Under Attack

29 06 2015

Do you ever just feel like you are under attack? It seems like no matter which way you turn, there is a fight that has to be fought, an attack to be endured, or an enemy to be faced. It makes your soul weary.

I opened my Bible looking for anything that would help me hang on for another day. Today, my weariness lifted as I read 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. Ready? This is blow your socks off stuff. “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” Do you see it? Do you feel the weight lifting off your shoulders? Everybody has days, circumstances, relationships, and struggles that just feel like a battle zone. But in the midst of our battles, we have been given a secret weapon. God has given us divine power in order to face the enemy, stand in the battle, and destroy strongholds.

I love that picture. The battle in your life that looks undefeatable, overwhelming, and too big to fight – it is toast. You can’t defeat it on your own, but with divine power you can be confident that victory is not only possible, but assured. The end of 2 Corinthians 10:5 reveals the key – take every thought captive to obey Christ. Changing the way we think by filling it with His Word, investing in joy, and surrounding yourself with His people is key to living in His divine power and defeating what keeps you from looking like Jesus.

My Jesus Resolution today is to take courage and face the battle. I am not alone. I don’t have to have the strength to defeat the enemy on my own. His divine power will help me destroy the stronghold that has a hold of my heart. There is an enemy pressing hard, but I have a Savior who has the power to make His victory a reality in me.


26 06 2015

Today is special. No, there isn’t a holiday that you missed, a celebration you forgot, or an anniversary you overlooked. Today is special because God is present. He created this day for your delight. He handcrafted every piece as an invitation for you to enter His deep joy.

Here are ten ways you can celebrate today:

  1. Breathe. God is in control…of everything.
  2. Rejoice. All really is forgiven.
  3. Rest. God is watching over you.
  4. Enjoy. God created chocolate.
  5. Smile. You are never alone.
  6. Pray. God is listening to every heartbeat.
  7. Sing. Worship is the antidote to worry.
  8. Look. See the beauty in the ordinary.
  9. Listen. He is calling your name.
  10.  Be brave. Jesus is always the right answer.

My Jesus Resolution today is to celebrate. I am going to take a minute to stop and celebrate the beauty He has planted in my path. I am going to look for an opportunity to smile at His handiwork. I want to pause in praise, and bow in worship. Today, I am going to sing a song that reminds me of His goodness and enjoy this special day.


24 06 2015

“I am the bread of life.” – Jesus, John 6:48

I just pulled fresh bread out of the oven. I made it from a recipe passed down to me from my mother-in-law. For years, my husband raved about the bread his mom used to make when he was a kid. My sister-in-law was able to dig out the recipe and now the delicious aroma fills the house, drawing hungry tummies to the table.

Bread nourishes and satisfies. It helps us to have energy, health, and the building blocks for growth. Bread also feeds connection. When we eat bread together, it sparks laughter, conversation, and deeper love. Bread inspires gratitude. It draws our eyes to heaven and helps us trace the Father’s fingerprints on our days.

Something as simple as a loaf of bread holds a myriad of pictures of Jesus. As the Bread of Life, His sweet aroma calls us to inhale deeply and breathe Him in. His presence nourishes our souls. His power fuels growth, abundance, and fruitfulness. His nearness draws our eyes to the Father, inspiring praise, thanksgiving, and joy. Sharing His life and His heart binds us together, igniting laughter, encouragement, prayer, and deep love.

My Jesus Resolution today is to eat a piece of bread and be thankful. In one slice of bread, I get to celebrate family and see my Savior. So many times God plants His love in the most ordinary things. I want to have open eyes to see each gift He brings my way. Will you join me? Walk through a bakery. Share a sandwich with a friend. See Jesus in the bread and smile.

Under Construction

22 06 2015

I like to watch those home renovation shows. It is always fun to see how drab and dreary becomes bright, functional, and beautiful.

My favorite moment is “the reveal.” That is when the designer takes the family into the home and unveils the finished project. The family has been a part of the process from the beginning. They examined the plans, got covered in dust, and have tired muscles from moving and lifting. Yet in the end, they are always surprised. There is a look of wonder on their faces as they soak in the entirety of the renovation.

Watching one of those shows with my daughter, we listened to the home owners complain about the debris, doubt the designers’ know-how, and question the value of the project. They whined about the wait, and were grumpy about unexpected hitches on the way. I turned and looked at my daughter. “Don’t they watch this show? The designer always makes it turn out beautiful in the end.”

I put my head in my hands and repented right there on the couch.

We are all under construction. God is working an extreme makeover in my heart. He is tearing out old motives, mismatched attitudes, broken dreams, and sin-stained perspectives. The Master Designer is realigning priorities, laying a solid foundation, cleaning out my junk, and installing new … everything. And just like those people on the show, I complain during the construction, doubting His wisdom, questioning His design, and grumbling about the timeline.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” – 1 John 3:2

My Jesus Resolution today is to trust my Designer. He has a vision for my life. He has a plan for my heart. He is taking the old, making it new, filling it beauty, and bringing to life His desire for my soul. Standing in the middle of the dust and debris, it is sometimes hard to see how His plan is unfolding. Instead of progress, I often see problems. But my Designer knows what He is doing. He has everything under control. There is often a mess before marvelous. I can’t wait for the big reveal.

Love, Unlimited

19 06 2015

This week our hearts weep with the people of Charleston, South Carolina. A man walked into a church, sat in a Bible study, and then murdered nine people. It is the stuff of nightmares. Within hours, authorities named this atrocity a hate crime. It is, no doubt, a crime driven by hate. Violence of this kind is always a hate crime. It doesn’t matter what your age, gender, race, or background, when this type of violence erupts, hate is the explosive behind the desperation and fear.

Christians have a unique opportunity as the news cycles and the world watches. This event can be defined by the hatred of one man or the love of Another. We can surround the community reeling from terrible loss with prayer or with rhetoric. We can love our neighbors or look at each other with suspicion. We can shake our heads while closing our doors or we can open our hearts while joining our hands. We can hold a grudge or do the impossible and love our enemy. Justice is necessary. Accountability is a must, but forgiveness is what will transform this tragedy into something that will speak to the world.

My Jesus Resolution today is to stand up and offer love, unlimited. It would feel safer to hide. It would be easier to cluck my tongue, shake my head, and wonder out loud where this world is headed. But Jesus doesn’t call me to safer and easier. He challenges me to answer hate with His love, fear with faith, violence with peace, and suspicion with an invitation to transformation. Wouldn’t it be something if this sad moment could be defined by the unity and love of Christians around the country rather than the misdirected hatred of one man?


17 06 2015

Does it ever feel like you are spinning your wheels? Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard I try, I just can’t move forward. I feel stuck, or even worse, like I am losing ground. If you have ever been there with me, I want to speak this promise of God gently to your heart. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

I love how this verse begins – with confidence. We can be sure that this is true. Even of me. Even today. Even with my mess. God is at work in me. He began His good work in me on the day I was baptized, and He will not give up. One thing is certain. God is no quitter. He is constantly moving, shaping, pursuing, knocking, transforming, renovating, and renewing us according to His love and His good purpose. This is good news!!

The good work He is working in me is nothing less than transforming me into the image of Jesus. Some days it is hard to believe. I look in the mirror and see flaws, sins, brokenness, stubbornness, and selfishness. How can His good take shape in a heart that struggles so much? His promise, however, is sure. Completion of His work in us is the result of His power, His determination, and His faithfulness – not mine. My only responsibility is to keep surrendering, keep repenting, keep watching, and keep trusting.

My Jesus Resolution today is to have confidence in the promises of God. I may feel stuck, but God is always moving. He has His eyes on me. He knows my heart, understands my fears, and works in my days. Often, I want transformation to happen quickly, but God wants it to happen deeply. I am going to trust God’s plan for me, knowing I can be sure that He loves me and is moving me forward in the way that brings Him glory.

The News

15 06 2015

If you read the newspaper or watch the news, it only takes a glance to realize that the world is filled with bad news.  It is easy to get depressed or discouraged as the media gives us a front row seat to the scary, horrible things happening all around us.

There is an old saying that says, “What happens in you is more important than what happens to you.” It is a reminder of a truth that often gets lost as life’s circumstances threaten to overwhelm us. The news is a report of what is happening around us. We talk to our friends about what happened during our day. Happiness is a byproduct of whether we’ve had a good day or a bad day. Rejoicing, on the other hand, focuses on the way that God is working in us as we move through our circumstances. The transformation that results from keeping your eyes on Him no matter what is the fuel for our joy. We can choose to worry about what is happening to us or we can choose to praise God for how He is working in us. Choosing joy celebrates how God is changing our hearts one moment at a time.

My Jesus Resolution today is to make a good news report. God is at work all around me. His grace has the power to seep into even the darkest places, providing light and hope. As I walk in my day, I want to make a note of the positive things that I see. I am going to pay attention to kindness, be awestruck by beauty, and celebrate someone lending a helping hand. There is bad in this world. But take heart, Jesus has overcome the world!

My Posse

12 06 2015

They were playing and laughing, while trying to hit the target they had made from a quilt on the wall. Balls were flying, giggles were erupting, and the dog was a little bewildered by all the chaos. It was music to my ears. My big kids were playing with a precious little family friend. I was smiling at the way they love each other when I heard our young friend say, “Buddy is my posse.”

Old western movies have a posse of men who chase the outlaws. They were groups of men committed to bring about justice and return peace to the town. They have each other’s backs, stand with each other, determined to support each other through thick and thin.

We all need a posse.

We all need friends who will surround us, walk with us, hold us accountable, pray with us and for us, and help us look like Jesus. We need people on our side. Friends who will be on our team and have our backs. A posse does more than have fun or show up for the same event. They invest in each other, bringing peace into the turbulence of life. Your posse creates a place of safety, authenticity, and trust for your heart as we face life’s injustices, brokenness, and sorrows.

My Jesus Resolution today is to name my posse. I love the way our little friend made a claim on my son. He wants to be on his team, and he knows my son will have his back. I am going to take a moment today to appreciate the people who are invested in my life and help me be better. I want to open my heart to the truth that I look more like Jesus because they walk by my side. God made us to be connected. A little guy reminded me not to take those precious relationships for granted.



10 06 2015

He was being a servant. Walking up and down the aisles at worship, this young dad was helping others remember the Lord through communion. He was doing a great job, but when he passed by, I almost burst out laughing. I was so tickled I poked my husband and pointed to our friend. All down one leg of his pants were stickers – rainbows, hearts, butterflies, you get the idea. He was covered in the imagination, affection, and creativity of his beautiful little daughter. His little girl wasn’t any place where I could see her, but it only took a glance to know that he had been in her presence.

What an amazing, holy moment.

This dad became a snapshot of what it means to walk with Christ. He was so covered in the love of his daughter that he gave and served without even realizing that her touch on him was recognizable. He was so used to being ‘stickered’ that he walked unashamed through his tasks, and unapologetic for the place his daughter holds in his life. He knew that it was more important to come back to his daughter with the stickers in place than to care what anyone else thought. She used him as a living illustration of surrender, and he proudly embraced the moment for the rest of us to see.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be just like that young dad. I want to be more concerned about wearing Jesus than impressing the world. I want others to see His fingerprints on my life, and notice the blessings of spending time in His presence. I long to live unashamed, unapologetic, and unwavering about who I belong to, who I want to be, and Who loves me. I want to live a ‘stickered’ life so that others can see Jesus when they see me.


8 06 2015

I have a much loved old hymn speaking grace into my soul this morning. Will you sing with me?

“Count your blessings, name them one by one;

Count your blessings, see what God hath done;

Count your blessings, name them one by one;

Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.”

(words by Johnson Oatman)

One of the first things we learn to do as children is count. We practice and practice, learning to count higher and higher, and maybe there is a deeper wisdom in that than I had realized. Counting your blessings is a game changer, a perspective lifter, an eye-opener, a soul calmer, a smile inducer, and a peace infuser.

Sometimes, however, all I count are the “big” blessings – the ones that warm our hearts, fill our lives with joy, and brighten our days. Today, I want to encourage you to search out the blessings that may be a little more difficult to spot. These are the blessings that are wrapped in inconvenience, are tucked in a difficulty, or are hidden in a hard circumstance. I prefer my blessings to be wrapped in sunshine and topped with a bow, but the blessings that most deeply shape my heart are sometimes found in the things that require me to look beyond myself and surrender. It takes time, perspective, and maturity to search out these blessings, but when we find them, we see God’s hand and His heart in a whole new way.

My Jesus Resolution today is to count my blessings, all of my blessings. I want to keep my eyes open to all the ways God is present and working all around me. I want to be like a little child, counting higher and higher as I witness His wonders. I don’t want to miss the blessings that come in unconventional or uncomfortable packages. Today, let’s sing and count and number the mercies of our God.