Monday, November 29, 2010


Yes, this post will involve a shout out to a (very well made and funny) Disney movie: Tangled. Because, you see, I saw it this weekend.

Twice. (it was good, kay?)

But something kept me smiling that really had nothing to do with the movie. Because, you see, as I sat there watching the two characters fall in love in the course of 1.5 hours and actually realize that they were, in fact “MFEO” (made for each other) while singing a song that they both happen to know (and be totally perfect for the moment) together (yes, much of that sencence was sarcasm…), I sat and listened to the lyrics of said “love song”:

And at last I see the light
And it's like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it's like the sky is new
And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once everything looks different
Now that I see you

And it truly actually broke my heart…because, what was wanting to burst out of me was this:

And at last I see the Light
And it's like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the Light
And it's like the sky is new
And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once everything looks different
Now that I see You

I smiled because all I kept hearing in my head was me singing this…to the One who has wooed me and rejoiced over me and called me His beloved. And it truly broke my heart to think that this song was written by someone who saw that the truest form of love was between a man and a woman. And it was being heard by many people who would hear that and wish that they, too, would be able to feel that same feeling towards another and have a “magical” moment much like dear Rapunzel and Flinn.

And my heart soared because I knew that I had already experienced that love. My eyes shone when I heard those lyrics because I knew exactly what she was singing about.

And my heart hurt for those who have never been told of the Father’s love for us. And my countenance fell when I thought of those who felt alone or unable to feel that love because they hadn’t found “the one." And my eyes drooped when I knew that I was not exempt from sharing that Love with others.

“For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:13-15

If you have never heard it before, Jesus loves you. He loves you more that the movies can portray and will love you beyond this life. We, having sinned in these lives of ours, were separated from Him, who is Light, because darkness cannot commune with light. But He made a way for us to once again be brought to Him. He came down to this world and lived a sinless life. He died a sinners death. He rose again and conquered death on the third day, therefore taking our place and giving us a way to be at peace with Him.

The bible says that we are to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that He was raised from the dead and we will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). Confess to the Lord that you are a sinner, ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. Accept His free gift and sing along to Him as you recognize that He is the truest Light you will ever see…

And at last I see the Light
And it's like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the Light
And it's like the sky is new
And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once everything looks different
Now that I see You

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Before writing posts each day, I stop and ask myself “how has the Lord shown me His love today?” Many days, specific things come to mind. Many times it has to do with the people He has brought into my life, with an unexpected blessing of the day, with a lesson taught or a lesson learned…He is always blatantly showing me His love.

But, what about those days when I am mostly just me-focused and striving to get through the day? What about those days when it’s all I can do to not think about hitting the pillow at the end of the day, forgetting my quiet time? Or, the days where all my focus goes into filling hours or minutes up with unnecessary movies, TV, music, or reading?

Yea…yesterday was kind of like that. I stopped at the end of the day and realized just how self-focused and non-God-centered I really was. I worked all day—but was I doing it for the Lord? I even dressed up in order to instill some “holiday cheer” into our day-after-Christmas work environment—but did I do that to honor the Lord? I made two batches of cookies last night—but was it to please man or God? I had a smile on my face, a skip in my step, and a joke on my tongue all day—but again, I ask: did I smile because I knew the Lord? Did I skip knowing how much He loved me? Was my attitude one of jovial bliss because He showed Himself to me?

Or, was I smiling because it is expected? Did I skip to bring focus to myself? Did I cook and clean and wear a silly outfit to please those around me? Was I working out of obligation? Did I maintain a good attitude merely to be a good example?

When my day is me-centered first, others-centered second, and Christ-centered third it is an awful lot harder for His love to ring out loud, true, and clear.

Which is why you didn’t get a post yesterday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A work in progress.

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; do not forsake the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8

Can you say this with conviction? With known promise?

Do you believe that you are a perfect work in progress?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


What if we lived our lives with a purpose? One single purpose:

“He has shown you, Oh man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you? But to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly in His ways.” Micah 6:8

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…” Mark 12:30

When you wake up in the morning, what are you purposing to do?

When you are driving to work, what purpose do you have in your car?

When you are talking with friends, eating lunch, going to church, taking a walk…to what purpose?

The greek word purpose that we see in this verse as well as a variation of it in this verse is defined as

1) to place before, to set forth

a) to set forth to be looked at, expose to view

b) to expose to public view

2) to set before one's self, propose to one's self

a) to purpose, determine

In all you do, in all you say today, what are you setting forth to be looked at? What are you exposing to view publicly in your actions?

Do your actions scream “I am a child of the living God”? Or do they say “me, me, me”?

Do you live your life with His purpose, setting the Lord before yourself or somewhere between you and your other priorities?

What if we chose to live that purposeful life? What if we saw our actions, thoughts, relationships, even jobs as a way to set the LORD forth to be looked at? What if we used every opportunity to expose HIM into full public view? How would that look in your life?

I know for me, this means being less neutral in my actions and more purposeful in what I am choosing to spend my time doing.

And again I ask, how would that look in your life? I would love to know how to pray for you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What child, you say?

Christmas time is (almost) upon us.

One thing I am thankful for is the way this time of year gives us every reason to bring our conversations, thoughts, and hearts back to our Savior.

“O come, o come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel.” The Lord Jesus came to ransom (save) Israel (His beloved) from their captivity (sin).

“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed…” He was born more lowly than us in order to be servant of all.

Oh, star of wonder…guide us to thy perfect Light.” Even the heavens spoke of His coming. His perfect light that shines outward and pierces the darkness in each of our hearts can be heard even with our eyes.

“What child is this who lay to rest in Mary’s arms while sleeping?” It is Christ…our King. The one who came to this earth, led a perfect life, died on the cross a death that He didn’t deserve but one that every sinner does.

We are that sinner. We are the ones who deserve death for the things we have done. We are the ones who cannot live a perfect life and, therefore, cannot live in communion with a perfect God.

He is that Savior. He is Christ the King. He is the payment for our sin that we may be found perfect in God’s eyes. He is the one that was to come to this earth to bring to us a way to heaven.

“…and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6

He loves me enough to give me a time each year where many songs, many traditions, many events have the opportunity to be about Him.

He loves me enough that He reminds me, year after year, what it took to love me.

What child is it, you ask and sing? Only the most important one you will ever know.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bring forth and bud!

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11

I am always reminded of this verse when the rain comes down so hard it drowns out any other sounds around me. Or, also, in those times that you take one miniscule step outside and you are dripping wet for the rest of the day.

It’s during those times that I can smile knowing that God is at work, causing the soil to be nourished and the trees and flowers and grains to sprout that they can flourish, bud, and provide food for us.

And, because God loves us, we can look at this verse and be made aware of how, in times of storms that come flooding our lives on occasion, we can smile knowing that God is at work in us…causing us to take root and our soil to be nourished with Him and allowing us to sprout in due time that we may flourish, bud, and serve those around us.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

tantrums, tears, etc.

(friday’s post…whoops)

Acting like a five year old is to metaphorically throw your arms in the air and flail them around, all the while screaming or pouting (you choose) and doing a little stomp dance with your feet. It is an attempt to get your own way, in your own time, and at your own leisure.

It is the epitome of selfishness and pride, thinking you are the only one that matters.

Acting like a five year old as a daughter of God is to then be gently and firmly chided for your actions and coming to the Lord with tears of remorse and sorrow knowing that what you did was wrong. It is finding comfort in His arms and asking His forgiveness.

It is receiving from Him the gifts that He seeks to pour out on us even in those times that we know (without a shadow of a doubt) that we don’t deserve them.

It is the epitome of love and grace, knowing that you are the only one that matters to Him.

What a beautiful God we serve.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sometimes it requires less…

Sometimes, the Lord loves me enough that He has to break my legs to get me to remain where I am…in His arms.

Sometimes, He has to remove things from my life because He loves me enough that He doesn’t want those things fighting for my attention.

Sometimes, I don’t like the process and I want to keep walking on my broken legs or looking for those removed items.

Sometimes, it hurts.


My friend told me this today: “Erika, He loves you and that’s why. That’s all you need to know. You can struggle or you can surrender. You can hate it or you can enjoy it. Regardless, you’re in a good place right now and He’s not done…”

Thanks, friend, I needed to hear that.

She also told me that being and resting in the Lord is often harder than doing and acting for the Lord.

It requires time, patience, vulnerability, focus. It requires a dying of my natural tendencies to be around people.

It requires me.

And it starts with knowing that He loves me enough to want to spend that time with me.

Just me. And Him.

Wow, what love.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jacob didn’t deserve it

Think of it as a Hollywood film ad: (cue suspenseful music)


Two brothers. One birthright.

One the rightful heir, the other an undeserving second choice.

Who wins?


Sometimes, I feel like Esau. I deserved that >insert what I think I deserved here< and it was taken from me. I was the rightful and justifiable recipient of that >amazing thing< and someone else got to enjoy it instead of me.

And then, I remember, I am one of God’s chosen. He knew me before I was born. He rightfully chose me to be His since before time began.

I am Jacob.

Undeserving, selfish, conniving, heal-catching Jacob. I didn’t deserve salvation and He handed it to me, free of (my) charge. I am never justified or rightfully considered a recipient of anything good and beautiful, except that God chose to give me every good and perfect give (James 1:17).

The more I think about it, the more I realize that Jacob, in all his second-hand, fleshly-spirited, deceitful glory…got exactly what God wanted to give him and it had absolutely nothing to do with who he was. If it were about Jacob’s actions, there would have been consequences. If it were about getting what we deserve, Esau would have been the heir to his fathers land.

But it isn’t, is it? It is about God and about His sacrifice. It is about His life laid down for us that we could spend eternity with Him. It is about recognizing that there is nothing we can do in this life to deserve the beautiful birthright that is laid up as treasures in heaven for us.

It is about winning…

…by grace alone.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Temple Toning

Our body is the temple of the Living God. Don’t believe me? Read 1 Corinthians 3:12-23. Believe that. And so, as that is the case, how are you keeping your temple toned these days?

The human body consists of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual: the body, mind, and soul.

SOUL: Who is first in your life? How are you able to receive God’s love for you…and how are you returning that love to the One who deserves it? Have you given your soul to the One who created it, that you can spend eternity with Him?

MIND: are you daily challenging yourself to know God more? Are you disciplining your mind and your thought life to dwell on Him, meditate on His word, and seek Him more than any other being or thing around you?

and, finally…

BODY: are we, as the temple of the Lord, treating our physical body in such a way that reflects our love for the One who created it? Are you eating right? Are you exercising? Are you aware of and cautious towards those things that may affect your body in an ungodly way?

Today, I am aware that the Lord loves me enough that He created me: body, mind, and soul. His love for me is reflected in the way He spent time creating me (Psalm 139:13-18) and I want to be able to praise and worship Him with every inch of my being and that includes every aspect of my body.

Lord, thank you for making me who I am. Give me strength and pour your grace out on me as I strive to honor you with this temple you have given me. Amen

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

flexibility is my friend.

Those in my life know that I can be a pretty stubborn person.

They also know that I don’t do well with sudden change…that I am not in control of.

But when it comes to those around me in need of some quality fellowship…I hope I am known as the friend that will drop everything to be there.

And I would, once again, like to welcome flexibility to be a part of my life…one of my inner circle friends…and to always keep me bending so that I will not break.

Because it is in those moments of being flexible that I am out of control of the situation…and HE is in complete control. Those are the times I am at my best: where I have decreased that He may increase.

Dear Father, become more and more. I ask You to make me less and less. Mold me, bend me, break me…to be more like you: flexible. Amen.

The fruit of the Spirit.

It is not contrived and it is not forced. It comes from abiding. From dwelling and waiting. A tree doesn’t fall asleep one night and the next morning there is a fresh, new, and ready to eat apple hanging on its branches.

Fruit takes time to be nurtured, to grow, to survive storms and heat. Fruit eventually reaches that moment of fruition where it is in full bloom and ready to be shared.

And that comes from abiding.



Today in church, we were in Galatians 5 and the Lord was pounding home the emphasis that I am to abide in Him and He will take care of the rest.

In the middle of that, I looked down at my bracelet. On it is a little birdie sitting on a branch and underneath it says “…dwell”. I bought it and had it made as a reminder for me to “dwell in His land and feed on His faithfulness” as Psalm 37:3-7 speaks of.

And again, I was reminded of how not only does the Lord ask us to sit, wait, dwell…BE with Him, He also reminds us of it when we forget.

So, for today, I will dwell.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Silence is deafening and peaceful. It is welcoming and painful. It can be cut through with a knife or swallowed by the spoonful. Sometimes, silence is necessary. Sometimes, it is unwanted. Often times, we could use more of it. Rarely, it is asked for.

The bible tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I like to translate this in my mind as “shut up and you will be able to hear so much more than your own presumptuous thoughts.”

I have been silent on my blog for over a month. On purpose? Yes. Acknowledged? Of course. Significant? Not really.

You see…when I first started this blog I asked for accountability in allowing this blog to only glorify my Lord and not myself. And as I think about sharing things on this blog, I am called to filter it through the question of “who is this glorifying: you or Him?” When that answer didn’t satisfy my conviction, I chose to stay silent. It was painful and refreshing.

I want to share with you the ways the Lord has blessed me. I want to write down the ways that He charms me and loves me. I want to attempt to put into words the ways He seeks me out each and every day.

And it’s not always going to be a Holywood film. It’s not (ever) going to be a Christian romance novel. It probably will seem mundane and insignificant to you. But to me, it proves that I am still His Beloved. It reminds me that He cares enough to walk with me down the street and see a flower along the path.

I read this blog a few days ago. She talks about the In-Between times…those times that aren’t important enough to be written down or insignificant enough to be shown in a film. The times where we are simply “abiding in Christ” as John 15 talks about…and I completely resounded with it. I am an in-betweener right now and the Lord has called me to see the beautiful significance of abiding, surviving, waiting, and holding on.

And so, from now until the end of the year, I am challenging myself to take time each day to reflect on the Lord’s love for me. To chronicle those insignificant times of surviving so that I can thrive by abiding in Him.

To give words to the silence.

Will you join me?

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14