Creative Chaos

Sometimes God speaks to us quietly, guiding our thoughts with His careful wisdom. Other times He gives us a revelation that explodes like a stick of dynamite and changes the landscape of our entire state of mind almost instantaneously.  This weekend, He blew me away…

Before I go into that, I should give you some background.  As you may know, this is my first semester back in school since I graduated in 2007.  I’m working toward my Christian Counseling degree, which inevitably means many, many psychology classes.  Although my goal is to end up at a Christian university, my current classes are through a local public university.  As I’m sure you can imagine, faith in God doesn’t always fit into the syllabus at such universities.  As a result, I have been taught that faith is foolish, that we did in fact evolve from monkeys and that human beings have no purpose, only function (that is literally what my textbook said).

That being said, this semester has provoked more God-related conversations than psychological conversations, particularly those related to evolution.  Then on Saturday, during one of those completely ordinary moments, God revealed to me a fantastic illustration as to why it takes more faith to believe in the theory of evolution than it does to believe in God and the truth found in His Word.

[UPDATE: Unfortunately, the video we originally embedded/linked to has been removed from YouTube, but if it ever gets re-posted, we’ll add the link back in here. Sorry for the confusion.]

Assuming you did watch the clip, I must ask, have you ever seen something like that happen in real life?  Have you ever seen a catastrophic accident lead to organization?  Have you ever seen a car leave the scene of a crash looking better than it did before?  That makes no sense.  Destruction does not create order.

Now consider the human body in all its complexities.  I’m no scientist and don’t even claim to being to know the intricate miracles our bodies participate in every day, and yet, even from my elementary knowledge, I know something this amazingly sophisticated could not have “just happened”.  Do you see how it takes more faith to believe that than it does to believe God created us?

We were no accident.  We were created with a purpose.  We are God’s masterpiece.


Bought For A [High] Price

Happy Easter season, Brothers  & Sisters!  I absolutely love this time of year.  It’s a time of new beginnings as flowers begin to fill the air with their alluring aroma and chirping bird sing their sweet melodies as they busily fly to and fro, equally as joyful that spring is upon us.

But there’s another reason I love this time of year.  It’s a time to remember what Jesus did for each of us.  As our dance company prepares for our annual Easter show, I’m astounded by His love for us.  The suffering He endured so we could be free breaks my heart, yet fills me with an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude…all at the same time.

The fact of the matter is, He died for you.  Even if you had been the only person in the whole world, throughout all history who needed saving, He still would have endured every moment of that suffering… because He loves you that much.

As Easter approaches, take a moment to thank Jesus for giving His life as a ransom for your heart.

Isaiah 53:4-12 [He did it for you…take a moment to make it personal.]

4 Yet it was ______ weaknesses he carried;
it was ______ sorrows that weighed him down.
And ______ thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for ______ rebellion,
crushed for ______ sins.
He was beaten so ______ could be whole.
He was whipped so ______ could be healed.
6 All of us (including ______), like sheep, have strayed away.
______ have left God’s paths to follow ______ own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all (including ______).

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of ______.
9 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many (including ______) to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all ______ sins.
12 ______ will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many (including ______) and interceded for rebels.

Rejoice, friends!  Jesus is alive and His power is MIGHTY to save!


P.S. I’d also like to extend an invitation to anyone who may wish to join us this year for Once Upon a Tree.  The concert will be held Palm Sunday weekend (Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th at 7pm) at the Brookings United Methodist church.  Proceeds from the concert will go to benefit Mark Winquist and his family as they stand on the promises of God in their battle against cancer.


Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, Lindsie and I have been busy.

With Lindsie taking 18 credits this semester and working full time, she’s doing her best to keep her head above water.  On my end, I’ve got my normal job at ADwërks and a few projects on the side that I’m hammering away on.

All in all, this has left us with just about enough time to occasionally sneak in a movie and, once every few weeks, go out and get a nice dinner together.

But really, the reason I started this post with the word “unfortunately” is that our busyness has managed to keep us from staying as connected to God as we should be. Too many nights have been spent working on things that “matter” now, but really, in the long run, won’t matter at all. Too many mornings have brought the dread of waking up to a list of things to do rather than waking up with a list of reasons to thank God we’re alive.

I won’t sit here and make some bold, impossible statement like “But all that ends TODAY!” because the truth is, I can’t say that it will. It’s a daily struggle all of us deal with. When we’re simply trying to make time for life, how are we supposed to also make time for Christ? It’s so much easier said than done, right?

But we have to try. Whether that means holding ourselves more accountable to others outside of our immediate circle or whether that means getting on a set, immovable schedule for spending time with the Lord, we need to do what it takes to stay connected to God. Because he’s just sitting there waiting for us with the awareness that, if we’d just give it up to him, he can (and will) take care of it.

It’s easy to drown in life. But God is sitting there with us in the water, just waiting for us to realize that he’s already holding us. We just have to trust him to help us float.

Think about it. And try to spend at least a few minutes with God today. It’s amazing how helpful it can be when it comes to getting rid of some of the busyness of life.


Photo by Kenneth Barker. Thanks Kenneth!

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Isabelle Jade!

It is our goal to share with you not only our testimonies, but the testimonies of friends and family.  As I’ve said before, we believe wholeheartedly that our testimonies are one of the biggest threats we have against the kingdom of darkness.  And it is our ardent mission to be as threatening as possible.

That being said…

I was touched this morning by this story of God’s healing.  Please take a moment to read about God’s amazing power.

Thank you, Jesus!

Angels In Our Outfield

Lindsie and I watched a timeless classic last night – Angels In The Outfield. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it, Angels In The Outfield is a 1994 Disney movie where a kid named Roger (played by a young Joseph Gordon Levitt) prays the last-place Angels will win the pennant. After he does, the head angel (Christopher Lloyd) sends a team of angels down to help the baseball team, leading to a bunch of Disney-esque shenanigans. I won’t spoil the rest of the film for you, but it’s a Disney film, so you can imagine how it shakes out.

The other premise of the film is that only Roger (the kid) can “see” the angels and thus tell the manager (Danny Glover) which players will have the help of the angels in the games. As a result, the foul-mouthed, ill-tempered manager must simply believe that Roger sees the angels. As the season goes on and more people start to hear about this kid who “sees angels,” people start to question both the manager and the kid’s sanity. Nobody really wants to believe there are real angels helping baseball players on the field.

Here’s the point of this post. In Angels In The Outfield, only one kid had the faith to believe the angels were there. At first, not a single adult believed it was possible. They all “knew better.” So why is that, when the Bible tells us about angels throughout its pages, we adults don’t believe angels could be here on earth with us right now? Why is it that children can believe in angels and have often described how “they saw an angel” when miraculous events occur, but adults simply “know better.” Why can’t we see things with a childlike faith that angels are with us when God tells us directly (numerous times) that they are?

In the movie, only one kid can “see” the angels, but his faith convinces first the manager, then the players, then the entire stadium full of Angels fans. None of the other people—even Roger’s best friend—can see the angels, but people are witnessing the miracles and are realizing there’s something going on, even if they can’t see it. When will the rest of us start to look around, witness the miracles happening every day and realize there’s something going on…even if we can’t see it?

There are angels in our outfields right now, whether we can see them or not. Whether we have the strength and the faith to believe it is up to us.


P.S. – The film also features a pretty young Adrien Brody and Matthew McConaughey, which is kind of funny. Also: Tony Danza. Yup…all-star cast for sure.

Brevity of Life

Psalms 39:4-5

“Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.  You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.  Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.”

The older I get, the quicker time goes.  As a child, years, weeks, even days seemed to drag on.  There were times when I would truthfully think I would never make it to high school.  And now here I am, 25 and married.   But that’s not even the scariest part.  What’s even more surreal is how fast it all happened.

As I read passages like the one referenced above, I find myself stopping for a moment, reflecting on the temporal aspect of this life, and then quickly merging back into the fast lane.  I tell myself someday I’ll be able to slow down and focus on what’s really important, but right now, I have an endless to-do list and not enough time to complete it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with productivity.  I am, by nature, a worker.  I like accomplishing things.  When I can go to bed at night with a significantly diminished list of things to do, I sleep well.

The problem surfaces when we lose sight of what’s truly important in life, when climbing the corporate ladder takes priority over family, when striving for our ideal life clouds our vision of God’s plan for our lives, when being something great in the world’s eyes is more important than being who God made us to be.

But what if today was the last day?  What if tomorrow wasn’t an option?  What if you’ve reached the end?  Are you ready for that?   What will people say about you when you’re gone?  What do you want them to say about you?


He worked a lot, the office was like his home…

Her house was always clean, sometimes too clean…

She had a 4.0, but had no time for friends…

He was my dad, but I guess I never really knew him…

Is what you’re living for worth dying for?


This question stared me right in the face this Christmas.  My little sister Brittany is the epitome of health.  As a track athlete at North Dakota State University, she is in prime condition.  She works out 6 days a week and monitors her diet with incredible precision.  So when she came down with the flu on Christmas Day, we had no reason to believe it was anything more serious.  Her head hurt, she had a temperature of 102º and she was achy.  Nothing about her condition seemed unusual… until she wasn’t getting better.

She had been planning on attending TCX with Campus Crusade in Minneapolis over New Years, so four days later when she was supposed to leave town, she made every effort to assure our parents that she was fine.  By 11:00 am her car was packed and she was on her way.

On Wednesday, her condition hadn’t improved.  Instead, she seemed to be sliding backward.  At that point, her hands and feet were going numb and her speech was becoming somewhat incoherent.  After notifying a nurse on staff at the conference, she was taken to the emergency room and immediately was moved to intensive care.  Her blood pressure was 70/40 and her kidneys were failing.  My parents were called and instructed to come to Minneapolis as soon as possible.

Through the night, doctors scurried in and out of her room, dragging her from one test to the next searching for answers.  Before the night was over, she had two spinal taps and a CAT scan and was hooked up to 3 IVs and a catheter.

But answers didn’t come.  Hours dragged as I waited impatiently for my parents to call with news.  Stranded in Sioux Falls by snow covered roads, my mind was left racing.  Of all the people in my life, how could she be the one in such critical condition?  She’s so healthy…and only 21.  What if she didn’t make it? As this surreal question entered my mind, I was suddenly struck with the realization that life is indeed short and completely unpredictable.  As tears streamed down my cheeks in disbelief, I prayed, pleading with God to give us answers and to save her life.

As always, God provided.  He took care of my sister as she laid in the hospital.  He encouraged her and strengthened her.  And soon answers came.  She was diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome and a staph infection.  The doctors told us if she had not been as healthy as she is, she most likely wouldn’t have made it as long as she did, but even when she came in, they estimated she would have died within 12 hours without medical attention.

My sister is alive by the grace of God.  It was He who surrounded her with people who knew how to help her.  It was He who gave them the wisdom and knowledge to do what they did to save her life.  It was He who knew the answers when no one else did.  I thank God daily for taking care of her the way He did.  I cannot imagine life without her.


Brothers and sisters, what are you living for?  Is it worth dying for?  What will people say about you when you’re gone?  If today was your last day, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve led?  Would God?

Don’t live life counting on tomorrow.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

James 4:13-15

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Creating A Disturbance

Once again, I’m going to refer to, and hopefully expand upon, some thoughts from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest. For a daily devotional, Mr. Chambers has some thoughts that go far deeper than most daily devotionals I’ve read, so I hope you get as much out of this as I did.

One of the topics Mr. Chambers discusses is creating a disturbance with your faith and asking for the Lord’s help instead of simply staying passive. Here are his thoughts on why creating a disturbance is importance (followed by my thoughts on his thoughts…lots of thoughts). Chambers refers to verses in Luke 18, in which a blind man in a crowd of people is healed by calling out and asking Jesus to give him back his sight. Chambers mentions the man’s persistence to keep calling out to the Lord even though the people in front of him in the crowd, as mentioned in verse 39, all told him to be quiet. To this point, Chambers advises us,

“Be persistent with your disturbance until you get face to face with the Lord himself… To sit calmly by, instead of creating a disturbance, serves only to deify our common sense… We think, ‘It is ridiculous to ask God to do this.’ If it is an impossibility, it is the very thing for which we have to ask… This man received his sight. But the most impossible thing for you is to be so closely identified with the Lord that there is literally nothing of your old life remaining.” (My Utmost for His Highest, Feb. 29)

The way I see it, a lot of people are afraid to make a disturbance with their faith. As Chambers mentions, we’ll find ourselves thinking “It’s ridiculous to ask God to do this.” So we let common sense tell us what to do. Common sense says God isn’t worried about this tiny facet of our lives. Common sense says there a million other people praying for something more important, so why even speak up?

Why we SHOULD speak up…

Let’s think about the man in the crowd whose sight Jesus restored. He was one of hundreds (maybe even thousands) gathered in Jericho that day as Jesus came through. And I’m willing to bet that he wasn’t the ONLY person gathered there who was suffering from an affliction of some sort. But all of the other people seemed to stay quiet, didn’t they? The only time some of them even spoke at all was to tell the blind man to shut up. Talk about approaching it all wrong.

Imagine how many other people might have been healed of their sicknesses and cleansed of their sins if they had been willing to create a disturbance like the blind man. None of them were willing to ask Jesus for what they considered to be “an impossibility.” Looking back on it, that blind man who was given back his sight doesn’t seem quite so crazy, right?

Out with the old, in with the new…

I also think the last sentiment Chambers reflects above is DEFINITELY worth noting. Can you imagine a life where we are SO closely identified with the Lord that our old life doesn’t even matter anymore? A life where you and Jesus have such a strong connection that your past actions and decisions are irrelevant, that the sins of your former life are forgotten and that everything in the world that kept you away from the Lord is lost to the past? Of course not. It seems impossible.

Which is exactly why we should be asking the Lord to get us to that point. Think about how much more enjoyable life would be if we were only concerned with God and his love for us. A little nicer than worrying about the stresses of our lives as they are now. At least, I believe that would be the case.

What do you think?


Photo (“Stand Out”) by aeroix. Thanks!

My Own Little World

My intentions are good, so why do I struggle? I want to serve, I want to help, I want to love. But I’m wrapped up in my own world, forgetting to consider others before myself. Jesus, change my heart.


Is God’s Cell Phone on Vibrate?

I’m reading a book called “My Utmost For His Highest.” It’s supposed to be a daily devotional thing, but I read it in chunks of like, 8 days at a time. Anyway, Oswald Chambers is the author and he brings up a lot of interesting points throughout. Most I agree with, some I don’t, but it’s all thought-provoking either way.

One of the random things he talks about is from a verse in Isaiah (Isaiah 40:26, to be exact) that reads:

Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.

In the discussion element of this devotional, Chambers writes, “One of the reasons for our sense of futility in prayer is that we have lost our power to visualize. We can no longer even imagine putting ourselves deliberately before God.”

So here’s my question for all of us – myself very much included: When we’re praying, do we truly visualize ourselves standing (or bowing) before God? Or do we simply feel like we’re in a dark room, calling out to Him with the hope He’s hearing us? Because that happens to me, and my guess is that it might have happened to you once or twice as well.

But this is the thing to keep in mind: He’s always hearing us. He’s always there. As Hebrews 13:5b tells us, “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Instead of talking to God as a friend, we call out to Him as if He can’t hear us or something. When really, that’s like desperately calling out to someone who is sitting next to you on the couch. They’re right there. There’s no need to panic.

From here on out, I hope you can try to treat prayer as if you are always in God’s presence. Because you are. He’s listening and waiting to hear from you. It’s not like He’s out of the house and you have to leave a message hoping He’ll call you back later. It’s not like He’s not out and about, not noticing his cell phone vibrating when you try to get in touch with him.

God is right there with you. Always.


Photo by Oracio Alvarado. Thanks Oracio!

Lessons From Jericho

I’m continually amazed at the richness found in scripture.  I feel as if I’ve read every word over and over a zillion times, and yet, God still manages to speak to me, to challenge me in new ways.

Today as I read through Joshua 6 once again, verse 2 nearly knocked me out of my chair.  The Lord tells Joshua that He has delivered Jericho into his hands…  Period.  All Joshua had to do was follow God’s plan.

If God doesn’t change (He’s the same yesterday, today and forever – Hebrews 13:8), then this principle applies to our lives too.  We have the victory as long as we follow God’s plan.

Stand firm on this truth, brothers and sisters.  No matter what battle you’re facing today, you are victorious in the Name of Jesus.