“if you will”

And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”  And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.”  And immediately the leprosy left him.

Luke 5:12-13


This was a leper, an outcast, with a disease that wouldn’t just go away.  He was sick, unclean, for life.  But he had faith that Jesus could make him well.  And that was what changed him.

In his love and compassion, Jesus touched him.

It’s almost as if Jesus said “I will” like it was obvious.  Of course I will, my love.  I made you.  If you were the only person on the earth, I would still take your sin upon myself and die for you.  You asked; of course I will make you clean.

What amazing mercy Jesus displays!  He is the manifestation of God’s love for us.  He reaches out to those who beg for his power!


things you’re good at

how can I even make a list like this? that’s like writing you out on paper. Can I even try?

  • you’re good at a lot of things, please understand.  You’re so good.
  • you’re good at listening to me
  • you’re good at taking care of the people you love
  • you’re good at sharing what you think
  • you’re good at keeping us safe
  • you’re good at giving grace when I need it
  • you’re good at making plans
  • you’re good at collecting memories
  • you’re good at picking music
  • you’re good at making masterpieces
  • you’re good at playing with kids
  • you’re good at moving on when you need to
  • you’re good at realizing when you need help
  • you’re good at being there for me
  • you’re good at humility
  • you’re good at growth
  • you’re good at sweetness
  • you’re good at light
  • you’re good at love


“my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name.”

The hardest choices are the ones we make in our souls, the ones that cut against our thoughts and feelings, the ones that reach for something higher.

We tend to sit in our own selves, not ready to move to greater things.  “I’m fine,” we say, or “I’ll be ok,” or even “I’m learning to be content.”  Too scared of change, too scared to get up, we stay where we are.  But God forbid we sit still.  That would mean we’d have to face our thoughts.  Instead, we busy ourselves with work, school, music, anything to numb the life we lead, to numb the weight we know we carry.  Is that all life is, is life just staying where we’re comfortable?

What if… what if we rise up?  What if we choose to bless the name of the Lord?  what if we choose to seek his Kingdom, and what if that search takes us out of our comfort zone?

….but what if we were never meant to stay in our comfort zone?

God seems to be in the business of stretching us past our abilities, resources, and capability.  It is just past ourselves that we see more of Him and He is best seen through our lives.

— Jennie Allen, Nothing to Prove

It’s a hard choice to move out of our old selves, but it’s worth it.  We were made to be with God.  He longs to reveal himself to you.  All you have to do is make the choice to step forward.

why do I write?

Why do I write?  Is it for the attention, the insight?  maybe.  I think I write to get my thoughts out, to share what I learn, and to figure out my thoughts at the same time.  Sometimes I write for pages and pages and end up scrapping it all.  Sometimes I come to a conclusion.  Sometimes I like how it sounds and I think others will want to see it.  Sometimes it makes no sense.  Sometimes it’s just catharsis. Continue reading “why do I write?”

such a lonely soul.

The night has lately become a haunting time for me, when my demons come out to play.  I’m not even being dramatic by saying that.  My mind has felt like the devil’s playground before, yes, and in a much worse way, but now that my mind has rearranged a bit, there are new weaknesses, new ways to play…

everyone else is so nice, and I’m just not good anymore
“what have I become?
I’m sorry.”

everything is black and white, all my fears on shuffle and repeat, scrolling through the list of things I should’ve said, the times I should not have laughed, the things I should have done, I am on trial and I am not going to make it.

then last night I read these words, from a song called “Ghost of a King.”1

met a ghost of a king on a road
words of fire
he said you are a lonely soul
with a heart of stone
that rakes against your thirsty bones
such a lonely soul.

In my heart I wanted to scream.  a heart of stone raking against thirsty bones.  I am a lonely skeleton, and when I realized that I started to cry.  These words cut straight to my core like nothing else has for a long time.  I wasn’t even listening to the song, I was just reading the lyrics, and I was crying.

I didn’t want to keep reading, I knew what came next.  But my eyes traveled involuntarily to the next words.

I can show you what can save you
but we need to go
where no chariot can take you
where the river meets the sand
there is water there
that can quench your thirsty bones
and make you well

“I can show you what can save you.”  my shoulders and chest feel so heavy right now under this incredible truth.  Something can save me from myself.  Something can save me and make me well!  make me well.

but we need to go.

that’s the clincher.  We need to go.  I need to take my Savior’s hand and find this water.  what is holding me back?  why do I not want to do this?  Why do I not want the thing that can quench my thirsty bones and make me well?

it’s because I am afraid.  fear is just as blind as love.  I am afraid of going in over my head, of losing myself, of giving up control of my life.

why do I want to control my life?  I know where that’s gotten me.  To the edge of a cliff.  When I think of how well I’ve managed my life on my own, I want to swear.  Excuse me.  (That’s righteous anger.)

this line comes to me: “I get caught up in all these petty things, losing sight of what matters to You.”2  God, is it true that my character is, for now, a petty thing?  Is it true that what matters to you is that I seek your face and your kingdom and trust that your grace will come with it?

can I take one step, beyond the eclipse?

  1. “Ghost of a King,” by The Gray Havens, 2016 
  2. “Gravity,” by Jenn Johnson, 2017. 

poem writing

abstract thoughts
pouring out and tumbling over
skipping on top of the concrete
making new shapes and colors
and new ways to see things.
taking existence
and making it more real,
using white chalk
to bring out the blue in her eyes,
staring into the west
and finding the lost compass,
molding old things
so that they can be understood
in a new way.
This is what it is to write a poem.

Partnering with God

What does it mean to partner with God?

It means working together with God.

Kind of like business partners, God works with his people. Partnering with God means doing his will, furthering his glory, and seeking his kingdom and his righteousness, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). God gives us power in his Spirit to do his will. In 1 Corinthians 3:7 and 2 Corinthians 6:1, Paul says that believers work together with God. How amazing! I am so struck by the goodness of God, that he would work through his chosen people to glorify him!

It means intimacy with God.

To put it bluntly, marital intimacy can’t light a candle to the intimacy God wants with us! This blows my mind. In Job 29:4, Job says that his relationship with God was “intimate friendship.” Paul considered all his worldly gains a loss compared to the worth of knowing his own Savior Jesus (Philippians 3:8). This is so much more than knowing about God: it is spending time with him and truly knowing him. Learning more about him. Talking to him. Think of someone you know who you think truly walks with God… don’t you want that? God does — with you! “Teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you,” pleads Moses in Exodus 33:13. This is a partnership way beyond business.

It means dancing with God.

As a dancer, I must admit that when I first heard the phrase “partnering with God,” I thought of this kind of partnering. Dancing together. This kind of partnership is a lovely thing. We, Christ’s bride, are guided and supported by him as we work in his power to do his will — and this makes something supernaturally beautiful that the world can’t help but stare at. This is a unique blend of working together with God and intimacy with God. It requires trust, flexibility, and grace, on both ends… lucky for us, God is infinitely trustworthy, flexible, and gracious — and he will give us of himself when we ask!

This isn’t optional.

But it’s what we should desire anyway.

God wants us to be with him, to work with him. This is what we were created for. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God,” says Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:31. But doing all for the glory of God isn’t just a command. It is the flaming center of life. The gospel is the proclamation of God’s amazing glory and love. And what comes naturally out of the gospel?

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33)

“Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands… this is honor for all godly people.” (Psalm 149:6, 9)

In other words… partner with God. This is real joy.

Continue reading “Partnering with God”

vulnerable nights

evening comes quickly
and we are no longer paying attention
to the outside world.
making more popcorn
picking out a movie.
everyone keeps talking
and the stars come out.
it gets warmer and cozier,
the makeup is coming off
and the hair goes into ponytails —
we are no longer conscious of our images.
barriers fall
and defenses are laid bare.
here, I am home
until I step back
and realize how dangerously
I have become.


wave goodbye
to who I used to be!
the past is a trophy
that tells of all I have learned
wave hello
to what is ahead!
the sea stretches before me
and I am strong,
I will soar with feathered wings
above the trees that used to cage me in

but so soon
the strings twist again around my body

wave goodbye
to the sun,
the darkness came back to claim me
and I can do nothing to stop it,
wave hello
to my old friends,
the tree branches that taunt me out of sanity,
and nothing will stir my mind from its hiding place.
the empty night settles on my body
and I am cold,
I sit in my own thoughts
praying for a crack in the closed door
praying for the sun to come
praying for someone to hear me

and I can feel the wings fall off
as the sea closes in

Everblaze Worship

I’m so excited to join in on the movement that is Everblaze!  I just published my first piece over there and I’d love if you checked it out.

What is Everblaze? “We are a group of teens and young adults who are dedicated to serving and worshiping Jesus with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And we want to see that passion for worship spread and grow across our state, across our country, and all over the world.”1

This is my desire.  To see youth around me in love with God and emboldened to share this love.  Listen, the Spirit is active in each one of us believers, and he holds out his arms for us to run to him and find more of him!  Can we seek him together?

We will actually be meeting next on May 19, 2017, from 6:30-10pm (although it will likely go later), at First Christian Church, 6900 Market Ave. N Canton, OH 44721.  Geared towards ages 13-25, but all are welcome.  Come worship with us!  I am confident God will move mightily as we seek him together!

  1. From about