Thursday, September 30, 2010

He Hears My Voice...

Man, life gets hard sometimes. And life gets really dark sometimes. I start to wonder if I'm ever going to get a break. If there is ever a way out. I'm quick to believe the lies that Satan feeds me. I start thinking there is no use. It's too hard. God has had enough of my bull sh*t. I've been down this road. It's nothing new. I should have learned. I'M sick of trying to give myself second, third, fourth...hundred-and-fifty-seven-thousandth chance. Why would someone so perfect take me back again and again. I just always start to wonder. 

But, my God is so gracious and so merciful and his love abounds! I love when He brings me back to that place. That place where His love is so real. His mercy is so fresh. His grace is so amazing.

This Psalm is so perfect when I'm in these moments. I need to be reminded that God hears my voice. He BENDS DOWN TO LISTEN. Is that not a beautiful picture? 

I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!” How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!
-Psalm 116:1-9

Friday, September 10, 2010


The current series at Indy Metro Church is entitled 'Everything'. The focus is simple, yet act of generosity, big or small, will produce a ripple effect that will have an impact each person it touches.

As a church, we are committed to living generously and inspiring others to do the same. This recent 'challenge' has further fueled my desire to live a Christ-centered, grace-filled, life of generosity.

I'd like to share a couple quick stories in hopes that you will be spurred to take a step outside of you comfort zone and let that chain of generous events start happening where ever you are.

Dollar Store.
Last weekend, I ran into the dollar store to grab a couple things and noticed a older woman and a frail little lady she kept calling mother. As I overheard bits and pieces of their conversation, I just wanted to 'awww' at their comments about the cheesy knick-knacks.

As I walked to the checkout, they stepped in line behind me. I heard the daughter say, "Mom, that is beautiful." As I turned to see what she had picked up, the mom was holding one of those dream catchers, telling her daughter that it would bring her good luck (I didn't think that was how those 'worked' but...nonetheless).

I swiped my card and the cash back option popped up. I quickly turned around to count how many items the ladies had sat on the counter. (This dollar store happened to be a 'real' dollar store...where everything is actually a dollar.) I chose my cash back amount and as the cashier handed me my $10 bill, I handed it right back and asked her to put it toward the ladies behind me.

My attempt to be discreet about the whole thing, was foiled by the cashiers response. She kept asking what I meant and looking at me like I was a crazy person. But, I guess that is a valid response to our culture's 'it's all about me' attitude.

Today, I was on my way to drop a carload of stuff off at Goodwill and drove by a couple guys holding up those side-of-the-road-advertising know, like the Cash 4 Gold ones. It wasn't extremely hot, but it was the middle of the afternoon and pretty, I decided I'd stop and buy them a cold drink.

I drove up to the next gas station, bought them each a Gatorade and pack of cookies and headed back to drop off the little snack. I hoped out of my car and walked up to them. I'll admit, it was a little awkward at first, but that didn't last long. The first guy asked me why I was doing this and I told him just because...he asked if he could give me a hug. The second guy was a little hessitant to take my tiny gift and told me to give it to the other guy.

I told them to have a good one and started walking back to my car. As I turned around the second guy yelled at me and asked to 'see my ink'. So, I walked back and I got to explain what my tattoos meant and before I knew it, he was talking my ear off.

He showed me an old gang-related tattoo on his arm that he was in the process of getting covered up. He told me about the amazing things Jesus had done in his life and how He had rescued him. He even invited me to his church.

The three of us chatted a little while longer as the traffic zoomed by and then I jumped in my car and drove away.

For a couple ideas on how you can be generous, check out these suggestions for
cultivating generosity