Don’t Wait Too Long

In the episode A Christmas Carol of the British science-fiction drama Doctor Who, a young man faces a difficult choice. The woman he loves is dying– in fact, she has only one day left to live. Not being able to bear her death, he puts her into a frozen stasis, putting off her last day of life.

It puts him into a quandary that will rule his life— live without her, or bring her back for one last day only to lose her forever. The years pass as he keeps waiting for the perfect time to bring her back. But the longer he waits, the more difficult making the decision becomes. The longer he waits, the more the fire of love dies down, replaced in his heart by the ice of pessimism & bitterness. The idealistic young man full of life becomes an old miser with a dead soul, all because he kept waiting.

But then fate intervenes– a crisis forces his hand and he has to revive his lover. She looks at him, so changed by the decades they spent apart, and lovingly whispers “I think you waited a little too long, didn’t you?”

Don’t let his story be yours. What decision or action are your putting off, waiting for that perfect moment? Don’t let someone have to look at you one day and say, “I think you waited too long.” Don’t let fear or indecision or procrastination or quest for perfection make you miss out on life. Don’t let the days become months, don’t let the months become years. Don’t let waiting become wasting, & don’t let wasting become dying.

Say those words. Buy that gift. Take that leap. Life is for living, not for waiting. Don’t wait too long.

Media Review: Combating the Commandment of Confusion

Ten years ago, my six year old loved Bibleman, and so did I. Willie Aames and company did a great job in whipping up a series of funny DVDs that taught some practical Biblical wisdom with enough chuckles to “make the medicine go down” easily. We bought the DVDs, watched them over and over, bought the costume, even went to a live stage show.

So even though my kids are older now, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the Bibleman character. Consequently, I got a review copy of one of the newer episodes, Combating the Commandment of Confusion, and watched it with my eleven year old son.

I could not have been more disappointed.

First, it was a poorly-done recording of a live stage show in a church. Lighting, audio, costumes, & cinematography were all sub-standard, bordering on amateur. Second, the story itself was banal: no plot, no intelligence, and none of the old wit & charm of the old series. Within a few minutes my son was pleading to watch something else, and I had to force myself to finish out the DVD. My recommendation: find one of the old series instead.

Living Without the Instruction Manual

Yes, everyone knows it: men don’t read instruction manuals.  They somehow feel that they’ve either got it all down, or they’re smart enough that they don’t need them, or that they can do just as well by figuring out things as they go along.  Consequently, our culture is filled with stories of how badly things go wrong when men fail to read the manual.

For those who can remember back to the eighties, there was even a television series based solely on one premise: a man living without the instruction manual.  The sci-fi comedy/drama The Greatest American Hero featured a schoolteacher who was given a mysterious alien super suit.  His only problem: he lost the instruction manual.  So, every show was about him desperately trying to use this amazing suit with incredible powers, but always comically messing up because he didn’t have the instruction manual to read.  Every week millions of people across America tuned in to watch a guy with the capability to do supernatural stuff fail over and over.

Guess what?  That story is more than just a TV show— it’s really the story of the church in America. You see, as Christians we have more than a dorky looking super suit: we have a regenerated soul indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  We have the ability to lead truly supernatural lives: to be supernaturally loving, wise, joyful, and self-controlled.

So what’s the problem?  Why aren’t we leading supernatural lives?  Could it be that part of the problem is that we aren’t paying enough attention to the instruction manual?

Yes, we have the most incredible “instruction manual” ever written: the Bible.  In its pages we can learn all that we need to know about God, about ourselves, and about the blessings that God has bestowed upon us.  We have all the directions to the “super suit” that God has given us in the new birth.  And yet, research studies show that less than 1 in 10 Americans who identify themselves as being born-again have a Biblical worldview.

John Eldredge once wrote, “I need to study the Word of God with all the intensity of the men who studied the maps of the Normandy coastline before they hit the beaches on D-Day.”  Do we really have that heart-felt intensity, to study the Bible for all that its worth?  Or are we stumbling clumsily through life unable to fly, just because we aren’t studying God’s instruction manual?

This Life Will Self-Destruct

“This tape will self-destruct in five seconds…”

For some of you that will be a familiar line, voiced at the beginning of each episode of Mission: Impossible by a tape recorder that started smoking even as its reels continued to turn. But even before the tape began to roll, you already knew what was going to happen. That tape recorder was manufactured to carry only one message and play it only once. That tape recorder was made to self-destruct.

Have you ever stopped to consider that you are no different than that tape recorder? Your body, down to the last cell, has been pre-programmed to self-destruct. It is in our very genetic structure, and in the nature of the current physical universe. No matter how healthy you are, no matter how well you take care of your body, you will eventually grow old and die. God has already programmed you to self-destruct.

The Bible speaks very pointedly to this fact:

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble. (Job 14:1)

We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. (2 Samuel 14:14)

Is this simply indulging in despair, to think of death? No, or else God would not have inspired these words to be recorded in the Scriptures. These words are in the Bible because God wants us to consider the nature of our lives. The poet-warrior David even prayed to God to help him grasp his own mortality in Psalm 39:

O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!

So, we are like that tape-recorder in that we are programmed to self-destruct. But we are also like that tape recorder in another way: we have a message. Each one of us has a message to give to the world in our life, a message of love & hope & worship & joy & obedience toward God. Each one of us is unique, and each one of us is important, and each one of us can glorify our Creator.

But guess what— there is one way we are different from the tape recorder. The tape recorder knew how much time it had. It knew when there was only five seconds left. We don’t. We don’t know when the message of our lives will be finished, and the tape will stop rolling. We know our time is brief, but only God knows how long our tape is.

You have only one message, and you only get to play it once. Give it all that you have, starting today. Your tape is running, starting now…

Tick, tick, tick.

What Weekend at Bernie’s Taught Me About Christianity

Although it won’t make any “top ten” list of theologically correct movies, Weekend at Bernie’s does vividly teach one very important truth:

Despite your best efforts, there is a difference between someone who is dead and someone who is alive.

Think about it. Two guys go to a lot of trouble to make a dead guy look alive. They put clothes and sunglasses on him just like a person who’s alive. They talk with him. He goes to parties and out on a speedboat. He does a lot of things that live people do.

What’s more, everyone thinks he’s alive, from just casual acquaintances to his girlfriend to the hit man who is intent on killing him(again).

Yea, everything seems to be smooth sailing, except for one little detail: he’s dead.

So, what exactly is this teaching me about Christianity?

Simply this: Bernie has a lot in common with most people, including many people that attend a church each Sunday. They may dress like a Christian, talk like a Christian, hang out with Christians, and do “Christiany” things like tithe and serve the church. They may convince a lot of people that they are a Christian, maybe even themselves.

Yea, everything seems to be smooth sailing, except for one little detail: they’re dead.

No amount of dressing up or going through the motions was going to bring Bernie to life, and no amount of religious activity will bring a dead soul to spiritual life. That’s exactly what Jesus was getting at when he told the religious leader Nicodemus “You must be born again” in John chapter 3.

Don’t settle for a good religious “life” for yourself, or for anyone else you know. What you do or what you appear to be on the outside really doesn’t matter: it’s whether God has taken the dead spiritual heart of stone that you were born with and remade it into a living heart (Ezekiel 36:26).

Have you experienced God remaking your heart? Have you been born again? Then thank God, and seek to grow & live as someone now fully alive.

Or maybe you feel like Bernie, going through all the motions of being a good person, but somehow knowing that something is missing? Maybe what’s missing is a heart that is truly reborn. If so, then watching this video may help show you the path to a life that will last more than a weekend.

How to Live Life Like Captain Kirk

Captain James T Kirk Star Trek

WARNING: If you haven’t seen the new Star Trek movie (and shame on you if you haven’t!) there be SPOILERS AHEAD!

The new Star Trek movie is the chronicle of the birth of a hero: James Tiberius Kirk.  From its first act showing his actual physical birth to its finale, Star Trek is the story of his journey to his destiny.

But what kind of man is this new vision of Kirk?  Fortunately, we see so much more than a man… who would only… speak…  in broken…  sentences. (a.k.a. William Shatner’s original portrayal).  J. J. Abrams’ film shows Kirk as a true mythic hero;  a character that deeply moves us at a soul level.  This Captain, although full of human flaws, becomes a man worthy of our admiration for his achievements.

But what kind of man is he?  What is it about his life that we come to admire?  As my mind reviewed back over the movie, I started composing a list of personality characteristics that embodied what it meant to be James T. Kirk.  A person who lived by this code would emulate what it meant to be Kirk.

So, do you really want to live life like Captain Kirk? No, you won’t need to drive a sports car off a cliff or fire any photon torpedoes, but you will need to…

Live Life Full Throttle

Kirk’s opening scene of driving his stepfather’s car sets the stage for the whole movie: this is a man who will live his whole life full throttle.  He may not win at everything, but it won’t be for lack of trying.  More than anything else, the one word that defines James T. Kirk is ACTION.   Kirk personifies the man that Theodore Roosevelt so famously spoke of:

whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly… who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Yes, Kirk’s face spent much of the movie marred by dust & sweat & blood. And yes, Kirk knew both victory & defeat, but he most certainly never knew what it meant to have “a cold and timid soul.”

Living a life of action doesn’t mean you can never rest, or that you have to work 80 hour weeks and never have time for friends or family.  What it does mean is that whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it with all that you’ve got: you’re 100% in the game.  If you want to live like James Kirk, then your first step is to live life full throttle.

Drive With the Top Down

Our second movie metaphor is a much needed one for the Type A full speed ahead personalities in the audience:  While you’re going full throttle to whatever your destination in life, don’t forget to put your top down and enjoy the ride.  And don’t be like young Kirk & wait until you’re doing 80 to try to put the top down either!

Although it’s been said so many times it sounds like a cliche, it still holds true:  no one reaches the end of their life wishing they had spent more time at the office.  Structure your life and your attitude toward life so that you can enjoy life every day.

Take Risks

The bar scene where Kirk approaches Uhura illustrates a fundamental Kirk trait: take risks.  You can’t play it safe and be James Tiberius Kirk, whether it’s trying to pick up a beautiful cadet or attacking a Romulan ship.  Taking risks makes Kirk who he is.  For you hard-core Trek fans, it’s also worth remembering that we found out in the TNG episode Tapestry that taking risks in a bar made Captain Jean-Luc Picard who he was as well.

Although as a youth Kirk is taking risks for the adrenaline rush of risk-taking itself, as he matures this ability to take risks allows him to achieve greatness.  This is one of the profound paradoxes of humanity: a life of no risk is no life at at all, while a life of senseless risk is also a life wasted.  Having both the guts to take risks & the wisdom to know when & how is Course 301 in living like Captain Kirk.

Be Confident

Confidence:  1) knowing who you are & being comfortable with it without being a jerk  2) see James T. Kirk

It only takes a few words and a quick smile  for our hero to bring down Uhura’s formidable shields in the bar.  Why? Because genuine confidence is inherently attractive— knowing who you are and being comfortable with it, without being a jerk about it.  Just like with taking risks, there’s a thin line to walk with confidence:  without it you will accomplish little, but misplaced confidence and arrogant pride goes before many a fall.

The right kind of confidence allows you to set & accomplish goals, to influence people, and to grow as a person. Living like James Kirk requires learning to skillfully integrate this right kind of confidence into your life.

Get Past Your Past

Everyone has a past to deal with.  Memories of personal failure & scars from wounds inflicted by others haunt us all.  They are the ghosts that are always telling us that we can’t become our dream; that we are not smart enough, not strong enough, too wounded to make it to the top of the mountain.

James Kirk had his share too: the personal failures of multiple brushes with the law and the personal scars of a childhood without his father.  He could have lived up to the low expectations of both himself and others around him, but he chose a different path.  But to do so he had to get past his past; he had to say that his past would not define him and would not limit him anymore.

We must do the same; we all must deal with our pasts, on both an intellectual and emotional level.  We must recognize how they are holding us back, and resolve to get past our past and refuse to let it define or limit us.

Dare to Do Better

This iconic challenge issued by Captain Pike is the hinge of the story; will the troubled youth respond to his true lineage and become a man in the mold of his father? It is Kirk’s decision to make.

It is our decision to make as well with our lives.  Will we accept a life of mediocrity, of doing what everyone else is doing, of never reaching for the exceptional & extraordinary?  Some of us have been privileged to have a mentor that has dared us to do better, that has called us to aspire to greatness.  But all of us can call ourselves to greatness, and dare to have an extraordinary life.

Refuse to Accept No-Win Scenarios

If it’s one thing that confident, full-throttle guys hate to do, it’s lose.  Especially to pesky pointy-eared Vulcans.  We find out that  ”lose” is not in Kirk’s vocabulary: he simply cannot lose, everything in him rebels against it.  He refuses to accept that a way to win doesn’t exist.

Now before you pipe up, “But I’ll never be assigned the Kobayashi Maru test!” think a little more.  We all have scenarios in our lives that either are or seem to be unwinnable.  We will all have to face death, of our friends, family, & eventually ourselves.  Many of us will face situations, relationships, or employment that will seem to be a no-win scenario.  How will we face them?  Will we crumple in despair & defeat, or will we rise to meet the challenge head-on, and find a way to win?

Think Out of the Box

Although I don’t advocate a lifestyle of academic cheating to get ahead, no one gets written up in the history books for conventional thinking.  Think on that one again:  no one gets written up in the history books for conventional thinking.  Kirk found out that to win no-win scenarios often requires thinking outside of the box.

It was Albert Einstein who once said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”  If we are going to live heroic lives, an essential component will be to learn to think out of the box.  Don’t settle for the conventional solution; find your own that will work best for you.

Challenge the Status Quo

Thinking out of the box often means you have to challenge the status quo.  It will require Kirk to stand up to a superior officer & risk court martial (more than once!).  It will require him to put aside expediency & possibly his own career for what he knows to be the right path.

What about you?  When was the last time you had the courage to speak up against the established view in a situation where you had power or prestige or security to lose?  Are you willing to pay the price to stand up for what you know is right, even if success isn’t guaranteed?  You will if you want to live like James Kirk.

Never Give Up

Satchel Paige said it first, but James Kirk could have written it too:

Never let your head hang down.
Never give up & sit down & grieve.
Find another way.

Kirk challenges authority, and where does it get him?  Marooned on a desolate ice planet.  So what does he do?  Despair about his situation?  Whine about his lot in life?  Blame Spock or someone else for his misfortune?

No, a man of action doesn’t even consider those responses.  He plows straight ahead, he finds another way, he never gives up.

Take the Lead

The moment comes: the cadet sits in the command chair as captain of the flagship of the fleet.  But what brought him here to this point in time?  You’re right: it was all of the traits we have already discussed.  If Kirk had not been bold & tenacious, if he had never gotten past his past and taken risks, if he had but once chosen to give up he would never had the opportunity to sit in what was now his chair.

We would do well to remember this: the opportunity to take the lead is the fruit of everything else we have done, often over many years.  We must be patient in preparing for leadership, but when the opportunity comes, we must like Kirk seize it for all it’s worth.

Listen to Others

Although headstrong and fiercely sure of himself, Kirk displays a mark of mature leadership in that he listens to others.  From Pike to Uhura to Scotty to Spock, Kirk understands that collective intelligence is far broader, far deeper, & far more accurate than any one mind.  By pooling their intellectual resources Kirk directs the crew toward the path of victory.

How about your track record?  Do you make decisions based solely on your insights, or do you have a team that you regularly involve in your life?  Kirk chose not to be a “Lone Ranger” and neither should you.  Have people of wisdom that you trust give you input to the issues you face.

Ignore the Odds

Yes, there is a time to hear the voice of logic and reason, to make careful preparations based on the best available data.  But when the data says your chances of success are “less than 4.3 percent,” if you’re James T. Kirk there comes a time to ignore the odds and do what you know you must anyway.

Some of the greatest joys in life come from when you beat the odds in a noble pursuit, when you exceed everyone’s (perhaps even your own) expectations.  Don’t be afraid to sometimes ignore the odds and forge ahead for a greater glory.

Make Friends

Frankly, you can be a master of all the previous character traits, and still wind up as Donald Trump. There’s more to life than just being a driven ego-centric maniac. Kirk knows there is more; he knows the true value of his friends.  It has been well said that at its heart Star Trek is not about space battles and weird aliens; it is about the real and lasting friendships that develop between its crew, especially between Kirk, McCoy, & Spock.

What is your life about, really?  What really lies at the heart of it, what consumes your time, energy & thoughts?  If you want to live life like James Kirk, you won’t put starship captain or corporate CEO or getting that golf score or that dress size or any other goal as your centerpiece, but you will put having true, intimate friends as your highest achievement and greatest treasure.

Be a Hero

There is one more component of James T. Kirk that we need to address.  It culminates with a simple medal being pinned to his chest.  It is his recognition that he is no longer just a man:  he has become a hero.

We have seen these people before in film, from Sergeant York to Indiana Jones to Neo.  They come from different backgrounds, face different challenges, and have different destinies.  But they all share one thing in common: they make the conscious decision that they will be willing to sacrifice their life for others.  It is the decision that Kirk’s father made, and it is the decision that Kirk makes as he & Spock board the Romulan ship.

How about you? You may never be called to physically die, but if you are to play the hero you will be called to die to yourself— to your own self-centered desires & goals.  Are you willing to ask yourself these questions:  For what greater good are you now sacrificing?  How are you now laying your life down for others?

Any great movie, any great character, should both entertain & inspire us.  Here’s hoping that reflecting on Star Trek and on James Tiberius Kirk not only entertains, but also inspires you to lead a life of risk, of confidence, of creativity & tenacity, a life that will in its own right be the stuff of legend to inspire others & be a life well lived.

“Idol” Worship

David Cook American Idol

Tens of millions of people were rejoicing with this man last night, and although I am not a “fan” of American Idol, I was rejoicing too.

Seeing the joy in David Cook’s face, I felt joy too.  I asked myself, “Why?  Why am I happy for this man?”  It isn’t because he won a contest, or because he’s going to make a lot of money, or have accolades or prestige, or even get to go to Disney World.

No, it’s because of glory.  It’s because a bartender from Missouri had a hidden glory, was “a diamond in the rough,” had talent that even he didn’t realize, and that glory was unveiled for the world to see.  We saw David Cook and “idolized” him.   We rejoiced in seeing him become the man he was born to be.

Looking at him immediately made me think of what C. S. Lewis wrote years ago in his book The Weight of Glory:

It is a serious thing to live in a society of potential gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

So seeing David Cook made me think of heaven.  All of us may seem to be a dull and uninteresting bartender at first glance, but in God’s plan there is more, much more.  If we are born of God we will one day unveil a glory that God will create in us that will far outshine even an American Idol.  One day we will live in a glorious place filled with millions of glorious people transformed by the glory of God.   Last night’s show was just the smallest foretaste of what awaits us all in eternity, where we will enjoy each other’s glory as we worship the Source and Giver of all glory, forever and ever.  Now THAT’S something that really fills me with joy, today and tomorrow and forever.

Restoring Eden

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Joy. Wonder. Koinonea. Life.

I’ve been trying to come up with words to describe what people would feel if they spent a day in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. If you haven’t seen the film, it concerns a magical toy shop, where stuffed animals can give you a hug, paper airplanes can fly for hours, and around every corner is something new to suprise and delight.

But as with any story, something goes wrong. The store’s 243 year old owner, Mr. Magorium, dies. And with him the soul of the shop seems to die too. All the color and joy and magic fades away. Finally, the store’s new owner discovers that she, through faith, can restore the shop, and it becomes all that it was before.

I couldn’t help thinking of Eden. Unbroken joy. Endless wonder. Perfect koinonea (fellowship). Eternal life. Absolutely perfect, and absolutely good, created by a God who walked and talked with the people inhabiting it.

But something went wrong. The people rebelled against their God, and they died— physically and spiritually. And with them Eden died too. Joy, wonder, koinonea, life— now we have only the barest glimmers, here and there, of what we once had to the full.

Like a man born blind can’t even conceive of what he is missing when he can’t see a Spring day in a park, we can’t even conceive of what we’re missing from Eden. We hardly have categories to imagine what a world that is nothing but joy and wonder and koinonea and life is really like.

But that’s precisely the kind of world we were created for, and that’s the kind of world our souls still long for. We long for Eden to be restored.

Ah, that’s what we can look forward to in heaven, I can hear people say. And in a sense, they’re absolutely right: heaven will be all that Eden ever was, and more.

But I think there’s another sense of restoring Eden that we often don’t think about: the here and now. The Kingdom of God is both a future hope but also a present reality. Jesus said that he came to “to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19) That was His mission, to restore joy & wonder & koinonea & life, through His life, His death, His resurrection.

That is our mission too. We are His followers, His servants, His friends, His children, His ambassadors, and we are given the mission of extending His Kingdom here and now. We are to proclaim life in Christ, we are to love and give and heal and comfort, we are to live in joy & wonder & koinonea & life ourselves, and to draw others into God’s glorious life and Kingdom.

That is who we are and that is what we were created for. To restore Eden.

Let that thought guide your thoughts and your life today.

Where Does Your Compass Point?

Jack Sparrow compass

One of the plot devices in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy was Captain Jack Sparrow’s compass. Instead of pointing toward north, it always pointed in the direction of the most desired treasure of the heart of the person holding it. What confused and irritated Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley was that the compass was all too accurate: it changed direction with changes in their hearts and sometimes it revealed that their heart’s treasure was not what their mind thought (or wanted) it to be.

Why does that plot device so resonate with us? Because we are like Captain Jack— we realize that sometimes we don’t truly know where our heart is pointing, while at other times we feel it pointing in a different direction than we want.

The human heart is a complex and subtle creation, and seldom easily understood. Where is your compass pointing? Do you know? Is it swinging back and forth? Is it pointing in a direction that your mind is at odds with?

Since you don’t happen to be holding Captain Jack’s compass in your hand, how do you find out where you heart is pointing to? To start, slowly, thoughtfully ask yourself some of these questions (and don’t be too quick to answer!):

  • What do I hope for?
  • What do I daydream about?
  • What would devastate me if I could not one day achieve it?
  • What would devastate me if I lost it?
  • What do I put all my energy into?
  • What is success to me personally, or failure or satisfaction or happiness or fulfillment?
  • What do I truly want to be able to look back on when I die and say that I experienced or accomplished?

Think over these questions, and write down the answers that come to you.

It’s important to answer the question “Where is my compass pointing?” But it’s MORE important to answer the question “Is it pointing in the right direction?” Now how can you find that out? Time for more questions:

Is it true about me? I had a friend in college who was pre-med, but he wasn’t really meant to be a doctor, he was a researcher at heart, and when he realized his compass was pointing at medicine only because his Dad was a doctor, he was able to steer a different course.

Is it dependent on circumstances or people beyond my control? Let’s say your compass bearing is “raise successful kids.” That’s certainly a noble goal, but what if one of your kids turns out rotten? Does that mean you’re a failure? And does that mean you live in fear or anxiety every day or lash out in anger at your kids when they mess up? If you change your compass to “give my kids a wise and loving upbringing” you can be confident you can achieve this goal regardless of how your children may or may not turn out.

Is it focused on me or on greater things? Yes, Donald Trump has successfully steered his life according to his compass but unfortunately he’s a jerk for doing so. There is a moral dimension to where our compass is pointing that we cannot disallow.

Although he wasn’t thinking about a mascara-wearing pirate when he said it, Jesus once commented on the treasures of our heart in Matthew 6:19-21:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I think he had it right: our heart really does point to where our treasure is, and it really is vital to know what direction that compass is pointing to, and whether the treasure of our hearts is one that we will enjoy for eternity or one that will crumble one day.

I would encourage you to take some time, and think about your compass— it can have a profound effect on your life. I recently on the counsel of a wise and good friend did just that, and saw my heart pointing in some directions I needed to change. After some soul searching and talking with God, I came up with some compass directions that have made a real difference in my day to day living:

I treasure…

  • God’s Word, His Presence, His love for me
  • Putting every last ounce of my strength into the Kingdom of God (well, & blonde jokes too)
  • Learning to love as God loves
  • Learning to walk with God
  • Moving with strength & wisdom & power & joy & love into the lives of my brothers & sisters in Christ and others God puts in my life
  • That I will never be defeated

God calls us all to follow Him, all along the unique path that He has laid out for us. Find your true compass bearing, and follow it today.

No Moment Lost

roy batty blade runner“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”  Roy Batty, moments before his death in the movie Blade Runner


A man mourning loss.  And what loss? That all his unique experiences, all that he had ever done, all that was special to him, would be lost.

As Christians, we can face death with the exact opposite view.  All our moments, every moment of beauty, every act of kindness, every smile, every touch, will be ours to remember for eternity.  And what’s more, every act, every “cup of cold water” that impacted others, that helped build Christ’s Kingdom, will be part of the glorious tapestry of time that God is weaving, part of His spiritual temple:

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. (1 Corinthians 3:11-14)

As we lay our acts of love on the foundation of Christ, we are building something eternal, that will not be lost.  To paraphrase an old saying:

Only one life, will soon be past
Everything done for Christ will last.

Remember that nothing you do today in Christ will ever be lost.