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I’m in the middle of writing an article on loneliness as a means to drive us deeper into God’s heart and was just struck by the passage this nugget came from. The context is distress and anguish, feeling the grip of death’s crushing pull. Maybe you can relate. But the author of this psalm lifts his eyes above his circumstances and prays for deliverance. He meditates on the character of God; how He is gracious, righteous, and merciful. He remembers what God has done; how He preserves the simple and rescued him when he was flat on his back, hopeless and alone. Then comes verse seven. Circumstances haven’t changed for the author but, then again, God’s worthiness to be worshipped has never been contingent on ideal circumstances. No matter what our lives might look like right now, no matter how uncomfortable or excruciating our circumstances might be, if we have been redeemed by Jesus, we have every reason to “return to our rest;” for the the Lord INDEED has dealt bountifully with us. And He is worthy of our praise and confidence right here. •••• [Also, 1) this is not a staged photo and 2) you should go read all of Psalm 116 for yourself.]
Happy birthday to the best big sister! 🥳 You are as genuine and intentional as they get; you love deep and feel big, and I’m so thankful for your heart and life. 💜 Additionally, I’d like to know how much you were paid to hug me in this photo.
“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.” -Charles Spurgeon
“Theologians who limit the means of grace to overtly redemptive religious practices miss something about the God who speaks without words in the theater of His creation.” -David Powlison

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Monday Morning Munch No. 120 – Scattered Beams

Beach chairs on the evening sea coast.

Scattered beams.

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know I’m on a scattered beams kick. I don’t deny it. Read this quote and you’ll know why:

{ God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of Him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. -Jonathan Edwards }


Do you see the scattered beams around you?

In Matt Papa’s book Look and Live (which I highly recommend), he shares this quote and then proceeds to explain how he and his band incorporated “scattered beams” into their vocabulary. For example, when they see a gorgeous sunset or enjoy an awesome dinner, someone will pipe up and say, “Scattered beams” as a way to remind them that this is good and they are to enjoy it but also to remind them that God is better.

If they stay in a sketchy hotel or eat something less than desirable they’ll say, “Dim scattered beams.”

After reading Look and Live at the beginning of the year, I’m going through it again this  summer with my True Beauty girls. We made it to this part last week and all laughed at the dim scattered beams imagery. Right after that, Matt encourages the readers to incorporate “scattered beams” into their vocabulary as well, and I’ll be the first to say I didn’t think there was any way my girls would ever actually do it.

I’m so happy to be wrong.

After church Wednesday night all my girls came over for our weekly slumber party and as we squeezed into the living room with bowls of frozen dairy goodness about to start a movie, I went to put up the ice cream as lots of “mmms” and “yums” were ringing through the room. I opened the freezer and heard amid the “mms,” someone say, “Scattered beams!” Followed by a unanimous agreement: “Scattered beams for sure.”

I could have cried.


{We went to Holiday World on Saturday and “scattered beams” were just about everywhere (when one of my babies rode the Liberty Launch, however, that was considered a “dim, dim, dim scattered beam.” Hahaha!) It was hilarious to realize these middle and high school (plus one college freshman) girls were walking around an amusement park quoting Jonathan Edwards.}

The amazing thing is that with the proper perspective one can see that even dim scattered beams are still more than we deserve.

Scattered beams are good. But God is better.

My girls are starting to notice the scattered beams, for which I am unfathomably grateful, but pray with me that they will see the Sun!

Do you see Him?

4 comments on “Monday Morning Munch No. 120 – Scattered Beams

  1. That’s fantastic. 🙂 I’m going to have to take this up with my husband/extended family. Is the Jonathon Edwards quote from a particular book?

    1. Isn’t it awesome?! Ahh. I love this reminder of the Gospel easily incorporated into our speech. Okay, so I just googled it because I wasn’t sure where the quote came from and it looks like it came from one of his sermons (surprise, lol). Desiring God wrote a blog with snippets of the sermon and it’s so good–

      1. Ah, thank you! I’ve only recently been exposed to John Piper and his sermons, so it’s funny that it cropped up here again. 🙂 Sorry, should have just googled it myself! The full Edward’s sermon is available here,, if you’re interested, and a whole collection of his works here,

      2. Thank you! I love John Piper and his life and ministry was largely shaped by Jonathan Edwards (as well as C.S. Lewis and others). No worries for not googling—haha, it worked out great! 🙂 Thanks again for the links, I can’t wait to check them out!

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