A Giants Perspective


I recently was visiting a friend before her wedding and I couldn’t help but smile as I saw this big red board that she and friends have been writing on for the past year. They have made it a daily habit writing something that they are thankful for on the board. Each time the board is full, they erase and start all over with more words of thanks!

I loved the concept, and since I’m a very visual person it clearly displayed the scripture found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

God’s will is that we have an upward perspective. One that is continually in a spirit of thankfulness. It’s extremely hard to be discouraged about things not going the way you planned when you are remembering all the times that God has been faithful, protected you from danger, provided for a need, or sent someone to cross your path and encourage you just when you needed it most.

The act of gratitude begins with perspective, and with you. You have to decide whether to be the grasshopper surrounded by big-eyed giants, or be the giants admiring the grasshoppers. It’s about remembering the little things that give meaning to life.

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Can you take one moment and tell the world one thing that YOU are grateful for?

I’ve already started the list below – Go ahead and add to it as things come to mind!


I’ve always enjoyed putting puzzles together because the bigger the puzzle, the greater the challenge! I’ll confess, I’m not one for suspense. I always had to know what the finished picture was going to look like before I could even begin.

Have you ever played with a puzzle that you pulled out from the archaic pile in the closet, only to come up with 999 of the 1000 pieces? You’re no longer happy that you put together 999 pieces; you’re mad because that 1 piece is missing!

Right now, I’m staring at that almost completed puzzle and am frustrated because I just can’t figure out where that last piece is, or even what the finished picture will look like. It’s missing an important piece – and one I’d rather have in my little box so I can finish my puzzle. I mean, I have things to do, people to see, a life to live, right?! Why does God have me sitting here staring at a blank hole in the picture, with a huge question mark in it’s place?

Because instead of a ‘?‘ I’m beginning to see the true attributes of WHO God is, based solely on just that – Who He is. It is easy to come to a realization of who God is by what He gives; but, what if He takes? Where do you stand if you’re relying on those gifts to shape who God is to you, and they crumble under your feet?

Jesus + Nothing = Everything.

Even though it looks like there is a piece missing – my picture has already been completed because it is Jesus who holds that piece. He’s the Author & Finisher of my Faith with the timing of completion totally up to Him; and one glorious day we’ll all be able to see our finished pictures. Won’t that be wonderful?

Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


The Pulse of Sacrifice

“Jesus loves me this I know,
for the Bible tells me so, 
little ones to Him belong, 
they are weak but He is strong.”  
Last time I wrote for the blog, I had recently taken on the challenge of learning to love by the measure given in 2 Corinthians 13:4-8; little did I know how greatly I would experience being loved firsthand by Jesus Christ. His love truly exceeds anything one could write about His being patient, kind, or selfless. 

He has held and comforted me as I sobbed my eyes out. He’s been patient through my countless questions and complaints of not understanding His Plan. His love gave me hope as I’ve been reminded of His promises –  and there are so many for you and I! Read His word – you’ll find them too! He works ALL things together for His glory! Love is the pulse of sacrifice – and ultimately the reason that He gave His life for you and I.  

Remember that little tune “Jesus Loves Me”? What a great reminder of belonging to God! I’m definitely a weakling, but, my God, no, OUR God is so strong!! 

He longs to be your Savior, Comforter, Restorer, Healer, Father, and so much more. Are you reveling in how much Our God loves you? Look at Arianna’s face in the picture – she is  smiling and giggling because of her parents’ love for her. That is exactly what she should be like with Christ’s love! 

Remember, It’s not just a Sunday School song… It’s the truth. He loves you. Dearly. 


Extraordinary LOVE

Love is [patient]
Love is [kind]
Love is [not jealous]
Love is [not proud, and does not boast]
Love [does not demand it’s own way]
Love [is not irritable & keeps no record of being wronged]
Love [does not rejoice about injustice]
Love [rejoices whenever truth wins out]
Love [never gives up]
Love [never loses faith]
Love [is always hopeful]
Love [endures through every circumstance]

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

I’ve really been thinking about these verses lately, and their current presence in my life. I want more & others need more, so I proposed a challenge to myself. The “1 Corinthians 13, Love Challenge.” Yes. After thinking about it some more – I’m sure someone else has already taken my idea and has probably written a book about it, but really, I didn’t steal the idea! 🙂 Regardless of it’s originality, it’s still a tough challenge for me. I’ve committed to specifically focus on an aspect of love every week and integrate it more into my thinking, the way I live life, and more importantly- the way I approach God. It’s more of a challenge than you’d originally think too. Wow. Sometimes it’s reaaaallly hard. To be patient with myself, others & God. Not just in my actions, or my words – but my attitude. A patient person is someone who isn’t as much concerned about their agenda & time frame, but towards others. Someone who is patient won’t become irritated when stuck behind some really slow person on the freeway.

I need patience in approaching God. Not coming to Him with my “10 minutes before I have to leave for work” mentality, squeezing Him into my schedule and expecting Him to refresh, teach, and give guidance; but, it is necessary to give Him time to speak, and move in my life. Time for me to be still, and not be thinking about where I need to be, or when I need to be there. God’s timing is often way different from ours. I know because I’ve seen this & experienced it firsthand. But you know what? His timing is ALWAYS better than the timeline I’ve set for Him or myself.

While attending a car race last week at the nearby Route 66 Raceway, I learned a little bit about patience that day just by watching it all! Those race cars are ready. They’re filled with fuel, and the driver is at the start line waiting for the light to turn from Red, to Yellow, and finally to Green. If they move too soon, they’re disqualified from the race. [Which did happen to a couple cars that night! 🙁 ] I’m so grateful that God hasn’t disqualified me because I’ve moved ahead of His perfect time. Each day is a new day – and another chance to be at the starting line – waiting for His hand to display the green light.

A patient love needs to be such a bigger part of me, along with the other 11 on the list. So here it goes to 12 weeks of learning more of Christ’s love & passing it on to others!


Lin, Lint, & Lent, Oh My!!!

Did any of you watch the Knicks vs. Heat basketball game last night? It was actually the first game I’ve seen this season, and I mainly wanted to watch because, yes, Jeremy Lin was playing. 🙂 Didn’t you?? After all the hype I’ve heard and read, I wanted to see this guy in action! And he didn’t disappoint. It was an awesome game.   

. . . . .

Don’t you hate it when you throw your clothes into the washer only to find out afterwards that you left something in your pocket? Tissues create the biggest havoc on black sweaters ever. Tiny white specks – everywhere! It’s just impossible to pick each piece off.   

. . . . . 

Last Wednesday was the kickoff to Lent, with it being ‘Ash Wednesday.’ It is the start of 40 days where people give something up for ‘Lent,’ to take part in Christ’s suffering. They pick one item/activity and fast from Facebook, music, soda, sugary foods, Starbucks, eating out at restaurants, movies, etc. Simply put, they give up something that they can live just fine without, or maybe it’s an activity or something that has taken more of their focus than it should be.   

It’s only three days into Lent, and I hear comment after comment, “Ugh, I can’t – I gave that up for lent,” “I’m going to starve! I can’t have meat, or drink soda,” & “I’m so glad I didn’t give THAT up! I don’t know how I’d be able to survive.” Was it a sacrifice or was it surrender? What was their motive in giving up something they enjoyed? Why did they do it? Did they desire to, but were just having a moment of ingratitude for all that they had beside? Or were they only doing it to gain admiration and boost their pride?

It made me ask myself – What is my attitude when I give something up for even a short time – like, music while at VOICE. Or when I put on a uniform instead of my own clothing choice for work. Is it given up begrudgingly? Or is my surrender genuine, knowing that the outcome is sweeter than the sacrifice. Our motive & heart attitude is a true indicator of who we are giving it up for. 

We each can definitely come up with a list of a few things we can live without. What is one thing you cannot live without? The answer is obvious – It’s Jesus Christ. Because ‘For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are ALL things.’ [Romans 11:36a ESV] It might be a small sacrifice – but, anything that we turn to, spend time or money on, and takes our focus off of God is in need of management. Maybe we should take these 40 days ourselves just to focus on the ONE who this season is about; remembering everything that He did & suffered. He gave so much for you & I – how could anything I give up for a mere 40 days even compare!?

I know what you’re thinking… what in the world does Jeremy Lin, lint, and Lent have to do with each other?! Basically nothing, but the random events that my life, and the musings of my mind. 🙂 But I can tell you – It doesn’t matter who [Jeremy Lin, or Katie Pleckham] or what you are [athlete, student, or piece of fuzz]; what you’ve done or are doing [sacrifices]; but, it’s merely about what has already been done by Christ on the cross. And for that, I am forever humbled, and grateful – with or without a Starbucks cup in hand.

Are you?



From Worry to Worship

I’m a teller at a bank, and having every penny accounted for is essential. Perfection is required. Not too long ago, I was off an odd amount of cash, and all the review & double checking of previous work couldn’t find the error. Lunch break came, and I had to leave. While I was gone my coworkers continued to try to solve the mystery. All I could do was trust and believe that God knew exactly what happened, and that it would be found.

Lunch became a prayer session, since I sure didn’t feel like eating. I prayed – believed – and guess what!? The moment I walked back inside work, one of my coworkers exclaimed – “We found it! The currency counter misread a bill.”

I know this is something small, but, it still matters just as much to God as the big things. It pleases God to have us come to him for everything. Because when we seek Him, He is found. He always shows up. When we trust Him for those small things, yes, even VERY small things, and we realize that He cares about them even more than we do – our attitude is turned from worry to worship, knowing that He is in control.

Worry prevents Him from doing anything for us. While we worry, our focus is on ourselves, our problems, and their solutions. Placing our trust in Him, glorifies Him, puts God in His rightful place in our lives; on His throne ahead of us and our worries.  Allow God to be glorified in your life by trusting Him for the things He wants to see you through.

A matter of life & death.

One word. One look. One motion of the hand. Sometimes even just silence is all that is necessary to show our emotion towards each other. The question is—what kind of message are my words/actions, or lack of, sending?

“Sticks & stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” – reads an old childhood poem.  However, what does Scripture say about what comes from our mouth? “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” [Proverbs 18:21]

Do I really take what comes out of my mouth that seriously? Can my words really speak death??! We laugh off snide remarks; rashly respond to an annoying question; joke about another person’s mistake or quirk; and join in on the latest gossip at work about other coworkers; yet, find it so difficult to walk away from all of that, and encourage one another with a kind word or praise. {Remember, sometimes that bit of encouragement even needs to be directed to ourselves! How often do we beat our self down with phrases like, “I’m so stupid!” or “How come I can’t be like, ‘so-and-so?’”}

I want to challenge you & myself — this week, let’s be more conscious of what comes out of our mouth. Let’s go breathe some life into our world!

Shaken by the Gospel

“Shake well. Settling is natural.”

Have you, like I, ever ignored that warning of shaking first – only to find that it would’ve been much better had we listened? Smoothies & life might not have a lot in common, but, this “warning” label is just as important in our spiritual life as it is in reality.

Sometimes I like January 1st; other times, I truly resent it. This year, I was taken aback. I saw myself in a way I had never before. Desperate. I had become desperate for change. I realized the mundane had affected my life, heart, and soul. My passion & zeal for life needed to be more than a spark – I wanted a burning flame.

God doesn’t want us to be stuck in the ordinary. He may have us there for a season, but, it is for only that – a season. He will interject times of ‘shaking’ where everything we know might be changed – for us to thrive & flourish with passion; fulfilling the purpose that He created for each one of us to do. Prepare now for that time – it will come.

For the past three months, He has been doing a lot of ‘shaking’ in my own life. I’ve seen Him place me into situations outside of my comfort zone, and realized the potential for new growth. New church; meeting other young people from my area who have the desire to live like God is real in their own life; taking a course on missions & culture, and loving every minute of it . . . with all of this being only the beginning!

Peter challenged the early Christians in Acts to believe the things they had seen & heard, and drove the Truth of the Gospel into their hearts & minds. His encouragement and the passion in his soul transformed their lives, and ours as a result. After being shaken by the Gospel, they became open and willing to do whatever was necessary to spread the good news of Jesus and to take care of one another. {Acts 2:42-47}

That first Christian church in Acts had two goals: 1) Meet each other’s needs; 2) Take the message of the Gospel to the world. With these two goals they turned the world upside down.

Almost 2,000 years later, what are some ways you think our generation can turn the world upside down just like those early Christians did?

Empty handed & satisfied.

Small or large, cloth or paper – I love Children’s books. I always have, and I’m quite sure I always will. A bookshelf in my room contains my own selection of all-time favorites, and one titled “The Perfect Gift” in particular has been on my mind recently.

The story line revolves around boy rabbit wanting to give the perfect gift to his best friend, girl rabbit. He searches high and low to find something special enough for her. In the peak days of autumn, he holds out his hand to give her a beautiful leaf he has found. Sadly the wind blows it right out of his hand, and he is left to think of something even more special, but that won’t blow away. The days begin to get colder, and he surprises her with a snowflake of winter. She reaches out to touch it, and it quickly melts. The grass becomes green with the rain of spring, and beautiful flowers bloom. His search is on to find still the perfect gift, one that can’t blow away or melt and disappear. He finds it! Hands clasped together, he presents her with a brightly colored butterfly – the most beautiful one she has ever seen! The brilliance of the sun soon attracted the butterfly though, and it flew away. Leo became very sad and disheartened. He had searched so hard and thought he found just the right gift, but nothing seemed to last! He knew there had to be something out there perfect enough to give her, and he was not going to quit until he had found it. He searched high & low, far & near; but still he could not find anything that would last, and returned empty handed. Ashamed to see Lisa soon after his return, he held his hands behind his back to hide the fact that he had nothing to give her. Lisa, being the sweet girl that she was though, exclaimed to him that it wasn’t the gifts that she wanted – it was to hold the hand of her best friend.

{Sigh} I just love this story. It’s so sweet, and yet, so powerful in a quiet way. With Christmas in just one week, it seems that everyone has become so focused on giving or getting his or her own perfect gift. After I read this story again the other day I couldn’t get away from how this simple tale of two rabbits plays out between God and me.

How often have I, and do I, try to give God something that I imagine to be what He wants? Does He truly want every penny I have? Maybe. Am I willing to offer it to Him, and if He asks me to give it away, would I? If His desire was for me to relinquish a life-long dream in pursuit of His plan, could I?

This Christmas, I’m offering to God my own two hands in full abandon to Him. Releasing my tight grip on finding, doing or being the “perfect gift” and focusing on giving what He truly wants – Me.