Saturday, June 20, 2009


Under Babylon’s sky we unite
Come together
Come together
And the fellowship we share,
a fragile dichotomy
Of self-worship and the promotion of others’ self-worship

Under Babylon’s sky we unite
Philosophers, priests, pleasure seekers, pagans,
We come together
As powerful and mighty and godless
We raise our fists to the sky
And sing our songs of independence
And praise the paths we’ve carved for ourselves
So different, yet so the same

Under Babylon’s sky we unite
We’re fierce and we never change
From Cain, our first son,
To Descartes, Sinatra, and Nietzsche
No God, I’m God, Dead God
The chant echoes from the deepest parts of man
Through the ages,
Through the races, creeds and nations

Under Babylon’s sky we unite
Her son has blinded
Her heat has deluded
Her sand has scraped the pupils dull

Mercy would be a broken tower
Mercy would be divided fellowship
Mercy would be different languages

Pray for Mercy under Babylon’s sky

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crazy Love

I've been reading this book, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.

And when I say reading, I don't mean pick it up before bed and leisurely read a chapter.

I mean, brace myself for convicting truth, read a page or two, put it down, and pray. Sometimes weep. Sometimes repent.

The book's message has arrested my thought life. It's become a force that causes me to wrestle with self-assessment like never before.

I've invited the Holy Spirit to search me, my lifestyle and my worldview. To make me see ministry and discipleship a little more objectively. A little more through the lens of scripture.

I may blog later on specific issues the book has raised, but for now I invite you to join me!

If you're looking for some junk-food fiction (which I do read), this isn't it. If you're looking for a catalyst for your relationship with God, this may be it.

Let me know if you get it! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Styrofoam for Jesus

My husband is a pastor.

My husband is more outgoing than I am.

My husband likes people.

This isn’t to say that I don’t.

This is to say that we have people over for dinner.

A lot.

Tonight, it’s our new neighbors from across the street.

With women and hosting, I’ve found there tends to be a high standard we hold ourselves to. And, really, it’s just us women who hold us women to that standard. Men don’t care because men don’t even notice.

This is the standard, for dinner, that I’m talking about:

Clean floors, clean counters, no dishes in sink (because we all do them immediately after each meal, right?). Toys are in appropriate bins and there’s no pee on the guest toilet rim (because we clean that bathroom religiously, right?). Just in case the Woman who’s coming over wants to see how the Child’s room is painted, that’s tidied up, too.

Well, out of need to preserve my love of people over for dinner, I’ve modified that standard:

The house is decently cleaned, I don’t care about Carter’s room, and dinner is simple. I mean, simple. Neal grills chicken, I throw some frozen potato wedges in the oven and we might have a salad. If I’m up to it.

We no longer eat on real plates.

It’s Styrofoam all the way, baby. And those red Solo cups, complete with a Sharpie for labeling names to appease the compulsive teacher in me.

This is how I preserve my sanity. This is how I lower the standard so I can focus on the people we’re hosting and the connections being made.

Some Martha Stewarts out there might be able to do both. Perfection and genuine connections over dinner.

Well, that’s not me. I have a feeling, though, it might not be a lot us Women either.

What if we lowered the standard, risking silent judgment, for the sake of having dinners more often? What if we truly focused on the people coming over, and less on our ability to impress?

What if we did Styrofoam for Jesus?


Over the past couple weeks, I’ve sensed God calling me to Himself. It’s not that I’m in a place of rebellion, or even apathy.

There’s just more to be had.

More of God.

More of myself to give to God.

What does this look like for me? It’s more regular time, away, by myself, with the intent to focus on God.

It’s reading a psalm

and then praying it aloud to God.

It’s putting on a quiet worship song and getting on my face.

It’s taking in the lyrics.

It’s sometimes singing them.

It’s talking to God about all the stuff weighing down my heart.

And, then the best part…

I get quiet.

By this time, I’ve emptied myself of petitions and requests and please-do-this’s.

Most of the time, when we’re “done praying,” we’re done. We get up, move on, and check God-time off our list.

I’ve been stopping, though. And waiting. And staying beyond that point.

It has become the sweetest part.

The most saturated with the Spirit.

It’s in the quietness that I sense Him most.

That I remember who he is.

That he silently assures me of who I am before him.

It’s in the quietness that I regain my strength, my vision, my focus.

My heart is renewed and energized and

At peace.

Once again.

God told his people through the prophet Isaiah,

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength

And I’m discovering its truth all over again.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Last week, one of my dear friends had her second baby. As we sat in the hospital room, passing him around, she commented, “I think he looks so much like his sister!”

(I don’t have this skill. God forgot to give it to me. All babies, including my own, look like squooshed, little red prunes. I can’t see my nose, or my husband’s chin, or great-grandpa’s forehead. I missed that boat.)


It amazes me how universal the drive is to compare these hours-old, little human beings to who they’re related to. And no wonder! God was the first. He said, to Himself, “Let us create man in our image!” Let’s make something that looks like us, and then search for the similarities! That was God’s idea of fun.

The point is, we, including God, like this idea of others reflecting back to us who we are. God’s purpose for us is to look and act more and more like his son. And we still celebrate when a mannerism of our children, or a physical characteristic, represents someone we love. Especially if that someone is us.

I think this is why we like beautiful people. On TV, in magazines, at church. We gravitate towards beautiful people and that’s a fact. Jessica Simpson has almost 500,000 people following her on Twitter. Do you think it’s because they’re awaiting some profound comment about the world’s events? She’s beautiful, so we pay attention.

We use others as our mirrors.

If I can look around me and see there are successful, smart, attractive and talented people (and there are—I love you all!), then I can deduce the same about myself. It’s an unspoken rule of this world. Have you ever noticed how people marry in the same league? Or, when they don’t, we notice? Think about high school. And all of those cliques. There were unspoken (sadly, sometimes spoken) rules about who did and did not belong.

Because those mirrors are important. They have to stay in tact for the security of all.

While that’s all normal for the world, there’s a new normal for the Christ-follower. Our mirror, our answer to who we are, should be Jesus. When I stand before Jesus, he answers all of those questions—Am I beautiful? Am I valued? Do I have something to offer? What is my worth? He affirms me, from the deepest places of my soul, and sets himself as the ultimate Mirror.

With this new standard of comparison, I’m set free. Set free to love, to serve, to spend time with, to minister to, to accept friendship from anyone. The insecurities that came with my deepest questions have been settled.

A long time ago, a man was on a mission from God to choose Israel’s next king from a group of brothers. He gravitated toward the beautiful son, and God spoke loud and clear:

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Let’s start comparing ourselves to Jesus. To his image, to his character, to his success, to his beauty. As Jesus becomes our Mirror, we might even hear the Father boast of how much we look like Him.