Tree Talk One-a-Day Wednesday 11/6/19

A life worthy

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:3)

OK, I really appreciate the tree image.  On a day like today, when I’m running crazy, the idea of solid, deep stillness is delicious.  On a day like today, when so little that I do seems to be of real value, the thought of being useful, of fulfilling my purpose, is profoundly satisfying.  On a day like today, when my body aches and the gray is spreading, the hope of not withering invigorates me.

But I gotta tell you, I struggle with the rest of the verse.  I’m trying to be a Psalm 1 kinda guy, but I can’t honestly say that whatever I do prospers.  Maybe I’m not Psalm 1ish enough. Maybe I sit in the seat of mockers more often than I like to admit.  Maybe my meditation isn’t up to snuff.


On the other hand, maybe I don’t have a good enough grip on what it means to “prosper.”  Maybe God is prospering me in ways I can’t see, can’t even imagine.

Yeah, I like that “Maybe” better.

For all that I am not—which is plenty—there is one thing I am.

I am the Beloved.

Just like you

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Meditation One-a-Day Tuesday 11/5/19

A life worthy

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the council of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  (Psalm 1:2).

Do you delight in God’s word?

No guilt here—it’s an honest question.

Frankly, I ask myself the same question.  I mean, I read his word, I study his word, on occasion I even commit his word to memory…but do I delight in it?  Do I meditate on it?

Do I even really know what that looks like?

I know I’d like to.

I know that biblical meditation is different from what they’ll teach you at yoga class—and what are you doing at yoga class, anyway?  They’ll teach you to empty your mind, and allow the void to be filled by narcissism and demons. 

OK, they probably won’t say it that way, but that’s what it amounts to.  

Biblical meditation is about filling your mind with Scripture, sort of letting a particular verse roll around in your head.  You pray that God would illuminate the passage for you, and help you to see what he wants you to see in it.

Let’s experiment today.  Pick a passage of Scripture—it could be this passage, or yesterday’s, or just your favorite verse—and ask God to help you meditate on it.  Ask him to help you delight in it. Let it roll around your head today, and see what he has to show you. 

C’mon, trust me—it’ll be fun.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Lead Me One-a-Day Monday 11/4/19

A life worthy

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me, and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).

This psalm ends with a request.  Like I said when we started, this is a powerful way to check the state of your relationship with Christ.  If the thought of God searching your heart frightens you, you’ve got to ask, why? A few things to notice here:

  1. The psalmist invites God in.  God is a gentleman when it comes to our hearts; he won’t barge in where he’s not invited.
  2. The psalm began with the line, “O Lord, you have searched me…”  So this is not a one-time event. It is a recurring, ongoing process.
  3. The psalmist asks for four things: search me, test me, examine me, and lead me.  We present ourselves before God so that he can show us what is getting in the way of our relationship.  Essentially, we’re trying to clear out the junk so that God can bring us closer to him.

Are you in a place where you can ask this of God?  Can you afford not to?

Be courageous, Beloved.  Ask him in.

Happy Monday.

Righteous Wrath One-a-Day Friday 11/1/19

A life worthy

If only you would slay the wicked, O God!  Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.  Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.  (Psalm 139:19-22)

Wow.  Right in the middle of this psalm celebrating the wonder of God’s love and care for me, I get called to a holy war.  What’s that about? If you do a little study on this verse, you find that it echoes the ancient Near East covenant language between King and Vassal.  The vassal swears that any enemy of the king will be his enemy.

Are you impressed with my scholarliosity?  I love those study bible footnotes.

But God is a God of love, right?  Aren’t we supposed to love everyone?

Show me where it says that in the Bible.

Well, Jesus said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”

Oh yeah, he did…huh.

I’ll admit—this is a toughie. It seems to me that, in light of the gospel, we should be pretty careful about hating people.  There is plenty for us to hate—the ways of the world, the devil and his schemes, our own flesh—plenty that rises up against God.  People seem pretty far down the list.

I think this passage is not so much a call to war as a call to total allegiance.  You have a God who knows every thought you have ever entertained and loves you anyway.  He surrounds you, literally, with his love and protection. Pledge your fealty to him again.  Go forth into your Friday as the sworn enemy of all that stands against him.

Serve the king who loves you, Beloved.

Happy Friday

Darkness and Light One-a-Day Thursday 10/31/19

A life worthy

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Today is Halloween.  A day on which this fallen world celebrates death and darkness.  Oh, they wrap it in candy and pumpkins, but it is what it is.

Maybe you could make today an early Thanksgiving. Make a point of noticing the blessings in your life.  Point them out to your friends and praise God together. Pick your favorite worship song and get it stuck in your head.  In short, fill yourself with life, not death…with light, not darkness.

Yes, you may still dress up like a superhero and eat candy.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

The Thoughts of God One-a-Day Wednesday 10/30/19

A life worthy

How precious to me are your thoughts, Oh God!  How vast the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.  When I awake, I am still with you. (Psalm 139:17-18).

Can you imagine what goes on in the mind of God?

No, I don’t suppose you can.  Me neither.

It’s like the worm I dig up in the yard knowing my thoughts.

No…it’s more like the microbial parasite living in the worm that I dig up in the yard knowing my thoughts.

No…it’s more like the subatomic particles that make up the microbial parasite living in the worm that I dig up in the yard knowing my thoughts.

Which probably doesn’t happen.

And yet, God wants us to know at least a portion of his thoughts. That’s why he gave us his Word.  You can fall asleep with his thoughts in your mind and awake with his thoughts in your heart. You can move through this day meditating on his Word, and making his thoughts your thoughts.

Because he wants you to know him.

Because you are his Beloved.

Which is just one of the many reasons that it is better to be you than a worm.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Freedestination One-a-Day Tuesday 10/29/19

A life worthy

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16).

Predestination…or free will?

Look, first thing on a Tuesday is not the time to get into a discussion that heavy.  Let me just say—it’s both.

No, really.

OK, here we go.  God created all things, ya? Therefore, he created time.  He is not bound by time, the way you and I are. God exists at all moments in history simultaneously.  Simply put, all time—past, present, and future—is now to God.

This brings up all sorts of cool thoughts, but let’s just focus on one: You know the moment you ache for, that moment when Christ returns and you get a glorified body and there will be no more night or pain or sorrow or sin or tears?  That blessed someday?

Well, Beloved, it isn’t someday to God.

It’s Today.  It’s Right Now.

When God looks at you, he sees you as you are today—pimples, gray hairs, and all.  (And, by the way, how is it that I can have both pimples and gray hair going on at the same time?)

But God also sees you as you will be—glorified, complete, utterly and thoroughly his.  That is as real and immediate to him as the blotchy mess you might be on this particular Tuesday morning.

There is only One who can actually see the finished product, and he says it’s perfect.

Chew on that today, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday.

Ordained One-a-Day Monday 10/28/19

A life worthy

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes beheld my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:15-16).

He knows you


He has known you 

since before 




He has written your story…and you know what?

God just loves a happy ending.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Fearfully and Wonderfully One-a-Day Friday 10/25/19

A life worthy

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; all your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  (Psalm 139:13-14)

You were made by God, my friend.  Do you know that? Seriously…are you really realizing that the Lord of the entire universe, he who put the stars in their places, he who designed the atom, he who called it all into being just by the force of his will—he knit you together?  Every fiber of your youness was specifically designed by him. You didn’t come off an assembly line; you didn’t rise from the muck. You are no accident. You were custom made by God.

You are his work; you are wonderful.

You are Beloved.

Know that full well.

Happy Friday

Night Into Day One-a-Day Thursday 10/24/19

A life worthy

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; night will shine like day, for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:11-12)

Look, I hate to be redundant, but are you detecting a pattern here?

He sees you.

If we were talking about anyone but God, this would be creepy and you would have every right to make a tinfoil hat and hide in the basement.

Not that it would help.

But this is God we’re talking about.  You know, the One who loves you. You don’t need to be afraid of what he sees.  You don’t need to be ashamed of what his light reveals. He knew every sin, every dark thought, every wrong desire long before you were ever born.

He paid for it all before you before you even came to be.

So embrace the miracle, Beloved–not that he can see you, but that he sees you and chooses you anyway.

Happy Thursday