Monthly Archives: September 2011

Get Up!

“Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.” (Mark 2:13-14)


Sitting at the tax collector’s booth.

Is that where you’re located today? Parked alongside the road, watching the Lord and others pass you by, all the while waiting to collect on their good fortune?

You’ve heard his preaching from a distance. Maybe even witnessed a miracle or two in his comings and goings, all the while sitting by nursing your curiosity, maybe even nursing a grudge. Feeling overlooked and underpaid, you linger with your coppers in the shadows of his passing grace telling yourself that they will be enough. That they are why you’re here. To collect your due and to do so using the law as your compass, not grace.

Collecting money or receiving grace. Collecting the approval of man or receiving the love of God. Where are you today? Sitting by the road thinking you haven’t been called or walking the road with Jesus knowing you have been called?

You’ve been called. There’s no “thinking” that you have heard otherwise. You’ve been called.

Now it’s time to walk. Time to push your chair away from the table, from what you thought you were supposed to be doing with your life. To leave the security of the few coppers of borrowed grace that have been surrendered to you by others and to start receiving the free grace that rightfully belongs to you as a child of God.

It’s not enough to notice Jesus. To make acknowledgement of his passing. To mentally ascend to understanding and truth. Noticing, acknowledging, and ascending can all serve as precursors to following Christ, but the real work of discipleship begins when you get up and follow him.

Get up from your complacency.
Get up from your comfortableness.
Get up from your high opinions.
Get up from your selfishness.
Get up from your self-importance.
Get up from your self-pity.
Get up from your pride.
Get up from your woundings.
Get up from your sin.
Get up from your excuses.

Just get up from the table of whatever is keeping you tied to the side of the road, and start walking with Jesus. You’ve been called, and the day will soon be over. The night is fast approaching, and the nighttime is not the right time to reason out your calling. The night time is the best time to rest in your calling—to know that you know that you know—that leaving your coppers on the table was the best leaving of your life.

Quit collecting on the grace of others, friends. Start walking the grace that is yours. Get up, and walk forward with Jesus. Today is the day of salvation. I’ll meet you on the road. As always…

Peace for the journey,


PS: The winner of Nancy’s study according to is Rebecca (the original winner, Leah, already has the study and wanted another of you to receive it). For another chance to win a copy, please visit Nancy at her blog and enter into the give-away. Leah, the study will be coming to you directly from Nancy!

"Draw Me Near" by Nancy Douglas {Bible study review and give-away}

Last week, I posed this question to my friends on Facebook:

What one deliberate choice are you making today to put yourself in close proximity to God’s presence? I made my choice early this morning in reading and studying the Word (Colossians was my focus), and God embedded a new promise into my heart! Rarely does a revelation of himself arrive without our active participation. What are you waiting for?

The response was positive. My friends agreed that an active approach is the best approach to growing personal faith. I’ve written about it many times before—these intentional faith deposits. The willing investments we make into our spiritual bank accounts today will be the strong anchor of our tomorrows. We need to cultivate our souls for something more than what meets the eye. We need to focus on what lies beneath—the unseen, yet-to-be-discovered threads that connect us tightly to the heart of the Father.

Along those lines, I’m a firm believer in Bible study, both corporate times of learning and private seasons of discourse with the Father. What makes a Bible study a good Bible study?

Two things. The Bible and a willingness to study. Everything else is just gravy, good gravy. Remember this post?

That being true, I treasure “story” within the Story–someone else’s leanings and learnings as related to Scripture. Accordingly, I’ve always got a Bible study going. I don’t wait for the seasonal gathering of friends to dig into the Word. Ten-week studies are great, but considering there are fifty-two weeks in a year, there have to be some times of individual study in order to fill in the gaps between seasons.

Over the last year, I’ve quietly worked through a few friends’ studies: Leah’s From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest, Mariel’s Knowing God through His Names, and Rebecca’s The Beauty of a Disciplined Life. All solid Bible studies. All not getting the press they deserve. All telling a “story” within the Story. I love them all for different reasons, and I love the women who write them. Why? Because these women can be trusted with the Story. They’ve lived it; they are continuing to live it each day, willingly laying down their hearts before the Father and asking him to change them from the inside out. Thank you, ladies!

Most recently, I’ve been blessed by Nancy Douglas’ Draw Me Near. The work lives up to its title. Indeed, in these five weeks that I’ve been applying God’s truth to my heart via Nancy’s pen, I’ve drawn nearer to God. Nancy’s story is embroidered into every lesson, and I’ve grown to respect her witness in a way that might not have come to me had I’d not taken the time to work through this study.

Nancy’s faith journey is a compelling one—a transformational work of grace that mirrors my own. And while the details of our stories are very different, we both have come to a place of whole-hearted, soul-stirring devotion to the God who has claimed us, named us, restored us, and who daily transforms us. I love a woman who is willing to hang on tightly for the finishing of her faith, don’t you? Nancy is one of those women, and her ten-week study is one that, if you are willing, will shepherd you toward having a rich encounter with God.

Here’s what I love most about Nancy’s study. Each lesson is a balanced blend of reflection, scripture focus, and practical application. Each lesson is a fork’s worth of food rather than an entire meal. And while the fork’s worth has sometimes not been an easy “chew” for me, I’ve always left the table feeling full and in great anticipation for what tomorrow’s fork might hold. Nancy gives readers permission and time enough to absorb meaningful truth without wearing them out in the process. I’ve needed this pacing, and I’ve needed room to breathe in the truth of God’s Word without having to rush through to victory.

Thank you, Nancy, for writing your heart. For seeing the need. For telling your story and for weaving it so beautifully into the story of our Savior. Your commitment to write these words has strengthened me in my commitment to grow my faith. The honest, soul-stirring conversations that I’ve had with God, spurred on because of your study, have been a rich blessing to my heart. I look forward to continuing the conversation over the next five weeks.

Readers, if you are looking for a study to further your conversation with God, Nancy’s is a good conversation-starter. Along those lines, I’m giving away a copy of Draw Me Near. Simply leave a comment with this post (even if you don’t have a blog), and I will announce the winner with my next post. For an additional opportunity to win a copy, visit Nancy at her blog. She is also hosting a give-away. Ordering information is available there.

Take good care of your hearts this week! Make a choice to put yourself in close proximity to God’s presence, and see if he is not faithful to draw your nearer to his heart! As always…

Peace for the journey,

A little bit about Nancy…

Nancy and her husband Jimmy have been married twenty-eight years and have two children, Drew and Danielle. After the birth of Danielle, born Autistic, deaf, and Failure to Thrive, God began a drastic work in Nancy’s life. Amidst the struggle to accept the reality of her daughter’s disabilities, Nancy soon discovered God’s call on her life.

Founding the Olive Leaf Ministries in 2006, Nancy speaks, teaches, and writes. She has written the 10-week Bible study “Draw Me Near” and “Freedom, Healing for Parents of Disabled Children,” her latest work dedicated to those suffering loss.

Nancy and her husband, Jimmy, enjoy spending time with family, shopping, and raising their dogs Cocoa Bean and Ecclesiastes.

error: Content is protected !!