This is a 2016 silver dollar.

It’s official, struck by the United States Mint. [click to continue…]

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How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You (Psalm 139:17-18).

Quantity and Quality.  That’s how to measure God’s thoughts toward you. And in both distinctions, His thoughts toward you are immeasurable. [click to continue…]

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One of oneTurns out there was something almost as satisfying Monday night as watching Eddie Lacy, A. J. McCarron and company put looks of futility and bewilderment on yet another BCS opponent – a game, by the way, I have waited since 1966 to witness.

It was a commercial.  For Dr. Pepper, of all things.  Now as long as I’ve known anything about Dr. Pepper and commercials, they have always had some kind of big song and dance production.  And this commercial was no exception.

What was exceptional was the song in the commercial.  It sort of stopped me in my tracks.  I actually hit rewind to see the thing again.  (If you know anything about me and commercials, you will know this rarely happens.)  If you’d like to see the commercial, it’s already on YouTube, and you can watch it here.

I didn’t run out and buy Dr. Pepper.  But I did hurry to iTunes and found the song.  I just discovered it was released on iTunes on January 7, the day the commercial ran.

The song is by the Nashville group Vinyl Hearts, and it’s called, “I Am.” You can hear it in its entirety by clicking below.  Please, hear the song in its entirety. [click to continue…]

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A Reading of the Will

by Andy Wood on July 12, 2012

in 100 Words, Esteem, Life Currency

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things… (Hebrews 1:2, ESV)

Jesus Christ has been appointed the heir of all things.

That includes you.

When the Father bequeathed His treasures to the Son, He named you in that inheritance.

That says something about your value and worth to God. [click to continue…]

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Years ago a group of scientists determined that the minerals and chemicals within our bodies were worth about $.99.  Factor in inflation, and that’s probably somewhere around $3.50 or so today.

Viewed in another way, however, somebody estimated that the energy production of the human body, based upon the number of atoms within a 150-pound person, could generate enough atomic energy to be valued at $85 billion.

A hundred and fifty pounds, huh?  That would make me worth, hmmm… well, never mind.

The lesson here?  Don’t let a scientist try to figure out how much you’re worth!

While you’re at it, don’t build your value on what anybody else tells you.

Not the guys and dolls in Coolvillle.

Not your teachers, important as they are (remember the infamous fourth-grade teacher who send Thomas Edison home, saying he was too stupid to learn?).

Not even the people who love you most, and here’s why: The more you are loved by somebody, the more you tend to expect unconditional approval from them.  When they do express frustration or disapproval, it weighs a whole lot more on your heart.  I once met a 56-year-old woman who said, “Andy, just once I wish I could hear my [78-year-old] mother say I’d done something right.”

So where do you look to find your value?  Here’s a suggestion: [click to continue…]

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Time for full disclosure. 

In the previous post I shared ten false beliefs that lead to shame.  You may have your own variation, and probably do. 

Those are mine.  Every one of those came right out of my journal.

Not that I actually believe them, but they are the lies the enemy hurls or has hurled at me over the years.  And given the right set of circumstances, they can be very persuasive.

Maybe that’s why Jesus revealed Himself as the Truth (John 14:6).  God knew it would take a personal relationship with Truth-as-a-Person to ever set us free from the lies of shame. 

Stop. [click to continue…]

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Get this scene…

It’s the long-shadow season… a late-October Saturday afternoon.  Alabama has just kicked off to Tennessee, and the rest of life has been put on hold.  I’ve got the snacks and drinks, recliner set to football position, and it’s a glorious day.

That’s when I hear it.  In those few seconds before the doorbell rings and the dogs go crazy, I hear the giggles of a gaggle of adolescents.

Two thoughts immediately flash by:

  • I am obviously not living in Dixie, because nobody in their right mind there would be roaming the streets when the Tide ‘n’ Vols are on TV.
  • I’m about to be scavenger hunted.

Sure enough, I open the door to a group of teenagers, and one of ‘em hands me a list.  “We’re on a scavenger hunt.  Do you have any of these things?”

Game on (while the other game is on pause). [click to continue…]

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rodeo clown 3“It seems plausible that folly and fools, like religion and magic, meet some deeply rooted needs in human society.”  -Peter Berger, Redeeming Laughter

At a convention, filled with pastors and other very religious people, I was sitting on a shuttle bus going from the parking lot to the convention center.  The bus made a stop, and on hopped Dennis Swanberg – comedian, and then-pastor.  I recognized him, because we’d recently had him as a guest in our church.  Somebody else recognized him too.  A good ol’ boy hollered from the back of the bus, “Hey!  Aren’t you Dennis Swanberg?  Say sumpthin’ funny!”

Dennis smiled good-naturedly, but the look in his eye said it all:  Seriously?

I joked with him about the cluelessness of the request.  “Yeah,” he said.  “It’s sorta like saying to a doctor in public, ‘Cure something,’”

One Planet, Two Kingdoms

Isn’t it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Where are the clowns? [click to continue…]

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money-trash1Things got a little weird that day at the Taco Bell in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  A customer tried to pass two 1928 five-dollar bills as cash to pay for his meal.  The clerks had never seen such old money before, presumed it to be counterfeit, and called the police.  Here’s the sad part – as currency, the cash was legit.  As collectors’ items, they had to be worth way more than a bean burrito combo or a chalupa.

What a waste, right?  Right up there with Esau, selling his birthright for a bowl of peas. Or the prodigal son, wasting his inheritance on a never-ending party.

But another part of my brain wants to defend our fast food shopper.  After all, maybe he was hungry, and that was the only cash he had.  Maybe he had no idea what he had!  I’ve learned that if you don’t know the value of what you possess, it really doesn’t matter to you what you waste it on. Esau and the prodigal learned that, too – the hard way.

Anyway, what’s so different about the taco king?  [click to continue…]

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Somewhere in a sea of uniformity, a yellow tulip stands alone.

Exquisite… but doubtless convinced that “different” means “ugly.”

Ask this amber wonder for any wish – it will openly yearn to be “normal.”

Never again to be viewed as a mistake, or a freak.

And yet, wish granted, all that remains is a sea of red.

Beautiful… but hardly remarkable.

To dress as no other is the honor of the bride.

To sing as no other is the glory of the nightingale.

To live, give, and love as no other is the beauty of a heart freed by grace.

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