Tag Archives: faith

When God Cleans You With Steel Wool

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Last week was rough. The following is a snapshot into my journal last Tuesday.


“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness,
let the bones that You have broken rejoice.”
-Psalm 51:7-8

Sometimes it feels like God is cleaning me with steel wool instead of the cotton washcloths I prefer.

As I write this, my heart aches. I’m crying and hurting. I feel broken by longings and unsaid words and independent realities and the delay of good dreams. 

“I know, O Lord, that Your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let Your steadfast love comfort me according to Your promise to Your servant. Let Your mercy come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight.” -Psalm 119:75-77

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Is God Enough in the Wilderness?

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The last week has felt a lot like what I imagine the wilderness felt like to Moses and the children of Israel.

I’ve ached for relief from the heat and unfamiliar surroundings that are, ironically, becoming achingly familiar (“Didn’t we pass that tree a few months ago?” “Is that the same hill I tripped over last year?” “Do you recognize that brown spot? We must have seen it before. Oh right, we have.”). For forty years they wandered, making lap after lap around the barren land, complaining about their manna and quail, and wishing for what God in His mercy saw fit to withhold.

Well, hello, insight to Sophie’s heart.  

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When Fears Come True: The Corrie ten Boom Story

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Corrie ten Boom was no stranger to fear.

When World War II broke out and the German Blitzkrieg’s “Nazification” of the Dutch people escalated in May 1940, the ten Boom family home in Haarlem, Amsterdam, became a refuge for many. Jews, members of the Dutch underground resistance movement, students, and intellectuals alike were warmly welcomed into the home above the ten Boom watch shop, where they were treated as part of the family and given food, the Word of God, and a community unified by the desire for freedom.

Before long, the safe house was slightly remodeled and a secret room was built into Corrie’s upstairs bedroom to harbor refugees when the Gestapo would illegally and forcibly search homes.

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Tim Keller on Community

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The gospel creates community.

Because it points us to the One who died for his enemies, it creates relationships of service rather than selfishness. Because it removes both fear and pride, people get along inside the church who could never get along outside. Because it calls us to holiness, the people of God are in loving bonds of mutual accountability and discipline. Thus the gospel creates a human community radically different from any society around it.

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Coffee Break: Corrie ten Boom

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Time for a coffee break.

Take your coffee with a side of good reading, why don’t you? In these random coffee break blogs you’ll find some quotes, links to other blogs, or Q&As with different people. Here’s a quote from one of my favorite people, Corrie ten Boom.


Many persons make the mistake of thinking they can measure the certainty of their salvation by their feelings. It is the Word of God that is their foundation and therefore it is essential for the new convert in Christ to have a practical knowledge of the Bible. More than anyone else it is the new convert who will come under the fire of the enemy. He needs the knowledge of the Sword of the Spirit. As the Lord Jesus used this sword to overcome the evil one in His temptation experiences, so we must learn to defend ourselves against every sort of attack.

–Corrie ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord


Previous Coffee Break posts:
Meet My Best Friend

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Monday Morning Munch No. 128 – Barabbas, Marketing, and a Cry for Rescue

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Then Pilate said to Him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in Him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a robber.
(John 18:37-40, ESV)

I’ll never forget the first time I learned Barabbas means son of the Father

Son of the Father. The people were literally pleading for a messiah, but they were so blinded by sin and their own ambitions and desires they missed what was right in front of them. They cried out for a Savior all the while the prophesied Messiah was standing a few feet away.

What is our Barabbas?

We all have one. The person, thing, activity or event we try to put the label “messiah” on. We long for redemption, though we can’t always articulate it, and we look for things—anything, really—or people (most of the time the elusive “one”), that will rescue us.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 118 – A.W. Tozer to Preachers

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Let me be clear: I’m not a preacher. And I would venture to say the majority of people who might read this blog are not preachers either.

With that said, I still want to share this quote by one of my faves, A.W. Tozer, because this quote, although directed to pastors, is applicable to all of us in our pursuit of God. (For those of you who are familiar with Tozer and his writings, did you see what I did just there? Pursuit of God. Ahem. Anyway.)

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Monday Morning Munch No. 55 – Steadfast

Lately I’ve been meditating on the promise of James 1:12–

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”

That is my greatest responsibility right now–remain steadfast. And it comes with a great reward.

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A Letter to Students on their First Day of College

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To students on their first day of college:

Embrace this season of your life. Don’t waste it. This is a defining season, one unlike any other time, so take advantage of all the opportunities this season brings and enjoy every single moment. Again, don’t waste this season, use it to make an eternal impact on the world.

laugh. everyday. at yourself. it's the best.

laugh. everyday. at yourself. it’s the best.

Make lasting friendships. That means hanging around people who will be there for you, who will love you, help you, speak truth to you and who, ultimately, you want to be defined as. It’s true that you become like who you hang around, so choose wisely.  

Be a friend. More than getting friends for your own benefit, seek to improve the lives of everyone you meet. Toss stereotypes out the window and be a friend to the friendless, to the one who can’t do anything for you and to the ones you don’t like. You’ll mature through the process and make a difference in countless lives.

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Monday Morning Munch No. 46 – Wheat, Weeds and a call to Prayer

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Matthew 13:24-30 is doing a work in my heart.

It’s the parable of the weeds, where the master sows good seed but the enemy comes in and sows weeds in with the good seed.

What struck me this time is the footnote in my Bible that said the weed was most likely darnel, a wheat-like weed. The weeds look just like the real thing with only some minor differences. 

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