Posts in Discipleship
Obedience To Blessings

Obedience. Our culture has put such a negative connotation around it when in reality, it is such a beautiful thing in the context of Christ. Think about this; Christ was constantly obedient to our Heavenly Father (John 14:31). And in that, we received grace, forgiveness, peace, mercy, salvation, and love. The list could go on and on. Well, aren’t we called to live a life exemplified by Christ? Wouldn’t that include being obedient to our Heavenly Father? The answer, to both of these questions: yes. 

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Are You Called To Youth Ministry?

I remember the day that the Lord caused me to notice teenagers through new eyes. Before this day, I knew them to be loud and intimidating (at least to me). It was at a summer church activity, several years ago, an event called Street Reach that my older two boys were attending. They spent five nights at a school campus, giving Bible clubs (similar to VBS) Monday through Friday. Graham and Drew were the second day in, and Drew was involved in a wreck. I don’t remember all the details, but I knew I had a nervous son, and he needed his mom.  Two days afterwards, they had a share-night, and he invited me to come; my friend’s daughter invited her to come as well. 

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Not Enough

There is a voice I know too well. An acquaintance whose presence is as loyal as a friend. I’ve grown so accustomed to her message that some days I don’t even recognize it. I wake up to her subtle nudges, pulling me out of bed to obey her demands and be productive. She lingers in my aimless scrolling through Instagram and shouts at me in my work throughout the day.

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The Good Fight Never Ends

Today, Christians  view hardship as a “season” that will come and go. In order to be victorious Christians, we need to reframe our thinking by accepting that most of our lives will be hard for one reason or another. I’m writing this as a gentle yet sober reminder to today’s Christians: We are in the trenches of spiritual warfare. We may not see it as we go about our school schedules, work routines, and summer holidays, but we are in the thick of it. By deciding today, if we will use our moments to the glory of God or the glory of self, we are declaring whose side we are on.

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Old Testament... New Kids

I go to a really small church that geographically sits on a line between “gentrified” and “poverty.” The vision for this body is to reflect the kingdom of heaven by celebrating diversity of wealth, race, and life experiences. A year ago, this body was meeting in a house church. Ten months ago, a barber shop. The body has grown and shifted and changed over the past year, but it has been a joy to watch.

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Sit In The Holiness

Holy. I don’t understand this piece of God. I cannot wrap my mind around it. He is holy. Holy means He is intensely good, righteous, radiant, and anything that is not holy will be obliterated by His presence. I don’t visualize Him as holy. It’s easy to see Him as present, or good, or faithful, but not holy. This last week my eyes were fixated to the blinding holiness of God, and my absolute unworthiness to approach Him on my own.

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The Lord Fights For You

Don’t be afraid? Stand still? Stay calm? I can imagine the looks on the peoples’ faces upon hearing this from Moses. There were probably a few dropped jaws, involuntary guffaws, and shouts of disbelief. The Israelites were ex-slaves and refugees. They left behind everything they owned and knew to follow a man who claimed to have the word of God and currently faced a terrifying unknown future. I’m quite certain that I wouldn’t have been eager to trust Moses’s exhortation at this point.

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Battling Spiritual Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough? Do you find yourself constantly worried that you don’t deserve the life you have and someone is going to call you out on it? I’ll be the first to tell you that I often question my self-worth and God’s ability to use me. I’m currently knee-deep in the job-hunting trenches, and while I know that I am qualified for the positions I’m applying for, I still find myself doubting my abilities and feeling like a fake.

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Desperation For God

There are two types of desperation that you will face in your life. The first kind of desperation is to feed your own insecurities. This is when you throw yourself at the first guy that pays attention to you because you think he’s all you’ll ever get. This kind of desperation is a lack of faith that will cause you to justify your reasoning and make decisions that can affect you for the rest of your life: from friendships, finances, marriage, kids, and most importantly… your relationship with Christ. This kind of desperation will cause you to give up your dreams and the calling God has placed on your life. You will think it won’t, but it will. 

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When We Must Raise A Hallelujah

When my sister and I were growing up, we played many sports and took some nice tumbles and hits through the years. My dad’s number one rule: we were not allowed to cry on the field or court. We may have broken that rule a time or two, but we always remembered it. This made us tougher opponents then and, to this day, has made us strong. One of my dad’s favorite sayings about us nowadays is, “I didn’t raise no sissies,” and I love the fact he believes my sister and I are strong women who will not cower and can take on anything.

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A System Of Seeking God

When a small, scrappy nonprofit throws an event for 300+ people, things are bound to get a little bananas. In the weeks leading up to the event, our small team was feeling the pressure. Not only was I trying to develop all of the visuals for the evening, but I was also trying to wrap up my own programming with local kiddos. And plan a movie premiere. And make sure that our newly acquired event planner had all of her ducks in a row. And make sure that all of our email campaigns went out in a timely manner. And edit videos to embed in the email campaigns. And sleep. And eat. And just, in general, take care of myself. The day after the event, I went hiking.

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Grace All The More

This past week, I sat in a courtroom looking into the eyes of the two defendants responsible for breaking into my car, stealing my identity to commit fraud, and causing such stress, anxiety, and fear for me these last few months. While panicking, waiting for the judge to address the courts, I was reminded of the words Jesus prayed on the cross for the very ones crucifying Him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

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Counting As Loss

I never knew I could deceive myself so well. That I could take such a good look at myself in the mirror and forget to even deal with the condition of my soul. Maybe this sounds deep for a Saturday morning, but after last night, I feel compelled to write this. As though maybe the thoughts that are all disjointed can coalesce into something meaningful. That maybe then, I'll be able to say, “Yes, that's what I'm thinking, that's what I need to change, that's where I'm struggling.” Goodness, I've never looked at myself so clearly as last night.

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In The Loneliness

I think the older you get, the more shame is attached to the words "I'm lonely." But I was. I felt like I was drowning. I felt like I was dying. Several years ago, I thought it would start to get better with a new year. At the time, I was starting two new jobs and was involved in multiple volunteer opportunities. I figured somewhere along the way I'd stop feeling lonely. But I didn't. And I started to wonder why.

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So, You Wanna Go Back To Egypt?

War is persecution. It is oppressive, it requires commitment to a cause and commitment to a side. War requires commitment even at the risk of death. I think it would be limiting God for us to assume the reason He took them the long way was because He didn’t think they were physically ready for battle. There are enough accounts in the Bible to testify that God can start and end a battle with whatever army He has on hand. So, what’s going on?

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Life As A Tent-Dweller

The church down the street from me is about to celebrate its 125th anniversary. My closest friend right now lives within 30 minutes of her childhood town, and she’s about to marry her high school sweetheart. This small-town sameness is new to me. I have moved over twenty times in the past four years. I’ve lived in Washington, D.C., Denver, Nashville, San Antonio, Chicago, and I somehow ended up in a teeny-tiny little town in Northern Oklahoma. The friends I met along the way are mostly still where I left them, except now they’re just further along in their timeline: graduated, engaged, or married.

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Joy In Your Journey

Camp stove. Fuel. Pot. Fork. Breakfast. Dinner. Coffee. Water purifier. Granola bar. Tea bags. Extra socks. Sleeping bag. Down jacket. Long underwear. Change of pants. Fleece vest. Mere Christianity. Water bottle. Apple. Toilet paper. Toothbrush. Toothpaste.  Pack cover. Fujifilm XT2. Coffee mug. Cord to hang a bear bag. More extra socks. Trekking poles. A hat. Phone charger/lantern. Overnight permit. With one last run-through of my mental checklist, I hefted the pack on my back. I adjusted the shoulder straps, clipped the hipbelt and tightened the chest strap. And I headed to the trailhead.

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Writing To God Through Bible Journaling

There are a variety of ways to study God’s Word. Some people like to open up the Bible together in fellowship and explore Scripture through discussion. Others might enjoy meditating on Scripture by memorization of key verses, which is also known as Lectio Divina. Whichever method one prefers, the ultimate goal of a quiet time is intimacy with and obedience to God’s Word.

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