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.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The in-between.

We spend much of our life in the in-between: in between a peak and a valley, in between birth and eternity, in between the start and the finish, in between surrendering to Christ and experiencing complete union with Christ, in between fulfilling God’s purpose for the previous chapter and knowing God’s purpose for the next chapter.  While we tend to define our lives by the highs and the lows because the highs and the lows feel more purposeful, the in-betweens are equally important.  If most of our life is lived in the in-between, then how we live in the in-between becomes all the more significant.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Seeking the Lord is often easier during the peak because it is far easier to believe our Lord is good.  And we are often more compelled to seek the Lord during the valley because of our need we perceive.  But our Lord’s call is no less acute in the normal, every-day in-between. 

Perhaps it is during the in-between that we have the opportunity to maximize our communion with God.  While in the valley, we become fixated on the Lord healing us of the pain.  While on the mountaintop, we rejoice and live in the joy that seems more real because we truly feel it.  These portions of our journey are equally authentic and stretching.  But it is the in-between that teaches us to find our Lord as healer without the valley.  It is the in-between that teaches us to trust God is our joy without the mountaintop.

We must use the in-between to press into God.  If we are to seek God’s face always, we must fervently seek God’s face during the in-between.  When we lean into God during the in-between, we experience God in a new way.  Maybe during this in-between, we are undistracted by whatever pain propels us toward God in the valley.  Maybe during this in-between, we are less inclined to rejoice in God solely because we feel the emotion of happiness.

This in-between may cause you to feel less excited about God, but this in-between is an opportunity to know God in an unfettered fashion. 

Do not miss the opportunity of the in-between.  When you do not feel the emotion of joy that propels you to thank God, thank God nonetheless.  When you do not feel the motivation of sorrow that propels you to seek God for healing, ask God to heal you nonetheless.  When you do not perceive your need that propels you to be fulfilled by God, seek fulfillment in God nonetheless.  The highs and the lows of life are no less essential to our growth in Christ.  But I am convinced that the Lord does a unique work in us when we seek our Lord during the in-between. 

I pray you use your in-between to thank our Lord, to experience the joy in our Lord, to sit quietly before our Lord, to trust our Lord, to seek what you need in our Lord, and to grow in your knowledge of our Lord.  Praise God for the in-between.    

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”  (1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV).

“Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.”  (Proverbs 8:34 NIV).

“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”  (Psalm 34:1 NIV).

Bottoms up, my fine friends.

Much love to you,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To the full.

It is no secret that the enemy loves to distract us.  By distracting us from what God has for us in this moment, the enemy can steal the joy that God has made available to us in this moment.  If we obsess about the next step, we become too paralyzed to take the present step or to seek God in the present.

I have been distracted from living in this moment, in this step, in today.  I have talked about it before because it is a constant fight.  And maybe you can relate.

When I dwell on the future, I miss today.  When I become fixated on my plans, on creating a plan, on a solution, on the if-onlys, on the some-days, the next step, I have trouble executing my current step.  Even more important than this step, this moment, this day is the presence of God in this step, this moment, this day.

The future is not reality.  And I distort reality when I project my mind into the future.  And so do you.  God defines our reality.  Our God is present right now.  Our God is already present in tomorrow.  While God is omnipresent, we are only capable of being present in the right now.  I will struggle to experience God if I am trying to live in tomorrow.  Being fixated on my notions of tomorrow means missing the presence of God right now.

God is our joy.  When we miss the presence of our God in this moment—the only moment we are promised—we miss the joy of God.

I refuse to be robbed.  I will not miss the abundance of Christ in today.  I will not be fooled into trading the joy of Christ’s presence in this minute for the fearful projections of a mind that cannot fathom Christ’s creativity and provision in tomorrow.  Our Lord has given us life in Christ—and only that is life to the full.  But, that life—that calling—is happening in this moment.  

I will make a choice to live in the presence of God.  And the presence of God is in the present.  And that is our reality.  Fixation on the future creates a flawed forecast predicated on an extreme underestimation of Christ’s power.  These forecasts are a lie—and we must recognize them as lies.

If I sound frustrated, I am.  Our Lord has made His presence available to us always.  But in our humanity, the present time is the only time we can currently experience the Lord’s presence.  I choose to experience God in this moment.  You must choose to experience God in this moment.  And lately, I have forgotten that we make the choice.

How paralyzed and downtrodden we can become if the enemy can get us to dwell on the next moment, on the next step, on the future.  I implore you to choose the right now, this moment, this step, this single decision, this day.  Because this moment is where we can experience our Lord, that is where we must remain.

Praise the Lord for His help in doing so.  Praise the Lord that experiencing His presence in the present is life to the full.

“You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  (Psalm 16:11 NIV).

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10 NIV).

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.”  (Psalm 89:15 NIV).

Speaking of life to the full—I'm in need of a refill.

Much love to you,


Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Am.

In my recent season of life, I have been pleading with God to give me specific answers.  Nearly all our seasons of life are like this to some extent.  But, often certain seasons of life include what we perceive as life-changing decisions.  I find myself believing that these decisions will determine whether I am in God’s will.  And because I do not want to forgo God’s plan, I want God to give me a yes or no regarding these decisions.  In doing so, I often stifle the freedom to which Christ has called me.

Maybe you are pursuing God for a yes or no.

Our Lord did not give me the answer I want.  Our Lord did not give me a yes or no.  Instead, God reminded me, I AmI Am the answerOur Lord is the answer.  Of course, our Lord is gracious enough to let us know when our decisions are wrong or when we have made a misstep.  But, the Lord prompted me to believe that sometimes the precise step we take is not a yes or no.  Because in Christ, when we are seeking Christ, we cannot miss God.  God’s grace is over us.  God does not want us to miss His plan for our lives. 

Thus, when we are seeking God and we have not heard otherwise, perhaps the exact step we take is immaterial.  In this case, God’s plan is not limited to our yes or no.  God is powerful enough and gracious enough to accomplish His plan in varying circumstances.  We will be in God’s plan because we have sought God.

We are in God’s plan not because we perfectly achieved a predestined step.  We are in God’s plan because we sought God, and our God is too gracious to let us misstep.  We are in God’s plan because our God has the power to accomplish His will in alternative circumstances.

Then, our confidence that we are in God’s plan for our lives is premised on God’s grace.  I want to possess this confidence in Christ.  And, I want it for you.  We miss this abundant life of freedom to which Christ has called us when we incessantly question our present state of life. 

Until you know otherwise, trusting is your only responsibility.  Trust that our God will let you know when you are in the wrong.  Trust that God is too gracious to let you miss His will.  Trust that our Lord Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to provide a new covenant for you.  That covenant gives us full communion with God through Christ.  And the foundation of that covenant is that Christ is our atonement; Christ is our grace.  And because of this grace in Christ Jesus, our God is for us and not against us.  And if our Lord is our advocate, then our Lord wants to accomplish His plan in our lives. 

During this Easter season, I pray we can rejoice in this freedom we have through grace in Christ Jesus.  This freedom is not a license to sin; this freedom is trust.  If grace can conquer eternal death to our entire being, then surely grace can conquer the death in every component of our journey in Christ. 

Freedom in Christ produces a life of abundance because Christ has set us free from earning favor with God.  We must stop living like God’s plan for our life is a treasure hunt.  We must stop living like God’s plan for our life is this ambiguous answer that depends on us to perfectly ascertain.  The answer is not always a yes or no.  I Am is the answer.  The answer is God.  If you are seeking God, you are living God’s plan for your life right now. 

Praise God for the grace that is Christ Jesus.  Praise God that our Lord’s death and resurrection brought freedom to every facet of our lives.  I pray we take hold of this freedom.

“God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am.’  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’”  (Exodus 3:14 NIV).

“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”  (Psalm 33:11 NIV).

"For this reason, Christ is the mediator of the new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”  (Hebrews 9:15 NIV).

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  (Galatians 5:1 NIV).

I've got the joy joy joy joy in my coffee cup.  WHERE?  In my coffee cup...........

Sorry, that was awkward.  I am sure you have seen this glorious Almond Joy creamer before.  And if you haven't--oh my.  You poor, unfortunate soul.

Much love to you,