31 December 2011

Twenty-Four -by Switchfoot

Twenty four oceans
Twenty four skies
Twenty four failures
Twenty four tries
Twenty four finds me
In twenty-fourth place
Twenty four drop outs
At the end of the day
Life is not what I thought it was
Twenty four hours ago

Still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
And I'm not who I thought I was twenty four hours ago
Still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You

Twenty four reasons to admit that I'm wrong

With all my excuses still twenty four strong

See I'm not copping out not copping out not copping out
When You're raising the dead in me
Oh, oh I am the second man
Oh, oh I am the second man now
Oh, oh I am the second man now

And You're raising these twenty four voices
With twenty four hearts
With all of my symphonies
In twenty four parts
But I want to be one today
Centered and true

I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
You're raising the dead in me
Oh, oh I am the second man
Oh, oh I am the second man now
Oh, oh I am the second man now
And You're raising the dead in me

I want to see miracles, see the world change
Wrestled the angel, for more than a name
For more than a feeling
For more than a cause
I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You
And You're raising the dead in me
Twenty four voices
With twenty four hearts
With all of my symphonies
In twenty four parts.
I'm not copping out. Not copping out. Not copping out.

29 December 2011


English is so limiting sometimes.
I love how ancient Greek has four words for love, distinguishing between the different types.

Storge- Affection. Natural Love, like that of a parent for a child. The love within a family.

Eros-  A passionate, intimate love. Not a lasting one, usually, but a burning one.

Philia- Love between friends. it is a commitment, demanding loyalty, respect and friendship. It is a love of something good and enjoyable.

Agape- This, this is the hardest and best love. It is unconditional love, love that is sacrificial and deep and lasting. This is beyond Philia or Eros. This is the love that lasts through thick and thin. This is the word Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 13. This is the word used to describe the Love of God to us.

Agape.  It is a hard word to live out.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  ( 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

How many times have we heard these words read? At weddings, at church. We know them. But the word is Agape.
Suddenly it is different. These words apply not only to those we make an effort with, but to those we dislike. Those who have hurt us. Those who have not been consistent to us.

What a hard creed.
I say these words,  but can I live them?
Can I have Agape  to those who I dislike?Because the two don't work together.
I am struggling with that. How do you love the unlovable?  It is not easy to do.
I can love God ,who gave His life for me, with my whole heart. That is impossible not to do.  But because I love Him, there is this matter of Agape.
It, though, is the description of His love for us. He loved Me in the depths of my sin, in the blackness of my heart, and that is where he died for me, for us.
It's a process.
Not an easy one. One that I fall in, mess up in, want to give up on sometimes. And yet he loves me anyway.

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

If we, we who were loved in our unlovelyness, do not love the unlovable, who will? Who will Love them, be the physical demonstration of the love of Christ? We are the hands and feet of Jesus.



28 December 2011

Beautiful Things- Gungor

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Thank God that He dose indeed make us new.



25 December 2011

For us, a light

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

22 December 2011

The Waiting

As we sit here, waiting, we wonder what we're waiting for.
The day draws nearer, and we anticipate, but the question remains.
Advent is the waiting time. What, really,  are we waiting for?
It's the miracle. We sit here in the hopeful expectancy, waiting for the miracle day to become full, the Miracle to be born, to become part of this dusty, grimy, beautiful world of ours.
The Baby, born two thousand years ago of a girl perhaps my own age, a scared teenage girl, and God. The Baby who was, is and always will be the greatest gift.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

(from O come, O come, Emmanuel)

O come, o come, indeed. We are waiting. Waiting for the remembrance of the Word becoming flesh and making His dwelling among us.
There is beauty in the the waiting. We don't like to wait. We get impatient. But there is beauty in finding the peace to wait. He waited.
And then He came.
Came to us who were waiting. And showed up in all the grime of our earth. How in the world do we fail to see Him? We look right past the very thing we are waiting for! And yet He knew, and He still came. Still showed up, bloody and new into the stable.  Still took the sorrow of our sins upon him. Still walked our dusty roads, among us the sin-filled  people. Still died, covered in the blood that washed us clean.
 The waiting of this season is almost over. Look hard for Him. You will see Him in the most broken places. The dirty places. The messed up ones.  He will come. he always does. Only look.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)  For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
(John 1:14-16)

We have seen His Glory.


19 December 2011

I Celebrate the Day- Reliant K

And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You've touched my life
Because here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New Year's eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We're less than half as close as I want to be

And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I'll compare the things I felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life

Christmas...... God coming to meet with man. Inconceivable. And yet not. Because that's how He does things:)



A Prayer

The love.
It captures me, surrounds me, fills me.
And it is so good, Lord.
That you would look upon me in my brokenness, my dirtiness,
and bless me like you have.
And love me.
And know me.
Oh, My God, you truly make beautiful things,
And I love you.
Even if you didn't love me,
Still would I love you.
Because you are too good, too beautiful, too worthy,
to have anything but my love, heart, and everything else that is me.
Why me?
I have to ask myself why you could love me, love us, in our sin.
But it doesn't really matter,
All that does is you.

Love Always and  Forever:)


16 December 2011

No longer alone....

‘Advent, it becomes a time of self-examination.
Put the desires of your heart in order, O human beings!” as the old song sings….
God wants us to always be with us, wherever we may be — in our sin, in our suffering and death.
We are no longer alone; God is with us.
We are no longer homeless; a bit of the eternal home has moved into us.
Therefore we adults can rejoice deeply within our hearts under the Christmas tree, perhaps more than children are able….
We know that God’s goodness will once again draw near. We think of all of God’s goodness that came our way last year and sense something of the marvelous home. Jesus comes… “Behold I stand at the door …. Open wide the gates.” (Ps. 24:7). One day, at the last judgement, he will separate the sheep and the goats and will say to those on his right: “Come, you blessed… I was hungry and you fed me…. ” (Mt 25:34)
To the astonished question of when and where, he answered, “What you did to the least of these, you have done to me….” (Mt 25:40). With that we are faced with the shocking reality: Jesus stands at the door and knocks, in complete reality. He asks you for help in the form of a beggar, in the form of a ruined human being in torn clothing.
He confronts you in every person you meet.
Christ walks on the earth as your neighbor as long as there are people.
He walks on the earth as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you and makes His demands. That is the great seriousness and the great blessedness of the Advent message.
Christ stands at the door.
He lives in the form of the person in our midst.
Will you keep the door locked or open it to him?
Christ is still knocking.
It is not yet Christmas.
But it is also not the great final Advent, the final coming of Christ. Through all the Advents of our life that we celebrate goes the longing for the final Advent, where it says, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:15).
Advent is a time of waiting. Our whole life, however, is Advent….
That is, a time of waiting for the ultimate, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
When all people are brothers and sisters.
And one rejoices in the words of the angels:
‘On earth, peace…' "

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

How often do I forget that Christ, He does indeed walk on the Earth as my neighbor. That He confronts me in every person I meet.  The man with a sign outside of Costco, the people  wrapped in too thin sleeping bags under the overpass. The woman confined to her home because she can barely move anymore.  The girl with scars all over her arms and legs from trying to let the pain escape, the boy with teeth yellow from nicotine. These people, they don't have it all together. And yet Christ said,
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.'
 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. (Matthew 25: 34-40, 42-45)

The people he mentions are the ones so full of pain, so broken. They are where He confronts us, face to face.
 "What are you going to do? Because ignorance is no longer an option."
It isn't. Waiting, then, for it all to become new. But fighting, to help this broken world. That is what we are here for. That is what Christ, 2,000 years ago was here for.  We are no longer alone in this fight. The tiny baby ensured that. So we fight all the harder.



14 December 2011

Joseph's Lullaby- MERCYME

Go to sleep my Son
This manger for your bed
You have a long road before You
Rest Your little head

Can You feel the weight of Your glory?
Do You understand the price?
Does the Father guard Your heart for now
So You can sleep tonight?

Go to sleep my Son
Go and chase Your dreams
This world can wait for one more moment
Go and sleep in peace

I believe the glory of Heaven
Is lying in my arms tonight

Lord, I ask that He for just this moment
Simply be my child

Go to sleep my Son
Baby, close Your eyes
Soon enough You'll save the day
But for now, dear Child of mine
Oh my Jesus, Sleep tight

11 December 2011

Our glory and Joy

 I had to use this picture even though it's only the third

week, because isn't this "wreath" cool?!

For you are our glory and our Joy.
(1 Thessalonians 2:20)

That is enough., this week of Joy. He is indeed. Amen, and amen, and amen.



08 December 2011

How He loves us!

I say something to my self about how I'm not good enough, or whatever, and He speaks. Every. Time.

Beautiful Girl. My beautiful girl. Don't say that. You are every bit good enough, pretty enough, able.  I created you, remember? You don't determine your worth. Others most certainly do not. I do. Why isn't that enough for you? You are covered in my blood, I loved you enough to die for you. That's how much you are worth to me. You are worth dying for.
You were worth dying for even when you were still buried beneath the deepest of your sin. Even then, I loved you. And held out my hand to you.

How could he love me? Me, with all my failings. I ask. He speaks.
Oh, my precious daughter, princess girl. You are the dearly loved daughter of me, your Abba and King. How can you say what you do about something I made? You would not ever, ever say it about anyone else. How can you say it about your self? Oh, my daughter. I love you. You are mine. Let me tell you until you finally hear it. No one, and nothing, will ever change how much I love you. I think you are enough. Precious girl.Brave girl. Strong girl. Beautiful girl. You are a work of art in progress. I'm not done with you yet!

"Because you are precious in my eyes,
   and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
   peoples in exchange for your life.
 Fear not, for I am with you.."

(Isiah 43:4-5a)

He's not just saying this to me. It's every bit as much to you, my friends. We all fall in to the trap. He offers this to us all. How many times do we forget?
Thankfully, he's patient, even when we are not. This is my God. This is your God. This is the King of the Universe. This is for you. Right here. Right now.  You can't be good enough by yourself- but he Loves you. ANd when you accept that, accept Him, you are His. And that will never change.



07 December 2011

Because the whirlwind is always there

We wait.
And we pray.
The acceptance, it doesn't come easy.
But it comes.
Sometimes all we can ask is for peace and acceptance, whatever the circumstance. 
Peace in the waiting for it to get better.
I've been there this week. I know some of you are there too.
And it's getting better. It isn't what I wanted, but since when do we always get what we want?
It will be what I want, soon. Until then, I'm using this time to do other things.
Funny, isn't it, that the time of focusing on peace seems to always come at the time we most need it?
When we're in the midst of the whirlwind, this is when the peace is needed.

For to us a child is born,
   to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
   and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

 (Isaiah 9:6)

He is peace. So the rest in Him is where you will find it.  600 years before Him, Isaiah knew what man would always need. Because the whirlwind is always there.
But then, so is Peace.



05 December 2011

What wonderous love is this - American folk hymn

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul
, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!
When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down
Beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.
To God and to the Lamb I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb,
Who is the great I AM,
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free
I’ll sing His love for me,
And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.



04 December 2011

Waiting in peace

Today is the Peace candle, or Mary's candle.  I kind of want to focus on Mary, because its an amazing story.  Think about it.

 You're a girl, around 12, 13, 14, 15. Not very old. You're engaged to a man who may be ten, twenty, even thirty years older than you.  Suddenly, an angel appears, telling you that you will bear Messiah, who has been anticipated for centuries.
 "But, but how?" you stammer. "I'm a virgin." You're only engaged, not married, and here is someone telling you that you are going to have a baby.
And the angel answers you, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born  will be called holy— the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And you say, still in shock "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel leaves.
  Soon, you have to tell your parents that you are pregnant, but even worse, you have to tell Joseph, the man you are engaged to. You know it's not his baby. He knows. You both know what will happen if he presses charges. You will be stoned in the streets.  He chooses not to, but the pain in every ones eyes seems far worse than a stoning could ever be. You go away to visit Elizabeth for a few months, to allow the scandal to pass some. When you come back, though, everyone can tell you're pregnant. And then one day Joseph comes. He tells you of a dream, of seeing an angel,  of knowing that you carry Messiah. That very day he takes you home. Months pass, and the time of the birth draws near. You hear of the census, and decide to accompany Joseph to Bethlehem, much to your mothers chagrin. While you are there, the baby decides to make an early appearance. Everything is different, and you have the baby not at home with a midwife, but in a barn with a nervous husband.  You know that this birth, this birth will change the world. And so you smile at your newborn son, and at your much relived husband.

Could you imagine?  Somehow, somehow, she accepted the dramatic change to the life she had planned. And a world was changed.

This Advent, remember that God's plans aren't always yours. But they are always good. I pray that you can find peace in whatever turns your life takes. I pray that as you wait upon God, you have peace, even if what you wait for takes time. Sometimes it's not about the end, but about how you get there. Peace, then for that journey.


01 December 2011


So I normally don't like to ask for prayer for me, but I had a huge asthma attack yesterday, and am still feeling the after effects. :) I'm much better now, thanks to some serious meds, but prayer would be appreciated.