Tuesday, December 31, 2019

the blue book is now available on amazon


Exciting News!  The Blue Book is now available on Amazon!  And not only that, but it also has a bunch of new content!  I've been working for the past year or so to write an opening reflection for each chapter and I'm really excited about the end result.  I hope you will be too.  So please spread the word.  Tell your friends that the strange blue devotional book that has always been so hard to find, is hard to find no more.

*Update: Thanks for the great response!  Glad to see the book still seems to be helpful to so many in making space to hear God's voice and know of his great affection.  Since the book has been released on Amazon I do, however, find that I miss the contact with many of you.  I miss hearing the stories of how God has used the book in your life or ministry.  So, if you have the time, I would love it if you would just leave your comments here, or drop by Amazon and give a review.  And, as always, feel free to email me with your Blue Book story if you'd like.  I love hearing them. Blessings, Jim



Friday, May 31, 2019

Just Released





















Hi friends.  Thought you would want to know that my new book Teach Us to Pray has just been released on Amazon.  Tell your friends!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

a palm sunday prayer

Jesus rode into Jerusalem fully knowing all that awaited him there.  Thus, we too must endure the pain of the cross, in order to experience the joy of the resurrection.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for riding into Jerusalem—fully knowing all that awaited you there.  Help us, this week, to follow you all the way to the cross, and then on to the empty tomb, that we too may die and be raised to new life.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

prayer is surrender


"When you finally surrender and stop fighting the winds, you will be carried into the eye of God. There. you will rest in peace and learn to see like God." ~Macrina Wiederkehr

Friday, April 5, 2019

tired of waiting

My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. (Psalm 130:6)

A Prayer for those who are tired of waiting:

Okay Lord, let’s be honest.  I am tired of waiting.  So, so tired.  I have waited and waited and waited, until I’m not sure I can wait anymore.  Yet I have to.  I have no other option.  So if you want me to wait some more, you are going to have to give me the ability to do so.  Otherwise, I will just grow bitter and frustrated, dark and depressed.  And I don’t want that any more than you do.  I want to be able to wait like a watchman waiting for the morning, I really do.  And for a time I was able to do that, but I am simply not able to anymore.  I don’t have it in me.  I need your help.  Have mercy on me, O Lord.  Meet me in the midst of this long, long season of waiting.  And if you are not yet going to give me resolution, at least give me yourself.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

home again

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)

O God, how do you see me when I am still a long way off?  When my heart is fearful and consumed with the worries and cares of this life?  Are you heartbroken, longing for me to turn and come home to you, so that you can give me the peace and the comfort I so desperately need?  Are you filled with compassion for me, leaping from the front porch and running through the fields to wrap your arms of love and care around me, and bring me into the joy and delight of your house once again?  Are you so full of affection for me that you can’t keep your hands from my hair or your lips from my cheeks?

O Father, it is so easy to get lost in this life, so easy to lose track of who I am and whose I am.  In the midst of the brokenness and the pain of this world, it is easy to lose track of your care and your provision.  It is easy to start believing that I am alone and it is all up to me.  O Father, even this day I know I will get lost again amidst the flurry of activity.  Circumstances and chaos will rear their ugly heads and sweep over me, and I will forget your love and your care.  O God, when that happens today, please come and find me.  When I am still a long way off, leave the comfort of your house and come running to me.  Wrap your arms of love and mercy around me and, once again, bring me home.  Allow me to come and rest in the warmth and safety of your loving embrace.  For you are my home.

Monday, April 1, 2019

pursued

Surely goodness and love will follow me all of the days of my life. (Psalm 23:6) 

It is so easy to skim right over this line, if we are not careful, and miss the beauty and the mystery and depths and the truth of what is actually being said.  So often we fall into the trap of believing that we are the ones pursuing an elusive God, rather than realizing that it is actually he who is pursuing us.  And this one realization can make all of the difference in the world.  It can make a difference in how we see God, how we feel about him, how we think he feels about us, and, thus, how we relate to him.

If we think that we are the pursuers and God is the pursued, we are likely to live our lives in anger and frustration and despair and doubt and uncertainty, due to our perception that, no matter how hard we try, God often seems either extraordinarily distant, or absent altogether.  He doesn’t often show up in the ways we want or need (or think we need) or demand.  So that either means that he does not care, or that we are doing something wrong.  Both of which create distance between us, rather than the intimacy both we and God long for.

But what if God is actually the pursuer, and we are the pursued?  What does that tell us about his heart?  And what does it tell us about our worth and value?  And how does it change the way we see him and relate to him?  My guess is that it makes an enormous difference.  For when we truly see ourselves as the Sought After (Isaiah 62:12), it does something deep and beautiful in our hearts.  It draws us and woos toward the One who made us fearfully and wonderfully, and loves us so much that he cannot possibly stay away from us, but promises to pursue us to the ends of the earth.  I suppose that’s why so many saints and pilgrims of old have called him the Hound of Heaven.  For he is the One relentlessly in pursuit of us.  As Thomas Kelly once said: “The Hound of Heaven is on our track, the God of Love is wooing us to His Holy Life.”

Which brings us to our verse in the psalm: “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6)  The word translated here as follow, is the Hebrew word radaph, which means to run after, chase after, or pursue earnestly.  In fact, in 1 Samuel 26:20 it is translated, to hunt: “As one hunts for a partridge in the mountains.”  Thus, the God of goodness and love pursues us, his beloved.  He runs after us, chases after us, and tracks us down all the days of our lives.  We are no longer the hunter—looking and searching all over for the elusive God—but the hunted.  God is pursuing us with his unfailing, relentless love and care.  And he will not stop until we have been completely captured by him—until we have been seized by the power of the Great Affection.  Thanks be to God!