Saturday, September 20, 2014

Doxology of Life

Doxology of Life

Why all the wonders in the world?

In the sky, the land, the oceans swirl?

Creatures diverse and separate teeming, 

Migration sets the cycle streaming. 

Gathering and reaching, 

Through the womb of water breaching.

For breath of air and breath of life,

Prevail the whales and butterflies.

All that I cannot comprehend

Makes me give a great Amen.

                       ~C. M. Griese

He was a surfer dude with long hair that fell across his tanned neck. The class looked up to him for guidance. For inspiration. And for a good letter grade in Biology.

He scanned the room and grinned as if he was about to tell us wonderful news. "Raise your hand if you want to skip the chapter on evolution."

Hands sprung up, including mine. Some students were high-fiving; overjoyed for not having to learn another boring concept. Some breathed sighs of relief for skipping a theory they didn't believe in.

My hand was raised for both reasons. I was thankful myself that this teacher and surfer for Jesus didn't subject us to an idea that shakes the faith of many impressionable young people.

My sense of wonder remained. We were not an accident. We were made on purpose. For a purpose.

My ninth grade Biology class unanimously voted out evolution, and I don't think I missed a thing.

To be sure, I've since learned all about it. Through the media, textbooks, college professors, novels, and movies. Evolution has been clearly explained to me.

But, I don't believe it.

Sure creatures are equipped to adapt to their environment, but I've never believed that life was an accident. 

Yet we're taught from a young age, this marred world is all there is. It's no wonder so many suffer from hopelessness.

But, if we believed we were made on purpose, out of love and great intention, wouldn't that change our perspective on life?

The thing is, we really can't know for sure if God is real. There is nothing quantifiable to prove His existence.

But, the qualitative data is there.

His qualities.

His handiwork.

We were made in His image. To love. To create. To contemplate. To give order. To beautify our world.

We cannot see God, but we are His masterpiece.

As are whales and butterflies.

From great to small, all of creation longs for our Creator to reveal Himself and to heal, restore, and renew this broken world.

Salvation is found in no other(Acts 4:11,12).

Through wars and famine, peace and plenty, our God remains the same. He loves us. He has a plan. And, He is good.

And, He's going to make it all right.

One day, we'll see.

"We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved (Romans 8:22-24)."


Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Praise Him all creatures here below.

Praise Him above ye heavenly host.

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Shine On

Sometimes the most unexpected things end up ministering to me right where I'm at.

For instance, a pizza box.

How, might you ask, could a cardboard box holding a piping hot pizza pie with pineapples, ham, and stringy mozzarella minister to my soul?

It was the words printed on the box:


A little saying goes a long way. And, truth is truth no matter where you find it.

When we put our trust in Christ, we received the Holy Spirit, a pillar of cloud by day and a fire to guide us by night. 

Speaking to us. 

Reminding us. 

Of Who He is, who we are, and why we're here (Ephesians 1:3-14).

"He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept His statutes and the decrees He gave them (Psalm 99:7)."

When darkness clouds our vision, He will show us what to do.

 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful (Hebrew


Gideon broke the fire-filled jars and the light shined in the darkness. Victory was won (Judges 6,7).

We can be brave. We can let our God-given holy fire light up the night.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Phil. 4:13)."

The old, broken me is petrified of doing the hard right things. But...

"I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 5:22)."

For in Christ, we are new people, created to do acts of His goodness. To be light. Shining His ever-bright love in our hearts with our hands, our feet, and our joy (2 Corinthians 5:17).

It's okay to be weak. We have this treasure in earthen vessels to show that this power is from God and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:7). The more cracked and broken, the more His blazing glory shines.

So embrace your brokenness through Christ our Savior and shine on!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

He Knew Me

He knew me. I mean really knew me. Knew everything that I had done or failed to do. Yet, I found myself wrapped in His warm embrace. I closed my eyes and rested, being filled up with His love.
He covered my tattered rags with His woolen robe, the color of blood. I breathed in his scent. Fresh and woodsy. And my skin had changed. It was clean. Cleaner than if I’d bathed in a cool mountain spring.

I glanced up, but he was already a distance away. His skin was covered in what used to cover me, this thick oily substance, black as tar.

His stride was determined. He didn’t turn back. A cypress tree blocked my view. And, then he was gone.

I scanned the horizon. But, all I could see were the mountains that surrounded this lonely valley.

Then I spotted him. Climbing up a mountain. At the top stood a lone tree with two branches, one on each side. I rubbed my eyes. No, it wasn’t a tree. And, those weren't branches. It was a cross.

Dark clouds rolled in and covered the valley. Lightening crashed. I jumped a little and pulled the robe on tighter.

He was gone again. Oh, no. He was somehow fastened to the cross. Streams of red flowed down from his outstretched hands.

I heard Him cry out. Then, fall limp. No. Don’t die. I. love. You.

The sky went black.

Thick darkness covered the valley.

I huddled against a nearby rock, trembling and weeping. Exhaustion overtook me.

When I awoke, there was a light. But, not the sun. It came from within the mountain. A circle of light, as from a cave. Or tomb.

A silhouette. His. He was alive. I cried, but not from sorrow. Joy. My Savior. My King. Please come back. Please take me home.

The sun peeked over the horizon. But, He was no longer there. Don’t leave me. I don’t want to be alone.

A voice. Not outside but within. Deep in my heart. “You’ll never be alone again. I will come back. Soon. Remember. You are mine. And, you have work to do.”