Show Me Your Glory

Encountering God though His Word...

 I started reading about the story of Moses in Exodus this morning and something that struck me: God showed himself to Moses more and more as he grew in his relationship with Him

Moses first encountered God in a real way during his burning bush experience. Not only was it a powerful event that kickstarted Moses’ adventure, but it also showed him a glimpse of God’s character. God was holy; completely set apart. Moses had to take off his sandals because he was standing on “holy ground”. 

Later in his life, Moses was given the chance to literally see more–the glory of God. After asking God to show him His glory, the Lord sent Moses to a place where he was able to see God. God took him up a mountain, to a special place, and had his “goodness to pass in front of him”. The Lord found favor with Moses, and revealed more of Himself to him. 

Moses was able to chronicle two defining moments in his life where he met God–two separate, distinct encounters where God made Himself known to Moses. Like Moses, today I am grateful that as we grow in relationship with God, He will reveal more of Himself to us. 

In many ways I feel like I can relate to Moses. I’m not the most eloquent speaker, and I’ve “fled from conflict” many times, but I’m thankful that the One I pursue is bigger than all those things. Through His grace and mercy, He still uses me and reveals more of Himself to me each day. 

Isn’t this similar to our lives as parents and leaders? We all have starting points, and we all have our sights set to something in the future. It may be a childhood dream, family vision or a personal goal. Be encouraged today that in the end God will use our shortcomings for His glory. Though it all, we will be more intimately acquainted with the God of Jacob as we grow in faith.

How have you seen God reveal Himself to you over time?

Photo credit: sobca

Put Some Kid Glasses On!

Stylin' and profilin'.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” (Luke 18:16)

Jesus wanted the disciples to notice that the children saw things through a different lens–a lens without hindrances. He wanted to emphasize the importance of removing anything that impeded wholehearted obedience.

That reminds me that sometimes I need to have the perspective of a child.

I see us running late to an appointment. They see us enjoying the moment.

I see bad directions from the GPS. They see an opportunity to adventure.

I see an afternoon of ‘nothing to do’. They see time spent together as a family.

In what ways do you need to see things differently?

A Letter From Dad To Son

This note was found at my parents’ house a little while back. There was no date on it, but it had to be while I was in college getting ready to go on one of my trips to Amsterdam with the college ministry I was involved with at the time.

Two things that strike me: 1) I get my handwriting gene from my Dad, and 2) This made my day. I hope my children will find things like this from me when they’re older.

It made me think: how do we speak truth into our childrens’ lives? Through actions, words, notes, etc? Have you received something like this from a parent?

Note: This was first posted on our family blog. Felt it was more appropriate here.

Hello, My Name is……

So many people, so many names...

We have loads of names that we call our children. Straight out of the gates we called them by their given name, then added in a couple nicknames, mixed with a few playful-funny names. Just to add to the choas, there is also the reality that the different “people groups” in their lives, refer to them by different names! C’mon, admit it—you do the same for your children! Be sure to share them below. In the meantime, here’s the rundown on some of the ‘handles’ we’ve verbalized over the years…

Sophia:

  • Sophia: Her given name, we tend to personally call her this most of the time.
  • Soph: Gaining traction as her most-used nickname.
  • Sophie: Natural nickname. A lot of friends and family call her this.
  • Head: No lie, she had a big head when she was born. Just like her daddy! (FYI: Pronounced like Mike Myers’ dad in So I Married An Axe Murderer.)
  • Tofy (toe-fee): Silly one that we used when she was a newborn.
  • Até (ah-tay): Tagalog for ‘sister’. This is what Olivia calls Soph right now.

Olivia:

  • Olivia: Her given name, and one we use for her majority of the time.
  • Ibia (ih-bee-ah): Think this was how Sophia pronounced her name when she was first born, and it stuck!
  • Ibs (like ‘cribs’, without the ‘cr’): A few people call her this. Cute. Not to be confused with I.B.S. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
  • Ebby (eh-bee): Flows easy. We’ve used this one a lot!
  • Chonky (chawn-kee): Kind of an immediate family thing. Not so much now, but she definitely was a chunky baby!

We laugh about some of these names from time to time. The thing is, despite the names that are given to us as children, by our families, friends, teachers, coaches, etc., at the end of the day, they fail to even scratch the surface of who we really are. The truth is, God’s names for us are inconceivably more meaningful, creative, and lasting, than anything we could have ever imagined on our own. He names us: cherished (Ex 19:5), redeemed (1 John 4:10), beloved (Rom 8:38-39), chosen (Eph 1:11-12), protected (Prov 18:10), and righteous (2 Cor 5:21). Regardless of our past or future, our Father will always call us by name (Isaiah 43:1). How cool is that?! The God of the universe personally and thoroughly knows you by name!

Today, God has reminded me of these names… and I’m grateful:

  • Child (John 1:12): God is BIG, yet He chooses to know me intimately.
  • New Creation (2 Cor 5:17): My old nature is gone, I don’t have to dwell on past mistakes.
  • Sealed (Eph 1:13): No matter the circumstance, the bond between myself and God cannot not be broken.

What nicknames do you have for your children? What name does God call you that you need to be reminded about today?

Photo credit: mollybucketx

Opening The Door To A New Level Of Excitement

One of my special “Daddy moments” happens from time to time when open the front door after coming home from a long day at work. The first thing I hear is “DADDY!” My two daughters light up and sprint to my arms. It’s heartwarming and priceless.

How does that make me feel? Like the most loved and cherished person in the world!


The level of excitement that I arrive home to each day!

 Regardless of the “baggage” I’m lugging into the home, they accept, engage, and pursue me. They don’t care what I went through that day. They aren’t expecting me to bring them any gifts, or present them with a nugget of wisdom to complete their day. All they know is Daddy is home, so let’s shout, cheer and holler!

Isn’t that like our relationship with Christ sometimes? We’ll open the door to allow Him to work in and speak to our lives, and He responds, “MY CHILD!” Will there will ever be a time when He doesn’t accept and pursue us? Absolutely not.

All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37)

Is that hard for me to realize at times? Sure! I mean, who am I? Why would God accept and use a broken wretch with baggage?  So you’re saying that He wants to use “little ‘ol me’ for His glory? Today I chose to believe this, and remember that without reservation He loves. Without abandon He pursues. Without hesitation He accepts.

In what ways has God shown/proven to you He accepts you?

holdbabyhand

Taking Comfort In Your Smallness

I know that my kids are small. My oldest daughter is what–maybe 3 feet and change? Do they know how tall I am? No, they just know that Daddy is “BIG”! Daddy runs faster, jumps higher, and flat out knows more things than they do. Not only are my girls physically petite, but they also have a limited viewpoint on life. They are in the here and now. Unlike their father, they can’t see/understand the whole picture! And guess what? They are okay with that.

In the same way, there is comfort in my smallness compared to the biggness of God. Yes, Jesus encourages us to not worry (Matthew 6:25-27) about provision. And yes, God tells us that He knows the plans laid out for us (Jeremiah 29:11). But, on top of those things, there is a peaceful calm in knowing that God is big and we are small. Those things (worrying about provision, future plans, etc.) can only be surrendered when we submit to the greatness of our Father. Acknowledging that truth guides us to a place of reverance… and stillness.

God is bigger than my needs. God is bigger than my professional career. God is bigger than my family. God is bigger than the biggest thing that I could think of. I’m thankful for that today.

Fill in the blank: “Today, I’m thankful that God is bigger than _______.”

Note: Post was inspired by Trevin Wax
Photo credit: bengston

Losing Sight of the Finish Line

Wednesday night started out just like any other night: dinner with my girls, bedtime routine, and some quality time with the wifey. Jen and I had decided to check out the movie, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but fifteen minutes into the film I started feeling queasy. I’m not a film buff, so I knew it couldn’t be Nic Cage’s quirky one-liners that had me feeling off beat. Nonetheless, Jen and I decided to retire the movie and call it a night. The thing is, I rarely ever get sick….. as a matter of fact, I don’t even remember the last time I felt queasy. Too bad the stomach bug wasn’t the least bit impressed with my record of physical health. From 11:00-2:30am I must have set an Olympic record in hurdles — jumping hurdles (aka the dollhouse plus accessories that have made their home on my bedroom floor) from the bed to the bathroom that is. It was horrendous, but after that 3.5 hour period, I thought I was good to go. 

It had only been 30 minutes after my bed-to-bathroom half-marathon, that we heard our oldest daughter whimpering in her room. Turns out , Sophia was my competition in the “Olympic hurdling” event that had unfolded that night, but sadly, she never made it to the bathroom because she couldn’t open the door. Fail. In keeping with the saying, “birds of a feather flock together”, we ended up bunking in the bed together for the rest of the night. It was a long night, but as horrible as I felt, I would have gladly taken her “tummy boo-boo” than see her like that.


Around 3:00 AM, wearing Daddy’s undershirt.

 It got me thinking: Initially, I thought the night was going to be all about me, but… it’s really wasn’t about me at all. When I run the race so focused on the “hurdle” (life’s circumstance), I inevitably lose sight of the finish line (the glory of God).  Paul set his sights on the eternal: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

 So often I think that I exist for myself and view life through selfish lenses. How will this decision affect me? When can I do the things that I want to do? Who is going to help me with this project? Instead of living life for the glory of God, I make it about me –my fame, my prize, my interests, my health, my security. The fact of the matter is, that God is passionate about His glory. He wants to make His name famous. God created Israel for His glory (Isaiah 43:1-7). It is because of His love that he is passionate about His glory. As John Piper says, “God’s love for us is not mainly his making much of us, but his giving us the ability to enjoy making much of him forever.” Convicting, huh? 

As a bonus, John Piper tweeted this yesterday. Felt it was spot on. “We do not exist for ourselves.” 

 

What hurdles keep you from pressing onward toward the finish line?

Paralyzed By Snow


Yesterday, my commute to work.
Here in Atlanta, our city completely shuts down when snow/ice hits the streets. In fact, this time around schools and organizations started closing the previous night before any snowfall! The metro Atlanta area ended up getting 5+ inches of snow, and the city was frozen in panic for a couple days.

In our own lives, aren’t we the same way sometimes? Like southerners gliding on a sheet of ice, oftentimes we aren’t able to keep our balance when it comes to transparency, fears and insecurities.

When I’m confronted on an issue of mine that may need changing, I get defensive and shut down. When an unforeseen financial cost comes up, I have worries of not being able to provide for my family. When the unexpected happens, I shut down. I make agreements with the enemy, giving him a place to work in my life. Lately, a fear of mine has revolved around providing for my family. While in my heart I believe that we will be provided for, fear often creeps in and diverts my focus to one of insecurity and uncertainty. Fear can make the largest man shrink into the most insignificant being. Fear blankets hope. Instead of living in the truth of God’s character (He is faithful, He is the Provider, He is sovereign), sometimes I chose to believe in the lie that I have to do it on my own.

God reminded me this morning that, no matter the situation, He is going to come through. I don’t have to do it alone. God has proven Himself to be faithful, even when our world says otherwise. He came through when David faced Goliath. He came through when Abraham was promised a son. And the truth is… He’ll come through with me.

Has fear ever gripped you in a way like this?