A New Thing

That new thing coming your way. Oh. It may be a miracle of God. Do you accept it? Do you believe it? Will you trust it? Amid all the uncertainty and unfamiliarity and newness. Will you allow God to work in the ways that he sees best?

I say let’s let God do that new thing. Even when its hard. Because new isn’t always easy. It’s in the letting go and allowing God to work that makes the newness work. Newness means giving up the old for something different. Something uncomfortable. Something that teaches new lessons. And that can open new doors if we will just walk through them.

I’m preaching to myself here. Newness for me is now eight months in the making. It still feels uncomfortable. There are still days I want to run in the opposite direction.  But God continues to lead me down the new path.  I sometimes wonder why he brings me to a new thing that is really hard. and then leaves me there.

I have to admit. There are rewards and blessings in this new place. I can’t deny those. But there is also discomfort. Anxiety. Uncertainty. Doubt. Doubt in myself. But I know I must continue to trust God. and follow his lead. For he is doing a new thing.

If I’m in charge of the newness, well. Everything is ok.  I’m all in. If someone else is calling the shots, it’s a different story. I have to choose to cooperate. Oh.  Newness is hard.


For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19


Isaiah reminded the Israelites of all the newness God had provided for them for over 400 years. He delivered them from Egypt. He performed miracle after miracle just to provide for them. He parted the Red Sea. He provided manna for 40 years so they could eat every day. He kept their clothes and shoes from wearing out for 40 years. He parted the Jordan River. He fought their battles. He won their battles. As long as as they were obeying him.

But the Israelites still doubted God. They still turned their backs on him. They forgot the newness he gave them. And that was when they lost the battles with their enemies. They became slaves once again. And when they had had enough of being beaten up by their enemies, they would crawl back to God and ask for forgiveness. And every time. Every time, God would pick them up. Dust them off. And forgive them. He would welcome them back. And start the newness all over again.

How often is the newness I face a result of my disobedience to God? How often is it a result of God stretching me and growing me into a deeper relationship with him?

Step aside fear and let God move. Step aside tradition and let new beginnings take shape. Step aside trouble and let healing and peace make an appearance. Step aside doubt and make way for faith. Step aside human and allow the host of heavens armies to fight for you. 

Newness. Anticipation. Fear of the unknown. Excitement. Let’s do this.

Sinful Nature

It started out so innocent. Or so it seems. They want their child to go to an elite college. So they find ways to beat the system. They find ways to bump kids who have earned their way into that school. Bump them off the list by paying for a slot for their own trust fund child. Forging college entrance exams. Posing for fake sports photos. Slipping money under the table. For what?

For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all. Luke 8:17

We think we’re above the law.  At least, we hope we’re always one step ahead of the law. More than anything, we hope we won’t get caught by the law.

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. Genesis 6:5

I know someone who is quick to lose his temper. He says words others hope he later regrets. He speaks out of turn. He has a high opinion of himself. He walked out of work and didn’t return for a week. No word on when he’s coming back. Just walked out. Then walked back into work the next week as if nothing had happened.

Oh. He did it more than once. But on the third try, it backfired. He is no longer employed. He pulled the same punch one too many times. Now he is facing the consequences. Shame. Regret. Remorse. Embarrassment.

What is it that causes a person to be unkind or untruthful? What is it that causes someone to bully or hurt others? Why can’t we be good? Are we born that way? Are we born to naturally be selfish and hurtful? Can we change?


He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15


I got her text. She was asking for personal information about a former coworker. Information I didn’t know and wouldn’t share if I did. She was scheming to find out the scoop on everyone she worked with. Gossip is the name of her game. And I decided I wasn’t playing.

What is it that causes people to naturally turn toward pleasing themselves? What causes someone to want to do wrong? Are we doomed to be this way? Are our souls totally corrupt with no chance for redemption?

Oh. We are born with the desire to please ourselves. From day one, we are bent on getting our way. That one bite of fruit by Adam and Eve turned our hearts away from God and onto ourselves. Their disobedience caused a world of hurt for everyone who came after them. And boy, have we continued down a path of wrongdoing.

But that one bite doesn’t have to send us to hell. We have a way paved to heaven for us. We have a path that is narrow but it is open for all. And on that path, our sins are washed away. And that desire to sin. That desire to have the world revolve around us can be removed. If only we choose life in Christ. If only we repent and ask forgiveness of our sins.

Oh. It’s not a one man fight. It’s not a fight you can win on your own. It’s a fight fit for a king. It’s a godly fight. Really. A fight for your life. Your eternal life. And it’s a fight that has already been won. We can claim the victory in four simple steps.

  • Confess your sins to God
  • Ask God to forgive you
  • Accept his love, forgiveness and mercy
  • Reject sin and live forgiven

Oh. When we confess our sins, we don’t have to name each one. Believe me. There isn’t enough time. And God already knows them anyway. He’s just waiting for us to come clean and repent. Then he erases those sins away. As if they never happened. 

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. 1 John 5:18-19

Thank heaven for God Almighty.

Better Together

Two churches stand poised to make history. A history of faith and obedience. Or a history of fear and rejection. Oh. That may sound harsh. But hear me out.

Both churches are in the midst of change. Both churches have been praying for a miracle. Both churches need a miracle. Just not the same miracle. But sometimes God’s miracles aren’t what we expect. Sometimes someone else’s miracle is also our miracle wrapped all in the same package. Just with different gifts inside.

One church has a beautiful property. They can no longer afford it. Upkeep has stalled. Ministries have been underfunded. The bank has come calling. They face an uncertain future. Time is running short. They need a miracle.

The other church has sold their property. When God said move, they sold their facility and began a search. Even when they had no place to move. They’ve been looking for a new location. Nothing fits the bill or the wallet. Time is running short. They need a miracle.

I know these churches. I love both churches. I’m part of one now and was part of the other in the past. Both churches have great people who love God. Both churches are filled with people who want to obey God. Oh. Yes. They’ve each been praying for a miracle. They just didn’t know what that miracle would look like.

And now. God has placed a miracle in front of us. All we have to do is reach out and accept it. Oh. It sounds so simple. And it is. Obedience is a simple act of faith. When we pray for a miracle, it’s God’s miracle to perform as he sees fit. We don’t design our own miracles. We need to step back and let God do what only God can do. And he’s doing it.

God has opened the door for both churches to come together in the one location. Sounds so simple. But it requires change. For everyone. We like to think we like change. But really. Change is hard. Change demands obedience. Change requires…well….change. For everyone. Everyone will find a level of discomfort as they adjust to the newness required of them. Bold steps of faith will be needed.


God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20-21


When God walled off the Jordan River for the Israelites, all they had to do was walk across. If they hadn’t walked across, they wouldn’t have reached the promised land. They accepted the miracle set before them.

The first church has what the other needs. The second church has what the first one needs. But that’s beside the point. Its what we have together that counts.   Together we can build a strong church that reaches a neighborhood. A city. A county. Together we can work toward increasing God’s kingdom in our corner of the world.

Gideon needed a miracle from God to defeat the Midianites. In the process of transforming the Israelite army, God told him to release all but 300 of his men. But God let him know that they would win the war. He also gave Gideon a glimpse of that victory as he slipped through the enemy territory. He overheard words spoken by the enemy that confirmed the miracle God said he would perform. And so Gideon led his army to victory. In spite of the odds. They won as God said they would. They didn’t let fear of the unknown hold them back.

We may not know what the miracle we’re praying for will look like. We haven’t been given a glimpse of the future victory. We need to open our hearts to the miracle when God hands it to us. Because it is a miracle. It is an answer to prayer.

The two churches have much in common. Both are filled with Christ followers looking to obey God. At the end of the day, both want the same thing. The common ground in doing this work of God together as a larger group is just a taste of heaven. New lifelong friendships. Outreach to the lost. New ministry opportunities. Missions trips. Working together as one body. Together we can achieve what each church can’t do separately. We are better together.

Covered with Lent

I’ve never really observed Lent. I’m not Catholic. I don’t have to. Right? I’ve never given up something that meant a lot to me for 40 days. Well. I have. I’ve done fasts and cleanses. I’ve gone without chocolate and sweets. Sometimes for longer than 40 days. But that doesn’t mean I was observing Lent.

I’ve never had a cross drawn on my forehead. I’ve never displayed my faith with ashes. Not even for a day.

I’ve read of one who draws a cross in ink on her wrist each day. It serves as a personal reminder of who she is. Whose she is. Of the death someone else died for her. But it’s a temporary reminder she places on her wrist. Each day. It’s not a permanent tattoo. She can wash it off and forget about it. If she chooses.

It’s the same with the ashes. They’re a temporary reminder of a permanent sacrifice given by someone else. Once the ashes are wiped off, no one can see the display of sacrifice. It’s easy to forget.


He must become greater. I must become less. John 3:30


I’ve taken to memorization. Scripture memorization for Lent. It’s a humble act. A laying down of my time.  A sacrificial learning of God’s redemptive plan. Romans 8. 39 verses. 40 days. Planting the seed of God’s word deep in my heart. I’m excited to see the seeds grow and blossom.

But is it truly a sacrifice? To memorize Scripture? Shouldn’t it be a continual process rather than a 40 day sacrifice?

My prayer is that this remembrance of the holy inspired words will replace other words and thoughts in my mind and heart. That God’s word will uproot negativity with positive thoughts. That it will surrender any envy of others with praise and respect. That it will dig out any root of bitterness that has burrowed its way into my heart.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

Oh Lord.  Work your word into the crevices of my heart. Into the nooks and crannies of my soul. Into those hidden places that only you can fill. Cover me with your presence. From dust I was formed and to dust I will return. Until that day, make your word come alive in me.

Oh. It isn’t easy. The learning of words in a specific order to form a complete thought about God’s love and redemption. It’s reading the words over and over. It’s placing them in front of me at all hours of the day. Trying to cement the words in my heart as an act of obedience to the One who gave his Son for me.

I’ve invited others to join me on this journey. Some say yes. Others are unsure. Perhaps some will choose to fall away from the challenge. There will be those who cross the finish line. To be honest. I’m struggling. It’s taking more time and work than I want. But I know the end result will be worth the struggle. So I continue down the path of hiding these words in my heart. It’s a temporary struggle that will result in a lifetime of remembrance.

I don’t mean to call attention to my act of learning. I’m not looking for praise or reward. This is an act of burning the dried embers of my heart into ashes of praise and thankfulness for my Savior’s sacrifice. It’s the least I can do.

I have died to myself. Daily. I do live for eternity. Daily. I’m covered with Lent.

A Year in the Life

I remember the day well. It started out the same as most work days. But before that work day was over, my work was over. I saw the email. It was from HR. Can you come to my office? As I walked past my boss’s desk, I noticed she wasn’t there. Red flags sprang up all around me. I knew what I didn’t want to know. My job was over.

I sat in that office hearing the news. I’m sorry. Your job has been eliminated. You don’t have the skill set that we’re looking for. You’ve done nothing wrong. But we no longer want or need you.

Crushing. Heartbreaking. Humiliating. I packed up my belongings and walked out the front door. Never to return. At my age I wondered. Would I ever work again?


If God is for us, who can ever be against us. Romans 8:31


I’ve learned a lot about myself since that day. I’ve learned a lot more about God. I’ve learned that he never leaves me. I’ve learned that he loves me so much. whether I’m employed or not. I’ve learned that he will take care of me. He’ll provide for all of my needs. I already knew all those things about God. But he proved himself time and again.

The thing is. I did get another job. Five months later. And this job has kept me close to God. This is not the job I would have chosen for myself. But it’s the job God has chosen for me. So I go every day. I do the job. Oh. I pray a lot. I need God to help me do this job he’s chosen for me. And he is. He always shows up to work on time. He strengthens me. He equips me to do the work. He calms my fears.

New ones have come after me. They ask the same haunting questions I once asked. Can I do this? Will I be able to learn all the complicated steps? I assure them that yes. Yes they will.

I’ve struggled with this job. I’ve wanted to run the other way and never look back. But I hold on. For one reason only. God has placed me here and God will release me in his time.

Through this past year, I’ve learned to trust God in all things. He has said he would empower me. And he has. He has said I am equipped for the job. And I’ve found that I am. He has shown his love to me in so many ways I cannot comprehend. He has proven so faithful. His promises are true.

I’ve learned that God is for me. Not against me. I’ve learned that he fights for me. He is my stronghold. He never lets go of me. He is the Almighty God in my little corner of the universe.