Thursday, June 25, 2009


The older I get, the more I have come to value those who speak truth into my life. I also recognize that it is a rare quality to find, which makes it that much more valuable. Terri Dewey is one of those people who can always speak truth into my life. And she does not just speak truth, she speaks truth with grace and love that serves to soften and heal without diverting the truth itself.

I'm going to be very honest. For the last few days I have been angry at God for everything he has asked of Greg and I. That anger spilled over at Greg as I placed unreasonable demands on him, just to have an excuse to be angry with him. The root of the issue was my anger at God for where Greg and I are. We've battled years of depression together and in the last 24 months, we've lived in the same city for only 2 of them, and for 6 of them we haven't even been on the same continent. We have watched as time after time couples around us have started dating, gotten engaged, and gotten married. Why is it easy for them? We have worked hard to make people feel comfortable around us, even to the point of putting our relationship last. Have we been punished for desiring to serve others?

As I poured this out to Terri tonight, I told her that I recognize that I'm being selfish, and I need to learn to get over all of this. Most of the time I can get a hold of these battles, I can stop comparing us to others, and I can be pleased that we are honoring God through our relationship. There are just times when those get the best of me.

Once I had released this to me she pointed something out that I hadn't even considered:

Have you even grieved about this? I hear you say you're trying to get over this, but is that really offering it as a sacrifice to the Lord? It's ok to bring the desires of your heart to the Lord and pour them out before Him, and it's ok to be hurt when they are not fulfilled. It is when we chose to die to those desires that we are truly making a sacrifice to Him.

What great truth. I had stopped looking at this relationship, our struggles, and this year apart as a sacrifice, and started to see it as a punishment. I must choose to lay the desires of my heart on God's alter, even if I do it in a shower of tears. By definition, I cannot make a sacrifice to the Lord if I give him something from which I've already detached myself.

And if I don't give him this, what else in my life is truly a sacrifice? There is literally no where else that God has asked me to offer to him against the desires of my heart. The rest of my heart is filled and overflowing. My needs are more than met, I have a house, and food, and a car, and friends, and a great job, and a church in which to serve, and a wonderful family... the list could run for pages. With all God has given me, I should be so lucky that I could place even the smallest offering on His alter.

Lord, take our relationship. Help me die to these desires each day - that they might be a fragrant offering to you.

Talk #2

I got to speak at Fuse for the 2nd time this past Sunday. It was exhilarating because so much of what I said was completely the Holy Spirit. Every time I practiced the talk I tripped up. There are a few transitions in the talk that I didn't get write until I said them on stage - that is only by the grace of God.

I still have much more to learn about teaching, and God is continuing to refine me. I don't like my tone of voice or inflection, and I say um to much, but that's part of the learning process. I just pray I have done nothing to butcher Biblical theology or historical timeline.

If you're interested... here goes talk #2 =)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Transformed Life

Right now, our church is reading through the New Testament and God has really been speaking to me in a lot of cool ways. Reading through scripture at such a rapid pace has shown me themes that are not necessarily apparent when reading a chapter or two in isolation.

I am beginning to recognize that so many of Paul's instructions to the churches have to do with how to live transformed. I know that phrase has become a little "Christianese" because of Romans 12:1, but it is everywhere in his letters. I think we as the 21st century church look way too much like the world around us. So many times I give just a little more than my neighbors who aren't Christians, or I act just a little kinder to the outcast at the office, or I serve others just a little more than those who don't know Jesus.

What if I allowed God to radically transform my mind? What if I really lived as the scriptures said the original disciples did - fully sold out, fired up, and honoring nothing but the Gospel? How different would my life really look? Would I spend my money differently? Would I spend my time differently? Would I begin to see and love the people around me as God does?

Still, I know this is a difficult balance. Floating in a balloon 30 feet above the earth may get me noticed, but it doesn't necessarily help anyone join me in the basket. In the same way, I need to live transformed, but walking next to and involved in my neighbor's lives.

What if our whole church did this? Could one transformed life, lead to a totally transformed church, and then lead to a transformed city? God, could you do this here? God, would you start with me?