It’s Okay to Slow Down

The past several months have been a whirlwind of activity for me. From returning home from an overseas deployment, readjusting to “normal” life, and planning a wedding, I’ve been on the go more than I’ve been home. However, as the big day draws near and family comes in, I’ve been reminded of the need to take it slow and let God work out the details.

When I picked up my spiritual parents from the airport, we went down to Colorado Springs for the weekend. For me, it was a chance to spend a couple days with them, away from the chaos my life had been the past several months. I knew I needed to slow it down, I had felt the need for some time, but the opportunity had seemed to elude me. This was my intentional get away in order to relax before the Big Day arrived.

One of our stops while in Colorado Springs was the World Prayer Center at New Life Church. As we walked in, I was immediately hit by the powerful presence of my Abba Father. I immediately since my soul begin to quiet as I found a spot on the floor to sit. However, it took me a few minutes to find the words for what God wanted me to pray. Having trouble fully relaxing, I got up and walked around for a few minutes, admiring the flags of the nations, finding the ones of the countries I had been to and letting my spirit pray for me. I went back to the chairs that overlooked the mountains outside and sat down, seeing myself sitting down on Abba’s lap and feeling His arms embrace me as I closed my eyes.

“Little One, it’s okay to slow down.”

I heard Him whisper to me and tears began to form as I was overwhelmed in His presence. I spent the rest of our time there just resting in His presence. I looked out at the mountains in front of me, reminded of the blessing to live in the midst of His wonderful creation, the daily reminders of the power and grace of the God of the universe who loves me more than I can begin to imagine.

Leaving my car with them, I got back home and was forced to slow it down because I could no longer drive. I walked and rode my bike, looking around me and seeing things clearly for the first time in months. In the midst of my chaos, I had forgotten the blessing of where I live and the sites I daily get to see. But now, being forced to slow down, I’m able to let the time with God at the World Prayer Center sink in even deeper. My prayer is to never forget, or take for granted, where I am and what God has brought me through. Slow me down just enough to take it all in and sink it deep into my heart. Plant my roots deep by streams of living water.

Sleeping Indian mountains, a sight I daily see as I drive through town. However, being slowed down I was able to fully appreciate this full view for the first time in a long time.


“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” – Psalm 1:3, ESV


Does the Bell Ring for You?

Last night for our life group, we watched The Polar Express. It was a relaxing time of being together, sipping some hot chocolate, snacking on some popcorn and pumpkin bread which watching a feel good movie. Watching the little boy trying to believe throughout the whole movie, searching for the visual proof, and then finally coming to believe before catching a glimpse of Santa Claus. It’s a representation of the search we are on throughout our lives as we search for hope and belief, wondering if we should believe what we don’t see. As I said last night as the credits rolled, “This movie makes me feel good every time I watch it”.

As we prepared to depart for the night, with smiles and laughter on our faces, we came together in prayer. One line struck me as we stood together. “Father, may Your bell always ring for us.” May we always believe in the hope we hold in our heart of the everlasting life and love of our Heavenly Father. May we always remember the love of Jesus Christ when we came down to be born of a virgin, to live a sin free life here on earth, to willingly follow God’s plan and take up His cross as a sacrifice for our sins. He did all of this so we can be reconciled to our Abba Father forever.

Does the bell ring for you today? Do you believe in the hope and love of Jesus Christ as we celebrate the season of His birth? Or are you hurting and wandering, still searching to see if it could really be true? You don’t have to take my word for it, but I ask you today, if you are hurting and questioning, open your heart to the things unseen and look upon the wonder of the season. It’s more than just pretty lights and decorating trees. There’s a wonder in the air, an anticipation of Who is coming…the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ – Emmanuel, “God with us”. It’s a season of celebration every year “When Christmas Comes to Town”.

The Prayer of a Child

Proverbs 22 6

This week I was asked by my pastor to help with responsibilities of caring for his three little foster girls while him and his wife were going out of town for a conference. I was honored to be asked and humbled by their trust in me to care for their precious little ones. As I prepared for my time with them I had no idea how they would impact my heart in such a short time.

At ages ten, nine, and six these girls have already been through more than any child ever should. When my pastor and his wife took them in almost two years ago it was originally only going to be temporary, but through everything they have poured so much love into these girls. Watching from the outside of the situation I have seen the girls come to life and thrive under the care and love of their new parents. They are being taught and trained up in the Word of God, and they all love the Lord with all their hearts.

What impacted me the most while spending time with them was their heart and love for prayer. They love to be prayed for and over, but they also love to pray. When it comes time to pray, the oldest especially is always the first one to volunteer. She’s not afraid to speak up, and she loves praying for others. Listening to her fearless prayers convicted me. I love prayer and always want to pray for and with others, but I often find myself afraid to speak up and holding back. I want to be able to pray with confidence and boldness, just like my new friend. I want to be enthusiastic and the first to speak up to pray, instead of holding back and praying in silence. God hears every prayer, whether spoken out loud or not, but there is something sweet about praying aloud for and with others.

May we all have the enthusiasm to boldly pray without holding back, just like a little child.

“But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven.”” ~ Matthew 19: 14

God’s Beauty Around the World

“Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the Lord of hosts is his name.” – Jeremiah 31:35


From the desert to the mountains, I’ve seen the beauty of the Lord’s work around the world. Although I feel most at home when I’m surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, I know God’s beauty surrounds wherever I am.

It didn’t take long for me to see that sunrises and sunsets are just as beautiful in the desert as they are when I see the sun peaking over a mountaintop. When my eyes opened to the beauty of the desert sun, I began seeking and finding God’s beauty everywhere I looked. It turned into a game between my Abba Daddy and me. Things people would just walk by or barely notice, I have to stop and appreciate the beauty. As God opened my eyes more and more, I began to see and appreciate the beauty in people. Walking among the residents of the Middle East, I could see who they really were. They are just like you and me. Living life the best they can, longing to love and be loved. That’s really what we all want in life; to belong, to love others and to be loved back. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, we all just want love. When our eyes are opened to love we see how we can give love to those around us… no matter what corner of the world we are in.


One of my favorite memories from my time in the United Arab Emirates was a friendship I built with a young man by the name of Lloyd. About twenty minutes down the road from our base was the Dubai Outlet Mall, a place that became a favorite hang out spot when we needed some time to get away after work. In the mall was a Tim Horton’s coffee shop that quickly became my favorite go to spot. One evening Lloyd took my order and noticed the cross necklace I was wearing. He asked me about my faith and if I was going to a church there. In a predominantly Muslim country, Lloyd and I struck up a friendship  based on our mutual faith. I cherish my friendship with Lloyd and I’m grateful God opened my eyes to see the beauty in people (and the sun) all over the world. I pray that Lloyd, and all Christians in Muslim countries, continue to shine His light and share their faith to those around them as they are led by Holy Spirit.


Patient Assertiveness

We all have something to say, and we all want to be heard right away. We want to have the next big idea, we all want our opinion to be heard among the masses, and for someone to hear and respond to what we have to say. The world is loud enough as it is, with so many voices clamoring to be heard. No matter how loud we try to make our voice, it seems this world is always louder with the next big topic. Do we continue to raise our voice, raising the volume of the world around us? Or do we stay quiet, letting others speak while keeping our thoughts primarily to ourselves? Where is the line between staying quiet and forcing ourselves into a conversation in order to be heard? I’ve struggled with this concept for most of my life, but I think there may be a balance called being rooted in patient assertiveness.

Being rooted in what I call patient assertiveness means not being in a hurry to speak. Your time to speak will come. Practice patience and allow others to have their time without interruption. You are noticed and your patience will be rewarded by your words being heard. Job’s friend Eliphaz the Temanite had this to say to his friend in Job 4:2, “If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? Yet who can keep from speaking?”

I want to encourage you today to consider practicing patient assertiveness in your daily conversations. Take some extra time to listen to someone and don’t be so quick to speak up. Let the words of others wash over your own thoughts before you let any words escape from your mouth. Maybe we can begin to bring the volume of the world down just enough to allow the whisper of God’s still, small voice to resonate in our souls a little deeper. Maybe worldly conversation can be a little less destructive and more constructive.

James 1 19

Anticipation, Withdrawl, Detachment and a Good, Good Father

During this pre-mobilization period of training I have been away from home, but not quite gone. We have full days and busy weeks, with time off on the weekends to spend with family. This has meant a lot of extra goodbyes, and it has made the transition harder. I live far away from where the base where we train, which means I stay there during the week. I can focus during the week, but going home for the weekend means I have to switch gears all the time. It’s an in-between transition period on the road toward deployment, and I find myself withdrawn and detached at home. I miss my family and friends, but I know the mission at hand and I am focused on doing my part to accomplish the mission. I am ready to move forward toward the mission and constantly switching gears makes staying focused hard on a soldier. It’s an emotional cycle of deployment. I know things will be fine at home, which gives me peace of mind so I can focus on the mission in front of me. When the mission is accomplished over there I can come home and rejoin my loved ones at home. But until that time comes when the mission is successfully accomplished I need to be able to fully focus so that I can come home. I am blessed because I know that my family will be fine while I am gone; God has His protective hand over all of us. He has blessed me with a support group that allows me to go over with peace of mind. I am covered by so many prayers, and so are those I am leaving behind at home. With a set heart, I am ready to go and fully confident because of my God who goes before me, stands beside me and stands behind me watching my six.

Good Good Father

Godly Living Begins At Home


Living in God’s will, living for God, begins at the moment we say “yes” to God, repenting of our sinful ways and accepting the precious gift of Jesus Christ into our hearts as our personal Lord and Savior. This relationship, like any relationship we have, needs to be maintained. How we act in other relationships often determines how our walk with God is going. Our life both inside and outside of our homes often determines what is really inside of our hearts. What happens “behind closed doors” – how a husband treats his wife, how parents teach their children – shapes a person’s walk with God.

Integrity is being able to do the right thing even when no one else is around to see you. It is the “behind closed doors” moments of life when our character is built. It is the moment when a husband and wife are arguing, but realize that they need to put God in the center and stop to pray together. It is the temptation of a parent to yell at their child for doing something wrong, but instead sits down to talk and explain the different between right and wrong. This is where godly living begins and keeping prayer central is the foundation of building a character for God that overflows into every place you go.

Prayer maintains a relationship with God, just like communication maintains every other relationship in our lives. If we don’t communicate, if we don’t pray life we should, our relationships weaken. It is still there, it will always be there, but it won’t be nearly as strong as it once was, as strong as it could be. However, strong communication builds relationships. Prayer is our communication to God. When we are strong in prayer, the relationship is strong and we are able to clearly hear God speak and respond to us. We are “in tune” with Him and are more closely able to walk in His will for our lives. His character is built into our character and we learn to walk in our destiny of living a life on earth that is more like that life Jesus lived. We are able to love more, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

It starts in the home, and as the home grows stronger it overflows into our community, inside the church, and outside the church into our workplace, school, and anywhere we step our feet. Lead your household well, whatever that may look like for you to get “in tune” with God, and it will build your character more Christ-life all throughout your life.