Saturday, April 17, 2010


What is it that I want?
That is a question that has been burning in my mind for some time. If someone were to look at my life and answer the question for me, how would they answer?
I've always had a difficult time with focus. I have a gazillion interests. I am a person of vision. I love to do just about anything and I'm not afraid of much. This poses a problem when deciding on a path for life.
A few years back a friend put a piece of paper in front of me and said, "okay Cari, these are the things I've heard you say you are doing, you want to do or you believe you will do one day. Now you have one minute. Pick one!" I froze. i actually panicked a little. I ended up crying with him. "I can't pick! they are all too important!"
I remember when I was a kid my sisters and I would play make believe. Connie would almost always be a mom, Christy a teacher and me, well, my career changed just about every time. I was an interior decorator, a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, a recording artist, my career changed almost every time we'd play." I have been a person of a million ideas since I popped out of the womb.
So as I've walked the last few years in a new way, I've wrested with the question of, "what is my life about? what do I do?" I actually get the opportunity to participate in many activities. I get to use multiple gift sets. And I love all that I do, but what exactly is the end result.
No matter what the task is before us daily on our to do list, we each get to ask our selves the question. What is it that we want out of life? What is it that we do to accomplish what we want out of life? This is a much larger question than how will I make money.
I have now asked two people what they believe it is that I want, they actually both said the same thing. I'm hoping to learn more about this as I continue to invite the wise in my life to speak into me.
What about you? What do you want? Here are a few ideas on how to get started answering that question for yourself:
1. Make a list of all the things you want in life, study it, is there a theme? Is there an idea that is common in them all?
2. Ask 5 of your closest friends to tell you what they think you want.
3. Spend some time with a wise person to talk about all your wants. let them ask you questions and listen to their input. See what they say at the end of the conversation. (Note: the conversation may be longer than a one time event.)
4. Talk with Jesus. See what comes to mind as you ask Him what you want.

Take a moment to write below what you want. Write what you think I want. And see what happens as you live towards getting what you want out of life.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Have you ever had that feeling in your gut right before something BIG happens. Maybe it's a first date or a 10th date with the same person. Maybe you were leaving for a trip you've had planned for a long time. Maybe you found out you were pregnant and you had months of anticipation before the big day arrived.

There is a deeply embedded sense that something good is coming and it's time to get prepared. I kinda think that anticipation and preparation often go hand in hand.

About what are the things you are feeling a sense of anticipation today?

What are you doing to get prepared?

I wonder what would happen if you and I lived with a sense of anticipation daily about one day seeing Jesus again? Would we find ourselves living any differently? How would we prepare?

Today I am feeling a sense of anticipation about the next two days. As I prepare I choose to entrust my life to God's authorship and find myself grateful for whatever comes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

To Be Lived

Every day I have the opportunity to make a choice. Am I going to read about good stories or am I going to live one? Jesus says in John 10:10 that, "the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it to the full." We are daily invited to live a full life.
John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, so that whoever believes in him might not die but have (and I believe experience) eternal life." Jesus did not come to die so that we could live mediocre lives. He came to model a way, speak a truth and be the life. Like he says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus was not only speaking of how one relates to the Father, but he was also speaking of what and who HE is.
We as men and women who follow after Jesus are invited to participate in life with him. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." Jesus is the one who brings things to life so that they bear fruit.
I wonder what would happen if we chose to remain in Jesus, so much so that when we are prompted to act, to live into a better story that there is no hesitation, we simply respond to the prompting with in. To see His way as our way and the life He lives as the life we can find in Him and through Him.
So today, my hope is that I'll remain in Jesus and that I'll live the story He's writing in me.

What are your thoughts?

If you'd like to read a great book on this subject, read Donald Miller's book A Million Years in a Thousand Miles.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

To Be Told

I spent a good chunk of yesterday with the folks at Discover the Journey ( They've been given an incredible opportunity to partner with CNN to tell the story of two orphan children in Haiti. CNN will be showing the film on May 8 and 9th.
We were working on an event at the Chinese Graumen Theatre for this coming Saturday. As we were working through the day we paused and had a brief conversation about story. The desire of this bright and brilliant production company is to tell the stories of children around the globe, being an advocate for them.
I am convinced that story telling is one of the greatest ways to connect with the heart of a person. I believe it is in story that we find life and beauty, laughter and tears, the glory of victory and the pain of defeat. In story we find a connection to the the heart of a person.
Because of this we seek to use stories to communicate about those things we love or the pain we feel. I don't believe I've ever heard a friend speak of her engagement by giving me a bullet point list of facts. And why not? Because an engagement is a story bursting with life and the soon to be bride can't wait to chronicle the experience so the hearer can relive it with her, as she relives the story in its telling.
What are the stories you are telling today? What are the stories needing to be told? The one's that connect with your deepest emotions, greatest and hidden experiences and beautiful encounters with life. As you tell your story, watch as those around you engage in its telling.
And if you can't think of a story to tell, tell the story of something good going on in the world around you, advocate for someone by telling his/her story, find a story, live a new one, or tell the story of Jesus. There are a billion stories out there to be told. Find them! Live them! Tell Them!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The scent of Jesus

The other day I was invited to a friend's for dinner. I came in the building, and immediately smelled something that had the aroma of new carpet. I took the elevator to the 6th floor and stepped out and was overwhelmed by the strong scent of microwave popcorn. I walked a few steps more and the aroma of indian food hit me. Just beyond the indian food and well past the microwave popcorn, someone had burned part of dinner. i turned down one last hallway and the most glorious scent filled the space. I couldn't identify it, but it was good and it was my dinner.

Smell is a funny thing. It can draw you in or repulse you. It can stir up a memory or be a part of a new one. There is a smell that is associated with the memory of some of my favorite people. There are also smells, I don't care to ever smell again. Like the time I was thawing chicken in my microwave, got distracted, totally forgot about the chicken, left to go house sit and then came home to the most HORRID smell I've ever encountered to date. I knew instantly when I walked in the door that something was wrong.

Smell, it gives you away every time.

Jesus doesn't speak of scent. He encounters the aromatic offerings of the woman who broke an expensive jar of perfume at his feet, but really the concept of scent directly was not discussed. But, however Jesus did have a scent. He left it everywhere he traveled. People knew there was something about him that identified him as someone different, someone to watch, someone to know.

When I think about the scent of Jesus I desire to have my life smell like His. That when people encounter me in some form that the aroma that is left, is that of Christ and not of self.
2 Corinthians 2:14-15 says,"14But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."

Last year I traveled to Seattle for some much needed time off. I stayed in a home just outside the city and woke up every morning to the sweetest smell. It was a combination of evergreen trees, flowers and simply the clean air smell that was everywhere. I woke up every morning, took a deep breath and said, "well good morning Jesus!" I could smell Him. It was as though he were right there in the room with me. Such an indescribable sweet scent that could have only come from the Creator.

We too leave scents.
What is the aroma you leave? What is the aroma the world smells of those who follow Jesus? I pray today as I go about the things of my schedule that I will leave an aroma that reminds people of Jesus.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The taste of Jesus

I hate when a sight and taste don't match up. Last year on my birthday I went to Disneyland. My friends and I went through the line to get our lunch and this piece of chocolate moussey yumminess stood out to me. My friends and I decided to buy it and split it. It looked so decadent. We ate our salads and then got ready for the main event, a triple layer, cookie crusted, chocolate mousse cake topped with chocolate shavings. It looked so amazing we couldn't wait to take our first bite.

The moment came and our forks sunk into the creamy chocolate delight. We were feeling overly cheesy being at Disneyland and all and so we waited to take our first bite together. We sank our forks into the cake and lifted them full of chocolate into our mouths and waited for the layers of chocolate to spark as they hit our taste buds.

We waited... and waited, but nothing. It tasted like cardboard! It was plain and horrid. We each took another bite hoping that the cake would be redeemed, but again, nothing.
The taste most certainly did not match the appearance.

The concept of taste is a little bit more challenging to see how Jesus invited people to taste, or even to see where He himself tasted. We see him see a crowd of people, has compassion on them and brings healing. His disciples realize there are ton of people and it's getting late, so they may need to eat. Jesus invites them to feed the crowd. So Jesus takes the little gift of loaves and fish and produces a feast! I am sure that tasted amazing.(Matt. 14:13-21)

We also see Jesus inviting the disciples to taste of his body and blood as they ate the one last supper together. I'm not sure how that would have tasted. (Luke 22:14-22)

Psalm 34:8 says, "Taste and know that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." I think the psalmist gets it right. We are to taste the Lord. Experience Him. Not just look at Him. Jesus painted pictures all through His life of experience. He invited people to experience life. I kinda think that taste is the active part of sight. One can see and do nothing, but to taste... one actually has to act. Taste is the litmus test to sight. Are things really as they seem?

Jesus acts all of the time. He sees the crowd, has compassion and heals. He hears a person, has compassion and acts. When Jesus invites people to act and they do, a taste is always left in the mouth of the participant. I wonder what taste I'm leaving? I wander how the world would taste differently if I were not merely a hearer of the word, but a doer? I wonder how Jesus would taste to me, if I didn't just study him, but I responded to him, taking a bite out of the life He has offered.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jesus Touches Matthew 20:29-34

29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

31The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

32Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.

33"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."

34Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Over a decade ago a friend gave me a great gift. She offered to sit with me and work with me through some of the pain of my past. I took her up on her offer. Our time was amazing, laced with powerful insight and wisdom spoken over me. On one particular day she asked a question that went very deep into my core. I began to cry, sob more accurately. She got up out of her chair, came to the foot of mine and sat holding me as I fell apart.

I resisted her touch. I felt uncomfortable. She sat and held until the tension left my body. She held until I was no long uncomfortable with her touch and the vulnerability that comes with being touched. When I think of touch that heals, I think of this moment in my life.

I love how the story of scripture shows the humanity of people and the wisdom of Jesus. Once again we see him walking, going about one task, hearing the call of others and responding. This time he was walking with a group, leaving Jerusalem. Even with all those people around, he stops and answers the call of two men who cry out to him.

"Lord, have mercy on us!"

Jesus goes to them, asks what they need and they respond by requesting their sight. Jesus was moved with compassion, touched their eyes and healed them.

I love that last part of the story. Jesus was moved with compassion and touched. Healing came to the two blind men, not only physically but spiritually.

Jesus continues to have compassion on people. He touches hearts and lives in various ways and he continues to heal through that touch.

That day, over 10 years ago, my friend Nancy was moved with compassion towards me and then was the touch of Jesus in my life. She held me until I knew and received the healing which comes through his touch.

Today Jesus continues to touch my life, brining hope and healing. I pray my response is always the same as that of the blind me, to get up and follow Jesus.