This I Know

30 05 2014

I was doing some research about the history of a famous children’s song when I came across the following story. It touches my heart and challenges my faith.


“When Mao Tse Tung founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Christian church was severely persecuted, with little information coming to the outside world. In 1972 some Americans received an unusual message from China–that the “This I know” people were well! The Chinese authorities thought the message nonsensical, so they let it through. The Americans clearly understood the reference to Anna Warner’s simple hymn—‘Jesus Loves Me.’” (D. Severance, Ph.D.,


Jesus Loves Me is a staple in children’s Bible classes, but its message is ageless and timeless. It speaks a truth that is always fresh, relevant, and answers our hearts deepest need.


Sing with me:

Jesus loves me, this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong.

They are weak, but He is strong.


Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

The Bible tells me so.


My Jesus Resolution today is to be a This I Know person. More than knowing the song, however, I want to learn how to live as a This I Know person. The world will do its best to poke holes in this one single truth. Yet knowing, really knowing, that Jesus loves me is the one thing that will help me stand up against anything life throws my way. I want Christ’s love to be so real, so defining, and so foundational in my life that it radiates out for everyone to see. I want people to look at me and know that I know Jesus.



28 05 2014

The rain poured down in sheets. Thunder cracked and lightning peeled across the sky. Everything was wet. Puddles were rapidly spreading out into ponds. The steel grey sky still carried the weight of many raindrops. The thunderstorm wasn’t ending any time soon.

I took a deep breath and pulled up the hood on my raincoat. With my hands full, an umbrella was a luxury I couldn’t manage. Getting wet seemed inevitable as I looked at my supplies and measured the distance from the car to the door.

Facing into the car in order to gather my belongings, I didn’t see her. I turned around and there she stood, umbrella in hand. Covering me, she walked with me from the car to the door. After giving me a hug, she whispered a word of encouragement and ran back to her car.

Her act of kindness did more than protect me from the rain. It sheltered my soul. She made me feel noticed, cared for, and valuable. It was a simple act of grace that left me drenched in the love of Jesus.

My Jesus Resolution today is to offer someone an umbrella. It doesn’t have to be raining to cover someone with kindness. A gentle word, a warm smile, a helping hand, a listening ear, or a moment of my time can all be umbrellas that help someone get through the day. We all face storms. I might never know how the umbrella that I extend over someone’s heart might just be the thing that they need to weather the day, rediscover their balance, and catch a glimpse of Jesus.


26 05 2014

I’m in the Lord’s army.

I’m in the Lord’s army.

I may never march in the infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,

But I’m in the Lord’s army.


This children’s song finds little ones marching, flying, and saluting. It teaches them that while we are grateful for the service men and women who carry weapons and protect our freedoms, we are called as Christians to serve the Lord in an army of grace. Faith, righteousness, and hope are the tools that we carry into the everyday battles that wear at our souls.


Is there someone you know who has faithfully served in the Lord’s army? Has their encouragement, willingness to speak light into the darkness, or ability to love impacted your heart? Those who teach, serve, give, pray, hug, and sacrifice stand every day on the front line of freedom. Little actions open doors that invite others to step out of the conflict that rages around us and into the peace that comes from above. Everybody faces battles. Those in the Lord’s army are commissioned to bring light and hope into the darkness of the battleground.


Today, we remember with thankful hearts those who valued freedom more than their own lives. As we do, let’s also be grateful for those who faithfully serve in the Lord’s army. Salute someone who lives their life in surrender so that we might see how to walk with Him in victory.


My Jesus Resolution today is to give honor to those to whom honor is due. A salute is an action which expresses respect and recognition. Today I salute those men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and children and friends who sacrifice daily for our national freedoms. I also want to salute those godly men and women who have stood long and fought faithfully that I might know Him better, follow Him closer, and live with Him forever.


23 05 2014

“…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh


Today, somewhere, somehow, the world will do its best to beat you down and make you question yourself. It does not want you looking in the mirror and seeing who you truly are. When we feel inadequate, fearful, worthless, or at the end of our ropes, the world knows we have a tendency to give up on ourselves and on God.


Here are ten truths God wants you to remember, even, or maybe especially, on the toughest days.


1. You can always pray.

2. It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed.

3. You are deeply loved, no matter what.

4. There is always enough grace.

5. You are never alone.

6. God is in charge…of everything.

7. Worship transforms worry.

8. It’s not too late.

9. Taking one step starts you on your journey.

10. Jesus really is the answer.


My Jesus Resolution today is to remember. Sometimes when I am overwhelmed, it is hard to remember just how much I need to stop, breathe, and remember the basics. God understands that tough days are going to happen, so He arms us with the tools and truths that we need to keep standing by His side through the worst of what the world throws at us. Faith is the decision to remember that God can and God will even when I can’t anymore.

Love You

21 05 2014

How do you explain to a child how much you love them? When a child is secure, he lives in the ocean of a parent’s love without ever realizing the breadth and depth of that love. It is there. It is real. It holds them up. And no matter how far they swim, they can’t outswim the ocean.

The love for your child defies logic. A parent’s love isn’t grounded in performance, but in relationship. We willingly step over piles of dirty clothes to hug that child. Trips to the emergency room become tales to tell at dinner. With little hesitation, we fork over money to teach, train, outfit, and feed this person in the making. We go in knowing that there will be messes, mistakes, and moments when will shake our heads, but we go in all the same. The relationship is worth it.

As a parent, it is funny the things that we find ourselves celebrating. Going potty by yourself gets major cheers. Tying your shoes, eating your broccoli, walking into that first classroom, and learning how to write your name are all met with applause. Parents don’t just cheer big moments. It doesn’t matter if you fell fourteen times before you could ride that first stretch of road on your bike by yourself. Parents cheer progress. They are invested in encouraging the little markers of growth and new-found maturity that define all it means to grow up.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” – 1 John 3:1a

The love you have for your child is a shadow of the love God has for you.

My Jesus Resolution today is to soak in all it means to be loved. God’s love for me is like an ocean – farther-reaching than I can imagine, deeper than I can dream, more sure and steady than my own heartbeat. I can’t outswim the ocean. God’s love for me is grounded in His faithfulness, not my ability to get it all right. He loves me because He is Love and I am His. God celebrates my growth. Yes, I fall down. Yes, I make mistakes, have a hard head, and it sometimes takes me more than fourteen times to figure it out. But like any good parent, God is invested in helping me grow up. He doesn’t give up. He pours out His grace which floods its way into my heart like the ocean that holds me up.

Fabulous Finder

19 05 2014

I am a recovering perfectionist. I spent years looking at the world through fault-finding glasses. I could size up any situation and find at least one thing that needed to be “improved.” I could interact with other people and zero in on what they needed to do differently so that they would be happier, more successful, or more useful to me. The most exhaustive examination came when I looked in the mirror. Critical scrutiny of my choices, my attitude, my appearance, my feelings, my accomplishments, and my relationships filled my days and worried my heart at night. I was never good enough.

Being a perfectionist is about more than wanting to be a better person. Being a perfectionist is about never being satisfied with the person I am or the people around me or the circumstances in which I find myself. Perfectionism is the enemy of joy.

Holley Gerth wrote, “We can sabotage our good lives by demanding perfect ones.”

Paul said it this way, “..for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” – Philippians 4:11b

Contentment doesn’t mean that we can’t desire change or improvement. Contentment calls our eyes to focus on finding fabulous rather than fault. We generally find what we seek. I will always be able to find reasons to be unhappy, dissatisfied, or disappointed. Looking for fabulous means concentrating on the joy that fills this moment, the blessings that point to God’s presence, and the truth that we are deeply loved for exactly who we are today.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be a fabulous finder. Giving up perfectionism is hard. For some reason, it is easier to wade through the ugly than it is to celebrate life’s beauty. Fear feeds perfectionism. Faith feeds contentment. When I can latch onto the fabulous in my day, my heart begins to breathe. I begin to see possibilities instead of obstacles. Peace can seep into the crevices of my soul. It is easier to extend grace to others and the reflection in the mirror. And perhaps that is the most fabulous thing of all.

I Can’ts

16 05 2014

Have you ever been hemmed in by your I Can’ts? Sometimes my I Can’ts loom large. One I Can’t tumbles into another until they create an obstacle that seems too big to overcome. My I Can’ts press in on my heart, making me feel like I have weights in my soul. My I Can’ts create shadows that dim my vision and weaken my courage. One I Can’t seems to open the door to another one and before long, I am boxed in by the impossible.

I Can’ts are real, but grow when I feed them. The more I look at them, define them, study their boundaries, and trace their ripples, the more discouraged I become. They can make me feel stuck, incapable of moving forward or discovering any open doors for my heart.

When I come face-to-face with my I Can’ts, I have two choices. I can slump under the weight of all that I can’t do or be, or I can look for the I Can’s that God empowers me to experience. God is not limited by my I Can’ts. He is a God of possibilities, opportunities, and promises. He invites me to look past the I Can’ts that seem so overwhelming, and rest in the truth that He is bigger, stronger, and more powerful than any I Can’t on my horizon.

My Jesus Resolution today is to focus on my I Can’s. Because of Jesus, I can choose worship over worry, prayer over a pity party, and counting my blessings over complaining about my circumstances. I can choose to see what God is doing instead of focusing on things I can’t do. It may even be in my I Can’ts that God’s glory might be magnified, His grace revealed, and His love most deeply experienced.

Alpha Omega

14 05 2014

“’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” – Revelation 1:8

The phone was ringing. My son picked it up and gave a shout. We all stared at the caller ID in disbelief. Identifying the caller, the screen read, “Alpha Omega.” “What if it’s Jesus?” one of the boys asked. “Don’t you think we better answer it? It would be bad not to answer when Jesus calls,” the other one replied. We answered, listened to a spiel about carpet cleaning, and hung up laughing. We should have known that heaven probably doesn’t have a local area code.

While I am rolling my eyes at the carpet cleaning company, I am thankful for the conversation their phone call ignited in my family. How do we recognize when Jesus calls? Do we answer, put Him on hold, or ignore the call?

I have never met anyone who received an actual phone call from Jesus, but Jesus calls to us all the time. He speaks through His Word, answers quiet prayers, and sings with us in worship as we approach God’s throne. We can hear His voice in nature, in the gentle words of a friend, and in the tug of the Spirit as we face needs, difficulties, joys, and beauty. The question is whether or not I am paying attention.

My Jesus Resolution today is to answer when Jesus calls. Jesus calls for my eyes to focus on Him. He calls for my ears to be attuned to His voice. He calls for my feet to follow where He leads. He calls for my soul to be surrendered and my heart to be thankful. Too often, if I am honest, I miss His call.  Busyness, struggles, and inattention put up barriers to experiencing His presence. I long for today to be different. I want to notice. I want to answer. I want to engage in the conversation He wants to share with me today. The Alpha and the Omega wants to talk to you. Will you answer?

Listening to Whispers

12 05 2014

I lost my voice four days ago. It has been a time of eerie silence. I am not sure that I have ever been this quiet, especially not for days on end. I can’t talk on the phone. I can’t call out for help. I can’t say ‘I love you’ or yell at the kids to clean their rooms. Being voiceless has changed the dynamic in our house, and in my soul.

There are many times in the world when we feel like we have lost our voices. We talk and no one seems to listen. We express our dreams and the world bats them down. We voice our fears and others turn their backs. If you are famous, rich, or beautiful, you might be given a voice in our society. But the rest of us are stunted by silence. One voice in a sea of voices doesn’t seem to make a difference or change the cacophony that fills our days.

In my quiet days, I have relearned an important truth. God listens to our whispers. He hears the yearnings of our souls, and pays attention to the rhythm of our hearts. God cares more about surrender than He does with sound. He draws us close in His arms and listens to what our voices cannot say.

My Jesus Resolution today is to whisper to God. The world may tell me that I have no voice, but God listens to every whisper. When my heart aches, God knows. When tears fall, God touches my cheeks. When joy swells, He rejoices with me. When my soul cries out for grace, He gently wraps me in His love. Not being able to talk is a challenge, but knowing God is listening to my whispers enfolds me in His peace.


9 05 2014

“I regard no man as poor who has a godly mother.” – Abraham Lincoln


You have a gift to give to the children in your life. You don’t have to be wearing the latest fashions, sporting the newest electronics, or driving the fanciest car to make a difference to a child. You have to love Jesus.


You have to love Him enough to set down the world’s standards of success, and rejoice when you see His image blossoming in your child.


You have to love Him enough to believe that following His pattern will set the best example for your children.


You have to love Him enough to say “no” to the world, even when it doesn’t make you cool, popular, or liked.


You have to love Him enough to see your children as vessels for His glory, not repositories for the world’s junk.


You have to love Him enough to take a long view of growing a soul in a society obsessed with instant gratification.


You have to love Him enough to be convinced that faith is the most precious gift we can give to our families.


You have to love Him enough to let your children see Him working in the good, bad, and ugly parts of you. Only then will they understand the true meaning of grace.


My Jesus Resolution today is ask Jesus to help me love my kids. Being a mom is the most challenging, rewarding, frustrating, joyous, humbling opportunity I have ever had. I want to get this right. I want to give them enough tools to launch them on their own faith adventure. I want them to see Jesus so clearly that His image is burned deeply into their sight, their thinking, their actions, and their choices. The best gift that I can give my children is to give myself fully to Jesus and invite them along for the journey.