As I sit in my son’s hospital room today I feel similar to the way I have in the past.

Children’s Hospital in Seattle has been home away from home for our son Nolan.

He’s spent nearly two months of his 19-month-old life here so far.

They are wonderful. The doctors and nurses take such good care of him and our family.

But looking across the room at our son with tubes, wires, IVs, and tape wrapped around him never gets easy.

Nolan, hospital








Necessary? Probably.

Painful? Yes.

This visit is another attempt to fight off a virus that has been attacking his under-prepared airways. A cold that would sideline you and me for a few days has the ability to do far worse to Nolan.

So here we sit. Here we cry. Here we pray.

Jesus help.

Help our boy. Heal our baby. Hold him in your arms.

And I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s here I feel the same overwhelming feeling I’ve felt before.


I feel like Jesus is right here with us.

It seems strange on the surface.

I’m not sure I can fully articulate why. Maybe I should feel forgotten about. Maybe I should be shaking my fist at God or pretending like he doesn’t exist.

Because come on, how could a loving God allow a sweet little boy to go through so much?

But I really feel close to God in moments like these.

Maybe it’s because Jesus has a history of being close to the hurting. He has a history of touching the untouchables and loving the unlovables.

The truth is I tend to feel more distant from God when things are perfect. I pat myself on the back and congratulate myself for all the right decisions I’ve made that make my life so wonderful.

Silly. Embarrassing. Foolish.

God loves all his kids the same perfect way. Unconditionally.

But for now Psalm 34.18 is our verse:

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

Thank you Jesus for being with us.

I need you. Nolan needs you. We need you to be close.

Thanks for your presence today. Help me sense your closeness everyday.


Nolan, Suncadia

The Man Under the Bridge

Last week a group of people from our church took a trip to the Los Angeles Dream Center.

Founded in 1994, The Dream Center is a volunteer driven organization that finds and fills the needs of over 80,000 individuals and families each month.

Their men’s and women’s discipleship programs offer a free opportunity for people to get clean and sober. Participants live on site at the former Queen of Angels hospital near Echo Park and serve in various capacities as they relearn what it means to be human again.

They also provide housing for emancipated youth, victims of sex trafficking and for families with nowhere else to stay.

Our team from NWLife served for a week with the Dream Center crew and had the opportunity to work with them as they loved, fed, and ministered to their city.

We loaded food trucks, distributed food in neighborhoods, cleaned dirty streets, and served hot dogs on skid row (a five block area of downtown LA where 5,000+ sleep each night).

I’ve been to the Dream Center many times over the last 12 years and every time I walk away inspired to love people in practical and meaningful ways.

underOn our last day at the Dream Center our team had the opportunity to clean the streets surrounding the Dream Center. As we walked through the disheveled city blocks we met a man who moved to Los Angeles from Wichita, KS named Bill.

Bill lives under a bridge a couple blocks from the Dream Center. The area where he slept was neat and tidy, but there was a lot of trash nearby that needed to be cleaned. He was excited when we offered to do it for him. He even loaned us his broom to help out.

Bill gives a name and face to homelessness. He’s more than a number. He’s more than another statistic. Bill matters to God. Jesus gave his life for him and loves him dearly.

It was an honor and privilege to serve Bill. We got to be “Jesus with skin on” and show Bill that love.

Hey, next time we go to the Dream Center, you should totally come.

Asking the Right Questions

“When life hands you lemons make lemonade.”

I hate that saying. There’s truth in it, but it comes off shallow.

Of course it’s meant to encourage people when times are tough, but what about people that don’t like lemonade? What are they supposed to do?

Difficult times are sure to come no matter who you are. The question is how do you get through? How will cope with when times are tough?
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