Saturday, September 26, 2015

Where I came from

I've heard countless celebrities say, "I never forget where I came from." Mind you, they say this as they sit in their four million dollar mansion on the side of a hill in LA with huge glass windows looking out over the Hollywood sign. The sentiment is good but it feels awfully jaded coming from the lap of luxury. With my sour view of such a claim it is ironic that today that very sentence kept coming to my mind.
From my seat in a casual cafe, far from the Hollywood Hills, I, too, began to reflect on where I came from. And I don't just mean just my home city, state and zip code. I don't even mean my childhood home or the smell of freshly baked cookies that used to emanate through our house in the fall. I don't mean the high school I graduated from or my family's business that shaped my understanding of hard work and dedication. When I say, "where I came from," I mean where I really came from, where I was known before I was born and where I will one day return: my heavenly home.
In this life, on this earth, I don't know what will become of me. Maybe I will wake up one day and find that I am famous (that's a long shot - and a shot I'm not even sure I'd enjoy). Or maybe I'll wake up one day and find that I'm a housewife with three kids and a minivan (a shot I can see being much more agreeable to my sensibilities and desires). Or maybe my future will look a lot like my present, characterized by an ongoing tug-of-war between health and sickness, vitality and weakness. I don't know where precisely I'm going in this life but I know where I came from and I know that one day that is where I will return.
What comes next in my life may be blissful or it may challenge my faith and tax my spirit. Either way, I can rest in the knowledge of where I came from. The place I came from is perfect. God in His love created me and designed me in His image. He laid out for me a path to journey through this life, a mystery that is being unfolded daily. He knew there would be challenges and struggles, but He put encouragement and encouragers along my path. It all began at the place I came from, long before I was even a blip on a sonogram machine or a baby in a cradle. God knew who I would be and He planned for me in advance.
Now I am here on His journey. This path isn't mine. It is His. It is a path that is lived out on earth but is leading back to Heaven, circling back to my first and forever home. Knowing where I came from makes all the difference in how I live. I can walk along this path knowing that it is set out for me and that I am safe and secure even when I feel anxious and vulnerable. My feet are secure because my future is locked in, it is written in God's book of life.
Because I know where I came from I can live with the joy of knowing, ultimately, where I'm going. I may not know what tomorrow will bring. I may not know what my earthly future holds but I know where I'm going to end. I know that I'm going back to the perfect home that I came from. I have a bed there and a room that's all mine. I can live with joy and anticipation because I'm headed home, back where I belong.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Writing a masterpiece

The best stories written aren't the ones written by man. Even the greatest novelists borrow from real life. And who is the author of real life? Certainly not man, for what man can keep himself from a car accident, disease or death of a loved one? Reality is authored and directed by God. There are a million and one circumstances outside of man's control but none that are outside of God's. He writes the script of our lives and orchestrates its unfolding in His perfect timing. What we watch play out in our lives is His imagination at work, His creative genius.
I know what you're thinking, "My life is not the result of any genius! It is a chaotic mess!" Or so it looks from your perspective. How many movies have played out on the big screen in which the characters make us believe they are hopeless two thirds through the film? How many novels are plagued with a tragedy, trial or dilemma that makes us wonder, "how will this ever end well?" Those novelists and screenwriters didn't come up with their plots by their own sheer brain power. They borrowed from real life and the Author of it. They watched friends overcome struggles, family members succeed in the face of every difficulty and thought to themselves, "That would make a great movie!" Art imitates life. Authors imitate God. It is not the other way around.
At this very moment your life may look like the middle of a dramatic movie. The plot is thickening, every obstacle is in your way, the enemy is advancing - your ending isn't looking good. But just think back to how all of those dramatic movies ended. A big break leads to a successful career. A chance encounter with a stranger leads to love. The unexpected opens a door to a happily ever after.
God can bring about your happy ending but it will be in His time, on His terms. He will write you a blockbuster of a screenplay for a life but you have to be willing to play your role, even when its tragic. He'll write you a best selling novel of a life but you have to keep reading even when your character is getting beaten down by disappointments and struggles. Keep reading. Keep acting out your role as an obedient, surrendered follower of Christ. Keep on the path that leads to life and peace and joy, not because you are in it for the blessing but because God is worthy of your every breath and every step. When we give Him our all, He gives us an amazing story to live for His glory. He has written you a book with your name on it. Today you are living out one of its pages, living out one of its scenes. Remember that as long as you have life and breath the book isn't over. The climax may not arrive anytime soon! Your open door, unexpected opportunity or chance encounter might be pages or chapters ahead. You won't know unless you keep reading, keep walking with Christ, keep living for God. Trust me, He has written you a masterpiece and the ending is going to surprise you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Scripture Pictured

Check out ScripturePictured, my new business putting scripture on display through photography! You can find the pictures on etsy at