Sunday, December 16, 2012


I thought about my girls.

My wife, Cristin, turned 35 on Friday, December 14th, 2012. She was a 4th grade teacher until my youngest daughter, Eden, joined us on December 19th, 2008. A Pinkalicious birthday party on Saturday, December 15th, 2012 marked the 4th year of her life. My oldest daughter, Gwenyth (who blessed us on August 9th, 1999), recently became a teenager, and she gathered with us as family and friends, to celebrate life, to celebrate love.

I thought about my girls. I think about my girls. What would my wife be feeling if she was trying to protect children in her care? What would she have been thinking as she was struck down in the line of duty? What would have been going through the minds of my daughters as their friends were being removed permanently from this world? What would the last look on their faces be, and their last wonderings be, as they realized the end was coming for them?

I thought about me as well. I think about me. As a former elementary school principal, and a current middle school assistant principal, I wonder if I would rush to protect others, knowing that I would likely meet my Maker. Quite honestly, I consider it often. I have the privilege of working with so many children, but many times I am interacting with them and their parents when things are not going well. While most consider me helpful, I’ve far too often had people - young and old alike - express a great deal of anger and hatred toward me. I don’t live or work in fear, but I do live and work in reality.

It can overwhelm a person. Feelings of helplessness, of hopelessness, can drown our spirit. Thinking about it makes us feel so sad, and grateful, and guilty all at the same time. And, then, the debates begin. We observe, and participate in, verbal sparring over what’s wrong, and what must be done to fix it. Answers are sought, not found, and we are left with the feeling of just giving up. So, the cycle continues: Life goes on like normal until the next tragedy that strikes a chord with us puts things at the front of our minds once again. Well, at least for a little while.

Instead of simply giving up, I wonder what we’d actually be willing to give up to bring an end to this depressing and frequent cycle. Would we give up our rights, our money, our lives, to save our own partner and children from being taken from us before we’re ready? Would we give up our pride to yield humbly to another, if it meant saving the life of our family, if it meant saving our own lives, if it meant saving the lives of others? Would we give up our need to be right, our hatred of being wrong, and our unwillingness to listen, if it meant the tragedies that befall ourselves and others may be extinguished? What would you, will you, be willing to give up?

Temptation draws me toward cynicism. While I feel somewhat uncomfortable, I smirk as the debate about guns rage with a smug, self-righteous, and vitriolic rhetoric. I raise my eyebrows when comments fly about holding people responsible for deaths, while at the same time whining about putting any amount of “my” money toward helping provide care and health and education for “those” people. And, then, “those” people are standing over my dead family. So, fixing it becomes about taking away weapons that we feel we have a right to - for defense, for sport, for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, for whatever. Fixing it becomes about “those” people taking personal responsibility with little or no resources. Or, fixing it becomes about penalizing more strictly “those” people … long after it’s already over.

I’m not interested in a debate. A debate is just a more civil way of arguing. None of us, in our rational and sane minds, hope to see our loved ones suffer and die, so it doesn’t make much sense to argue about it. No, I’m ready to listen, I’m ready to give, I’m ready to do whatever it takes. Are you?

~ For all lives lost, everywhere and everyday. May each one find the way home again.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I run away from my problems. I hide from them, seemingly protected by the glare of a screen showing me another life, another story - one that's not my own. How quickly I can divorce myself from the grips of reality, and cleave to the comforting embrace of elsewhere. Pages invite me in as well, just as song, slowly at first with distractions everywhere; but, soon I am gone once more, sheltered in a place that grants me solace, even if just for a moment.

As if in a bunker of my own creation, I pretend to guard myself against the troubles of the external. Allowing no admittance, wrapped up in myself, time passes without concern for a single soul. The thought of interacting with another human being crosses my mind like a piercing strike to the shin, planting an ache that will seemingly never heal. "Leave me alone," is the cry of my heart, while the need for attention defeats the agonizing call each and every time.

The simplicity of finding pain when attempting to escape it is an art I have mastered. What once was the drag, the swallow, the gulp of poison, is now the gluttonous pursuit of fare - And nothing ever satisfies - And everything always destroys. I hear the voices calling me late at night, convincing me that it will be the next one, not this one, but the next one, that will take it all away. Buried in my own lies, I look to point the finger when all the while the blame rests in but a single place.

I have always failed, and I'm fairly certain I always will. The success of my endeavors, my escapology, have always relied on phenomena beyond my simple skills. A constant pursuit of me results in my captivity with consistent assuredness. The same outcome is the only outcome deserving any appreciation. It is drenched in sophistication, wrought with preciseness, and handed to me with gentleness unsurpassed. And it is in my capture that I find deliverance.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Sometimes no news is not necessarily good news.

When you know with certainty you're going to feel blessed, but God has other plans in mind, it doesn't feel good. Actually, it feels devastating beyond words. He snatches it from your waiting hands before you even get to touch it. He speaks with a deafening authority and resolute certainty that leaves nothing to wonder. And yet, it's still an answer. It may not be the answer you're looking for - an answer to your prayers - but, it's still an answer.

Sometimes an answer is all you want, even when you don't like the answer.

It's not about dealing with pain. I know what pain is, and I know I'm not alone. I've felt it try to drown me with its suffocating darkness, ripping family from this world in mangled vehicles and destructive abuse, and depositing remnants of children on sterile surgical tables and stainless steel bowls. I've yielded at times to its oppressive arm, pushing me away from light, and guiding me toward those secret and sad places where the only choices I make lead not to escape, but rather imprisonment. I've walked its filthy line and fought with ferocity to step out, turn around, and return to reality.

Sometimes reality isn't all what it's cracked up to be.

I want God to be in control of my life as much as I don't want Him to be in control of my life. Yielding everything is as comforting as it is frightening. That warm and gentle place I get to reside in throughout my life only feels welcoming if I'm invited and I choose to visit it. Amazingly, though, it's that same place I'm delivered to when I've spurned the invitation, chosen to avoid it, and need it the most. No matter what I do, or don't do, it's there. It's always there. And, that's when I'm reminded, and I inhale and then exhale with relief and peace.

Sometimes His sovereignty is always His sovereignty is absolute ... because our sometimes is His all the time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. ~ 1 Corinthians 8:1

Sometimes I can't even muster up the energy to pray on my way to work. It's my little ritual, helping me establish direction for the day. My moment of clarity, if you will. Still, sometimes all I can do is flip on the radio station and listen to K-LOVE or WAY-FM, hoping to find some encouragement or perhaps an explanation of how I connected with God today. I'm not even sure who I think I need to explain this to, if not myself.

The need to feel as though I am in relationship with Jesus Christ isn't born out of guilt, though. I have plenty of history with understanding what my life is like when I'm not leaning on The Lord. Indeed, my connection is recognized as essential to me as breathing. Breathing, however, I can do without any effort at all. I'm not consciously reaching into some reservoir for the energy required to just take in air - You know, it's even like eating and drinking - I just do it (and typically excessively at that).

So, I beg my soul for the desire to shift out of neutral. I turn to Him like I always do when I really want to get something accomplished, when I know I need something accomplished. And, He delivers, as always. Dylan Thomas wrote, "The force that drives the water through the rocks drives my red blood," and I know what that Force is. That Force intimately knows me. I depend on that Force to feed me clarity that I can gain through no effort of my own. And, when I least expect it, the necessity of the moment hits me.

This is my command: Love each other. ~ John 15:17

Does it get any easier than this? Can it be made any more clear to us? Must we endlessly seek out ways to exclude ourselves from this commandment, or exclude others from benefiting from this commandment? Certainly everyone reads that and gets it, right? What kind of interpretation is needed here? Why do we have to go and mess this up with our self-righteous comments like, "God helps those who help themselves."? I mean, what else goes so far against Biblical Truth than a statement like that? And my enlightenment reminds me of the pervasiveness of my pride, and how it consistently overwhelms even the hint of humility.

And on I go, looking for answers, and resting in the certainty of His grace and love.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. ~ Romans 10:2

Allow me to apologize. I wish I could demonstrate grace more consistently with all - Please believe me when I tell you that I truly, honestly, and consistently try - I really do. While He sets the perfect example, my attempts to follow that example frequently fall short. I'll keep trying, and with His love and strength, I know that it is possible to forever grow. It is with this humble confession that I must tell you where my heart is presently struggling. For that matter, it's where it's been struggling, for quite some time now.

As an evangelical Christian, I'm quite used to feeling the sorrow and even the wrath of those who view life differently. I am more than O.K. with this, and I don't remotely feel persecuted because of this. In fact, I feel quite fortunate to not face the challenges those who live elsewhere must survive while claiming to follow Christ. I get to profess my faith openly, and for that I am very grateful. Indeed, I feel blessed to even have the opportunities to struggle in conversation with those who believe differently than I do, for it gives me an opportunity to learn, and to share, and to love. And that, my friends, is where I'm struggling.

I desire to live a life that is different. I believe I'm actually called to do that, but I truly do desire that. The pain and the sorrow I am experiencing in my attempts to do that fall intensely short of the pain and sorrow others are experiencing because of the attempts by my brothers and sisters to do the same. Dear fellow Christians, many of you are missing the mark so drastically, I truly feel compelled to call you out. With this I risk demonstrating that I think I know best, or that I am misguided, or that I need to be called out. However, it worries me not if it will possibly mean more love for all.

Now, I've read my Bible from cover to cover, and I've done so on more than one occasion. I will not profess to know more about God's word than others, but I will also not pretend to not have a pretty good handle on His love story for all of us. There was a phrase that became enormously popular for a while when I was younger, and that was, WWJD: "What Would Jesus Do?" I firmly believe that Christians share the intent of this message to truly know, comprehend, and live out life as Jesus has shown us. He is the ultimate example, and I truly believe we all think that. I also truly believe we all know what He did for us. I also truly believe we all want to walk with Him forever. So, with that, I implore you: Stop doing it wrong.

Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. ~ Romans 10:3

Stop pretending that love doesn't win. Stop acting like there are conditions around serving others. Stop making excuses for not doing absolutely everything in your power to help others. Stop desecrating the grace shown to all of us for all of our sins. Stop using scripture to punish others. Stop using the poor example of communication by some as an excuse for yours. Stop saying to people - through your words and/or your actions - that "I love you, but ..." It isn't "but" anything. It just is. So with that, I implore you: Start doing it right.

Start reaching out to everyone with open arms, an open mind, and an open heart. Start showing others that even though you are a sinner - and you are, we all are - you are dearly loved. Start making people say, "Wow, that person loves everyone." Start helping others realize that they are valued for exactly who they are, and they are loved for exactly who they are, and they are forgiven for exactly who they are, and they are redeemed for exactly who they are. Start recognizing that perception is reality, and we are called to love God, love others, and spread the good news.

Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. ~ Romans 10:4   

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


People sometimes ask me, "What's wrong?" Usually, I honestly don't actually know specifically what's wrong, but instead of getting into that hot mess, I just tell them, "Nothing." They don't buy that, and they shouldn't. Of course something's wrong. As much as I try to fight against it, and as much as I don't want it to be true, and as much as I know it doesn't really matter just as much as it really matters, of course something's wrong.

I feel punished. Punished for what I've done and have failed to do. Punished for what I'm doing and fail to do. Punished for what I have yet to do and will fail to do. Woe is me.

Naughty as I am, that which has come my way has been richly deserved. I measure His plans for me by the amount of time I feel shamed. And there's something reassuring about the pain, even as it courses through me like some incurable disease. The more I am broken, the more He will work to put me together again. But it just doesn't feel like that. No. It feels like I am punished, and I always will be.

I know how my daughters, and the students I serve, feel when I punish them. Using the word makes me feel uncomfortable, but let's be honest, parents punish their children, and educators punish students. We punish one another. You can use whatever words make you feel more comfortable, but when it comes down to it, it's still punishment. Sorry, I don't know where I was headed there. Anyway, they may not believe I know how they feel, but I do. Sure as all get out I do. As certain as I am about understanding those feelings, I also know something else: When we are truly listened to, and when we truly listen, then we are learning. Punishment, then, isn't the beginning or the ending of the story.

Love, however, is.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


"It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps ... " ~ 2 Kings 20:10

We give ourselves too much credit. I suppose it's because we don't fully comprehend how active God is in our lives, and I assume it's because we want control over things that we do not and cannot. My recent experience, even though I know now I'll die another day, gave me an opportunity to wonder.

That voice that told me what to do, that voice that tells us what to do - you know, that "gut feeling" we get? So often we think it's our common sense drowning out our stupidity. I guess, in a way, it is. However, I know it's more than that. In a very real way, it's God speaking to us, and in very real ways, we need to learn from this. My humanity often gets in the way of me doing the right thing, but there's a reason I sometimes elect to do the right thing. It's not because I suddenly got smarter, or because I happened to no longer wish to take the easy way out. No, that's giving ourselves too much credit. Our inflated egos go a long way toward continuing to inflate our egos. A little humility might help us recognize we're just a bit smaller in the big picture. 

Can we learn from our mistakes? Most definitely we can. But, let's just remember that since they are our mistakes, then it's not from ourselves that we are learning. We are, in fact, listening and responding. Because God, in fact, is speaking and acting.


Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, "What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?"

Isaiah answered, "This is the Lord's sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?"

"It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps," said Hezekiah. "Rather, have it go back ten steps."

Then the prophet Isaiah called upon the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

~ 2 Kings 20:8-11

Sunday, June 24, 2012


For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. ~ Deuteronomy 4:24

As I write this, Colorado burns. I struggle to comprehend the destruction that has already occurred. So many acres, so many homes, so many fires. The lives impacted are many, and those fighting to halt this raging force face what seems insurmountable. Yet, I know this too will pass.

For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you. ~ Deuteronomy 4:31

The presence and smell of smoke is evident, especially in the morning hours. I feel so fortunate I have avoided the fate so many others have not. Grateful that while all have not escaped unharmed or even alive, there's solace in knowing that refreshment is in sight.

Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. ~ Isaiah 35:6

I hope for encouragement, for peace, for washing, for renewal.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Have you ever noticed how many people, including - maybe even especially - Christians, deal with such a massive amount of issues in their lives? It seems like it’s always something. If it’s not a tragedy that shakes someone to the core, then it’s some health issue that can’t quite be resolved, or at the very least it’s a seemingly ever present challenge that slowly tears away at us. It takes a while at times to share specifically how we feel blessed, but it only takes a second to rattle off what we’re struggling with. Makes me wonder how any of us navigate this life at all.

Are we really in such dire straits? Do we desire to live life like it’s a soap opera? Is it the attention of others we crave? Or, is it something else?

If this life is a breeze for you, then let’s be honest, you aren’t doing much other than serving yourself. I’m not wishing ill will upon anyone; however, if you aren’t tripping up now and again, then you likely aren’t really engaging in any meaningful way with anything or anyone. Aside from the reality that life here isn’t easy, there’s something more about this deep pit of despair we tend to fall into, wade through, and climb out of repeatedly and consistently.

It is our frailty, not our strength, that leads to hope. The breaking feels bad, but the healing is the reminder that we can’t do it alone, that we don’t need to do it alone. Our scars are the evidence that we are, in fact, human and broken and loved. Down so low we think we’ll never recover, we’re swept up and embraced with a fury of certainty that cannot be denied. I don’t like being busted, but I do like being patched up, cared for, loved, and sent on my way again … and I know I’m not alone.

Sometimes I want to tell people to stop their whining. Sometimes I want people to tell me the same. Mostly, though, I think people just want to know they’re going to be O.K. I know I do. And, thankfully, I know - we know - just the right One for the job.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Most of all, I want to be inspired.

Leadership is fragility in action. So easily we will sit back and desire someone else to take the reins and blaze the trail for us. We are followers at heart, and even if we don't always ache for a leader, we most certainly are willing to take the back seat when the going gets tough. But, that's the tricky thing, yes? Most of the time we're certain we can do just fine on our own. We've got our own idea about where to go and what to do and when to do it, and if someone else is getting in the way of that ... well. And then, the going gets tough.

Submission is viewed as weak rather than wise. It's the acknowledgement that we don't actually have it all figured out, and it's the acceptance that not only might we not be willing or be desiring a leader; but, rather, we honestly need a leader. We don't like that design, especially because we didn't actually design it to begin with. Allowing ourselves to be led requires humility and honesty and trust, and let's face it, these are qualities our flesh fights against at every turn.

Somewhere along the way, quite frankly at the very beginning, we distorted the necessity of leadership and molded it into something that meant going where we wanted, taking what we wanted, and doing what we wanted, whenever we wanted. We turned it into listening only when it felt convenient, or when it suited our personal needs. We shrank it down to something smaller than us, because we want to be bigger than everything and everyone. In fact, most of the time, we think we are. Until, of course, the going gets tough. And then, we hope for and look for something, someone, bigger than us.

We look for leadership. We need leadership. For direction, for guidance, for solutions, for answers.

For inspiration.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


With full credit to God and Mark Darling, the following are 28 habits that build a healthy marriage. Shared with us at a recent marriage conference, I know they're worth sharing as broadly as possible. I don't know where our marriage and family would be without the leadership and grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be all the glory.

1. Set Christ daily as Lord of your life.
2. Stay in The Word of God everyday, and obey.
3. Practice humility and self examination.
4. Make a personal commitment to grow, change, and strive after Godliness.
5. Think good thoughts about and for your spouse.
6. Forgive readily and easily, because Christ forgave you.
7. Practice God's grace on your spouse; extend it to them always; remember, they're human.
8. Use your words and mouth wisely as the power of life and death is in the tongue.
9. Practice praise, honor, appreciation, and thankfulness.
10. Pray often, pray for, and pray with your spouse.
11. Practice generosity.
12. Take care of yourself.
13. Think before you speak; write hard things on paper.
14. Acknowledge your wrongs and seek forgiveness.
15. Smile often.
16. Pursue excellence in your God given marriage role.
17. Make love often.
18. Talk daily and build each other up with your words.
19. Be quick to listen, slow to speak.
20. Be understanding, empathetic, and compassionate.
21. Manage your money well, and learn to be content.
22. Date.
23. Keep your heart soft; treasure the memories of how you met.
24. Practice kind deeds.
25. Serve.
26. Complain to God, not your spouse.
27. Above all else, cherish intense love with one another.
28. Never forget your mission.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I could list my sins and never get there,
I could run away from them and never leave,
or I could face them and know there's a way.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


A year ago we were picking up the pieces and saying goodbye to my sister, Kathy. I wrote a letter to my sister's killer a few months after her death, and she'd have turned 41 later this month. Most events we mark by time are ones we'd like to remember, but I'd just as soon forget Kathy's death. Her youngest son's birthday falls on the date of her passing. This year, Easter falls on the date of her passing. Since we mark the events we celebrate by time, we can't escape it's grip when it comes to those events we'd rather forget. Time just doesn't let go.

Kathy didn't bear the weight of my sins or your sins; no, she had plenty to deal with on her own. Time didn't allow her to escape the pain, until time finally stopped for her. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm very relieved that time finally stopped for her. I'm not relieved for her children, our parents, my brother, myself, or her other family and friends. I'm relieved for Kathy. She didn't deserve any more or less than the rest of us, but she was granted peace from all that haunted her. Yes, I'm relieved, and thankful.

A day will come, perhaps sooner, perhaps later, that we all will be granted peace from that which haunts us. I look toward the cross as my daily reminder that there is reason indeed to celebrate death. Because, after all, only through death comes life.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I'm not big on waiting, especially for things I want. If God worked on my schedule, I'd be getting what I wanted a lot quicker. There are people to see, places to go, and things to do. I don't have time to mess around with His plans, especially since they don't all revolve directly around me.

Not now and not in this way, You say? What You have in store for me is better than anything real or imagined here on earth? There are reasons beyond me and my comprehension as to why I must be patient and even content?

Get with the program, God, I've got a plan for me and mine. And, as long as you don't ask me to work on Your schedule, we should be good to go.

Wait, Your plan is perfect? Oh. O.K. I'm intrigued. Allow me to check it out. Be patient. Just give me some time. I'll come around. When I'm ready.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I spent some time with friends recently, my wife and I did, in order to share what was on our hearts. It's tough doing that - removing oneself from what we believe to be protective isolation, and baring our souls to others. There's a mixture of believing no one else desires to know our struggles, and believing that no one else can understand them. That dark and lonely and selfish place becomes both our blanket and our prison.

Repeatedly, we're reminded of the benefits of honesty and relationships, and repeatedly, we're tricked into scampering off in fear to be alone once more as we wallow in our pain. Practice doesn't actually make perfect, but faithful persistence does change the heart. And so it was as we spoke to our friends, laughing and sighing and crying and wondering.

Once we set our sights on something we want, we'll do almost anything to get it. Almost anything. We pray for our will to be done instead of seeking His, and then we react with anger and passivity when once again we're reminded of the fact that it all doesn't revolve around us. Begging and pleading with seemingly no response, we ultimately resign ourselves to a place of self absorption ... Instead of taking one more step.

The "almost anything" is where He wants us. The world tells us that giving up is precisely what we should never do: Maintain that white knuckle grip and never let go, for it's only the weak who don't persevere. It's a lie that repeats itself until it's believed and yet, it ultimately never works out. Our brokenness and willingness to bow down to people assures us that temporal success will be achieved through this mentality. But, in the end, it falls short. It always does.

I stop looking around and I start looking up. I relinquish my imaginary control. I give up.

And a door is opened.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

We are called to be and make disciples, and while young people are certainly not the only ones who need a Savior, the path toward a relationship with Christ begins the moment we come into this world. You may or may not be a parent, but you absolutely have the power to make a positive difference in the lives of children. The influence we have as adults is indisputable; meaning, we don't get to choose if we have influence or not - we just do. However, the impact of that influence is well within our power.

I want my daughters to know I love God, their mother, them, and all people. I want them to know I will fail, miserably at times, at demonstrating this on a consistent basis. I want them to know the grace provided to us through Jesus covers it all, and I can only hope to demonstrate a mere fraction of this grace to others. So, I ask myself consistently if I am doing what I claim to believe. And, if I am not, I ask myself consistently what I should say and do differently to avoid the laziness and hypocrisy that's so easy to return to.

My testimony is similar to many others I know. Regardless of how we come to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, it seems as though nearly all of us never know we need a Savior until we know how broken we are. And, we seem to never know how broken we are until we stumble and fall on our own - usually over and over and over again. The hardest lessons are the ones we have to learn ourselves. While we hope for shortcuts, there are none.

I want my children to obey and be safe. I don't want my children to resist and feel pain. But, you know, they will, and we have to let them. Encouraging disobedience and unsafe behavior is not the same as recognizing the reality it will and typically even needs to happen. That, in the end, is what trusting God is all about: We can't do it ourselves, but instead need Him, and He knows best - always.

I'm sure glad He's my Dad.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I wish we talked about grace as much as we talked about sin.

I mean, we're obsessed with sin. We rank people according to how bad we think their sins are and how much or how little we believe they are convicted by their sins. We speak of loving the sinner but hating the sin. And, we're reminded that if there was no sin, there would be no need for a Savior. But, that's really the point, isn't it? There is a Savior.

Spending so much of our time talking about sin distracts from and even makes light of the fact that grace actually exists and it is powerful beyond measure. In our distorted sense of reality, that world of human frailty and brokenness, we believe that if we stop talking about sin we'll sin more and not understand the need for a Savior.

No matter how much we talk about it and no matter how often and how hard we try, we can't wash the sin away. We will never be able to get the sin out, off, away. It'll keep coming back - no, strike that - it'll never go away. Our obsession with sin is simply another demonstration of our desire for control, our belief that we can actually do something about it.

If we put as much energy into talking about grace as we did about sin, we could change the world. He loves us like no person can ever love a person - ever, now, and always. Love is what won, and love is what wins. Not love by our definition, ensnared by the trappings of our desire for control; rather, love by His definition, only giving and never taking.

I wish we talked about grace more than we talked about sin.

I wish all we talked about was grace.

I wish all we did was love.

I wish.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Every year between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, our church, along with the sister churches and ministries associated with our family of churches, sponsors a conference called Faithwalkers. I've been able to attend three times now - once in 2007 in Missouri, once in 2009 in Nebraska, and once in 2011 in Colorado. It starts with an evening of worship and prayer, followed by three days (early morning until late night) of worship, prayer, messages, and seminars. Both mentally and physically, it is exhausting, overwhelming, challenging, and uplifting beyond measure.

Each time I've attended, I've left with something powerful to help me in my walk with Christ. The first time, it was focused a lot on myself and my passion for God. The second time, it was centered more on others and living out what God calls us to do. This most recent time, it is revolving primarily around my relationship with God.

I've invested a great deal of energy into working on things from an external perspective; meaning, I need to improve myself and my relationship with my family and friends and others, and I need to play an active role in promoting a positive relationship between others. While this is true, and worthy of my time, I feel I haven't concentrated enough on developing my relationship with God. All blessings flow from this, and all I will take from this world is this; therefore, I know what I need to invest in the most.

And so I walk on with Him.