My hope is that this blog will be a conduit for conversation between you and me, between you and others, and most importantly, between you and God. Experience has shown me that my best conversations with the Lord and with others come coupled with the stillness of morning and a cup of coffee. Whatever your experience has been, I hope you will join me as I share what God puts on my heart.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Painful experiences can harden our hearts. And our hearts become hard to God.

I consider our hearts like a reservoir of Christ.  The softer our hearts, the more porous we are to Christ and His Spirit in us.  The more porous we are to Christ, the more Christ flows through us.

Pain can make our hearts impermeable. While impermeability may mean we are less susceptible to pain, impermeability of our hearts means we are less absorbent to the flow of the Spirit. Pain can cause me to focus on myself. We become so engrossed in seeking relief, in denying the pain, in being angry, in feeling sorry for ourselves, that we fail to look to Christ. And our condition worsens.

Constant communication with Christ keeps us open to Christ. Although I believe constant communication with Christ is always important, I find this communication especially important when our hearts are susceptible to being hardened. It is not that you need relief, it is that you need Christ. Constant communication with Christ means more of Christ; it means a more porous heart.

And my lack of communication with our Lord is often a symptom of my hardened heart. And our communication with our Lord is often the first to go when the going gets tough.  And it is this communication with our God that we need more than anything.

During these times, my prayers have consisted of "Lord, I am hurting." It is not the prayer that matters, it is that we are praying; it is that we are calling upon our God. And by reaching out to God, our hearts are softened.

I pray you reach out to the Lord despite your pain. I pray your heart is softened.

I pray the Lord prompts us to confess the calcified areas of our hearts. Praise God that He removes the hardness in our hearts. Praise God that He can use pain to soften our hearts. I urge you to communicate with our Lord—even when you do not know where to start; even when your words are few.

"So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness...." (Hebrews 3:7, 8 NIV).

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me." (Psalm 57:2 NIV).

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18 NIV).

Allow me to introduce to you the Sexy Mexi that I stumbled upon at my favorite coffee shop.  It is a latte with cayenne pepper and chocolate sprinkles on top.  And it has changed my life.  If a Sexy Mexi cannot start your engine in the mornings, nothing can.

Much love to you,


Friday, October 21, 2011

One body.

When one breaks a bone, a doctor has to set it.   From what I can gather, this means putting the broken bones back together.  Through this process, the bones will fuse.  It is the cast or splint that keeps the bones together during this process.
This is what gathering together with other believers does for me.
As believers, we comprise the Body of Christ.  Just as broken bones in our physical bodies need realignment with the rest of our skeletal frame, so does our spiritual journey need constant realignment with Christ.  As a cast provides the support for a broken bone to remain aligned with other properly coordinated bones, so does the Body of Christ provide the support for our spiritual journey to remain aligned with Christ.  

Then, Christ uses others who are seeking Him to help “set” our faith.  When others bear with me in my faith, in my struggles, in my joys, I better realize when a bone is unaligned, when the condition of my heart is incongruous with Christ. 
And when I bear with others in their faith, in their struggles, in their joys, I am like Christ.  And these reciprocal Christ-centered relationships bolster our relationship with our Lord.      
And now I know why our Lord taught us to pray “Our Father.”  (Matthew 6:9 NIV) (emphasis added).  We were never meant to do faith alone.
I am not a doctor.  I am certainly not pretending to be.  But, I am absolutely convinced that meeting with other believers is medicine for my soul. 
And it will be medicine for your soul.  And you will experience Christ’s provision in an unprecedented way.
I pray you seek others whom you can journey with in Christ.  Praise God that He works so powerfully through relationships.  Praise God that He does not expect us to endure our faith journey alone.  
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  (Matthew 18:20 NIV).
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  (Hebrews 10:24, 25 NIV).
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”  (Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV).

 What is better than acuppacoffee?  acuppacoffeefortwo.
Much love to you,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I once had a professor who told our class that he does not take ibuprofen when he has a headache.  He went on to explain that he rarely experienced pain in this comfortable world in which we live.  Without any pain, it is hard to identify with and remember what Christ did for us.  Perhaps there is something to this. 
In my comfortable world, it is too easy to be unmoved by our Lord’s appalling experience of the cross. 
If you are going through a painful or otherwise stretching experience, I want to encourage you that it is not in vain.  Even in those times where there is no plausible purpose for the pain, trust that God will use it for His glory.  Whether the pain is physical or emotional, whether the pain is trivial or significant, our Lord is working for your good.
God uses our painful experiences for more than we can imagine.  If nothing else, painful experiences help us identify with Christ.  Thus, in every painful circumstance, we have something to gain:  Although we will never fully empathize with the suffering of our Savior—praise God—through every painful circumstance, we are that much closer to identifying with Christ.
And when I experience a scintilla of identification with Christ, I become all the more thankful for the enormity of pain Christ took from us.  And I am reminded that Christ's promises are no less true in times of suffering.  And I remember the glory that is and will be revealed in us.  
I pray you remember.    
Thank You, Lord, that You use every one of our sufferings for Your glory.  Praise the Lord that He has experienced suffering for us.  Praise God that He is our refuge.  Praise God that our earthly sufferings compare not to His present and future glory.
“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”  (Psalm 119:50 NIV).
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.  Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.  Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”  (Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV).
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  (Romans 8:18 NIV).

Come to mama. 

Much love to you,

Friday, October 14, 2011

More than a pardon.

I will never wish the torment of sin on anybody.  It is certainly not God’s will for you. 
I will forever wish the delight of grace on everybody.  It is unlike anything you have ever known.
Through my stumbles, Christ showed me His grace in a deeper way.  I had recognized that I needed Christ’s forgiveness.  But, I did not need it—not in the way an individual constantly warring against a particular sin needs God's grace every moment.  But, we all need God's grace in that way, in every moment.

Even when I am not manifestly struggling with a particular sin, I need God's grace no less.

Just as God’s grace exists in its fullest form always, so does the depth of our need for God’s grace exist in its fullest form always.  It is the understanding of this need that is pivotal.
When you become repulsed by your sin, you realize you are not enough.  When you realize that you are not enough, you realize the depth of your need.  When you realize the depth of your need, you cling to God.  How many blessings I have missed when I enjoy God's grace, but fail to appreciate it. 
I cannot believe our Lord has shared His grace with a person like me and with people like us.  And I always want this mindset.  And I want it for you. 
It unquestionably does not take the experience of sin to know God’s grace—God certainly does not will for you to sin.  But, it does take comprehension of our filthiness to know God’s grace.  God did not need my sin to show me His grace.  Grace exists as God exists; it is God’s nature.  Yet, despite my sin and out of my sin, God graciously showed me my need, so that I may know Him more, so that I may praise Him more.

I pray we recognize the depth of our filth from which our Lord has cleansed us.  Each time we learn that our sin was sicker, bigger, and more repulsive than we thought, we learn that God's grace is far greater still.  And I am dumbfounded.  And we will never fully understand it.  But, with the increase in knowledge of our sin comes the increase in knowledge of God's grace. 
In those times of repugnance when we are soberly aware of our sick condition, we would be satisfied with a fragment of forgiveness, but God gives us a feast.  You are not only free, but God’s grace has filled you with speechless gratitude that bends your heart toward Christ.  God's grace is not solely about forgiveness; God's grace transforms us into being more like Christ.  
Then, grace is more than an undeserved pardon; grace is a revolution: God’s grace does not place you where you were before you fell; God’s grace propels you.  Our Lord does not just cleanse you; our Lord adorns you.  Our Lord Jesus does not just restore your heart; our Lord creates a new heart within you.     
I pray you experience the grace of God that is in Christ Jesus. 
Praise God for His kindness that despite the repugnance of our sin, God brings the sweetness of His grace.  Praise God that He is willing to use the depth of our sinfulness to demonstrate that His grace is deeper still. 
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people."  (2 Corinthians 1:2  NIV).
"As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain."  (2 Corinthians 6:1 NIV 1984).
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."  (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) (emphasis added).
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  (Ezekiel 36:26 NIV 1984).
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of his darkness into his wonderful light."  (1 Peter 2:9 NIV 1984).

When this delectable duo merges, unicorns and butterflies pour out of my cup into my mouth. 

Much love to you, 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Interceding is agreeing.

I am guilty of projecting my wishes and my expectations onto others.  Sometimes I do this when praying for others.  It is not that this is inherently selfish.  Our wishes for and our expectations of others are often altruistic. 
But, prayer founded on what we think somebody needs presumes that we know what somebody needs.  It presumes that our expectations are what somebody is supposed to be.  It presumes that my wishes are the best for that person.
The reality that we can communicate with our Lord is a gift.  Equally as extraordinary, is the power to communicate with God on behalf of others.  But, this intercessory power is multiplied when it is in agreement with Christ’s plan, Christ’s expectations, and Christ’s best for whom we are interceding. 
If God wants our best and living in His will is the best, if I want the best for whom I am praying, then my intercession is truest when I am in agreement with Christ. 
Perhaps this is already how you pray for others.  I am learning.  And in this learning, the Lord challenges me to abandon my expectations of others in lieu of the Lord’s expectations.  And in claiming Christ’s expectations of others, the Lord helps me become selfless.  My expectations of others are generally tied to my personal fulfillment—even if it is a subconscious personal fulfillment.  Were I to wholly segregate my prayers for others from myself, I still would be biased because I am human. 
But, when we intercede in prayer for others through agreement with Christ, it is the Lord who is then interceding.  And nothing is more powerful than thatAnd it is the most selfless prayer we can pray.    
Sometimes agreement means the Spirit prompts me to pray a particular prayer for a particular person.  Sometimes agreement means I pray a prayer premised on God’s Word for another.  God’s promises are a certain way to be in agreement with God.  Lately, agreement means being in God’s presence in an attitude of agreement about whom I am praying. 
What a relief that we do not have to do anything—that we can say we agree, Lord, with what You are doing for whom we are praying.  Praise the Lord that we do not have to know what to pray.  Praise You, Lord, that in setting others free from our expectations, You set us free from selfishness.  Praise You, Lord, that You are what is best and that we can fully rely on You to accomplish that best in others’ lives.      
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.  We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. . . .”  (Colossians 1:9 NIV).
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have that we asked of him.”  (1 John 4:14,15 NIV).
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”  (Romans 8:26,27 NIV).

For those feeling gutsy, add a smidgen of this to your usual pot of coffee.

But, don’t you come crying to me when you lose friends because they have grown weary of your coffee buzz.  
Not that I know that from experience or anything.

Much love to you, 

Friday, October 7, 2011


Our Lord is our hope.  In times of trouble.  And in times of good. 
Although I have professed this principle in word, my actions have professed that my hope is in peaceful circumstances.  Believing that hope is in peaceful circumstances is pseudo hope.  Theoretically, we acknowledge this.  But, challenging circumstances have demonstrated a flaw in my hope.  Perhaps challenging circumstances have also demonstrated a flaw in your hope.
Let me explain.  During a particularly stressful time, I received a phone call.  The phone call delivered good news.  I experienced such a peace from the hope that everything was now going to be good. 
But it was going to be good all along.    
Many times we hope in God when circumstances are good.   It is not that this is wrong.  God and His promises are very much present in good circumstances.  Yet, in this accurate belief, we are still deceived.  Solely finding hope in God in good circumstances is incomplete.  This truth is only complete when we also find hope in God in troubling circumstances.
I know you believe this truth.  But when we fail to exercise this truth, we forfeit the life of abundance to which Christ has called us.    
If good circumstances create my hope, my hope in something other than Christ.  And if our hope is anything other than Christ, it is no hope at all.  Circumstances change, but our Lord does not.  Our Lord and His promises are constant.  Thus, the hope that is in our Lord is constant. 
Even in the most dismal circumstances, our hope remains because our God and His promises remain.  And if our hope is in our God, it is not the circumstances that will make our existence good.  It is our hope in our unshakable, unwavering, unfailing God that will make our existence good. 
I pray we recognize any traces of pseudo hope in our lives.  I pray that in good times we discern the difference between hope in God and hope in good circumstances.  And I pray that in bad times we ask ourselves if we are seeking hope in God or hope in a good outcome.  And I pray that we rest in the constant hope in our faithful God and His promises.  Praise You, God, that You are the hope that does not change, does not leave, does not end.   I implore you to take hold of this hope.   
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8 NIV).
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”  (Psalm 62:5 NIV).
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  (Romans 5:5 NIV).
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”  (Micah 7:7 NIV).

I have been waiting to share my favorite cup with you.  I do not share it with just anybody, but I think we're to this point in our relationship. 
Much love to you,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The indifference that is offensive.

I find myself becoming inconvenienced when the Lord asks me to lay open my heart before Him.  It concerns me that I find it easy to become indignant about the sin in others’ lives, and I find it even easier to be indifferent about the sin in my own life.  I pray God prompts you to consider the condition of your heart.
Even when our wrongdoing may seem relatively clean, our hearts are not.  And our Lord cares about our hearts. 
I am comfortable with letting God search my heart when I manifest my sins in a blatant way.  I fail to acknowledge the unconcealed, less disgraceful sins that equally pollute my heart. 
But, all sin is ugly because it affects our hearts.  And I sin without even knowing it.   Whether I acknowledge my wrongs or even know about them, my heart is affected. 
By being indifferent, I am being offensive.  
May we present ourselves to Christ, so that He may find any unholy way in us.  When we open our hearts to Christ, He extracts the deepest deposits that may house decay.  Christ explores the creases  of our hearts we may not even know about—depths so repugnant we choose not to know about them.  We lack the power without Christ to address these knotty layers of our hearts.  
And through this process, we recognize our sin.  And through the recognition of our sin, we recognize our need for Christ’s atonement.  Even more, we experience Christ’s powerful purification of our hearts. 
Then, even in times when God has not prompted us to confess our iniquity, laying bare our hearts before God in recognition of our sinfulness, in recognition of His holiness is a blessed activity.  And I believe you will be blessed by it.  And I believe our supplication for God to purify us—and God’s purification of us—continues to attune our hearts to be utterly dependent on God.
I pray we lay bare our hearts before God.  I pray we become indignant about the sin in our lives.  I pray we do not remain indifferent to the condition of our hearts.  Praise God that despite the corrosive folds of our hearts, God wants to search our hearts.  Praise God that He renews every unholy way within us.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  (Proverbs 4:23 NIV).
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.”  (Psalm 139:1 NIV).
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  (Psalm 139:23, 24 NIV).
“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”  (2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV).  

Cue Marvin Gaye because this is where the magic happens.

Much love to you,