Abraham! Abraham!

I’ve always been terribly in awe of Abraham’s faith.

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”

// Genesis 22:1-3

Granted, we’re not all parents. But it’s easy to put this into perspective. Just imagine God has given you your heart’s desire after years of waiting and asking Him for this thing. Maybe it’s a job, a relationship, a travel opportunity, a scholarship, a house, a vacation, fill in the blank. Then imagine shortly after He has given you this thing, He asks you to give it back to Him.Read More »

In Jesus’ Name

Today I took a beautiful trip down memory lane. It was beautiful because, looking back, I’m overwhelmed by how much God has done to prepare me for whatever it is that lies ahead. He has led me through storms, pulled me through oceans, and nudged me far beyond my human capacities. He has caught me time and time again when I’ve fallen. He has never ceased to walk by my side.

I’m convicted by how aggravatingly easy it is to lose sight of what God has done in my life. It’s easy to get swallowed up by my worries about the future, forgetting how much God has already brought me through. I need to be reminded that He has never let me go, and He won’t suddenly toss me into empty space and leave me to find my way on my own.

At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow… (Philippians 2:10)

Just at His name, one day every heart will beat for Him: our Savior, our hope, our redemption. Every face will be alight with true joy and perfect peace. Every voice will be lifted in praise and thanksgiving.

We love in Jesus’ name, for He first loved us.

We live in Jesus’ name, for He gives us life.

We pray in Jesus’ name, for He intercedes for us.

We weep in Jesus’ name, for He knows our sorrows.

We rejoice in Jesus’ name, for He gives us reasons to be joyful.

We trust in Jesus’ name, for He is our hope.

O, blessed assurance!

Filled with Fullness

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven on and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19, ESV)

This is Paul’s prayer for spiritual strength, his recognition of the hard fact that humans cannot get through a difficult situation on their own. He prays it as a blessing over the Ephesians, reminding them how awesome the Lord is.Read More »

Tear Down the Boxes

In his essay, “Faithful Christian Learning,” Jeffrey P. Greenman brings up Luke 10:27, where Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Greenman then goes on to comment,

Surely I had heard that verse sometime in my churchgoing youth, but, if so, its significance never registered with me. Now I saw that it was utterly fundamental to Jesus’s message about discipleship. Christians are meant to love God supremely: thoroughly, not partially; actively, not passively; intentionally, not accidentally; and consistently, not sporadically.

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Balancing Act

Sometimes when life is really wonderful, it’s impossible to put into words all that one feels. There are colors, poems, images, sounds, and numerous other beautiful things that cannot possibly be conveyed by a few hundred words in a blog post. When we start living life without the intention of documenting every little bit, we might find it more enjoyable. The pressure lifts. We can simply drink it in.

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Sometimes it hits me all over again, and I remember you’re not here.

I see your name, or the absence thereof, and fight the sobs that billow up in my throat’s stormy sea.

Like a wave the emotions threaten to drown me. Sometimes I let myself fall, hands outstretched in surrender, and give way to the heaving shoulders and eyes squeezed shut against a raging onslaught of salty tears.

I see the word “I” instead of “we,” and ache a little more. You were always part of something more, and now that part is broken. You’re not here to hold her hand. You’re not here to sign the cards. You’re not here to hug us so tightly it hurts.

But I know you’re not truly gone.

You are alive! You are more alive than you ever were here with us.

And I cry anew, this time with tears of joy.

You are with your Savior. You have seen Him face-to-face. You are dancing! Oh, you are dancing! You no longer wince in pain. You no longer wake feeling tired. You no longer appear gray and haggard. You are alive. Oh, you are alive!

I miss you. But I know one day I will enter those pearly gates and walk those streets of gold, greeted by our Father, and see you dancing towards me. We will run, and you will hug me so tightly it hurts.

I can’t wait.

“Christians never say good bye.” – C.S. Lewis