Beetles and Bark and things that go SNAP.

I was in the Black Hills recently, hiking around with my earthly son, and my heavenly Father kept whispering into my soul while I was there. The thing I remember most today is represented in the picture below. We were near the top of a hike we were doing on Hearney Peak, when we saw these trees, tons of the larger ones had died off because of a bug that was killing them from the inside of the tree. All around them, smaller trees had been bent over and the group I was with pondered that for a moment, when one of my buddies said something like ‘the smaller ones got blown over… they weren’t strong enough without the bigger ones to help block the wind.’

I thought, how true… and then immediately thought of the influence we have in our own worlds, the ability each of us has to be a strong tree for those around us that seem fine, seem growing, but desperately need us to help them to be “strong enough.” The bug that killed these trees ISN’T something trees can defend against. The things that eat away at each of us usually ARE things we can prevent or at least take captive and get help with. The outside of the trees looked fine, but they were dying beneath the bark, and eventually got so weak that they snapped off and are no longer living, let alone helping to protect the others.
I wonder where you find yourself today? Is there some “pine beetle” reducing your effectiveness? Something you need to take captive before you SNAP? There are tons of smaller, weaker ones relying on you to help them be strong enough.

Lifelight Festival this weekend

hey y’all.

There is a music festival I work with that is happening this weekend, I run the Souled Out stage.  Check it out here & come say hey.  ALSO- we’ll have a LightsOut booth in the vendor building where you can get the NEW Rocker t-shirt and support artist soul-care at the same time.

you give AND you get – Plus the shirts glow in the dark-  BLAM.

We’ll be working with artists all weekend at this festival who have had a very long summer away from their homes, away from their communities, away from their places of spiritual rest.  Please join us in praying that this will be a place where they receive as well as give, where they are cared for even as they are caring for others, where they hear the beautiful sound of the voice of God saying ‘this is my beloved, in whom I am well pleased!’  even as they are bombarded with the sounds of guilt, and loneliness, and self-loathing that often come calling when they are on stage.  Pray with us that they will hear the truth about who they are, and the liar, the deceiver, will be kept quiet by that truth.  God work in us, God work in them, God show us your mercy when we fail, and help us to see and accept that mercy you offer.

Grace & Peace this week to you, come say hi at the LightsOut booth & let us know you’re out there.


God is teaching me through Time & Space. Oh, and Fire.

So, you know how when you wake up and say, “Today will be a good day, my Jeep probably won’t go up in a ball of flames today!”    Yeah.  Well, yesterday wasn’t one of those days for me. 

Its been easy for me to comfort others or to try to help them gain perspective on life and loss of things or stuff, because, honestly… its THEIR STUFF.  When the stuff is mine, well, it just plain sucks to lose it.  And, I did ‘LOSE IT’ for a while yesterday, like right after I got the phone call that my Jeep was on fire.  Then again when I saw said Jeep, post fire.  Then again when I thought about what the heck will I do without a car and no insurance to replace it?  Then again… then again… 

Then, after the fire inspectors & firemen left and my family and I got back to our house, I picked up my tear-stained & rosy-red cheek-ed daughter (who had been in the car with my son and I not 5 minutes before it went up in flames) and said “it’s ok honey… it’s just stuff.”  I didn’t really fully embrace the words at that moment, but am learning to. 

Time & Space away from our stuff sure helps gain perspective on its importance and grasp on our life.  And, really, in the end, its not MY stuff anyway;  it’s GOD’S stuff.  And, sometimes some of God’s stuff blows up-  it’s 4th of July time!  

Seriously though, I know that I am merely a steward of what God has given me, and I do the best with what I have while I have it, then TRUST that God will make a way.  I have already been contacted by some dear friends doing their best with what God has given them to be stewards of as they want to help us find a new vehicle.

God is making a way, every day, with everything we have.  He makes all things new, and often the thing that is being made new is me, my eyes, and my heart.  I pray you will give thanks today for what God has blessed you with, and ask Him to make your eyes new today.  Oh, and watch out for sparks, sometimes God speaks through fire!

                          (Argus Leader news story on the fire here)