Thursday, November 7, 2013


Envy is an ugly thing, but it can come off in such a tame manner that we don't even notice it.  Envy is when we want what someone else has.  The perfect relationship, the beautiful hair, the nice clothes, the big house, the nice car, the great family, the perfect job.  There is always something that we see in someone else, and suddenly what we have is not good enough.  The underlying problem is not that we need to stop wanting their stuff, but that we need to be aware of the magnitude of the gifts we ourselves have been given.  We have been given the gift of life, breath, a beating heart, and a thriving soul.  Souls do not come cheap these days.  The only reason we can have a beautiful, vibrant, thriving soul is because Jesus already paid for it.  That could be the end of that, right?  He doesn't owe us anything!  He just gave it to us.  But that is not the end of it!  He gives us more all the time.  He gives us so much more.

Imagine, for a moment, that it is Christmas day.  The two people that you know best in the world are by your side. You know them and they know you better than anyone, so you knew exactly what to get them as a gift. You have planned out these gifts so carefully.  They fit the personalities and lives and preferences of your friends as well as you could ever imagine.  The first, let's call her Cindy, opens her gift.  She loves it.  She smiles and hugs you.  The second, let's call him Andy, opens his gift.  He loves it as well.  Cindy looks over at Andy's gift, and says, "I wish I had that.  If you had given me that as a gift, it would have been much better." You glance down at the gift you gave her.  It is lying on the floor behind her as she egregiously obsesses over the gift you gave to Andy.  She doesn't seem to care one bit that you thought so long and hard about this gift for her.

Don't you think that's how God might feel sometimes when we want other people's things?  He gave us what He knew we would need and not only that, but what we would love. But we are too focused on what we don't have that other people do have to realize how special these things are that He's given us.

Essentially, Jesus is our ultimate treasure, and if we live that way and ingrain that into our minds, we will live in thanksgiving always. Not envy.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Quality, Not Quantity

I tend to hide behind things.  I will hide behind my friends or behind my grades or my family.  This summer I was hiding behind good-looking worship.  I really did worship.  I really love my God, and I really want to jump and dance for Him.  My worship wasn't fake, but my relationship with God did not run deep.  I wasn't investing time into getting to know Him.  I wasn't spending quality time with him everyday. I was spending a few minutes reading over my little devotion and then running off to go to work without even stopping to pray.  I was fine with my lack of relationship because my worship during services looked good.   Now I'm in a new place, and I'm much more vulnerable here and I can see my heart more clearly.  I have no longing.  I have no deep desire for my Lord.  I want one.  I desire to be filled with great longing, but I don't have it.  I want a good conversation during my quiet time, not a study time on the bible.  Knowledge is great, and it is very important, but knowledge of the word of God without a relationship with the Author is futile.

I need You, Father!  I need to know my dependency, and I want to be filled with desire for You.  Give me a new heart.  Mine is old and hard.  I need a new one.  I need Yours.  Give me Your heart, Father.  Give me the heart of Jesus.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Making Footsteps

Don't get me wrong, this summer was absolutely wonderful, but there was some uneasiness in my heart.  I felt restless or anxious.  Last night, I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep and I realized that all of those feelings are gone now.  I feel at perfect peace where I am.  God has shown me perfect clarity in my calling to be where I am, and He's shown me immense encouragement through the people to whom He's introduced me.  I heard a woman say one time that she could feel herself at the center of God's will, and that is exactly how I feel.  I am so sure of this place.  I am so comforted by his sweet, gentle presence every morning.  He is such a good God, and the whole time I thought He was sending me off to be alone without anyone, He was preparing a new spot for me.  I've already seen is some crazy ways how He's been getting everything ready for me, and making footsteps for me to step into as I go.  Thank you, Jesus.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm here. Talk to me.

I don't have to go looking for Jesus. He isn't somewhere above the roof of my house, and he isn't in some big chair in the sky.  He is beside me.  He is beside me just like my best friend, or my parents, or my sisters, or my brothers are beside me.  When I am upset, he says, "I'm here.  Talk to me."  He came to rescue me.  He came looking for me.  I don't have to go find him.  He's here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I crashed and burned

I had a job interview last week.  It was terrible.  I felt like a big dummy the whole time, and near the end I was sweating so much that I was more worried about the sweat stain on my chair than the questions I was answering.  I cried afterward.  I knew it was terrible, and I knew that I would not hear from them again.  Today I got a call from an unknown number.  The voice at the other end told me that she was the principal from that same school.  I thought, "Oh, they're just letting me know that I didn't get it."  Nope.  She said, "We'd like to invite you back to teach a lesson for us." Huh? Excuse me, ma'am, but did you guys pay attention to my interview?  Did you see that I crashed and burned?  I was amazed.  Thank you, Jesus for letting me know that no matter how I perform, your will cannot be tampered with.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Photo taken by: blmiers2

I can't sleep.  So I'm going to write.
This is a blog post that has been a long time coming.  It's been coming since I arrived here on my college campus for the first time.  In 2 days I will be leaving this place. I will be handed a very expensive piece of paper, my family and friends will watch, people will clap, someone important will speak, there will be lots of hugs and tears, and lots of people will ask to see my expensive paper.  Then I will pack up and leave.  I will drive away toward something completely new and completely unknown.  It doesn't really feel like a real thing that's happening to me.  I just feel like life will go on as I've known it.  But it won't.  God is mixing things up.  He's getting me ready for new things.  I know He's preparing them. I know He's already there showing me the way, but I'm kind of scared.
I don't want to be scared.  I like to think of it positively.  When I organize a surprise party for someone or even just a small surprise, I am excited about it.  I want them to be excited too.  I would be hurt if they said to me, "thanks for organizing this for me, but no thanks. I don't want it."  I think God is organizing a surprise for me coming up.  I don't know what it is, but He does.  And He's excited about it! He can't wait for me to see and be surprised and know that I am loved deeply by Him because He cared enough to plan this for me.  How cool is that? Jesus just wants me to be excited for any possibility that He has planned.  Another way to think about it:  God is preparing a mansion for us in heaven, right?  What about here?  I think God builds little mansions for us along our life.  These little mansions are just little glimpses of what the real thing will be like.  What I'm going into now is just a new little mansion, another little glimpse, another clue along the scavenger hunt.

College has been absolutely wonderful.  I have loved it.  It's been a great mini-mansion.  Now it's time to move out and move into my new mini-mansion.  Exciting, right?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Time With the Holy One

"The Holy Three have always existed as a divine dance of romance, a whirlwind of affection and pleasure and love unending.  It was from this pulsating intimacy that God created humanity and the natural order.  Though we will always remain the creation, He formed humanity to enter into relationship with the Trinity."
                                                                               - Dana Candler

I think this is easy to forget.  We are deeply loved and radically forgiven.  Do you think that would merit it a good idea to dwell on our sin?  I don't think so.  The Trinity loves each other with an intense, romantic love.  Then they decided that they wanted to create humanity so that we could experience that love.  They want us to be a part of their "dance of romance."  If we constantly deem ourselves unworthy, we are forgetting that we don't have to be worthy.  Of course we aren't worthy, that's why Jesus gave us his clothes (Let Jesus Dress You).  We are radically forgiven.  If we constantly dwell on what is wrong with us we are forgetting that we are forgiven.  The best medicine for becoming more holy is to spend time with the Holy One.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Seeking the Approval of Others

I tend to seek the approval of others.  I want to make people proud and I don't want to disappoint anyone.  The opinions of certain people matter to me.

Today I was talking to an important friend.  I told my friend that I wanted this certain person to be proud of me.  I wanted this person to be proud of my accomplishments and potential.  My friend told me this: "It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. God is proud of you because you want what He wants.  God smiles at you because your life is following His Son's life."

Thank you, friend.
Thank you, Father for smiling on me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Don't Miss Out

This weekend my family and I watched "Ben-Hur" together.  We also watched that History Channel mini-series, "The Bible."  I realized that there was more going on during the time of Jesus than just what Jesus was doing.  Some people weren't paying attention to him, or just considered him to be some ultimately unimportant guy.  They went along with their lives as usual.  Those people missed out.  They didn't get to be a part of this insane revolution that changed the world, and is still changing the world 2000 years later.  Judah Ben-Hur chose to pay no attention to Jesus, and he missed out.  It made me realize that I don't want to be a main character in "Ben-Hur." I want to be like the main characters in "The Bible."

I don't want to miss out because I'm occupied with my own life and can't be bother with this Jesus. I want to be around him and learning and soaking it all up.  I don't want to miss my chance to be the best friend of the maker of the universe.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Teaching is hard. Teaching is difficult.

I am a music education major.  When I was in my Middle School Music Methods class, our professor opened the class very simply.  He told us to pull out a pencil and a piece of paper.  He said, "At the top in large print write, 'Teaching is hard.'" Then he said, "There is one more thing you need to write.  Below that first statement write, 'Teaching is difficult.'"  Teaching is hard. Teaching is difficult. I believed him, but I didn't understand.  I remembered those two sentences, and tried to grasp them.  I taught a few lessons here and there during that semester and the next, but I never felt like it was very hard.  I loved it. It came naturally to me to get up in front of a group and talk to them about music. Lessons were easy to write and administer, and I enjoyed the time I spent teaching.
Fast forward to today.
I am student teaching now.  I spent some time teaching elementary school and loved it.  But then I moved to middle school... bum  bum buuuuum. Don't get me wrong, the kids can be great.  But don't get me wrong on this either, the kids can be very difficult to manage. They're middle schoolers.  They're swimming in a pool of awkwardness mixed with hormones (most of the awkwardness being due to the hormones).  They start liking each other, but they aren't mature enough to have a real relationship.  They want to hang out with their friends, but they can't drive, and they aren't very independent.  They are growing up to be young men and women, but they're not quite there yet.  Everything is awkward.  I remember middle school.  It was terrible.  I was not a fan.  I remember taking my eighth grade school picture and dressing up and thinking I looked so cute that day.  Now I look at my picture and I looked terrible!  Messy hair, a blue shirt with a blue jacket of a different shade over it, and buck teeth.  It's no wonder most middle schoolers don't know how to act respectful.  They're occupied enough with trying to figure themselves out.

But all of this insanity it teaching me a lot.  It is surprisingly hard to remember that I'm not in the classroom just to be a teacher.  I'm there to be a light for Jesus to these kids' dark hearts.  I'm here to make an eternal difference.  I can't preach to them with words, but I can preach with my actions, and the way I relate to them.  When I'm in front of the class I have a thousand other things to think about, and sometimes it slips my mind that Jesus is my reason for being there.  If anyone reads this, I would ask you to pray for me.  Pray that I would stop putting all of my hope in my own abilities and training, and start relying completely on Jesus.  Let him run the show in the classroom.  I may only be in this class for 10 weeks, but Jesus can make an impact in a much shorter time than that.