Monday, December 24, 2012

One Little Christmas Tree and a pretty big Candy Cane

This is the Kids Christmas program at my church that Amie came up with. You'll see Sam as a Candy Cane, Stella as an angel and Chris as a Candy Cane stand in...

Christmas Sunday, 2012 kids presentation.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Whitlers try on a beard.

I participated this year in the Rabbit Room gift exchange.  The Rabbit Room is a website promoting the sharing of good stories, art, music, food, thoughts and friendship.  This year, you could sign up for a giant game of Secret Santa.  I got my gift in the mail yesterday.  It is a beardhead hat.  It is glorious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Welcoming the Stranger

“Often, often walks the Christ in a strangers clothes” - an old Celtic proverb

The concept of hospitality is one of Youth With A Mission’s 18 foundational values.  Among YWAMers (Youth With A, when you say the word “hospitality”, a specific picture comes to mind.  Hospitality is that place or department that looks after visitors to your property.  At most YWAM locations, at least the ones with buildings, there is someone looking after “hospitality”.  A room or three where guests can stay for a few days free of charge or for a suggested donation.

My family was recently the recipient of YWAM hospitality down in Los Angeles while we visited the Disney Park and we had a great experience.  We stayed in a comfortable 3 rooms with access to bathrooms and a small kitchen.  We were welcome at community meals (although our first day there was “base fasting day” :), there were nice gift baskets in our rooms with goodies and good conversation with other guests.  It was a full time for the hospitality department and a good time for us.

While very nice, if this is our only expression of hospitality as a mission, then we are missing something.  I have been thinking about this word a lot.  If I could sum up our calling in one word, our calling as a YWAM community, our calling as a family (the Whitlers) and even the special gifting of the local congregation I am a part of, it would be the word hospitality,

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary...

hos·pi·ta·ble adjective

a : given to generous and cordial reception of guests

b : promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome

c : offering a pleasant or sustaining environment

In our worship service on Sunday, one of our elders spoke from Matthew 25, the story of the separation of the sheep and the goats.  While Mark was speaking, it hit me that all of the ministries to Jesus, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, giving clothes to the needy, welcoming the stranger, visiting the sick and the prisoner, they are all expressions of hospitality.  This is what life is about...welcome, food, drink, sharing, visiting, listening.

Hospitality this way assumes a growing relationship.  In these few things that Jesus mentions, there is a progression of intimacy.  It starts out with the sharing of very basic needs like food and clothes and moves to time, visiting and bringing strangers into your home.  There are tricky and uncomfortable aspects to all of this.  How do I remain hospitable without becoming and enabler?  How do I protect my family from danger?  How can I walk out hospitality in a “balanced” way?

A wise friend once told me that it’s best to replace the word “balance” with “tension.”  That’s where we live, in tension between a challenging thought and the status quo.  And Jesus doesn’t seem to offer any help here as to how to walk it out.  Maybe because he wants us to wrestle with these uncomfortable concepts.

We generally respond to this kind of thing by relying on programs.  We support the mission who takes in the homeless, we do canned food drives, we organize service projects (insert the obligatory “none of those things are bad” comment here).  But without real connection to people, these things only go as far as they physically can.
“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Cor 13:3

Like any friendship, our response to strangers and those in need can develop over time but this assumes that we stay long enough for that relationship to grow.  There are men that we have gotten to know through our calling in the city that have horrible pasts but some are part of our life and family and love to be around my kids today because we actually know them for who they are now, not for what they have done in the past.  This took time and some very uncomfortable situations but that’s what relationship is all about.

And we are by no means experts.  I have been the recipient of heartbreaking hospitality and thoughtfulness that has taught me and challenged me and humbled me.  My friends Dave and Liz pour their life and money and time out for others in so many beautiful ways that it’s hard to pick an example.  I have wonderfully hospitable family and friends in our congregation and in YWAM and in the many beautiful communities I have been able to visit around the world.  One of the finest moments of my life was being extravagantly served music, water and bananas by the students of a small Christian school in a Burmese refugee camp in Thailand.  I don’t deserve such grace.

And that’s the point, isn’t it?  We welcome the stranger because we ourselves have been welcomed to a table so bountiful that it makes no sense to keep it all to ourselves.  There’s no way we’ll use up all this grace.  There’s plenty to go around.

And hospitality must start right where we live.  What good is my welcome of strangers if I don't let my family and friends in?  How can I serve the poor if I don't serve my wife, children and friends?  There are many opportunities to welcome others in all throughout our day.

So give a cup of cold water or a hot cup of coffee but then, stay and listen.  You can’t be busy and hospitable.  We have to fight our culture and slow down.  And as we welcome others, the stranger in us is welcomed too.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Welcome To 9th Street! by Stella

This is our 9th Street outreach cafe as interpreted by Stella. She wrote this herself, folks...

Welcome to 9th Street! from Chris Whitler on Vimeo.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Woman of the Ghetto CD release

If you're in Modesto, you've probably heard how Dellanora Green, a formerly homeless woman, was banned from singing in downtown Modesto a few months back (if not, you can read more about that HERE). Well, the community responded. Some folks started a petition, it was talked about in the press and around town and the Peer Recovery Art Project ( stepped up and help Dellanora produce a CD that can be sold in the gallery on J Street!

This past Wednesday was the release party at the gallery and it was a lot of fun.  Dellenora, the queen of the event, was so happy, surrounded by folks that love her and have been blessed by her powerful voice filling up our streets.  For her fans, she signed CDs that the gallery was selling as well as shirts bearing her likeness.

CDs are available now and feature Dellanora singing just as she does on the streets of the city.  All the songs are a cappella, powerful, vulnerable and raw, much like the woman herself.

Do yourself a favor and go down to check out the Peer Recovery Art Project Gallery in a beautiful studio on J Street downtown.  It's a wonderful addition to our city.  And pick up one of Dellanora's CDs.  They are $20 and the profits go right to Dellanora herself.

Amie, Chris and Dellanora :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Another fun #youthgroup game

This is one our kids love. It's a story game that you could play easily with your family or a small group. Everyone has a piece of paper and something to write with. Everyone writes on the top the opening line to a story and then all papers get passed clockwise. The next person writes the next line to the story and folds the top line over so that only the most recent entry is visible to the next person. Keep going until you get back your original paper and then take turns reading around the circle. It's fun and kind of like a giant game of mad libs.

There once was a boy named Potato and he was bad He didn't start out bad but became bad when he found out his name was Potato He didn't like Potatoes or yams for that matter so he threw them at Jonathan And he cried. The End. P.S. Everyone laughed.

 Once upon a time, a bear named Henry lived in the woods One day, Henry was walking In the beautiful Bahamainian sun when suddenly She fell off a cliff. Haha! The end. But not really. She survived with only one broken neck, two sprained hands, 8 broken ribs and a fractured skull Soon, she recovered and became a doctor Who killed everybody (there's always that kid :)

 Ok, one more... Once upon a time, there was a platypus His name was Robert. His primary concern was making a million. But no one would hire him because he had hooks for hands. So he got angry and mean. And thought about mass destruction (same kid). So while he was thinking, he went and got nachos. Because nachos always solve everyone's problems. The end.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Where are they now? - Darth Vader

Happy Friday! This is a little video we made as Spidie Sense, our old comedy troupe with YWAM in Kitchener, Ontario in Canada...I'm gonna say it was the Spring of 1996. Special thanks to Terry Nelson of Innertainment for digging it up and bringing it back to life! This was filmed on VHS and edited with two VCRs! Ahh, those were the days. Enjoy the story of Dartholomew J. Vader after the Star Wars years...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Lazarus, come out!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  I don't have a lot of time to prepare for all the things that I do.  So, often, I can be found consolidating.  For instance, I help to lead a small Bible Study down at our residential motels here in Modesto.  We're going through the gospel of John.  So guess what our neighborhood youth group sometimes gets?  Yep, that's right, a recycled Bible study from the gospel of John.  And, you know, they don't seem to mind.

When we first started the meeting at the motels, I bought a great resource that I can't believe I've not used until now.  I went down to the used book store (one of my favorite spots in town, Yesterday's Books) and got a Serendipity New Testament for Groups.  So both of our meetings are quite simple.  We read the scripture together and discuss it with some leading questions.  Just this simple act takes us to some great places in conversation and prayer.

This past week was John 11, the story of Lazarus.  On 9th Street and at youth group, we read about Jesus waiting two days before leaving to go see Lazarus, his seriously sick friend.  We talked about how Jesus must have a different perspective on death than we do.  We read about Jesus' conversation with Mary and Martha and how even though Jesus knew Lazarus would rise, he still cried with the sisters.  We talked about Jesus' care for our feelings even if he has a bigger perspective.

We read about how when the dead man heard the voice of Jesus, he stumbled out of his grave and how Jesus asked friends gathered around to help him take off his grave clothes.  We talked about how we are surrounded by people that God is calling out to with life and light.  We talked about how Jesus asks us to help our friends remove their grave clothes.  How we can be a part of seeing people free and come to life.

It is Jesus who calls.  It is Jesus who gives life.  It is God who gets glory.  It is put to us to help people take off the grave clothes that they get wrapped up in.

I was at a 2 year birthday party at AA a few weeks ago with a friend.  I saw this at work there.  The folks at that meeting are helping each other remove their grave clothes.  And just being there, I felt some of mine fall away too.  This is the beauty of friendship.  We can actually be a part of helping one another be free and come back into life.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I've always wanted to write liner notes...

When I was a kid, after getting a new tape, I loved opening that baby up, sitting and listening to it (on my Walgreens cheap knock off of a walkman) all the way through while looking through the liner notes.  The cassette cover would flap out again and again, containing the lyrics, more pictures, credits and sometimes (especially in CCM tapes) some explanations of where the songs came from and most popularly in Christian music, scripture references.  I once tricked my Mom into letting my buy a Stryper album (she wasn't hip to heavy metal yet and I already secretly had the bootleg) just so I could have those sweet liner notes.  But that's another story.

So what can you expect from my new collection of music?  I mean besides 11 new, original tunes from yours truly.  Well, mostly original.  I did co-write some of them with a few biblical prophets.

Here, my friends, are my liner notes I wrote about these songs available for immediate download just over there to your right or at  (and be sure to check out my good friend Jimmy's music available HERE).

Entrance Ramp Prayer - This song is life as I have experienced it in YWAM traveling with friends too numerous to name. And the adventure continues..

Thick Darkness - Exodus 20:21 “The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.”

Burning Bushes - Composed on a walk through Modesto’s struggling, beautiful Airport Neighborhood.

Valley Song - Several true stories from the homeless, voiceless people I met when I first moved to Modesto

Circles Around Circles - Inspired by a science podcast about black holes and the nature of the universe. As it turns out, death and letting go has always been the path to new life.

Psalm 90 - Probably the oldest song in the pack and not just because I co-wrote it with Moses.

Hold On - From Revelation 2:25. Written for our dear friends in Canada when we left to start our work in California.

Disappearing Orchards - I hummed the first line of this song while actually driving through a disappearing orchard. It is ever my temptation to trade the good and real for quick satisfaction. The original title was ‘Help Me Remember’

Desert Father - Inspired by “The Way of the Heart” by Henri Nouwen, the writings of the Desert Fathers and the life of St. Anthony

Joy Peace Truth Life Christ - For friends, for me, for all of existence. I don’t know why we left out the “free” but we did.

Hosea 6 - A song for returning.  One I could sing every morning.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

From the 9th St. Cafe: How to make the new Iced Cadillac!

We set up a weekly street cafe on south 9th Street in Modesto.  The popular drink is the 'Cadillac', a mix of coffee and hot chocolate.  The year, we've perfected the iced version.  So here, in pictorial form is how to make the Iced Cadillac - a great way to make friends in hot weather!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Modesto singer banned?

This is Dellanora Green (wearing a green Dellanora Green shirt!).  She has been a staple character in downtown Modesto for many years now.  You can see loads of videos about her on youtube under "singing homeless lady" and other titles (THIS ONE is pretty good).  She is an easily recognizable figure downtown.  She has a strong voice and sings familiar songs for anyone to enjoy.  Singing is how Dellanora makes her meager living.

Dellanora is not an intimidating person.  She approaches folks downtown and asks if they would "like a song for a donation."  If you say no, she politely walks on until she finds someone interested.

Quite a few years ago now, Jimmy from our team, helped her to record a Christmas CD so that she could sell them to people who wanted to support her further.  We've kept in touch with her through the years.

Last week, I saw her downtown as she informed me that she had been issued a warning citation to stop singing as it falls under our "aggressive panhandling" bi-law in the city of Modesto.  If you have ever encountered Dellanora, you know how silly that is.  She is far from aggressive and she offers a service for very little.  She'll take whatever anyone can give and does not badger people for money.

She is literally singing for her supper.  A local lawyer has offered to help Dellanora produce a petition for folks to sign to allow her to keep singing on the streets of our city (hear Dellanora talk about it HERE).

I know that I'll be looking for her this week and adding my name to that list.  Could you?

I am not against the police or the government and I indeed believe that we should work as a community to discourage aggressive panhandling.  But Modesto can be a compassionate community and I believe allowing Dellanora's voice to fill our streets is part of that.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fire at Shiva's Motel

 Wednesday night there was a fire at Shiva's Motel on South 9th Street. This is the place where we have been trying to connect with people in one way or another for 8 or more years. 7 people lost the very little that they own including our friends James and Cheryl. Everyone is ok but they have lost clothes and personal belongings. There is a mother and a 3 year old girl. And a few others that I do not know personally.

 When we arrived Thursday afternoon to have our weekly Bible study at the Shiva, the team we partner with from Christian Challenge had been there a while already. And local ministries were already engaged. A congregation committed to bring dinner down for the motel residents and our friends were rushing off to the store to buy some sandwich fixins so folks could have a lunch.

We carried on with the Bible study and were able to join in prayer with the community

 The local Gospel Mission stepped up to provide some clothes for the people who have lost their things in the fire. It was great to watch people, motivated by compassion, respond in love to an emergency. 

Good things can happen when we work together.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Receiving God's Love

You can listen to a message by Chris yesterday at New Hope church in Modesto that includes some stories of early days in YWAM. Just click HERE to listen or download for later.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pray for the weak

 For years, a disturbed man has protested downtown here in Modesto. His claims are unclear but he has been quite upset. Many, including our team, have tried to talk to him, hear his story or offer him help. I'm sure he's also had his fair share of detractors. He has refused help or conversation and is obviously dealing with debilitating mental health issues.

 He is sometimes outside a church building we've been invited to use for hosting teams. Jimmy and I have been there working on music lately too. Every time I see Ramon, I am confronted with feelings of helplessness. When we pass him, the only thing I've known to do is pray for mercy.

 Recently, he took his protest up a notch by ceasing to eat. He has gotten so thin and frail. And I got to witness this week a mercy this man has needed for a long time. Leaving the church, I saw that the police had finally intervened as he was a threat to himself and public safety. You can read the articles about this in our local paper HERE.

It's difficult to know what to do for the mentally ill who are alone (by choice or not) and living in poverty. I often feel helpless on 9th Street.

 I remember hearing a pastor talk about prayer once. How we see it as a last resort after we do what we know how to do. We pray when our abilities come to an end. He likened someone saying "Well, I can't do much but I can pray" to saying "Well, I don't have a slingshot but I do have this inter-continental ballistic missile".

 Please, let's pray for Ramon. Pray for Cheryl on South 9th Street and Debbie and Cherelle and John and Catherine and Sonja and Arlene and whenever you encounter the poor and mentally ill where ever you are. Listen, be a friend, make eye contact, love, feed and most of all, pray, "Our Father.."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shiva Bible study - John 7

 For a few months now, I (Chris) have been a part of a small Bible study group at the Shiva motel here in Modesto. The Motel owner is Hindu but has been very open and generous in providing a space for us to meet free of charge. She feels the scriptures will help the folks living at the motel. The Shiva is a pretty desperate place. It's where the addicted, handicapped, mentally ill and desperate of our community land when there is no where else to go. Among other traits, Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction.


 We have been going through the gospel of John and we're using these little free booklets we ordered online HERE (a great, free outreach resource). We have between 5 and 10 that gather. Usually only one or two from the actual motel itself.

 To open our meeting, I asked the group about the most beautiful, refreshing place they had ever been. We talked about rivers, mountains, the beach and even the desert. The last to share was from the Shiva and she shared that the most beautiful, refreshing place was "right here".  This took me back a little as 9th Street and the Shiva are the last places I think of when I think "beautiful and refreshing."  It is a dirty, pest ridden motel an ugly part of town.

 Today, we were in John 7 and read together Jesus' declaration... "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’”

 If Jesus' promises are true, then the lady from the Shiva was right. With Jesus, where ever we are can be the most beautiful, refreshing place there is. Because the river is in us. Rivers of living water.

 We talked about how we don't always FEEL like God is near. We don't always feel the waters flowing. Sometimes we have to just trust that God is near even when we don't feel it. But the group also shared what can help in those times. Music, worship, thanksgiving (counting your blessings), gathering with others and getting out in nature can all help. In Christ, living water is always available to us if we take the time to come to him and drink.


Friday, May 25, 2012

The Value of Improvisation

While not an official foundational value of YWAM, "Improvisation" should be on the list. At YWAM Modesto, for instance, we can't afford to rent a building for an outreach cafe, so we just make one up on the street.
And usually, our improvisations include that white van back there. It was miraculously provided for us a few years back and, while it's had it's moments on the side of the road... usually comes through in a pinch. I think of the rare repairs as "rental fees." But this week, the YWAM van really outdid itself. You see, Jimmy and I are both song writers. Jimmy is using part of this season to finish a recording project of his music and has encouraged/pushed me (Chris) to do the same. With a little creativity and some good software, you can do some pretty cool stuff. Our puzzle in this project has been where to find recording space as we really can't afford studio time. We've had an open invite from a congregation downtown to use their building and so we've been there a bit but we've really struggled to find a proper space to record the drums. We needed a smaller, enclosed space where we wouldn't disturb families, neighbors or church office workers. Enter YWAM Modesto's new drum studio!
What? Me? Pose?! Never!
We'll keep you posted. Some good music is coming soon to a CD or MP3 download near you courtesy of a little creativity, improvisation and a certain white van.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Whitler World Tour, 2011 - Going Home

This is the last in the series of videos that Joshua made from our family trip there and back again in May of 2011 (a whole year ago!). You can see all the posts here on our blog of the National Parks (HERE), New Orleans (HERE), Our time in the car (HERE) and our trip through the North (HERE). Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Get on your bikes and ride!

This past week, because of a last minute cancellation, I was asked to put together a band for our local gospel mission's motorbike rally/fundraiser in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  We thought this a fitting song for them to arrive to...

Saturday, May 05, 2012


This video will remain on Amie's dance page but I thought I'd share it here on account of tonight's giant moon event.  Did you know that tonight the moon will be huge!  It will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter.  And it looks like we get a front row seat here on the west coast.  It also looks like the west is due for an annular solar eclipse later this month.  So in honor of all that, here is Amie's award winning entry in our local college's choreographer's showcase - Cosmos.  Amie says it was inspired by our family's love of laying on blankets and watching the stars...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Behind the Scenes With Amie!

A l'il video of Amie behind the scenes at MJC's Choreographer's Showcase. Her piece this year placed 3rd in the Celebration of the Humanities competition. If you're local and want to see it, it's being performed one more time tonight at 7:30pm at MJC Cabaret West ($10 general/$8 students)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sam's the best! Around.

The story of Sam's 3rd place ribbon today at the 2012 AWANA Bible Quiz in Stockton, CA

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Group Game!

Hey,'s a new game I learned from the Canadians of Global Youth Network.  It's kinda like telephone but you write and draw instead of whisper.  GLONK HERE to see how it works.

Friday, February 10, 2012

All we need

For the past several years, we (YWAM Modesto and some partnering agencies) have been picking up day old bread and pastries from a local grocery store.  This has been a great resource for us as it has given us a touch point with which to meet people.  This pick up has served recovery homes, a drop in center, a couple of community food pantries, multiple congregations, bread lines and our own little 9th Street Cafe.

Sometimes there's been little and sometimes there's been a lot but we've tried to be faithful to pick it up and not let this resource, that would otherwise be thrown away, go to waste.  This has been a topic of some discussion for our team.  Is taking food to people enabling poor choices?  Are we just another bread line in the eyes of the people we serve and are trying to get to know?  Do they know that we value friendship more than free food?  Is the cost of picking it up worth what folks get out of it?

We have chosen to keep picking the bread up as it truly does bless the South 9th Street community.  We have done our best to let people know that the Cafe we set up most Fridays is about more than the food.  We seek to understand.  We want to listen.  We want friendship.  And we want to bring things that will refresh, ease the hardship of life and be a source of comfort.

We've even made a popular game out of the "too hard for human consumption" bagels.  Who doesn't like a good old fashioned game of bagel toss?

This past week, the option to pick this bread up came to an end and I must admit, I was nervous about how our Cafe friends would take the absence of free bread and pastries.  I wondered if coffee and us would be enough.  My fears were quite unfounded.

First of all, we had plenty of things to share today.  I thought I'd help a little by making up a simple pot of hot oatmeal to serve with brown sugar and raisins from our pantry.

It doesn't look very appetizing there in the pot but let me tell you, it was good and people ate it up!  A few friends donated some clothes for us to give out...

And other friends brought about 5 boxes of bread and homemade brownies and muffins to share!

As it turned out, no one missed a thing.  I was reminded of a line from a song off the soundtrack to "The Prince of Egypt" that says, "When all you have is nothing, there's a lot to go around."  Everyone brought something from home to share and there was more than enough for all.  There were full bellies, happy conversations, prayers offered, needs met and friendship in abundance.  And if the time comes when all that's in the van is us, that'll be enough too.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Songs from Kentucky

Hi ho, Chris here on the road with my good friend Jimmy. We've been in Ohio and Kentucky, hanging with friends and family. It's been a trip of meetings, prayer, discussion and lots of laughter. Some of that laughter was had last night at an impromptu recording session with my sister, Christianne and my nieces, Ally and Grace. So, as we run out the door to sit with a Burmese family and sample some traditional treats, here's our music from last night. Thanks to Jimmy, our producer extraordinaire. By the way, you can download and/or subscribe to all audio for this blog and HERE. Enjoy! This is "I dreamed a dream" nieces covering the song from Les Miserables...

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And this is my song "Pillar of Fire" sung by me and my sister, Christianne...

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Love is the river - on Psalm 1

I (Chris), for almost every year of my education, attended a Christian school.  We were not super wealthy but my folks worked 4 jobs between them because they felt it important we go to a smaller Christian school.  I am grateful for this.  It has added to who I have become and there is not a day that goes by that I don't pull something up from the files of my time in Christian school that is helpful or, at the very least, funny to remember.

Like the film we made for the Fall fair fundraiser called "Fatman and Blobbin" about two overweight crime fighters trying to defeat the evil "Slimfast".  I digress.

Also, Christian school is why you rarely see me in a tie...I wore one as part of my uniform and think that was quite enough.  Ties nowadays are saved for funerals and weddings only and especially those I am officiating.  I did wear a tie to my Mother's funeral because she told me she would haunt me if I did not.

At the beginning of the almost every school year, I was required to memorize the 1st Psalm.  Because of this repetition, as I went to read it today, I realized that the new year has become for me like the first day of school.  It's a resetting, a start over and Psalm 1 just seemed a proper way to begin the year.  I also realized how deeply all those repeat memorizations have imprinted these words of warning, promise and instruction on my mind.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor sits in the seat of mockers nor stands in the path of sinners.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in this law he meditates day and night.

And he will be like a tree, planted by the rivers of waters that brings forth fruit in season.  His leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does will prosper."

I have always wondered how in the world you could meditate on scripture day and night.  And as a kid, I really felt short of the mark in the "delight" area.  Oh yes, I could read and memorize the Bible as a chore or assignment, but who actually delights in this stuff?

But as I was reading today, I realized how to delight in God's law.  Jesus gave us the key.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matt 22:37 - 40

This is a way to wrap our minds and hearts around meditating on God's law, even delighting in it.  All we have to do is think about, ponder, plan and enact love for God and love for others in our day.  To live our days and nights in love is to constantly meditate on God's law.  I have only had small tastes of this but I know that this is a delight.

Picture in your mind a big tree on the banks of a river.  It is serene, healthy, vital and active with life.  There is quiet strength emanating from the roots up through the trunk and out to the branches and leaves.  It is a place where birds and other creatures find shelter and sustenance.  Do you want to be like that?

Then live a life of love.  Love God, love others.  This is God's delightful law.