Where and When and What to do.


There’s a line in my favorite song of all time that makes my heart take a breath each time I hear it.

“When we look inside, we say, ‘Where and when and what to do?’ ”

It reminds me that we’re not created to do this alone. It opens my eyes over and over again to the understanding that each of us has our own set of those questions, relating to something. They always exist. They rarely make sense. I’ve come to see that the most delicate of things in our lives will ask us those questions. That our souls ask over and over again about the things that most hold us. The moments that made me cry, and those that made me laugh until I cried, hold me asking. Over and over again.

This is not all without it’s cause, simple heart. Why do we ask? Because we’ve experienced. Where do we go? Where the answer is. When? Now. What to do?

Know that Love is always the answer, and it will never leave you alone.

…because love wins.

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Listen, You see.


I sit in the hands of the One that is merciful to me. There is no person, no piece of accomplishment, no number of hearts changed that is going to suffice this longing deep within. It begs beyond my humanness to always be made new. It hopes in the darkness and asks for guidance even in the light. It breaks down and breaks down and breaks down as a cracker might on a hot summer day. I am so nothing the midst of it all, and yet, beyond all that I think that I face, and all that I think that I could in some way shape with my own hands, and all that I see and fear, and that could ever keep me thinking late into the night, You, You tell me that you are greater, and that You have chosen to work through me. That I may need to do nothing, but to keep my eyes on You in all things. I am seemingly, blinded by Your light so much that my heart cannot see anything else but that bloody white cross on Calvary.

You have my attention.

…because love wins.

Let’s Roll.


I just finished a book called Let’s Roll. It was written by Lisa Beamer, the wife of Todd Beamer, a passenger on United Flight 93 which crashed into the Pennsylvania meadow after being hijacked by Islamic terrorists on September 11th, 2001. Todd, at the age of 32, was among the passengers that stopped the plane from reaching Washington DC, were it would have taken countless more lives. His third child, a little girl, was born 4 months after he died that day.

It’s a story of grief. It’s a story of loss. It’s a story of hope. It’s a story of life.

As Lisa shared her heart on the pages of this blue hardcover bound book, I couldn’t help but relive my moments of that day. I sat in a comfortable, safe 6th grade classroom in a small down in southern MN. My friends and I watched in disbelief as we feared what was going to continue to happen, that day, and in the future. We saw buildings crumble like tissue paper, and we saw grief painted all over the familiar banner of CNN. We watched hearts break, and even at our age, couldn’t understand why something of this multitude would happen.

But what is more; we saw hope. We saw a country united, and we saw Americans stand, for the first time in a long time, for the words: “In God we trust.” We saw efforts of people like Todd Beamer in a great way light up the darkened smoke of the New York skyline.

Lisa wrote about her two sons, as well as the heart of her husband. She didn’t lie. She talked about how they struggled. She told of their humanness, and the greatness of God’s mercy in their lives. She talked of Todd’s humility, even as a successful business man for the Oracle corporation. I felt as though in those pages, I too, got to know her husband. In the wake of September 11th, all changed for this beautiful woman, as it does whenever someone we treasure leaves this place. No credit can be given to Lisa in those days as she met with American dignitaries and made her children food. She loved, for she was first loved, even in the midst of such sorrow. Even in the midst of never being able to live each and every thing her and her charming husband had planned on living.

She could not take her eyes from the cross, for it was all the hope she knew. It was the only way to take another step. She spoke of how in her husband’s last words that Tuesday morning, were of love, for his family, and for his Father. Before making an effort with the other men and women on the plane to storm the terrorists and stop the events from furthering themselves, he prayed the Lord’s prayer on the phone line with a woman on the ground who was able to receive it when he dialed asking for help.

I can almost hear his words with the hum of the jet engine rattle laid behind them, in the clear blue sky.

“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kindgom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory. Forever and ever, Amen.”

Todd kept his eyes up, even as the plane was going down.

What astounds me here, as it has in every moment I have walked death in my life, is the incredibly reality of Jesus in those moments. There is not, and will not ever be anything else in life that will stay forever. All else can be broken, and all else can fall. It was stated best in these words in the book:

“Think about it: the World Trade Center represented economic power, success, and security, yet it was shaken and destroyed in one hour or less. The Pentagon is the symbol of our nation’s military might, yet it too, proved vulnerable. Where can we find true security in these days?

“The men and women in the Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and aboard the four hijacked planes were some of the best our nation had to offer. They were the picture of intelligence, energy, and power. Yet their best wasn’t good enough to keep the enemy from attacking, maiming and killing several thousand people.

“But I have found safety and security in a loving Heavenly Father, who cannot be shaken, who will never leave me or forsake me, and in whom I can trust completely. For those looking for hope, I recommend grabbing the hand of your Heavenly Father as tightly as possible, like a little child does when with his parent. God is a hero who will always be there when you need him.

“It’s true that Todd and the other heroes aboard Flight 93 gave their lives that others might be saved. But if somehow they had known what was awaiting them, and they had been given a choice early that September morning, I doubt that any of them would have boarded that flight…they didn’t want to die.

“Yet there was one who came to earth, knowing ahead of time that his most important purpose in living would be accomplished only through his dying. He knew throughout his life and at the height of his career that no matter how well he performed, nor matter how many people he helped, he was destined to die – to give his life so many others may find true life, abundant life here on earth, and eternal life to come.

“He really didn’t want to die either. In fact, as he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, just outside Jerusalem’s city walls, Jesus begged God, “Father, if there is any other way…let this cup pass from me”…even knowing all the good that was going to come as a result of his death, he prayed three times to avoid it.

“Finally he said, “Not my will, but yours be done.” That was God’s plan.”

Lisa recalls this song being one of impact in her life, as it was sung at Todd’s memorial service.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2lGFkKJYRw

If it weren’t for the love that came and died, we would never know love enough to care to lay down our lives for others. We wouldn’t know love enough to want to go home as those passengers that fought to stop hijackers that Tuesday morning in 2001 did. We wouldn’t know love enough to miss those who are not here anymore. And we wouldn’t know love enough to know that we will not be here forever. That we mourn, but we mourn with hope for eternity. Here, we will live forever in the midst of happiness and sadness. We will be torn as to when to morn, and when to rejoice for those gone before us. But, this too, shall pass. And, in the blink of an eye, forever, we will weep no more.

Todd Beamer, Lisa Beamer, all who have told the story, all who have died in my life, and all who continue to live, thank you for giving to the Lord. This is a life that was changed, not because you were heroes, but because you openly needed the One True Hero that has saved us all. You are His tool to teach us to look up. I can’t wait to share forever with you.

But, for now, we’re here.

So let’s roll.

…because love wins.

Christmas is.


Your brother’s not here with us. Your mom was buried years ago this day. Your father didn’t tell you he loved you ever in his life. You remember your youngest son’s birthday each fall before this time comes. I still remember when your little precious one had a machine breathe for him. Your dad died before you were old enough to move from his farm. You were supposed to have twins.

All six of us filled a pew in this white church house. We laughed as we entered that there was probably not a baby changing table in the outhouse, as the littlest of us needed a new diaper. My big sister and I sat next to each other as her son bounced up and down in a dance for Jesus that only he knew. We’re older than we used to be; than we were all the years we were the ones bundled up and dancing on a pew. My big brother, here for five years since at that time, he asked my sister to take his hand for the rest of life. Mom and dad watch with the proudest eyes as we sing Silent Night, always a reminder of what we’ve lived, each time we pass a glance to each other. There is no ache in these hearts this night. Grandma and Grandpa are buried outside the doors, and the glow of the red, green, blue stained glass leaves a multitude of peace on the new drifting snow. They’re Home. I had on purple sweat pants and camo boots and we all laughed as the same announcements were made that are each year. There are familiar faces, and the feeling is the same. Overwhelming peace.

Because as I turn my head and look, my breath is taken away.

A precious nine month old with sparkling new eyes.
No cancer.
A family to call my own.
Candles.
Music.
Life.
A Savior.

My entire life is not thanks enough, dear Jesus.

You give eternal rest to a weary world. Emmanuel, You have come. “Tiny heart whose blood will save us.” Oh, thank You for coming to our world. For we need you, every moment. Forever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogWRU29J78I

…because love wins.

Footy Pajamas.


You sat on my lap. The smell of baby blankets moved upon me as you bounced your little footy pajama green feets, as we like to call them. The train went around and around and around and around and around and each time we learned to wave goodbye to it. Your bright eyes looked up at me and we said everything we needed to. You listened when I told you you couldn’t touch it, and then I set you down to chase me crawling around your mommy and daddy’s house. You giggled while your cousin ran you up and down the hall that had become a race track. You had corn all over your face from your Christmas meal, and sat at the window captivated by the snow. Your little fingers wrapped around my pointer as your eyes started to drift off. Another day, we lived. Another day, we experienced. Another day, you changed my life. I never knew someone that left such small footsteps could leave such a big imprint.

What a miracle you are, little one, for you’ve reminded us of Love again.

Merry first Christmas, best friend.

…because love wins.

I know your story.


Hi,
I understand you.
Can’t you see?
Why have you made this so complicated?
What are you looking for?
Why must you want to be so empty?
Do you know how empty you are?
Do you know the way you break our hearts?
That love you see isn’t fake, you see.
No? No, you can’t see?
That’s why I pray for you.
You’ve gone.
You’ve come.
But you didn’t stay.
Not long enough to hear what the story was,
that you were to whisper to the world.
No, it’s not about me.
Please, realize even now, I’d lay down my life for you.
Realize now, that we’re not about you.
We can’t start this over.
It’s been years already.
I’m not afraid for me.
I’m not afraid for them.
Will I see you with me forever?
Will your forever be with Him?
You see we sit next to each other.
It’s not because I want to prove anything,
but because love is all I truly know.
So I suppose,
going would be best.
Or maybe you’re to stay.
But listen to what my eyes say.
Look and realize,
you want more than you.
I remember when you thought that I,
that I, understood.
I still do.
And I pray you could too.
Love,
The one who understands the only way to really know, is to let it go.

Father, my heart is only after You.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjp-5O4XrHY&feature=BF&list=FLL1Echj0eOOQ&index=45&shuffle=182

…because love wins.

…I won’t back down from this.


So long politics it’s time to start being me.
Take the chains off my lips; it’s time to set my tongue free.
Some might just turn their heads but some will raise a fist.
And You told me to stand so I won’t back down from this.
They say there are no absolutes but are they absolutely sure?

In a world that tries to water You down,
where beliefs cannot be spoken too loud,
I’ll stand for Truth.
Where they claim Your way isn’t wide enough,
And they do their best just to cover You up,
I’ll stand for You.

Hello reality it’s time we embrace honesty.
Teach me to speak with truth and love and with humility.
You made a promise that You’re coming back to earth.
So how selfish am I if I don’t go tell the world?
They say just be sincere,
but could they all just be sincerely wrong?

They might remove Your name from money,
but You own it all the same
They kicked You out of school that’s funny,
cause how could You go away?
In a land that’s built upon Your Word,
It’s amazing You’ve been banned.
To think that we control You is absurd,
so for truth I’m here to stand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuGUcbseX4g

…because love wins.