Surprise Me

We want to know.

None of us really like surprises.

Oh sure, birthdays, Christmas, something special waiting.

Some say they enjoy the surprises of a scary movie. The horror waiting in the closet, the monster jumping out and eating someone.

We can appreciate the stimulus from the safety of a theater or our couch. We certainly would not like it if it was real, if it was really happening to us.

We want to know, to be prepared, to have assurance of victory.

So then I read in Numbers how, as the children of Israel get close to the Promised Land, God invites the to send out spies to check things out.

I wonder why He did that when He knew they would get scared and ruin everything.

Sure, they would want to know, to be prepared. And, a couple guys actually benefited from that. But most were overwhelmed.

Now I look at my life. How I have let fear and the magnitude of a task overwhelm me. I still want to know, to hedge my bets, minimize my risk.

And He won’t tell me.

He doesn’t give me the “plan”. He doesn’t let me know that I’ll be safe, that I won’t get hurt, or fail. He promises good things. He assures me that He’s right there with me.

But, it’s not enough.

So today I want to try something new.

Lord Jesus, surprise me!

I would like to know, to be prepared. But You know. You’re prepared.

Help me to be faithful. Help me to honor You. I open my heart to you. I trust you.

Surprise me!

New Every Morning

The naughty squirrel is eating at our bird feeder, the noisy jay is picking at the last of the suet cake and the sun is shining over our yard.  It is Labor Day and for once we are not rushing somewhere.

What a summer we have had!

 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.””

Lamentations‬ ‭3:22-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Can I remind you, remind me that Jeremiah penned these words when all hope was lost for Israel?  He said this after he had been thrown in a cistern, mocked and imprisoned for speaking what was true.  Somehow, in the midst of all that was wrong, he could still see that God had not given up on his people.

It is good to remember, when we have a day to look, that through everything, the good, the bad, the arguments, the praises and ministry, the selfishness and meanness, God has been and will always be good.

He will be faithful.

His love for us will never end!

Therefore, for all my days yet to come, I will hope in Him.
Missions.me/go/Matthew-Nicaraugua-2017 is my web page for more info about my upcoming trip to Nicaraugua.  Please visit to learn more, to pray for us, or to donate.

He who is faithful…

Probably, you’ve heard the saying, “He who has been faithful with little will be faithful with much.”

The bible says it this way:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (‭Luke‬ ‭16‬:‭10‬ NIV)

I’m going to have to rant a bit now.

Faithful does not me just showing up, with your bad attitude, your hateful spirit. Faithful does not me showing up unprepared, no heart, no prayer. Faithful does not mean thinking only of ourselves, only about what I can tolerate.

I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. Coming to lead worship without practicing. Leading a bible study without preparing. Coming to work speaking only about how I hate this place , how much I hate my job. Leading a program, a department without praying for my people, my staff, my customers. I walk in wanting to protect myself, wanting to not overwork myself, wanting to guard against criticism failure.

I have not been faithful.

I want to be. I think you want to be, too. Let’s do it differently this week. Pray differently, prepare, practice, walk differently. Live like God is living in you, in me.

Be faithful.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

He is jealous for me,

loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,

bending beneath the weight of His wind

and Mercy

All of a sudden,

I am unaware of these afflictions

Eclipsed by glory

And I realize just how beautiful You are

And how great Your affections are for me

I sang those words tonight, sang them with everything that is in me.  But do I believe them?  Do I live them in such a way that would lead me to leap off of a cliff in expectation of His arms beneath me?

Quite honestly, I don’t think I do.  The season I am in has me reeling as I find myself with no options but to wait on God.  I have done what needed to be done.  I have been faithful in what God has given me and nothing is turning out right.

I need a job.  I have not had steady, life-supporting work since April.  Because of trying to work, I have no unemployment, no insurance, and no where else to turn.  Our finances, our utilities, our home are all threatened and life feels like it is on shaky ground.

Do you know that there is no better place to be?

Time to put up or shut up.  When you can not depend on anyone but Jesus, you realize that you never could depend on anyone but Him.  I realize that all along, I was really dependent on myself.  And that is a bad place to be.

That is not my home, my refuge.  That is not the rock I would build my house on.

He is my strong tower.  He is my refuge, my fortress.