Tag Archives: god

I Hear Voices

14 Jul

There are many voices rattling around in our heads. Which one’s are you listening too? If you like this post, go check out my post called “The Voice.

Mark Nicklas

At 38,000 feet over the North Sea, I am settling in for the long flight back to Portland from Amsterdam.  I want to talk about voices.  I don’t think I am unusual in saying that I hear voices.  The fact is, I’ve always heard voices – lots of them.  The churning of thoughts and ideas within is a cacophony of words.   They come from outside, from inside and from somewhere else.  There is a steady stream of them competing for my attention, often coming from points of confusion no different than my own.

voicesThe first voice I can remember is the voice of my mother.  She said amazing things to me; “you’re so good, you’re so handsome, you’re so wonderful…” There are times when I have failed or disappointed someone terribly and I really need to hear that voice.  Sometimes I will pick up the phone to hear it.  Other…

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This Mess

11 Jul

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My life’s a mess.
I woke up this morning and stepped on a pile of books.
I stumbled into the bathroom to take a shower, but had to remove a million toys from the tub.
A rubber ducky leaked on my leg.
I poured a bowl of granola, sat at the table, and felt something between my toes.
I wiped my brow in relief, it was only some black beans. It could have been much worse.
As I sat there crunching away I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about this beautiful mess called my life.
I smiled at the thought of Addie pouring oatmeal on her head as she learns how to use her spoon.
I thought about Ellie running out of the bathroom naked and sopping wet as she says, “I want Daddy.”
I thought about my beautiful wife who is adventuress enough to take a toddler and an infant camping, and then willing to document our disheveled self for all to see.
My life’s a mess.
Today, I’m embracing it.

You can embrace the mess today.
God’s willing to embrace you.
Regardless of your mess.

I won’t even tell you what my car looked like….

The Voice

10 Jul

ImageWhen was the last time you heard God speak to you?  Have you ever heard God Speak to you?  I have no doubt you have, but perhaps you didn’t know it.  It takes a trained ear to hear this voice, and unfortunately we have trained ourselves to dismiss it.It’s a voice that resonates in our soul.  It seems to come so swiftly and soft that it is like the whisper of the wind, and if our soul and spiritual ear is not ready, it will pass in a moment.

 The Word continually points us to this voice that speaks from heaven ever so gently.  It is the same voice that told Abraham to leave the comfortable life he knew so well, and to follow Him into a desert place.  The voice didn’t tell him where he would end up, only that he must go.  It’s the same voice that whispered to Elijah in the desert.  It spoke to Jeremiah when he was shut up in the court of the prison.  The voice has been speaking since the dawn of mankind, and it is still speaking today.

Have you ever heard this voice?

 It is the voice that led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted for 40 days, and it is the voice that strengthened him in his weakness.  It called fishermen to come and follow, and tax collectors to forsake their gain.  The voice knocked Saul of his horse, and led Stephen to his death.  It calmed storms, and outraged authorities.

Have you ever heard this voice?

            Make no mistake about it, the voice of God is not safe.  It led Daniel to the lions den, and Jeremiah to a pit.  It exalted Saul to the thrown, and led David into caves. It is the voice that told Peter to step out of the boat in a raging storm.  It’s not concerned with comfort, or popularity.  It’s doesn’t abide excuses, yet is gentle in its dealings.  It exposes every weakness and fear, yet empowers, and comforts.  The voice is never convenient, but always expedient.  It is eternal, and not earthly.

            Have you ever heard this voice?

            The voice thunders in a whisper.  It commands respect, but speaks as a friend.  It can be ignored, and even rationalized, but never silenced.  It is the voice that spoke the world into being, and brought breath to our lungs.  How is it that we have become content in not hearing this voice?

            Are we afraid to hear the voice?  It is true that this voice will lead you to the unknown, but will never leave you on the journey.  It will call you places you never wanted to go, but change your heart along the way.  The voice is unpredictable, and sometimes seemingly unfair, but always just.  It doesn’t give explanations, but when obeyed, it always gives peace.

              The voice will no doubt make us tremble at it hearing, but man was made to hear this voice.  It prods us in the night hours, and whispers to us in the morning.  It waits patiently for us to listen, but is often lost amidst the noise that fills our days. It is the voice of the bridegroom calling to his bride, and the father to his children.  The voice serenades us when we’re sleeping, and rejoices when we wake.  If only we’ll stop and listen, surely we’ll hear the voice.

              “A four year old girl was overheard whispering into her newborn baby brother’s ear, “Baby,” she whispers, “tell me what God sounds like. I am starting to forget.”  The voice will captivate your heart.  The only question that remains, is will you let it?

Warrior God

10 Jul

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Have you ever been hit with one of those reflective moments? A moment where you are brought face to face with the real you. No facades or pretenses about your faith, or like in this case, lack of. Just a raw moment of reality in which you see for yet a brief second how infinitely small you are.

For the last few weeks my wife and I have had a revival of prayer that has been sparked in our hearts. It all started with a little list on the fridge. Prayer used to be something I really gravitated towards. I say “used too” because for years my prayers were few and dead. It’s not that I didn’t pray, but I can say I didn’t war.

As in paced the floor in our condo tonight in little Anchorage, Alaska, I’ve been reminded of the power in spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare feeds the soul like nothing else. It joins us with Gods heart, if not for a moment at least, and aligns us with his desires.

When was the last time you warred in prayer?

Tonight, I’m convinced nothing will draw us as close to God as when we fight the fights He’s fighting. Tonight He’s reminded this wayward warrior that He meets us in prayer.

It’s in these moments of clarity, where Gods presence is so tangible, and his voice is so unobstructed, that I wonder…..

What kept me away?

What’s keeping you away?

The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name. Exodus 15:3

Underground Sanctuary’s: A Whistle in the Dark Teaser

19 Apr

“Over here.” Eaner exclaimed jumping off the side of the stairs next to the secret storm drain as Henry followed close behind.  “You’re going to get a little dirty,” Eaner warned, “but it’s totally worth it I guarantee.” “That’s okay; I don’t mind a little dirt.”  Henry stated, watching Eaner lower himself to the ground next to the entrance.  “Follow me.  There’s a little bit of a drop off, but it’s not bad.”  Eaner told him.  Henry just nodded and lowered himself to the ground as well, as Eaner disappeared into the hole.  Henry landed just as Eaner flicked on the flashlight, revealing the spectacular hidden world before them.  “Whoa!  What is this place?”  “It’s an underground storm drain that runs underneath the whole town.”  “This is so cool.”  Henry exclaimed.  “You haven’t seen anything yet.  Wait till you see my secret place.”  Eaner said, gesturing for Henry to follow him down the tunnel.  They approached the massive metal red door as Eaner grabbed his stashed tools out of the tin can, and began jimmying the door open.

Eaner had the door opened in a matter of seconds in usual fashion as he pulled with might exposing his sacred chamber to unsuspecting eyes for the first time.  Eaner watched Henry’s expressions of delight and awe like a proud parent on Christmas morning as he took in the magical sights and smells revealed to him.  He was speechless for a few moments as he took in the endless possibilities of adventure presented to him.  “This place is so awesome!” He said dumbfounded as he watched Eaner grab the lighter on the table next to the door and begin lighting the candles placed around the room.  “I told you this was the greatest place ever!”  Eaner replied.  “There’s more down here as well.  I’ve found so many amazing things.  Maybe you can help me gather more stuff for our fort too?”  “Yeah, that would be great!  We need some more furniture down here, and then we could just live here forever.”  Henry replied excitedly.   “Yeah, no kidding,” Eaner chuckled as he walked over to an old faded orange metal cabinet.  He twisted on the long slender handle jolting the door back and forth as it refused to relinquish its stubborn grip as Eaner put his full weight into the effort.  The bending door finally surrendered, sending Eaner shooting backwards from the sudden release.

Anniversary Dates You Didn’t Know Existed

18 Apr

Last night my wife and I brought our 1 year old over to some friends house for dinner. As new parents we are always freaked out about other peoples things since our little girl could careless about stuff and just wants to put it all in her mouth or throw it on the floor. Thankfully, last night was the perfect house to bring her since their living room was showcased with stuffed animals, Build-A-Bears to be exact, and a small wooden rocking chair placed in the dinning area just for her riding enjoyment. As my daughter man handled ever animal she could get her grips on, we soon discovered that every bear came with a story. Most of the animals were gifts, and after further conversation we realized they were anniversary gifts at that. Now, as a newlywed, I’ve discovered that the term ‘anniversary’ has a very loose definition that no man on the planet can define or fully comprehend. Remember that time in sixth grade when they separated the boy’s and girl’s to give you the ‘big talk,’ and each gender was wondering what in the world the other was hearing about. Well, I ‘m convinced that in that class all little girls were informed of anniversary dates that should be adhered too in a marriage relationship. These are not dates that will come up until after the wedding bells, so don’t try to figure them out before the big day. Remember these dates or suffer the consequences.

1. The First Date: I decided to start with an easy one. The first date is a no brainer, right? Well, this would be the case if you knew the first date. The fact is, you only think you know the first date. In her mind the first date actually started two days before the actual date. Why, you might ask? Well, remember that time you and her were out with a bunch of friends. You didn’t classify it as a date, but believe me, she did. If you don’t remember this date, which you won’t because you don’t even know when it is, you will be in the dog house. Good luck.

2. The First Time You Met: I bet you didn’t realize this was an anniversary. It is. Don’t make the mistake of over looking this crucial day, because if you do, you’ll be sleeping on the futon in the kids room. In your mind, this date ranks right up there with the first time you guys ate spaghetti together, but to her it’s the beginning of it all. If you don’t remember this date, find out quick.

3. The First Gift: One day you’re going to walk in the door from work and she is going to hand you a present. Panic will immediately set in because you’ll know you forgot something, and then she’ll remind you of the first present you ever gave her. It’s in this moment you’ll realize this is a special anniversary date you have forgotten. At this point it’s to late to do anything, but by now you’re starting to realize there are a lot of dates you don’t seem to have marked down. If you’re smart you’ll buy a couple presents, wrap them, and keep them in your car. This way you can always say, “Oh, I forgot your present in the car.”

4. The First Time You Met Her Parents: Remember this awkward day? This event is one of the official markers of commitment in her mind, so don’t forget it. The day she invited you over to meet the parents was actually the day you proposed and didn’t know it.

5. The First Time You Talked Marriage: Remember that time you were watching the Princess Bride, and that funny look guy that say’s “Mawage, is what bings us togeber today?” Well, that was your first official conversation about marriage and you totally missed it. I can only pray you don’t forget this while she’s pregnant.

6. The First Time You Talked About Having Kids: This one will be a challenge for you to remember because it wasn’t an actual conversation. You were at Best Buy getting ink for the printer and you saw a cute little kid and said something like, “Wow, that’s a cute little guy. I can’t wait to have kids.” She won’t even have said a word, but that date was just logged into the database in her mind as a new anniversary date you are now expected to celebrate.

7. The First Argument: I know what you’re thinking; why in the world would she remember this day? In her mind, the first argument marks the day your relationship went from being a surface level relationship to one of depth and true love. Forgetting this day is the equivalent of taking off your ring and stomping on it. Don’t do this.

8. The First Time You Didn’t Die: Remember that time you were driving home from her house and you got caught in traffic? You usually always call her to let her know you’re home, but that day you decided you didn’t need too. Well, the second you made the decision not to call was also the second she started thinking you were dead. With every passing minute she planned your funeral and her tragic life without you. Once she had figured out every last detail is when you finally got home and made the call. After an outburst of anger she then book marked that event into her mind as a day to remember forever. You forgot all about it, but she has immortalized the fact that you didn’t die.

9. The First Picture Together: Here is a day no guy remembers. In our digital age, the first picture was likely taken on your iPhone at Chipotle’s, but in her mind is was as significant as any wedding photo. You probably have guacamole on your lip, but she was mentally marking that photo as a day to celebrate.

10. The First Prayer: There is no doubt this was a significant moment, but once again she probably remember it differently than you do. You remember asking God to bless your burrito’s, but she heard was a quote from Pride and Prejudice. “Elizabeth quietly answered “Undoubtedly;” and after an awkward pause, they returned to the rest of the family. Charlotte did not stay much longer, and Elizabeth was then left to reflect on what she had heard.  It was a long time before she became at all reconciled to the idea of so unsuitable a match. The strangeness of Mr. Collins’s making two offers of marriage within three days was nothing in comparison of his being now accepted.  She had always felt that Charlotte’s opinion of matrimony was not exactly like her own, but she had not supposed it to be possible that, when called into action, she would have sacrificed every better feeling to worldly advantage. Charlotte the wife of Mr. Collins was a most humiliating picture! And to the pang of a friend disgracing herself and sunk in her esteem, was added the distressing conviction that it was impossible for that friend to be tolerably happy in the lot she had chosen.” Scary stuff, but that’s the significance of the first prayer.

11. The First Time You Hurt Her Feelings: This day will never be forgotten because you’re a big jerk. End of story.

12. The First Time You Made Up: Need I say more.

13. The First Time Of Her Parents Anniversary: I know, right now you’re saying ‘what?’ Yes, at some point you’re going to celebrate the fact that her parents fell in love and got married. It’s going to confuse you, but go with it. It’s not that you don’t want to celebrate things like this, but you just don’t know what is celebratory and what isn’t. At this point it’s time for you to throw out an anniversary date of your own just to switch things up a bit. This is an opportunity for you to celebrate something like the first ball game you took her too. Once you tell her of the date, she will then inform you that you have the wrong date, and then she will go grab the ticket stub to prove you wrong.

14. The First Time You Made Her Laugh: This is a day she celebrates because once kids come along there is just a lot of crying and sleepless nights. The fact you don’t remember the first time you made her laugh will make her cry though, so be prepared.

15. The First Time You Did The Dishes: Before getting married we only did the dishes once, and that was just to wash off the mold growing on the side of our coffee cup. We probably didn’t even use soap to get it off. So you can appreciate the fact she celebrates this day. The day represents the day you as a man were domesticated and transformed from a disgusting bachelor to a well mannered family man.

16. The First Diaper You Changed: She celebrates this day because of the comic relief involved in it all. For most of us men we had no idea our babies could poop on their heads, let alone poop a sticky paste that is impossible to wipe off. This is the one date you don’t need to remember. She is celebrating this one all on her own.

17. The First Time You Touched: This one isn’t what you think. Remember that time you took her to Starbucks and ordered a triple grande four raw sugar soy latte for her, which she takes to sips of, and when you handed her the cup your fingers brushed. You didn’t think anything of it, but she immediately went to the bathroom and tweeted sixteen of her friends about the encounter. I hope you enjoyed that touch because during pregnancy her favorite words will be, “Don’t touch me.”

18. The First Time You Held Hands: Finally, a day you can understand, kind of anyway.

19. The First Time You Danced: 90% of men try with all their might to erase this moment from their memory, but she won’t let you. She might even make you dance in the living room. No doubt you have forgotten the moves you learned for your wedding, but don’t worry, she’ll remind you.

20. ?

What’s the craziest thing you’ve celebrated?

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