today, i remembered once having a conversation with my dad about heaven. i was probably six, and he asked me what i thought heaven would be like. i considered it for a moment, then i said, “i think it will be just like being at the lake all the time.”

“what will we do there?”

thinking again, “… we’ll go fishing every day.”

i also thought there would be lots of fudge popsicles.

today, as i was reading ‘don’t waste your life,’ heaven was on my mind again. the childhood anecdote is a funny one, of course, because now i’m sure that i would never, EVER want to go fishing every day for eternity. but it also points to a certain truth that i am beginning to learn in a very real way: my joy is a vital part of what God is all about. especially my eternal joy. even at six years old, i somehow understood that heaven was a place of supreme joy. no more tears. no more pain. and at the time, the greatest joy i understood was found in the moments shared with my father in a little aluminum fishing boat on the still, clear water of Oliver Lake: my favorite place on earth.

it was the peace of those moments when all other cares were forgotten. it was the security of those moments when my father’s great love for me was unquestioned. those were the moments that i never wanted to end. those were a six-year-old’s glimpse into eternity.

of course, i out-grew fishing expeditions, and i out-grew the rose-colored glasses through which i saw my dad. and i found a Father with an even greater love, a perfect love, and i needed no rose-colored glasses to see how wonderful He is, nor did i need fishing expeditions to experience the peace and security of His presence. and having seen His glory in snatches and glimpses, an eternity of fishing with papa bell could hardly compare to an eternity in His presence. because in His presence is the FULLNESS of JOY. and eternal life is that i would know Him, truly and intimately.

no worm-baited fishing poles necessary :)

so i’m looking forward with great expectations to the day when i will see Him face to face, when all the weariness of the world will slip away, when all i will know is pure, complete joy …

… but until then, i’ll keep returning to Oliver Lake. my glimpse of eternity, enough to hold me over until the real deal arrives :D

evening on the dock


most beautiful sunset i've ever seen at the lake

a windy sunset :)


could it be?

i used to be so proud of myself, because i was open-minded, i was someone who would embrace change. i would be willing to go anywhere and do anything, no matter how far-flung, no matter how preposterous. i would not say no, if the Lord said go.

and then He said go.

and i said no.

or i wanted to, at least.

but after spending months and months in the slow death of winter, i am beginning to see signs of spring. and in, perhaps, the least likely of ways.

let me explain:

the very parts of me that felt like they were killing me have become the very things that are brining me to life. the things that i thought i hated, i have been called to. and though i came in with feet dragging, i am seeing that i don't hate them, and i don't hate the fact that i belong with them.

i am learning to celebrate the very things that make me human. my failure to transcend this world is nothing more than a glorious revelation that i was never meant to be able to on my own. and i'm not out of it yet. in fact, i believe that Jesus wants to make my life transcendent, but He can't do that until my own frailty has been well established.

so i will rejoice, therefore, in all my weaknesses ....

it's never been truer.



i am officially down in jeffersonville, indiana, for the next two months. i'll be working at a UMC down here, doing music ministry, and helping out in some other areas as well.

people talk funny down here :)

in other news, here is my summer reading list:

"the irresistible revolution" -- shane claiborne
"don't waste your life" -- john piper
"the abolition of man" -- c.s. lewis
the harry potter books ... re-reads, of course :)

i'd also like to add to this collection a few more c.s. lewis books and hopefully "a severe mercy." i can't decide if those will be library borrows or if i'll just break down and buy them ... but i would like to get some more steinbeck from the library.

what are you reading this summer? i love suggestions :D


the place i was wasn't perfect, but i had found a way to live

rarely has a song echoed so exactly what my heart is feeling now.

the past is so easily romanticized. and the future leaves me as easily jaded. and neither emotion reflects reality. the truth is that i need to learn to trust and obey. and experience the fullness of joy and the peace that passes understanding.


to be really introspective about it, the reality is that i've been putting an awful lot of roots in things that aren't Christ. and not putting enough roots in Christ. i say, "Jesus, take me anywhere You want." and i would go wherever He goes easily if i were more rooted in Him. but i have become far too rooted in places, relationships, jobs, and in a life that is temporary.

only He will endure.
only what is done for Him will last.
only His work will remain.

only He is worth living in and living for.


“The one thing that the poor strengthless sinner has to fix his mind upon, and firmly retain, as his one ground of hope, is the divine assurance that ‘in due time Christ died for the ungodly.’

Believe this, and all inability will disappear.

As it is fabled of Midas that he turned everything into gold by his touch, so it is true of faith that it turns everything it touches into good. Our very needs and weaknesses become blessings when faith deals with them.”

--C. H. Spurgeon--

no need to be bitter or embarrassed.
no need to make excuses.
no need to save face and make a joke out of it.

my failing is the sweetest thing that has ever happened.
it's where God reveals His glorious strength and love.

"i would rather boast, therefore, in my weaknesses ..."

now if only to live each moment with that faith.


i'm feeling this strange sensation ... is it called fast-forwarding?

i know that time goes faster as i get older ...

... but i still believe that i shouldn't look at the date and think, "hmm. a year just went right by me."

i think i'll start reading the newest addition to my library: piper, 'don't waste your life.'

maybe i need to stop asking what i want to do with my life ...
and start asking what He wants to with with my today.