Long Road

Dani has her days and nights mixed up.  She’s driven to finish her degree and excited about the possibilities of life after school, but her brain and body are also fatigued.  She feels like sleeping when she’s awake, but can’t quite shut it all off mentally when she’s supposed to be sleeping.  Dani has a weary soul.  And her weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

Allen is on the verge of something great.  His ministry organization has experienced a funding breakthrough, which has made it possible to launch an entire new division overseas.  He’s doing Kingdom work, and for months he has lived at the glorious intersection of waiting and working – where anticipating collides with diligence.  So why does this mid-40s man, who is otherwise in such good health, find it so easy to well up with tears for no apparent reason?  Allen has a weary soul.  And his weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

Teresa is grateful for the progress.  Day in and day out, working with little Pauley, she has seen such growth in her little son with special needs.  Compared to this time last year, both of their worlds have dramatically changed for the better.  But driving home from the latest meeting with Pauley’s case worker, Teresa catches a heart-glimpse of how far – how very far – her boy and she have to go.  And something inside her screams, “Give it up!  You’ll never get there.”  Teresa has a weary soul.  And her weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

To live in a broken world, teeming with peril and possibilities, is to shoulder a load that defies your own strength.  You may look at somebody else’s yoke and feel sorry for them, or feel sorry for yourself.  Either way, your own life challenges are enough.  And at some point, assuming you care at all, you will find yourself pushing against your own weariness of soul. [click to continue…]


One day this…

Peacock 1

Will become this.

peacock 2

Or maybe this.

peacock 4

[click to continue…]


Forgiveness 3

For all the ones who wouldn’t give up on me
When I would have given up on myself…
For the ones who modeled patience
As they gave and gave me the gift of waiting…
Thank you for showing the sweetest of love.

For everyone who saw what I saw before I saw it –
The many changes I need to make in me…
For everyone who showed me grace
When they found me stuck in my own stubbornness…
Thank you for showing the sweetest of love. [click to continue…]


Sleepy 2Psssssst.

Tap. Tap. Tap.


Sorry to interrupt you in the World of Slumbering Hearts, but we should talk.  You’re probably reading this in the middle of the day, but I’m writing it in the middle of the night.

Sometimes I get to thinking when I probably should be sleeping.  It works out OK, I suppose. Sometimes I get to sleeping when I should be thinking.


It seems as though more and more we live in a world of sleeping hearts. Cold. Unresponsive. Lifeless.

Our eyes are open.  Apparently our thumbs still work. We still go through our routines. But we seem oblivious to a quieter, more powerful, more eternal world.

Our generation is by no means the first.  The Apostle John was asked to deliver a wake-up call to some churches in what we call the Book of Revelation. Three, in fact.

One of them, in Ephesus, was deliriously busy doing religious things. Campaigning for spiritual orthodoxy. Working tirelessly for The Cause. God had obviously blessed them with hard workers and boundless energy.

Wake up call: You’ve left your first love.

The second, in Sardis, was living on their reputation. God had obviously blessed them with amazing experiences.

Wake up call: You have a name for being alive, but you’re dead.

The third, in Laodicea, was living in the lap of luxury. They had the best of everything… the latest technology, the coolest gadgets, the nicest stuff. God had obviously blessed them with material prosperity.

Wake up call: Lukewarm Christians nauseate God.

So… how awake is your heart? I know you’re probably really busy. I know you can probably point to past experiences where your heart is alive. I know you can find many blessings in your life for which you are grateful.  But it’s possible to have all that and still have a sleepy, lethargic heart to what God is doing here, now.

Here are some signs of life to look for in hearts that are alive and awake: [click to continue…]


Nighttime PrayerJordan’s heart is still awake, even though his body surrendered to sleep an hour ago. He’s restless. Anticipating. Watching and listening for that heart connection he once knew. In the psalmist’s language, Jordan is thirsty like a deer panting for streams of water.  He knows what he’s thirsty for, and He knows that God is faithful.  And yet in this dry season, He feels so far away.

Caitlyn waits all the time, but the nighttime seems the rudest. She waits for a change in her mother’s prognosis, even though no change is coming. She waits for that dreaded decline in respiration, though it seems her Mama is too tough and too stubborn to die. The days keep her busy, but the nights at the bedside turn up the volume on Caitlyn’s grieving heart.  She knows that ultimately what she’s waiting for is the Lord.  And He feels so far away.

Brody is exhausted. It’s been the longest night of his professional life, but the rookie firefighter forges ahead through the rubble of what once was a safe place for kids; a cruel tornado had other ideas. Keeping his own two children, ages 4 and 2, close in his heart, Brody alternately prays he will find survivors and rages that a just, loving God lets innocent children die. His faith is as weary as his body and mind. He wants to believe God.  But He feels so far away.

Cindy sorts through photos and memories of what sometimes looks like someone else’s life. She called it her “days of awakening,” and so they were.  Though she had been a believer since she was 11 years old, amazing things began to happen in Cindy’s life when she was a student in college. Unusual, near-instant answers to prayer. Life-changing mission trips where once she even witnessed a miraculous healing. Extraordinary spiritual growth.  Now ten years later, Cindy is hungry to see those days of awakening again. But it’s been a long time, and He feels so far away. [click to continue…]


Mountain BridgeNehemiah discovered a gap between what was and what should be.

What was – local thugs were keeping the holy city of his fathers in ruins as the people there had tried to rebuild it for 40 years.

What should be – a city with a wall around it.

In that discovery, he made a risky decision.  It wasn’t enough to pray or weep over it.  He needed to take action.  So Nehemiah aimed for The Gap.  And 52 days after his arrival in Jerusalem, the wall was completed.

Moses was hiding from his past on the back side of the desert when he discovered a gap between what was and what should be.

What was – the cries of the oppressed Israelites had reached the ears of their God.

What should be – a nation of slaves set free to inherit the land of God’s promise.

In that discovery, he made a risky decision.  It wasn’t enough to stand there and try to argue with a burning bush and the God who was calling him.  He needed to take action.  So Moses aimed for The Gap.  And weeks later, he and a few million of his family members stood at the edge of the Red Sea.

This is the essence of leadership.  [click to continue…]


parenthesisA few months ago I was having a conversation with someone who was going through a recovery process.  He sounded really healthy on the phone – sober in the best sense of the word.  Then he said something really curious about his life.

“I’m so ready to get things back to normal.”

“Normal,” I told him, “was what got you in trouble in the first place.  You’re ‘normal’ is being redefined, and that takes time.  And as much as you want that, you are going to need to give it time to form.”

I was talking to a couple a few weeks after their first baby was born.  I asked how things were going and got a predictable answer.  “We love being parents, but we’re exhausted from lack of sleep,” Mom said.

Then Dad chimed in…  “Yeah, we’re so ready to get back to normal.”

I guess I was a little rude, but I just laughed.  In their face.

“You want what?  Good luck with that.” [click to continue…]


Be the fly on the wall for this conversation…

It’s not that life here is so bad right now.


It’s that life is so busy.  Urgent all the time.

I can relate to that.

And not even that it’s urgent, but that I don’t feel as though I am responding well to the urgency I do have.

What do you mean?

Nothing ever gets completely done.  Or so it feels. My weekly schedule is pretty busy as it is.  Then factor in anything else that has been added to the schedule lately, and I’m having a hard time breathing.

I think I know what the problem is.

You do?

Yep.  Your Urgency Response Index is low.

My what?

Your Urgency Response Index.

Sounds serious.

It can be. [click to continue…]

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The other day Laura Kate, age 4, decided (again) what she wants to be when she grows up.  She wants “the person who dumps those big piles of dirt.”

The other day I, age 53, decided (again) what I want to be when I grow up.  I want to be the author of a book on leadership.

She’ll think of other things she wants to be when she grows up, and I’ll think of other things I’ll want to be when I grow up.  I guess when either of us quits thinking of who or what we want to be at a point of maturity, it’ll be time to die.


There is only one person who gets to measure love by obedience – that’s Jesus.  All the rest of us have a different standard.

+++++++ [click to continue…]


Life is filled with plenty of things worth waiting for…

The answer to a prayer…

The fulfillment of a promise…

The completion of a process….

The realization of a dream…

These and many more are examples of the rewards of waiting for what is precious.

That said, there is one thing that isn’t worth the wait – now or ever. [click to continue…]