But God.

I was beyond repair,
Desperate, with a yearning
That, despite my greatest efforts, could not be satisfied.
My wounds were real,
Although they were not all bleeding,
They caused a pain which could not be denied.

And in my ability to reason,
I found no reason for the chaos;
My answer lasted until another took its place.
The world kept shifting,
Adjusting, readjusting,
I grew weary clearly running a prize-less race.

But God,
He knew me in my weakness,
having known what life is like in flesh and bone,
He showed me mercy, and though I was undeserving,
In His love and boundless kindness chose to call me as His own.

Then it began,
I could see His word was infinitely different
Than the things I had accepted in the finiteness of men.
There is truth!
In His standards I found freedom
Apart from which my slavery to wavering I could not comprehend.

And God,
He sees me as His child,
Having put to death my sin through the righteousness of Christ,
He leads me on, even though I often stumble,
Through His grace I know forgiveness, by His sacrifice I live!

Now I have hope,
It’s an everlasting promise,
It’s not the kind of thing that humans can destroy.
My fear is gone,
With only God as my foundation
I can look forward to an eternity of peace, and rest, and joy….

Where God,
Having fulfilled all His words,
Will be glorified forever by all peoples in that day,
We’ll bless His name, of endless love always reminded
Because we will be serving
the Lamb who was slain.

Copyright BG 2014

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For one reason.

When the wind blows in with its haunting howls,
And I’m falling down,
I can get back up for one reason,
I know you care…

About the things that I never get to say,
About the things that make me who I am,
And all the things I will not do for reasons only you see through.

When the sky caves in and the waters fall,
And they’re rising above my head,
I hold my breath for one reason,
I know you’ll be there…

When my opponents win the games they like to play
When the load is more than I could ever bear,
And I wonder why I’m here when you’ve already made it clear.

You’ve led me by example,
You’ve served the ones you love,
When tested under fire,
You’ve proved enough….

When the earth moves and the clouds are dark,
And I’m dismissed by the crowds with just one glance,
I stand my ground for one reason,
I know you did it, too.

Meet BJ, a living reminder of God’s goodness.

BJ comes from humble, horrifying beginnings. After his birth, his mother left him in a sewer. A passerby heard faint cries, and located BJ in the bottom of a pit. BJ was not doing well, and the man who found him went to great lengths to save his life. BJ technically should not have made it this far, but God had plans for him.

He was placed in an orphanage, where friends of mine in Kenya, who had been praying for a little boy, were told about his arrival. They began to go through the tricky “legal” process of adopting him, and finally were able to bring him home. At this point they were just guardians, awaiting the rest of the process and were not legally his parents – but God had provided BJ a loving home. This is BJ that day, not even a year old…..

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Little did they know, his new parents had begun one of the most trying, stressful, and sanctifying journeys they had ever experienced. The legal process was inconsistent at best, but they kept at it. After many tears, disappointing court cancelations, trips across Africa, lots of uncertainty, and with an abundance of prayers, the day they had eagerly longed for came.

Yesterday, after more than two years of BJ being their son, the court officially recognized his adoption. Praise God for His loving-kindness! On BJ’s third birthday, he and his family were given the blessing of being together “forever” – as God intended. From the violence of his beginnings in the sewer, to the love and peace of a family who needed him; God worked miraculously in their story – to His glory!

Here is BJ now…..

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From empty to worthy: God redeems the mundane.

Sometimes I fancy a dinner out alone, or going to grab coffee solo. Do not get me wrong, I love time with family and friends; however, they distract me somewhat from my surroundings. As I begin to write this, I am sitting at an Asian eatery in my hometown. It is centrally located between the universities, and has been a hotspot for locals for many years. The atmosphere is what you would expect from an artsy university town: part student, part professor, equal parts hippie and hipster. Aside from the light of a few recognizably God-serving people, there is a profound emptiness and aimlessness about the souls surrounding me.

When my meal came, I took a moment to assess myself before God and prayed. In those moments, I heard the conversations of the people nearby. Two young women were discussing the drug usage of one of their mothers. A motley crew, including yet ignoring a lovely little girl, were considering new gourmet recipes they wish to prepare and were pretty stoked about them. There were some Korean students looking at a fashion book who looked like they stepped out of the same. Then there were three adult friends talking about the cities from which they came and deciding not to “assimilate” to the local ways. It struck me that there was no presence of a higher purpose; no hint of hope, and not a clue of what loving or being loved is. Their compasses were resoundingly their own hearts, along with the fluctuating input of their communities and cultures. It is times like these when I am truly grateful to understand that God has the ability and power to reach into these lives, because these moments make me feel so small and incapable of making the difference required to affect change in them.

Back to the point: what is it that makes the daily details of life empty to an unsaved person, but worthy to the saved? I asked myself, why are these seemingly mundane things not empty for me but were when I heard these patrons speaking about them? I can’t judge these people without considering myself and, more importantly, considering how God sees them.

The answers I considered are twofold:

– Saved people have hope of eternal life, guaranteed by Christ’s work on the cross. (Jn. 10:27-28). There are a variety of outcomes resulting from this truth, one of which is that daily tasks and activities are not the “end all” for the believer. The person who has no hope of eternal life puts all value in the temporal and immediate – because they have nothing else. On the other hand, the Christian puts his/her faith and hope in God (1 Pet. 1:20-21), freeing us to see all life from His perspective.

-Saved people have a guidebook for life (the Bible) which provides standards and commands and purposes for their lives. The Bible gives us a plumb-line against which we check ourselves. It tells us about our Creator, His kingdom program, what to do about sin, how to love our enemies, what family should look like, the past and future, Jesus Christ, et al. It tells us concerning the Lord, that “from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.” The unbeliever has no source of final truth, making him/her the judge of morality, truth, and everything in between. Unbelievers are bound to the chains of sin, and have to live beneath its great weight. Conversely, by grace Christians are freed from such bondage to maneuver all things to the glory of God.

In other words, God redeems the mundane. The reconciliation of the created with the Creator transforms the emptiness of our deeds apart from Him into something worthwhile because of Him. If you are saved, remember that you have been liberated from living for yourself, and are now to reflect Christ to the world by your life. If you are reading this and do not know Jesus as your Savior, let me tell you that He makes full the emptiness that you have undoubtedly felt and is both able and willing to heal the broken when they come to Him for help.

Crédit Nominal

“Where wards are weak and foes encount’ring strong,
    Where mightier do assault than do defend,
The feebler part puts up enforcèd wrong,
    And silent sees that speech could not amend.
Yet higher powers must think, though they repine,
When sun is set, the little stars will shine.”

                                            – Robert Southwell                                                                 

                          [Scorn Not The Least]