Pile of stones

Stone Piles

Thanksgiving is this week.

Looking back at this year, there’s a lot that we can be frustrated with… a lot that doesn’t look the way we thought it would look in a way that, if we had our choice, wouldn’t be. But, that’s not what Thanksgiving is all about. Thanksgiving is a time where we pause, and give thanks for all that we have… both past and present.

Thanksgiving is about being grateful… grateful for what we’ve been given, no matter how small it seems. It’s easy to look at the world… to look at our community… to get stuck staring at all that has gone wrong and forget what God has provided each and everyone of us.

God knew that it’s easy to forget His goodness and victory. He knew how easy it is to get stuck looking on all that has gone wrong… the difficulties… the hardships… the despair… and forget to celebrate His victories in our lives and be grateful… no matter how small they seem.

Check this out...

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

8 So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. 9 Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been[a] in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day. - Joshua 4:1-9

God knew, that even a miracle as great as the parting of the Jordan River… literally stopping the flow of water… could easily be forgotten. So what did he tell them to do? He told them to get some stones and make a pile where they were to stay that night so that they would be a reminder of the goodness of God.

Rocks. Stones. They’re just ordinary pieces of earth that are lying around. But when they’re picked up and placed in a pile to remind you of the goodness of God, they become a supernatural sign that points you back to the One who is Good.

We have a stone pile in our living room. Six stones that were ordinary pieces of earth. But when you come over to our house and ask us, “Why are stones in a pile on that shelf,” they become a supernatural reminder to us of the goodness of God and how the trip to the Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem brought us closer to the living God.

I don’t know where you’re at today… what’s going on in your life. But on this Thanksgiving week…

Don’t forget the goodness of God.

Right now, you may think that you don’t have anything to be thankful for. I would ask you to pray to the living God and ask Him to show you His goodness. And the living God who gave His life for you, will hear your prayer.

For those of us who may have forgotten God’s goodness, go, take up twelve stones and place them in a pile where you live so that it becomes a supernatural reminder of the goodness of God in your life.

On this Thanksgiving week…

Don’t forget the goodness of God.

For He surely hasn’t forgotten you.


Lake Michigan beach in Ludington, Michigan

Peace Out

Driving 112 miles an hour down the road.

I can still remember this night like it was just last night. Waking up to a loud thud coming from my son’s room isn’t initially something to be concerned about. He regularly would fall asleep reading a large-sized book. But when we opened his door we didn’t see a book on the floor.

We saw our son on the floor.

As we tried to sit him on his bed, it became clear that he couldn’t support his own weight to hold himself up. And as he tried to communicate, his speech was slurred as drool ran from his mouth.

After a couple of seconds of trying to get him to respond, Jami asked if we should call 911. I quickly made the determination that I could get him to the ER faster than it would take to call 911, and wait for the ambulance to get him to where he needed to be.

So I grabbed Carter, Jami grabbed a sleeping Morgan from her bed and tossed her into the car. I then handed Carter to Jami in the backseat and we proceeded to drive as fast as we could to the ER. 112 miles an hour didn’t seem fast enough. But because of the length of the roads and the stoplights, it was as fast as I could get to in our Honda Pilot.

As we flew up to the ER doors I ran in and said with as much purpose as I could two words…

“My son.”

Nurses and doctors quickly reacted and we pulled him out of the backseat and into a room in our local ER. In what seemed like a few seconds, he was hooked up to countless wires. At one point his oxygen levels were in the 80’s.

After getting him stabilized, the next step was to run tests to see if they could find the reason as to what was going on. Waiting on the EKG and blood work results were torture. Not knowing what was going on with our son, whether he would be ok or not was one of the hardest times in our lives.

Worry. Anxiousness. It was awful. We couldn’t eat or sleep. The worry and anxiousness made our stomachs sick. All we could do was sit, rub our son’s head and arms, cry… and pray.

“…The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:5-7

The only thing that got us by while we were at the hospital waiting for Carter’s results was the time we spent praying to God.

God doesn’t promise to help us understand why something happens. He doesn’t promise that everything will be ok. But He does let us know that when we come to Him in prayer, He will give us a peace that will guard our hearts and minds.

If you’re like me, it’s what I need the most. Because I can go crazy in my own mind with worry and anxiousness. Whether it’s family related. Sickness related. Now Covid and/or election related. If I’m not in prayer the worry and anxiousness can quickly takeover and I can spiral down into a cranky depression-ridden dude.

But when I continually run to Jesus in prayer, and I don’t understand it, but the peace He gives me covers and guards and calms my mind down so I don’t go crazy.

God will also guard our hearts with peace. When people get sick… when things go wrong… when people we love get hurt… when we’re anxious and worried… God will also guard our hearts so that anger and bitterness don’t take hold.

God loves each and every one of us. He cares about our hearts and our minds and mental health. It’s not something that we can completely understand. If it was, it wouldn’t come from God Himself.

As we sat there in that hospital room for hours… HOURS, not knowing what the test results would reveal, we ran to God in prayer. And while He didn’t take away the questions, He did cover us in peace.

We finally received the test results back in the morning after the doctors ran test after test after test. They revealed that he had suffered from severe heat exhaustion and dehydration. I’m not going to say that God answered our prayers. Because that would mean that there are times that God doesn’t answer the prayers of others.

What I will say is this… The Lord was near us in that time. the Bible tells us this many times over. In fact, in verse five, Paul, the writer of Philippians reminds us of this…

“The Lord is near.”

I don’t know what you’re going through right now. But I do know this… just like God is fighting for you (I wrote a blog post about that here)… The Lord is near you.

God is near.

With all of the craziness that is going on… in all of our hurts, and struggles, and worries and anxiousness…

God is near.

Like water washing up on the sand. And that’s what I want each and everyone of us to hear and understand and see… in our worries and anxiousness and struggles…

God. Is. Near.


Pumpkin Guts

The fall season is officially here.

And with it brings Halloween. I loved this holiday as a kid. I mean, who wouldn’t like going house to house begging for candy and ripping the guts out of pumpkins.

Growing up, our kids have loved this holiday too. One of the many traditions we keep is the annual gutting and carving of pumpkins. If I’m honest, it’s more stressful for me than fun. Not because I’m scared of cutting fingers off. It’s because I’m terrible at carving pumpkins. They just never turn out how I intended for them to look.

One of my favorite memories of the gutting of the pumpkins happened 11 years ago according to the upload date on Youtube. Carter, who’s standing on a chair at the table declares that he’s going to dive into his pumpkin to tear out the guts.

Just before he dives in, he yells, “Timberrrrrr.” And as he dives in, the chair that he’s standing on pushes out from under him as he falls to the ground.

It. Was. Hilarious.

He was fine. And he got back up and proceeded to tear out all of the gross guts of the pumpkin. After carving the pumpkins, the kids always want to place a candle inside to light them up for all the world to see… to them they’re beautiful.

It doesn’t matter that they’re not perfect. That wasn’t the point of carving the pumpkins. It was never the point. It was about spending time with their father… and their mother. The point was and always will be to spend time with and build our relationship together.

You see, as imperfect as the pumpkins are, the point of us placing a light inside for all the neighborhood to see isn’t to show off how perfect and beautiful the work is… no… the point is to show the relationship that was built through the transformation of two pumpkins.

I don’t know where you’re at today mentally. If you’re like me, you have days where you struggle with and hate and stress over how imperfect you are. You look at others and wonder how do they have everything together. And you start to doubt and wonder why anyone should stop to look and listen to you.

That’s a struggle that I have more times than I care to admit to. “If people only knew…” and then the stress and hate comes creeping in over how imperfect I am.

Then Halloween comes along and reminds me again that it’s ok to be imperfect. The goal of life is and was never meant to be lived perfectly. It is designed to be lived in relationship with our Father… to build that relationship together with Him.

Jesus can and will take all of the nasty pumpkin guts from our lives and design our imperfect life into something new for all to see.

Check this out…

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” - 1 John 1:1, 2

This life… this relationship with Jesus was never designed to make our lives look perfect. No, it’s designed to change our souls from the inside out… to build relationship with the Father… so we can show others and change the world one life at a time.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” - John 1:4

My prayer for you today, is that you open your life up to Jesus.


What Do You See?

What do you see?

People? A stone floor? A giant stone wall? Backpacks? Shoes? Cameras?

I’ve seen this place on the news… on tv many times.

The Wailing Wall. Some call it the Western Wall.

What do you see?

The first time I saw it in person was at night with a small group of people. Everything all lit up, the giant stone wall climbing to the pitch black night sky. It was a sight I will never forget. Amazing and awe inspiring doesn’t come close to describing it.

The next day we came back with the whole group. There’s actually two areas to approach the wall. One area for the guys and one area for the women. Regardless of what you believe or feel about that, it’s the way it is.

For guys, you can’t approach the wall without your head being covered. If you don’t have a hat, there are yarmulkes that you can grab and place on your head. I had a hat, but I took one to wear anyway… I may or may not have given it back like you were supposed to. I know I know… I’m a horrible person. I still have it somewhere around my house.

Like many places in Jerusalem and Israel, the place that I was standing, the Wailing Wall, was and is holy ground. It’s not like Disney World where kids are running around and people are laughing. There is a weight and sense of reverence for this place that is within the walls of Old Jerusalem.

The ground that I was standing on was and is considered holy.

As I walked into the area that you can see in the photo, it was clear that this place was 100% different than the area just 15 feet behind me. Towards the back there were Jews who were studying the Torah… sitting at a desk, memorizing and literally taking in the Word of God.

As I walked closer to the wall, I could see people praying silently. Some were placing paper into the cracks of the wall. That was something I was prepared for. I remembered seeing that on the news as I was growing up. We were also prepped beforehand so that we could write a prayer to God and place it in the wall. As I stood at the wall, and placed my paper prayer in the crack, I could see the Orthodox Jews out of the corner of my eye.

The Orthodox Jews don’t just stand in silence to pray at the wall. The guys that I saw were rocking back and forth and were physically and audibly crying out to God. As I stood there and watched, it was clear that they so desperately wanted the presence of God and wanted God to hear their prayer.

As I looked to my right, there were others, non Jews, tears streaming down their faces as they cried out to God and stuck their paper prayers into the wall.

Jews. Non Jews. People from all over the world. Standing at the Wailing Wall (Western Wall) crying out to God. Asking for God to hear them. Desiring God to move.

As I stood there, I no longer simply saw stones and walls. I not only felt the presence of God, but I saw it there in the holy place and in the very people I was standing next to.

It’s now been over a year since we’ve visited Israel. But the lessons of that trip, the lessons of specific areas keep seeping into my life… into my mind.

This place, the Wailing Wall, has not been more applicable to me than right here and right now.

When you look at 2020 what do you see?

When you look out into our country, what do you see?

When you look at those that sit on the opposite party as you, what do you see?

These are questions we all need to ask ourselves. And it’s a question that we all must answer.

As I was beginning to write this post, I could hear my kids arguing and fighting upstairs (my office is in the basement.) The words that came out of their mouths toward each other broke my heart. After talking with them, I took Lola on a walk to clear my head.

As I was walking the dog, two things happened… each song that I listened to was centered around the presence of God. This wasn’t a 10 minute walk. This walk took 40 minutes. It’s not an accident that each artist sang about the presence of God. Secondly, God placed this question in my mind… “What do you see?” And then it hit me and I started to wonder… What do my kids see when they are arguing with each other?

As I thought about it those 40 minutes, it became clearer and clearer that my kids only see whatever it is that they are arguing about. This morning it was cold brew coffee. It was all about what they perceived to be “theirs.” They didn’t see each other as a brother or sister. They didn’t see each other as human beings. They didn’t look at each other and see the very presence of God in each of them… that they are made in the image of God. They didn’t see any of that… They simply saw each other as the enemy to what they wanted.

Guys… People… It’s the same thing with our country. It’s the same with those who are on the right and the left. Those who are red. Those who are blue. It’s the same for me and for you. Ohhhhhhhhh. That rhymed… totally didn’t mean to do that, but I’ll keep it.

What do you see?

When you look out at our country… When you look at those who are on the opposite aisle… when you look at those who have wronged you and those whom you disagree with… when you look at those people, do you only see the issues? Do you only see red? Do you only see blue? Do you only see the perceived wrongs? Or do you see the presence of God in their souls. Do you see the image of God that they have been created?

What do you see?

You see, when all we see are the issues…. When all we see is red or blue. When all we see are the perceived wrongs and disagreements… It’s easy to hate the other side. It’s easy to be enraged with anger towards them and sling hateful words. It’s easy to look at them with disdain.

But when we begin to see the presence of God in others… When we begin to see the image of God within their very being… we will begin to treat them with love and kindness. We begin to see the intrinsic value they have... not because of who they are, but because of who's they are... because they are God's creation.

But how can we begin to possibly see differently?

Check this out…

“I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem. They told me, 'The exile survivors who are left there in the province are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.' When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven. I said, 'God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands: Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you.” - Nehemiah 1:2-6

It’s hard to argue where our country is at. It’s hard to argue that it doesn’t resemble what Jerusalem looked like back when Nehemiah walked the earth.

But what Nehemiah saw and what we ultimately see is defined by what our heart sees… It ultimately is determined by where our heart is… When Nehemiah received a verbal picture of Jerusalem, it didn’t enrage him… he didn’t lash out and attack the people responsible… No.

It broke his heart… when he received the verbal picture of Jerusalem, the Bible tells us that he sat down and wept… that he mourned for days… and that he fasted and prayed before the God-of-Heaven.

You see, it’s hard to hate people when your heart breaks for them. It’s hard to hate people when you fast and pray to the God-of-Heaven for them.

Nehemiah also knew something else… He also knew that he himself had sins to atone for… He knew that he also had a hand in the problems of Jerusalem…And he took responsibility for his sins and confessed them to the God-of-Heaven.

So… What do you see?

Do you only see the issues… The colors… The disagreements… The hurts… which enrages you.

Or,

Do you see what Nehemiah sees? Do you see the very presence of God in people. Do you see the image of God in those you may have differences with?

Nehemiah’s heart broke for the people of Jerusalem. If we want to see people how Nehemiah saw people, it starts in our heart. It starts with seeing ourselves for who we are and praying and confessing our sins to the God-of-Heaven. It starts with our hearts breaking for the wrongs that we have committed… Taking responsibility and calling on God to ask for forgiveness.

Then, and only then, will we see like Nehemiah saw and have our hearts break for others… to weep for our nation.

It’s hard to hate people when your heart breaks for them. It’s hard to hate people when you fast and pray to the God-of-Heaven for them.

So the question remains…

What do you see?


In the Everyday

I love this photo.

It’s probably one of my favorite photos from the time we went to Israel.

If you look closely, you’ll notice the group is walking away from me. As I stood there to get a different shot, the entire group ended up way around the curve.

I don’t know how many people visit Jerusalem a day, but there were a ton of people all over the place. For the entire trip I would hang out in the back and/or wander off to get the photograph I needed to get. At one point, someone asked Jami where I was at… to which she replied, “I don’t know, I’m sure he’s somewhere nearby.” Sheila Beeson heard the question and she quickly replied, “Don’t worry about Todd, he’ll catch up and be fine.” I’m sure she’s had the same experience with Mark many times over.

Time and time again our guide, Mitch, would be asking where I was, or would call me over the radio to stay up with the group, or tell me to get down from wherever I had climbed. At one point, as we got off the buses, Mitch pulled me aside and said, “Todd, I have eyes all over this city (Jerusalem),” then laughed… then said he was serious. Another time he saw a billy goat on the side of a cliff and exclaimed to everyone on the bus, “Look, there’s Todd!”

I couldn’t help it. To get the photos I wanted, I had to leave the traditional, normal path to get the view I needed.

Visiting Jerusalem was an interesting city to see. On one hand, you had all of these groups specifically coming to walk where Jesus walked.

Then you had the native Israelis who live within the very community that Jesus lived. They go to school. They go to work. They play. Drive their cars… they literally live their everyday lives in the very place that Jesus lived His.

As I walked around and took photos, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of these people walk around and miss the fact that they are walking in the very place that Jesus walked. How many of these people are walking around, missing Jesus… not even aware… they’ve grown so accustomed to their place that they miss Him. Day in and day out, it’s the same view… same schedule.

And then, as I think about my own life, I can’t help but realize that there are times when I’ve grown so accustomed to my own life, my own way of living that there are times that I miss Jesus in the everyday.

The schedule. The activities. The day-to-day living can get so jumbled together that I miss the fact that Jesus is walking with me everyday.

The days become the same everyday.

Jesus knew this, it’s why He withdrew himself to get away and take a different path from the people He was with. Check this out…

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. - Luke 5:16

Listen to this…

Sometimes you need to remove yourself from the normal path to be able to explore and get a different view of Jesus.

Jesus knew that. It’s why he often withdrew to lonely places… so that he could focus and get a different view of life and a different view of God.

Just like I needed to get away from everyone and get off the normal path to get a different view for a different photo… our lives are the same. In order to get a different view of life… in order to get a different view of Jesus, we need to get off the normal path we usually take.

Life can be busy. Life can get muddy. Especially now with the election drawing near. Our nation’s leaders just flat out lying to the people they have sworn to serve. It can get frustrating and if we’re honest, depressing.

But Jesus has given us a different way to live. He’s given us a different path to take.

I don’t know if you’re missing Jesus in the everyday moments. If that’s the case, take a different path that you’re used to. Change things up.

Get away by yourself. Pray. Ask God to reveal himself to you in the everyday moments.


Not What I Expected

Expectations...

We all have them. Last year, Jami and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Israel with a group of amazing people. Before the trip, we had multiple meetings to go over all of the logistics and what we could expect each day to relatively look like. These were all very helpful and necessary meetings to make sure we understood the expectations of everyone.

Expectations.

Once we were in country, there were other expectations that Jami and I had that were met and, well, different... For me, the Sea of Galilee was what I thought it would look like. Tiberias, the first city we stayed in, however, was different than what we expected. As we walked the city away from the "tourist" area to find a place to eat, we started to see more and more cats roaming around. Now, in Mexico, it's widely known that you'll see a lot of dogs roaming around. And as we moved farther into the town, we noticed that there were cats everywhere... If you used the word, "infestation," you wouldn't be wrong. As we sat down to eat we noticed that the cats would even come up and either take the empty chair next to you, lay under your table or climb up on your table and sit with you while you ate.

I. Kid. You. Not. Cats. Everywhere.

More times than not, however, the towns that we visited were largely what I expected... until we got to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was an interesting mix between old school Middle East, and suburb-like shopping/dining areas. The "Old City," as it is called, is behind giant-like walls. The Old City looked literally like a Disney backlot. There were many things about Jerusalem that I didn't expect. I didn't expect to go out at night, into the local areas to eat and hang out, and see people walking around with M-16's. I didn't expect to experience how segregated Jerusalem felt... to literally walk by people and looked at with hatred.

Expectations

Then, there was a time where we went to visit a location near Bethlehem that was talked about in the Bible.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:8-11

The shepherds fields. It's part of the Christmas story. I've read it many times. It's been told to me many times. In my head, as I pictured it, I expected the shepherds fields to look like something I'd see in the States. Green grassy fields. Instead, what I saw is in the photo that you can see at the top of this blog post. Across the trees. Across the construction area. The brownish, yellowish area is the shepherds fields.

It was totally NOT what I was expecting.

And in the same area, thousands of years ago, the shepherds experienced something they didn't expect. Imagine that you are one of the shepherds. Night after night you watch over your sheep. It's what you do. Night after night after night after night. No city lights like we know today. Just stars shining in a darkened night sky. The shepherds, living life... doing the same thing they've always done.

Expectations

"Then out of nowhere, an angel of the Lord stood before them. They weren't expecting this to happen. The Bible says that the shepherds were terrified. And the angel says to them, "Do not be afraid."

God's like that. He'll show up when we're not expecting it. We're living life. Working. Running kids to and from activities. And God shows up. Maybe we're in a spot where we're terrified. Covid. The coming election. Riots. Fires. Cancer and sickness. And like with the shepherds in the fields, God shows up and says,

Do not be afraid.

God has a habit of showing up when we least expect Him. He showed up to the shepherds in their fields. He showed up in a manager in Bethlehem. He showed up to Moses in a burning bush. He showed up to Peter after Jesus was crucified on a cross. I don't know what's going on in your life, but God wants to show up to you in a time and place you may not be expecting... in your marriage, your job, your family, your relationships, your health... your life.

God has a habit of showing up when we least expect Him and looking like something we weren't expecting. As you are... have eyes to see Him... Have ears to hear Him...

And do not be afraid... God will show up before you at a time you might not be expecting Him.


The Battle Isn't Over

I. Love. History.

There. I said it. If you know anything about me, you know that I absolutely love history. It was my favorite subject from elementary school to seminary.

Math? Not so much. But I love history. From reading about it in books... to watching documentaries... to walking in the very places that existed hundreds to thousands of years ago.

Over the last year, I've gotten to walk in the steps of some historical places. From Fort Sumter in South Carolina, to Mount Vernon in Virginia, to the Valley of Armageddon in Israel, which is where this photo was taken.

As you look at the photo now, what you see is a fertile land where crops like wheat, corn, tobacco, cotton and millet are grown. It's hard to believe that over 200 battles have been fought on this very land. But there is a weight to this land. The first reported battle on earth took place here in the 15th century BC. From there, Jezebel and King Josiah were killed in this valley. Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Ottomons here in 1799. There was even a World War One battle fought in this very valley.

But you wouldn't know it by simply looking at the surface without knowing the history.

There's another thing about this valley. Megiddo is a place where people have built upon ruins for generations... at least 26 layers of civilization make up the "hill" dating all the way back to 4500 BC. 26 layers of ruins.

There's one more thing about this valley. It's the most notable. Armageddon is synonymous with the end of days. Even if you have no knowledge of the Bible, people think of Armageddon as the events that take place when the earth ends.

"Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed." Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" Revelation 16:15-17

This isn't just a battle to end the earth. No. This is a battle where God fights for His creation. In a final battle God is getting rid of the old to prepare for the new. Getting rid of all the evil... all the hurt... all the pain. It's God fighting for His creation.

I don't know who needs to read this today... God knows I need to be reminded from time to time...

God. Is. Fighting. For. You.

He has fought FOR you in years past. He will fight FOR you in the future. And, read this... He is currently fighting FOR you right now. Many of us are walking around looking like the Valley of Armageddon today... all green and beautiful. But what can't be seen, are the 26 layers of ruin that our life is built upon... the hurt, the pain, the harmful decisions, the choices that hurt other people...

And God sees that, and says "I'll fight FOR you and make you new again."

God says I see all the wars you've fought. The battles you've encountered. The layers of ruin. And He wants you to know that He's still fighting FOR you.

The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as He did in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. Deuteronomy 1:30, 31

I don't know what wars you've fought. I don't know that battles you're fighting, or the layers of ruin that's been built. But I do know that God is fighting FOR you... hear that today and trust Him.


We Didn't Start the Fire

I've literally typed up three different blog posts for today. Non of them do any justice to what's happening in the United States of America.

So today's blog will be a virtual moment of silence...

What our country needs, is not more outrage... our country needs more brokenness.

Brokenness about racism

Brokenness about hate

Brokenness about violence

Brokenness about looting

Brokenness about destroying businesses

Brokenness...

When our country and people are broken about these injustices, then true change will come about. That's my prayer going forward, God make me broken for the injustices in our country and use me to help make real changes.

If you choose, feel free to use the comment field to write your prayer below...