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Authentic worship is the daily pursuit of Jesus. Our lives and the paths they take are the landscape of the kingdom, and it is marked by figurative steep hills, deep valleys, and rushing water. Our journey on the path of life is music to God’s ears. When we live holy and pleasing to Him, the kingdom follows us. It transforms the mundane and ordinary into the glorious and extraordinary. Scripture teaches that, “Blessed are those whose strength is in [God], who have set their hearts on pilgrimage” (Psalm 84:5). We can sing beautiful songs, say shallow prayers, and love only within our own power and all we have simply received is a touch of God’s presence. To live a life of worship is to pursue a life immersed in Him. It is a life that takes a journey, not just one that raises a hand of dedication out of emotion. Worship is what we are called to TODAY.


We will never be fully satisfied until our worship settles on God. He made all of mankind with an eternal compass that’s magnetic pull is God-worship. Fighting the gravitation of it is futile. It will not go away. All of life will be lived in resistance until we surrender. When the worship that is innate to us is not directed toward God, it will land on something. Often that something is what makes us feel good: academics, success, attention, beauty, riches, or comfort. So many times we give our worship away to unworthy recipients and frequently we are the primary benefactor. It is important that we protect our worship. if we leave ourselves unguarded, the enemy will steal our worship by directing it away from God. We must not bow to something that isn’t God…not to fear, insecurity, failure, acceptance, comfort, friends, our spouse, stuff, or self. Only God is deserving of our worship.

– Taken from the Happiest Place on Earth as it is in Heaven (Chapter 3)

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Could it be that all the fairy tales we grew up loving, all the epic love stories, and all the heroic battles have taken their inspiration from the story of the kingdom of God? God has been telling a fantastic love story, a great adventure, from before time began. The King of the world chose us, He came knocking, and He’s calling us toward Him. Have we grown up too much to see it anymore? Do we still stand in awe of it? Do we even believe?

I think what must be revived most of all in the church is our ability to think like a child…to believe like a child…to see like a child. Disneyland is called “The happiest place on earth.” It’s such a great slogan. I think it should be the description of the kingdom of God. This life will never bring perfect happiness, but in living with God’s kingdom in mind, we can find a truly happy place.

We are called to bring the kingdom here to earth. We do that through our spiritual act of worship…living life as unto Him every day. Oh, that we would never settle for a touch but be ever immersed in such a simple faith. May we bring the kingdom of God here and find in it the happiest place on earth as it is in heaven.

– Taken from the Happiest Place on Earth as it is in Heaven.

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The Happiest Place on Earth as it is in Heaven$10.oo

Could it be that all the fairy-tales we grew up loving, all the epic love stories, & all the heroic battles have taken their inspiration from the story of the kingdom of God? We glimpse the almost magic-like power of His kingdom in the smile of a baby; the smell after the rain. It’s there in the holy moments of old love & in the promise of hope found in a new friend. A life of worship brings that kingdom here to earth every day… in the miraculous as well as the mundane. Jesus is standing at the door & inviting us on the greatest of adventures. When we embrace the childlike wonder of the kingdom of God, we can find a truly happy place in every season of life.

 




The Greatest Story Ever Told

$15.oo

 

All money collected from the sale of this children’s book goes to Hope House in Haiti. Hope House is an orphanage ran like a large family. In one of the poorest countries, they are some of the richest people I’ve ever met. They also run a free school of over 600 students, feeding each child daily, and a farm that’s aim is sustainability.

 




I would lose sleep at night if one of my children thought I had overlooked them. So, to prove mommy has no favorites, I must write a blog about Paige. It makes me glad to do so.
I so enjoy my children. I think enjoying them is one of the sweetest parts of parenting. I enjoy who they are, how they’re different, and how they are alike. A natural result of having these sweet babies is the overwhelming thrust to protect them…from everything. It’s important that we don’t enjoy or protect our children at the expense of their training into the mature Believers they are meant to be. I’m learning that God does no less with us, His beloved sons and daughters. He lets maturity have its perfect work in us. In the end we find the completion of this work is worth the difficulty of the journey.

My children are each so different, as all kids are. Megan has always been my grown up, or so she thinks. Hope has never gone gently into any night, or day for that matter, but Paige likes to take her time. She was my smallest baby but she had the loudest cry. She’s great strength in a small package.

Paige is my steady, consistent little girl. She is often the soil in which Hope finds her fun and creativity. She is like glue that holds things together, the kind that dries clear and most never knew it was there. But Sherman knows because he’d be lost without her care. She is my dreamer that supplies her baby sister with new games and fresh tales. Having them share a room was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’ve gone by their door at night and heard Paige telling Hope stories or singing songs to help her fall asleep. She seems to have an inexhaustible amount of ideas.
Paige is my sweet, constant reminder that I was God’s idea. He imagined me and I came to be. He is writing a uniquely crafted story with my life, and He’s dreaming out loud on every page. All the little and unseen things are like thread weaved together to make a brilliant collaboration of nonfiction. He is never in short resource of adventure and romance. I know…because I’ve lived these many chapters. This is my story.

The idea of being God’s story sparks my interest because I love to read. I’ve never sought out a good book with the sole purpose of getting to the end, because it’s about the journey. I understand this in literature. I know this and yet some days I get distracted trying to get somewhere when the reality is I’m already there, on the page of this day. God has let me learn this lesson in many hard ways. I think He wants it to stick because it’s that important.

There is a power in today that we forfeit when we live for tomorrow.

Lord God, You are enough on the page of today. Take as much time as You want. Dream, create, imagine. I’ll wait here until You’re done. For where else could I go when You have the very words of life.

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I’ve had a difficult week for reasons too many to tell and some too deeply seated to even put into words. A byproduct of my life’s calling, one I couldn’t forsake any more than I could refuse air in my lungs, is a constant awareness of depravity. I love what I do. Trying to do anything else would be equivalent to removing the blood that flows through my body. It’s part of my very existence; attached to me in ways that cannot be severed. It always has been. I see it as I look back, even into my childhood.

This unnerving awareness of things wrong is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about what I do, but still there are days…weeks….years it weighs heavy. I believe it’s the same for us all, in every vocation and in the sheer gravity of this human condition of ours. Deep in our hearts, I think we all know there is something waring against us…an enemy of everything good and right. That enemy wants us to feel alone in this. He wants us to suffer in silence, refusing help from those that could if we’d let them.

In the midst of much inner wrestling, God sent me several sweet gifts this week. The recent time change got the better of me and added to my struggle. Before bed last night I desperately asked God to reset me. I awoke this morning to a few blessings that did just that. One of those resets came at the hand of my first born. Thank You, Jesus, for the little victories. Thank You for the help.

She probably looks the most like me but has some the most unlike me characteristics. This is probably why we often go ‘round and ‘round and ‘round about everything. But if I’m digging deep and being honest, it might be the parts of her that are like me that further continue the cycle. If that young lady has taught me anything, it’s that together is better. God is romancing us and when we respond, we never have to be alone. Not only does He show up when we do, He’s also placed us in a big family…His family. We just have to embrace it and accept the help.

The principles of God are unstoppable. They are like the laws of gravity or inertia, like two plus two always resulting in four. They will do what they are meant to do. When we yield to their power, beautiful things happen. The body of Christ is such a mighty force that so many neglect. It does what it’s created to do when we allow it. It strengthens us, sharpens us, changes us, lifts us higher, and protects us from deception. Today, I am so thankful for those that God has placed in my life. They make me better. Together really is better.

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I love love the sound of little girls. They fill my home and heart each day. I thank Jesus He saw fit to entrust these particular ones to me for this time in their lives. My third born daughter is a bright-eyed, spunky little girl. Her name is Hope and she radiates the meaning of it in every moment. She flies in the face of fear and defies limitations. In her tiara, superhero cape, or with whatever she’s borrowed from the recycling can, she approaches each morning as a new opportunity to explore and create. She embodies what it is to believe…to dream…and to do it with tear-jerking kindness. Her very being shouts, “The best is yet to come.” She is ever in search of fresh glory around each bend like a vacationer on an adventure. That is what hope looks like and hope in Jesus does not disappoint.

That little girl is just one of the treasures I’ve been honored to uncover in my undying pursuit of more. Long ago, I set my life on a path adamantly opposed to any form of settling and, can I just tell you, Jesus has never disappointed me. Hope does not disappoint. Hope finds a way. I’ve seen Him do it countless times and I know He will do it again. It doesn’t matter what Facebook says or what the state of the world around us is in, Hope In Jesus Does Not Disappoint. It’s a fact beyond refuting. A principle that is unchanging.

We will find what we’re looking for. Look for hope. It’s all around; being offered daily. It’s in each sunrise and the flowers blooming. It’s often wearing flesh and coming unexpectedly. It’s sometimes quiet and sometimes loud. It’s there in the smell of spring. It can even taste like ice cream. The possibilities are endless when your eyes are open to it. Look for hope. Let it fill your heart. Let it fuel your pursuits. God is not slow in keeping His promises. Hope shows up right on time. Be on the lookout for it.

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All the processes of life are to perfect us. He says patience should have its perfect work so we can be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. He says He who began a good work in us is faithful to perfect it. That word perfect means many things. It means mature and complete which would be an entirely great place to stop but then there is another definition I just discovered. It also means: ready to apprehend divine things.

You want to know why sometimes it seems like God hides, why finding Him is like following pieces of bread crumbs? Because our seeking produces a maturity that makes us ready to apprehend divine things. That’s what I’m after. Just that.

God is not a God that can’t be found. Not only is He making us ready to hold greater glory, we are already in possession of a power that makes demons flee and moves mountains.

Dear Jesus, patience is not my favorite word, never has been, but I will make it my new best friend. I will press on until You finish every work You’ve started because I want to be ready to apprehend divine things. Make me ready. Do what needs to be done. Change what needs to be changed. May I use what’s already in my hands and keep them open to receive more of the divine.

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We know it deep in our bones…way down in our soul…in the places that are often covered up by routine, broken hearts, and fear. We know we were created for more, in the spot that’s never satisfied until we give it more of You. We were created in and for a wholly different kingdom, bound to return and this skin doesn’t always seem to fit just right. Sometimes this air feels too thin and these hearts too fragile.

But You, God…You are both the beginning and the completion of that…more. Not only do You invite us to a table prepared with more than we could ask or think, but You lead us there and then sit down to dine beside us.

I have set my heart on You. You are too lovely, this life is too short, and there is too much good to be done to waste myself on anything or anyone else. May we never forget who we are and to what we’ve been invited.

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Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection fulfilled over 300 prophecies. No other religious leader this world celebrates has ever done that. No one else was foretold. No one else so announced. The likelihood of one man fulfilling every prophecy the way Jesus did is something only a God could do. It was a miracle.

Jesus birth broke a 400 year silence. There had been no angelic visitations, no prophets, and no miracles to tell of. Jesus showed up and changed everything. God interrupted the silence in a way that was unexpected but it was the way He said He would. God always keeps His word. Even when it seems like He’s forgotten, like the silence is going to last 100’s of years. At just the right time – He breaks through and He changes everything.

God, You are the God whose love is more beautiful than any language we could use to describe it, than any landscape this Earth holds. You are the God whose mercy is newer than the perfect feet of a newborn baby. Your grace is more calming than a well-trained musician, rain on tin, the waves on the shore, or a gentle breeze in the leaves.

Whatever we need – You are. You are the promise keeper. The One that never forgets. That never gives up.

Thank you for never giving up on us. Keep us forever tethered to You. When our hearts are a mess and our minds tangled, never give up. Keep us close. And closer every day.

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