Archive for June, 2009


Posted: June 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

I just saw it: my first “Michael Jackson faked his own death” headline.

What is it that makes us do that? Why do we want to keep the memories so alive of people who are gone that we suspend all intellectual honesty to do it?

I think that famous people are beyond personhood to us. Their significance approximates that of holidays or familiar flavors or world-changing events. Something about their lives impacts our lives in a way that makes a mark and proves not just that they existed – but that we did as well. If Michael Jackson is really just gone, what do I do with my memories of my junior year when everyone at my Christian school smuggled in cassette tapes of Beat It like they were sneaking drugs over the border? It’s not that the memory dies with him…but it definitely gets pretty old pretty fast. It finds its way to a file further back in the cabinet.

Losing a superstar like we have recently makes us also look at questions of afterlife geography. Those who are normally very confident in their assertion that there IS no life after death have to swallow hard and reexamine that position.

For me, last week made me look not at my death, but at my life. Am I doing things that matter? Am I living for more than the moment? Am I living now for the day when I will run into the arms of Jesus and tell Him the stories of my field trip to a fallen planet?

Oh, I love Him. And I love the promise of forever.




Posted: June 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

Recently, I’ve been asking God to do a vintage work in my life. I think what I’m asking for is something beautiful and treasured that perhaps went unclaimed or unnoticed by the generations before me.

When King Josiah unearthed the Word of God, that was a vintage work.

When Ezra rallied the troops to rebuild the House of God, also a vintage work.

When Nehemiah worked tirelessly to restore the wall that had rested in ruins for generations…vintage.

Matthew 13:52 says “Every teacher of the religious law who becomes a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.”

What might be in your history worth reclaiming?

Believing for new and old,



Posted: June 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

Last week, I mentioned that I didn’t know who recorded the song Wipeout. Well, in the interest of thorough and accurate reporting (and also with help from Aida), I have discovered that both The Surfaris and The Ventures took a crack at that iconic tune. In the the course of my research, some brilliant videos were unearthed. Here ‘s The Ventures doing Wipeout live. What really strikes me here is how active this song sounds and how inactive it looks. I do love their big choreography move when they all turn to the drummer:

In other very distantly related news. Josiah’s favorite TV show is Wipeout. And by “favorite”, I mean “he’s obsessed”. I feel strongly that a steady diet of this show will make you stupid, but I’m a sucker for hearing the kid laugh and nothing does it like this.

Please send some long division flash cards ASAP.


Okay, maybe you have your devotional life figured out and clipping along exactly where you like it. If, however, you’re like me and like to shake things up sometimes, I highly recommend this book:


I love, love to study the Word and I know that I’ll always make time for it. However, sometimes I find that I can get so caught in the ditches of the Greek and Hebrew and untangling a first person singular imperative participle that I am not investing as much as I need to in the encounter that the Word is meant to create.

This devotional is built around an ancient monastic devotional practice called lectio divina. It takes a relatively small passage of scripture and uses those words to connect our heart to God’s and our ears to His voice. Some days, you will read the passage four or five times, sometimes you’ll be instructed to read it out loud and pick out the words that really resonate, sometimes you will be asked to assume the posture you think the writer may have chosen to better understand the impact of the moment. Here’s an inside sample (the opposite page has the passage written out). I loved this day and God spoke some very real and personal things to me about the importance of wrestling and walking:

Solo inside

I love how many times in the book it will ask a question and then add “Don’t answer quickly, wait for God to speak.” I need those reminders to move beyond my head and into His heart. If you are a quantity person and don’t feel like you’ve met with God until you’ve read three chapters, then this one definitely is not for you. But if you’d like to focus more on absorbing the Word into the fabric of your life and on active conversation with God – even just for the summer – then I think you’ll like Solo.

Enjoying the Encounter,


P.S.  This week I’m starting the Love Dare online bible study through Westside and I’m so excited!   I”m planning to keep you posted on how it goes and you can’t stop me!

May God

Posted: June 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

A Franciscan prayer that I love:

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator,

Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our Savior,

and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you and remain with you, this day and forevermore.


Less is More

Posted: June 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

In John 3, John the Baptist says to his disciples: He must increase and I must decrease. Such a brave and beautiful thing to say. In reality, it’s always been a verse that I have prayed with my mouth but feared in my heart. What does it mean to be decreased? How does it really feel? I’ve connected it to all the times in my life when I’ve laid down what I wanted for what I needed. Or the times when I’ve died to my agenda or my personality so others could be first instead. Truth be told, the “I must decrease” prayer has always seemed like one of the most mature-but-painful concepts in the Word of God.

Today, however, some kind of big happy switch turned on and this principle was just flooded with supernatural light. It was like the clouds parted and truth danced in. This prayer -“You must increase and I must decrease” – is entirely a prayer of multiplication. The increase of His life in my life will always, always add in the ways that it subtracts. Weird sentence, I know, but I still think it’s true: the things that decrease in my life are things that are stealing from my life. The things He takes from me only serve to free up room for His character and truth and hope to come ALIVE in me. I’m sure you’ve seen this and are already rocking it, but it was such big revelation for me today. Here is my new and fervent prayer:

In our health, increase.

In our unity, increase.

In our home, increase.

In our vision, increase.

In our work, increase.

In our wisdom, increase.

In our joy, increase.

In our decisions, increase.

In our faith, increase. (more and more!)

In our thinking, increase.

In our church, increase.

In our love, increase.

In our peace, increase.

In our children, increase.

I must decrease. He must increase. And that – I’m pretty sure – is a prayer He will always say YES to.

Downsizing and Upgrading,


I have struggled every summer to figure out how to create a well-balanced life for my kids. I want them to enjoy   summer and love the free days but also not become one with the couch cushions. As most moms know, this is sometimes a narrow note to strike (I’ve known parents who can do it with their eyes closed, though, so not everyone will need what I’m about to suggest.)

What I’ve found that works for us is an online goal chart from a company cleverly named Goal For It and they have a very helpful demo video on this page which will explain it better than I could.

The best part of this whole deal is that my kids love it. Even my almost-high-schooler (heaven, help me!) really enjoys this system and once it’s created, there is very little management involved. So, if you want to create fun and interactive summer goals for your kids, go to and get started today. The program is totally free and that’s definitely something to love!

Loving summer,