Monday, April 10, 2017


"When God commanded Joshua to pull the stones out of the Jordan  as a 
way to remember and teach the next generations about God's faithfulness,
 it was because God knew the extent to which we forget things."

Several months ago Ann Voskamp used a hashtag on one of her facebook posts that struck a nerve with me. It was #PreachingToMyself. At the time I didn't realize the significance of this notion, although it resonated with me deeply.

As a reader, I stick with the things that have solid, edifying, encouraging content. If it's not going to make me a better person, I'm simply not going to read it. I know how selfish that reads but truthfully, at its core, it isn't. Unless I am the best I can be, I can't serve others well in my calling. And the longer I deny the things in me that need the time and attention they demand to be set right, the longer I delay making a contribution to the world. 

Please don't think that I am under the assumption that I am fixing myself. Far from it. That is a work that no one can undertake but Jesus Himself. I just simply mean to say I won't walk away from something that is challenging me, or shaking me up internally, for the sake of ease, or in an attempt to avoid pain.

On Friday, I picked up a book from the library titled Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer. On page 6 he writes, "The words we speak often contain counsel we are trying to give ourselves." When I read that, all I could think of was Ann's hashtag #PreachingToMyself.

This blog was birthed out of a desperate need for me to get the raging thoughts inside my head, out. When I read my Bible in the morning, my head goes into a complete tailspin. I am making analogies, lessons, examples, and connections faster than I can get them down to truly work them out. And heaven forbid a verse come to mind that I can't find readily. You think nails on a chalkboard is bad, that is nothing compared to this.

But as much as I felt lead to start this to clear up mental space, there is not a post I have written that was not meant first for me. Every single word is some form of advice or wisdom that I desperately needed at the time, and likely still do. Why? Because I forget stuff. I forget what God has shown me, I forget how faithful He's been, I forget that He's never changing, continually present, and always good.

So perhaps this tiny space has become one of my many memorial stones. When God commanded Joshua to pull the stones out of the Jordan as a way to remember and teach the next generations about God's faithfulness, it was because God knew the extent to which we forget things. But as we discussed on Friday at Bible study, our memorial stones are never meant to be the foundation of our faith, they are meant to be the reminder of His faithfulness. 

Some of the stones I have are bittersweet. While the result of having them is good, the way in which they were obtained is still sometimes difficult to remember. But ultimately I have a choice to make. I can either look at the stones and see the scar they left, or I can see the God who handed it to me, to lay it down as precisely as I could, to build an altar where I can fall down and worship Him.

Years ago I was introduced to a song by Point of Grace called Heal the Wound. Let this portion of the lyrics wash over you in what God is capable of doing. And then slowly but surely, build your altar, sacrifice your life for Him on it, and worship the God who loves you more than you will ever know.

But I'll build an altar with the rubble that You've found in me
And every stone will sing of what You can redeem

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