8 01 2014

Weakness is not a happy word. In our culture, weakness is the great shame. It doesn’t matter what form your weakness takes, our society values strength. We pay pro athletes enormous sums of money to entertain us with their strength and talent. We give honor to people who are business savvy and take on the world. We elevate those who demonstrate their intellectual strength and admire those who walk with strong convictions. People who are weak have no place on the cultural stage.

Here is the truth. We all struggle with weakness. We all have messes, deal with discouragement, wrestle through hardships, and have places where we fail to measure up. The world challenges us to maximize our strengths, hide our weaknesses, and pretend that there are no tender, vulnerable places in our hearts.

In answer to the world, God reaches out His hand and whispers good news. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” – Ephesians 6:10

I don’t have to be strong. Not on my own. It isn’t up to me, my wisdom, my ability to figure it out, or my power to make it all work. I can lean into Him. I can depend on His power and rest in His might. I can allow my weakness to be transformed by His strength.

My Jesus Resolution today is to find my strength in Him. It isn’t easy. When discouragement, doubt, trouble, or temptation pops up, the first thing I am aware of is my own weakness. But that isn’t the end of my story. Because Jesus holds my heart and my hand, I can face the shadows because of His light. I can deal with uncertainty because of His faithfulness. I can let go of fear because of His grace. My weaknesses are real, but God’s strength is stronger.


6 01 2014

I have a bruise. It is evidence of my toe coming into contact with something hard and unmovable. The bruise is sensitive and tender. It makes me think twice about where I put my foot. I am a little bit shier about moving forward and walking in the unknown.

If I am honest, my soul is bruised too. The world has crashed into my heart and left scars, wounding me and making me shy about moving forward with confidence. Some of the bruises are there because I ran headlong into places I didn’t need to go. Some are the result of tripping and falling over the world’s expectations and measures of what it means to be good enough. Some crashes I can see coming. Others take me by surprise and leave their mark. With each bruise, I walk with a little bit more fear. It is a paralyzing cycle.

Jesus doesn’t want me caught in this cycle of fear that wounds and bruises my soul. He promises to heal us, wrapping our bruised, wounded hearts in His tender mercy. He gives us the tools we need to walk through the world and face the crashes, bumps, struggles, and surprises with grace and peace. The armor of God that Paul encourages Christians to wear as they walk in the world is designed to protect us from the wounds which the world wants to inflict on our hearts. This armor is not theoretical or abstract. These are the practical tools that Christ gives us in order to equip us to face the world’s hard places.

My Jesus Resolution today is to trust Jesus with my wounds. We all have bruises, scars, and hurts. It takes trust and surrender to let God in and allow Him to touch the tender spots in my heart. I tend to believe that it is up to me to protect myself from getting hurt. Jesus not only has the power to heal what is broken and bruised, but to empower me to walk with faith and confidence through my day.


3 01 2014

How often do you celebrate? Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays come around once a year and we look forward to those celebrations. But the past season has taught me that while celebrating big moments is great, learning to celebrate in the small and ordinary moments may be even more important.

When we talk about celebration, we often think of parties and big to-dos, however, the word celebrate means “to rejoice in, observe, to praise publicly, proclaim.” When I let that definition soak into my soul, I realize that I want to be someone who celebrates daily. I long to rejoice in the presence of God. I want to open my eyes and observe His movement all around me. I want to be a person who publicly praises Him for His might, His grace, His love, and His care. Celebrating means proclaiming, each and every day, who God is and what it is that God has done for me.

What can you celebrate today? I want to celebrate the moments when my children help me see God. I want to celebrate warm quilts, hot coffee, sudsy soap, and soft pillows. I want to celebrate the piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and floors messy with toys. I want to celebrate God’s grace in struggles, His love in loneliness, His faithfulness in discouragement, His power in weakness, and His light in the middle of dark times. I want to see His fingerprints on all of my moments, rejoice in them, and proclaim that He is good, He is here, and He makes today worth celebrating.

My Jesus Resolution today is to celebrate the small things. Too many times I reserve celebrating for “big” moments and miss the opportunity to rejoice in the small, ordinary places where God is at work. Celebrating isn’t always about balloons and streamers. Sometimes the best celebrating is done in the quiet, hard places when I am able to hold God’s hand and find joy in the truth that He will never let go.

The Jesus Resolution

1 01 2014

Happy New Year! Today 2014 stretches out before you with unlimited possibilities. This year is a blank slate, a new start, a chance to begin anew and let your heart take a new shape.

That is more hope than some of us feel like we deserve. We all desperately long for new beginnings. We ache for fresh starts and do-overs. But the baggage of the past has a stranglehold on our hearts. The weight of guilt and shame cause us to stumble as we seek to take steps in a new direction. Overwhelming, impossible, and defeated are the words that rise to the surface as we try to figure out how to take our hurts and let them heal.

Here is the good news God most wants you to know – He specializes in u-turns, do-overs, transformation, and fresh starts. It is His delight to walk into our messes, face our impossibles, and defeat our giants. We can’t, but He can. Too many times our New Year’s Resolutions are about rolling up our sleeves and working harder to be better than we were before. Too many times those kinds of resolutions are destined for failure before we even start. Deep down we know it, but hungry for change, we try anyway. There is, however, a resolution that comes with a guarantee. It is The Jesus Resolution.

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” – 1 Corinthians 2:2

My Jesus Resolution today is to recommit myself to living in The Jesus Resolution. This resolution isn’t about working harder, but surrendering more deeply. The call of The Jesus Resolution is to allow God full access to every part of my life and live wholly in the transformation He longs to work in me. The Jesus Resolution challenges me to give up surface happiness for deep joy, shallow living for the abundant life, and self-reliance for complete dependence. Learning to look like Jesus is the answer to the ache that is buried deep in my soul. Today I am going to let God take control of what I think, where I go, what I do, and who I am. My resolution – to look more like Jesus. Will you make The Jesus Resolution with me?