Life Outside the Boat


December 2014

Speak Life – Letters from Home

Speak life – to everyone.

Call out the traits I have placed in my children. Make known what I have shown you about others.

Let no criticism come from your lips.

Even if you think they know, remind people of the good they are reflecting from me.

Be a faith-affirmer – call out all that is admirable from the tiniest detail to the greatest accomplishment.  Tell my children that I love them, tell them they are mine and that their goodness comes from Me.  I don’t want my people to be timid, I wish for them to be bold.  Lift them out of condemnation.

Speak Life.  Speak Life.  Speak Life.

Listen intently, hear my words, make known what I reveal to you.  Leave it to someone else to correct – Your job is to praise.

In your weakness I am strong.  Where you lack, I am abounding.  Where you judge, I have compassion.

Speak Life.

Call out truth.  Call out talent.  Call out righteousness.  Call out wisdom.  Call out strength.

Speak Life.

Affirm the callings of my children.  Be a light in the dark. Speak joy in the midst of despair.

Call forth buried gifts.

Speak Life.


Righteousness Matters

I first heard this phrase in a bible study by the bible scholar, who calls herself “not a bible scholar”, Beth Moore.  When she said the words “Make no Mistake, Righteousness Matters”, it lodged itself into my heart.

Like an iceberg into the titanic, this truth sliced right through the hull of my soul and leaked out rebellion I had been holding on to for far too long.  It’s funny that sometimes we can be holding onto something and never realize it…that was so me…except exactly opposite.  I was fully aware that there were still some habits and desires that I hadn’t quite let go of.  God refines us and teaches us, but apparently I am a slow learner…

I often reasoned with God – or myself – or whichever would agree with me…that my sin wasn’t, in fact, sin.  That I could be a leader, I could disciple others, I could be “godly” and still “have fun”.  I wasn’t breaking a commandment.  Or was I? (Exodus 20:3)

If I were to explain what my hangups were, some of you may gasp and go all religious on me and shake your heads and your fingers.  Some of you may say, “What??  I do that all the time, it is no big deal and it surely isn’t sin!”.  But the sin for me was not the activity so much as the rebellion.  That bit of my old self that I wanted to hang onto ever so tightly, you know…just for fun.

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

Outwardly, it looked as though I was “living right”.  But inwardly, I knew there were these things.  These convictions that I kept trying to convince myself were just  “guilty pleasures”.  And yes, that is exactly what they were.

But guess what, Righteousness Matters.  Why?

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

In a world, a culture that says “obey your thirst” (Sprite), “just do it” (Nike), “What is Your Fantasy?” (Victoria’s Secret).  It’s no wonder our convictions become immune to godlessness.  But friends, the world is watching.

Ever wonder why Christians are so closely scrutinized in the media?  Why pastors who have an affair or and arrogant attitude get ostracized?  Or godly politicians (yes, they exist) who mess up get raked across the coals when their secular counterparts can do the same thing and…nothing?  When we claim to be a child of the only true and faithful God, the only being ever truly trustworthy, shouldn’t we at least resemble Him?  Jesus was sinless.  So should we be.  Is it possible?  No. Is it something still worth striving for…absolutely.  Because to know Him, is to love Him.  And to love Him, is to obey Him.  Not out of some religious duty or legalistic code.  But out of complete and utter heart surrender to the one who gave it all.  Because he loves, so should we.

“For Christ’s love compels us…

 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”  2 Corinthians 5:14-15

There is a whole world of people watching.  Watching and waiting for us to mess up.  For us to slip up.  For us to give up.  An enemy that wants more than anything to snuff out that light from our lamp on a hill.  So shine, shine bright…and know that even when we fall, we can come boldly to the throne of grace.

 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”   Hebrews 4:16

The world is watching.  And maybe, just maybe after seeing us, time and again, choose compassion over condemnation, holiness over hate, the sacred over the secular   – they will see those good works and what?  “Glorify our Father who is in Heaven.”  And ultimately, isn’t that why we are here?  To know Him and make Him known?

So friends, let’s shine.  Because Righteousness Matters.

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity…”  Ephesians 5:15-16

Lord, teach me.



It’s funny (not really) that it has been about a year and a half since I first posted this, but somehow, I find myself up in the middle of the night fretting over THE. EXACT. SAME. THING!

This time, the story involves Legos, an architect, a preacher, an ipad, the same 3 little boys and stained glass…I’ll let you put that puzzle together.  The details are a little different, the people are different, there is no blood involved this time (thank God!) – but the theme is the same: When I fix my eyes on the opinion of people, not only will I never be good enough, but it will actually keep me from functioning in my normal capacity. But when my eyes are on Jesus… “I can walk in a way that is pleasing to Him”.

So read, get a little freer and remember: no matter how free we get, the enemy is just lurking…always lurking, waiting for us to look away…

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…” Hebrews 12:2

Life Outside the Boat

I know, I know, definitely not an original topic for a gal to write about. But the thing is, there is a reason why we see it so often. It is because we feel it so often. Every single human being suffers at some point from some form of it. Insecurity.

We were born into this legacy of questioning our identity and ultimately questioning God’s identity. But I am so thankful that God orchestrated a way for us to be free. He sent Jesus to take back the power that the enemy stole on the day he slithered into our existence.

I am all too familiar with what it is like to be riddled with self-doubt. It wasn’t long ago that everything I did, every decision, every action, every opinion I had was based on the opinions of others. From clothes, to houses, to parenting, to cars, to responses – everything…

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