Friend and guest blogger Joel Malm


I ask my friend Joel Malm if he would be my guest blogger and he said, “absolutely!”

I love this guys perspective and friendship.



Two Mondays ago our Summit Leaders team started their ninety-mile trip rafting the Colorado River through Grand Canyon.

As our bus approached Lee’s Ferry, the location we’d start from, our driver pointed out a small stream under a bridge we passed over.

“That’s the Paria. That little stream determines the color of the water for your trip.”

I kind of brushed off what he said because I didn’t really understand. We arrived at the river. The water was crystal clear with a nice green tint. You could see all the way to the bottom of the river. I was excited. Pure water rafting!

We set out on our rafts. I got some great underwater shots with my Go Pro. It was so clear! But about two miles into the trip our guide pointed to the right. “Looks like the Paria is running. Say goodbye to the clear water.”

I looked ahead and saw a nasty stream of brown water flowing into our crystal-clear Colorado River. For the next four days the entire river was muddy and opaque. Only on the final day of the trip was the river starting to clear up.

That one tiny stream turned the mighty Colorado River into a muddy mess.


I’ve been thinking about that river all weekend.

King Solomon says, Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Pr. 4:23)

Our hearts are meant to be pure and clear. But with all that’s going on in the world it’s easy to get cynical, bitter and jaded. It’s amazing how if we aren’t vigilant one little stream can pollute everything. One offense. One disappointment. One setback. We hold onto it and don’t forgive or release it. It ends up polluting everything we see, do and say. We get angry and resentful.

That river reminds me to fight with all I have to guard my heart. I want to keep it pure from anger and bitterness and cynicism.

There’s nothing quite as appealing as a crystal, clear stream of fresh water. People are drawn to water like that. It’s refreshing.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matt 5:8

Check out Joel’s newest book –  Vision Map.



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