"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." ~Jim Elliot

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Turn the pages of the timeless masterpiece. The wind blows left and right until the right one slowly descends to reveal a college student - young and capricious: one life but hardly a sentence in the scope of the magnitude of existence. A line. A breath. A thought in the wind of God. One soul bound to the vessel of dust into which God has blown the breath of life.

There is, on this particular page, a walk through the neighborhood. This is a rare occurrence in the book. The grandeur is too marvelous to resist. Something is different about today. Or is there? The sky is cloudless - typical for a Phoenix early afternoon. The sun blasts its white hot rays onto everything beneath it. But the highlighted words - the flowers, the sky itself, the wind, the palm trees, the cacti - these are the difference.

Of course, they are there telling their story daily. The difference is in the man, for today he is listening. A strange metamorphosis has taken place, and the insensitive character early in the story has flown as dust in the wind and given way to a new man. The grass, the water, the hummingbirds, and the fragrance of it all. Majesty!

And if this is but one small scope of a minuscule sphere in one galaxy among billions, what must be in the heavens? What lies beyond Arizona? What lies abroad the universe to our small home? How the angels must stand and fall in wonder of the rotation of the radiant stars, the magnificent eclipses, the faithful seasons. And who is there to worship but the God behind it all?

We are but one breath. We live for a moment in the pages, then we fly away. We are gone. Most are not remembered, and even those who are have but a minimum impact. No one will remember your name in 200 years. No one will even know you existed.

No, it is not about us.

It is Him.

Psalm 8:3-5
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,

And You crown him with glory and majesty!

Job 42:5
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;

But now my eye sees You.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Worship is the Answer

Job 1:21
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Sometimes life isn't just what we make of it. Even though a positive attitude can help our perspective, good thinking doesn't take away problems. In Arizona, I have been learning that there are things beyond my control. No matter how hard I pray or how many good thoughts I think or how hard I try, trouble still comes. It is the reason I have spent two months of almost ten here unemployed. It's the reason that it's still hard to go to work some days.

Job was an example of this far beyond my sphere or scope. He wasn't a man who lost a job - he lost everything. The above words are his response. But until today there was something I failed to notice or realize about the proper response to worship. In the preceding verse in Job 1 after Job has received the tragic news of his losses of possessions and family members, something crucial takes place that reveals the heart of this still imperfect but godly man: "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped" (Job 1:20).

God will always hear His children when they call to Him for help. He will always give us the grace we need to live here on the earth. But along with our prayers for His glory and our deliverance, He wants one thing from us: He wants our worship.  I truly believe that it is His design and our satisfaction. We were made to honor Him, and even in hardship He is still the Sovereign God deserving of our love and praise.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Good Friday Meditation

Ever Mine

Was it for my guilty hands
That Yours were pierced by nails?
Is it for my dying love
Yours for me never fails?
Was it for my darkened heart
That Your blood was shed?
And was it for my wretched mind
Those thorns were on Your head?

Love of Jesus, love so free,
Love of God divine -
Because Your blood was shed for me,
Your love is ever mine.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting Serious About Sin

We have far too light a view of sin. You and I do not realize what sin is or what consequences come with it. We fail to see it because we have it - sin prevents us from seeing God for who He is, and a failure to see God for who He is is a failure to see sin for what it is. Even as I type these words, the concept that even one of my hundreds and thousands of daily sinful deeds is deserving of an eternity separated from the love of God is as foreign to me as Mandarin. It is a concept I cannot grasp.

God did not save us so that we would live passively - He saved us to be holy. This is our ultimately and impossible task because God's holiness by definition means that we are not like Him; we can't be. That is why our holiness is completely dependent on His grace.

Lately I have come - again - to the realization that I cannot resist sin and live in holiness without His Spirit and His word. The more I dig into the Bible, the more I see my need for it.

And the more I see my need for it, the more I love Him.

Friday, April 11, 2014

What is the Value of This Book?

How much do you value this book? Recently in a sermon the same question was directed to me, and lately several other things have come in to play that have shown me how little I value God's word. The question each of us must answer in our lifetimes about this book is - do you believe it's just another book, or is it truly words from the mouth of God as it says it is?

Do you believe that the words on the pages of the Bible are sweeter than honey? Are they sharper than swords? Do you believe that the Bible is able to make you wise unto salvation? Can it change your life? Can it change your day today? Can it change your marriage, your family, your workplace? Do you believe that the words of Scripture give life? Is this a history book? A science book? A book of good stories? A book of myths? A book of God?

And if you do indeed believe that this is a book of God, there is one more question -

Does your life show it?

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