Equip

Be Not Afraid…

I’m not sure about you, but it seems that fear is a pretty big issue these days. We are surrounded by people telling us what we should be afraid of and why. The Christian radio is singing about fear not owning us, as if breaking up with fear is that easy.

And Scripture is constantly telling us to not be afraid. God says this to both Moses and Joshua multiple times. The angel says it to Mary. Jesus tells it to his followers. Do not be afraid.

So clearly, it is not a new issue. But simply saying “do not be afraid” doesn’t give us much to work with.

How do we go about overcoming fear in our lives?

Sweet Dreams

“You’ve got to be careful believing what you think.” That’s the statement Andy Andrews made from the stage that began the long, slow gut punch that had me uncomfortable in my seat for over an hour. I felt exposed, and it only got worse as he continued with his next statement: “Open your mind to […]

Exact Same Dad

He and his dad pack days worth of food, cold-weather gear, and shovels and hike into the mountains. They’ve bought special sleeping bags that keep you toasty below freezing. They choose the perfect patch of deep snow and dig out the perfect cave, complete with sleeping platforms, to call home for the next few days. Each cup of coffee is brewed with melted snow over a small camp stove, each meal rehydrated the same way.

She and her dad hop into the truck early one morning, travel mugs full of coffee hot from the Keurig, and set out towards the Olympics in search of snow. Forgetting all about packing a lunch, they drive until they find the old logging roads he used to travel during hunting seasons past. The truck takes them as high as the road will go, where they find a red picnic table and far-away views of Mt. Rainier.  

When I was a young girl, I secretly harbored a curious fascination with incense. With wide-eyed wonder, I watched the priest carefully open the lid of the gold-plated incense burner. Smoke rose from the burning coals held within. His lips moved in silent prayer as he sprinkled the fragrant incense over the coals. He closed […]

Peacemakers

I’m a teacher and one of the subjects I teach is computer science. Not long ago a friend asked me what I thought the biggest challenge for the body of Christ is in this digital age. I didn’t have to think about this one at all. I firmly believe that our biggest challenge is found […]

The Perfect Idol

Twice in the last few months it hit me that most of my prayers for myself could be summed up something like this: God, please make me better. Even the prayers for closeness to the Father and the efforts to read Scripture are consistently invested toward this goal: More holy, less flawed. Both times it […]

Awkward Hugs and God’s Embrace

I am an awkward hugger.

In the short span of a hug, questions fly—millions of thoughts wreaking havoc in my mind:

Do my arms go over or under? Or do I do the side hug? What on earth, do I do with my hands? Do I turn my head? Ugh. Do I smell bad? No? Good. Yes, this is good. Nope. Too long. How long do we hug? How do I end the hug? Who is supposed to end the hug first? Am I supposed to be thinking this much?

 It appears that I can’t seem to simply rest in an embrace.

Hiding the Broken Things

Here, in your presence, I am not afraid of brokenness.
To wash your feet with humble tears,
O, I would be poured out ‘til there’s nothing left.

I just want to wait on You, my God.
I just want to dwell on who You are.

-Kari Jobe, “Beautiful”

As a child, I hid the broken things.

One Christmas, I accidentally beheaded a ceramic figure from my grandmother’s nativity set. (It wasn’t Jesus, so I lived to tell the tale). I simply placed the head back on and walked away. Weeks later, as we put away the Christmas decorations, I feigned shock and disbelief upon the discovery of the broken figurine.

Another time, it was a bookshelf. I flipped the shelf over and strategically placed items of a specific weight to balance out the offended side. I had forgotten about it until I packed my room for college – I didn’t have to fake my shock, but I did hide my culpability.

The Magic of Going All In

Have you ever had a jellyfish fight? It’s like a snowball fight, but slimy. Instead of the brisk burst of thousands of powdery ice crystals hitting your cheek and tickling your neck, you get slapped with something like a wet Jello jiggler that smells like the ocean.

Moon jellies are a clear, non-stinging jellyfish that we have in the Puget Sound. Every once in awhile a tide will come through carrying hundreds more jellies than normal. If you just happen to be 10 and spending a weekend at the family beach cabin with cousins and friends during one of those tides, the only thing that makes sense is to fill your t-shirt with jellies until it stretches to your knees and wage war.

Have you ever skipped a sand dollar across the water’s surface? They’re infinitely better than any flat stone. Or tipped a rock to see dime-sized crabs scurry? Or filled a jar with sea glass? Or paddled a canoe late on an August night watching fish swim under the surface sending trails of tiny phosphorescent diatoms that glow and sparkle like pixie dust?

Terrified, But Doing the Brave Thing

One of my favorite rides in Disneyland is the Indiana Jones Adventure. The ride’s grand opening to the public happened during my very first trip to Disneyland. After a three hour wait, we were among the few hundred people to ride the highly anticipated new attraction. It was a glorious adventure! I don’t remember it […]