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40 Days of Healing - Day 3 - March 8, 2019

"Many will say, 'Who will show us better times?' Let your face smile on us Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, will keep me safe." Psalm 4:6-8, NLT
TEXT: Psalm 3 and 4
I am continually amazed at how David was always able to find the rays of joy in his life, even in the darkest hours, simply by focusing on the faithfulness of the Lord. Whenever he reflected on his blackest times in the Psalms, he always, it seems, coupled it with an expression of gratitude and trust for the Lord's constant protection and provision. Even when circumstances beat David down, he always clung to his hope and trust in a mighty and faithful God.  It amazes me, considering all he endured, even when the trouble was self-inflicted, through his sometimes sinful choices. He knew God's loving hand would never abandon those who cry out to him in humility in their brokennes…

40 Days of Heart Healing - Day One - March 6, 2019

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners,nor sits in the seat of scoffers;but his delight is in the law[ of the Lordand on his law he meditates day and night.He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3, ESV
So, it’s Ash Wednesday, and unlike any other I’ve faced in the last ten years. Having distance running removed from my life has left me with, on one level, a great void of physical activity, and on the other, an incredible overload of mental and emotional clutter with one of my primary sources of clearing the clutter removed. It’s like the drifts of snow sitting outside, there’s piles of thoughts in my head to deal with, and it feels like not a lot of places to push it away right now. The mental plows are working overtime on clearing it, but as fast as it gets cleared out, more blows in to take its place right now. I…

The "Heart" Diaries - February 26

Tuesday, February 26 – 11:03 p.m. The last week has been a struggle, adjusting to a “new normal”. In nearly an instant, I went from thirty-plus miles a week as a distance runner, to not being able to run a step under doctor’s orders. The culprit is a heart condition that has yet to be fully diagnosed. When something is as significant a part of life as running has been for me the last several years, to be suddenly and forcibly separated from the sport has been hard to say the least – especially with all the unknowns. I don’t know exactly what I am dealing with, or how long I might deal with it. In short, the road ahead is very clouded, which for someone like me makes the present very frustrating, especially when I still feel every bit the healthy capable runner I was prior to last week’s potential diagnoses. But there is a problem, one which I do not know the severity, duration or outcome of, and the uncertainty has been both fearful and

WHAT FILLS YOUR POT?

“No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?” Romans 9:20-21, NLT In my relationship with my Creator, how often I forget which of us is the potter, and which is the clay. I approach my time with Him with preconceived notions, often incorrect, about what the Lord wants to do with my life, or in it. Unfortunately, those notions too often begin more with what I want Him to do, rather than what He wants to do. So, I wonder, why is the heart of the clay so frequently inconsistent with the desire of the Master Potter to shape His masterpiece into something so unimaginably radiant? Maybe I need to examine what I allow to fill the pot in order to find the answer. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The human heart is the most deceit…

OVERCOMING "WORRYITIS"

It's amazing how often I worry about things I don't need to worry about. The Lord reminded me in a stark way how fruitless and misplaced worry is when I truly reflect on both the majesty and compassion of the God we serve. But I think I get to the point where worry becomes a chronic condition - something so ingrained in my response to trial it blinds me to the Lord's daily provision. Let's call the condition "worryitis", otherwise known as ENES - Enough is Never Enough Syndrome - a syndrome of which I am a lifetime carrier. It's embarrassing, actually. Even if I simply look at the basics - this is what I should be looking at anyway -  in our household, everyday we have: - Breath in our lungs; - Time as a family; - A roof over our heads; - Clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet; - Food on our table; - Two steady paychecks to pay the bills; - Reliable transportation to get to those jobs And, yet, nearly everyday I still find something to worry about. I …

MERCIES IN THE MORNING

"Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24, ESV Read: Psalm 34 This year has been 20 years since I walked across the stage and received my high school diploma. Often when I reflect on the intervening years from then to now, it seems a wonder I am still here to write these words. Countless times, I strayed. I sought fulfillment and approval in anything but God. I tried to take the easy roads, but the easy roads have always left me stranded in the middle of nowhere, searching for a way back home.