Roman 12:1-2

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

Friday, September 28, 2012


Another song out on the radio these days is "Stand" by Kristian Stanfill. One line in particular this morning caught my attention: this life declares Your promises.

My life declares the promises....

God is faithful...

Forgiving and gracious...

Sustaining through pain and hardship and physical infirmity...


Loving enough to take me as I am and loving enough to not leave me that way..

What promises does your life declare?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


There is a new song by mercyme out on the radio: "I AM." I was contemplating last night what this title of God implies. Heady stuff!

The biggest -- and I do mean biggest! -- thing that strikes me in God saying, "I am who I am," is His eternality. "Am" is an ongoing verb. When applied to God in this way, it implies no beginning and no end. He just is.

But I was taught that theology is only part of learning about God. I need to apply this truth to my life. It needs to affect and change me. So what does that look like in my life? (Not that I am changing God to fit my circumstances, but my circumstances are particular to me and this truth must apply even in very specific ways.)

For someone like God, who has been around for all eternity, there is nothing He hasn't seen. There is nothing that will shock Him. Not my sin, or my fear, or even my greatest insight. So....

I do not need to be apprehensive when I take my concerns to Him. I don't need to worry or wonder that He might roll His eyes and tell me to get over it. If He was tired of dealing with the petty problems of existence on this planet, Jesus would have returned by now. But He hasn't. That tells me God isn't fed up or tired or ready to call it quits.

If He isn't calling it quits, neither am I.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How big is your God?

How big is that problem? How critical is that illness? How desperate is that need?

Is your God big enough to handle it?

I ask that question with the personal pronoun "your" because often the God we think of when we pray is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible IS big enough, strong enough, powerful enough, loving enough. But we often look at our problems and think He can't possibly fix it, or more often in my case, love me enough to care.

Isaiah 40: 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d] of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
    or showed him the path of understanding?

15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are regarded as dust on the scales;
    he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

God can hold all the dust in the hollow of His hand. He can weigh mountains. He needs no one to teach Him. BIG. POWERFUL. ALL-KNOWING.

OK, so He can handle my problem in the best way possible.

But does He want to?

I am but a speck of dust on a speck of dust in a universe so small it can fit in the palm of His hand. And yet... This God, who created all things and stands outside of time and outside of space entered time and space to be born, to live, and to die on a cross.

For me.

For you.

If He loves us enough to do that, why wouldn't He care about these problems weighing on our hearts?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Beginning is Coming!

Today the pastor spoke on Revelation. Why do we get so caught up in the here and now? Why don't we constantly seek eternity? Because our view of eternity is boring. We see fat angels and harps and clouds. If we really thought of eternity the way God describes it, we would be so eager to get there!

Revelation 21 and 22 promise RESTORATION:

Earth will be restored -- the earth is groaning, like a woman in labor. This isn't the way it is supposed to be. Imagine a place with no thorns, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, or poison ivy. One day God will refresh the earth, and it will be as it was in Eden.

Relationships will be restored -- our relationship with God and our relationships with others. Without sin to get in the way, these relationships will be perfect. Think about that best friend, how you can talk on the phone for hours and it seems like minutes. I used to tease my sister in middle school -- she and her best friend walked home from the bus stop together. The friend lived three houses down. No sooner did they get in the door than they were on the phone with each other. That is the kind of relationships we will have in eternity.

Joy will be restored -- "no more death or mourning or crying or pain." It is hard to imagine. But it is "trustworthy and true."

Immortality will be restored -- In Eden, after Adam and Eve sinned, they (and we) were denied eternal life. Jesus's death and resurrection made it possible for us to regain that. In eternity, in the New Jerusalem, we will have eternal life.

Dignity will be restored -- Many people in this world have had their dignity stolen, physically and verbally and emotionally. Our culture wants us to believe our value is based on looks, money, intelligence. God says our value is based on the fact that we are image bearers, loved by God, and redeemed by Him. In the New Jerusalem, we will reign with Him, like royalty.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

But, Lord, wait, be patient just a little longer. I still have family and friends and people I love who don't have a relationship with You. I don't want them to be eternally lost!

And while You are waiting, Lord, please give me opportunities to speak of You and the boldness to speak the truth in love and the grace to live a life that reflects You so that they will see and know You!


Thursday, September 6, 2012


I was planning the first week of school, expecting rambunctious 5th and 6th graders, and not knowing what to expect from my new history class for 7th and 8th. I now teach humanities for all of middle school in the small Christian school where I have taught elementary for 5 years. I needed an intro to Bible lesson for both grade levels. The 7th/8th history curriculum incorporates Bible, but the 5th/6th does not. And anyway, I could use the first lesson for both.

I wanted to use 2 Timothy 3:16:  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness...

Just so happens, my pastor spoke on that very verse the week before school started! He used a great visual aid.

So great, in fact, that I stole the idea and used it in class.

Teaching: Picture a one way sign. God's Word shows us the ONE WAY that is right, and we must follow it.

Rebuking: Picture a do not enter sign. Stop, My Child! That's the WRONG WAY!

Correcting: Picture a detour sign. You went the wrong way -- here is how you get back to the ONE WAY.

Training: Beware of the student driver! She may be a Christian, but she doesn't always know what she's doing!

My students made signs themselves, and we hung them above the black board.

Now, to find road signs for my apartment....I suppose stealing them off the poles would be in a different category than stealing Pastor's idea?