Relationally Speaking

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
Freedom is a big deal to me. I tend to dislike things in life that feel like prison, being stuck, or trapped. For instance, group text messages feel like prison. Long board games can have a similar feeling. Don’t even get me started on indefinite parties. Feeling trapped in these settings seems trivial though compared to feeling trapped in relationships. Some things are relatively easy to avoid, but as humans we all were created relationally.
Being overly cautious or standoffish in relationships is not always a bad trait. It tends to make me more blunt with what is on my mind, which is one reason that the relationships I do…

Psalm 46


Love is an Action

To DO righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Proverbs 21:3
The people in Texas dealing with the ongoing effects of Hurricane Harvey have been heavy on my heart over the weekend. I have been praying for them, and now I’m feeling frustrated that I’m so far away. I would love to go volunteer, and I’m thankful when I keep hearing of the thousands of people near Texas jumping in to help. There are so many divisions for us to get sucked into, and I’m thankful that those divisions melt away during a crisis. Food distribution workers, housing opportunities for displaced people, and money donations are just some of the starting points to help out based on location. The easiest way is to get connected is through organizations that are trained and prepared to respond.

Set the Scene

Shakespeare is recorded to have said, “All the world’s a stage.” I don’t usually look at the world like that, but (for the context of this post) think of this world as a stage. I was in a school play in high school. Just as a little background, I was the quiet girl in the school that didn’t actually talk to many people and spent most of my time obsessing over grades and avoiding group situations. I’m assuming this is the reason I was cast as the murderer in a mystery play, considering no one would have predicted it to be me. As with everything on stage, the best acting is simply reacting to the events of a play.
In our lives that is what we do. Things happen, we react, and hopefully we move on. At times good things happen, but we all know how bad things can get. All of that is in God’s will, and He may not always be happy with what happens because we are living in a sinful, cursed world affected by our sin natures, but He allows it and is ultimately in control.
Ethically speaking, ta…

Read Scripture

When I was in Mexico, I found this app called ReadScripture. I was doing something
else right then for devotions, but I’m just starting over and this week I’ve finally
started using the app. It is a good way of reaching out to diverse learners,
combining visual, auditory, and kinesthetic parts for each day. It is such a
neat resource! It is also perfect to do along with teens and suggest for kids with smartphones. It gives reminders each day, and organizes Scripture to help readers see the big picture, Jesus Christ. 


Paradoxes have always been brain candy for me. I remember when I discovered the book Valley of Vision in college. It is a revised collection full of puritan poems, prayers, and devotions, and they seemed to enjoy paradoxes as much as I do by the way they write their poems. 
This past week I was reintroduced to a paradox that I discovered back in high school, and I have been so encouraged as I keep dwelling on it and praying about it. We all need to be broken in order to be made whole.
When reading the Scripture, God’s view of the proud and self-righteous person is strong. James 4:6 says that “God opposes the proud.” If you get a chance, take some time and do a word search through the Psalms of the words “break” or “broken.” God is pretty explicit about how He will break down the wicked, yet then in Psalm 34:18 it says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Here enters the paradox. Is it possible that God can be the one to break us and yet also be the o…