Archives For reflection


I spent a lot of time thinking and praying about what the Lord would bring to my heart today. He simple said “SHH”.

I hate silence. It is kind of funny to even say that because as a dad of 4 kids I am always complaining like and old fart that I need peace and quiet. When will all the noise just stop?! The truth is I am very uncomfortable in the silence.

My teenage years were marked by seclusion and isolation. I was stellar at being different and as much as I craved the “noise” I spent most of my time in silence. This led to years of introspection or what it is more commonly referred to as the dangerous combination of depression and self loathing. This is what I found in the silence. I found that when everything wasn’t noisy what I had left was me.

I love the readings and stories of the Desert Fathers and Antony said it well.

“He who sits alone and is quiet has escaped from three wars: hearing, speaking, seeing: but there is one thing against which he must continually fight: that is, his own heart.”

I find that I am not good in the silence. The war of hearing attacks my heart. The war of speaking reveals my heart. The war of seeing lies to my heart. This is my battle because in the solitude where I should find the whisper of the Lord I find the loud GONG of my flesh.

When I work I also listen to music. When I listen to music It can’t be background music… It needs to be at a good volume. I have my “sound quirks”, but I think it’s because silence is so unnerving.

I was in a music studio once doing a recording. It’s like every single sound had been sucked out of the room. It was dead and a bit disturbing. We don’t realize it, but even in solitude or silent spaces there is still so much noise.

“Be still, and know that I am God” – (Psalm 46:10).

Such a hard verse to apply. Even when I am still my brain is going a mile a minute. Even when I am quiet my heart is not.
Yet it is in this stillness that the Lord wants to speak to me.

As the disciples are tossed around on their ship in the chaos and noise of a storm Jesus steps into that storm and says “Peace be still”. All of a sudden there is silence and in that silence is awe and reverence for the Prince of peace.

Psalm 19:14 says “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

I will get to the words of my mouth in the next day or two, but todays reflection needs to speak more to the meditation of my heart.
Today my prayer is that it would reflect the peace of Jesus and that I would be still…
This doesn’t need to be a long reflection because I know what God is speaking to my heart and He can speak it simply to me.

Today I fast the NOISE and the war of my heart so that I can hear the voice of God in the sound of silence.


For the 22 years I have been in ministry I have seen the ebb and flow of church attendance and membership. Often times the Church as a whole doesn’t grow with new people who have found freedom in Jesus. It is just churches swapping people. We never really talk about it or worry about it, but I think at it’s root we have a problem in our culture.

In the 70’s Burger King created the slogan “Have it your way” in order to compete with other brands that would only serve what was on the menu. It was a great concept and one my waist size knows I exploit often. Ironically I never get it my way. It never fails. I will pull up to the plaque showing me a ton of options… A voice comes out of the speaker “how can I help you… are you ready to order?”. I speak back to the speaker; “Yes! thanks… I will take a Whopper with cheese, but with no onions and I will add extra extra pickles…”. Then I will proceed with all the customized requests from the 5 other people in my family. By the time I get home with the order and start handing it out it’s too late. My order for extra pickles and a kids meal without cheese must have been confusing and emotionally taxing because I did not get it my way.

It NEVER works the way I would like in fast food, but for some reason it’s expected to be the norm in the church that we should approach the counter of God, and give our order, with demands to have everything our way.

If you have been in a church longer than a day you have seen this to be true:

The music is too loud.
Why can’t they play more Chris Tomlin Songs?!
The Lights are too bright!
I just cant worship unless they have a laser show and fog machines.
There is no way Jesus likes the way these chairs are set up or this awful carpet color.
It’s time to leave honey… We just are not being fed.

I could go on and on because I have heard it all. It absolutely drives me nuts hearing these kinds of things, but maybe it is more disturbing to me because I’m guilty of wanting it my way as well.

Amos 5:21-24
“I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
an endless river of righteous living.

If this was placed into our time period it would likely read something like this:
If you are not willing to be people who overflow with Justice, Love, Joy, Peace, patience, kindness, goodness and mercy then you might as well stop everything else you are doing in all your christian duties. They are worthless. JUST STOP IT! Just stop with all the “stuff” that you are convinced you need to do in order to worship me because you have made it all about you and you do it for you.

That verse just wrecks me and convicts me every time I read it.

I remind myself and my congregation as often as I can that our “Service” is for God and the Bible wasn’t written about us, because we need to be transformed into people who chase after the heart of God and not people that shout with our actions that Jesus isn’t enough.

I was joking the other day with a friend that I thought it would be funny if there was a drive-thru for Ash Wednesday. You could pull your car up, get your ashes and drive off to go about your day. We had a great laugh at the absurdity of it… Well that was until I got a text to a few articles telling me this existed at not only many locations, but even at a church close by.

I read the articles that said the churches wanted to give people the opportunity to get the ashes, but they knew their schedules were just too busy so they set up street stations. Like a 1 min car wash. I understand time constraints. I work two jobs and have 4 kids. I truly do sympathize, but something about this just seems to feed the beast of consumerism and everything that verse in AMOS was talking about. I won’t presume to judge one heart in this, but the fact that the church offers CONVENIENCE in the Lenten period dedicated to FASTING and self-denial, which is not convenient, is teaching the church the wrong things.

We do have to ask ourselves though… Are we looking at our faith walk in the same way? Are we hoping that we can have the fullness of what God offers our life and we can consider ourselves fully devoted to his kingdom by looking for every opportunity to “drive-up” to a window and just grab the overspray of his goodness without having to die to self and trade my will for God’s?

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” ……No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

That is the crux behind the heart of Lent. Being no longer satisfied with the unfulfilling overspray of his presence, settling for the sugar high we get from cool events, and finding ourselves needing to add things to Jesus to make Him more “rich”.

Oh the joy I’ve found
Surrendering my crowns
At the feet of the King
Who surrendered everything

Oh the peace that comes
When I’m broken and undone
By Your unfailing grace
I can lift my voice and say

You can have it all, Lord
Every part of my world
Take this life and breathe on
This heart that is now Yours

Bethel Church “Have it all”

This should be our prayer as we dive heart first into Lent.
No longer saying I will “HAVE IT MY WAY”.
Instead my daily prayer to God who I know is Lord, but who I now will allow TO BE my Lord, will be
“HAVE IT ALL LORD… HAVE IT YOUR WAY”