It is Not About Our Circumstances


Romans 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,first to the Jew, then to the Greek. 17 For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”…


If faith in Jesus Christ were dependent upon where we were born, who our parents are, or what religion we were brought up in, then the divisions in our beliefs would be concrete walls that were impenetrable. But trust in God, belief in His son Jesus is found throughout the world. Why?

  • God desires a relationship with his creation
  • Creation itself testifies that he is God
  • Men and women testifying to the nations about what they have seen and heard of Jesus
  • The Holy Spirit goes ahead, directs and softens, prepares, convicts and inspires
  • The truth of Christ is emboldened by persecution rather than crushed
  • We can test and see that God is good
  • His word does not go out and come back void


Father, I praise you that you want to be known! You are not an inactive, distant God. Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you for letting me be an instrument of your will. May my testimony of what I see and hear of you encourage all who cross my path. Amen

The Rhythm of the Cross

Before the swell of gospel melody,

The steady scales of scripture

Are plunked out daily in practice.

I play my Father’s masterpiece.


Before the crowd of miracles,

Prayer plods through lonely deserts

noting life’s measure.

I play my Father’s masterpiece.


Before the timing of pharisaic dissidence,

Lessons in theory reveal the authentic

character of the world’s composer.

I play my Father’s masterpiece.


Before the crescendo of resurrection,

there is a garden path of surrender

where I watch the winding procession of betrayal.

I play my Father’s masterpiece.


Before the harmony of fireside discipleship,

I close my eyes and listen to the master play.

Tuning my heart to the rhythm of the cross.

I play my Father’s masterpiece.

Wise Wednesdays: My Quiet Time Focus this Week


The study my Sunday class is doing on Romans 12 is becoming an intricate part of my journey in full surrender.

Instrumental in redefining surrender for me.

Navigator Hand Illustration

Bible Reading

Acts 9 and 10


Acts 9:


God physically stops Saul’s murderous plans in his tracks and introduces him to the gospel. Through visions God leads the right people: Ananias and Barnabas to minister to and guide Paul. Much to the surprise to everyone, including Jesus’ disciples, Paul begins passionately preaching the good news, just as passionately as he had opposed it.

How does this apply to me?

That same power is offered to all who believe. The requirements are to believe in Jesus, that he rose from the grave, and he sits at the right hand of the father. His will happens no matter what, even if he has to blind us, or derail my agenda. I am to surrender to his will, above my own and his glory is revealed through becoming a living sacrifice.


Romans 8


Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Romans 12:1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.







Who Should Cast the First Stone?

John 8:…6 They said this to test Him, in order to have a basis for accusing Him. But Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with His finger. 7When they continued to question Him, He straightened up and said to them, “Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone at her.” 8And again He bent down and wrote on the ground.…


Matthew Henry Commentary
8:1-11 Christ neither found fault with the law, nor excused the prisoner’s guilt; nor did he countenance the pretended zeal of the Pharisees. Those are self-condemned who judge others, and yet do the same thing. All who are any way called to blame the faults of others, are especially concerned to look to themselves, and keep themselves pure. In this matter Christ attended to the great work about which he came into the world, that was, to bring sinners to repentance; not to destroy, but to save. He aimed to bring, not only the accused to repentance, by showing her his mercy, but the prosecutors also, by showing them their sins; they thought to insnare him, he sought to convince and convert them. He declined to meddle with the magistrate’s office. Many crimes merit far more severe punishment than they meet with; but we should not leave our own work, to take that upon ourselves to which we are not called. When Christ sent her away, it was with this caution, Go, and sin no more. Those who help to save the life of a criminal, should help to save the soul with the same caution. Those are truly happy, whom Christ does not condemn. Christ’s favour to us in the forgiveness of past sins should prevail with us, Go then, and sin no more.




“I Just Want to Die”: Words of Deepest Pain

For many suffering from depression and their caretakers, ” I just want to die!” are the most painful words to hear and say.

Do we freeze with fear when we hear those words? Do we dismiss them as manipulative? Are we on our knees petitioning day and night for relief, as I was for Jonathan? How do we escape this painful pit of depression that often accompanies living difficult and painful existence? Who do we turn to for help? How can we combat an unseen enemy that so successfully tears our lives apart? Where is God in this pain?

Scripture is clueing me in to God’s response to our spiritual health questions:

1 Kings 19:4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”

  • From Elijah’s struggle with depression I know that God allowed him to run away
  • God interacted with Elijah “What are you doing here?”
  • He fed, provided water and allowed Elijah to rest
  • God acknowledged that the journey was to great for Elijah
  • He commanded Elijah to go back the way he had come (stop running away)
  • Provided a companion to take over
  • Did not take his life

Mark 9:28 After Jesus had gone into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29Jesus answered, “This [demon] cannot come out, except by prayer.” 

  • Prayer
  • Sometimes the only way of breaking through depression, mental illness and suicide is to cry out to the one who knocked down the walls of Jericho, made a child defeat a giant, and came to us in the form of a tiny baby to set us free from sin!
  • We aren’t talking the now I lay me down to sleep prayers, but the prayers that sweat blood, and wrestle with God expecting blessing–expecting Him to answer.


Ruth 1:…16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17“Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” 18When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.…

  • Stand with the depressed
  • Go with them wherever they journey
  • Love God
  • Risk leaving the known to venture into the unknown
  • Make it clear that you are with them all the way

Nehemiah 2:2 Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?”…

  • Sharing
  • Speak up about what depresses us.
  • Acknowledge what we see in our friends.

Psalm 143:…6I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah. 7Answer me quickly, O LORD, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. 8Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.…

  • Petition
  • Cry out to God
  • Be real with him
  • Listen for his love
  • Allow him to teach you the path through depression

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 42:11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

  • Remember
  • God does not change and therefore we can count on his faithfulness no matter our failures
  • Praise is not dependent upon feeling


1 Samuel 16:23So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

  • Hope/Praise
  • Music can soothe the soul


Questions I plan on asking myself:

  • What am I doing in my depression?
  • Am I allowing God to provide food, water, and rest?
  • Am I confessing my fears?
  • Am I isolated?
  • Am I remembering?
  • What am I listening to?



Grief Clock

Matthew 4:Matthew 4:11
Then the devil left Him, and angels came and ministered to Him.
Luke 22…42“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. 44And in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.…

I am finding, even when I’m not consciously aware of the dates, my soul is. The past two days my heartache has swelled and I didn’t register, just like last year, that the 7th seems to be my absolute hardest day of the year. You would think that the 1st would be it, but it is the day I buried Jonathan. Maybe it is because it the very last physical act or contact I have with his body on this earth. In any case I have dragged myself through the past two days.

I know the depth of this heart ache will end soon. There are simply days when we hurt to our core, whether in depression or grief. Days when the intensity of what we feel is almost more than our physical bodies can handle. Jesus came to a place where the burden he bore was so great that angels ministered to him, just so he wouldn’t die early. It is telling that the two times Jesus was ministered to are two times the enemy came to sift him; Satan attached when Jesus was at his weakest.

So Lord, as I cry out to you today. “This is more than I can bear!” I look for your comfort and provision to minister to me. May your will in my life be a testimony to the strength you offer to all of your adopted children.

Dogged by Cynisim: Loving People More Deeply

John 15 The Message (MSG)

11-15 I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.

While cooling down after biking yesterday, I met a man walking his dog. When I asked to pet the dog, he explained that the dog was a police dog and he was unsure how he would react. He told me about the dog, clearly sharing his love for the animal. His current belief is that dogs are so much better than humans because they don’t lie to you, or let you down. A thinking, at one time, I would have agreed with.

Today I met him again and told him I had been thinking about what he had said. I made it clear that I understood being let down, but I’ve also discovered that people are worth the risk. He acknowledge that he had grown cynical. Again I relate, because I struggle with this temptation on a daily basis.

I catch cynicism in my impatience with Brian and the kids, judgmentalness creeps in when I see the world hurting each other like I’ve been hurt. I expect more pain rather than more goodness. The wall, I thought torn down in my 20’s, becomes surprisingly solid when I feel vulnerable. But, brick by brick, Christ bore the weight of every wall, our cynicism and our brokenness! He declared from the cross: YOU ARE WORTH REDEEMING! God showed me last night that dogs have to be trained and sent in to rescue people from burning buildings; people  choose to go into burning buildings to save.

God chose to save us cynics. Yes I have been let down by people, but if Christ chose twelve rough-around-the-edges men as his core group and came to call them friends, people are worth risk loving.