Near Sighted

Photo by Mindi Jo FurbyHow’s your eyesight? Are you near-sighted, far-sighted, a boaster of 20/20 vision?

Unfortunately, modern technology can’t enhance our faith like it does our vision. Hard circumstances cause us to be near sighted—in life, faith, and in our relationships with God. Though I wish there were Faith Glasses to carry us through tough times, I’m left with drudging through it one step at a time.

Today, I’m thankful for the drudge.

Honestly, we should be thankful He keeps us short sighted during select life phases. Who wants to know about bad times coming around the corner or what will be required of us to endure? Not me. It’s hard enough going through it when it comes; it’d be sheer depression waiting for horrible circumstances to come our way.

God found us in His infinite sight; let’s find Him with our limited vision. Better yet, let your near-sightedness be consumed by Him. If He’s in focus, the rest of life and it’s often unpleasant circumstances will befall their proper place—in His hands.

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

Psalm 56:3

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Beauty in the Broken

Photo by Mindi Jo Furby

Jesus is the most misunderstood person in history. Opinions of Him range from lying lunatic to Messiah. Most of us harbor good feelings toward Him as if He’s a peaceful guru that said lots of nice things and helped people.

So unfortunate.

Jesus came with a mission—to seek and save the lost. His mission was not grand, glorious, or something to be envied. In the process of carrying it out, He was broken…for you and for me.

He knew what was required of Him and embraced it. Again, for you and for me.

While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them and said, ‘Take it; this is My body.’ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.’

Mark 14:22-24

This meal occurred mere hours from His crucifixion. He was supposed to be celebrating the greatest Jewish feast, but instead was celebrating the last hours before God’s plan of salvation would commensurate.

Notice the imagery though…He broke the bread and drank the wine, symbolizing His broken body and blood that would be shed for them and the world.

In Christ’s brokenness we find a mesmerizing glimpse of beauty…the kind we can’t take our eyes away from. Because He was broken, we don’t have to be. Because He was disgraced, abused, and beaten, we stand free and in the light of His beauty.

In brokenness we find beauty, and where there is beauty we see God. Behold the beauty even in the broken, and absorb the healing He offers freely because He endured the shame.

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Photo by Mindi Jo Furby


Given the choice between chaos and Eden, most of us would choose Eden. No one enjoys nail-biting stress that raises blood pressure and depletes confidence. Sure, it heightens a rush, but no one can live on such empty fumes.

With God, things are simple. He’s intense, mysterious, and impossible to grasp in our feeble minds, but in the end, He’s beautifully simple, uncomplicated, steady, and true.

When we find ourselves in situations that interfere with our sleep, we need to pause, evaluate and surrender. Chances are, we’re already surrendering to something—fear, an incessant need to control, or worry—but those aren’t what God wants for us.

Instead, He wants us to hit the pause button on our situation, evaluate how we got here and surrender…to Him. We will never find God as the author of situations of stress or fear. In the midst of the most chaotic circumstances, He extends His hands of peace, joy, comfort, and hope.

It’s simple. God is truth, love, and everything good. If we’re living for Him and through His Spirit, life becomes refreshingly simple. Not perfect, but peaceful and full of hope.


All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

Psalm 25:10

Do you belong to Him? Is your life marked by the beautiful simplicity He offers or the complicated, stress-induced chaos of the world? Make the right choice, the simple one, and follow Him.

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Stand Out

Photo by Mindi Jo Furby


Teenagers are funny. And very interesting. They’re trying to figure out who they are, while operating under the false pretense of omniscience. No wonder it doesn’t work out.

As I was walking Tozer this afternoon I observed two buses dropping teenagers off after school. They immediately grouped themselves together according to trends. There were the Goths, the jocks, the nerds, and the quirky confused ones. I was in the last group in high school. I looked completely different each year in an attempt to find my style, my group…where I belonged.

Christians are at quite a disadvantage with modern-day cultural trends because we aren’t really supposed to look like anyone. Except Christ—Someone the world does not readily embrace.

Christ made it clear that

They (Christians) are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

John 17:16

In other words, we’re supposed to stand out. We’re different, and now matter how hard we try, we really don’t fit in anywhere in this world.

We’re supposed to look, act, think, speak, and believe like Jesus. The world doesn’t like Him very much (at least as deity), so we automatically stand out. At least, we should. When someone meets us they should encounter Jesus. Whether they remember anything about you is irrelevant. Our goal should be to leave God’s fingerprint with everyone we meet so they remember HIM.

But this only happens if people notice that we’re different. Now, different does NOT mean pompous, loud and ostentatious in our status as Christians. That’s annoying; and frankly, I don’t want anything to do with people like that.

We are, however, supposed to embrace and live out God’s truth as our own personal agendas every day. We’re called to live our identity as Christ-followers to the world in a way that draws others to Him. Others should be able to find God in us, and if we’re standing out well, they’ll do exactly that.

Stand out in ways that are beautiful, enticing, rich with grace and have Jesus all over them. We’re not of the world; let’s make the most of it.

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Sweet Sting

Photo by Mindi Jo Furby

God has a sense of humor. I mean, He created the universe and thought to include a duckbill platypus, praying mantis, penguin, and blowfish. Creatures play the specific roles He created them for, and the more we learn about them, the more fascinated we become.

Take the honeybee. I learned a deep respect for them when I was 7 and experienced the business end of their little rears while playing outside. At that particular moment, I couldn’t conceive of any reason God would make such terrible beasts.

Then I opened up my cupboard and helped myself to a tasty portion of honey bread. Yum! Savoring the sweet bread erased my previous annoyance with the bee species, and I suddenly found myself thankful for the little creatures.

We experience this phenomena numerous times in our lives. We’re clueless and apathetic about things until we experience them (i.e. major life change, religion, health issues, bees, etc). Then we get hit (or stung) upside the head and have a less than wonderful reaction. Yet, in time if we lean on God’s truth and sovereignty, we come to find out how He worked through the situation and made us stronger through it.

God’s Word is kind of like that. The majority of humanity regards it with apathy or diluted respect as a religious icon. Yet when God gets a hold of our lives, we find ourselves searching the depths of its pages for answers to the questions we’re facing. If we submit to Him, He carries us through and we’re better for it in the end.

But what if we bypass the drama (at least the ones under our control) and seek after Him in the first place? What if we find God…in His Word before the chaoticness of life hits? (Crazy idea, huh?)

A Psalmist captures what our posture toward Scripture should be:

How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalm 119:103

When’s the last time we appreciated and savored Scripture like honey (or our favorite dessert)? Will you take a moment today to bask in God’s presence and soak up His Word?

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Photo By: Mindi Jo Furby

If someone tells you the Christian life is easy and all your troubles will magically disappear if you surrender to Jesus, they’re lying.

We have peace, not perfection. We live with purpose, but not without persecution. We access truth, but often fail living it out. We get hurt, disappointed, depressed, annoyed, peeved, sad, angry, frustrated, and livid just like everyone else; and sometimes, we just want to curl up and cry.

What’s the point, then? Why do something crazy like give your life to Someone if we don’t get any perks in the here and now? In short, the “here and now” is exactly that: here and now. Not there and then. We’re all moving toward there and then (eternity), but what happens in the here and now determines the location and exaltation of the there and then.

Giving your life to Christ is amazing, but it’s only the first step. Life here isn’t just about accepting Christ; it’s about becoming LIKE Him (i.e. sanctification). The thing is we can’t become like Him without enduring experiences that stretch, strengthen and sharpen us. In other words, in order to grow we need to get pruned…which often doesn’t feel very good.

But take heart, because even in the pits of the world, God provides for us. Christ promised:

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

I John 5:4

God can be found even in the most evil and dire of circumstances. Because of Him, hardships are fading phenomena, not an everlasting bane to our existence. Christ conquered the most obliterating form of evil this world knows (death), and when we die to ourselves we can embrace the glorious “there and then” majesty awaiting His children.

Christians aren’t immune to hardship or exempt from evil. But in Christ (the One who conquered evil and reigns victoriously over the world) we experience freedom and peace in Him “here and now” as we wait eternity with Him “there and then.”

Will you align your heart and life with the God today? Will you allow your faith to grow in perseverance and keep your thoughts where they belong—with Him in eternity?

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By: Mindi Jo Furby

As we venture into 2013, let’s do so with purpose, determination, and excitement for what awaits us. Regardless of the craziness, adventures, good times and bad, I pray we keep one goal at the forefront of our lives:

Don’t come unhinged.

Don’t let anything distract you from what God’s calling you to do. Don’t lose sight of the eternal because of temporal circumstances. Focus, stay grounded, and savor each moment you spend with God.

Perhaps that’s a resolution in itself—actually spending time with God, not just going through the motions of legalistic rituals. God is found in moments with friends, laughter with family, spontaneous melodies of praise, and solitude in His Word…among other things. Look for Him and ask Him to keep your eyes open while you do.

If He is our focus, we won’t become unhinged as we journey through this next year. Let 2013 be the year we find God and keep finding Him in all things life. He already found us, let Him keep us hinged together…personally, with our loved ones, and with Him.


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Resolution Blunders


New Year’s resolutions. Every year we find ourselves in a frenzy of resolutions, promising to better our lives in some way, shape, or form. Here are the Top 10 from 2012:

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Learn something exciting
  • Quit smoking
  • Help others
  • Fall in love
  • Spend more time with family

Bet you’ve made a resolution or two in your time from the list above. I certainly have. The end of each year provides us with a time of reflection on the past so we can determine what we should do better in the future. Certainly not a terrible idea.

Ideas, however, aren’t worth the dirt on our shoes if they’re left where they originate—our heads. Ideas without action are worthless.

Unfortunately, the majority of New Year’s resolutions remain ideas—sounding grand in our heads, but rarely materializing, if ever.

Though there are several reasons resolutions don’t last, this trend is hardly new. People are notorious for making promises we fail to keep. We always intend to keep them, but over time, the motivation dwindles and the momentum fades.

The people of Israel infamously exemplified the resolution blunder. Over and over again in the Old Testament they would sin against the Lord, get punished, cry out for help, be rescued, commit to following God again, then fail and the cycle would start all over again. This happened over and over and over, causing readers of the Old Testament to shake their heads in frustration for centuries.

Our frustration with Israel disappears, of course, when we realize that we’re just like them (then it shifts to us). We make promises all the time (or resolutions to do something) and fail. We trade the ultimate goal in for temporary satisfaction, even when we know it’ll harm us.

The cure for resolution blunders is actually quite simple. Well, in theory. God makes it clear that if we walk by the Spirit we won’t carry out the desires of the flesh. In non-churchy lingo that means if we live for God and through His power, we’ll succeed. (For a definition of godly success, CLICK HERE.)

Basically, if we orient our resolutions around God’s, we’ll discover accomplishment to a much greater degree than if we focus on ourselves and our own agendas. We’re created to fit into God’s plan; God doesn’t exist to fit into ours. We’ll always fall short if we reverse the process.

Resolutions are great, so long as they mirror God’s heart and find their motivation in expanding His gospel.

What resolutions are you making for 2013? How will you ensure you don’t blunder in your pursuit?

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Merry Christmas!


“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest upon His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7

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