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, December 16, 2011

When I am weak, I am strong.

Sometimes I have sobering moments where I become intensely conscious of my weaknesses. For me, realizing my limitations is somewhat painful because it reminds me that I am weak; that I am inadequate. 

We all are.

And recently my prayers have been repetitive: “Lord I cannot do this but for You; Lord, if I am capable of this, it is only through You; Lord, this has to be You because I am helpless.”

But it always has to be God.

When we realize our limitations; when we realize our weaknesses, we do not have to wallow in an abyss filled with our lack of abilities.  Rather, we become beyond capable through Christ.  Realizing our weaknesses and imperfections emphasizes that which makes us able.   And that which makes us able is the power of Christ that rests on us.

When we are weak, we are strong. 

But we are not strong on our own right.  We are strong only because being aware of our weaknesses causes us to rely fully on Christ.  Relying fully on Christ means Christ’s power rests on us.

Christ does not make us solely capable.  Christ equips us beyond what we need.  It would be impossible to recount the times that I have cried out to the Lord because I am unqualified, inept, incapable, or weak.  During these times, I become acutely aware of Christ’s power in me.  And it feels surreal.  And I act surprised as if it has not happened before.  It is during those times that I become more capable than I ever could be on my own.  It is during those times; it is during my weakest moments that the Lord’s work through me exponentially increases. 

What an absurdity: when we are at our weakest point, we are at our strongest point.  What a beautiful reality that denying ourselves means receiving that which is far greater than ourselves.  Christ’s power rests on us in its fullest measure when we are keenly aware of our utter helplessness without Him.  Were one to externally assess these situations where I have been entirely helpless, one would think that it was I who caused the situation to end positively.  In reality, those were the times when I was wholly aware of my reliance on Christ.  While it is certainly true that we are always wholly dependent on God, we are not always wholly aware of that dependence. 

If it is our weaknesses; if is our limitations that propel our awareness of this dependence, then we must praise God for them. 

Christ’s power rests on me.  Christ’s power rests on you.

And so I will rejoice in these weaknesses, even when it hurts.  I pray you rejoice too.      

“But he has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 NIV).

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. . . .”  (Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV).

Speaking of my weaknesses.  Hello, sugarfreepeppermintmochacreamer.  Get in my mouth.

Much love to you,


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Casting gains context.

I sometimes strain through life.  And I define every potential problem I may have, delineate every solution available, and often dwell on the worst outcome.  And when I have come to terms with whatever outcome I decide is most probable, I feel relief but for a moment before I quickly move on to another problem.  And maybe you do this too.  And we live our lives with fluctuating, but always existing, anxiety as if anxiety were our security blanket.  

But I want God’s perspective.  And we need God’s perspective.  Because in God’s perspective, in the light of God’s purpose for us, most we strain about becomes inconsequential.  It is not that our Lord does not value our anxieties--He certainly does care for us.  It is more that our anxieties become peripheral to us in God's light. 

We must see matters as our Lord sees those matters.  When we cast our cares on our Lord, our Lord graciously opens our eyes to the context of our cares.  By deliberately casting our cares on the Lord, we place those cares in the light of God’s presence.  The context of God’s presence becomes what matters.  God’s presence reminds us of His promises.  We gain the perspective that God is in control.  

And we gain the perspective that if we are seeking God, God’s purpose for our lives cannot be frustrated; no anxiety, no circumstance, no horrific outcome, no plot of the enemy, no failure, and no pain can thwart the will of God in my life.  And in your life. 

We do not have to claw through life from anxiety to anxiety because God's perspective compels us to rest in Him.  

Why do we struggle to cast our cares on our Lord?  Perhaps it is my pride.  Maybe I want to control the solution to my problem because I somehow think I can obtain the outcome I want; I can obtain the best outcome; I am the solution.  It is not that I manifestly believe these fictions; these fictions are tangled in the deep roots of my problem--they are likely subconscious, but they are no less a problem.  Perhaps these fictions pervade your thinking.

Before we can enjoy this blessing of peace in our Lord, we must give up control.  Casting, by its very nature, is relinquishing control.  We must recognize that we cannot find solutions in ourselves; we cannot find peace in ourselves. 

Then, it is no longer about the solution to our problems; it is about the process of giving control to God.  Because once we do that, our responsibilities are complete.  Giving control to God is truly the only element of the peace process that lies with us.  Our problems are far too big for us, but they are not too big for our Lord.  Any peace we find within our own solutions will be temporary and superficial.  If we do not realize our limits, we will never realize our Lord’s peace.  

I pray for humility that propels us to give control to God.  And this humility often hurts because it means realizing our own limitations.  I pray we deliberately cast our anxieties on our Lord.  This is not a passive activity that happens on its own.  Praise God that our Lord wants to carry our burdens.  Praise God for the freedom that comes with Christ’s perspective.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”  (Psalm 94:19 NIV).

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6, 7 NIV).

Oh, Eggnog coffee.  You hurt me so good.

Much love to you,


Friday, December 2, 2011


I praise the Lord for His presence.  Although sometimes our Lord’s presence is more real than other times, it is no less real and no less available to us always.  This is something I have been dwelling on as this Christmas season is upon us:  That Christ’s presence on earth enabled us to have Christ within us.  And I do not want to take this lightly.  Because this one aspect of the Christmas story coupled with the subsequent event of the cross is everything to me.  It is everything to us—that our Lord came into the world, and that our Lord has come into our hearts.

Our Lord is here among us, as our Lord always was.  But even more, our Lord is within us.  And this emanated from our Lord’s life on earth. 

The Lord is here.  He is here. He is here.  Our Lord is here. 

And I have been saying it over and over again to myself as of late. And I want to remind you of it.  That our Lord wants to reside within us is unimaginable to me.  And the more I try to understand it, the more our Lord’s love overwhelms me. 

Let it overwhelm you.

It is like this newfound joy to remember that the birth of Christ initiated the events that enabled us to have Christ's presence within us.  It is not just that we are new creations because of Christ.  It is not just that our Lord makes us new and leaves us to ourselves. It is that we are new creations with the Lord within us. 

How can I remain dismal; how can I remain distracted; how can I remain unmoved in light of this glorious reality? And I understand that I am dwelling on what may seem like an obvious aspect of Christ’s life on earth--His presence.  But it is the Lord's presence that is the condition precedent to everything He has done for us.

Do we realize that God has called us?  Do we realize that when we respond to God, we receive the presence of God within us?  For our God is always present without, but how magnificent that our God is present within. 

Do we truly realize that God, our Lord Jesus Christ; the Creator of Life; our Sustainer; our Redeemer; our Peace; our Joy, is present within us?  It is not that we must pursue some distant being to obtain all of these things; for our Lord is all of these things for us because our Lord is here.   

Our Lord is here.  Our Lord is here. Our Lord is here.

I pray we dwell on this reality.   If you have not responded to our Lord’s call and have not experienced the marvelous presence of our Lord within you, I implore to you to do so.  I pray that if you have responded to our Lord’s call, that this season is a reminder of the presence of Christ on earth.  I pray this season is even more a reminder of our Lord’s presence within us.  Praise God that our Lord would make His home within our otherwise decrepit hearts. 

"'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' (which means 'God with us')."  (Matthew 1:23 NIV) (emphasis added).

"Jesus replied, 'Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.  My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.'"  (John 14:23 NIV).

"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."  (John 14:26 NIV).

"Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. . . ." (Galatians 4:6 NIV).

Ode to you, Christmas cup.  It's finally time for you.

Much love to you,