Category archives: Devotion

Underbrush and God

The other day, I was thinking about underbrush and God. Underbrush is all the scraggly little trees and thistles and ferns and tiny bushes that make up the bottom of the forest. The helpful thing about it, is that it allows little creatures in the forest to be able to remain hidden. I was remembering how when God first made people, He put them in a little forest of trees and wild growing things. And one day, those first people separated themselves from God and they were so ashamed at what they had done, that they ran and hid in the underbrush. But, God came walking and calling out for them because He was used to doing that--He was used to chatting with them and just enjoying life with them and spending time with them. But, on this particular day, they didn't really want t[...]

If God feels far off

It might feel like God is all the way across the cosmos, or that there is a great chasm between where you are standing and where He exists. Or it might feel like He is somewhere out there, but He is always just out of reach. But, that is not the case. At least, that is not how God reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures. The Scriptures tell us that He is "not very far from each one of us." It doesn't say that He is not very far from just the Christians. Or just the spiritual gurus. Or the folks who do all the right things. Or the "special" ones. It says {each} one of us. All the humans. You. Me. Whether you feel it or not, He is close enough by. (Acts 17) The gap we feel --the alienation, the loneliness -- is not because of our proximity to Him, but because of our lack of [...]

When You Wonder if God Talks Back

In the still and in the quiet, you can hear from God. He can be quite chatty. But, you have to slow your little tail-end down. And you have to decide that it's okay to sit and stare off into space or out the window and just be there. With God. Asking Him your questions. And you have to use a little bit of your imagination. Dallas Willard says that when you pray, Jesus is walking up to you for a conversation. Some people are like, "Don't tell anyone that God will talk back because what if they think God says something that God doesn't really say?" Well, that IS a problem. In fact, I know a guy who is in real trouble right now because he thought God told him a bunch of things that God clearly did not tell him and he got all weird and crazy and freaked a bunch of people out. And[...]

When You Just Need to Be Quiet

Hi, my friends, I wanted to tell you that here the next four or five weeks (till the end of January) this little place on the internet is gonna be quiet. I'm taking a break from social media so I can practice being still and listening to my Shepherd. I want to feel His love more this new coming year. I want to hear Him better. And obey Him. I want to walk closely with Him. I want to be filled up with Him. I think for me, that means I need to be a little more still. And a lot more quiet for now. This is how I will cease striving. And rest. I'm listening to good music. And drinking in the Word. And I'm praying. Did you know that I pray for you? Even though I'm making space for quiet and for God to speak to me, I want you to know that if you need anything, you can reach me her[...]

On Finding Rest in a Hectic Life

Over the weekend, Brent and I took a rest. We loaded up the kids and took them to meet their Grandma and Grandpa. Then we gave them smooches and waved good-bye and got back in the van and had so much fun together—just the two of us. We ate good food that we didn’t have to cook and laughed a good deal at each other. In all the daily grind of things, I had forgotten how ridiculously funny Brent can be. Because when he comes home from work, it’s supper time and I can hardly hear him tell me about his day (or vice versa) over all the chaos. Like trying to get Hopey to stay in her chair and eat her food while Gideon explains the difference between steam engines and power trains and Samuel protests loudly that he’s through with his meat and taters and really needs his sippie cup. And I [...]

When Your Bible is Mostly Boring

Dear Believer, I know you want to know your Maker. You’ve got that ache, deep down, to just sit still beside Him and hear what He has to say. And you’re tired of just gathering up a bunch of facts and instructions. You don’t want more knowledge, mere chapters and verses to stuff in your already information-overloaded head. You desperately want relationship. To somehow come to the words of God and meet with the Word Himself. But, you’ve got that check-list and it seems like you should just sit long enough to do your duty and cross it off and go on to the next thing. Your Bible has gotten boring. And it’s not exactly helping much. Before you give up, reach out and grab hold of my hand for a minute. I'd like to help if I can. Now, I grew up mostly Christian. I say mostly b[...]

Dear Christian: Why It's Good to Read Your Bible

With pictures from my Daddy's Bible. Dear Jesus-following friend, It’s good to read your Bible.  I assume you’ve got one (or most likely, you’ve got at least five, if you live here in America) and since you follow Jesus, I assume you already believe the Bible is important and you believe that God somehow used imperfect humans to jot down His story and compile it for us so we could get to know Him and learn how to live. I’m not saying you don’t have your doubts, or that there’s some things in there that you just flat out don’t understand, but I do assume that you’ve tasted His words, so to speak, and found them nourishing and life-changing and good. It’s good to sit a spell, just a little bit each day if you can, and take His words in. For one thing, we’ve got all this freedom, you an[...]

A Letter to the Jesus-followers: Remember the King

Dear Jesus-follower, Remember the King. When you rise from your pillow and draw up the curtains and pour up the coffee and open your computer. Remember Him. Jesus has claim on you. You are not your own. You were bought with a price. You belong to God because He made you. And you belong to Jesus because He purchased you with His blood. So, you are doubly His. This doesn't mean that God will hijack your personality. He made your personality. He made you with a brain that reasons and an imagination that creates and a will that chooses. He will, however, bring you to your full potential and help you become the best version of yourself.  And as you follow Him, keeping company with Him, He'll make you fully alive. So, remember this. Remember the King. When you're setting t[...]

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