The Torch and Oven: A Christmas Story You Didn’t Hear

Christmas is a time to enjoy cozy lights, sweet treats, and Dutch gezelligheid – a wonderful word without pure translation, but roughly: nice/comfy/friendly/cozy- ness.

Some think of “baby Jesus,” or making everything just right, and still others wish to fast forward through the season. Holidays can be painful for some so I want to share a verse I’ve never heard at Christmastime which may give hope, especially to any who’ve ever been oppressed. Or maybe it gives more perspective beyond the baby in a manger.

Continue reading “The Torch and Oven: A Christmas Story You Didn’t Hear”

If God Was a Bear: “Brave” & Rebelling from Love

Disney’s Brave touched my heart like Frozen, but deeper. In Frozen we glimpse sacrificial love and our divine identity, but Brave touches something deeper: the reality of our love-hate relationship with God.

Merida, a fiery and fun-loving princess who wants to live on her own terms (who doens’t?) runs up against traditions that oppress her spirit. Her mother tries to prepare her for all the ways and responsibilities of a princess, including arranged marriage, but the pair are losing their minds and each other.

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God like Lightning: Are You Doing the Zig Zag Too?

Why doesn’t Lightning come down straight? It’s ferocious and 5x hotter than the surface of the sun, so shouldn’t it just, literally, charge down?

I never gave lightning much thought until I heard a Capital Kings track, Forever. One lyric line, “I feel Your Lightning in my veins,” touched something in my heart and I was inspired to find lightning wallpaper for my phone. As I admired it, I realized how much lightening looks like our veins…

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Love Needs “Limit” To Shine: Why We Won’t Trust God Unless He has a Last Piece of Pie

The garden of Eden taught some hard and sad lessons, including that we wouldn’t trust God without testing Him first. Parents warn their kids not to touch a hot pan, but don’t they/we ultimately want to know for ourselves?

Bieber had it right:

justin-bieber-ill-show-you

“I got to learn things, learn them the hard way.
Gotta see what it feels like, no matter what they say..”
(“Ill show you” Justin Bieber, Purpose album)

(Sure, some lessons we never want to learn firsthand, but maybe that’s because we saw the result in the life of another…) Continue reading “Love Needs “Limit” To Shine: Why We Won’t Trust God Unless He has a Last Piece of Pie”

Choosing Law over Love: A Sad Example of Broken Families from Ezra

This post is part of the #GodsOneLines series–breaking hate and/or shame caused by people wielding bible verses. Instead I want to use single bible verses or events to encourage and reveal God’s Heart if possible.

This story starts with Tears– mine as I write, and Heaven’s one fateful day.

It starts with the return of Jews from Babylonian exile. Their repeated offenses, including refusing to set servants free, caught up with them despite divine warnings. Sure, they listened for a time, but soon after changed their minds, re-taking men, women and children into captivity (sounds like the Moses story with Pharaoh, right?)

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Totally Unsatisfied with God – How My Son’s Tantrum revealed Heaven’s Painful Secret

Today my son was cranky. Going out for breakfast with four children– three of them 4 years and under– isn’t easy or fast and my eldest was annoyed. “It’s too druk!” he protested (Dutch for busy/hectic), and I tried to soothe and encourage him. I shared about family from the perspective of The Incredibles (many God-lessons come from kids movies, like Frozen), noting that when they fought side-by-side they were the strongest. But my son didn’t want to hear, much less see me.The incredibles-movie-families can work best together.jpg

I suggested he walk ahead so it was like I wasn’t there, but he started to cry: ‘You are always there!” 

The world got quiet and slow and in an instant I had a heaven-flash…

Is this what I said to you, God? Is this why we can’t “see” You? Did I not want anything to do with You and, didn’t trust You had my best interest at heart, and, from eternity, was totally fed up with “Your Presence”??  Ouch.

One of the saddest glimpses into God’s Heart comes from this paragraph from Paul of Tsarsus:

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Igniting Heaven on Earth: Sound the War Cry in Your Heart

A picture with caption “true friendship” and heart dog emojis came on my twitter feed. Many replies read “awwww,” but my heart broke when I saw it…

homeless man and dog

Did people chose to overlook the life status of this pair? Maybe it wasn’t popular to burst the love bubble with, “But they’re homeless!” Whatever it was, only one of the many replies said: ‘I wish I knew where he was so I could help.’

Continue reading “Igniting Heaven on Earth: Sound the War Cry in Your Heart”