Friday, April 12, 2013

New Blog Launch: What Does Jesus Have to Do with It?

Hello!  Guess what?  Today I launched a new blog called What Does Jesus Have to Do with It?  Integrating Your Life in Christ with Family, Friendships, and Work.  I'm so excited!!

You can find it here:  Please check it out!  (The link was wrong when first posted, but it's right now.  Sorry!)

Please subscribe to that one by hitting the "Follow" button under my picture when you get there.  That way, you can get the posts by email!

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Good Shepherd

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me -- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father -- and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.  The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life -- only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father."  

-- Jesus
(John 10:14-18)

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Bold Texting Life

On Thursday nights, my 12-year old daughter goes to a church near our house with many of her friends for worship and teaching.  She looks forward to it each week and usually when she gets home, I hear stories of the fun she had running around the church and how she drank Mountain Dew.  I always ask her about the teaching and the worship and she is very positive about that too, but usually wants to talk more about the interactions with her friends.  Last night when she got home, I asked her how it went.  

She said, "I cried.  I mean, my insides were crying like a river."  Surprised, I said, "Really, how come?"  She explained that the teaching was about the crucifixion and that in the worship time, they sang the song "Jesus Paid It All."  "It just really hit me," she said.  Then, right there in the living room, she began singing in her sweet, little-girl voice:  "Jesus paid it all.  All to him I owe.  Sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow."  She paused and smiled at me and then we sang together.  I was pretty sure my heart would burst.  But, just as quickly as she injected this life, she flitted off to do something in her room.  Good thing, I needed time to recover.  

A bit later, we sat in the living room and she was texting on her phone.  A lot.  Some anxiety rose up in me as I began thinking of several horror stories I'd heard recently about what a parent might find if she reads her kids' texts.  I asked her who she was texting.  "My friends."  "What are you texting about?"  "I don't remember what."  Hmmm.  When she went up to bed, I looked at her phone (I've been very clear that I will have unfettered access to her phone).  There it was; a (relatively) long text she'd written to five of her friends:
Tonight I was reminded that Jesus paid it all for us.  When I go to bed tonight, I will pray to thank God that he died to take away my sin and I will thank him for such good friends like you.
As if the singing in the living room had not been enough.  This is a bold texting life.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Sun Came Up

The sun came up this morning,

And I remembered grace. 

I was stunned.  Speechless. 

Then I laughed at the thought of it. 
Me?  How could that possibly be?

You must not have heard where I've been and what I've done. 

But you insisted:

 "Yes. You
I know every place you've been.
I know everything you've done. 
I know every thought you've had.  
And, still."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Setting Out To Follow

You can say you’re going to do something.  You can put everything into motion, and tell everyone you know.  You can burn the plows, as Elisha did.  (See Called)  But then comes the day that you must set out to follow… or not.  What if your plow-burning is a huge success – you, at your best?  What if you burn the plows and then start to wonder why?  What if you burn the plows and start to feel like maybe plowing was the way to go?

Since August, I have known my days at my law firm were numbered.  It was in August that God called me very clearly to leave and to go into full-time ministry.  He did not disclose to me where I was to go, but only that I was to leave.  My last thing to do at my firm was to try the case I just returned home from trying.  The trial was the highlight of my nearly 13-year career, not only because we won, but because I learned so much about myself as a follower of Jesus -- what I am capable of, what worries me, how to lead, how to handle high levels of stress, how to seek Him first when so much other stuff pressed harder and louder, when to rest, when to laugh, how to see Him, how to hear Him, when to ask for forgiveness, when to stay still, when to speak, when to stay silent, how to wait, how to miss.  I haven’t cracked the surface of what I have learned.  But now I’m back and now it’s time to leave.  

As I write, the clock next to me ticks, reminding me that it is time.  And all I can think about is the story of the wealthy man in Matthew 19.  The man asked Jesus what good thing he needed to do to get eternal life.  Jesus told him to keep the commandments.  The man asked which ones.  Jesus told him: “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  The man told Jesus he had kept all the commandments Jesus listed.  And so Jesus responded: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  The man looked at Jesus and then turned and walked away.  I have read this story and thought the man’s response unthinkable.  He was standing face-to-face with the Lord Jesus and instead of surrendering his money and following Jesus’ call, he turned and walked away.  Unthinkable.     

If I am honest, though, my heart right now wants to do the unthinkable.  It is turning in on itself and wanting not just to walk away, but to run.  It says stay with the safer choice, the thing you know, the thing you know you are good at.  No one would question you.  No one would shame you for reassessing and changing your mind.  Not to walk away takes more courage than I feel capable of invoking.  Pressing forward and setting out to follow feels nearly unbearable, like being too close to a raging fire.  My heart screams out deep inside: I am scared!  I am too scared!  But it is the very thing that makes me want to stay – the success at trial – that makes me know I can leave.  Without that experience at trial and all that he showed me, I would not be able to follow his call.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer put words to the questions Jesus is whispering to my heart:

Will you let my grace conquer you?
Will you let my love take your life?      

My answer is yes.  You, Lord, are “my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid?” (Ps 27:1)

Thursday, January 10, 2013


"So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat.  He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair.  Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.  Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah.  'Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,' he said, 'and then I will come with you.'

'Go back,' Elijah replied.  'What have I done to you?'

So Elisha left him and went back.  He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them.  He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate.  Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant."

(1 Kings 19:19-21)

In August, God called me to be his servant in full-time ministry.  
Step 1: deciding to follow.  Check.
Step 2: burning the plows.   In process.
Step 3: setting out to follow.  Coming soon.