Recreating the Garden of Eden in 2014

I see y’all with your resolutions and your One Word declarations. I read about your plans for Scripture memorization and blessing counting and, to be honest, I feel like a bad Christian. In this season with all of its freshness and new beginnings, I’m just feeling a little dry. Ella Bible

So, I begin at the beginning and I remember. We were only dust, dry and frail, before God breathed.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. – Genesis 2:7

That was the beginning of life. We were physically formed, but we were breathed into existence. Here I sit, feeling like life has sucked the breath right out of me, and I want it back. I don’t want dry bones. I want God breath. But, how?

How does one go about recreating the Garden of Eden? How is it possible to go back to the place where God filled a person with his holy breath? Then, I see it.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. – Ezekiel 37:4-5

Sarah BibleThere, in the valley of dry bones, the word of the Lord brought with it the very breath of God. And the breath of God brought those dry bones back to life. It was the Garden of Eden all over again. New life. New breath.

The Spirit of God has made me;
    the breath of the Almighty gives me life. – Job 33:4

No weight loss or diet resolution can bring dry bones to life. No commitment to being better organized can ever breathe life back into us. Only God has the life restoring, spirit refreshing, body energizing kind of breath. So, how do we get it?

All Scripture is God-breathed… – 2 Timothy 3:16

Just open the pages and take a deep breath. If you read through the Bible in a year – great. If you memorize a verse a week – fabulous. Those things will be icing on the cake and icing, my friends, is a really good thing. 🙂 But, if you feel like you are just a bunch of dry bones walking around, I would encourage you to just open the pages of Scripture and allow God to breathe life back into you. It is what he has done from the very beginning.

Just breathe.

That seems like a good resolution for 2014.

Y’all are loved and adored.


The Key to the Simple Life is: More

In case you haven’t noticed, we are living in a world of weary people. Folks desire the simple life but, instead, find themselves striving and stressed. Ironically, this seems to be most apparent during this season of peace and good will toward men. We think it is necessary to buy everyone the perfect present. We have to make great grandma’s Christmas candy and it just won’t be Christmas unless we put out every single decoration and lighted whatnot that we own. coffee

Maybe, you think you’re just stressed because of the season and, when it’s over, you’ll be okay. You forget that you were just as dissatisfied with the way life was going back in July as you are now.

The problem you’re having is nothing new. The struggle for fulfillment is pretty much the theme of Ecclesiastes. King Solomon was the richest, wisest, and most accomplished man around and he had this to say about life.

All things are full of weariness; – Ecclesiastes 1:8

He was weary with his life.

the eye is not satisfied with seeing, not the ear filled with hearing. – Ecclesiastes 1:8

He was unsatisfied and struggled with contentment.

there is nothing new under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9

He was bored.

See, nothing much has changed. If we are honest, we tend to be a weary, unsatisfied, bored people.

Maybe you feel that way. You go through the daily tasks. You do what you are supposed to do. But, at the end of the day, you just feel like you’re missing something. Life seems complicated and you long for something, well, less. Something simple. The irony is that, in your search for simple, you add more stuff. You think you need more organization, so you buy a new app for your smart phone. Nothing says simple like something homemade so you pull out the cook books looking for something. Forget the fact that cooking stresses you out.

You think you need to read another book.

Follow another blog.

Find another hobby.

Before you know it, your search for simple has become anything but simple.

Believe me, I know. I have been seeking simple for months. I haven’t completely found it, but I did discover a huge clue right here in the book of Ecclesiastes.

I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after the wind. – Ecclesiastes 1:14

All is vanity. Fleeting. Here today and gone tomorrow.

Striving after the wind. Grasping for things we can’t keep. Desperately reaching for things only to have them slip through our fingers.

The key words in that verse, however, are under the sun.

All of the above descriptions (weary, unsatisfying, boring, vain) describe a life lived under the sun. This is a phrase used to describe a life lived apart from God or his leading. Solomon wasn’t saying that all of life was vanity and striving. He was saying that all life lived apart from God was vanity and striving.

So, what was missing? King Solomon had wealth and women and fame and education and possessions. He had everything that he could provide for himself and, yet, something was missing. There was this elusive thing which he could not give to himself.


There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment. – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

A life lived apart from God is an exhausted and unfulfilled life.

The first step to a simple life is to replace our striving with joy. And, oddly enough, the key to the simple life is more. More of him.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy. – Psalm 16:11


I’m working on a January series for the blog called Seeking Simple. Each week, I will look at a different area of our lives that needs simplified and, hopefully, give some practical tips that will help. I’m still working on it so, if there is a particular area of life you would like addressed, send me a note – servantslife (at) gmail (dot) com –  or leave a comment on this post.

When You’re Waiting For God to Remember

I want you to build an ark, Noah.

A what?

There is going to be a flood, Noah.

A what?

God asked Noah to create something that no one had ever seen because He was about to do something He had never done. And, Noah? Well, he was obedient and did all that God instructed Him to do.

Doesn’t every child that ever went to Sunday School know this story? The righteous Noah, the ark and all of the animals – what a cute story.

It’s cute. It’s inspiring. Yet, my eyes were drawn to these words…

And the Lord shut him in.

I imagine Noah watching the door close and not fully comprehending what was about to happen. The rain begins to beat against the boat and the waves begin to get rocky.

Friends, Noah was on the ark a long, long time. He was in the ark for 370 days. The Lord shut him in and then, nothing except wind and waves for over a year. It occurred to me that building the ark was not the difficult part.  Did people understand what he was doing?  No. Did folks laugh at him and call him crazy? Probably.  But,  that was not the hard part.  After all, Noah had a clear word from the Lord and he was going with it.

The part that is completely overlooked is what happened between the Lord shut him in (Genesis 7:16) and God remembered Noah (Genesis 8:1.)

You know what happened?  He waited. And he waited. Then, he waited some more.

Come on now. Someone wants to testify.

The Lord tells him to get into this boat.  He shuts him in and, then, silence.  Can you even imagine?  Of course you can – because we have all had our moments of waiting on the Lord.

Building the ark was an act of obedience.  What took place inside the ark, however, was pure faith. Faith is sitting in a dark place. It is holding on tight as you are rocked by the waves. It is knowing that, no matter how uncomfortable the circumstances, you are exactly where God wants you to be.

Faith is not being able to see the Lord at work, but knowing that He is and that He will remember you.


*A post from the archives because I needed a reminder.  Maybe you did too?

Facing the Fearful

homelife logoDentist. Doesn’t that word sends chills down your spine? Next week, I will be on my way to one and I’m pretty sure the words root and canal are in my future. I’ve never even had a cavity. I’m pretty dang scared, folks.

Four c-sections. An appendectomy which almost killed me. Those things are nothing when compared with a man sticking a needle into your mouth. Am I right or am I right? Okay, I have no idea if I’m right but that is the fearful part! So, what do we do when God has called us to a fearful place. When we have a legitimate reason to be a little anxious about that the place, person or circumstance to which we are being called.

What if there was a man who swore he would kill you. In fact, he absolutely hated you. Imagine that you were able to flee. You were hidden far away living  your life and the man who promised to cause your death had no idea where you were. Then, imagine you were told to go back. Not just to the country or the town where that angry man lived, but right to him. What if you were called to face the very thing you feared the most?

Let’s talk about a man named Jacob. Join me on the HomeLife blog.