Friday, December 31, 2010



to THROW OFF everything that hinders and run with PERSEVERANCE this race marked out for me (us), and be STRONG in the grace of Jesus.


hebrews 12. 2 timothy 2.

Friday, December 24, 2010

older brother.

“I’ve been reminded lately of how easy it is to get caught up in circumstance and forget God’s presence.

Jacob: stole his brother’s birthright, on the run for his life, messed up, alone, sleeping outside with a rock for a pillow. THERE, in all that, in his sin, in his escape, in his solitude…there God shows up.

God reminds Jacob of His promise. Reminds Jacob that He will bring him back. Reminds Jacob that He will never leave him.

And in reverent awe, all is put into perspective and Jacob confesses: LORD, you are here. and I did not know.

God is near.

His promises are big.

In our sin we’ve not had to steal the birthright from our older brother – our older brother has handed it over, so that we could have what was promised.

the LAND.

RESTORATION with the Father.

God is NEAR.”

(a recent letter from my very wise friend anna. so good).

genesis 28.


“Miracles are a retelling in small letters the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”

-cs lewis.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the House of the Lord.

All the people raised a great shout extolling the Lord because the foundation of the House of the Lord had been laid. Many of the priests and Levites and the chiefs of the clans, the old men who had seen the first house, wept loudly at the sight of the founding fo this house. Many others shouted joyously at the top of their voices. The people could not distinguish the shouts of joy from the people's weeping, for the people raised a great shout, the sound of which could be heard from afar.

-ezra 3.


such zeal for Your house in the hearts of these people!

Oh Lord, may it consume our hearts as well.
who is like You, O Lord,

majestic in holiness

awesome in Splendor,

working wonders!

in Your love You lead

the people You redeemed;

in Your strength You guide

them to Your holy dwelling.

-exodus 15:13

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I am tired of being afraid.


God is who He says He is.

I am who He says I am.

His promises are standing in heaven.

His Kingdom cannot be shaken.

He has given me a spirit of power.


I will no longer be afraid.


Jesus, help my unbelief.

it's time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

like that.

one foot in and one foot back.

but it don't pay to live like that.

-avett brothers, i and love and you.

contrite spirit.

Indeed You desire truth about that which is hidden; teach me wisdom about secret things. True sacrifice to God is a contrite spirit; God, You will not despise a contrite and crushed heart.

-psalm 51.


Jesus, please give me enough reverence and discernment in this spirit of mine to understand how to have a truly repentant heart.

I bless you for your patience and your graciousness thus far.

thank you for taking me back, always, in love.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

off guard.

Our worst prayers may really be our best. God seems to speak to us most intimately when he catches us off guard.

-cs lewis.

take us back.

Who is a God like You,
Forgiving iniquity
And remitting transgression;
Who has not maintained His wrath forever
Against the remnant of His own people,
Because He loves graciousness!
He will take us back in love;
He will cover up our iniquities,
You will hurl all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
You will keep faith with Jacob,
Loyalty to Abraham,
As You promised on oath to our fathers
In days gone by.

-micah 7.

Amidah: For Deliverance from Affliction.

(for amidah first post, click here)

Amidah: 7.

For Deliverance from Affliction.

Look upon our affliction and plead our cause, and redeem us speedily for Your Name's sake, for You are a mighty redeemer. Blessed are you, Oh Lord, the Redeemer of Israel.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Amidah: For Forgiveness.

(for amidah first post, click here)

Amidah: 6.

For Forgiveness.

Forgive us, Oh our Father, for we have sinned; pardon us, oh our King, for we have transgressed; for You pardon and forgive. Blessed are You, oh Lord, who is merciful and always ready to forgive.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Amidah: For Repentance.

(for amidah first post, click here).

Amidah: 5.

For Repentance.

Bring us back, Oh our Father, to Your instruction;
draw us near, Oh our King, to Your service;
and cause us to return to You in perfect repentance.
Blessed are You, Oh Lord, who delights in repentance.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Amidah: Prayer for Understanding.

(for amidah first post, click here).

Amidah: 4.

Prayer for Understanding.

You favor men with knowledge, and teach mortals understanding. Oh favor us with the knowledge, the understanding and the insight that come from You. Blessed are You, Oh Lord, the gracious giver of knowledge.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." -exodus 20:7.


"Through His names and titles, God has chosen to reveal His attributes, office, authority, prerogatives, and will.

Each name of God features some distinct virtue or characteristic of His nature. Thus, God has declared the glory of His nature by His names, which are not to be abused.

It is this commandment more than any other that shows how much God should be a part of our every word, deed and attitude.

It shows that the test of our spiritual cleanliness is how we use the name of God, whether in truth or vanity.

It indicates that a man is better off being sincerely wrong than to be a professing Christian and deny His name by the conduct of his life."

- john ritenbaugh.

Amidah: the Sanctification of God.

(for amidah first post, click here).

Amidah: 3.

The Sanctification of God.

(version to be recited if with a group of ten or more):

Reader: We will sanctify your name in this world just as it is sanctified in the highest heavens, as it is written by Your prophet: "And they call out to one another and say:

Cong: 'Holy holy holy' is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory. [isa. 6:3]

Reader: Those facing them praise God saying:

Cong: "Blessed be the presence of the Lord in His place." [eze. 3:12]

Reader: And in Your holy Words it is written, saying:

Cong: "The Lord reigns forever, Your God, O Zion, throughout all generations." [psalm 146:10]

Reader: Throughout all generations we will declare Your greatness, and to all eternity we will proclaim Your holiness. Your praise, O our God, shall never depart from our mouth, for You are a Great and Holy God and King. Blessed are You, O Lord, the holy God. You are holy, and Your Name is holy, and holy beings praise You daily. (selah). Blessed are You, O Lord, the holy God.

(version to be recited when by yourself):

You are holy and Your Name is holy and holy beings praise You every day forever.

ain't that the truth...

"it's hardest to accept God's provision when it comes freely from someone you have to see later on."

-the wise words of my sister, lisa fleischaker.


two words that I believe should sum up the heart of any follower of Jesus:

humility and gratitude.


"fashion in me a pure heart, O God." -psalm 51.

Monday, December 6, 2010

with great joy.

to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God, our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority, now and forever more.


Amidah: the God of nature.

(for first amidah post, click here).

Amidah: 2.

The God of Nature.

You, oh Lord, are mighty forever. You revive the dead, you have the power to save. You sustain the living with loving-kindnesses, You revive the dead with great mercy. You support the falling, heal the sick, set free the bound and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust. Who is like you, O doer of mighty acts? Who resembles you, a king who puts to death and restores to life, and causes salvation to flourish? And you are certain to revive the dead. Blessed are you, O Lord, who revives the dead.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

not good.

The Lord God said, "it is not good for man to be alone." - genesis 2.

...(my heart agrees).

Amidah: the God of history.

the first time I read the Amidah prayer, I cried the entire way through. It is so beautiful. More than anything, I desire to have a heart before the Father that mirrors the spirit of the Amidah.

the Amidah consists of 19 sections, and I will be posting one each day until Christmas, on which I will post the Amidah in its entirety. I doubt there is anything that could orient our hearts to a truer perspective this time of year than the Amidah.

the Jews repeat this prayer three times a day. it is to be said while standing, with feet together as a show of respect towards God (this pose mirrors the vision of angels ezekiel had in which the feet of the angels appeared as one {ezekiel 1:7} ).

Before reciting the Amidah, it is custom to take three steps backward and three steps forward - the action a servant would take in the presence of a king.

The Amidah is not to be interrupted for anything other than very dire circumstances, for while reciting it, you converse with God Himself.

Amidah: 1.

the God of history.

Blessed are you, O LORD our God and God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the great, mighty, and revered God, the Most High God who bestows loving kindnesses, the creator of all things, who remembers the good deeds of the patriarchs and in love will bring a redeemer to their children's children for His Name's sake. O king, helper, savior and shield. Blessed are you, Oh Lord, the shield of Abraham.


consuming fire.

why are we, as followers of Jesus, so afraid of our emotions?

not our fluffy, surface emotions, but our deepest, blackest, most powerful emotions. emotions like



deep loneliness.


and despair.

the world seems to think that when we feel these kind of deep emotions, we are to restrain them, because a follower of Jesus should not battle with things like LUST, or LONELINESS, or DESPAIR.

but to shove something aside is let it continue to control you, and when we fear our emotions, that means they have a power in our lives that they shouldn't. until we take the lid off and allow our emotions to be dealt with honestly, they will continue to drain us of energy and confuse our perspectives from the dark and shadowy corners of our souls where they reside.

facing our emotions, when done with and in the presence of Jesus, does not push us away from the Father, but hurls us at Him with deepest force.

if we battle this lust, this loneliness, this doubt, at the feet of the Father - if we let Him be a part of the process and the conversation - then our wounds will be bound up, our healing will come, and our perspective will be true.

there is much to be learned from our most powerful emotions. we do not serve a God of light and fluffy characterisitics.

our God is a consuming fire.

He is zealous. He is jealous. He is passionate and powerful and true.

and when we feel these things in ourselves and let Him channel our emotions into things that are good and pure and holy, we will not only understand Him better, but we will be changed.

bring them - your pain, your loneliness, your desperation, your despair, your doubt, your fury -to the feet of the Father.

be honest before Him in prayer.

feel what you feel and let Him teach you.

He understands our struggles.

He is not afraid of our darkness.

His pure and fiery attributes are stronger than anything that we can throw at Him.

let Him refine you today.

do not hide from Him who you truly are.

be honest.

be true.

He will wrestle it with you.

He will bind it up.

He will make it into something good,

something new.


"therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” -hebrews 12, deuteronomy 4.

be yourself.

"To be yourself, in a world that's doing everything to make you everyone else, is the greatest battle you will ever fight and never stop fighting." -e.e. cummings.


you are a unique child of God.

you were planned and purposed by a wise and mighty Creator.

a Creator who loves you.

(with an everlasting love).

don't let anyone (including yourself) tell you differently.

FIGHT to understand this truth.

fight everyday to know that God loves you.

because He does.

and His love will change your life.

His love will make you new.


"you knit me together in my mother's womb (...) my frame was not hidden from you when I was woven together in the depths of the earth." -psalm 139.

"you tied my bones together with muscles and covered them with flesh and skin. You, the source of my life, showered me with kindness and watched over me." -job 10.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love." -jeremiah 31.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

city of david.

jerusalem at dusk, as seen from the tower of david.


"would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose?"

-sir john templeton, the humble approach: scientists discover God.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


"the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. for the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."

-romans 8.


in my lifetime, i have been blessed to see many places. the mountains of ecuador and its vast and bright skies, the far-reaching peaks of mexico, the winding coastline and bright green hills of costa rica, the shimmering fields and the rich deserts of israel.

and in all of these places and more, i have been overcome with wonder at the world that God has made.

it is so rich and stunning and beautiful.

and then to read that all of what we see - the world in all its majesty - is a creation in bondage.

a limited version of what is to come.

can you imagine - can you even begin to comprehend - what is in store for us when full redemption comes at last?

can you fathom what it will be like when all things are liberated and the decay of this world is shattered by God's glorious light and freedom?

renewal. hope. promise. freedom. anticipation.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I will.

I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to comforted.
I remembered you, Oh God, and I
I mused, and my spirit
grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
I remembered my song in the night.
My heart mused and my
spirit inquired.
Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?
Then I thought, "To this
I will appeal:
the years of the right hand
of the Most High.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your
miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.
(creation out of chaos. noah and a new beginning. abraham and a call, a promise, a covenant. moses and freedom. the parting of the waters. the saving of the oppressed. your mighty hand. manna. the WORD, being passed down, not forgotten. the tabernacle. the leading of your shekinah. walls coming down. a prophet, a king, and an anointed. fire from heaven, defeat of idols. a still small voice. jerusalem. a mighty promise, a shoot, a messiah to come. wisdom. more prophets. captivity, but freedom once again. jerusalem, oh jerusalem. rebuilding of walls. regathering of a people. renewing of your word, read aloud. a community. your love for a people. your returning despite rebellion. always a remnant. the Word, written down, remembered. the warning of prophets. and silence. more silence. and silence even more. And then. AND. THEN. a promise born. God Himself, with us. word become flesh. A shoot, A shepherd, A rabbi, A King. the very One. Son of the Most High. Messiah. life, death, and more life. abundant life. JESUS).
Your ways, Oh God, are holy.
What God is so great as our God?
(psalm 77).

someone else's servant.

“who are you to judge someone else’s servant? to his own master he stands or falls. and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

romans 14.