Packing, purging, and processing

I’ve done a LOT of purging over the past 3 years, but it’s amazing how much stuff one person can accumulate.

Deciding what to keep and what to give away or sell can be tough. I wanted to share with you my technique for purging.

  1. Is this item useful?
  2. Who gave it to me?
  3. Can this thing be easily replaced, if needed?
  4. Why do I like this item so much? (If I can’t seem to shake my desire to keep it after the first 3 questions.)

Christmas is already a time when I start to sift through my possessions. Being a stingy hoarder is something I guard against vigilantly. This kind of attitude smacks of fear and ungratefulness and the highest level of selfishness.

Add to Christmas time my upcoming move (it’s a month away) and I’m about in full blown purge mode.

I only have one rule when moving: Everything must fit in my car.

I realize having a family will change this rule. The day will come soon enough, though, when another vehicle–maybe a trailer or truck–will be needed to move me. So, for now, I am sticking to my guns on this…

My bend toward minimalism is another big factor in keeping my stash of possessions at a manageable level.

We need to question what we own. It’s a telling picture of what matters most to us in life.

I’m not one of those people who rants and raves about the woes of capitalism and consumerism and how the two are intricately linked (which they really are, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing).

I just know that my value system in regards to possessions is being radically changed because of the gospel.

I also know that most people have never stopped and ask themselves critical questions on the subject either.

In light of all these things, I’ll leave you with two questions to think on:

What are the guidelines you use when purging?

What questions do you ask yourself when making a purchase?



The Ultimate Authority

Yesterday I told you we’d talk about the right way to view the Bible.

It’s not a trump card to be used as an “In your face!” insult.

The Bible is the Word of God, the way in which God chose to communicate with man. His directives, the history of who He is, the redemption story, how to live a godly life, how the world will end (and begin anew) can be found in the progressive revelation of the narrative.

The Bible is the ultimate authority and the final say.

Whenever I talk with friends and family about my beliefs on a topic, I have to take them to the Bible. There’s nowhere else for me to go.

And, no, I’m not contradicting myself. My use of the Bible to define my beliefs using scriptures is not the same as using a trump card.

My use of the Bible as my guide makes me a Christian.  

I find it so funny that people are offended by this notion.

Yes, Christians make all decisions based on the beliefs found in ancient writings, yet here’s the crazy thing: So does everyone else.

Why, then, is it only “weird” when a Christian says, “Sorry, I don’t believe that because it goes against the Bible”?

I am aware of the rampant biblical illiteracy and the number of Christians who, in the name of culture, twist and bend scripture.

Besides the obvious, logical conclusion that Christians aren’t the only group with nominal followers in it’s camp, let’s put these things aside for a minute, okay?

I think the crux of the problem stems from what Christians profess:

Jesus is the only way, only truth, the only life.

This bothers people.

How can that be?

Isn’t that judgmental?

Isn’t that rather exclusive?

The beliefs about Jesus–who He is, what He came to do–are very clear in the Bible. If you don’t believe the truth about Him, you can’t be a Christian and you don’t believe in the totality of scripture.

So, when I say that this way of viewing the Bible is the best, I don’t say it lightly.

My commitment to the Bible as the ultimate authority means that everything (and I mean everything) is filtered through this singular lens. 





The Gospel over Lattes

see you latteSelling a $5 latte in a cup that doesn’t  say “Merry Christmas” or “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” is not persecution.

I’m pulling out the Pharisee card on this one, okay?

This situation requires me to challenge the legalism behind the idea that not acknowledging a holiday means the whole world is against you.

Maybe we should ask Christians in the Middle East about persecution–over a nice, steaming latte in a Starbucks red paper cup.

“I mean, persecution is so awful, right?” we sob.

“I don’t know, friend, they’re pretty nice to let us sit in here. I was run out of town for being a Christian.”

What do we want from non-believers?

We freak out about homosexuality and sexual immorality and so many things…..things that unbelievers do not have the conscientious to understand on their own.

But don’t they know what the Bible says about _____________?”


They’re not Christians.

1 Corinthians 1 says,

 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Stop trying to shove your beliefs down people’s throats. You’re not helping anyone.

The gospel changes lives–not a cup!

  1. Share the gospel.
  2. Stop acting like a crazy person (Christianity is already an out there concept. Additional weirdness is not needed).
  3. Repeat.

Who knows?

Maybe it’ll be a conversation at Starbucks–sipping lattes out of red cups–that will be the tipping point in someone’s life.

Defining enough

You are enough and you have enough. 

I just summarized half of the self-help books in the world. 

We struggle with the concept of enough. 

“I’m not _________ enough.”

Fill in the blank with the first thing that pops in your mind. 

I bet this thought is the biggest obstacle for you. 

The Lord’s been challenging me with seeing the truth: 

  • Everything I need to be content, to be fulfilled is already in me. 
  • Everything I need to live, serve, and follow Him is already in me. 

I am enough. 

I have enough. 

The scarcity mentality is wrecking our lives. 

Chasing enough is like chasing the wind. You’ll always be empty handed. 

You’ll also be lonely. 

There’s not much time to build relationships when you’re on the hunt for enough. 

Some Christian circles talk about operating out of lack or being plagued by a spirit of poverty. 

Others talk about the American Dream myth. 
However you want see it, we need to wrestle with this bear. 

Does your definition of success, of enough leave you feeling empty?

If so, what needs to shift in your thinking? 

Get ready for a fight because what you discover will not line up with our culture today. 

I really believe, though, that changing your view of enough will change your life. 


Today I watched someone fix my computer remotely.

Talk about a weird experience….

The technical support team logged onto my Teamviewer and started buzzing around my computer. Three people were logged on at the same time!

I know this isn’t mind blowing to most of you, but technology never ceases to amaze me. The first time I used dial up internet (yes, I remember dial up)  I thought I was launching a rocket ship.

Within 30 minutes, my problem was fixed–a problem that stopped me from sending out invoices for work.

Don’t you wish everything in life was like that?

Help, help!

I have a problem budgeting!

I have an anger problem!

I have trust issues!

No worries! Give me 30 minutes and everything will be better.

Life doesn’t work this way.

Easy fixes rarely solve the real problem.

99% of the time, I am the biggest problem in my life.

It’s no one’s fault but my own.

I understand there are outside factors, but responsibility–or the lack thereof–is the number one culprit of life’s problems.

Passing the blame is much easier than accepting responsibility.

Even this computer problem was my fault.

I should’ve called the technicians at the end of last week. They could’ve found the problem then.

I chose to put it off, shoving it to the bottom of my to-do list.

And it almost wrecked one of my busiest days at work!

So, yes, it was not my fault the computer was messed up, but it was my fault that the invoices weren’t emailed until this afternoon.

Here’s the take away:

  • Learning to accept responsibility is a pillar of good character.
  • If you’re not ready to accept responsibility, you’re not ready to receive more responsibility.

There’s no hotline to call to work on your character either.

It’s something that must be developed slowly–and sometimes painfully.

No is an answer too




I have a hard time with this word–even though I can scream it in my head forever.

Instead I say:


I can work that in.

Let me think about it.

Why is it so hard to say no?

For me, it goes back to rejection. The word “no” means that someone might not like you.

But not saying no also means that I often do things I don’t want to do.

Being a Yes Man or a Yes Woman doesn’t make you the most awesome person on the planet. It makes you a pushover, a doormat.

No is an answer too.

In fact, part of setting healthy boundaries is learning the when, where, and how of no.

I say no when:

  • Something doesn’t align with my values.
  • I’m already stretched too thin.
  • I need to disappoint the right people–i.e. my third cousin’s husband’s uncle as opposed to my best friend.

And, in case you’re wondering, saying no does not make you selfish.

This is the biggest lie in the world when it comes to boundaries.

You’re not selfish for saying no!

There are times I’ve had to stick to my guns.

If it’s not moving me forward, the answer is no.

If it goes against my faith, the answer is no.

Some things cannot be negotiated.

The right to say “no” is being challenged in America.

We need to figure this out.

Yes and no applies to everyone. Period.

Just remember that your actions must line up with your answers.

Screaming no and living yes makes you two-faced.

I want to end by quoting my Savior, Jesus Christ (since He’s the one most of us claim to follow):

 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).

Picture window thoughts

Does it bother you that my topics are random?

I realize that my posts range from super serious to total goof ball-ness (Yes, I just made up this word).

But that’s how my brain works….

I’m trying to find a flow in my daily blogging and become more consistent, especially if I say that I’ll finish talking about something the next day.

My thoughts, though, flitter and fly like a hummingbird. Or they attack a subject like a shark, leaving nothing but the bones behind.

No, I’m not ADD either.

I just love big ideas, the overarching principles that shape thinking.

Nitpicking tunnel vision bothers me. You lose sight of the grand design that way.

I’m not arguing against taking a strong stance, but I’m coming to believe more and more that you can have strong beliefs without needing to discredit and destroy those who are different from you.

I try to focus all my energy on building character and helping others.

No one benefits when you’re an idea bully.

Maybe your idea is the best. Kudos to you.

But no one likes a bully–even a correct one.

Don’t claim up and never share what’s important to you either.

Just remember that what’s important to you right now might not be important to someone else.

I think of it like this:

Friends have the right to share ideas, so it’s always better to be a friend as opposed to being an enemy.

So, we’re back to where we started: The randomness of my blogs.

I prefer the bigger picture, which is probably why I’ve always loved picture windows, mountain top views, and aerial shots.

My goal is for us to engage in meaningful conversations around the posts.

I want us to dig deeper into the whys (a big reason “daring to dig deeper” is my tagline) while keeping our eyes on the horizon, the bigger picture.

My new internet home

Welcome to my new internet home!

I want to give a big shout out to my friend, Haley Hester, for designing the logo and the website. This would not have happened without her.

If you’d like her help with a project, send her an email at:

Switching to a self-hosted website was one of my top goals for 2015. Now that this goal is accomplished, my creative juices are flowing….

But the main purpose of my blog is still the same.

I want us to have honest, meaningful conversations about the things that matter most.

That’s why my new tagline is “Daring to dig deeper”.

All too often, we never stop to think about why we think the way we do.

The cry of our culture is to respect differences and individuality. And yet, most of us don’t even know what we believe.

How can I respect your beliefs if I don’t even know mine?

And that’s why I wanted to blog every day.

I wanted to capture my thoughts and explore where they are coming from. It’s way too easy to bookmark an issue for another day.

Unfortunately, another day turns into another year, which becomes another decade.  

I don’t have that kind of time.

I am daring to dig deeper today—right now—because understanding what I believe and being able to talk about it is the most important thing I can do with my time.

In tomorrow’s post, I will talk more about the logo. Until then, poke around the new site.

Please let me know what you like, what you don’t like, and what you’d like to see.