Friday, November 26, 2010

A love story, revisited.

When I gave the toast at my sisters wedding, I talked about love (how incredibly remarkable, I know).

I did so by painting the picture with a very simple story.

I was doing the dishes at the kitchen sink, and Jenna was in the living room. All of a sudden from inside the other room, I hear...








Did you see this, Joe?!"

Now, I’m not exaggerating, if you knew my sister you would understand.

I looked over at Arturo, Joes brother in law, who stood in the kitchen with me; we both smiled.

Not so much at the profound love connection between two human beings, but more honestly at my sisters incessant summoning, in all of its .... incessantness.

But just then, it clicked.


Quite simply, Jenna was looking at something;

and her j o y was not complete, until Joe was by her side enjoying it w i t h her.

I read a poem, and this was my instant experience.

All I wanted to do was share it; to have someone enjoy it with me.

In this I was brought back to this story, and I found it quite appropriate given that the wedding toast was given exactly one year ago today.

So, in honor of my sister - who wore well the shoes of a beautiful wife, and is now walking the road of a widow.

Thank you for inspiring me in your small and simple acts of love. You have always been a delicate soldier.

I pray that it’s His love you cling to. I hope you stay believing that as the chaos of life spins widely out of control- it falls right into His hands. And there's no better place.

This poem is a plea to Him, the Overseer of our souls, written with a true heart of flesh;

showing the nature of our astounding humanness.

So, without further ado ....




“Have you READ THIS, World?!?”


Found neatly tucked through the glorious doors of

The Rabbit Room

written by Andrew Peterson

(you should totally check it out.)



"O God, Magnificent Confounder,
Boundless in mercy and power,
Be near me in my apathy.

Be near me, Savage Dreamer,
Bright Igniter of Exploding Suns,
But not too near. I’d like to live,

By your grace, just long enough
To taste another perfect steak.
And to see my children marry,

And, perhaps, to pen a memoir.
Great redeemer of my lechery,
Bright Dawn of Blessed Hope,

Lay waste to every prideful thing,
Each black infraction of your law.
O Swirling Storm of Holy Anger,

Be patient with me. I’m certain
I will make a second gluttonous
Trip to the festal spread of food.

And I might as well admit, O King
Omniscient, I plan to make a third.
And that will lead to sloth, I know,

If only for the afternoon. Awake,
O sleeper! But not yet, not yet.
I want to dream a dream of light

In Heaven’s towering splendor.
I long, my Lord, to walk its streets
Or better yet, to drive them.

I’ve always wanted a motorcycle,
A cool one that blats and rumbles
Like a herd of flaming zebras.

I could totally impress the ladies
With my holy rolling zebra steed,
But only by your perfect pleasure,

Ruler of the angel armies, blaster
Of the horn of strength, would I ride
The golden highways awesomely.

O Wisdom of the Ages, speak!
Sing to me of secret knowledge
Open wide the gates of truth,

And let me learn it, by your grace,
Through the medium of television–
Smartly written situational comedy,

Perhaps, or an epic space opera.
Let me taste the honey of your word,
My beloved savior. Seriously. Save me

From my wit, my words, my songs,
My sin, my bad poems, my vanity,
My every single human impulse,

Except the ones I like and am able
To justify using my corruptible
Reason, my imperfect understanding,

And my belief in your inexhaustible
Forgiveness. When I awake, saintly,
I will consume a dish of pumpkin pie.

And, as I politely swallow a belch,
I will lean my heart on yours, Almighty,
To whom, alone, is due thanksgiving."

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Hand Wave

As the man in front of me half turned around, hand slightly waved in the air, I was wondering why he would be waving to me.

I had just woken up from an hour long nap on my flight back to Phoenix, and was at the stage of just “coming to.” The jet engines drown out a lot of noise, but as I stared at him in the middle seat in front of me I could tell he was saying something. I leaned my head in to catch his words with my nearer ear..

“My son!”.. he said.

I did the same uncomfortable half body twist to catch a glimpse of the young man sitting directly behind me. His dark wavy hair caught my eye first, and I then noticed that his headphones, along with the faint jet engine roar, drown the hope of his dad catching his his attention.

“Would you like me to get him for you?” I leaned up and asked the father, still waking up.

He let out a huge grin, and nodded,


I turned around again, and waved toward the young boy; my hand more visible as I was seated a row closer.

“Your dad”, I said with a smile, so as not to alarm him, he’s trying to get your attention.

The boy popped up, and squirmed his way as high on his chair as he could. He caught his dad’s eye with a big smile, and the dad waved once more. His boy smiled ear-to-ear, and waved back.

We all resumed back to our original positions, and continued on where we had been. For me that meant pulling out my computer, to tell this story.


Because I found this fascinating.

I knew immediately that this seemingly ordinary situation was actually a representation of how God works in our lives.

We get distracted by the worlds headphones. These big earpieces weigh heavily on the gateway to our soul, blocking our ability to tune into the still small voice.

However, when the times comes in which we fall into the deep trance of the worlds music, He will use someone closer to us to come along and help tune us into the song of His voice.

Even if His message is as subtle as a hand wave, as to say;

“Hello child,

here I am.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

At the head of the noisy streets, she cries out..

It could be written about through eternity, but yet I'm finding it more simple as the days wear on. For truly wisdoms secrets are tucked neatly into our ordinary experiences. It doesn't take being well traveled, well-learned, or well-known; it's taking the simple adversary and prosperity in this life, and being changed by it. Because this is where your heart is tested, and where the truth of your heart is revealed. In the simple crying of an infant, and how you react to it. The long line at the grocery store. The guy who cuts you off on the road. The professor who denounces everything that you whole-heartedly believe. Seeing a couple holding hands. Witnessing an argument. Getting a compliment. Giving a compliment. Someone gossiping to you. Getting a promotion. Stardom.

Are you patient at heart?
Proud at heart?
Angry at heart?

The answer is, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

It isn't a mystery, it's truth.
Think about a child for just a second ..

Patience? "But MOOOMMMM, I want itttttt NOOWWWWW!"
Angry? Cue the 1. banging fist tantrum 2. slamming door 3. biting ...
Proud? "I can do anything you can do, better! I can do anything better than YOU!"
Self-seeking? "But it's MINEEEEE!"

And I think realizing and admitting to the state of your heart, is the foundation that wisdom sits upon. Because it's about knowing yourself, and knowing others.
Not about perfection, but the act of being perfected.

The child isn't taught these inner quirks, this IS the child. And as this little wonder begins to grow, we teach them from what we've learned, and maybe not learned, ourselves.
Trying to work out these pieces in them that we know aren't good. For, if we continued to let them do what they naturally want to, they would fall fast into an ugly root of bitterness, selfishness, hatred, and the like. To give them over to the desire of their heart would only ruin them.
But can they see that?


They see you as unfair, wrong, mean, and unjust. They see their will, as the only possible way of life.
But wise eyes watching over them know better.

The Bible often points to the heart's Creator as one who tests it, weighs it, and knows it. The everyday walk of this life is wisdom for the taking. He is taking a heart that is unpurified and misdirected, and leading it towards love and repentance (change).

God is simply using the annoying, mixed up, hurting, mundane craziness of the world to perfect you in a way that only the Author of this wisdom would be capable of.

The only one who need not humble himself, did so, in order that we may learn to follow the still small voice that always seems to know better.

Because it's Him.

He is, and always will be, the beginning of wisdom.

(In short: We're all still a bunch of little kids.)

*See also: The Book of Proverbs. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sillyz Bands, and a pretty cool House.

So today I gave Steve, my check out cashier at Walmart, my silly band.

He commented on my purchase which included about 7 bags of silly bandz (yes with a "z"), saying how they really had become the trend. I told him I was beginning to realize the same thing, because it seemed as though ever since I put one on I continued getting comment after comment.

As I ran my debit card for the grand total of $15.07, I looked up at this interesting looking guy- as light as the winter snow, with bright hair and dark eyes, a red sweat band on his wrist. We made small talk about the storm coming through, and I told him the goodies I was buying were for the kids that I teach on Tuesday nights.

I was compelled..

“Well Steve, the real question is .. will you have my silly band?”

He smiled and said “No!”

Haha, that wasn’t the answer I was expecting.

“C'mon, you wouldn’t wear this thing?? You’re missing out man.”

“Ok, yes I’ll wear it.”

“Are you going to take it off as soon as I walk out?”

“Haha, no I want it.”

“I’m going to sneak around this store later on in the week to confirm this, you know that right ..”

“Good, do it. I work all week, and you’ll see me wearing it!

My silly band was a house. How? You may ask.

These glorified little rubber bandz are just stretchy plain bracelets when they adorn your arm, but off your wrist they’re free to unravel into their originiality. Whether it’s a shoe, a piece of fruit, an airplane ..

When Steve and I began conversing about how popular they had become, I took mine off and laid it on the cash counter; I wanted to show it’s true shape. It unwiggled itself..

And I parted with my little blue house.

However, the only thing that came to my heart as I handed it over to Steve were some of the lasting words of the Lord. Before He parted with His disciples He made sure to tell them what was to come. I knew I wanted to leave him with more than a silly rubber band; What I wanted to say was something more like ...

“Listen. This might be a meaningless piece of material that will sit around your wrist until the day something better and cooler comes along, or some strange girl offers you something different someday. But until then; I want to give you this house because it could just be the most important thing in your life. You see, when Jesus came to be with us on earth, He told us that In His Father’s house there are many rooms. And He was going to prepare us a place in that house. It’s the certainty of knowing that the Creator of the world knows us by name, and longs to dwell with us for eternity. So even now, this may not seem an imperative thought to mind, but I encourage you to ponder it each time you look down at your wrist to wring someone up. The bible says states:

“No eye has seen and no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1Cor 2:9)

Something tells me that this house Jesus spoke of might be pretty, pretty stellar; and I hope you dig the bracelet."

I have my excuses as to why these words didn't reach my tongue quick enough.

But someday I hope I find myself back in a checkout line at Walmart,

in order that God may be glorified through something as seemingly silly, as silly bandz.

Monday, August 16, 2010


(June 15th, 2010)


It's amazing when this comes so much more deeply in times of darkness and strife. Often times, the best moments of ministry come through the thick cloud of haze that surrounds you in the midst of tragedy. As I sit on this airplane, wondering how it's possible to feel "ready" to face my now widowed sister, I still praise and worship God because He's never not Good. Life is in the blood, and it was His that symbolizes the strength to continue on.
He is there to guide us into a place that we never thought we'd come to. A place from where we look back and know that had it not been for His everlasting presence we would be full of sorrow and dismay. Yet, as His Word reminds us again, and again, and again ..It is by fire that we are refined, and perfected. The Testing of our faith produces perseverance. And we rejoice in our sufferings because they produce in us perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. (Romans 5:4) This is what we're left with, what we cling to. The hope of the salvation of our God. The love that He graciously bestowed upon us in a way unfailing.

So Lord, now I pray for the strength to stand and rise along side my sister. Knowing that your Word brings healing and restoration to the brokenhearted.
You spoke:
"Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted."
Your peace will rest where there is none. And only you could be the perfect Father for the baby on the way.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I don't want to just get by. I want my mission to burn as deep and strong as Yours did - and still continues to. To keep pressing .. with a perseverance that is utterly contagious, and radically selfless.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Love Letter.

My Mia,

It holds true that throughout your life many people that have gotten close to you have called you, “Their Mia” but I know that the day I called you out of darkness, you knew right then that you were never any one else’s, but mine. This truth can get tossed around in the pulling complexities of this world, so I want to tell you again My Mia, you are mine.

I hold your precious heart in the very palm of my hand, and in every breath you breathe- I am found. I am life. Do not lose sight of this Mia, when your mind is heavy with burdens. It is in these times that I not only want to hold your heart, but I want you to give me these burdens.. I have the power to carry them all. In your weakness, you will see my strength, casting out all of the cares that you were never meant to hold.

You sometimes ask me why I didn’t call you sooner, and why I didn’t turn your eyes from what you should have never seen. Do you remember the moment you first gazed into my eyes, felt my Grace lift you from every hurt that subsided deep within your soul? I didn’t save you sooner because my timing is perfect Mia, and although you heard me knocking long before this day- it was then that your walls began to crumble and my love was able to rest where your walls once stood. This was so very pleasing to me. I am pleased with you.

My dear, I don’t care where you’ve fallen, or where you have been -this love I give you will never forsake you, and it never ends. It fills the holes that you spent your life filling with emptiness and lies. It’s in between and underneath every fear that crosses your worried mind.

I know what you go through, and the struggles that you face but please trust in the promises that I have set before you. I know the Spirit I have given you Mia, and I know how I want you to use it. You can’t save those who rest heavy on your weary heart. I want you to take the pain that you feel for them, and give it to me. This is why I have blessed you with my gift of mercy. You feel very deeply Mia, and I know this. Please trust me, I know this. I did not create your mind to be able to understand all of these things, so as you sit and pour over the the broken and hurting souls you are grasping for answers that you simply cannot attain, my love. If you could see it all layed out before you, the beauty of our relationship would be severed. For it is by faith that you know me and have been saved Mia.. I want you to have faith that the people you lift up into my arms in prayer WILL meet me someday, but I need you to remember - It is MY timing. And my timing is perfect.

I know you long to strive for my approval, but within approval lies boundaries, and my love has none. You stand approved my child, for my Son has stood in the place of your shame. He stood under the weight of the mistakes that you long to make right. It is done my daughter, it is done. I also know that your mind tricks you into thinking that perfection must come, but I’m telling you now Mia, it has already come. I am perfect, and I don’t expect you to be. I love every piece of You. There is nothing in this world that can take you from my presence, for it is eternal. And I want every piece of you with me in eternity. And I laugh whenever you think about putting those running shoes on .. my dear, I’m changing all of that. This relationship is yours forever. And I won’t let you get away. I love you oh, too much.

I didn’t call you sooner, because you now realize the depth of my Grace. I speak to you through my Word, and it tells you that those who have been forgiven much - love much. You know from what you’re forgiven, and the love you feel for those I place in your path is from me. I want you to show them this love. It extends further than the eye can see, and deeper than the mind can grasp. I saved you because I love you. Be my hands, and be my feet - they were broken so that I may bring those who believe in my name into One Body.

What I speak to you in the night, I want you to speak in the day. Don’t be scared My Mia, it won’t always make sense to you. But my plan is perfect, and I want you to trust in this. Use the merciful and encouraging spirit that I placed inside of you, and don’t be scared to let people see who you are. Show them the love I am have shown you Mia, It’s ok. You WILL be rejected. But in these times, allow ME to pick you up.

And for the words you WILL fail to speak, I Already forgive you.

Surround your life with my face, and when you feel like I’m no where to be found - close your eyes and remember the words I first spoke to you. “Here I am.”

I love you more than you can see

I love you more than you can feel

I love you more than you touch

And the day I see you in heaven,

You will understand this.

Your Lord, Your God, forever.

Monday, May 24, 2010



It encompasses such hard attributes, this word, leaving.
Yet in just a moment, we can see that in the absence of what was, we invite what will be; and in the what will be, hope arises.
The chance that maybe you'll be forced to stand, letting go of the comfortable confines of the past.
In this life we all struggle with the notion of a goodbye, especially when we aren't prepared for the distance to settle into place. However, somewhere in that distance life is found, for life was never meant to stand still.
After all, it isn't a badbye. We should take this word and hold tight to the Good that we find within it, knowing that upon letting go we are actually letting in.
The paradox of knowing that to save our life,
we must actually lose it.
I am reminded:

As the disciples argued and fussed about Jesus leaving, He tells them this:

"It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but If I go, I will send him to you. ..I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of the joy that her child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. "

It is by faith that the disciples must believe the words that Jesus is telling them.
Not only for their good, but for their j o y.
They want to hold on to this man, they want to touch Him and know for certain He is right there with them. Flesh to Flesh.
(As doubt settles,
Oh God, help our unbelief)

Yet, He says ...
"I must go" and that it better that He does.
And just think:
What if He didn't go?
Would we have the promised Holy Spirit?
The One who can be with us
across any stretch of land, sea, or sky?
The Holy Spirit to give all believers the power of God within them as they call on His name?
Jesus was the Word made flesh, the Saviour who took our place and our penalty;
but my friends,
He had to go.
(And I thank God, that He did)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Walk.

My Testimony, is one of power.
My life, is one of joy,
My hope is one that is set far beyond the walls of this world.

But the testimony comes in knowing that there was once a time when this was not.

And the space between what was, what is, and what is to come - is the Walk.

And so step, by little step.. we begin.