Look Like Jesus

20 12 2015

It is with great sadness the Martin family must report that Casandra passed away peacefully on December 19, 2015 after a long struggle with health issues. She was an awesome wife, loving mother, and a caring daughter and sister. But above all of these, she belonged to Jesus. She wove His name into every fiber of her life and demonstrated to everyone how to do the same. Although we are heartbroken, we rejoice that Casandra is now face to face with Jesus.

If you met her or read any of her books or blogs, you have probably come across her favorite phrase, “Look Like Jesus”. She dedicated her life to living and teaching these simple three words and inspired people all over the world to resolve to live for Him. These three words were her last to her husband and children. This blog, along with her study books, was her way to help others to seek and see Jesus in their everyday lives.

Anyone wishing to make a memorial gift in her name may donate to one the charitable organizations listed below. Casandra worked with both of these – they had a special place in her heart.

Arms of Hope
21300 State Hwy 16 N
Medina, TX 78055

Healing Hands International
455 McNally Dr
Nashville, TN 37211


This is the final post for this blog. The blog itself will remain here to continue to inspire others to Look Like Jesus.

It is our desire that your Jesus Resolution be to live your life so that others see Jesus.

Enter Hungry

18 12 2015

A recipe for a perfect evening – one family happy to be together, a warm summer night filled with stars, and an ice cream shop. Sitting on the benches outside with our drippy cones, we laughed, talked, and tasted. Looking around at the little family-owned business, I noticed the signs set up to direct traffic into their little corner of heaven. The first sign read “Enter Hungry” and pointed people to the ice cream. The other sign was settled near where you leave and read “Exit Happy.” I smiled as I thought about the anticipation and expectations they set in your mind just by the way they directed your car.

In thinking about their signs (which may require me to go back and do more research), I decided there was a great deal of wisdom in those words. Setting our hearts and minds on the good things God has in store for us has the power to open our eyes to His presence, purpose, and power. What if I put an “Enter Hungry” note on the front of my Bible? What if there was an “Enter Hungry” sign near the doors of our church buildings, Bible classrooms, and worship areas? What difference would it make to remember to Enter Hungry as I bend my knees in prayer or lift my voice in praise?

God makes a number of promises about what will happen within us as we enter His presence hungry for Him. He works within us to fill us with exactly what we need to experience even more of Him the next time we come. When we enter hungrily into God’s presence, we can exit satisfied, convicted, repentant, forgiven, transformed, empowered, at peace, filled with joy, strengthened, humbled, connected, blessed, encouraged, and thankful. Enter Hungry. Exit filled with God’s blessings.

My Jesus Resolution today is to enter hungry. I want to experience all the rich flavor of the life He has in store for me. I want to long for His presence, crave His mercy, desire His goodness, and settle for nothing less than the extravagance of His love. I am going to anticipate the ways He is going to fill me up today and set my heart on enjoying the fullness of His glory. Today I want to Enter Hungry and Exit Looking More Like Jesus.


The Little Voice

16 12 2015

The room where we were sitting was hushed in worship. Thoughts wrapped around the cross as sins were confessed, thanksgiving offered, joy swelled, and community was shared. The Lord’s Supper has the unique ability to draw us nearer to God, closer to each other, and deeper into the image of Jesus.

In the midst of these quiet moments, a little voice began to softly sing “Jesus Loves Me.” My husband and I grinned as we heard the warbled words gently float in the air. It was a very small child engaged in a very big act of worship. No song captures better the beauty of this moment. Love defines what Jesus did for us on the cross. Love washes away sin, bestows grace, transforms what is broken, and calls us ever closer.

It is a love we can know. It is true, strong, real, and absolute. It is not the stuff of imagination or fairy tales or country songs. It is a love not based on how I feel, what I have done, or how good I am, but grounded entirely in the heart, faithfulness, and character of God. I can know it with more certainty than the feel of my skin or the next beat of my heart.

This love is the story of the Bible. It is the thread that connects every word, frames every miracle, underscores every command, and fuels every one of God’s actions. I can read this love deeply into my mind, heart, and soul. It can shape my steps, change my vision, and speak its life-changing power into my actions and choices.

My Jesus Resolution today is to sing “Jesus Loves Me” out loud. I want to be like that little one. I am sure that the child’s parents didn’t mean for the child to sing out, but for me it was a profound moment of grace. I am deeply thankful. Sometimes I make things so complicated. In a little voice, Jesus reminded me how simple it really needs to be.


Giving Thanks

14 12 2015

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

She brushed back a tendril of hair from her face. She had been working…hard. This sweet lady cleans our church building, a job done quietly and largely unnoticed. The discussion of the moment was about how to get chewing gum (or I should say chewed gum) out of carpeting. Listening to the discussion swirling around her, she admitted that practice and necessity had guided her into finally finding a solution to the sticky mess.

We all nodded as we paused to think about how much gum she coaxes out of the carpeting each week. But it was her next sentence that truly humbled me. “Gum doesn’t bother me,” she said. “It means there are children in the pews learning about Jesus.”

There, in a nutshell (or should I say a gum wrapper?), is the essence giving thanks. When we choose to give thanks, we make the decision to notice, to pay attention, and to respond to the presence of God in our days. In every circumstance, we have the choice to either count our blessings or catalog our burdens. We can either see every moment as an opportunity to interact with God or keep an updated record of all that has gone wrong in our day. The path we choose has the power to shape our hearts in eternal ways.

My Jesus Resolution today is to carry a gum wrapper in my pocket. I am going to let it remind me that God is at work all around me. Giving thanks is an invitation to open my eyes and enjoy His presence. It is easy to let frustration, annoyances, griping, and worry set the agenda and focus of my heart. Instead of grumbling, I am going to rehearse the goodness of God. I want to count His fingerprints on my day, and let gratitude open my eyes to what is truly important.

The Best Words

11 12 2015

Words are a powerful gift. They resonate in our minds, echo in our hearts, and have the power to shape our souls. Nowhere do our words have more power than when we wrap them around our children. Our words can be cords that strengthen them, anchor them, and give them the confidence to walk into tomorrow or they can strangle, choke, and poison their ability to embrace their possibilities.

Here are ten things that your children (no matter their age) need to hear you say…often.

1. I love you.

2. God has a purpose for you.

3. I’m sorry.

4. I’m proud of you.

5. I’m on your side.

6. I’m listening.

7. Sure, I have time to play, laugh, run, shop…

8. I forgive you.

9. Let’s pray about that together.

10. I see Jesus in you.

My Jesus Resolution today is to be deliberate about speaking the best words into my children’s hearts. I want the things that I say to them to be God-directed, Christ-centered, and Spirit-empowered. I want to recognize the impact my words have on the way they see themselves, their opportunities, and their place in my heart. The little things I say today can have a big influence on tomorrow. I am praying that God will help me measure my words so that I can pour only the best words, the most Christ-saturated words, into the lives of my kids.


The Physcian

9 12 2015

My son is sick. Away from home and away from mom, he had to make his way to the doctor on his own. Being a new patient, he filled out all of the paperwork and took his place in the waiting room. Finally, they called his name.

Making his way back to the small exam room, he hopped up on the table and waited for the doctor to come in. His eyes washed over the charts of ears, lungs, and bones before settling on a familiar book. There lying on a table was a Bible with this note. “This book has brought healing to many. If you wish to study it more, just talk to the doctor.”

Amazing. Here is a doctor who understands that our deepest wounds don’t primarily affect our bodies, but our souls. He recognizes that there is a far more stubborn illness at work in us than a virus. He is also willing to introduce those he meets to the only Physician capable of healing us completely.

“And Jesus answered them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

My Jesus Resolution today is to imitate the doctor. He offered an invitation for healing because he is a physician. Might a teacher offer a path to wisdom? A chef offer food for the soul? A musician offer harmony for the spirit? A builder share a divine blueprint? A parent point to a loving Father? A quilter open up Love’s pattern? A writer underline the words of Life? My son’s doctor was willing to be transparent and make God easily accessible for those who wanted to meet Him. I want to be creative like that. I want to be bold like that. I want to share Jesus like that.

Who is the Greatest?

7 12 2015

Who’s the greatest? Ask that question at a party or in a group and the debate will begin. We are a people who like rankings. We like to make lists of who’s the smartest, who’s the prettiest, who’s the wealthiest, who’s the most influential, who’s the most popular, who’s a failure, who’s most likely, who’s a rising star, and who’s fading fast. There is a whole book dedicated to who’s the fastest, tallest, oldest, biggest, skinniest, fattest, and has the most hair.

We are fascinated with those kind of rankings because of the importance “Who’s the greatest?” plays in our everyday lives. We are constantly jockeying for position. It starts with who plays with whom on the playground, sits by the “right” people at lunch, and has the highest class ranking. It moves on into job titles, corner offices, portfolio sizes, vacation destinations, square footage, and fashion choices. We always want to know who sits below us and who is right above us in the rankings of life.

“And a dispute arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.” – Luke 22:24

How Jesus answers this question should catch our attention. The cross is close. He knew that a parable wouldn’t teach them the answer. A lesson on prayer wasn’t going to cut it. Even a miracle wasn’t going to help them see the truth. Instead, Jesus “rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet…” – John 13:4-5

Lists disintegrate when the Savior holds my dirty, mud-caked feet in His hands.

My Jesus Resolution today is to stop playing the “Who’s the Greatest?” game. The game is about position, power, and prominence. Jesus tells us that life is about love, humility, and service. I can kill myself trying to “one-up” those around me or I can die to self and let my value, worth, and self-image be defined by Jesus. I don’t want to be a game-player. I want to be a glory-giver. So today, I am going to pick up a towel and imitate the Servant. When someone asks, “Who’s the greatest?” I am going to say, “Jesus.”

Jesus is Coming

27 11 2015

I actually heard him before I saw him. In the middle of the noisy foyer, a little voice proclaimed boldly, “Jesus is coming!”

A mop of curly hair brushed past my knee. I looked down just in time to catch a glimpse of the little dark-headed angelic messenger. He was coming out of Bible class where they had spent the hour talking about the arrival of Jesus. His big brown eyes were focused on his task. He held a paper cone to his mouth, determined that everyone should hear the good news – Jesus is coming!

I smiled at the way he persistently kept calling out the message. He was resolute that everyone should soak in this remarkable news. I giggled as I watched his grandfather try to catch up to the little guy. So unwavering was he in his task that I half expected to hear “Jesus is coming” in the quiet moments during worship.

Maybe we need to.

The truth is Jesus is coming. The good news that He had arrived on earth was announced by a multitude of heavenly beings praising God and sharing a glimpse of His glory with those who had eyes to see and a heart to listen. Today, God leaves the sharing to the company of His people. Every day, we get to reflect the glory of God and encourage people with the news that Jesus is coming.

My Jesus Resolution today is to tell someone Jesus is coming. I want to imitate the little boy who imitated the Savior. I want to be bold in proclaiming the good news of Jesus. The good news of Jesus is always a message of grace, a call to follow, a plea to surrender, and an anthem of hope. I want my life to resonate with the truth that He is coming.  I want others to see Him in me and catch a glimpse of the astonishing, stunning nature of grace. “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” – 2 Peter 3:11-12


25 11 2015

I am overwhelmed. Have you ever been there? I seem to live on the edge of overwhelmed. As long as I can keep the balls juggling, the plates all in the air, and my feet from tripping over my shoelaces, I have hope of making it through the day. But, you know the story. All it takes is one phone call, one deadline, one too many balls escaping, or the inevitable splat that comes when I stumble to find me overwhelmed and almost undone.

Time to stop and breathe.

It is okay to be overwhelmed. In those heavy, heart-thudding, stomach-knot moments, God wants me to learn to listen to His gentle whisper. Lifting my eyes to His face lets Him overwhelm my sense of being overwhelmed.

Today God wants to overwhelm me…

  1. Overwhelm me with grace
  2. Overwhelm me with love
  3. Overwhelm me with power
  4. Overwhelm me with purpose
  5. Overwhelm me with joy
  6. Overwhelm me with peace
  7. Overwhelm me with glory
  8. Overwhelm me with comfort
  9. Overwhelm me with blessings
  10. Overwhelm me with Presence

My Jesus Resolution today is to be overwhelmed. Overwhelm comes from a root word that means “to submerge completely.” That definition speaks to exactly what my heart needs. I need to be submerged completely in Christ. Perhaps when I am, my days and my heart won’t struggle with being so overwhelmed.

Unknown Blessings

23 11 2015

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. ~Native American proverb 

How is God going to bless you today? It seems like a silly question. We don’t know what the future is going to hold. We aren’t sure how things are going to unfold, what challenges we will face, or what lies just over the horizon. How can we give thanks for what we can’t yet imagine?

Here is the truth about our God. He has seen tomorrow. He knows what each one of your minutes will hold. He knows the struggles you will face, the troubles that will scare you, the potholes that will jar you, and the exhilarating moments that will make you smile. There is no unknown where God is concerned.

There is great peace in knowing that each one of our days is fully known by God. His promises take on an added richness when we understand that He stands ready to help us face what is ahead. He assures us that His presence will be with us through the thin and thick. He guarantees sufficient grace to meet any need. He posts peace as a sentry around our hearts. His power and His provision are as close as a prayer.

Learning to give thanks in advance reminds my heart to be confident that God is on my side. He is already working on my behalf. He is preparing to move in each one of my moments in order to bring about His purpose and fulfill His glory. Being thankful relieves the worry and tension that often fill my thoughts when I look into the future. It allows me to greet each morning with worship and joy as I praise Him for the way He has already filled the day with blessings.

My Jesus Resolution today is to give thanks in advance. Being grateful encourages me to anticipate His hand on my day. When I give thanks for unknown blessings, it calls me to keep my eyes open and my heart ready. It allows me to face each situation with peace because I know that God has already seen and provided exactly what I need. Being thankful in advance changes my posture and my perspective. I don’t know how God is going to bless me today, but I know with absolute certainty that He will. Discovering those blessings is the gift that makes this day worth living.