Jesus Is Constant

There has always been a diverse group of personalities at table with the Lord. At this time in history, you and I now are present. We, like the apostles, are unreliable and weak and afraid. We are inconstant in our devotion to our Lord. We deny him, we betray him.

But Jesus is I Am. He is constant.

The One who sits with arms outstretched in the Da Vinci depiction, who sat in the center of the table in that Upper Room, sits now in the center of our hearts with arms outstretched. He died on the cross out of love for us. He is continually with us, welcoming us, and looking at us with his loving, tender gaze, just as he looked at Peter. What he did at table, he continues to do with all our varied and challenged humanity, a variety of personalities that is forever and continually represented in every church, in every upper room, throughout our entire world, where “two or three are gathered together in his name” (Matthew 18:20).

—from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life

Without Fear or Expectation

There is a life force flowing through the universe, and everything exists in a single moment, forever unfolding. I open myself to the stream. I want to be emptied and purified so that the past is no longer my lens—so that it no longer colors what I see. What will it be like to look without fear or expectation, to see things with nothing in the way? Who will I be if I am not afraid, but alive? There is everything to experience, and the portal beyond the darkness to know.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Light

Making Fools of Ourselves

We long to be in touch with life, to touch and to be touched. Yet, we are also afraid of letting anything “get at us.” Afraid of letting life come too close, we keep it at arm’s length and don’t even realize what fools we are making of ourselves. We are going through life like someone stepping into the shower, carefully keeping the umbrella up. We are holding on to our hats, our tokens of social identity and respectability.

Far be it from us to make fools of ourselves! It takes a bit of life experience to realize that our choice is merely between making fools of ourselves either intentionally or unintentionally.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

God Is the Only True Happiness

Unless I am connected to God, who invented the happiness I’m seeking, I come up frustrated, angry, and disappointed by life—empty instead of full. When I feel disconnected from God, I feel restless—not at peace with myself, with my God, or with others.

—from the book Born to Soar: Unleashing God's Word in Your Life

Christ Doesn't Lie

My God, Lord, how long? I thought. How much longer? Will this suffering that I had already endured for years never end? And I had a very short but very decisive moment of clarity. I thought, Christ never lied. He never said that following him was going to be easy. He said, “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it,” (Matthew 7:14), and that’s because to go through the narrow gate hurts. It hurts like hell. It hurt for him. And he never lied.

—from the book Stumble: Virtue, Vice, and the Space Between

Choosing the Kingdom of Heaven

In the Gospels, Jesus introduces us to God the Father and invites us into his heavenly realm right here on earth, the kingdom of God. He opens our eyes to see that there are two kingdoms: the kingdom of this world, which we can touch, taste, see, hear, and smell (our physical world), and God’s kingdom, which is unseen but just as real—in fact, even more so.

By getting to know Jesus Christ and learning how to connect with him spiritually, we can become “kingdom-of-God dwellers.” But because we have been given the gift of free will, each of us must decide, every minute of each day, in which kingdom we will choose to place our hope and trust.

–from the book Born to Soar: Unleashing God's Word in Your Life

Journaling Your Prayers

Praying through journaling can be a liberating and beautiful means of expression. Your writing can take on the feeling of a love letter or a song and can be accompanied by a heart-wrenching release of emotions.

Do not attempt to censor yourself as you write. Don’t worry about spelling or proper grammar. Do not be afraid of writing down how you truly feel—God knows your heart already. Instead, offer yourself—in all your beauty and your brokenness—freely to God and ask him to use your journal to bring you closer to him. Do not be afraid to give it all to God, who can turn our ashes to beauty, heal our deepest wounds, and set us free.

–from the book Born to Soar: Unleashing God's Word in Your Life

Meeting God in the Upper Room