely wholly on you. Pick me! Be strong for me! I’m just like
Donkey. Stubborn, run my mouth way more than I ought to and half the time
nothing of any substance comes out, I have off-the-wall ideas that generally
fall flat, but I’m willing. Pick me. Pick me.”
during worship (I can’t even remember the song), that image popped into my
brain but this time, strong hands took hold of Donkey’s face, calmed his spirit
and settled him down from jumping and pacing and begging, “Pick me! Pick
And He
whispered to my heart.
already picked you. Before the foundations of the world.” This was in
reference to my dream and what I desperately long to do. At this moment, I
can’t give the details (it’s not writing related at all) but when I can, I
will. But Sunday I was uncertain. Sunday, I just wanted to beg God to use me.
To try and convince Him, I’d rely on Him wholly.
And He reminded me: “Yahweh Remembers.”
we–I–let the areas I struggle with overshadow the areas I’m obedient and I
ignore that my heart longs and desires to be in God’s will. I forget that I am
trusting wholly in and on Him.
I need reminded: God didn’t ask for perfection. He asks for
commitment. To wholly rely. I’m progress. Not perfection.
And God
is moving on my behalf. And yours.
beginnings means there’s an end.
God will
perfect that which concerns me, and you.
He will
finish the good work He began in me, and you.
by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.”
Zechariah 4:6:


What about you? 
Are you relying on Him wholly? 
How do you feel
about small beginnings?

When It All Goes to Pot, Buy a Field

Can you imagine God sending you to the President of the
United States to tell him he’s about to lose the “throne” to an enemy because he’s
neglected God? And the President had all the power to put you in prison for
that…or worse? If there were no such thing as freedom of speech?
Well that’s sort of what happened with Jeremiah the prophet.
Check it:
“This is the word the Lord spoke to Jeremiah in
the tenth year Zedekiah was king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.  At
that time the army of the king of Babylon was surrounding Jerusalem. Jeremiah
the prophet was under arrest in the courtyard of the guard, which was at the
palace of the king of Judah.
Zedekiah king of Judah
had put Jeremiah in prison there. Zedekiah had asked, “Why have you prophesied
the things you have?” (Jeremiah had said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I
will soon hand the city of Jerusalem over to the king of Babylon, and he will
capture it. Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the Babylonian
army, but he will surely be handed over to the king of Babylon. And he will
speak to the king of Babylon face to face and see him with his own eyes.  The
king will take Zedekiah to Babylon, where he will stay until I have punished
him,’ says the Lord. ‘If you fight against the Babylonians, you will not
succeed.’”)” Jeremiah 32:1-5
Didn’t matter that the king didn’t like what Jeremiah had to
say. Didn’t matter he imprisoned him for it.
“If you fight against the Babylonians, you will not succeed.”
God had a plan. It involved some serious discipline.
Intended to bring repentance. And it was part of a conditional promise God had
made to His people. They broke their end and turned after other gods.
Sacrificed their babies to the demon god Molech through fire on the very
rooftops of their homes.
And God allowed, key word here: allowed, Nebuchadnezzar to
be the instrument of discipline. He brought his troops in, over a period of
time, and ransacked the city taking many captive (including Daniel).
But in the following verses, God does something weird. He
tells Jeremiah that his cousin is coming to see him and to sell him a field. By
law, next of kin had rights to buy property (redeem it; like in the story of
Ruth) if a family member was in financial troubles.
Sure enough, the cousin comes and tells Jeremiah to buy the
field from him.
He’s just prophesied that their land was about to be in
ruins. Destroyed.
Jeremiah says to God, ““Look! The enemy has surrounded the
city and has built roads to the top of the walls to capture it. Because of war,
hunger, and terrible diseases, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians
who are attacking it. You said this would happen, and now you see it is
happening.  But now, Lord God, you tell me,
‘Buy the field with silver and call in witnesses.’ You tell me this while the
Babylonian army is ready to capture the city.” Jeremiah 32:24-25
In other words: Have you lost your mind, Lord? You’re making
me look like an idiot!
“Hey ya’ll Ole Neb’s about to do us in…well, you guys
anyway. Me? Well I’m gonna buy a field. Are you kidding me?”
The Lord said (paraphrase) “I am going to do these things. I
haven’t lost my mind. You see it’s not over until it’s over.”
it’s not over until God says it’s over.
“I am the Lord, the God of every person on the earth.
Nothing is impossible for me.” Jeremiah 32:7
He goes on to explain why He’s allowing this tragedy to
befall the people, but He ends with a promise.
“This is what the Lord says: “I have brought this
great disaster to the people of Israel and Judah. In the same way I will bring
the good things that I promise to do for them.” Jeremiah 32:42
Verse 44: “…They will again buy fields in the land of
Benjamin, in the area around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the
mountains, in the western hills, and in southern Judah. I will make everything
as good for them as it once was,” says the Lord.”
Do you
feel like things are crashing down around you? Burning to the ground? Do you
wonder where God is? If He even cares about you?
It’s through trials and tragedies, we learn to trust most.
He cares. What seems to be an ash heap, can be rebuilt.
Reborn. Reclaimed.
Sometimes it’s consequences for our sins and poor choices and
sometimes simple pruning (though nothing feels simple at the time, does it?)
that leads us into these kinds of circumstances.
In this context, the people had turned their back on God,
chasing other lovers. Putting things before God, after promising never to do
may last a night, but joy comes in the morning.
God planned to restore what was being lost. To bring back a repentant
Jeremiah buying that field at God’s request was a living
picture of God’s love for His people.
He loves you.
It ain’t over till it’s over.
Do you like reading the Old Testament?Why or why not?


Happy 4th tomorrow! What are your big plans?

Get Your Ax Out of the Water!

not a lumberjack. I’ve never chopped wood with such determination that my ax
flew from my hands. I have watched a wide-toothed comb fly across the bathroom
due to tangles. Similar…yet not so much.
In 2
Kings Chapter 6, we read about the sons of the prophets who Elisha taught. Some
translations say a group of prophets. A guild in some commentaries. Point is
they decided to build a bigger facility for them to live in. So they went out
to cut down cedars.
in particular had borrowed an ax. An iron ax. Look at verse 5:  As one man was cutting down
a tree, the head of his ax fell into the water. He yelled, “Oh, my master! I
borrowed that ax!”
could have sighed, dusted his hands on his pants and copped a squat. “Well, I’m
out. Ya’ll keep working on your own beams. I’m gonna sit back and do nothing.” Or
“I’m just going to wait until Elisha sees I’m sitting on the sidelines and says
something.” Good thing Elisha was there. Verse 3 lets us know that Elisha told
them to go, but they asked him to go along with them. Good lesson right there.
to the man:
cried out! “It’s gone! My ax head has been flung from my hands and has been
buried in the water!”
Elisha did not say, “You should have had a better grip. Stinks for you. Go
find another ax.” He said, “Where did it fall?”
Ax head may represent your dead dreams. A promise. A failed marriage. A broken relationship.
Finances (Fill in the blank). At some point along the way you were working and  it flew from your grasp, landed with a splash and
sunk to the miry bottom. Never to be seen from the murky waters that drowned
Where did it fall? Where were you in
life? Where were you spiritually?
man knew. And he showed the place to Elisha.
Elisha did something similar to what Moses did when he cast the tree branch
into the bitter waters in the desert, making them sweet and drinkable. Elisha
cast a stick, wood, into the water.
the laws of gravity were defied. Iron doesn’t float. Period.
But when Jesus died on a wooden cross,
everything became possible for those who believe. For those who cry out.
that wood went into the water, something miraculous happened. The ax head floated.
But the
man had to reach out and grab it. Elisha didn’t do it for him.
you ready to pick your dream back up if it’s flown from your hands? Have you
cried out to God to help. He cares for you. He cares about things that are big
and small to you. But nothing is too big or small for him. Nothing is too
may have to go back to the place you lost it. And that might be painful, but
the same power than makes iron float can heal whatever wounds you carry.
Disappointments, struggles, exhaustion from working so hard. Whatever it is,
God can change it. He can resurrect what you think has sunk.
There is nothing He cannot bring to the
surface and restore.


Will you reach out and take it when it

Man of Steel vs. Man of the Cross

Lots of buzz
circulating about the newest Superman movie, Man of Steel. I entered the theater with my family on Father’s Day.
Excitement bubbling. Superman is my favorite hero. From Christopher Reeve to
Brandon Routh. I’ve enjoyed them all.
As I took my seat and
the music began to play, I felt a keen sense that God was near. I know He’s always
near, but it was almost tangible. You ever experience His nearness like that?
I cried through the entire movie. I
swear I did.
Not because
it was a fabulous romance. Not because it was an emotional watch, but I
recognized many of Jesus’ attributes during the movie and it moved me. Superman
was modeled after Jesus. But like every good fictional character, he needs
Unlike Jesus Christ.
After I left the
movie, I couldn’t get a particular scene from my head. (NO spoiler alert, keep
A scene that jerked and awakened my insides, and seared into my brain.
Yesterday, during my
morning time, I was reading a story about a farmer who tried to protect his
wheat field from a fire. When he did a final check, he discovered a dead hen.
Burned to a crisp. He kicked it over and out from under her wings, several baby
chicks scattered, untouched. The story was in relation to the verse about Jesus
wanting to cover the people like a hen covers her chicks with her wings.
The scene from Man of Steel replayed in my head as I
thought about the fire

ravaging the hen.

Superman was coming
to Lois Lane’s rescue (as always) during a huge explosion. He caught her
mid-air and drew her to his chest, wrapping powerful arms around her as fire
blazed through the air.
Lois tucked her head
down and as new intense flames burst, Superman did a sudden turn, shielding her
from the heat. His back took the brunt, and his red cape blew gloriously around
him, encircling her, and he blew through intense fire to freedom.
Lois unscathed.
And that’s when Jesus
whispered to my heart Isaiah 43:2-3: “…When you walk through the fire, you
shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your
God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;…”
Superman didn’t take Lois from the
flame. He took her through it.
Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered
me with the robe of righteousness…”
Just like Superman’s crimson cape extended
from himself and covered Lois, saving her, so does the blood of Christ envelope
us, inking out our sin and robing us in right standing with God.
No matter what fiery
circumstance you find yourself in, God will bring you 
through it. Unscathed.
Hang on, draw near.
Revel in His glorious comfort and protection. And know that your Savior has no
weakness. No flaws. He is all-powerful. All holy. 
Almighty. All splendorous.
All Able.




Have you seen Man of Steel? If you’re going through fire, how can I pray for you?
If you don’t want to leave a comment, send me an email. Click on the Connect
page for my email address.

Learn to Fan a Flame of Passion

shouldn’t be afraid of good things.
sometimes I am.
I knew I
was supposed to lead women’s ministry at our church and I tried every single
way to talk God out of His idea. I get ticked over that scripture where God
says, “Come let us reason together.” My reply is always the same.
“I’ll come but we both know I’m going to lose.” To this day, God has
yet to call me a loser, even though I never win in the “reasoning”
So shaking
in my boots, or flip flops–I can’t remember what I wore–I set off to our
pastor’s office to break the news. That’s how I felt about it at the time.
Ready to vomit. Unequipped. Void of any great ideas.
I sat across from him. I told him what I felt God has nudged me in my spirit to
do, and then I broke down and sobbed.
I’ll never
forget his words. With a smile on his face (and he had back pain that day) he
said, “Well, don’t cry about it.” And I laughed…and cried. And  cracked a terrible joke.
In that
moment of obedience, the nerves calmed. And ideas started flittering through my
mind. And something happened. I got excited. And scared. Then excited. God
began equipping me with people–out of the woodwork!
clicked in place. For three years, I led women’s ministry.
But God
led me.
One of the
greatest verses in the Bible is found in 2 Timothy 1:7. You may know it by
heart. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of
love, and of a sound mind.” NKJV
We use it
all the time, don’t we? For any fear or confusion. Some versions say
self-control in place of sound mind.
But we
can’t skip the teeny tiny linking word in this verse. Those little words are
important because it gives us context. And context is vital! Even in the Bible.
So what
verses are linked to 1:7?
Let’s look
at verse 6 in the NKJV. “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God

which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

Paul is
talking to Timothy about the gift God gave him. But we have one of those
important words: therefore. What’s it there for? So we have to link up again.
3-5: “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure
conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I
remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see
you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when
I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in
your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you
also.” NKJV
recognizes Timothy has genuine faith. He’s not riding Mom and Grandma’s coat
tails–because that’s impossible. And with genuine faith comes something
by the Holy Spirit. For us. To equip.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There
are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are
diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:”
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NKJV
You have a gift given by God. And it’s to be used to profit
all in the church.
to the way the Message translation reads Ephesians 4:11-13:
 “But that doesn’t mean you should
all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of
us is given his own gift. The text for this is,
climbed the high mountain,
captured the enemy and seized the booty,
handed it all out in gifts to the people.
it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley
of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to
highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his
gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet,
evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant
work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving
rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to
God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive
like Christ.”
beloved has gone to his garden, To the beds of spices, 
To feed his flock in the gardens, 
And to
gather lilies. Song of Solomon 6:2
says, “to equip the saints…”
had a gift. So do you. So do I.
#1 things holding us back is fear. Our fears may stem from many different
things. Pick one:
past reads like a crime novel. I don’t deserve to serve.
 No way can I do something like this. I’m a
a hypocrite. Half the time I don’t have it all together. And until I do, I
can’t serve.
if I fail? I failed so many people, broke so many promises, what if I fail God
and He’s been good to me so far.
have too much going on to get involved in church…i.e. I’m lazy. I’m scared. I’m
insecure. I’m justifying being vulnerable.
been hurt by the body of Christ (the church people) and I don’t want to go back
there. *Note* People are imperfect. They hurt us. But God never does.
your fear here.
you belong to Jesus and if you are in a church, you have a responsibility to be
doing something there. How do I know this? 1Corinthians 12:12-31.
now I’m going to show you the context this famous verse was written in. This is
the answer to all your fears and misgivings about using your gifts in the body
of Christ.
God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a
sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
was a worrier. Probably about a lot of things. But certainly about using the
gift/gifts God gave him for the church.
told Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23) “Stop drinking only water, and use a
little wine 

because of your stomach and your frequent

you know that drinking some (not lush amounts) of red wine can control
bacteria, heal ulcers and even prevent them. Here is just one link that shares this information. *This is not my personal
invitation for you to go out and slosh down wine or beer. It’s a point I’m
making about Timothy.
worried himself sick. Literally. Fear jacked up his stomach.
My point is: God didn’t give you spiritual gifts to keep
under a flame, hidden in the ashes for whatever excuse you can come up with not
to use them.
NIV translations says, “ into flame the gift of God, which is in
the flame. Stir it up.
Time rekindle it. That word, stir up in the Greek  is anazōpyreō  and it means to kindle up, inflame one’s mind, strength, zeal
to, inflame means:
to become hot with passion;
to set or be set on fire
But how do we do this?
Alicia Keys, That Girl is On Fire or simply turn to the book of Revelation*
1:14 is talking about Jesus Christ: “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow,
and His eyes like a flame of
What are
His eyes like?
A flame of
You want
to excited about the gifts God has placed in you? You want to overcome the fear
and shyness that holds you back? You need to stir up some passion and fire? You
need your fire fanned?
Look into
the eyes of fire. Let Him stoke the embers to a blazing inferno. The Lord guides you with
His eye. Full of passion. Fire. Ready to consume your fear. Your timidity. And
to kindle/rekindle the zeal you’ve been lacking. 
*For more on looking into His eyes read this POST! I wrote on focusing on His eyes while we dance to complicated moves.
Don’t you
be afraid! Now get out there and profit the church in a way only you can!


If you are serving in your church, what do you do? I’d
love to hear!