A couple of weeks ago one of my favorite superman dolls was kidnapped from my office. (aside to Superman dolls - don't worry, guys, you're all my favorite). I came back to work after a long weekend to find an email in my inbox addressing part of the terrorist's demands.

The email went as follows: Since you have seemed to not have taken me seriously, the ransom for your stuffed friend has increased. You Must Now include O2 shirts in the ransom, one large and one small!!!! Here are some pics to show that your friend is still alive, barely!


I was heartbroken. I looked in the place where my Superman once stood only to find a bloody outline on yellow legal pad paper displaying the napper's first round of wants...a white chocolate reese's and hershey's symphony bar. Apparently, our criminal has a sweet tooth. I immediately went into CSI mode and noted all the clues that would let me in on who the deviant mastermind could be. My lightning fast mind quickly figured it out and I felt like a 3rd grader who'd won "Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?" I responded to the email with one line: "We do NOT negotiate with terrorists!" But of course, after scrolling down, the fiend could see that I would give in to his requests. And I did. I tracked down what he needed (with a trucker hat in the place of O2 shirts) and immediately sent them to the appropriate destination. Within a few days, Superman had returned!!! My heart was full again! I held him and squeezed him and loved him so. He knew I had missed him.

And this thought followed: If I care this much about a "stupid doll" (aside to Superman dolls - You guys aren't stupid to me, I love you all!), how much more does God care about me?! He was willing to pay the highest price necessary to get us back from the evil mastermind, satan. He purchased our ransom with the blood of Jesus Christ. What must God have felt like once He had paid the ransom for you and I and we were returned to Him? We once were kidnapped, but now we're back into His loving embrace! Thank God for His magnificent love!


.blueprints & fingerprints

i attended a youth camp my junior year in high school. it was during a testimony service at the end of the week that a fellow student talked briefly about blueprints and fingerprints. while i don't remember the exactness of his words, the terminology stuck with me. i'll expound on the idea in my own words.

blueprints - plans, designs, details, smurf markings
jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite scripture of all time. i find myself quoting it and meditating on it quite often. i memorized it in the NIV..."i know the plans i have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

it's amazing to me that the master architect has blueprints for my life. a plan and design specifically for me. and he not only has plans for me, but plans for you, too. he cares about you so much that every lyric of your song was written before it's ever been sung. every page of your book penned before it's ever been read. every note in your melody composed before it's ever been played. every detail of your life etched in stone just like a sculptor creates a brilliant masterpiece. the very God of the universe has done that for you and me.

fingerprints - proof of touch, evidence, csi stuff
psalm 139:10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

the hand of our Creator is upon us...leading us and guiding us into his perfect plan for our lives. his fingerprints are the evidence of his existence in our lives. the fact is, for those that call Christ Savior, he has us right in the palm of his hand and NOTHING can snatch us from his grip.

oh that our lives would match up with his blueprints and we would live in such a way that people notice his fingerprints.


.be the arrow

If you know anything about sports at all, you've probably heard the phrase "be the ball." It may be used in connection with baseball, maybe after your teammate has wiffed a few times at the plate. Or perhaps in basketball when someone blows a wide-open layup. Or maybe in football when the receiver butterfingers a perfect pass. All in all, it's meant to be a phrase of exhortation, i.e. "get your rear in gear and play better!" You've probably haven't heard anyone say, "be the arrow". Even in archer's circles, I assume it's never used. I'm sure experienced marksmen have their own lingo and probably don't go around patting other dude's butts after a good shot either.

Either way, what does it mean to "be the arrow"? Well, I found this passage in the Message a couple of weeks ago and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Let's see what it does to you:

psalm 25:12 (the message) My question: What are God-worshipers like? Your answer: Arrows aimed at God's bull's-eye.

WOW! Every time I read this, I'm in awe of its simplistic confoundness. Let me explain. Those who worship God, living lifestyles of surrender to Him, are arrows directed at the center of God's perfect will for their lives. This idea is found elsewhere in the first part of Romans 12..."submit your bodies as a living sacrifice to Him (your spiritual act of WORSHIP)...then you will be able to test and approve God's good, pleasing and perfect will!"

So, be the ARROW. Live your life completely and wholly for Him and watch your life get right on target!