Who will sing the praises?

The buildings tremble

The suffering cry out

The world is in chaos

Yet who will sing praises?


Despair fills the hearts

Wallowing in the torment that has entered their lives

Watching as their tears fall like raindrops on the pavement

Yet who will sing praises?


Hearts torn by their suffering

Those who were forgotten longing to be remembered

Whose only hope is for their anguish to end.

Yet who will sing praises?


Who will sing the praises that will lift up our nation?

Who will sing the praises that will remind us of love?

Who will sing the praises that bring motivation?

Who will sing the praises that will exalt the Savior?


Who will sing of the love He brought to this world?

Who will sing of the hope He’s poured out over the suffering?

Who will sing of the life restored by His sacrifice?

Who will sing of the miracles signs and wonders?


Who will sing the praises that will glorify our King?


Significance of Sin

This is a short reflection essay I wrote for my class on sin.

Sin can encompass a variety of actions that unfortunately our society views as normal. The word sin has lost its significance and no longer causes people to feel remorse in their actions.  It has been my experience that for many years the Church has placed certain sin above others. Actions such as lying and pride have been overshadowed by fornication and stealing. Yet can we really afford to label certain sin as worse? Perhaps looking at sin in the way Grenz describes might benefit the church. He states that sin is “…any attitude or action that us ungodly, that does not mirror God, that fails to reflect the manner in which God would think or act.”*

While the Bible explains in detail the different faces of sin, we choose to say that my “sin” isn’t as bad as my neighbor’s “sin”. When we begin to distinguish ourselves as someone who is “better” than others then we devalue the sacrifice God made for us. We refuse to accept that the sin that we commit on a daily basis has any effect on our community. Yet it is pride, lies and greed that break down the church before any other type of sin comes into play. These sins affect the community that has been established within our church and affects the potential we have to reach those who have not yet known Christ.

 When we look at redemption and the power of forgiveness from the point that certain sin has more weight than others, we minimize the significance of our salvation. I was once encouraging a young man to get baptized and his response to me was, “I don’t think I’ve been that bad. There are so many other things I might do wrong because of the places I am in my life, and if I were to get baptized now, I might waste it.” We continued to discuss repentance and how even after you have been baptized a person commits mistakes and sins, but that our salvation, repentance and baptism is never wasted. It saddened me that this young man who had practically been raised in the church did not grasp the weight of his sin and the need to seek forgiveness and repentance. I also had an experience of a newlywed couple with a small family that we were ministering to. Their response to an invitation to church was, “We’re in a pretty good place right now, and aren’t really doing anything bad to where we need to go to church.” Yet, how many of us have already sinned today and need repentance? How many of us have our current sins weighing down heavily and need to seek the face of God?

When the church loses focus on what sin is and its impact on our lives, we lose focus on what God does for us on a daily basis. That is, we ignore His saving grace, His mercy, His everlasting love.


*Grenz, Stanley J. Theology for the Community of God. (Michigan: William B. Ferdmans Publishing Company. 1994) 186

Daily Prayer

Lord Jesus I am hungry for You! I need you more and more each day. I need you to fill me with your love, to cover me with your grace, to protect me with your mercy. I need your spirit to live in me, to guide me. I need your strength because I am so weak. With each passing day I realize how broken I am, and that only you can make me whole. You restore my life on a daily basis. No one else can love me the way you can. No one else can speak to me the way that you can. In my quietness is when I hear you the loudest. I am a vessel for you Father. Fill me!

Humanity – what happened to us?

Last night I wrote a short essay on what defines us as humans. What saddens me is that I believe that those essential parts of what makes us who we are, are being lost. While animals are capable of caring and love, what sets us apart from them is the fact that we can choose to unite and support one another. We can choose to create an environment of equality and hope, yet instead we are taking this gift that God has given us and thrown it in the trash. God’s purpose for us was not to kill, hate and destroy each other. His purpose for us was to be stewards of the blessings He has provide. When was the last time you showed compassion to someone? The last time you reflected your humanity on this world? We are too caught up in our own selfishness to realize that we are destroying this beautiful world that God created for us.

While I know a huge part of the chaos in the world began with the “fall” of man, I believe God has given us the opportunity to redeem ourselves. Yet we haven’t….in fact we have done the exact opposite. The Bible tells us that when Cain killed Abel, Abel’s blood cried out to God (Gen. 4:10). How many more souls have died today whose blood is crying out to God. How many lives are suffering because humanity refuses to act human. Instead we want power, wealth, fame, control….

How can we continue to be human when we believe that one person’s hurt is more important than another. That one person who is suffering deserves less compassion because of their ethnicity, gender, location, culture. We as humans have been called to care for this world. We have been called to care for each other. Yet we are refusing to do just that.

I am glad that we have an everlasting hope of our Father Jesus, and that He has bestowed on us His grace and compassion, but what are we doing with it. When are we going to start acting human again?

A world of chaos

It’s hard to put into words what I’m feeling right now. Maybe I should avoid having a mini marathons of Law & Order SVU on my days off, but I can’t help getting sucked in. Regardless, I did watch a couple of episodes today and now here I am thinking about how messed up our world is.

Earlier I told a friend that I watch the show because for the most part there is a happy ending, and in my line of work, there aren’t usually happy endings. I am a counselor. I work specifically with survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence, both adults and children. I have the type of job that no one wants to talk about. The kind that makes people say “Wow, how can you do that kind of work? It must be so hard.” I usually brush them off by changing the subject or telling them that it helps knowing that they’re not alone in their suffering.

What I don’t tell them is that this works makes me angry. I’m angry because there are so many who don’t accept that this is an issue. It makes me angry that there are those who choose to blame the victim for what happens to her/him. I’m angry because win or loose, the victim still suffers. Not for a couple of days, but for years.

It also makes me sad. I get sad because this world is so lost. We divide ourselves. We point fingers at everyone else but ourselves. I’m sad because society is still telling people that if someone gets raped the victim probably had it coming. I’m sad because if a woman gets beat while in her relationship, she deserved it for not leaving sooner. I’m sad because we are still justifying abuse. We are raising our children to feel like they can do no wrong. There are no values, no morals, no respect. We are just looking out for ourselves. We have become selfish, petty and have become detached to what is going on in the world around us. We refuse to do what’s right.

Regardless I am still doing this work.

Six years ago I knew there was injustice in this world. Six years ago I knew I wanted to make a difference. Then God opened a door that I never imagined would open. He placed me in a position where I could look at the chaos in this world. I have seen the face of hurt. I have seen the face of pain. I know He did not make a mistake in placing me here.

My brother tells me that I’m too much of an idealist. He says that I’m always wanting to change the world. I say no…not the world, but I do want to make a difference. Even if it’s just one person. Even if it’s just one boy who will not grow up to be an abuser. Even if it’s just one girl who will feel confident and sure of herself because she is no longer relying on what society tells her. Even if it’s just one woman who feels that she can overcome every obstacle that has been thrown in her direction. Even if it’s just one man who no longer feels like a coward because he decided not to fight back when his wife attacked him.

We are living in a world of chaos. In my opinion, if you aren’t doing anything to stop it. You are part of the problem. All you have to do is speak up. Speak up against misogynistic language. Speak up against disrespect. Speak up against hate.

The time is now.

Your Voice

My greatest fear is that I will no longer hear your voice
That one day it will grow silent within me
That voice that has always reminded me of your love for me
A fear that one day that voice will one day grow mute

Not because you no longer wish to speak
Because you do speak
You speak through the breezes
Gently caressing my skin

You speak through the songs of the birds
Who give you praises with ever note they tweet
You speak through the laughter of a child
Reminding me the joys of this world

Yet I fear losing you
I fear that I will drift away
That I will no longer recognize your voice
It will no longer call out to me

I must stop pushing you away
I must stop ignoring your call
I must hold on to my purpose
I must take down this great wall

The wall that tells me
I can do it on my own
The wall that tells me
You are not true

I choose you
My Savior
My Shelter
My Lord

I choose to hear your voice
To let it comfort me
To let it remind me of your love
To let it strengthen me

I choose to hear your voice

So many reasons to praise

With air in my lungs

And eyes that can clearly see

All that you have given me

I praise You

With peace in my home

and the ability to read

The precious love letter you have gifted us

I praise you

With joy in my heart

And your strength carrying me

While your wisdom assures me

I praise you

In the midst of my storm

Through all my pain and suffering

With hands lifted high

I praise you

After such a great fall

You come and lift me

Back on my feet

I praise you