Archive for the ‘christianity’ Category

celebrate Jesus

Posted: 2009/04/12 in christianity, church, easter

today’s the day i have been waiting for all weekend.  i walked into our churches worship service stoked about what was to come.  last time we gathered together, on good friday, we soaked in half the story…the death of Christ.  as i previously mentioned, it was weighty.  we carried it’s weight all weekend (and blessedly so).  it was an indescribable freeing emotion to stand and openly proclaim…within our covenant community of believers:

“Oh praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.”   – Kristian Stanfill style

I am thankful for a community that never lets me forget my sin and pushes me to approach the thrown of grace with empty arms…ready to be filled by my Savior.  Lord, may I never attempt to bring before you my feeble attempts to worship you but come empty handed ready to receive what You are willing to give.  Let me rejoice in the salvation that You have so graciously given me.  Let me be satisfied in Your presence.  Lead me to obedience in my faith…i will go!  continue to transform me with the power of Your Spirit!  thank you for the cross.  thank you for the empty tomb.  thank you for the gospel of reconciliation.  and thank you that i am a part of Your story.

all glory to the One who draws people to Himself!



like most my post…this is an attempt (and maybe a poor one) to put into words what’s in my heart!


i attend my first meaningful good friday service last night at my church.  amazing.  probably the most amazing thing was the conversation that took place afterwards.  on the way to the car Stacy mentioned how devastating the service was and her words took me by surprise, and i hope changed my life forever.  God opened my heart to all that took place.  i thought the service was amazing but i did not take away what she did.  her heart is so pure.  she is an amazing woman.  the following words are the outcome of our conversation and the conversations that followed the rest of the evening.  

“Incredibly weighty Good Friday Service tonight. We too often rush pass the cross to get to the empty tomb.”  – David Bruskas: via his facebook status.

the weight of good friday hit me for the first time.  God is allowing me to sink into the weight of such a weighty topic.  David is so right, how we quickly rush past the cross to get to the empty tomb.  guilty.  the empty tomb is so glorious, so fulfilling, so life giving…but without the cross we would never have the empty tomb.  

that’s what last night was all about at our good friday service.  the whole evening was somber.  our sanctuary chairs were arranged differently focused on the center of the room where “the table” was set up.  a dimly lit room facing a line of tables layered in candles with bread and juice scattered throughout.  scripture was read over us…the story of the death of Christ…broken up by songs sung over us, worship songs, that focused on His death and our depravity.  we never stood.  we never were encouraged to engage in worship.  we praised but it was a different kind of praise.  the experience was one of a kind.  

our lead pastor then took about 15 minutes to explain the table.  this explanation was done in a manner that i have never experienced.  the focus wasn’t on 1 Corinthians 11 but on Romans 5:6-8, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, through for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  this is unconventional in my experience but perfect and yet devastating, because that was the end of then night.  in the midst of it all our pastor took some time and talked about Jesus sitting at the table with this twelve, during the passover feast, explaining how things were about to change.  the bread and wine that symbolized slavery will now represent Him and freedom…but not yet.  the night finished on His death, the day that True Love died.  

we took bread and wine…as Stacy explained to me, it was hard to celebrate communion with only half the story.  she said to me that she didn’t want to but Christ commanded it so she did.  

wow…that’s weighty.  

there is, and should be, so much weight that comes with the cross.  True Love is there.  He is there because you and i put him there…in our sin.  curtain down.  the night is over.



i can’t wait for sunday.  i cant wait to celebrate.  i can’t wait to stand and sing “glory to my King” because He is risen.  but God, don’t let me get there too fast.  don’t let me rush past Your cross before it is time.  when that time comes though, let me sing…receiving the power that lies in Your resurrection…the resurrection that you have given to me.  the righteousness You require to be in Your presence, God, You have given me through Your Son’s salvation.  


i wait…


in somber mourning of my sin…i wait…  


Posted: 2009/02/28 in Austen, christianity, sin, struggle
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how do you teach a 5 year old repentance?


i don’t know if my heart has ever been so broken.  Austen has entered into this phase of his life where he knows all the right answers when he is in trouble but the look on his face is so blank.  he got in big trouble yesterday for a rebellious act.  we “discussed” it.  today he got in trouble for the same thing…twice.  dumb.  he doesn’t get it.  tonight (the last time) when he got busted he knew it was bad…but his “sorry” never left the stage of “crap, i just got caught.”  can you teach a kid to have a repentant heart?  am i able to teach him that being sorry is not about the trouble you’re in or about how “firm” i am.  the most emotion i got tonight was when he started crying because i got firm with him.  dude, it’s not about how disappointed i get!  it’s about being sorry that you broke your mom’s and my heart bro.  it about loosing trust.  it’s about never wanting to go down that road again.  

i can not change his heart.  only God can change his heart.  i can love him, teach him about sin, embrace him, teach him about the glorious things about God…but i can’t change him.  

God save my little boy.  change him from the inside out.  break his heart when he breaks ours.  God teach me the same thing about my own sin in how it breaks your heart.  thank you for allowing me to struggle through this only to teach me about “a Fathers love for me.”  

I love you Jesus!


Posted: 2009/01/19 in christianity, joy, sin
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Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”  Psalm 51:12


the restoration of God is His overwhelming joy that He places on the hearts of His children.  

Psalm 51 finds David after his lustful desire of Bathsheba that lead to adultery, deception, and murder.  his cry to God was to restore to him the joy of God’s salvation.  David knew firsthand the result of sin, forfeiting the joy that God offers in His salvation for his selfish pleasures.  David forfeited the glory of the immortal God for temporal satisfaction.

i join in Davids cry this morning as I have a simple taste again of the joy of God’s salvation.  it’s amazing how fleeting this joy is in the presence of sin.  Habakkuk 1:13, a holy God with holy eyes can not look upon my wrong.  i rest in the promise that ‘blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’  my sin of laziness, lack 0f self control, anger, and complacency (in my nature) overwhelms my heart but the joy i taste after spending a morning in the presence of God, confessing my weakness, brings back the sweet taste of this joy.  how dangerous it is when i stray into my own strength.  

thank you God for sanctification.  thank you God for overwhelming me with your grace and bringing back to the joy that is Your’s in salvation.  

may i constantly mourn my sin that separates me from my God so that His strength may comfort me.  may I never loose sight of this truth.  may i fight to purse Him daily (oh because it is a fight within me) and beg Him to bring me back to the joy that I find in His salvation.


Posted: 2009/01/11 in christianity, Landon
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why don’t we cry more?

this was a question i pondered as i laid in bed with my three year old as he fought back tears after i sent him to naps.  we laid there for a while, then in the saddest whisper i heard, “you said i could play video games.”  i had forgotten that i told him that but it was too late.  that didn’t even begin to heal his broken heart.

seriously, that kid can cry at the drop of a hat.  

as i was pondering my deep question as i held an angry kid…something  profound hit me!  are you ready for this.

i think we don’t cry because as we get older are hearts are connected to less. 

deep, i know!

seriously though, why did Landon cry?  he cried because because his heart was connected to playing video games.  his heart was crushed.  it seems his heart is connected to a lot of things as fighting tears are a part of our normal day.

to say that my heart is not connected to anything other than my wife and my kids is absurd.  i could list numerous things i feel my heart is connected to.  but what level am i connected to it.  let’s use Haiti for example.  it’s fresh in my mind.  i truly feel a connection to the children of Haiti.  there are countless deaths a year caused by lack of food/nutrition.  it is ridicules that anyone should suffer that way…in a world with our resources.  i get sad at this fact.  but it’s mostly a fleeting sadness.  it’s a genuine sadness but immature.  

are we less connected to things than we thought?  are we more in love with the idea of being broken then actually being broken?  

maybe Landons tear say more about him then I ever thought.  maybe it’s a glance into his heart.  maybe my lack of tears say more about me!  a glance into the depth of my heart (or lack of).  


God, i beg you to keep Landon’s heart and mature it.  do not allow me to break his spirit for the sake of “making him into a man.”  help me to discipline a rebellious heart and nurture a gentle spirit.  make him into a man after your heart.  Father, give me a broken heart.  i can not be “connected” to everything but i beg you to allow me to be deeply connected to the things to you place on my heart.  do not allow me to be lazy or selfish with my heart.  grant me the discipline and passion to be diligent with my “free time.”