Thursday, September 27, 2012

God Rest

"For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: "This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it." - Psalm 132:14

I'm really tired.  While yesterday I slept in until !11AM!, this morning at !3AM! David marched into my room and informed me that I had forgotten to give him back scratches before bed.


I don't know how he knew I hadn't given him back-scratches before bed.  He was asleep when I carried him to bed.  Maybe it was just a wild guess.  But he was right.  I hadn't.  He had me.

So I slid out of bed to do penance.  I walked with David up the long flight of stairs to his room,  layed down with him and fell asleep (I know experienced parents everywhere were yelling "NO!  Don't do it!").

But I love getting to sleep with David.  Just to be with him and watch him rest brings me rest.  Even with as tired as I am today, I'd probably do it again.  And I think this is part of what God getting across in the verse above.  He desires to rest with us.  He finds rest in watching us rest.

We talk a lot in Christian circles about entering into God's rest.  But what about this God who enters into ours?  This hints a lot of the incarnation, does it not?

I love it.  The bible always surprises me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Talitha Cumi

"Taking her by the hand he said to her, 'Talitha cumi,' which means, 'little girl, I say to you, arise.'" - Mark 5:41

Teya, my 6 year old, doesn't like to pray.  I think she's only prayed once at dinner.  And I've never heard her pray elsewhere.  I miss her voice talking to Jesus.

Sure as a parent I have a million worries over my child:  Will she grow up to love Jesus?  Will she understand she is loved?  Will she search for love in all the wrong places?

But this afternoon, as I was reading in Mark, I read this verse that comforted me.  It reminded me that Jesus is the one who raises the dead.  And he is the one who furiously loves my daughter.

I am confident that I will one day hear Teya pray.  One day she will invite me in.  But for now I have to rest in the fact that her relationship with Jesus (which I believe runs pretty deep) is growing.

Why?  Because I know that Jesus says over my little girl "Talitha cumi."  I think I'm going to join him in praying it.

Mornings are Mean

From the cocoon of the warm, soft bedsheets, I roll over and look at the clock: 11AM!  I roll back over and curl back up into my cocoon, thinking "I'm just not ready yet.  Plus, I've been sleeping on my hands, and they're still asleep.  I need to give them time to wake."

The truth is, I'm rarely ever ready to wake up.  Mornings hit me like a 2'x4' to the back of my head.  Well actually it's more like a 2"x4".  

That's why, when I finally muster up the energy and courage to slide out of my warm, sweet, peaceful and blissful cocoon of soul-nourishment (usually b/f 11AM!), the first thing I have to do is kneel and mumble my way through a prayer.

Typically, as my brain hasn't yet entered into the realm of actual cognition, I pray the Lord's Prayer -  "... thy kingdom come, thy will be done..."

And the reality is I'm pleading with God just to give me the energy to make my bed.  After that I know he will help me take on the barking dogs of life.  But it's hard when faced with a day, for people like me (the morning haters), to believe that we'll get through.  

But the truth is, I'm blogging, I'm 36 years old, I have 2 kids, I have an amazing wife, I have a job to go to that I really enjoy, and I have a God who's continuing to pursue my heart.  I am ridiculously blessed!

But then there are these danged mornings.  Why is it that in the morning, everything looms so scary-like?  It's like I have monsters leaning over my bed taunting me and prodding me with their gnarled claws, laughing as I curl up and dive deeper under the sheets.

Teya and David pop out of bed like jack-in-the-boxes.  In fact so does Melissa.  What's their deal?  For them, the day must be full of stuff like "potential" and chirping birds and Mary Poppins floating around with umbrellas.  For me, well, I wouldn't mine shooting a few of their birds with a bb gun.

Where am I going with all of this, other than just whining.  Honestly, I'm not exactly sure.  But I just wanted to post something in case their are any other fellow morning-haters out there who will commiserate with me, and perhaps pray for me in the after-noon.  For us, perhaps heaven will always and only begin at noon.

Until then we can just do our best to mumble prayers and lean hard on God in the hopes we don't kill anyone before we reach our liquid elixir of life.  Coffee, mmm.       

Note on picture: My parents gave me this alarm clock.  I love the irony of facing the dark-side each morning.  Of course Storm-troopers were always so easy to kill.  Even with his diminutive size, my one's been hard to kill.  There's something in those dark eyes that says, "You better pray boy.  You better pray.  Pray!  I will zap you boy!"  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Alligator Encounter

"The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" - Psalm 27:1

I cautiously approach the submerged alligator.  It's one eye facing me is wide open and doesn't look friendly.  I bend down to pick up a twig to chuck at it in the hopes I can get it to move.  But as soon as I bend down !WHOOSH! it jerks it's head towards me, flips it's body around and takes off.

My animal encounter was at a pond about 20 yards from the road into Cru Headquarters where I work.  It happened about 15 minutes ago.  And my immediate response to the alligator flip was to jump and scramble away.

But here's something telling about me: almost simultaneous with my encounter and my little terrified backwards jump-skip was that I looked back at the road to see if anyone had seen my display.  And sure enough someone was driving by, probably chuckling to themselves thinking "Noobie."

I live like this.  The specter of being exposed as an idiot or fraud or you-name-it is something that lurks around a lot.

Rated on a scale, I suppose I care about an immensely painful death only slightly more than I care about what others think of me.  Alright so maybe it's not that bad, I'm not that afraid of dying a horrific death.

(Pause.)  I just had to step away to introduce myself to a big-wig here at headquarters.  The HR directer for the ministry of Cru.  Oh, wow!  So there you go, I care.  A lot.

I sometimes end up berating myself for this propensity to care so much about what people think.  But recently, or rather right now as I'm typing, I'm thinking that this is just a consistent reminder to me to keep digging in to the gospel.  For in the...

(Pause Again.  I just found out that Dan Allender - an individual who's personality just drips gospel saturation - is speaking here at HQ, I've got to go...)  I'm back.  

In the gospel I am freed from the noose that I've carefully tied and slid over my head.  The noose of pride and self-ambition.  I am absolutely free to be myself.

I can and probably should run wildly away from alligators.  I should wave my hands in the air.  I scream and scramble madly to the road.  I should bang on windshields and beg (perhaps with eyes bulging and mouth frothing) for a ride away from this life-threatening place.

And what's gloriously good about freedom, is that I can look back at the man in the noose, and ask, "Just why am I so concerned with what people think?"

I have validation, perfection, righteousness, fullness, completeness, acceptance, peace in my heavenly father's love.  So let the alligator of self-exposure flip and splash.  Let it charge.  I know the God of alligators.  I'm his friend, and he will smite you, you mean reptilian dinosaur.

I hope this encourages you like it encourages me.  For we all have alligators.  We all have secrets.  We all hide.  We all are scared to be truly known.  For we are all so sure that true knowledge of us would bring crushing and excruciating rejection.

BUT the gospel says "Not so, for you are loved, and you are very good."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hey Genesis...

I may not get a chance to write today, but I've been interacting with high-schoolers through email, and I wrote this little piece for a student. It encouraged me to write it as I really needed to hear it.  Maybe it will encourage you as well:

Hey Genesis (What a name!),

Great to hear back from you.  I've struggled with what you're talking with a lot myself.  I can't imagine that God really loves me.  But this is the lie that Satan has pummeled into humanity - "God doesn't really love you."  

But imagine with me someone who made everything that makes you uniquely you - God.  

Now imagine with me someone who would do anything for you - God.  

Now imagine with me someone who would not only do anything for you but would go all the way and die for you - God.  

Now imagine someone that would not only die for you but would experience something far worse that we humans can understand, receiving all of God's judgement on sin on the cross so that we don't have to - God.   

Now imagine that it's all not just your imagination, it's truer than anything.

This is why the Gospel is called "good news," because we are literally rescued from ourselves, even our inconsistencies in understanding how to believe.  God covers it all and all he asks for in return is nothing.  He doesn't want you to do anything, he simply wants to begin relating to you.  How does that sound?

All of the above is why I don't think God is the type to brush you off.  I know he's not.  In fact I believe you are already his.  It sounds like you want to be right?  He looks with delight on you.  He rejoices over you.  He is enthralled with you.  He can't wait to relate more of his goodness to you.  He wants you to be filled with joy.  He wants you to be blown away by his goodness.  He wants you to read scripture and know that it is all written for people like you.  He wants you to finally relax and start to learn how to really be loved. 

I'm writing a lot of this for me as well.  I have to hear it again and again and again, because the lie can be so so loud.  But unless the gospel is good news for sinners like me, people who are always either trying to measure up, or can't give a rip about God, than it's not the gospel.  It says somewhere in my bible "that God showed his great love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Just receive it with thanks!  It is totally free.  And it sets us free.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Curses and Love

I got up early this Monday morning in an attempt to beat my worries and fears out the door.  I was thinking that if I could just get up early enough, before my brain had turned on, I could get to the office and have a productive day and feel better about myself.

Well, what-do-you-know, it worked!

These are the emotional dog days for me. It could be something as simple as missing a few nights sleep, or messing up my medications, but whatever it is these are the times when I my personal hate meter goes berserker.

I'm pretty good at hate, especially when it comes to hating myself.  I'm viscious, I'm mean and I'm merciless.  

My hatred makes me not want to have anything to do with God, church or the bible.  But I know somewhere deeper than my resentment that there is indeed a very real hope in the gospel.  For it's even in these hateful times that I also thirst.

Teya met me at the door not to long ago with these lyrics: "The storms of life, may push and pull, but God is with us God is in control."  As I was muttering and cursing myself yesterday (I was mowing the lawn, in the middle of the day, in September, in Orlando, FL - if that's not a good set-up for a good self-cursing I don't know what is), I couldn't get that lyric out of my head.

The lyric in my head reflects a gospel that is real and bigger than my feelings and hate, simply because it's rooted in fact.  And when you hope in facts, you can feel hateful, mean, vicious, sick and all sorts of awful things about the facts, and it doesn't make one tiny ounce of difference.  That's the beautiful thing about facts.   And the big fact for me today is that I'm in the hands of a good physician.

Yeah, it definitely bothers me that when the storms of life hit, I'm quick to run to everything but God, and I'm quick to turn on myself and others with hate.   It bothers me that I have the nerve to point my finger at God when I begin to sink in the storm of my self-loathing.  It bothers me as I know my actions are totally unfair.  But my suspicion is that "being bothered" rather than repentant is just a form of spiritual pride, so I don't need it much anyway.

However, what is really cool about the good news, is that my attitudes only highlight God's love, grace and mercy.  For he loves me with all the hatred.  He loves me warts, foot fungus and all!

When life pinches me between a net full of crabs and a cactus patch, I'm quick to throw in the towel (which kind of works, because it confuses that crabs and covers the cactus patch.  So that metaphor totally breaks down).  I know for certain I'm no Job of the bible.  I curse God all the time.  If I'd have been in Job's shoes or sandals it wouldn't have been long before they were smoking.

But God's heard curses before.  I know he did on the cross.  And it's to that that I must nod, and precisely because of that that I'm deeply encouraged today.  And it's in his love, that I can love myself, radically.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jesus Humanity

"By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that come from your confession of the gospel of Christ...  while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift." - 2 Corinthians 9:13-15

I wonder how often I really "confess the gospel of Christ"?  How often do my actions and generosity reflect God's surpassing grace that is upon me?  In fact I believe that in not reflecting the gospel I am stiff-arming this grace, his "inexpressible gift."

Recently, I've had to face my own tendency to simply not care for those God has put in my path.  It's been sort of depressing.  Alright so it's been really depressing.  And I'm not talking about the kids and Melissa, though I often take them for granted as well.

What I'm talking about are those who I know are hurting around me in ministry, needing an encouraging call, a pause at their desk to show interest or simply an ear to listen.  How many times do I pass up these opportunities to reflect God because I'm too busy focusing on stuff that I deem "important"?

This whole blogging thing, while cathartic, can also be a little annoying at times like these.  Writing about how the gospel collides with my life can be a little uncomfortable.  It can be sort of like seeing a huge pimple in the mirror and determining to ignore it for the rest of the day.  You know every one else is going to see it and be grossed out, but you are just not willing to go to the effort of dealing with the pimple.

I know its sort of a gross illustration.  But sin is gross and it probably effects those around me far more than I think.  And every time I refuse to do what I hear in passages like the one above, I do positive harm to people.

Then there's the flip-side, the reality of God's abounding grace.  The reality of this super-abundant, over-flowing, all-surpassing love that surrounds me every day.  This tender and compassionate stance that God has towards me, always gifting me an undeserving one.

This morning I found David (our four year old) settling in for a mid-morning nap at the foot of the stairs.  He had a pillow, a blanket, and his pink "blanky" (which has been handed down from Teya and even has tassels on it!  I love it).  With his thumb firmly planted in his mouth, he looked up at me with the satisfied/mischievous look of a child towards father, a look that said, "I know this looks sooo comfortable that it must be wrong, but let's just keep this to ourselves ok?"

I couldn't resist this little bundle of satisfaction.  I knelt down, and in an act of worship kissed David and gave him a little tickle.  God's grace is everywhere, tenderly pursuing the selfish and self-absorbed like me.

This is why I am determined, at least in this moment, to respond to this grace with more fervor, to enjoy it with more thanksgiving and to share today.  It's the Christian's joy to know that grace trumps sin, the Christian's hope that the void we feel between us and the gospel is closing and the Christian's deepest desire to express this "inexpressible gift" with the actions of his/her life.

I say all this in the hopes that I'm lining up in the tradition of Paul exhorting the Corinthians, who just loved to see humanity reacting to this rightness from God, this obedience to who we now are.

For in Jesus I am "pimple-less" before the most important mirror there is.  And my soul aches for more Jesus humanity, both in me and in the world around me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"The empty Jesus promise"

"For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins." - 2 Peter 1:9

"The empty Jesus promise."

Could there be such a thing?  I think so.  It's what I've begun to call so many sermons, messages, sayings and teachings  we pass around that are simply too simplistic, too "spiritual" (in the bad sense of the term) and too trite to connect to my personal brokenness and then the brokenness of the world around me.

It could be something as simple as someone saying "all things work together for the good..." when I'm struggling with depression.  Or it might be a sermon that spends 90% of it's time focusing on prohibition and 10% on grace.  Or it might be the message of Jesus, the cross and the resurrection so time worn in out presentations ("our" being key) that we just think, "Blah, I've heard that before."

Now a note of caution:  Often Jesus seems like an empty promise because we're not really experiencing him.  And I'll admit, this is definitely part of what I struggle with all the time, though I experience him all the time as well (it's weird).

But I think there's something deeper going on.  The Jesus we get on a Sunday morning, or when we flip on the radio or when talking with friends is often kind of plastic.  He's been used.  And the vision we get of him is tired.

For me, I think it might have something to do with living in the west, where Jesus is literally turned into plastic (as I type there's a very blonde plastic one not more than 20 yards from me in the office. He's even in a glass case!  But to give my co-workers credit, it's got to be a joke).   Then there's the problem that God seems ever-so-silent here, so we messengers of the gospel scramble all the more to make our presentations more compelling and more realistic, all the while barely believing in them ourselves.

This "empty Jesus promise" is the opposite of reality.  We live in a time when Jesus is king.  We live in a time when, no matter how quiet God seems, he's coming.  Perhaps in America, we're experiencing the long winter in Narnia.  Or perhaps it's just all the cotton stuffing in our ears that keeps us from hearing the music of Jesus.  Whatever it is, I know we've become blind to what we actually have in Jesus.

And then there's right wing American "Christian" politics, American mainstream evangelicalism and other stuff that I could write about for ages, trying to understand why it leads to our plastic Jesus-es and "empty Jesus promises."

My pastor-friend talked on the gospel this sunday, emphasizing how we just don't get it so often.  We don't get the furious grace of how we our favored by God in Jesus.  We don't get that there's never a time to move on from the gospel.  We don't get how the gospel itself is never simplistic, plastic, tired or worn out.

As I've emphasized so much in this blog, the gospel is always real and always new.  It's good news that is on the front page of our lives every single morning.  And if it feels empty, something may not simply be wrong with us, but what we've done to it.

Friday, September 7, 2012


"And behold the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them!  On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them."  - Ecclesiastes 4:1

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I forget how the gospel has the power to comfort.

I had a friend sharing with me his 13 year struggle with Lyme's disease, and I couldn't do much but just shake my head.  Sometimes silence is the best balm for those in pain.

I have another good friend who has been crippled by MS, and has been in a physical downward spiral for the past 10 years.  I don't even know how to process his pain.

I spoke with yet another friend today, who was abused as a child and is trying to put the pieces back together.  I could see the "tears of the oppressed" barely held back in his eyes.  

All around us, every day, are the oppressed.  Either disease or evil people have hacked away at the oppressed, and the oppressed truly have nowhere to turn but to God.

Interestingly enough, the verse I pulled from 2 Corinthians continues with: "For we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too."

An idea has been percolating in my brain for a long time.  It's this: In whatever form our suffering takes on there is real comfort in the gospel - precisely because the gospel is about a suffering God.  In the gospel there is subversive power, power to face the oppressor, power to defeat the oppressor, power found in Jesus Christ, the ultimate sufferer, to reverse everything.

Now I'm not talking some spiritual salve that sounds like the abuse of the phrase "he works all things for good."  No I'm talking about the truth that allows Paul to confidently write that statement:  That we have a God who not only is intimately aware and familiar with suffering, but who champions the sufferer's cause.

It is my hope that I will get more and more on board with God's agenda: bringing freedom to the oppressed.  Whether it's spending time with my friends and simply sitting with them in silence as a listener, or praying continually for them, my hope is that God would warm my heart beside the hearth of his steadfast love, so that I'd know this comfort and as Paul says, be able to "comfort those who are in any affliction."

My part to play is small, and I need comfort as well, but may I play my part well.    

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Commitment and Cactuses

"Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.  For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."  - 2 Corinthians 3:5-6

My director asked me yesterday if I'd be willing to look into a bible series on "complete surrender" or "total commitment" to God.  I just about choked on my own tongue.  Well, maybe it wasn't that bad, at least he didn't have to call an ambulance.

I "calmly" shared with him, after I'd dislodged my tongue, that I have a sort of visceral response to the words "total" and "complete" in Christian circles (While I did this with an ever so calm voice, my eyes darted around in panic to see if there was a potted plant or cactus - well you never know- I could hide behind).

No, our conversation didn't go exactly like that, but I did feel something uncomfortable wash over me when he mention those words - something akin to "total" and "complete" inadequacy in fact.  If I took on a project like that, I'd have to totally re-arrange my life so as not to be exposed as the fraud that I am (I know I'm not a fraud, I'm covered by the blood of Jesus and all that, but I have a tendency to view life outside of a true gospel grid).

So of course, like any good Christian, I scrambled and mumbled a few spiritual things which amounted to something like this:
"Sure!  I'd love to...  Hmm...  As I was praying this morning during the third watch, I met with the Spirit at our usual time and he said, 'Now that you have reached this level of intimacy and surrender with me, I am choosing you, in all your resplendent holiness, to write about your life that may not be rightly characterized by "complete" surrender, but is so... yes, is so very close.'

Yeah, I'm glad you brought this up in fact!  I'd totally love to take on the project since, since when I was doing my regular 13 hour read through the bible this morning (hard to squeeze in I know), I read in the Levitical code that there is one who twice every harvest year must intercede, after the sprinkling, to be a wave offering as of one testifying of completeness, of utter, total and unrelenting surrender.  And I was thinking 'Yeah, God, I could do that.'  That sounds easy enough.

So sure, I'd absolutely love to.  I totally don't struggle in that area at all.  Why?  Does it look like I struggle with surrender, because I so totally don't anymore.  That was just a faze."

So now that I've got to clean my keyboard with soap, for typing such egregious lies, I guess I did sign up for looking into it a bit, which I did this morning.  And so far what I'm finding, although I really haven't had much time to research (so I'm researching mostly within the cobwebs between my ears) is that the Christian life looks far from "complete surrender."  For example, if the Christian life was supposed to look like a line dance, it looks more like Salsa or Tango, or Jazzer-size or even Zumba!   

I mean who am I supposed to write about, Paul?  I know this is before he became a Christian, but didn't he watch over every-bodies' clothes so people could be unencumbered as they ever so gently lobbed STONES at Stephen!?

Am I supposed to write about Peter?  I know he was having sort of a tough time, but didn't he actually deny that he even knew Christ three times, even using colorful language on one go round!?

Should I look into the life of David?  Didn't he have a friend murdered, after he became an obsessed peeping-Tom with the poor guys wife!?  No excuse for that one.

Should I write about Moses?  Didn't he murder an Egyptian in cold blood and then run off into the desert, after God summoned him um not to the desert (maybe God did call him to the desert, one of my cobwebs seems to be saying so)!?

Should I write about Abraham, who was constantly trying to pass his wife off as his sister!?

Or maybe I should write about Jacob, who I think tried the same trick (I think, my cobwebs are rustling a little on this one too)?

Who on earth should I write about?

Who actually knows anything about "complete," or "total" surrender?  I know I don't.  My bible doesn't seem to have much on it (actually it does, but in a very different sense than I hear it).

But my bible does say a little about Jesus, and as the verse above says, maybe I should look to him in trying times like these, as I know I'm not going to find any good sized cactuses to hide behind, and I certainly am not qualified to write on "complete surrender."

So here goes: "Jesus help me!..  No, hold on, I got this...  No you're right Jesus, maybe you should take it...  No hold on let me see that again...  Sorry Jesus, here you are...  Would you just let go for a minute, I want one more try...  Oh, Jeeesus, come on!"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!"  - Psalm 115:1,2

This verse is what life is all about: God being glorified.

For the longest time though, and still every so often, this whole glorifying God thing gets really abstracted in my mind.  Why does he need glory?  What is glory?  How do we give him glory?

Rather than getting catechismal, I'm too lazy right now anyways, as it's 3PM after a busy labor-day weekend, I'm simply going to write and see what happens (hey, that's what I usually do anyways).

I believe that God can and is being glorified all the time.  As I look out the window at the 3pm summer sunlight hitting the well-manicured lawns where I work, I can't help but think that it's we humans, rather than nature, who are out of sink with this whole glory thing.

We want our glory right?  And I know that I get so busy trying to accomplish my goals and achieve my own personal salvation that I often barely cast a sideways glance at God's glory.

This happened just a couple of days ago.  I was out jumping my bike on some dirt-jumps (or sand jumps, since I live in central Florida). I've made in a some secluded woods near our house.  And I became so focused on me and perfecting my jump, that I was aware of a deep betrayal and unhappiness washing over my soul.  It felt like despair.

While I don't think there's anything wrong in losing yourself in an activity, I feel there's two losses of  self.  One is a grasping for perfection or satisfaction from something or someone - loss of self.  And the other is being so into what you are doing that you simply forget yourself - loss of self.

I was loosing myself the first way.  I was not allowing everything around me, the noisy bugs, the gently swaying grass, the nearby lake and its stillness, the mossy and knotted trees, the bright white central Floridian sand, the cool-ish breeze (it only ever gets cool-ish here), the nearby alligator (I know he's around somewhere) the exercise and bike jumping to achieve their purpose in me and through me.  In other words I was surrounded by glory but instead was pursuing self.  I was shrinking.

And I'm growing kind of tired of shrinking.  I'm tired of taking God's goodness for granted.  I'm tired of being unthankful.  I'm tired of winding up frustrated because I refuse to give weight to God.  

But in the verse above I'm reminded, that even with my own frustration, I'm still being selfish.  To stop shrinking and start growing again I've got to praise God.  To praise God is my greatest privilege.  To catch God's reflection in the world, through his word and through the Spirit, and to radiate him out into the world is my greatest honor, my greatest glory.  My glory is God's and God's glory is mine.

May God give his name glory.  We need it.