Category Archives: Tuesday Take-Away

Tuesday Take-Away on Friday {1 Chronicles 28:20-21}

Scripture reading is a fantastic discipline for the Christian, a privilege as well. As I open up God’s Word and crinkle the pages beneath my fingertips, I almost always hear the heartbeat of God ringing in my ears. I didn’t always hear it. In my younger seasons, I didn’t know to listen for it. With years of practice and personal need as my compass, I now view the Word of God as a necessity rather than as a reference guide. Certainly, it is a reference guide, but as reference guides go, they stack alongside other referencing material and can easily be covered up by the latest, greatest “must-have” being touted on the Christian market.

Nothing can replace God’s Word. It isn’t just seasonal, topical, historical, and practical. It’s so much more, so much so that on any given day and with any given scripture, God’s Word is applicable … right where we are. Certainly, a verse taken out of context may yield very little application to our current life circumstances. However, by digging a little deeper into God’s truth, thinking a little longer about it, and applying it a little wider, we harness the power behind that particular scripture to do a transforming work in our hearts.

Along those lines, I came across these two verses in my quiet time this morning. Really, they came across me, but I won’t quibble about their arrival. I’m just blessed to call them mine.

“David also said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished. The divisions of the priests and Levites are ready for all the work on the temple of God, and every willing man skilled in any craft will help you in all the work. The officials and all the people will obey your every command.’” (1 Chronicles 28:20-21).

What’s my take-away? How can this be applied to my heart in my today when it’s obvious that these verses were meant for those who would build the temple of the Lord nearly 3000 years ago? Here are a few thoughts I’m thinking:

  • God is still building his temple, and he’s using my life, alongside the lives of other believers, as his building blocks.
  • There is work to be done. I have been assigned as a co-laborer in that work.
  • The work will require my strength, my courage, and my faith in the face of fear.
  • God is with me in my work. He will not fail me nor forsake me.
  • The work will be completed.
  • There are others who are ready to help me in my work—others with the necessary tools, craftsmanship, and commissioning from God to bring about a completed work through me… in me.

As I linger over these thoughts, I realize that every one of them is important to my heart and my thinking if I am to move forward in this season. Every one of them must be believed, must be applied, and must be harnessed as truth if, in fact, God’s work is going to be most fully accomplished in my life. A breakdown at any point in this trajectory of understanding will, more than likely, leave my assigned work as is—undone and unfinished. And while God can use even that—my incompleteness—I’m thinking it would be far better to finish this race in tandem with his desires. I want nothing more than for God to finish in me that which he began in me on a hillside 2000 years ago. I want to go home to him as a completed work of grace.

How about you? As you look over and consider these thoughts, where does the breakdown happen for you? I challenge you to open up these verses in your own Bible, open up your heart as well, and linger with God in your deliberations. These two verses just may be the encouraging word you need to move you a step further down the path of your completion.

Be blessed in Jesus this weekend. As always…

Peace for the journey,


Tuesday Take-Away {Genesis 3:8-9}

Three years ago, I traveled to “She Speaks” with a completed manuscript in hand. And while all of my publisher meetings exceeded my expectations (a.k.a. they enthusiastically took my proposal), weeks later my mailbox was filled with their (what I assume to be) customary rejections. The manuscript I pitched back then is still sitting on my shelf, collecting dust alongside a few other books I’ve written. Today, I reach back in time to re-consider the pulse behind this particular manuscript–a collection of thirty, devotional reflections all centering on the questions of God in Scripture. Questions spoken through his prophets, his Son, and his own voice. Questions given to us as an invitation to join with him in sacred conversation.

I firmly believe that as God presents his questions in Scripture, he means for them to jump off the page to become a question that engages our hearts. So, for today’s Tuesday Take-Away I’d like for you to consider the very first, recorded question from God to his children as found in Genesis 3:8-9:

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?'”
Where are you today? I’ll tell you where I am. Knee-deep in the midst of words, rambling thoughts, and wrestlings with my faith. I’m also knee-deep in the midst of God’s faithfulness. He is doing a work in me that I never expected; maybe thought about on occasion but never imagined that we would arrive at the point of putting our hands to the plow and some elbow grease to the deeper heart-work that is in front of me. As I reflect on this first question of God to his children in light of where I am this day, I keep these thoughts in mind:
  • God can always be found walking in his garden.
  • We have the privilege of joining him in his walk.
  • We’re always within earshot of his voice.
  • God is always willing to find us, even when we are content to stay hidden.
  • God intends for us to reveal our hiddenness, to name our “spot”, and to stand before him just as we are. Sinners in need of a garden-walking, question-asking, seeking Savior who knows our names and who isn’t content to leave us as we are.
Where are you today, my pilgrim friends? Wherever you are, I pray the sound of his footsteps ringing in your ears and the call of your name lingering on his lips. You are God’s child; he knows you, and he knows how very much you need him. Keep walking toward Eden. It’s closer now than it has ever been. As always…
Peace for the journey,

Tuesday Take-Away {John 19:25-27}

Has it really been a week since I’ve been here? What a week it’s been for me! With the passage of time and as God prompts, I’ll let you in on a little more about what has been going on with me. In the meantime, here’s the scripture prompt for this Tuesday Take-Away, a poignant, telling scene from the life of Jesus:

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:25-27)

To do this passage justice, you might want to read it in its entirety (John 19:1-27). Here’s how I read it and a few corresponding thoughts to go alongside:

  • As we make our own walks to the cross of Jesus Christ—our chosen walks of surrender to behold his suffering so that we might better carry our own—our Savior revisits this scene from his own surrender. Never does his blood bleed brighter, his heart beat more tenderly, than when we choose to pick up our own crosses and to carry them forward in faith. It’s just that important to the work of the kingdom, both 2000 years ago and now. He is present.
  • Suffering their loss, they suffered collectively. As the body of Christ, it is both our charge and our keep to come alongside one another as we tenderly take hold of our own humanity, make our pilgrimages to the cross, and surrender our hearts to the painful, healing work of resurrection.
  • In our times of pain, Jesus Christ willingly assigns us a “beloved disciple”—a “John”—to make sure we’re taken care of, well-loved, and remembered. Even when it seems as if no one is surfacing to tend to our needs, God has dispatched the witness of his Holy Spirit to minister to our hurting hearts in ways that most perfectly meet the challenge of our pain (see John 14 and 16).
  • Finally, true, lasting heart-work—soul-work—always happens “near the cross.” Why? Because Pilate had it right when tagging the identity of the One hanging there: “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (John 19:19). Jesus of Nazareth, King of us as well. King in charge of our souls and the transformational work of our hearts.

So, friends, how do you read it? If not this passage, then what scripture have you been chewing on this week? I pray your Tuesday filled with the rich witness of Christ’s presence, and that, if you haven’t already taken the time to sit with him in quietness to contemplate his worthiness, you would take some time now. As always…

Peace for the journey,

Tuesday Take-Away {Genesis 28:10-12}

 I haven’t forgotten about you, friends. I’d like nothing more than to spend some concentrated time on-line, visiting you and weighing in on your valuable posts. I’d also like some more time to write some of my own. But beyond what I would like to do, there is another preference that has surfaced for me–my “must do” for the next few weeks.

God is preparing my heart to attend P31’s She Speaks conference in July. Thanks to many of you and your investment into my story, I’ll be able to share with others some of the wonderful ways that God has ministered and is continuing to minister to my heart during this season–another step in my “living up to my learning” (if you didn’t watch my cancer-survivor picnic video, skip this reference or make up your own interpretation).

As a way of managing my time, I’m planning on posting a little nugget of truth at this blog on Tuesdays… something along the lines of Tuesday Take-Away. With God’s help and out of the well-spring that comes to me through him, I will endeavor to plant a little seed of truth and comfort into your heart. A small take-away for your day. My goal is not to overly flesh out my thoughts (some of you are shouting “Hallelujah” right about now… not funny). Rather, my goal is to point you toward a few take-aways that leap out at me. More than likely I’ll be chewing on them for the rest of the day. Accordingly here is the text and take-away for today:

“Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:10-12)
My take-away:
  • Sometimes a “setting out” from the land of our comfort–our familiar–is required of us in order that we may walk in the fullness of all that God has for us.
  • There’s always a “certain place” of rest.
  • As odd as it might seem, a hardened “stone” rather than pillow is often the foundation for that “certain place” of rest and for the birthing of God’s dreams for our lives.
  • The “stone” we’re resting upon can serve as the portal that God uses to reveal himself to us.

So, my friends, how do you read it? What “setting out”, what “certain place”, or what “stone” is your portion this day? I love you each one and will get around to visit you as I can. As always…

Peace for the journey,


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