Tag Archives: #writing

GO GIVE LIFE!

17 Jul

Wordle Picture Acts

Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” –Jesus

A fun little reminder of the mission Jesus left for us.

What’s inspiring you today?

1 Thing

15 Jul

One thing, can it really change anything?

It can, I’m proof.

One little change to a daily routine can send ripples through eternity.

One rock can change the current of a river.

One change can transform a marriage.

One change can bring a family closer.

One change can reveal the power of God.

One change can unlock the mysteries of heaven.

One change can radically alter the outcome of a life.

One change can redirect an army.

One change can turn the tide in a war.

One change can lead you down a different path.

One change can save a life.

 

What is this one change?

 

It started with a slumber.

The end effect was rage.

A lie had held us captive and screamed, you can never change!

The odds seemed overwhelming.

The list was far to long.

But HOPE was ever stirring, and LOVE had come with dawn.

Like a raindrop in an ocean, a tiny change proposed.

Lives forever altered by one change, this I know.

One change can rejoice heaven.

One change can enrage hell.

One change can change everything, but who can ever tell?

photo

 

If you liked 1 Thing, check out This Mess.

 

 

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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Today

12 Jul

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Today I’m going to live.
Today I’m going to do something I don’t usually do just to do it.
Today when I go to the sushi place, I’m not going to order the teriyaki bowl-you know, because I hate sushi, but I’m ordering sushi.
Today I’m going to gag.
Today I’m going to look people in the eyes as I walk down the street.
Today I’m going to believe the best.
Today I’m going to fail and believe the worst.
Today I’m going to believe the best again.
Today I’m going to laugh.
Today in going to make fun of something I shouldn’t.
Today I’m going to feel bad I made fun of something I shouldn’t.
Today I’m going to wish I wouldn’t of posted that thing on Facebook.
Today when that guy at Walmart tells me how horrible his life is, I’m going to ask him if I can pray for him.
Today I’m actually going to pray for him.
Today I’m going to hope-the bible kind of hope.
Today I’m going to believe God CAN.

What are you doing today?

I actually ordered this!

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Okay, I lied. I ordered this.

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The proof I ate it.

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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

Momentous Redemption

21 Jun

Wordle: Redemption

There are some things that stay with a person for a life time. No matter how hard you try to ignore, cover up, or just plain deny, some experiences burrow into the dusty crevices of the inner chambers of our hearts, leaving lasting impressions that secretly shape the foundations of everything we believe about the world, people, and most importantly ourselves. For most of us these impressions are formed early in our childhood and have a subtle craftiness to whisper doubts, fears, and accusations into our every thought, leaving us almost completely unaware of their lasting impact upon our lives.
No other experience has shaped and molded me more during the impressionable years of my Redemption Blog Pic 1childhood as the slow abandonment of my father. It hasn’t been until recent years that I’ve realized the effects of that abandonment on my heart and how it’s shaped almost every aspect of my life, including how I view God. Sadly, like a solitary drop of rain exploding in an ocean of water, my story is only one amongst millions of others that have yet to be told.
It was on a summer trip to Kansas of all places, where in the quietness of my soul, and the companionship of a best friend, that I discovered an invitation to be initiated into the greatest journey of my life, being fathered by the Father of Fathers. It was in a small two bedroom apartment in the middle of nowhere that the voice of God spoke courage into my fearful heart, and inspired me to look at the tragic experiences of my life through the lens of His love.
Like many who have gone before me, it was in the bareness of a desert that the Father extended a ladder to reveal his love, but as with Jacob long ago, it was not without a wrestling in my soul, and brokenness in my hip. Picture2Like a physician resets a broken bone, for years, God has been taking me back into the broken seasons of my life, especially the abandonment of my father, and showing me how he has always been there and always will be. It has taken the courage of His spirit to re-enter those dark places of my soul, but through obedience directed by love, my true Father has been sweeping out the voices lurking in the darkness, and searing truth upon my heart. A Whistle in the Dark: The Adventures of Eaner Pickernan, is a processing of that journey.
            In my wildest dreams, I could have never imagined that in the process of this journey of those dark painful years, I would not be traveling alone, but that my dad would be on the journey with me. When God enters those painful areas of our lives, it’s not enough just to bring us back into the memories, but He has to bring us back to the emotions. We have to hear with our souls. We have to feel what we felt. The searing knife destined to make the crucial cut was none other than my dad himself, and I too the knife in him.
            Although the story of my abandonment is filled with trauma, it is by the elegance of Gods handiwork that Picture3His grace is revealed to not only the victim, but the perpetrator. In this He weaves together a tapestry made of moments that, isolated, tell a story of pain and loneliness, but as a whole, of God’s momentous redemption in which the end story beautifully outshines the tragedy that enveloped it.

Disappearing Acts: A Whistle In The Dark Teaser

24 Apr

His heart felt like it was going to beat out of his chest, and he knew if he didn’t act soon, he might not act at all. He counted to three slowly and then jumped up shocking the ducks like he was a human jack in the box with a gun. The sound of fluttering thunder filled the air as the ducks fled for their lives. Eaner’s legs wobbled slightly as he lifted his gun and took aim. Nervousness told him to shoot quickly before they were gone, but his dad’s reminder of the time he had steadied his trigger finger while he took aim. He flashed back to the round clay disc as he locked in on the bird letting his gun move a steady trail just ahead of the ducks projected flight pattern. His finger squeezed as he felt the instant impact shock his shoulder quick and powerfully, but not letting the force detour the guns pattern of motion until he saw the duck flutter and nose dive towards the golden brown ground. Just thinking back on it all lifted his countenance and brought a large grin to his face, but it slowly disappeared as the realization hit him that it would never happen again. His dad would never be able to take him duck hunting, or fishing, or too his favorite thing ever, a St. Louis Cardinals game.

The Trouble With Poetry by Billy Collins

21 Apr

The Trouble With Poetry

The trouble with poetry, I realized as I walked along a beach one night–
Cold Florida sand under my bare feet, a show of stars in the sky–

The trouble with poetry is
that it encourages the writing of more poetry, more guppies crowding the fish tank, more baby rabbits hopping out of their mothers into the dewy grass.

And how will it ever end?
Unless the day finally arrives when we have compared everything in the world to everything else in the world,

and there is nothing left to do
but quietly close our notebooks and sit with our hands folded in our desks.

Poetry fills me with joy
and I rise like a feather in the wind.
Poetry fills me with sorry
an I shrink like a chain flung from a bridge.

but mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry,
to sit in the dark and wait for a little flame to appear at the tip of my pencil.

And along with that, the longing to steal, to break into the poems of others
with a flashlight and a ski mask.

And what an unmerry band of thrives we are, cut-purses, common shoplifters, I thought to myself as a cold wave swirled around my feet
and the lighthouse moved its megaphone over the sea,
which is an image I stole directly from Lawrence Ferlinghetti-to be perfectly honest for a moment–

the bicycling poet of San Francisco
whose little amusement park of a book
I carried in a side pocket of my uniform
up and down the treacherous halls of high school.

By Billy Collins

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