Saturday, January 22, 2011

היה - hayah.

hebrew word of the day: היה - HAYAH.

to live. enjoy life. live anew. recover. be well. make alive. quicken. preserve. refresh. rebuild.

as in,

"Your promise preserves my hayah." -psalm 119:50.


Friday, January 21, 2011


"I very much believe that the core moment of Jesus' public life was the baptism in the Jordan, when Jesus heard the affirmation, "You are my beloved on whom my favor rests." That is the core experience of Jesus. He is reminded in a deep, deep way of who he is.

The temptations in the desert are temptations to move him away from that spiritual identity. He was tempted to believe he was someone else: You are the one who can turn stone into bread. You are the one who can jump from the temple. You are the one who can make others bow to your power.

Jesus said, "No, no, no. I am the Beloved from God." I think his whole life is continually claiming that identity in the midst of everything.

Prayer, then, is listening to that voice - to the one who calls you Beloved. It is to constantly go back to the truth of who we are and claim it for ourselves.

I'm not what I do. I'm not what people say about me. I'm not what I have. My life is rooted in my spiritual identity.

Whatever we do, we have to go back regularly to that core identity."

-henri nouwen.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

the gift of aloneness.

"How do I deal with my aloneness? Many people deal with it through loneliness. That means you experience your aloneness as a wound, as something that hurts you, that makes you cry out, 'Is there anyone who can help me?'

But as Christians, we are called to convert our loneliness into solitude. We are called to experience our aloneness not as a wound but as a gift - as God's gift - so that in our aloneness we might discover how deeply we are loved by God.

It is precisely where we are most alone, most unique, most ourselves, that God is closest to us. That is where we experience God as the divine, loving Father, who knows us better than we know ourselves.

If we accept our aloneness as a gift from God, and convert it into deep solitude, then out of that solitude we can reach out to other people. We can come together in community, because we don't cling to one another out of loneliness. We don't use or manipulate one another. Rather, we bow to one another's solitude. We recognize one another as people who are called by the same God.

If I find God in my solitude, and you find God in your solitude, then the same God calls us together, and we can become friends. We can form a community, we can be together without destroying each other by clinging to each other."

-henri nouwen, a quality of heart.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

now go.

And the Lord said to him,

"Who gives man speech? Who makes him dumb or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be with you as you speak and will instruct you what to say."

-the Lord encourages Moses, exodus 4.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


my prayers have started to evolve a bit in recent weeks.

instead of asking,

Lord, show me what to do in this situation,

I pray instead,

Lord, show me WHO YOU ARE in this situation.

my ultimate priority in this life is not to perform, succeed, accomplish, or attain -

it is to know the Father.


Lord, show us Your heart.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

a raging fire.

Jeremiah has just been mocked, flogged, and imprisoned. He no longer desires to proclaim the message of impending judgement that God has given him to speak. He is tired and no doubt in SEVERE pain from his recent flogging. Yet this is the conclusion that Jeremiah eventually comes to:

"I thought, 'I will not mention Him,
No more will I speak in His Name' -

But His Word was like a raging fire in my heart,
shut up in my bones;

I could not hold it in,
I was helpless."

(jeremiah 20).


oh Lord, may it rage in our hearts as well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

חסד - hesed.

Hesed: an act of mercy or kindness. to be merciful, faithful.

"Hesed is central to God's character. It is closely tied to His covenant with His chosen people. In fact, the covenant may be thought of as the relationship from which the hesed flows.

God's hesed, however, is not bound by the covenant itself, and though men may prove unfaithful to this relationship, God's hesed is everlasting." -notes, hebrew study bible.


But with everlasting hesed, I will take you back in love. -isaiah 54.

Know therefore, that only the Lord your God is God, the steadfast God who keeps His hesed covenant to the thousandth generation of those who love Him and keep His commands. -deut. 7.

Let those who fear the Lord declare, His hesed is eternal. -psalm 118.


blessed be the Name.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


"Had God made you for companionship, your curse would be that you were lonely.

Had God made you to be strong, your curse would be that you were weak.

but, as it is

God has made you to be leaders,

and so your curse is that you are irrelevant.


your covenant, church, at its core, is not about your rights, but about your ability to bless the world."

-steve deneff.



for your light has come.

and the GLORY

of the Lord

rises upon you. "

-isaiah 60.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"God is wise in heart

and mighty in strength.

He does great things past finding out,

wonders without number."

-job 9, 10.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


"Grace is the one foundation that is solid all the way down to the bottom, immovable. It is the only safe and forever trustworthy place on which to build."

--lisa fleischaker.

Monday, January 3, 2011

everyday jerusalem.



this absolutely warms my heart.

i miss this place.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I wish we were taught more often in this life that it's okay not to be okay sometimes.

attentive listeners.

“what is important is not that God is a spectator and participant in our life today, but that we are attentive listeners and participants in God’s action in the sacred story, the story of Jesus on earth.”

-dietrich bonhoeffer.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

רִחֵף : order out of chaos.

Five months ago I was sitting on this Costa Rican pier, talking to Jesus.

it was an absolutely beautiful day, but I had no peace. In fact, during the 6 weeks I spent in Costa Rica, most of my days were spent amidst an incredible amount of confusion, fear, and sadness. it was a very dark time, and I felt completely and utterly lost.

In the midst of my confusion, I wandered through Quepos and made my way to the pier, where I promptly sat down, fell apart, and cried out to God. from the deepest parts of me I cried out to Him, asking for help. I had no idea what kind of help I wanted or needed, but I knew I needed something. So there I sat, praying praying praying, Jesus, help me.

and after a very long wait, He gave me the most beautiful vision.

I looked up into the sky in the midst of my prayer, and I saw 3 huge birds flying over my head. One of them, directly overtop of me, was hovering – not moving through the sky, but floating motionless in one spot, using its powerful wings to keep itself directly overhead.

and my mind immediately returned to Israel. I had seen this image before. sitting on a tiny hill in the middle of a desert, overlooking an ancient Egyptian slave camp a mile from Egypt’s border, I had watched a bird hover just like that. It had turned itself in circles without moving from its perch in the sky, floating above our little wandering group as we sat below it, sweating from the heat of the desert.

and RVL’s words: “LOOK. that bird. that’s the kind of bird that the spirit of God is compared to when it hovers over the waters of the deep, creating the world. RICHEF. to hover.”

like the spirit of God.

hovering over the waters of darkness and nothingness, floating over the void.

bringing order out of all that messy chaos.

the spirit, hovering over the blackness, holding within itself a picture and a plan of something beautiful and purposeful and full of Godly design.

RICHEF. רִחֵף. to hover. a sign of God making something new.

and as my mind returned to the Costa Rican pier where I waited for God’s help, the tension in my spirit and my body BROKE, and I began to see my situation from the perspective of God.

my chaos.

my darkness.

my confusion.

all of me, a mess.

and absolutely no reason to fear.

because all of that disorder is just what God is known to work with.

He is the gracious creator God who hovers over our turmoil and out of it calls light. beauty. order. and love.

He takes all this nothing and forms it, speaks to it, molds it into something that is full of grace, inscribed and sealed with His Name.

He hovers. He creates. He call forth. He makes new.


we serve a God who takes pleasure in RENEWAL.

we serve a God of RICHEF.

let us always remember.

let us always persevere.

let us always hope.



in the shadow of Your wings

I shout for joy.

my soul is attached to You.

-psalm 63.