Over our Heads


Have you ever been to the ocean?  If so, have you ever gone out to jump the waves?  You know the procedure:

Standing at a comfortable distance from the land, you watch for the waves coming into shore and, with perfect timing, you crouch down and leap right as the wave pushes past.  The strength and force of the water lifts you above where your feet can reach the bottom and then returns you back to the ground.

But sometimes you can leap and leap until, without realizing it, you are out much further than planned and suddenly, your feet no longer reach the ground.  The solid ground you had come to rely on is completely gone and you’re in over your head.  The power of the waves took you beyond what feels comfortable…

Isn’t leaping waves just like following God?

Often, we welcome the joy of the leaping as long as we feel comfortable with how close we are to the shore, but what happens when following God takes you beyond the safety of where your feet can reach the ground? What is your reaction then?  Panic? Fear? Anxiety?

This is what people consider the “scary” part of following God. To truly follow him, we step out of our own comfort zone and let him lead us out past the nearness of the shore into his depths.

God’s depths are not “safe” in our human terms.  We want predictability.  We want to know what’s going to happen.  We say we like surprises, but not when it comes to our lives.  We want to know what’s going to happen and that doesn’t often happen when we step out beyond the shore.  The further into God we go, the less we know what will happen, but the more we know we are loved, adored, and protected by the Father who calls us HIS.  This gives us courage – not in the situation, but in the one who calls us HIS.

We can trust HIM no matter what happens to us.  HE is trustworthy where people and situations never are.  HE has us kept so close that if we are floating in the middle of or sinking in the depths of his wide open ocean of love and grace, we are in HIM and we will never be lost.

So the question is, what will you do?  Will you leap and let your feet lose their footing in what feels safe to you?  Will you allow him to draw you away from the safety of the shore into the depths of His love and grace?

It’s so worth it beloved.

We can trust him.  Repeat that to yourself as many times as you need to convince yourself.  It is true.  Then…leap.  He will carry you out beyond where you’ve ever been and oh how amazing your life will be in the depths of his love and grace.


Real love is not afraid to bleed…


“Real love is not afraid to bleed…”

I’ve been thinking about this lyric to a song for some time now. It’s so interesting to me.  I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about love in that way.  I think we usually view love in the style of romantic comedies – Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks on the top of the Empire State building or in Central Park, but real love is much grittier.

Please don’t take that to mean that love isn’t beautiful – it is, but it is not without cost.  To truly love someone is to put their needs and wants ahead of our own.  That means that they take precedent over us.  We have to choose to make our will has to bow to theirs.

Please don’t mistake this to mean that our will is not important. It just means that the other person in your life “ought” to love you enough to make your needs and wants to take precedent over theirs while you do the same for them.  That reciprocal relationship is the foundation of any good relationship.

But what about people who can’t love you back because of the situation they are in or people who are weak and just need help?  That is where you have to know the difference between real friendships and ministry friendships.  Real friends are the ones you can bare your soul to and they will not shy away, in fact, they will press in more just to be with you.  They will carry you through storms and will remind you who God says you are.

Ministry friendships are people who need you to pour into their lives, but may not be in a position to lift you up or support you in any way.  If you know the difference between the two, you’ll be much more cautious in who you share your deepest life and love with, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t still bleed.

Regardless, the beauty of love is that it is to give away.  It is not to store up, but to constantly pour out.  To do that, you must have love pour into you constantly as well.  Your overflow comes from constantly receiving love from the Lord and pouring out love to others.  This is the heart behind your cup overflowing.

Our source of the overflow is Jesus.  He must be the center of it all.  He is the reason we can love others well.  He is the example of “real love is not afraid to bleed”.  He came to this broken world so that he could reconnect us to the Father.  He knew what it cost and chose to give up everything and bleed so that we would know what love really is.  He knew we’d fail him.  He knew sometimes we wouldn’t choose him.  He knew the pain.  He knew the betrayal.  He knew the cost and he chose to bleed anyway.

This is my challenge to you:  Will you choose to love people with your whole heart?  To know that they may hurt you and still love them anyway?  Let your true self be seen by another and know that regardless what they do, the Lord will protect, guard, and redeem you?

Let’s all live with more vulnerability and trust in the Lord’s ability to redeem.  Let’s love in a way that may make us bleed and know that, through that, the Lord’s love will be on display.  We can rest in Him.  And we can trust in Him.  He is the true example of love not being afraid to bleed.

Love to you all, beloved.  You are worth the costScreen Shot 2015-02-14 at 3.53.46 PM.

Bees Trust, Bees Believe, and so Can We.



I like bees.  Unlike wasps/hornets/etc*, bees have a clear purpose for good.   Bees make flowers, plants, and food grow by pollinating the flowers.  They then bring all that pollen back and turn it into honey – the only food that will not spoil.  Have you ever thought about that?  What an amazing creation that God gave us.  Honey is even in the Bible!**  So, back to bees….

I was sitting outside today in this unseasonably warm weather and had a bee sit on my chair.  It got me thinking about how God uses all kinds of methods to teach us more about him. Bees are one of the key ways he’s taught me more about who He is.

Here’s how:  Bees go from flower to flower without worrying or stressing over whether there will be another flower when they leave their current flower.  Why?

Because bees trust.

Bees trust that when they take flight, there will be another flower; there will be another source of food.  They are not worrying or stressing about what will come.  They live in the present and focus on the gift in front of them.

Do you worry about tomorrow or the future more than you’d like to admit?  I think we all do, but the truth is that, like bees, we can trust that God always has what we need right when we need it. He won’t withhold from us and all we have to do is take flight when he asks us to do so.

We can trust Him.

Also, bees don’t wonder what it would be like to be a bird or a turtle or some other creature.  They are bees and are motivated from day one to do their jobs, whether it’s being queen bee, being a drone, or being a worker bee – they do what they are called and gifted to do.

Bees are exactly who God designed them to be.  They aren’t trying to conform themselves to any ideal of who they ought to be because they believe that God made them exactly the way they are for a reason.

You see, bees believe.

The Lord has a plan.  Bees know their role in that plan and they simply live it out.  The message that we can take away from bees is, that we are created the way we are for a reason, that God knew that reason, and that all we have to do is live it out.

Like the bees, we can believe.

We can believe that we are created with purpose, on purpose, and cherish our role in creation.  We can live each day with our own set of gifts, whether that be compassion, joy, a great listening ear, administration, or loving our kids well.

Those gifts should never be minimized because you see and admire something in someone else. You are designed on purpose for a purpose and exactly who you are is exactly who you are supposed to be.  That’s not to say that we don’t all have room to grow and learn, but please embrace who you are!  Be the best you that you can be!

Be like bees; TRUST and BELIEVE!

* Wasps/hornets/etc are vindictive jerks.

** Just do a Google search for honey in the Bible.  There are lots of scriptures about it!  

Isaiah 58:6-12 (NLT)


These scriptures speak to the heart of the DC Women’s Ministry. I pray that you’ll read it and ask God to commit it to your heart in a way he never has before.  

You are an important part of this!  

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
    lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
    and remove the chains that bind people.

Share your food with the hungry,
    and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
    and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
    and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
    and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.

Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
    ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!

10 Feed the hungry,
    and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    giving you water when you are dry
    and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like an ever-flowing spring.

12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
    Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
    and a restorer of homes.

He is worthy.  He is love.  He has compassion and believes in you.  Stand on that beloved.  




Do you want more?

I recently read Exodus 33 and was struck by several things. This is the story where God tells Moses to take the people and go and then Moses asks to see God’s glory.  That’s a brief synopsis of the situation, but to me, there’s a greater story interwoven throughout their interaction.

It’s about identity and relationship.

First, Moses is having a PERSONAL, one on one conversation with the creator of the universe.  Can you imagine?  Exodus 33:11 says, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend…” The Lord called Moses his friend. Whoa.  So what does Moses want to know in this personal, friend conversation with the Lord?  Moses wants to know, “Are you with me?”

Are you with me?

Over and over Moses asks, “If you’re with me, If you’re for us, If we’re yours”, and over and over God says, “I AM with you. I AM for you.  You are mine.” Then Moses does the unthinkable.  He says, “Now show me your glory.”

Now show me your glory.

Moses did not ask, “Will you please show me your glory?”  He did not ask, “If it’s ok with you, will you show me your glory?” Moses says, “Now show me your glory,” like he’s from Missouri.* There’s a boldness to that statement that speaks to deep understanding of who God is and who he is to Moses.  Moses isn’t waiting to get struck down by lightning for pushing God too hard on something – Moses almost demands it.  But why?

I think it’s because Moses really believed what the Lord told him. The Lord told Moses he was with him.  He said Moses had his favor and it looks like Moses BELIEVED IT.  Moses bought into it and owned it.  He did ask the Lord multiple times if He was with him, but each time the Lord answered, he said that Moses was found in Him and it stuck.  Once that was truly rooted in Moses’ heart, he felt bold enough to unapologetically say, “Now let me see your glory.”

You are with me.  You are for me. woman-in-field

Now that’s a person who KNOWS he is loved.  He KNOWS he is the Lord’s beloved.  He KNOWS that he is safe in the Lord’s presence and found there.  Now think about this….Moses is the same dude that killed someone.  He was a murderer.  He was afraid to go against the pharaoh and lead the people.  He was a chicken.  He had these and many more reasons to cower in front of God and beg for forgiveness.  He could have wavered with his weak voice.  There are any number of things that Moses could have done, but he didn’t.

What Moses did do was talk straight to the Lord like he was exactly what the Lord said he was – HIS.  The Lord said, “I am with you.  I have you.  I’ll go with you,” so Moses boldly asked to see more of who God is.

Now show me your glory.

You know what’s awesome?  The Lord didn’t reprimand Moses for his directness or his get on to him for speaking so boldly to Him because Moses was HIS.

Do you know that you are HIS?  The Lord calls you Beloved.  He calls you Chosen.  He calls you by name.  Your name is engraved on his palms.  He knows the number of hairs on your head.  He has seen and counted every tear.  He knows you better than you know yourself.  He knows every pain.  He knows every fear.  He knows your heart.  What if you let yourself believe that?

What if you actually believed that you are fully known by God?

If you really did believe it, would you approach the Lord like Moses did?  Would you boldly tell him you wanted to see more of him?

You can’t imagine how he wants that.  He’s waiting for you to say it any time you’re ready.  If you have to ask him over and over if he’s really with you and for you like Moses, then do it!  He wants to do for you what he did for Moses.  He’ll tell you that he is for you and he is with you as many times as you need to hear it until you really believe it.  So, why not give it a try?

“Lord, are you for us and with us?”

YES, beloved.  Resoundingly YES.”

Then show us more of you.

That’s it lovelies.  It’s that simple.  The Lord is no respecter of persons, so if he did it for Moses, he’ll do it for you.**  He is for you.  He is with you.  Approach him boldly and tell him you want more of him and watch and see how he’ll come through.***  He always does.

   *Missouri is known as the Show Me state. 
   ** Acts 10:34-35
   ***Hebrews 4:16

Return to Him


Return to Me

This morning I find myself thinking about the prodigal son.  Isn’t it strange how often his story weaves through our lives?  Haven’t we all been the prodigal at one time or another?  Or the brother of the prodigal?

The point of the story depends on the need of the moment.  It’s about the Father’s love, it’s about the prodigal’s repentance, it’s about the brother’s hardness.  In all of these cases, we can find ourselves.

So then, the question is, what do you need today?  Do you need to return to the Father?  Do you need to ask forgiveness?  Do you need to let someone off the hook who chose their own whims?  Regardless of your current state, we need more of Him. We all need more of the loving Father who watches out for us and runs to us to welcome us back into his arms.  He heals our wounds.  He restores our soul.  He is light in the darkness and he calls us son and daughter.  He calls us His.

He is loving. He is accepting.  He is joyful.  And he’s looking for us to return to him every day.  He’s calling us to seek his face – not because he needs us, but because we need Him.  How sweet is sitting in front of an adoring Father and being absolved from our willful choices that separate us from him.  Our absolution looks like open and welcoming arms.  It looks like a giant, inviting hug.  What joy to know that we are always welcomed into the home of his arms.

So friends, today I encourage you to bring your junk and go home to Him.  He’ll meet you and welcome you into the healing of returning to him.  And what a day that is.   Welcome home.

Also, check out this beautiful song by Tye Tribbett and GA.

Arms Open Wide


arms open wide

I don’t know about you, but it is easy to tell how much a song is really getting to me spiritually by the placement of my arms.  If it’s a good song that helps me see God, I may have one arm straight up.  If it’s a really good song that creates a personal conversation with God, it’s two arms up.  And if it’s a song that takes me straight to the throne of Jesus to throw myself at his feet, it’s two arms open wide.  I am humbled before him, because he is so great that to do anything other than throw myself before him in absolute surrender is unthinkable.

Think about the ways the Lord has blessed your life.  Can you see joy in even the suffering and pain?  Perhaps it wasn’t visible during that time, but after?  Did you see a closer relationship with him?  Did he show you new things about yourself or new things about who HE is?  I know in my darkest moments, in those times that I thought I was “in control” that he stood by and waited for me to turn to him again and throw my arms open wide.  Those moments of brokenness and pain were some of my deepest moments of walking with God.  I had nothing else to do but throw away all my will and desire and turn to Him.

It is hard to be thrown into the crucible and put to the fire – to be allowed to be tested so that impurities will rise, but oh the joy of seeing those impurities be scraped away so that we can be called pure gold.  When we are trusted with even more, it can be a humbling and scary prospect, but God is bigger and he WILL see us through it.

Where are you friend?  Are you standing with arms open wide to him?  Are you in the fire?  Are you sitting on the side waiting?  Do you know he loves you?  He loves you when you’re dirty and scroungy and he loves you when you are in a state of healed and healthy.  He loves you.  That is the ultimate thing you must know.  He will never leave you and never forsake you.  But more than that, it is finished in Him.  It. Is. Finished.  All your junk is gone in his mercy and grace.  So throw your arms open wide and welcome His goodness into your heart.  He will not disappoint.

Photo credit: Kristie Baker