Five Year Plan

“Lord, you have examined me. You know me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up. Even from far away, you comprehend my plans. You study my traveling and resting. You are thoroughly familiar with all my ways. There isn’t a word on my tongue, Lord, that you don’t already know completely. You surround me—front and back.  You put your hand on me. That kind of knowledge is too much for me; it’s so high above me that I can’t fathom it.”
- Psalm 139:1-6 CEB -

I am a planner. I function best when I have multiple to-do lists, a detailed calendar, and I know what I need to do months in advance. Part of the reason I do this, is because it seems like there is always a billion things to do and a lot of pressure to succeed. I’m also an obsessive planner because it helps me cope with stress. We have so much pressure to be successful in life and to have our whole future planned out. I get a lot of comfort by being able to list of my 5-year plan to someone who asks. I feel accomplished for think…

In Awe of God

The Lord’s voice is over the waters; the glorious God thunders;
the Lord is over the mighty waters.
The Lord’s voice is strong;
the Lord’s voice is majestic.
- Psalm 29:3-4 CEB -

The clapping of ocean waves under a vast night sky is one of the most powerful scenes I have ever encountered. I feel small and humbled on the beach of an ocean that looks like it will never end and under a sky filled with seemingly infinite stars. When I witness this I often feel small, but I am filled with awe at the creative power of our God.
The ocean is great, vast, powerful, beautiful, terrifying, and full of life. It fills me with awe. Even more than this, I am filled with awe as I reflect on the God who created such a magnificent piece of art. Since it is beautiful, how much more is God? Since it is full of life, how much more is God? This powerful part of nature shows us a glimpse of what our God is like.
Even in the midst of feeling small in front of a majestic sight, I feel comforted. The God who created …

Light in the Darkness

 “Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the Lord’s glory has shone upon you. Though darkness covers the earth and gloom the nations, the Lord will shine upon you; God’s glory will appear over you.”
- Isaiah 60:1-2 CEB -

Darkness is a real thing. Not only as we get to the winter months where it might be dark before you get home from your afternoon or evening activities, but we know darkness on a personal level sometimes.  Darkness is that voice in us that makes us doubt ourselves. Darkness is that feeling that no one else knows what you’re going through. Darkness is cold isolation and separation.  Yet we know through the birth of Christ that God’s light breaks in upon us. The love of God that comes in Jesus finds us just as we are, just where we are. God’s love warms up the coldest isolation and lets us see ourselves for the beautiful creation God made us to be.
One of my favorite images is the sharing of the Christ candle we do at our Christmas Eve services.  Something about how it start…