Friday, September 2, 2016

God Loves Smart People

God loves that you are intelligent.

God loves that you love to create.

God loves that you are SMART.

Religion makes you blind and dumb.

But God did not make you dumb or blind. He gave you a brain. He modeled you after Himself. If you are a mathematician, guess what? So is He. If you are a poet, guess what? So is He. If you are an engineer, guess what? So is He. If you are a mother, guess what? So is He. If you are a doctor, guess what? So is He. If you are a teacher, guess what? So is He. If you are a lover, guess what? So is He.

And He loves you.

If you are a Christian, you are allowed to be talented, brilliant, and inventive. You aren't just allowed, it's expected. It's part of how He designed you to be.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

We have misplaced the meaning of denying ourselves. We must deny the selfishness in us. We must not, under any circumstances, deny what God has placed within us.

These are two separate things.

God loves that I am a poet at heart. God loves that I love to teach. God loves that I love deep conversations. He placed these things within me. These are reflections of Himself.

I had a conversation with someone that I deeply care about who is going to school for engineering. He said, "You are closer to God because you are good at English. You understand the bible better than me. I am just logical and I just don't get it."

This statement was never ever meant to be true. This person is also a reflection of God. God is logical! God is an engineer! God figured out a way to make EVERYTHING work. Air. Gravity. Organs. God is a builder.

And He has given us authority and commissioned us to build.


God doesn't sit around and read His word all day long.

God is His word. God lives His word. God acts on His word. He is not contained or restrained by it.

We eat and sleep His word, but we do so that we may also live His word. Living it is better than memorizing it.


If you are not a Christian, being intelligent and believing in God are not contradictory. He designed you to think. He designed you to create. He designed you to desire to know Him.

My friend Zheng told me just the other day, "There's spirituality, and there's also personality." You can have spirituality and personality. Jesus was both natural and supernatural. It's okay, you can have both too.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I'm Not in Kansas Anymore

I love people. I want you to fully understand that. I love people.

But I have to fight this desire to go live in the woods by a lake (not a pond-- Mr. Thoreau) because sometimes I just really miss being alone with myself.

I need cave time. I need time where I can be a stranger in a place. I need time where I can be unrecognized in a place. I need time to dream and write and talk out loud to myself. Maybe that is why I have been driven back to the page. Perhaps that is why all writers are driven to the page.

It's been a few months since I've written with such candor. Life that was once at a stand still picked up speed to a whirlwind and here I am amidst the debris-- checking to be sure my red slippers are still on my feet and also noticing that I'm not in Kansas anymore.

Has that ever happened to you? A few months go by and suddenly you realize through all of the moving and shaking you feel like you have been scooped up and moved into a completely different season in life. It's not like you got a letter in the mail that said, "Hey, we're moving you out pretty soon. You should get ready." It feels more like a friendly kidnapping, where along the way somehow you agreed to it-- not knowing what you were agreeing to.

But you chose the path less traveled, or so you thought, and here you are.

Thanks Dorothy Parker, Here We Are.

I have my bed (or mattress) and comforter, a cup of coffee and a computer. The rest of my habitation is in utter disarray. There are boxes half full and a floor half empty and clothing that has been abandoned to lie in uncomfortable and compromising positions rendering them wrinkled and distorted. Like Still Life Installation: My Bedroom in Moving. Except that it is not pleasing to the eye. But art wasn't meant to feel clean.

And neither was life. I want life wrapped in blue ribbon, like a present waiting to be opened. And then I disagree with myself because I have a better thought. (Leave room for thoughts in progress, a period is not final. EE Cummings had it right when he broke grammar rules to make a point).

I want life as nature sits in Fall. The wind is blowing and the leaves are changing. Nothing is tidy nor clean; everything is in its place.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Strength of Femininity

Recently, I have observed differences in a sense of femininity. To me, there are a few perversions to femininity that actually hinder and can aid in distorting masculinity and vice versa.

To some women, femininity is rejected, and a more masculine form of this is taken on. I'm not even talking about women who identify themselves as homosexual--nor am I talking about women who are simply more "tom boy" but who identify themselves as heterosexual.

I'm talking about women who take on an "I hate men" mentality. And paired with that is often a sense of "I must be crude and non-emotional if I am going to be a strong woman".

There is another perversion of femininity that is the oversexualized woman. I'm not talking about a woman who is sexy. I am talking about women who find their strength in portraying themselves as objects of sex.

PLEASE do not misunderstand me here, I am not suggesting that it is wrong or against femininity for women to be sexy. I think this is something that should be embraced and is very much a part of femininity. What I am talking about is an over exaggeration of this part of femininity so that it translates to identity.

I really don't think that most men will disagree with me when I say that a woman's sexiness can be powerful.

Sexiness is a part of femininity just like sexiness is a part of masculinity.

But it is a part. It is not a part that is "less holy" and should be divorced from these terms, nor is it a part that should be overly elevated. It is a necessary and good part of both masculinity and femininity.

Femininity can simply be defined as womanliness.

It is the very essence of being a woman.

There is strength and power in womanhood; yet it is different than the strength and power in manhood.

It is different, but it is equal.

I believe that true femininity is not weakness, but a powerful strength to be reckoned with. It is not simply being emotional; men have emotions too. It is not simply being loving; men are loving too. It is not simply being attractive; men are attractive too. It is the very essence of being a woman.

It is embracing the form of the woman-- the body, the mind, and the heart as equal parts of strength. Equal to the strength of a man, and yet different.

I'm not trying to make comments on gender roles or anything like that-- I'm simply trying to say that femininity is strength, not weakness. If you are a woman, embrace and explore what it means to be feminine.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Have a Cave Day

After one week and a day of teaching, it is vital that one remember the importance of the cave.

When I say the cave, I mean the place where you go and hide and find immeasurable amounts of joy being in seclusion.

My cave happens to be my bedroom.

You have permission, no matter what walk of life or profession, to need a cave day.

Or a cave moment.

Go, be by yourself in your happy place for 8 hours or 5 minutes.

Go, do it.

Stop reading this post if you need to and go do it right now!

If you give to all, do not forget to give -- even if just a little-- to yourself.

Rest is the most amazing thing you can do for you.

Rest recharges your spirit and your atmosphere.

If you feel guilty for resting, its probably a lie you're agreeing with.

So, stop agreeing with it.

That's all


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stop Divorcing Yourself

I realized it as I was reading the first chapter in Ericka Morrison's book Bandersnatch: I used to try to divorce the artist in me because it didn't seem "Christian".

Let me explain.

I used to believe that I couldn't be both a poet and a preacher. The two seemed separate to me. Poet seemed worldly. Preacher seemed spiritual.

Teacher was the gift and the compromise and seemed to fit into both.

But I can't deny that I'm a poet. I realized last night that being a poet isn't wrong.

The mind of God is a poet.

Just like the mind of God is an engineer.

Just like the mind of God is a scientist.

Just like the mind of God is a mathematician.

Just like the mind of God is a psychologist.

We all hold fragments of the reflection of God. Genesis 1:26.

If we are only looking at the teachers and preachers we are only seeing part of Him.

If we only accept the more spiritual parts of ourselves we are leaving out soul and body.

My spirit is a prophetess but my soul is a writer. And He made me that way.

What's more than that: He likes me that way.

We are making God religious and boring.

God is mind-blowing and cool.

And we don't understand Him.

When we try to cut off parts of ourselves it is evidence that we are putting God in a box.

I'm not saying that God doesn't want to take us on a journey to make us look more like Him. There are things that we will have to get rid of along our journey. There are sins we will have to shed. 

But we also don't have to divorce parts of ourselves.

We need all of the pieces within us to be whole- to be tied together in matrimony to Christ. 

You get to take along your eye for design. 

God has an eye for design.


You get to take along your calculations.


You get to take along your art.


You get to take along your philosophy.




I'm not talking about "accepting culture". Please don't get me wrong. I am talking about God being much less religious than we make Him. I am talking about God being the creator of everything. I am talking about the fact that we are made in His image. His image is complex. His image contains an infinite amount of faucets and fragments are seen in each of us. 

He cannot be contained, yet we contain pieces of Him.

With something to think about,


Saturday, December 5, 2015


I've been re-evaluating a lot of things recently. I have been thinking about what the next season of my life will look like and quite frankly it both excites and scares me. 

I have seen two pictures that are really speaking to what the Lord is doing right now in my life for what is next.

The first one I saw on my way to school. It was the image of a piece of paper with the word FEAR on it written in red. I saw the piece of paper being torn in two.

The second image happened during service on Sunday morning. I saw myself holding a piece of paper with the word FEAR on it. However, this time I saw myself underwater and a huge whale was coming my way. I thought that the whale was going to swallow me, but instead it snatched the paper out of my hand and ate it. 

So, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that I've been dealing with some issues of fear in my life. The Lord is showing me these pictures to illustrate what He is doing. 

He is removing fear. He is swallowing fear. He is tearing fear in two. 

I think whatever it is that is threatening me the most in my life is going to be the thing that takes the fear out of my hand. 

Consider this for yourself was well. Whatever it is that is coming your way that looks like it will swallow you whole is really the thing in your life that is trying to destroy fear. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crazy Joy

The strangest thing has happened in my 3rd block class.

We have been destroyed by waves of joy.

These waves usually hit at the beginning of the class period and leave us in hunched-over laughter. 

Friday, it happened again. It was beautiful. There is a freedom to play and be real and laugh that I have never quite experienced before. Did I mention I get to experience this with my my high-achieving students?

Smart cookies. Real smart cookies.

The kind that believe in Jesus' philosophy of leaving the 99 to go after the 1...the 1 point they missed from making 100 ...

And what are we doing? 

Laughing until we are crying.

After this, they do more work for me than any of my other classes combined. 

The lesson: Basking in His Presence of Joy produces amazing things.

Instead of the following: Saying you are standing in His Joy and striving to do amazing things.

Much of our church culture is flipped completely upside down. We trick ourselves into believing that we are supposed to be working for joy when really God intended joy to work for us.

You want to know why you are tired? 
You want to know why you are miserable?

Because you are working for that joy instead of laying in it!!

Maybe you need to stop working so hard. Maybe you need to stop serving so much. Maybe you need to bask a little while at the feet of Jesus. 

There is always a greater choice-- and it is never serving Jesus's needs, it is receiving from Him what He longs to give us.

If you don't believe me-- go read the story about Martha and Mary. Jesus was just as serious then as He is right now.

How do you foster an atmosphere for crazy joy? Invite Holy Spirit in and let Him surprise you. It's not going to happen if you are working really hard for it. It's going to happen when you walk right into it.

Praying for God to wreck your classrooms, homes, and workplaces with crazy JOY!!!!

Let go of control and put Him in control. Walk in peace and joy will follow you.

** In fact, please excuse any grammatical errors in this post... I'm so drunk on Joy right now that it's a little hard for me to write this for laughing.

Here is some inspiration: Tip of My Toes