Welcome all you weary wayward wisdom & common sense warriors!
All you unconventional thinkers, politically INcorrect, and post modern NONconformists, I call you family!

Monday, November 18, 2013


Romans 12:1-21

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. (1)

When you and I become Christ’s by accepting Him as our Savior, we begin Christ's sanctification process: the transformation where He changes us to be more in the image of Himself, Jesus. This next illustration is a great way to understand what we undergo:

A London businessman, Lindsay Clegg, told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash all around the interior.

As he showed a prospective buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.

"Forget about the repairs," the buyer said. "When I buy this place, I'm going to build something completely different. I don't want the building; I want the site."

Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God's, the old life is over (2 Cor. 5:17). He makes all things new. All He wants is the site and the permission to build.

Friday, November 15, 2013


The Masquerade

Love’s endless masquerade.  Not so much a party, more like a never-ending game.  I pretend I am this woman and you pretend you are that man and we pretend that everything is perfect.  But we never truly connect, because you cannot feel the touch of another with gloves on.

I am not perfect, I hate to be the one to tell you that.  In fact, I am as far from being perfect as a person can get.  I am not always the goody-two-shoes over-achiever with drive and ambition that I appear to be.  I am boring at times and don’t always have something interesting to say.  I can be lazy at times, stubbornly resistant to change and often choose the path of least resistance.  I tend to get frustrated when people do stupid things and I don’t always have something positive to offer as feedback when that happens.  Most of the time, I choose to ignore it and pretend it doesn't really bother me until I've let my frustrations build up to the point I lose my both my patience and my temper.

Sometimes I cry at the simplest things, like during certain tv commercials or when I can’t fit into my jeans.  Sometimes I feel as though I am stuck in a life I didn’t create for myself, like it is leading me rather than my leading it, as if my life is the product of circumstance and not of deliberate action.  Eventually I realize my malaise is just the by product of feeling a loss of control over my choices and that I am being too hard on myself.  This is the same sort of thing that most people lament, thinking that every moment of life is supposed to have meaning and most of the time it is the quite the opposite; life’s meanings have moments.  It is the journey that counts, not arriving at the destination.

The roles we play in this game of love can be quite maddening at times.  I am supposed to appear as I am always cheerful, playful, and brilliant.  Always full of energy, always light and uncomplicated.  That is just not me.  I am complicated, contradictory even.  I am constantly thinking and analyzing things, trying to rework any given situation in my mind until it finally works in the way I derive the greatest degree of satisfaction.  My art professor described this process precisely when she said, "Sometimes, you can beat a dead horse back to life." 

I am not quite sure what I want most of the time or what I mean by the things I say.  I don’t need to be interpreted or even to be understood.  I just need to be accepted for who I am, as unpredictable as that may be.  I’d like to think that I am a work in progress, that the best parts of me are still slowly being realized.

This role-playing makes me have to pretend that I don't feel incredible when your around me, smiling at me, saying my name.  I'm not supposed to let you see how you make me tremble when you move in to reach for something just past me.  I am also not supposed to let you know that I smell your scent all over my clothes after you hug me goodnight, that I breathe it in deeply and it intoxicates me.  I am supposed to hold all of this inside and act as if it is not like I swallowed the best secret in my life.  Because a woman, such as myself, must have plenty of  men that are crazy about me, why would someone like me be crazy about you?  Right?

Could it be that you light me up inside in a way that I’ve never known before?  Could it be that I love the way I look through your eyes?  Just the sound of your voice makes me feel calm and safe, warm and protected.  The strength of your arms wrapped around me makes me feel more like a woman than a thousand romantic songs sang to me night and day.  And when you look at me with that look, it is as if all space and time ceases to exist.  I stare at your face intensely, putting it to memory.  It’s as if I look at the sun too long, I can close my eyes tightly and I will still see it all day long.

But there’s always the masquerade.  The game that all the world says you have to play, where you are never supposed to know how much I enjoy you, think about you or long for you to touch me and to whisper the same to me.  Why must we play?  Why must we do all of this nonsensical pretending.  Tippy toes, tippy toes.  Don’t ever tread too heavily.  Sip, sip from the cup.  Never drink from the river together.

So we continue to play the parts in a life so small, so shallow and so pale.  Our fears and ignorance force us to deny the vastness of unexplored depth.  We sadly miss our chance to experience life as a magnificent onslaught of pulsating colors rushing through our veins at lightning speed, leaving our hearts racing and our bodies breathless and beautifully spent in the miracle of true connection, true intimacy, true love.


What kind of poison is deadlier to the one who gives it, than it is to the one who receives it?


Bitterness happens when you hold on to the slights and hurts of others and refuse to forgive.Oftentimes, people do not even notice that they have offended you, let alone apologize or attempt to make ammends. Holding a grudge does not punish the perpetrator, but in fact, it enslaves the victim.

Once you let bitterness get hold of you, it goes to work deep in your heart, poisoning it a little at a time. Day by day the strength to forgive is stripped away. The softness of its flesh becomes hardened, making it impossible to be tender-hearted anymore. The love you felt towards others is quickly compromised. Harshness is its replacement.

Then, the ability to think with clarity and wisdom is clouded by all of the resentment that you feel. Your ability to recognize truth or sincerity is severely handicapped, because of the growing anger in your mind. This forces your peace to leave and lets anxiety take its place. Now you start to worry over things that were once insignificant to you. Relaxation and rest are no longer blessings that are within your reach.

Finally, your perspective is so tainted, negativity permeates every aspect of life. Gone are the days that were filled with laughter and lasting happiness in the simplest of things. The tangled web of bitterness growing inside of you leads to paranoia, irritability, and self-centeredness, invisible to only you, but obvious to everyone else, keeping you distanced from others and lonely. Your relationships suffer greatly, because no one wants to spend time with anyone so joyless and miserable, unable to enjoy anything.

The more time you give taking the poison of bitterness, the more it will destroy you and everything you care about. Learn to forgive quickly, laying your burdens down at the foot of the Cross. Remember how much Jesus has forgiven you. Ask Him to help you let it go. Refuse to be a puppet to the destruction of bitterness by learning to forgive and trusting God to set you free!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


“I want to be a Christian example to my family and friends, but sometimes it’s so hard to be a good one.”  Ever find yourself thinking this?  What's the answer?

The truth is we are not supposed to be an example.  Our family and friends do not need a good example, they need a friend.  A real one.  An honest one.  A touchable one.  They need a friend who does not think they are better than everyone, but one who knows they are not.  They need a friend who knows they need Jesus.

So what about being a leader and setting the example?  Isn’t that a good thing?  Isn’t that what our church leaders, teachers and brothers and sisters in the faith tell us all the time?
The more I think about it, the more I believe this well-meaning statement is not only an incorrect way to teach us to try to control our behavior, but it is also dangerous to our spiritual health. When we are told to try to be an example for others, we may as well just put on a mask right there – Here. Hide behind this. Don’t let anyone ever see you struggle.  Don't let anyone ever think you don't have it all together.

I know that’s not what they mean. I know.  But it doesn’t matter so much what they mean, it matters more what we hear and take from it.

When we hear our spiritual leaders, teachers, mentors and well-meaning brothers and sisters in the faith tell us that we should always try to be an example, most of us think that means we can never mess up, can never have problems, can never just be a person that struggles like everyone else.  Eventually, we mature in our faith as men and women who believe being a Christian means having it all together, saying all the “right” things, staying a few steps ahead of everyone else.

We may even become a person that people look up to, but we will never be someone that others feel they can really relate to.  We may be successful at managing our own behavior, but we will always struggle to manage people’s opinions of us.  We may have a great reputation, but our character will be clouded with unforgiveness, doubt, anxiety, bitterness and even resentment.  We may be a good church-goer, but we will not know how to be a good leader or even a good friend.  This striving towards perfection, towards personal excellence may keep us out of trouble, but it will suffocate our soul.

But what about holiness?!  I can hear the protests now.  Don’t we want to be a light in a dark place?  Yes, of course!  But always striving to be an example won’t let us shine, it will just cause us to shrink from the possibilty of negative attention, of being found out, of failing to meet up to the expectations of others and ourselves.

We are already a light in a dark place!  But here is the most important part most of us forget when we’re telling each other to be an example: Our light comes from Jesus, not from our own awesome behavior!

Do you believe Christ himself has taken up residence within you?  Do you trust him with your life – your decisions, your emotions, your relationships?  Do you truly believe that he goes with you wherever you go?  If so, then instead of telling each other to be an example, how about encouraging each other to be yourselves?

When we are hurt, we can deeply feel it.  When we mess up, we can and will own it.  When we hurt or wrong someone else, we can admit it and apologize.  When we have doubts, we can voice them.  And when we are joyful, it will be from a real place inside of us, not a manufactured mask that we put on to impress others.

We will be authentic allowing Christ to do his work in us and through us.  It is Christ that sanctifies us and makes us holy or "whole" as the word holy means.  All we are expected to do is to follow and abide in or live with him each and every day.  We are to clothe ourselves, in his righteousness, not our own which is as filthy rags to God.  That means to be like him, learn about him, and make him the most important part of your life.  If we do that, then Jesus Christ will be the One that gets all the glory and all the praise for our light shining to the world, not our own selfish, prideful weak attempts at good works to make ourselves look good.

So, we really need to encourage each other to leave our masks behind.  We need to create a loving, friendly environment around us that lets people feel safe to be who they genuinely are without judgment.

We need to trust in God and remember that Christ lives in each one of us.  Each of us has been given everything we need that pertains to life and godliness.  Each of us already has the full measure of faith and grace we've been generously granted.
So please, let's stop telling each other and expecting each other to be this perfect Christian example to the world.  Let's give each other the freedom that Jesus paid for on the cross with his life, to be the best that he is growing us to be – a peculiar yet love-filled people who have the living Christ living inside each and every one.  We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and it is HE that is the Example and Savior of the world!

Monday, March 14, 2011



My ex was ...
never faithful to me and it took a toll on my ability to trust people or believe in myself.

Maybe I should ...
let the past stay in the past, live today in the fullest and look forward to the future!  Amen!

I love ...
all of God's children. Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody: I think this is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.

I don't understand ...
why people are so shallow and apathetic and self-absorbed today? Have we really lost our souls, our hearts, our sense of innocence and what's good and lasting? The biggest disease today is not cancer or HIV, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.  If only they would look to God and see He has more love to give us than we could ever possibly handle.

I lost my...
fear of speaking the truth of my heart, the truth of what really matters. It is easy to love people from far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a dollar for a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home or hometown. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start!

People say I'm ...
a lover, that I love too much. But I have discovered the ultimate paradox: that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love!

Love is ...
is what we are all secretly craving and all secretly in short supply of. No matter how bold, popular, or successful we seem to be...deep down inside we still only want to be loved & accepted for who we truly are; frailties, faults and all.

Somewhere, someone is ...
blowing money on another electronic gadget, another designer handbag, or another pizza or game or shot or line or pill or cycle or hit or toke...  There must be a reason why some people can afford to live so well. They must have worked for it, earned it, right?  I only feel angry when I see the waste. When I see people throwing away their lives chasing after empty shallow pursuits that will never satisfy them or bring them lasting joy or buying more things they don't need that others could use; especially throwing their money away on things to get them wasted or entertain their boring selfish lives for another fifteen minutes when there are so many people that don't have the money anymore to buy food they need to feed their own children.

I will always ...
keep on keeping on, never grow weary doing good for we will be rewarded in due season.  If we want the gospel love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep our lamp burning, we must keep putting oil in it.

Forever is ...
God, only we are not, not without Him anyway. We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to find God and to touch souls.

I never want to ...
grow weary doing good. Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired, by being DOERS OF THE WORD not just hearers only, clothing ourselves in humility so God showers us with the extra grace we need in order to accomplish His will for our lives on the earth.

I think the current President is ...
doing the best that he can, but he and his advisors are leading in their own wisdom, in their own strength. But everyone needs help to do good. Do not wait for leaders; move in the direction of good, of right, of genuine faith in Jesus Christ!  With Him we can make that change, one step at a time, person to person empowered by Spirit of the Living God.  He and only He can give us the wisdom, strength and ability to lead, to love, and to live where nothing is impossible!

When I wake up in the morning ...
I say a prayer of thanksgiving, thankful that I am alive!

Life is...
a gift, just like our talents, gifts, intelligence, beauty, abilities, and skills are as well. Why should you get to use what was given to you for your own use and happiness alone? Does it really make you happy? I doubt it, I'll bet the most fulfillment you have ever experienced is when people show you love or appreciation for something you are, said, or did for them. Right?

My past is incredibly ...
checkered with failures, flaws, selfishness, and such loneliness and fear. Then I had a life-changing experience. Now I am on the most exciting path ever, armed to do supernatural battle in a world of wickedness and fear, and to love others with same love that saved my own life!

I get annoyed when ...
I see others who are so obviously trapped by their own selfish desires try to give advice to others from a standpoint of their own pride, self-delusions and false superiority because of their fame, wealth, talent or popularity.

Parties are for...
celebrating life! We really do have so much to be thankful for. And joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. Because it is so contagious!

I wish ...
I was more faithful, I pray for faithfulness.

My family is ...
cherished!  My spouse and partner for life is a wonderfully gifted, godly man of great character and faithfulness and our kids are amazing people too; they're all very loving, enormously talented and brilliant followers of Christ!

My dog is ...
Jazzmin, the prettiest little Lhasa Apso in all of Iowa and the little buddy that follows me everywhere!

Kisses are the worst when ...
they aren't genuine or pure.

Tommorrow I'm going to ...
not worry about anything, God has given us everything we need in Christ Jesus!

I really want ...
to find a rewarding job - actually I'd love to make a living as a novelist and hopefully the book I am working on will be a published success.

I have low tolerance for people who ....
close their minds to learning, growing, improving and then dump on those that are open-minded because of their own fears, jealousies, insecurities, and prejudices.

If I had a million dollars ...
I'd give God His tenth, make several large offerings to missions and ministries I believe in, pay off all my debts and debtors, give away a lot anonymously and to those I love, and invest the rest!

The End!


Why Do We Need Love?

Have you ever been in love before?  It is a magical, wonderful feeling.  There’s nothing like it in the whole world.  Everything looks differently, more vivid, more colorful.  Everything feels differently, even breathing becomes a noticeable thing when our heart is racing and we can feel the flush in our cheeks and the blood rushing in our veins.  It is true that beauty is all around us, the sun is brighter, the bloom is more perfect, the song of the birds are sweeter.  It is as though we walk through life like we’re almost half alive, half awake.  When that special someone enters even into our thoughts, we are suddenly completely alive and wide awake.

It’s connection.  People long to be connected to another.  To have the feeling and the experience of knowing that someone else notices us in ways that no one else ever seemed to before.  We begin to see ourselves in that same light, through their eyes and it gives us more satisfaction than any other thing out there.  A full blown natural high.  To be admired, to be missed, to be longed for, to be desired, to be fulfilled.  Some of us will give almost anything to find it or to re-connect to that same high once more.

Where do we think this blissful sensation originated?  Why such a strong urge and draw towards its radiance?

We are not alone.  We never have been.  We are unique, true enough, as special and individual as each snowflake, fingerprint, or star in the heavens.  But we are not independent.  We are built for connection, for joining, for dependence.  We are designed with a void within the depths of who we are.  No one can deny that we are not autonomous, no man’s an island, right?

Perhaps only a few of us are incomplete without connection to another.  Maybe there are many of us that are quite contented to live without the intimate connection to another.  After all, there are several million people on this planet, perhaps billions that have some connection to friends, family, or loved ones.  We all seem to or at least claim to halfheartedly live contented and fulfilled lives, right?  Or do we?

I think one of the biggest tragedies in life is the lonely desperation that most people live with every day.  We live so much inside our own selves, either unable to or too afraid to reach out from the inside to connect to another.  Worse yet, because of this unanswered and unheard desperate yearning to be truly noticed by another, close to another, loved by another we oftentimes build resentment towards ourselves and others for being so unfulfilled.  Our pain is acted out in the taking for granted or abuse of others.

The void inside us perpetuates pain.  Is this hole or flaw in our design on purpose or is it by accident?  If we were designed, created, or even let’s say for arguement’s sake ’evolved’ with this unmet need inside us, what is the purpose for life?

Our imperfection is not by accident.  It purposeful.  It is beautiful.  Our void of unsatisfaction was actually the design logo by the Master Craftsman.  His stamp upon us, being His brilliant works of art.  By creating us to be so beautiful, so incredible yet with one final missing piece, we in our imperfection will always seek out the perfect.  The perfect moment, the perfect beauty, the perfect smile, the perfect feeling, the perfect love, the perfect circumstance...we will constantly seek after this connection to perfection, the one missing part that will make us complete.

He made us that way so that we will recognize our incompleteness.  No one and no thing can ever fill this void, this gap in our souls.  Most of us will spend our whole lives in futile searching to quench this never-ending thirst.  We will look everywhere for the one answer that will satisfy all of our questions.  We will never stop trying new things and experiencing new experiences always hopeful that this one thing will be the one thing that will add true satisfaction to us and to our lives.

The void, the thirst, the drive is all stamped within our hearts because He wants us to recognize our need for Him.  No relationship will ever satisfy us, no achievement, no material thing will ever give us the one thing we need to complete us and sustain us.  Nothing with any lasting power. Nothing.

Except for one thing.  Him.  Connection to Him.  Knowing Him.  Experiencing Him.  Relating to Him.  Resting in Him.  We need to reconnect at the Source.  Go back to where it all began.  With Him.  And He longs to be connected to us and has done everything He can, put out hints everywhere, signs all over, people in our lives, jobs, experiences, heartaches, blessings, riches, troubles all of it to point to Him.  All we have to do is recognize them and admit our need.

You are reading this right now thinking I am wrong, but that is yourself trying to rationalize a lot of things you think you will have to give up to find that ultimate connection.  But if you search your own deep thoughts and truest feelings at your very core you know that I am right.  If you are not afraid and are honest with yourself, you will think about this.  Hard.  And realize, recognize, and admit it too.  Then your heart, mind, and very soul will be so filled with love, light, and satisfaction you won’t think you’re able to contain it.

"My goal is that their hearts, having been knit together in love, may be encouraged, and that they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ." Col. 2:2

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Attraction’s endless masquerade.  Not so much a party, more like a never-ending game.  I pretend I am this woman and you pretend you are that man and we pretend that everything is perfect.  But we never truly connect, because you cannot feel the touch of another with gloves on.

I am not perfect, I hate to be the one to tell you that.  In fact, I am as far from being perfect as a person can get.  I am not always the goody-two-shoes over achiever with drive and ambition that you think I am.  I can be boring at times and I don’t always have something interesting to say.  I am sometimes lazy and I often do fantasize about the taking the path of least resistance when attempting to accomplish my goals.

Also, I often frustrated when people do or say stupid things and I don’t always have something positive to offer as feedback when that happens.  Most of the time I will just ignore it or try to change the subject.  I can be very silly too and my sense-of-humor can border upon the absolute goofy.  Sometimes I cry at the stupidest things, like during certain TV commercials or when I can’t fit into my jeans.  I can be withdrawn and sullen too at times, feeling as though I am stuck in a life I did not create for myself, as if my life is the by-product of circumstances and not of deliberate direction, but I soon realize that I am just being hard on myself, yet again.  It is the same sort of thing that a lot of people lament; thinking that every moment of life is supposed to have meaning and most of the time it is the quite the opposite; life’s meanings have moments.  It is the journey that counts, not necessarily the moments where we arrive at our destination.

Such is the game of attraction and dating and it can be outright maddening to at times.  I am supposed to appear as if I am always cheerful, playful, and brilliant.  Always full of energy, always light-hearted and uncomplicated.  That is just not me.  I am very complicated, very complex.  My moods can change quite often and I am constantly thinking and analyzing things, trying to rework a situation in my mind until it all works out the way that it should.  Always careful to plot my moves and words carefully.

I am not always sure what it is that I want most of the time or what I mean by the things I say.  I don’t need to be interpreted or even to be understood at every moment of every day.  I just want and need to be accepted for who I am, even if that is someone I am not always so sure about.  I’d like to think that I am a work in progress, that the best parts of me are still hiding up my sleeve.  I think it was my college art professor that said it best, "Sometimes you can beat a horse to death, but you can also sometimes beat a dead horse back to life."  Keep trying, keep going, keep moving.  Things can finally turn out the way that you want if you keep at it long enough.

But why am I not supposed to feel so great when you are around me?  Why am I not supposed to tremble when you move in to reach for something just past me at the dinner table?  Am I am not supposed to love how great you smell and how it is left all over me and my clothes after you hold me so tight to tell me goodnight?  Why am I supposed to hold all of this inside and act as though it does not mean so much to me?  Because a woman like me MUST have had plenty of  men that were crazy about me, so why would someone like me be crazy about you?  Right?  So we lie to ourselves about how much we care and we lie to each other.  If only we would be honest and forthcoming from the beginning.

I would tell you that you light me up inside in a way that I have never known before.  I would confess that I love the way I look through your eyes?  Just the sound of your voice makes me feel comfortable and safe, warm and protected.  The strength of your arms wrapped around me makes me feel more like a woman than a thousand romantic songs sang to me night and day.  And when you look at me with that look, it is as if all space and time ceases to exist.  I stare at your face intensely, putting it to memory.  It’s as if I look at the sun too long, I can close my eyes tightly and I will still see it all day long!

But then there is always the masquerade.  The mindless game-playing over our misunderstanding of the communication differences of the sexes; where insecurity and competition dictate to us that we have to hide our true feelings and passion and curb it way, way back.  You are never supposed to know how much I enjoy you, how often I think about you or how much I long for you to reach out to hold me and to whisper to me that you feel the same.

Why must we play?  Why must we do all of this nonsensical pretending?  Tippy toes, tippy toes.  Don’t ever tread too heavily.  Sip, sip we just sip from the cup.  Never are we ever to drink from the river together. So we continue to live a life this small, this shallow and pale and deny the vastness of the unexplored brilliance of deeper and honest attraction, connection and truthful openness.  We ignorantly continue to deny ourselves the experience of the magnificent onslaught of the pulsating flush of endless possibility rushing through our veins at lightning speed leaving our hearts racing and our bodies breathless and beautifully spent in the miracle that’s called love.