There are some things we love that are too big for us.
The sea and the sky, the waves and the stars, the pearls below and the planets above–these two have always been my loves. They’re close and familiar to me; they feel of warm soles slapping against grey boardwalk planks, and of neck upstretched to see it all spread out at night. Yet they’re far and distant too, both ever stretching out of reach, out of sight, with islands and planets and worlds far away to explore.
These two are my loves, and they have been since I was young. I’m a child of the sea and the sky, a Navy daughter and a pilot’s child, exploring the aquarium in my childhood mornings and soaking up NASA documentaries at night. These two, so close and so far away, each hold a strange attraction for the astronauts and the sea sailors and for every one they touch. They are vast, they are beautiful–there are waves dancing and stars twirling and we wonder. We turn our eyes out far to sea, we turn our lenses out far to space, ever curious, ever looking, ever surprised and in awe.
Because it’s glorious what we glimpse. Continue reading
I was recently asked to join the Top Christian Book’s Writing Team, and I’m privileged and excited to share my first post with them with you. Check it out!
“Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion — the lion, the great lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan… “Is he – quite safe?”
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver… “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” – The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
I think often we echo Susan, asking if our God is harmless. Because we would like a Coke-Machine God. We can insert our prayers and good deeds, and ding! He spits out a comfy 9-to-5 job, a comfy white-picket house, and even a comfy Mercedes-Benz if we’re really spiritual. We want a talisman Jesus. We can sit Him up on our car dashboard for when we want a favor or a free parking spot, and aha! He lays out a road of good fortune. We want a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Lord. We can walk along our own merry way, but if we happen upon some hard times, someone’s sick, or a job is lost; we can pay attention to Him and whoosh! He shoos away all our troubles, just like the ending of all those Hallmark movies.
We’d like just a nice, beneficial God. He’s comfortable, easy, and safe.
But a God who decimates our comfort zones, who desecrates our personal idols, who demands our entire being? No. Thank. You.
Read the rest here.
Slime and Beauty. Not two words we would usually associate together.
Because slime is gooey and sticky and messy and bleck. But you know what, I saw beauty in it. I caught a glimpse of the delight of paradoxes the other day.
The rain steadily drummed off the porch, constraining the energy of the kindergarteners inside. But taking such simple ingredients as cornstarch and water, a magical portal was opened from this grey world into a new one — one full of green and yellow and pink and blue slime.
Delighted, powdery-whitened arms and hands mixed and mixed until they made a new discovery. It was hard — and wet! When they forcibly dug it up, crushing it between their chubby fingers, it was solid, hard. But after a few moments of inactivity it would melt away, escaping through the cracks of their fingers. (The scientific name for this actually is oobleck, or a non-newtonian fluid.)
It changed, it didn’t stay the same, it was confusing, a paradox! And they were ecstatic. This was the most fun they had ever had. I tried to explain to them, in their terms of course, the science and reason why. But what good are words and explanations when you have hands, touch, and movement already assaulting all your senses with delight? They didn’t really care why. They were just amazed, just thrilled, just delighted that it does.
And I wonder sometimes if in wanting too hard to just know, to just completely understand, to analyze until there are no more paradoxes — we kill our joy. Perhaps not understanding can be the most wonderful beauty of all.
Finish reading here on the Reb.
I have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions. Or perhaps it’s more of a love-hate-appreciate relationship? Let me explain.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become one of those people who love to be organized (which was an immense surprise to all parties involved). I schedule my day’s activities, I sort my study materials into little folders, and even my closet is (semi) categorized by season and color. There is an immense satisfaction in checking off the boxes of my to-do list, and one by one seeing the white emptiness disappear.
But there’s a problem. I love the idea of fulfilling my to-do list, of keeping my area decluttered, of staying organized, of having these grand New Year’s resolutions that help me to better my life.
But I am an utter failure at doing so.
Because every year, about a week or so (if I’m lucky) after January 1st, after we’ve all caught up on sleep and swept up the streamers, there comes That Day. Continue reading
Making our mark. We all want to do it. We want to do something big, something important; to change to world, to change lives. To be a brightly burning star, dashing across the sky, spraying light and sparks in a trail of glory behind us! — that is our dream.
And as Christians we still have this desire. Maybe it doesn’t manifest itself in the same ways: wanting to be a famous singer, becoming a billionaire, running for president; but we still feel it. There is still that title of important, world-changing Christian: the pastors, the missionaries, the rebelutionaries. Sometimes, in the words of my friend, we just “want to do something crazy, like drop everything, sell it all, and go be a missionary in a foreign country!”
And Amen and Hallelujah! If that is what God is calling you to do, go! Don’t let any complacency, concerns, or cultural standards stop you. We need more radical Christians, on fire for the Lord, following His call into the ‘craziest’ of situations.
But also don’t become caught in the lie that if you aren’t out on the mission field, you aren’t faithfully following Him. Continue reading
I love storms.
Something about the oncoming waves of thunder rolling towards you, the flashes which light up a world both unfamiliar yet exciting, and the changing cadence of rain pattering or pouring enthralls me. Continue reading
I’m frustrated right now. I’m upset.
I’ve watched our leaders run rough-shod over democracy, lie openly and blatantly about their actions and words, put themselves above the law, and ignore all rules of courtesy and even morality; and then watched the people of America accept it. I am persuaded that the Land of the Free, our glorious Republic, is coming apart. The United States of America is dying.
But, despite what you might think, this isn’t a political post.
Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth (Ps 119:90)
God is the Faithful. (Rev 19:11) It is an intrinsic part of His nature.
So today let’s look at how He is a faithful Creator, and Sustainer of the world. (1 Pet 4:19) Continue reading
Today I was supposed to write a post about how life is beautiful.
And that post will happen, because life certainly can be, as God’s common grace abounds in the loveliness of His creation.
But some days, life doesn’t feel beautiful. Some days it seems the whole world is going in a no good, very bad, terrible way. Like a top, we seem to be spinning more and more erratically, the horizon swinging up and down at the strangest angles, until at last we must fall over completely. Continue reading