Sunday, September 30, 2007


I'm amazed, still, 24 hours after meeting an amazing girl named Bethany (not her real name). 17 year-old Bethany shined brightly with a love and joy that could only be described as heavenly. She talked about God like he was her highest treasure, and excitedly told me about her great passion to be a light in the world and share God's message with young people. Excitement, love, joy, humility, and peace just flowed from her so genuinely.

I met Bethany at a Burn hospital for children where my church goes every other month to play Bingo with the kids there. Bethany had been to this hospital many times for treatment after the accident she suffered 8 years ago. Yet, it had been 2 years since she had returned.

A few weeks ago Bethany had told God that she wanted to getter better. (You see, her scars are MANY. Burned skin does not heal well). And so our God who is full of unfailing love answered Bethany's prayer. Soon after she received a call from Shiner's hospital. They wanted to fly her down to do reconstructive surgery on her face! For a 17 year-old girl who is not able to go to school because she helps her family, who make a living off a yogurt stand in Mexico, this blessings is huge!

Yet, as I sat there listening to Bethany tell me about the God she loved so much and was so passionate for, I could not help but forget about all her scars and the unfortunate plight of her life. All I could see was a beautiful girl, so spiritually full of a joy that can only come from God almighty. I was AMAZED! AMAZED!

She understood what it meant to be a citizen of heaven, a stranger in this world, a beloved child of the God of the universe. Like my friends Lauren and Tyler Maddox said in one of their blog post, we can see good people so misfortunate and poor in the eyes of this world, and think, "how unfair is that!!" (And maybe think too, how unfair is God). Yet, I'm telling you, this girl was SO FORTUNATE in the eyes of Heaven and had a spiritual wealth that we should eagerly aspire to have. She had it go'in on!!

Despite her financial and physical set backs, Bethany will soon be in training to be a missionary in Mexico. I'll never forget her words, " I just want the path he has for me...It's not about an emotion, its about passion for Him" How beautiful this life truly surrendered, truly anchored in the love of God.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Shawn's Coming...I know him!

For those of you who didn't get the joke in the title to this blog post, I was alluding to Buddy from the movie Elf when he says, "Santa's coming...I know him! 2 weeks my favorite guy Shawn Evans will be in Houston once again...yay! For anyone who hasn't met him, this will be your chance...don't miss it. He's awesome, and like you can see from the picture, so much fun!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A whole lot of nothing without His grace

I was convicted this week of how prone I am to be prideful in my own self-righteousness. None of us have "arrived." None of us are who we want to be, or know God wants us to be. I still fall so short of the glorious standard of God... and so I am in desperate need, daily (ok, hourly), of Jesus, who lives to intercede for me at the right hand of God. Anyone who has been a Christian for a while (and by anyone, I mean me), can look at less mature Christians or non-Christians and quickly let wicked pride come into our hearts as we compare and judge. Jesus spoke pretty harshly to the Pharisees, and reminded them that they needed to stop worrying about looking so holy on the outside, and clean house on the inside. Therefore, I can pat myself on the back for what I "do for God", and all the sins I don't do, and the commands I do do, etc, etc, but if I'm have pride, self-righteousness, ill feelings toward others, or any other yuckyiness in my heart, I'm not different than those Pharisees who got a heavy dose of rebuke from Jesus (Matt 23)...(ouch!).

Another thing I noticed is that Jesus didn't rebuke the Pharisees for what they taught (He told the people to obey what the Pharisee's taught), but for what they did (or didn't do...they didn't practice what they preached, and neither do we all the time). Even in some of the things I have written about or taught about (including the basis for the name of this blog), I fail to, MANY times, live up to.

Conclusion? We're all in need of that "Amazing Grace" we love to sing about. We're no less in need of it than prostitute on the corner or that angry person who cut us off in traffic this week. We all need to be like the tax collector who prayed, "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner," and not like the Pharisee who prayed, "God, thank you that I'm not like those sinners (paraphrased)."