A Certainty that Cannot Be Shaken

“We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken” (Amy Carmichael).

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around what happened in Paris.

Granted, I didn’t even hear about it until I’d gotten home from work.

I turned on CNN and saw where at least 153 people had been killed in what looks like ISIS terrorist attacks on innocent civilians.

If it happened there, it could happen here. But still, the fact that it happened anywhere matters. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Attacks on liberty are a threat to liberty anywhere and everywhere.

I still don’t know why things like that happen. I know it’s a fallen and broken world. I know that people are capable of the worst acts, as evidenced by the Holocaust and Slavery and a million other atrocities.

I also know that God is in control.

I know that God can take the worst tragedies and turn them into something beautiful.

I still believe that in the end, Love wins. Jesus wins.

I know and believe with all my heart that, try as it might, darkness can never truly drive out the light. The only failure is a failure of the light when it refuses to shine.

I’m praying for Paris. I’m praying for all those who are burdened by oppression and injustice tonight.

May God have mercy on us all.




Back in 1967, the Beach Boys recorded an album that never got released. That is, until 2011. It was the love-child of Brian Wilson, who was (and presumably still is) one one of the most brilliant (and eccentric) artists out there. And I mean out there.

Aside from Good Vibrations, Smile isn’t the most radio-friendly record ever made. From my understanding, what finally got released in 2011 is a not-quite-finished product that hinted at what might have been. It’ll probably take me listening to the whole thing at least two or three times before I can come to any kind of informed opinion.

That said, my advice for you today is to smile. God’s got this. You don’t have to worry that somethings going to pop up on the radar screen and catch God off guard. He knows it all and He’s in control, both of your life and of everything else in the universe.

It’s easy to fall into a state of anxiety over all the possible outcomes and all that could go horribly wrong in your life. But that does no good. Plus, worry dethrones God and puts you where only God belongs in the center of your life. That’s a scary place to be.

It helps if you  have two kinds of friends out there: those who will encourage you and see more in you than you see in yourself and those who will call your B.S. and not let you settle for less than your best. You need both. I know I do.

For me, music has been a great antidote to anxiety at those times when I felt overwhelmed. Art and beauty can do that. Most of all, I’m thankful that God is composing the symphony of my life and He alone knows that when it’s done, it will be a masterpiece. For that I’m most thankful.

Just Another Sleepy Sunday

I have been sleepy all day today. Maybe it’s because it’s been grey and overcast just about the entire day. Maybe because it’s Sunday. Maybe it’s because I didn’t take my customary Sunday afternoon, choosing instead to watch an old movie on TCM.

Regardless, I have a feeling I’ll sleep really good tonight.

I’ve never been more aware of my dire need for God than lately. I need him desperately every hour of every day, every minute of every hour, and every second of every minute. He’s the one who holds me together.

I’ve also never been more aware of the abiding peace of knowing that God is in control of my life. I don’t know what the days and weeks and months ahead hold for me, but I know God knows.

So instead of seeing problems and obstacles, I’m choosing to see blessings. Like the blessings of family and friends, good health, freedom of worship, and life. I hope I never get over the joy of celebrating each and every day as a gift and every person in my life as a blessing that I don’t deserve but I get anyway.

So many will go to bed hungry. So many will end the day alone. So many will have to wake up tomorrow without purpose or meaning or God in their lives.

I need to remember that I’m not blessed so I can grow fat and happy. I’m blessed so that I can in turn be a blessing to someone else who needs it.

So my questions to you are the same ones I’m asking myself. Who are you going to be a blessing to today? Who will you pray for? Who will you encourage? Whose lives will you speak into, whether through a phone call or a text or a facebook post?

If you woke up at all today, you’re blessed. If you had at least one meal today, you’re blessed. If you had shelter from the rain and a car to drive, you’re blessed. If you had family and friends to cheer you up, you’re blessed.

So, how will you pay it forward?