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.