My faithful little cubicle at the Epic Center, Wichita, KS

You have to change if you want to grow

Change is good for us. It keeps us on our toes. It helps us stay focused on the things that matter, because the things that matter don’t change.

My company moved to a new office yesterday. In actuality, we’ve been moving for over a week now, but my department moved yesterday. It was bittersweet, packing up my cubicle and all my papers and stuffing them in boxes. I’m excited to move to our new building, but at the same time I’m sad. I have a lot of good memories in that cubicle.

It was the cubicle where I worked when I used my degree for the first time. It was the cubicle where I worked when I turned 30. It was the cubicle where I worked when my favorite little HooChild was born.

But even though I love that little cubicle, there are a host of reasons why we can’t stay in that office anymore. Mainly, my company is growing so rapidly, we’re running out of room. We need a new office that has more space and more room for all the people we expect to hire in the coming years.

I’m sad to leave a place where I experienced so many happy years, but how many more happy years are in front of me? It’s easy to stay put because there’s no challenge in it. You don’t have to get uncomfortable if you stay put. But sometimes if you want to accomplish great things, you can’t stay put. Sometimes you have to take a risk and leap without necessarily looking.

Today’s verses are Genesis 50:19-20.

My faithful little cubicle at the Epic Center, Wichita, KS

My faithful little cubicle at the Epic Center, Wichita, KS

But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

If there were ever anyone who had justification (in our minds) to be upset with God about the path his life took, it was Joseph. Joseph couldn’t catch a break. He couldn’t win for losing, or so it seemed. But God made it apparent that Joseph was never on His own, and that all the changes that Joseph went through–especially the bad ones–were all part of a bigger picture. And that bigger picture was good.

Change is part of life. Everything changes. You can’t get away from that, and the older you get, the more you realize it. But change doesn’t’ have to be something you’re scared of. Change can be something you embrace. And it should be.

God is just as present in our times of change as He is in our times of stability. It’s tempting to think that He disappears when things go crazy, but that’s not true. That’s just our enemy telling you lies to make you doubt.

What would we be if our lives never changed? What would our lives look like? What kind of people would we be if our lives stayed the same?

We’d never grow. We’d never learn. We’d never know just how awesome God is.

Think about it. How many times has sudden and unexpected change hit us and sent us reeling? How many times have we had to rely on God completely for our wellbeing when we didn’t know the area, the people, the rules, the expectations, whatever? How many times has God proven Himself faithful in those moments? And would you ever have experienced His faithfulness like that if your life never changed?

So in those moments of change, don’t look at them like negatives. See them as great opportunities to experience God’s faithfulness on another level. Because who doesn’t want to see a miracle?

New AlwaysPeachy devotional book NOW AVAILABLE!


People have been begging me to do a full year of devotionals in book form for years. Well, the wait is over. Being Always Peachy is a collection of devotionals with a different theme for every month. There are enough devos in here for every Monday through Friday in 2015. It’s available on Amazon or you can buy direct from me!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Is God worth my life?

I caught the tail end of a lifetime achievement award celebration for a popular comedian on television the other night. It was a fun show. Lots of laughing. Lots of very kind words said. There were a lot of good causes this comedian was known for–charitable foundations and good deeds and such.

This person had started young, pretty much dedicating his entire life to comedy. Sometimes people do that for their career. For some, it’s music. For others, it’s acting or speaking or competing. That’s the way it has to be if you want to excel at something, right? You dedicate your life to it.

But what is your life really worth? Is a career worth your life? Or a possession? Or even a feeling? Think about that. Don’t be flippant about it. What is your life worth? There’s never been another you. There never will be. You were created unique with your own thoughts, your own perspective, your own will. You are irreplaceable.

So can you really justify giving your one and only life away for a career that will only use you up and toss you away when you can’t do it anymore? Can you really see yourself sacrificing your years of life just for a possession that someone could take away from you?

What does it mean to be worthy? The dictionary definition identifies it as someone or something that has sufficient merit, value, or character. If a cause or idea is worthy, that means it’s worth whatever struggle you must endure to achieve it.

Most people see people or causes as worth living and dying for, and in many instances people and causes are indeed worthy of sacrifice.

But let’s face it. Even if you sacrifice everything you have for someone you love, they’ll still let you down. No, loving and investing others isn’t about what you can get out of it, but what is the point of dedicating your life to someone who ultimately can’t help you? Because at the end of your life, they can’t save you. And you can’t save them. Maybe you can live for that other person, but in the end, you’re both only human.

The same is true of noble causes. Yes, we should work to help the poor. Yes, we should invest in charities that help others. And, sure, maybe dedicating your life to a cause will result in great benefits to other people around the world. But is a cause worth your one-and-only-life if the only difference you can make lasts your own lifetime?

Is anything worth your life?

835971_83229648Today’s verses are Revelation 5:9-13.

And they sang a new song with these words:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
And you have caused them to become
a Kingdom of priests for our God.
And they will reign on the earth.”

Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing.”

And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.”

There’s only one Person who is worth your life, and that’s Jesus. And that’s because He’s worth so much more than all of our lives put together.

You can give your whole life to Christ, and He’ll never let you down. You can dedicate your whole life to Jesus, and He’ll never steer you wrong. He’ll always be there for you, He’ll always guide you, and He’ll always provide for you.

Then, through His power, you can invest in other people without fear, because you’re dedicated to Him. Through His power, you can handle that impossible job. Through His power, you can life a successful life. But none of that is possible–not truly–without His power.

Are you afraid to dedicate your life to God? Are you afraid to turn over control of your life to Jesus (you don’t have control anyway, by the way)? It’s scary, letting go, and overwhelming because our culture tells us that we have to be the masters of our own fate.

But one thing you can know for sure is that God is good. The Bible shows us over and over again that God is truly, honestly, really good–He’s the only one who actually is. And if you can’t trust your life to someone who is truly, honestly, really good, who can you trust it to?

Dedicating your life to God doesn’t mean you won’t have trouble. But, hey, you’re going to have trouble in your life whether you dedicate yourself to God or not. Isn’t it better to be on His side?

I don’t know a lot about investments, but it seems to me that if you want to make a wise choice, you need to invest in something worth more than you pay for it. You should invest in something–or Someone–who can not only help you achieve your dreams but also save you in the process.

Roaring lion at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Being safe means getting dangerous

The greatest stories of all time came from some of the darkest moments in human history. If you want to tell a good story, you have to have conflict. Story is conflict. That means if nothing goes wrong, you don’t have a story.

Say Billie Sue went to the grocery store and found the exact kind of cheese she needed to make her famous lasagna. She had just enough money to pay for it, and she made it home just in time to whip up a beautiful dinner. And she as able to really impress her future in-laws.

That’s a story, sure. But it’s not a very engaging story. I happen to know for a fact that in some parts of the world you can’t find the kind of cheese you need to make lasagna. Other times you don’t have enough money to buy what you need, or something goes wrong when you’re cooking. And, I’m sorry, but in real life you almost never get to impress your future in-laws with anything.

If you want to tell a great story, you have to talk about the dark moments, those times when life didn’t go according to plan but you kept hoping anyway. That’s where we find heroes. Heroes are the ones who persevere through darkness even though they have every reason to give up.

Without darkness, we’d have no heroes. Without danger, we’d have no bravery. Without fear, we’d have no courage.

Somewhere Christians get the idea that once you accept Christ as your Savior, your life turns ordinary. Christians don’t talk about the adventure of knowing Christ. We talk about going to church or singing in the choir. We talk about what we can do and what we can’t do and what we shouldn’t do–and what we do anything but don’t tell anyone about.

Is it just me, or does that life sound just like the ones other people lead? As Christians, we’re called to a different life. We’re called to live an abundant life. But the problem is, you can’t live an abundant life until you know what it is to have nothing. You can’t be courageous until you know what it is to feel fear.

Roaring lion at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Roaring lion at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, KS

Today’s verses are Daniel 6:12-16.

So they [the officials] went straight to the king and reminded him about his law. “Did you not sign a law that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions?”

“Yes,” the king replied, “that decision stands; it is an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.”

Then they told the king, “That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law. He still prays to his God three times a day.”

Hearing this, the king was deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament.

In the evening the men went together to the king and said, “Your Majesty, you know that according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, no law that the king signs can be changed.”

So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.”

The story of Daniel and the lion’s den is probably one of the most famous Bible stories of all time. Even people who don’t know the Bible have heard about Daniel and the lion’s den. You can, of course, read the entire chapter in Daniel 6, if you want the details.

But this bit gives you the basics. Daniel broke the king’s law about praying to the true God, and he got himself sealed in a pit of lions for the night. Not exactly five-star accommodations, right?

Just about everyone knows the story. Daniel made it out fine. God sent an angel to close the mouths of the lions. But imagine what this story would be if Daniel didn’t have to face lions. What would have happened if the men never tattled on him to the king? What would have happened if the king never signed that foolish law into effect?

Well, there wouldn’t have been a story.

God gave us brains for a reason. We’re supposed to think and make wise decisions and sound judgments. But sometimes you have to do something that seems reckless. Sometimes you have to do something that might endanger you. Why would you do those things?

Why did Daniel get thrown into a pit of lions? Why did David go up against Goliath? Why did Joshua march his army around the walls of Jericho? Why did Gideon take 300 men with clay pots, torches, trumpets to face an army of hundreds of thousands? Why did Elijah call King Ahab out?

You do those things because God said they’re right. You stand up for what the Bible says. You obey even though you aren’t sure where you’ll end up or what you’ll have left when the battle is over.

Those times are hard because generally speaking we’re rational people. And every rational, logical bone in our bodies is telling us that we can’t do the impossible–no matter how hard we try. And that’s true. That’s so true. But God does the impossible all the time.

God wants to give us an abundant life, but we can’t experience abundance when we’re comfortable. What happens when you get uncomfortable is you stop focusing on things that don’t matter, and you cling to the things that do. And when you start holding on to the things that matter, you start realizing how wealthy you really are. If you know Christ, you are wealthier than any billionaire.

But you won’t really realize it until you let go. And in those moments when God tells you to do something that sounds dangerous, remember that there’s no safer place to be than walking with Him. Even if all the world sees is danger and threat and recklessness, if you’re keeping step with God, nothing can touch you.

Be brave enough to get out of the boat

Whenever you read the Bible, I’m betting there are people in it you recognize. Not because they’re people you’ve read about before or heard talked about before. But because they behave the same way you do.

If you ask the average dedicated Christ-follower on the street which Bible personality most reflects their own, I’m betting most people would say Peter.

Ah, Peter. The rough-and-tumble, brash, impulsive fisherman. I swear his foot spent more time in his mouth than it did in his sandals. He’s easy to identify with because he just shoots his mouth off all the time. And that’s reassuring, because if Jesus could use someone like Peter, surely he could use anyone, right?

But I really don’t think we give Peter enough credit. Yes, he was loud and rash and reckless. He didn’t always think about what he said before he said it. But he got to do things nobody else got to do, and he got to do them because he was willing to jump when Jesus called.

After all, when was the last time you walked on water?

730729_13973862Today’s verses are Matthew 14:22-31.

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

Peter and his adventure walking on water has been heavy on my mind in recent months. Imagine. Walking on water. And not calm water–stormy water. There was a heck of a storm blowing all around him when Peter climbed out of that boat and went to meet Jesus on the waves.

But Jesus called him out. So he went. He might not have made it very far, but how many of us can say that we’ve done that? How many of us can even say we’ve tried?

As 21st Century Americans we are wired to expect life to be a certain way. If your family is godly, it’s usually safe to assume you’ll have some sort of Christ-like influence in your childhood. We expect to go to school and then on to college and to graduate with a degree that we may or may not ever use. We expect to get a job working from 9 to 5. Somewhere in there, some of us may get married, may have children, and some may find success–at least what we have always been told is success.

We expect all these things just as we expect that water will never be solid enough to walk on.

But what makes us think that a life following Christ is supposed to be what we expect? Isn’t it supposed to be more?

That’s why I love Peter. Not because I see myself in his faults but because I want to be the person with enough courage to get out of the boat.

You shouldn’t be able to walk on water, but if you’re following Jesus, you can. You shouldn’t be able to achieve impossible things in your life and your career when you don’t follow the crowd, but if you’re following Jesus, you can.

What is God calling you to do today? He’s calling me to do something crazy. Or at least, it’s something a lot of people will think is crazy. But I’m sure the rest of the Disciples thought Peter had lost his marbles when he jumped out of that boat. I can’t help but wonder what they must have thought when he didn’t sink.

What we all have to remember is that it’s not your will that keeps you walking where you shouldn’t be able to walk. It’s your faith. How much do you trust Jesus?

If you get out of the boat in a storm, you’re going to get wet. You’re going to be thrown around. You’re going to be uncomfortable, and you might even get a little scared. But you can be uncomfortable and scared and keep trusting Jesus.