Posts

We Made It

Here we are, the end of 2020. We "made" it. Some may be limping in to 2021, and others are running.  Some welcome 2021 with great expectation and full of hope, and others step into 2021 carrying the same heaviness and heartache from 2020. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, we're still here, and I think that in and of itself is cause for a celebration - even if it's faint and small. We don't celebrate the hardships and tragedy. We don't applaud the lives lost and the suffering. But we can outwardly express gratitude for the life we still have today. We can lament, mourn, and grieve and simultaneously pause, look up, and consider the good things we have experienced. It's possible to hold both tensions authentically. They are not mutually exclusive. It's not one or the other. We can suffer well. We can live a better broken.  While we cannot change our circumstances or the landscape, we are not left powerless. We did not choose the events of 2020.

Amazing Grace

Grace is jaw-dropping scandalous and ridiculous. It will leave you scratching your head and left in awe and wonder. No mind can fully comprehend it, conceive, or perceive it. You can't adequately explain it or articulate it. You can only receive it, experience it, live it out, and freely extend it to others. That's how grace works.  We cannot earn, manipulate, manufacture, or strive for it. We don't deserve it. It's no wonder it's called amazing grace - unmerited favor. And this amazing grace is available to all - through the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to Earth to make way for us to receive this grace through a personal relationship. On that first Christmas over 2000 years ago, grace in the form of a baby came to be our Rescue. He would live a perfect life and die a violent death so that we may have access to grace and live. This invitation is for all people - everyone is welcome.  There is hope for all the heartache and challenges of 2020, and His name is J

Song: Love Came Down

If my heart is overwhelmed And I cannot hear your voice I hold on to what is true Though I cannot see If the storms of life, they come And the road ahead gets steep I will lift these hands in faith I will believe I'll remind myself Of all that you've done And the life I have Because of your son Love came down and rescued me Love came down and set me free I am yours Lord, I am forever yours Mountains high or valley low I sing out and remind my soul I am yours I am forever yours When my heart is filled with hope Every promise comes my way When I feel your hands of grace Rest upon me Staying desperate for you, god Staying humble at your feet I will lift these hands in praise I will believe I'll remind myself Of all that you've done And the life I have Because of your son Love came down and rescued me Love came down and set me free I am yours I am forever yours Mountains high or valley low I sing out and remind my soul I am yours I am forever yours I am yours I am yours All

Faithfulness

The faithfulness of God marks my life. Through all the seasons, I see His commitment towards me, even when I was not sure I wanted to remain faithful to Him. If I can be completely transparent and vulnerable, I have to admit the journey has not been easy or comfortable. Living a life of surrender and obedience is far from glamorous. Quite frankly, it is costly. It will cost you everything. To the logical, it makes no sense, but that is the mystery and miraculous power of the Gospel. That is the beauty and wonder of Christmas, and in reflecting on my story and journey thus far, could it be that my story is not too far off from the first Christmas story. Perhaps, I find my story in that very first Christmas account, and God is divinely weaving my life into this amazing story.  Jesus Christ, who is God, left heaven and came to earth. His arrival was humble and anything but glamorous, but yet it was purposed-filled. He left the comfort of heaven to enter into my uncommon world to bring me

Jesus Over Everything

It's a beautiful time of the year with the lights, the colors, the smell, and all that is beautiful and bright sparks joy and a sense of hope. There is a sense of anticipation and expectancy for many: newness and freshness, a time to start again and to keep forging forward. And for others and their reality, there is a sense of sadness, disappointment, and even dread. We carry, juggle and toggle between the tensions of what was, what is, and what we wish. It's conflicting - pulling us in different directions. It takes work and effort to keep plowing forward. We're not trying to maintain an image or prove anything; we're just trying to take the next breath, do the next right thing.  We're trying to navigate this one life. We want to show up and be present, and do it with joy and gratitude. But too often, the messiness and complexity of life attempt to snuff out the life in us. So, where does that leave us?  What do we do?  How do we shepherd our hearts in this season?

Song: The Evidence (Josh Baldwin)

[Verse 1] All throughout my history Your faithfulness has walked beside me The winter storms made way for spring In every season, from where I'm standing [Chorus] I see the evidence of Your goodness All over my life, all over my life I see Your promises in fulfillment All over my life, all over my life [Verse 2] Help me remember when I'm weak Fear may come, but fear will leave You lead my heart to victory You are my strength and You always will be [Chorus] I see the evidence of Your goodness All over my life, all over my life I see Your promises in fulfillment All over my life, all over my life [Bridge] See the cross, the empty grave The evidence is endless All my sin rolled away Because of You, oh, Jesus See the cross, the empty grave The evidence is endless All my sin rolled away Because of You, oh, Jesus [Chorus] I see the evidence of Your goodness All over my life, all over my life I see Your promises in fulfillment All over my life, all over my life, yeah I see the evidenc

Advent

Advent. A time of waiting, coming, the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah. Our Savior, our Rescue, our reigning King. It is also a time to pause and remember. To deliberately and intentionally slow down. To command our soul and our hearts not to rush, fret, or strive. But to be present at this moment and lean in. To look and see all of the ways God is speaking to us. To be filled with hope again. To remember who Jesus is. And because  "in him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:4-5.   Regardless of how dark, bleak, or dim things may get, appear, or seem, it will not overtake us. We may feel overwhelmed at times, but that which overwhelms us cannot overcome us. Jesus is  over everything. And He is our Emmanuel - our God WITH Us.  With all that we have experienced this past year, there is still reason and cause for us to approach this Christmas season and New Year with joy and hop