wake up

I have an East facing window in my little upstairs room. It’s actually more like a closet, but it’s the perfect size for full sunshine and that’s what I got this morning.

Waking up can be something holy, something set apart to proclaim the excellencies of God’s grace. I won’t say I do it well, but I will say that sunshine pouring through my window and dancing on my face makes it a lot easier.

Since starting this job in social work, there have been some weeks where Friday night surprises me. It kind of gets lost in a planner with too much crammed in its little squares. This week it started feeling like Friday on Wednesday and these last two days are probably not going to fly by.

But, I’m going to believe that I can live each moment awake. If Christ can say, “Not my will, but Yours be done” then I can say the same. Because it is His power in me that wakes me up to His promises – to the joy in every circumstance and the peace in every trial anchored in His grace.

I’m thankful today for my East facing window and for the way the Lord wakes me up with sunshine. My prayer is to stand in the sunshine all day long – to soak up the power of the resurrected Son and claim the promises He secured in His victory over death.

Are you awake today?

just as He said

“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”
Matthew 28:6, emphasis added

God keeps His promises – He will do what He says He will do.
He has never broken a promise, not ever

This morning I am caught up in the rhythm of believing – the every moment proclamation that God is, in fact, trustworthy. He did what He said He would do… freely, joyfully, and painfully enduring the cross so that we could come close and be reconciled. He suffered, as He said He would, on our behalf and for our ransom.

Then He rose, as He said He would, in victory over the grave and to secure our souls’ resurrection.

Just as He said.

He conquered death and offers us the every moment victory over the same. We are united with Him in His resurrection and invited to see just how trustworthy is our God.

Every moment, trustworthy.
Every moment, gracious.
Every moment, forgiving.
Every moment, loving.
Every moment, joyful over our reconciliation to Himself.

Every moment, keeping His promises.
I am moved to joyful belief because my God chooses to keep His promises to me.

Every moment, the God of all creation keeps His promises to His little, created ones.

I am a sinner, in the first person

Yesterday, I stood in a new church singing a song with all the old, redemptive swagger of a classic hymn. We rested on the chorus in repeat and I finally sang in the first person.

“I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing it’s another
caught up in words, tangled in lies
You are a Savior and you take brokenness aside
and make it beautiful, beautiful.”
(Brokenness Aside by All Sons & Daughters)

I am a sinner. 

Have you ever been challenged to make “I am …” statements? I often asked my students in Honduras to make a list of ways they could finish that sentence. We would then look through the list and talk about which of those statements were true, which were false, and which were within his/her power to change. All those conversations are nice and tidy when I’m on the counseling end, encouraging people to examine their inner being and ask God to reveal if there is any wrong thing.

As I stood there singing, “I am a sinner” in the first person, something broke. “Sinner” is not the first thing I’d like to have follow my “I am” statements. I’d like to have an impressive list before I make that admission. I always have a hard time thinking about specific ways I sin when I’m standing in church (so convenient, I know). But not yesterday. With every repeating chorus I thought of ways I’d made my heart ugly.

I am a sinner.

The pastor introduced the sermon series on generosity and we read from Luke 18 about the offerings of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Luke 18:9-14 ESV)

I work with the kind of stories that would tear your heart out – parents, children, families, neighbors capable of things we try not to know about. There’s a distance that threatens to creep in to my posture when I come before the Lord. There are so many things I haven’t done and would never do.

I pictured the posture of the tax collector at the temple and his first person proclamations struck me. Both the Pharisee and the tax collector prayed for favor. The Pharisee was grateful for what he was not. The tax collector was grateful for who God was. 

The tax collector prayed with a posture that honored the Lord, recognizing how great God would have to be to save him – a sinner.

It is this kind of posture that produces a generous heart – a desperate, first person statement that begs for mercy from the One who is merciful.

I am a sinner, but You are my Savior and you take brokenness aside and make it beautiful, beautiful.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

oh, how I need You

Today, I need my Savior because there is nothing else to need. Sometimes that need looks like a monster and sometimes it looks like a paper airplane and sometimes it looks like a hideaway. But, it’s always there – my need.

Today I am reminded that all I need is Christ and all I can give is Christ.

Words fail and the world falls apart and I need.
I need, I need, I need.

And the world aches with need, too.

wake up, wake up

“We have seen the hope of Your healing
rising from our souls – Oh, is the feeling
we are drawing close
Your light is shining through”

This morning, I am singing my heart into wakefulness. I am singing my soul into serenade to the One who gives me voice, the One who gives me notes, the One who gives me breath –

the One who wakened me.

What a glorious thing to be AWAKE in this life – to feel the wind gripped by Autumn and see the sky painted in shades of blue. What a glorious thing to be AWAKE and how desperate the call to wake the still sleeping.

You Have Come to Save Us

I know everybody doesn’t think in pictures and doodles and words climbing over words. Sometimes, I try to imagine what it would be like to think like someone walking in a straight line… and I usually get distracted or shake myself out of it before I start to feel claustrophobic. I am thankful for the linear thinkers in my life (God knows I need them), but I’m also glad God seems to have put me together by the holy knit-in-the-womb equivalent of upending a toy box.

Sometimes my thoughts are similarly scattered – making sense of things is like walking into the play room after several toddlers have had a good romp. There’s really nothing much one can do but sit down in the middle and take it all in.

Scripture, God’s inspired and living Word, sometimes illustrates itself thus in my mind. I’m connecting dots, drawing arrows, and doodling imaginative symbols to make God’s orderly message sensible to my disorderly mind.

If ever I get too wrapped up in my own interpretation or too distracted by someone else’s, the Lord presses in with a beautiful rule: Christ.

Christ – the One against whom all can be measured.

Today, I am reveling in the freedom of life set free by the blood of Christ. Today, I am rejoicing because Christ is my righteousness. Today, I am enjoying God’s presence because Christ has made it possible to behold Him as He sits on the throne. Today, I am trusting in the Lord’s power, demonstrated in Christ’s victory over the grave and my sin.

Today, the Lord is reigning and ruling and I have an eternal invitation to sit at His feet, sealed by the blood of a sinless Savior.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy