Thursday, February 28, 2013

Perceived Paths

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He 
will make your paths straight."

You’ve likely encountered the “cone zone,” where hundreds of little orange cones guide you through a construction site. I have often wondered at how God enabled us to recognize a broken path. A highway has an unbroken path of clearly painted lines to stay within. Cones have a perceived line, but the actual line is broken.

We encounter these perceived pathways everywhere we go. From the pathways we create with furniture in our living rooms to the paths we follow in the wilderness that must be marked, lest we stray. It is almost as though we finish or fill in the path in our own minds, and an invisible, yet binding, path lies before us.

I am thankful God created these perceived paths, or navigation would be much more difficult (and costly). I may have mentioned before I am “directionally challenged,” so perceived paths really help point me in the right direction. If I stick to the perceived path, I won’t get lost - assuming I can recognize it!

God has laid down individual paths for His children, and most often, they aren’t set in solid lines. We have to perceive the path in between. Yet, just as He gave us the ability to recognize perceived paths in the physical realm, He has given us His Holy Spirit and the Bible in order to recognize spiritual perceived paths. Sin clouds our perspective, and we get lost. Yet God's power supersedes even that. He is faithful to lead and guide us if we are faithful to follow.

I thank the Lord for His guidance along the perceived spiritual path He has set before me. May I remain attentive to where His markers lead. Where has your path led so far?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Movie Night

Proverbs 22:2
"The rich and poor have a common bond, the Lord is the Maker of them all."

Who doesn’t look forward to movie night? While I am learning “ be content in whatever circumstances I am...” (Philippians 4:11b) it is always nice to have something short-term to look forward to. A double date of dinner and a movie was just the ticket this week.

To share something with others we all enjoy is a blessing. There are few people out there with whom we cannot find something in common (perhaps whether we like it or not). I am thankful God created us with similarities so we can share things like a movie night. It was a great time of fun and laughter for all.

What do you enjoy sharing with others?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Lake

Psalm 46:10
"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

There are many reasons to be thankful for a lake, not least of which is the water it provides. However, I enjoy this lake because it is within walking distance to provide a nice view and small bit of exercise during my lunch break. It’s a great place for me to separate my thoughts from my work and get out into God’s creation, which leads to spending more focused time with Him. The lake's calm beauty is a reminder not only  of God's amazing creation, but that I can rest in Him and His sovereignty. Its ecosystem speaks of His balancing control and wisdom.

God has used my walk around the lake toward many ends, both physically and spiritually; my daily walk is often when I think most on what I'm thankful for. It is easiest during this time to open my thoughts to His wonder as I enjoy the beauty around me. I am thankful for the lake, for how God uses it to help keep me healthy in both senses. May I use that health to serve Him better.

Are you intentional about spending a focused time with God? I find it easy to spend my focused time filled with goals... do you take time to sit back and wonder at His work?

Monday, February 25, 2013


Psalm 121:2-3
"My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber."

God gave me a love to dance. It is similar to my love of music (though I’m not as good at dancing as singing). Dancing is a beautiful way I can express my worship to Him. Yet there is another reason I am thankful for dancing: it is a great metaphor for our walk with Him.

I saw a quote from Robert Brault:

Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s the cha-cha.

I love this!  It is so like our walk with the Lord. So often, what we perceive as a step backward in life, is just God bringing us through life according to our need and His glory. It is part of our dance with Him.

The trouble comes when I try to take the lead, or become self-focused and forget to pay attention to His leading. This leads to stumbling - on my part. He is the partner who will never stumble, and will even catch me. My favorite passage at the moment is Psalm 121, and in it the author writes: “He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Verse 3)

He saves us from our own bumbling, and ever teaches us to be more like Christ. The more we follow His lead, the more Christ-like we become. May we see our lives through His eyes and see the footwork, not some perceived disaster.

Where are you looking in your circumstances? Enjoy the dance!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Self-Focus vs Refreshment

Exodus 20:8
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy."

God has been impressing upon me the importance of self-focus versus the need for refreshment. On the one hand, I can see someone in a difficult situation - say a slave - wouldn’t get much time to refresh and rejuvenate. Yet, they are still called to always live as Christ would. On the other hand, I know a person needs refreshment. Where is the line between self-focus and need of refreshment?

Refreshment is similar to rest. Rest is commanded of us once every seven days - the Lord’s day. Even God Himself rested. So I can know we do need rest and refreshment.

It seems to me the line between when I'm selfish versus needing refreshment is focus. Either way - whether I actually need rest, or am being self-focused - my focus needs to be on Christ, and His will and glory. The question to ask seems to be: why am I seeking rest? If I seek rest because I've begun to focus on needing rest, rather than accomplishing God’s will, my focus needs to change. After this, I can determine whether I truly need rest (and then I can get it!).

Proverbs 3:7-8 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.” My focus on Him (more specifically, being humble under Him and placing my fear upon Him) produces healing and refreshment.

Most often, I go on vacation seeking rest, and inevitably come back disappointed and still needing refreshment... because my focus is on myself. My expectations and my needs and desires weren’t met. In my self-focus, I am prideful, not humble. Self-serving, not God-serving.

When I go looking for what the Lord is going to do that day, I inevitably come back refreshed. My focus is on His will, and what He would have me do. He is in control, and whatever I can't get done doesn't matter. God-serving, not self-serving.

It is for this reason (among others, I’m sure) God commanded the day of rest to be His day. We achieve physical rest by resting physically (hence a day without work), but we receive refreshment by exalting Him rather than ourselves.

To go back to the example of the slave:  were I that person, I may not get much rest. Yet I can still get refreshment by my humility and fear of the Lord. Physical rest may not be possible, but that simply means God has determined it isn’t best for me and/or those I affect right now, else God would have made rest possible. Talk about a test in faith, patience, humility, and endurance! What a testimony of God’s glory and strength to be refreshed without rest!

May I live in the constant awareness of my humble place under the mighty hand of God. (1 Peter 5:6)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Massage Therapist

Colossians 1:11-12
"...strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light."

I have chronic musculoskeletal pain, and as such, often rely upon chiropractors and massage therapists. My massage therapist isn’t your average masseuse. He utilizes acupressure, deep tissue massage, reflexology, and any other type of massage therapy he knows to help your muscles relax to move your bones back into place and relieve your pain. Sometimes his expertise are the only thing that can effectively relieve my pain.

I often go in limping and come out walking again. I am so thankful God revealed massage therapy to man, and that He brought me to someone who could effectively use it on me.

This struggle with chronic pain in life’s circumstances puts me right where God wants me. All trials are an opportunity to learn more about God and how I can be more like His Son. I pray God gives me the sight to seek His will - His purpose - no matter where He leads. May I have the humility and joy to follow.

What are you struggling with? Can you still have joy in the midst of your trial, knowing God is using it to train you (and maybe others) to be more like Christ?

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Matthew 5:16
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

Kindle fiery flame in wick;
Watch the glimmering glow.
Light casts colors in courtly thrall,
Strains its lengthening limbs.

Cloak shining shimmering beam;
Pitch obscures our lamp.
Echoes emptying, etching self;
Talons veil visage of night.

Flickering flame or perennial pitch?
Slope scales toward one or the other?
Flames of faith pierce pitch of fear;
Not quenched, not hidden - but fueled.

As freely received, so freely given;
A light on a hill for all.
Thankful vessel humbly receives,
Humbleness freely gives.

Do you let your light from God shine on a hill, or cover it up in fear? If you let it shine, do you let it shine in humility, thus revealing the Father instead of you? I find it a constant battle with my pride!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:26-27
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

The Holy Spirit has been at work in my heart since I became a Christian at a young age. For this, I am very thankful. Without Him, I would lack any wisdom whatsoever. Not that I possess a great deal, but He has certainly revealed some truths to me.

More recently, He has opened my eyes to a whole new level of sin in my life - pride in particular. It has not been an easy road, and I have been a bit discouraged at coming face-to-face with the sin I previously had a general sense of. Yet even my discouragement is my pride speaking that I should be better than I am; and the Holy Spirit continues to reveal my sin to me.

I was a bit unsure of what to do today, as anything I tried just seemed to fail miserably. I couldn’t replace my self focus with Christ focus. I had an intermittent conversation with the Holy Spirit today about the issue, and even though it didn’t feel like I was really getting anywhere, I was thankful to have Him to talk to. It’s a bit encouraging to be able to approach the Creator of the universe with my measly little problems - which are sins and idolatries against Him, no less.

I am so thankful that, “...the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27) This - and the rest of the passage - greatly encouraged me tonight.

Even as God opens my spiritual covered trash can, He also intercedes for me in my own weakness and floundering. Jesus paid the price for my sin, accepted me as His own, and claims me as His child. He is still working things together for my good, has still justified me, is still for me, and no one can condemn me because of His amazing love. Nothing can separate me from His great love!

I am thankful the Holy Spirit is alive and active within me. Without Him, I would be lost. Do you practice the presence of the Holy Spirit?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Galatians 6:1-2
"Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby 
fulfill the law of Christ."

I’ve wanted to spend time with people and do a few things over the weekend, but no one else was available and things just didn’t work out the way I wanted. Knowing I was struggling with pride and being self-centered, I was still having a hard time shifting my focus.

My husband asked me this morning if I was doing alright, and I exercised some discipline in myself to tell him about my struggles. He immediately asked if I was following through with the steps I had set down for dealing with pride. I told him I was trying - I was going through my prayer with God:

“God, please forgive me for being prideful. Help me to know You are in control and everything is in Your hands. Help me to submit to You and look out for Your interests. Thank You for answered prayer and trees. Help me to be a useful tree.”

The trouble was, as soon as I was finished with the prayer, my mind would wander elsewhere and I’d be right back on myself again. We discussed it a bit, and he just encouraged me and reminded me of what a right focus is: being thankful to God, praising God, placing my fear upon God, and being obedient to God.

It’s surprising what a difference it makes when you talk about something as opposed to just trying to deal with it inwardly (even if it is between you and God). Somehow, the act of working through it out loud helps to put things in perspective, and it’s even better when you have someone there to get feedback from. My husband did a beautiful job of loving me today, and the accountability he gave me was just one of the servant’s acts he did for me.

I am thankful for God's use of accountability to bring us alongside one another in our journey toward Christlikeness. Do you have an accountability partner? Are you intentionally sharing your struggles with them?

Monday, February 18, 2013


Job 38:36
"Who has put wisdom in the innermost being or given understanding to 
the mind?"

Previous to taking the Financial Peace University (FPU) class, my husband and I had used Quicken, then, then Quicken Essentials (those last two might have been switched) on our Macintosh computers. The FPU way of budgeting is a little different from these programs, and we were in search of a software that would accommodate budgeting with an envelope system. My husband did some digging around and discovered MoneyWell by No Thirst Software. I’m used to using accounting software, and thus, am used to the way accounting programs “think.” MoneyWell was completely different. It was a little comical to see how my husband was frustrated with previous software we'd used while I was happy navigating it, and I was frustrated with MoneyWell while he was enamored with it’s navigation.

It took me awhile to understand how they were going about handling the money, but once I understood, I realized it really was much easier. I’m glad we switched, because it helps us to spend our money ahead of time without having to do it on paper. It’s one nice neat little package for all your money managing. Praise the Lord for His gift of understanding!

Being on the same page with my husband financially is a true blessing. We sit in front of our computer for about 10 minutes maximum when we get a paycheck, spend the money in the appropriate buckets (MoneyWell’s term for envelopes), and voila! Done! I am thankful God gave us MoneyWell to help my husband and I be on the same page!

What wisdom or understanding has God helped you with lately?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Impressions - People Pleaser

1 John 4:18
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

I’m a people-pleaser. I will go to great and varied lengths to “make someone happy.” I had thought this was a form of humility, but in fact, it is a manifestation of my pride. How is that? I please people out of a fear I will be seen in a bad light, or fear that things will go wrong, or fear of... you can almost fill in the blank. Fear of anything but God.

I even made pleasing God an idol. I knew God loved me, but I needed to please Him, lest He be displeased with me. I derived my worth from the ability to please Him. To rationalize it, I told myself, “God is not a ‘safe’ God, so I must fear His displeasure.” Every sin drove the point home that I had displeased Him yet again. Talk about depressing!

Yet Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross and wash me clean from my sin so I could live in fear and condemn myself. “Perfect love casts out fear...” (1 John 4:18) and God is perfect love. He isn’t safe... but He’s good. He said it on the cross, and He meant it: “It is finished.” (John 19:30) I am washed clean from my sin.

God’s pleasure in me does not increase or decrease and is never based on my actions; it is based in the fact that Jesus - God’s only Son - died for me. He claims me. This is where my worth originates, not how much I can please Him - or anyone else.

When I place my fear on God (on all of God, not just one facet of Him, lest I idolize a piece of Him), it becomes apparent He is far greater than anything I could ever fear. God is on His throne, and no one’s displeasure could ever change that. My God is greater. Period.

From where do you derive your worth?

Friday, February 15, 2013


Romans 11:36
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

I am the secretary at my church, and I am definitely thankful we have a copier. Handwriting is not my forte - I never would have survived as a monk (you know... gender aside). We purchased a shiny new upgrade to our old copier last year, and now our copier offsets collated stacks, staples, punches holes, and prints in color. I can also scan two pages of a book at once and it will automatically place each page on its own.

It’s a wonderful thing. This not only saves me time, but office space, too, as I originally had a separate printer for our color printing. Without a copier, our church couldn’t reach out to as many people as we do. I am thankful God allowed for copiers so we can do things like printing sermons for those in prison, copying handouts for lessons, copying homework for people we counsel, and a myriad other things. God truly makes His glory known through copiers.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

French Braids

Proverbs 31:27
"She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not 
eat the bread of idleness." 

There’s something about my hair being done firmly that feels like I’m ready to be productive - in a fun way. A ponytail doesn’t have the same feel, because it’s all firm in one place. A french braid is firm throughout your head, making it easier to move. I haven’t tried to french braid my hair since I cut it short, but finally feel I've grown it out long enough to french braid again. I forgot how good it feels to have my hair up in a french braid!

I am thankful for french braids, and the fun feeling God has given me to associate with them. Aside from the feeling, it really does help me to get physical things done, since I can trust my hair isn’t going to impede my progress.

What thing is God using in your life that you associate with the feeling of productivity or progress?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


1 John 1:7
"...but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

My husband and I recently started attending regular D&D sessions with a group of our friends. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a game in which you have one person making up the story (scenario, really), and a number of “party members” (aka your friends) who role play different characters through an adventure. It’s great fun, and an excuse to spend some time with your friends.

I know some have questioned the ethicality of the game, but a game is what you make of it. If you play with people who have questionable ethics, you will likely be playing a scenario with questionable ethics. If you play with people who uphold Christ’s standard, you will likely be playing a scenario with the same. We play with our Christian friends.

I love books, and D&D is a bit like being able to take part in a book along with your friends. You and your friends can affect the outcome - and even create a bit of the story yourselves. It has been a wonderful opportunity to share something we enjoy with our friends, and they with us. A session often lasts about five hours, and that time is spent laughing and observing one another’s thought patterns.

I am thankful for D&D, that God has used it in our lives to give us a regular source of connection with friends, and a bit of fun time to mentally enter a different world for awhile. What neutral tool are you thankful to be able to use for "good"?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


1 Chronicles 29:13
"Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name."

Photo cropped from Michael Pollak's original.

I’m not very good about drinking enough water - mostly because I forget. In an effort to drink more water, I keep a glass next to me as often as I think of it. Fairly recently, I discovered the Camelbak water bottle, which has a bite valve on a straw. Drinking water is not difficult, it just means I have to stop what I’m doing for a moment to get up and refill my water. Or perhaps, to pick up my cup to drink. I think, “I’ll do it after I finish this.” Then I get sidetracked and don’t remember. I thought, “if it’s on a straw, I won’t have to use my hand. I can drink while I work!”

I purchased the biggest Camelbak I found at the store (fewer trips to refill), which was 1 liter. I love it! I keep it at work, so I don’t forget to drink during the day, but take it home with me on the weekends. I really miss it if I forget it somewhere. It’s great because it’s incredibly mobile - so it goes where I go. I drink a little in the car, a little on the couch, a little while playing video games, etc. It has served its purpose quite well.

I am thankful for God's provision of a Camelbak. It's one more thing showing His care. I even don’t seem to be sick as often!

What is something in which you can see His care?

Monday, February 11, 2013


Luke 10:41-42
"But the Lord answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'"

I like to wear pajamas when I’m sick. I’m not terribly sick, but enough to infect others, so I stayed in. My pajamas of choice are microfiber, and the soft cozy feeling helps to keep me in the mindset of rest rather than getting something done.

God is teaching me - and I am slowly learning - how to not constantly feel as though I need to be getting something done. That need to "do" is not derived from His will, but from placing my worth in what I get done. (See more on that in Impressions - Success and Failure.) So as strange as it sounds, I am thankful God even uses pajamas to help me keep in the proper perspective.

What can you (or do you) use to help keep you in the right mindset?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Obedience

Luke 18:14b
"'...for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.'"

Pride manifests in so many ways. As a teenager, I didn’t think I was prideful. I knew I struggled with it from time to time, but I wouldn’t have said it was one of the major sins I struggled with. God has been seriously redefining my terms!

I thought of pride as someone who thought they were the best at something and lorded it over people. God has redefined it for me: anything that puts me (my wants, my needs, my goals, etc.) on the throne of my heart rather than God Himself. As long as God is not the center of my focus - which includes my thoughts and actions - then I am committing idolatry.

What is the idol I am worshipping, and why am I worshipping it? Good things can become idols - time with my spouse, writing my book - but why do those idols become idols? Because I am seeking to meet a need or desire through that idol instead of through God. I am placing my hope in that thing rather than in God.

Spending time with my husband meets my need for intimacy. Writing my book fulfills me. These are not bad things, but it is bad when I seek them over the will of God. These things could very well be within God’s will, but I need to check in with Him first, and His eternal perspective. Any time I try to meet my needs through something other than God and His will, I am being prideful.

That’s a lot of pride.

Thank God for His grace! I pray for His continued diligence in my life to not only point out my sin, but to help me overcome it. For every don’t there’s a do. (See Impressions - Do’s and Don’ts for more.)

Paul says of Christ in Philippians 2:8, “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Instead of living in my pride, I am to humble myself in obedience to God. The first step for this is confession.

Lord, thank You for Your help to overcome my pride and walk in humility with You.

How does this definition of pride (and thus, humility) affect you?

Friday, February 8, 2013


2 Corinthians 10:5
"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the 
obedience of Christ..."

I love speakers (especially good ones!) because I love listening to music. Headphones are great, but speakers make it much easier to enjoy music with others. I have a soundtrack, of sorts, that plays in my head in the background throughout my day-to-day life, but it’s much nicer to be able to share what I’m listening to, and speakers do just that.

Left to my own devices, the soundtrack can get somewhat moody if I don’t “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ[.]” (2 Corinthians 10:5b) I mostly use speakers to either play K-Love or my Christian music playlist to keep my thoughts on Christ. Focus on Him raises my spirits, rather than focus on myself, which leads to discontentment.

I am thankful for speakers, that they can be a great tool to keep my mind stayed upon the Lord. What helps you keep your mind on Christ?

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." 

Smiles can come out of nowhere and catch you by surprise. Pleasant surprise.

I often stay up a little while after my husband with the light on to read or some such in bed. He graciously puts on a sleep mask and proceeds to enter the world of dreams. Sometimes he will start “awake” and say something to me, or ask a nonsensical question (which usually makes me smile). And sometimes he’ll “wake,” smile at me, then turn over and go back to sleep.

Last night was such a night. He even added a kiss in my direction. There was no reason for it, nothing to precipitate it, he simply smiled at me. I felt special (the kiss also helped) and, in turn, it made me smile, too.

God uses smiles like that in my life to remind me He loves and cares for me. It could be a random stranger I walk past who flashes me a smile, or my one-year-old son’s grin as I walk into the room, or my husband starting from sleep to smile at me. God knew a smile right then would make me feel loved. I am thankful for how God works through smiles.

Have you smiled lately? God is causing all things to work together to make us more like Christ!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Safety Gates

2 Chronicles 16:9a
"For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His."

When you have a small mobile child, one rather energy-saving item is a safety gate. Our son has been mobile since about five months, when he learned to crawl. He is constantly on the go, and blocking his path to dangerous (or unsupervised) territory is so much easier than grabbing him every minute when he chooses to head its direction.

When I look back on my life as God’s child, I can see various safety gates He has erected to keep me from going to dangerous places (not to say He doesn’t just grab me when I head that way, too, sometimes). I am blessed I cannot go anywhere apart from His supervision, but He does allow me to choose either to sin or to follow Him. I don’t know about you, but more and more I find I sin quite frequently, which can lead to some pretty dangerous places - whether in my thought life, or the physical world.

It is much like shutting a door, I think. God closes doors in our lives for many varying reasons. Sometimes, though, it’s as though He puts up a safety gate I can still see through, but not go through. And sometimes, I can see why He didn’t want me to go through.

I am very thankful for safety gates, to assist me in the care of our son, and that God uses them to sometimes clue me in on what He has saved me from. Can you think of something God saved you from?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Ecclesiastes 11:5
"Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things."

Having known the marvelous benefits of plumbing, I would mourn were I unable to use it any longer. Plumbing (while working properly, of course) makes life so much easier! A nice hot shower at the day’s end can serve to ease a multitude of ailments, and I truly appreciate the general lack of stench due to a plumbed toilet. Raising a child without running water would be no picnic. I often find myself holding my one-year-old (whether to keep him out of trouble, or because he likes it) and thus am limited to one hand. Pouring water onto something requires a hand to pour and a hand to hold whatever you’re trying to pour the water into. Thanks to God’s indirect invention of plumbing, all I have to do is flip a lever with one hand and then hold the item under the faucet. Not to mention, I don’t have to pump or draw the water and then haul it to my home.

Christians talk about God being in all things, and with each new thankful thing, I find myself praising Him because of the vastness of that reality. When I consider each and every little thing God has His hands in, I bring myself face-to-face with just how immeasurable and infinite God really is. He cannot be defined because there is no combination of words to truly describe Him.

I am thankful for plumbing, that it is one more thing to portray His infiniteness (and, of course, for the convenience!). May I see Him more and more and be humbled in praise and awe. Can you find His mark in something simple like plumbing?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Toilet Paper

Psalm 68:19
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation. Selah."

We almost ran out of toilet paper the other day. This made for a necessary shopping trip; I was not about to be caught without toilet paper if I could help it. Not only can it help prevent disease, but it’s just a nicer experience overall to the alternative.

I am thankful God created toilet paper. It’s such a simple thing, and I think we often take it for granted, since it is so abundant. Yet, without toilet paper, I am really not sure what our modern world would look like. More and more I find God often uses the little things, the unnoticed things, the mundane things, to change the world.

Certainly, He uses the large things, too - like Christ paying our penalty and restoring our relationship with God. Yet God also daily holds our world and all its working parts together. He walks with us daily in an astounding and beautiful relationship full of grace. Only God is capable of all that, and only God is worthy of all our praise! May we recognize His blessings more and more!

What is a "mundane" blessing you see in your life?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weekly Impressions - Back to Basics

Romans 2:4
"Or do you think lightly of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?"

I have enjoyed seeking God in each of my thankful things. However, I am rediscovering how best to be thankful and give God the glory. I have a tendency to get a little too theological. Being theological isn’t bad - it’s good to learn about and ponder the Creator. However, when I let theology become the point rather than God Himself, I am placing theology on the throne instead of God.


Please forgive me for committing idolatry. Lead me to live Your teaching rather than simply dissect it. As my pastor describes it so well, let what I learn about You flow from my head to my heart to my hands. Show me how best to serve You and give me a willingness and desire to do what You have shown me. Thank You for the victory in Your Son, and that You always answer prayer. May Your light shine through me, and not my own murky glimmer I mistake for light.


There is such a fine line to what I put on the throne when my own pride becomes involved. I would venture to say it’s one of the trickiest and most common pitfalls we sinners encounter. Yet, through Christ, I can repent and overcome my pride one bit at a time. I often find He will bring me back to the basics to accomplish just that.

Confess, pray, repent, and be thankful. I get so caught up in the more advanced ideas that I forget these. Thank You, Lord, that Your kindness leads me to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

What forms the foundation of your faith? Does it show in your everyday life?

Friday, February 1, 2013


Jeremiah 10:12
"It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding He stretched out the heavens."

I love water. I love to swim in it and feel my weight lift a little, and the way the water spreads and showcases my hair. I love to quench my thirst with it, to feel the rain on my face, and even to watch what happens when you slosh it around in a water bottle. I also love to chew on ice - sorry to those of you who can’t stand listening to those of us who do. There are so many things I love about water - including the ability to quickly warm myself with it.

Water is an incredibly versatile substance. It is present in most, if not all, living organisms. It expands when frozen, increases the air’s humidity when heated, disperses weight, cleanses your body, washes dirt off, provides power with its kinetic energy, and can even cut if applied correctly. Many of our needs can be met by using water in some fashion.

God gave us water as one of the basics of life, and it’s no coincidence it covers 75% of our earth. He knew what He was doing when He spoke the world into existence, and He knows what He’s doing today. I thank God He chose to create one of the substances of our most basic makeup with such versatility. He is so infinitely wise and knowledgeable in all He does. How can I do anything but praise Him?