Posted on March 19, 2021
God is the Author of the human spirit. God’s forgiveness has a weighty gravity to it because He knows the “number of hairs on our heads;” He “formed us in the womb.” There’s no escaping our humanity, our frailty, and our sin. We were created to lean on God through His Son, Jesus Christ. His sacrificial death on the cross granted us God’s forgiveness, bringing us into fellowship with our Father. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit pricks every believer with conviction to confess and repent sin. Our Father, because of the perfect sacrifice Christ made in our honor, is faithful to forgive us. The Apostle Peter wrote, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18, ESV). God’s forgiveness gives us life, to the full (John 10:10).
Posted on March 5, 2021
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Coincidental meetings and strings of connection illuminate God’s sovereign movement to fulfill His good purpose for our lives. He is active in our everyday lives, personally connected to the unique language of our hearts and minds, and surrounding us in creation as we walk throughout our days.“By grace you have been saved by faith” expresses God’s omnipotent plan for our lives, purposed to bring glory to His name through Christ Jesus.
Grace is all-inclusive and free for all. Faith is activated by the one who knit us together in the womb and has chosen us as His own. “Faith is the act of our soul that turns away from our own insufficiency to the free and all-sufficient resources of God,” John Piper wrote. “Whatever goodness faith sees, it sees as the fruit of grace.”
Posted on February 15, 2021
“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” – Psalm 107:1 ESV
“God is good, all the time; all of the time, God is good,” is a popular phrase used in worship by many pastors, leaders, and believers. “Good” is who God is, what He does, and what we experience on His behalf. God, in His goodness, is sovereign over every circumstance. He proclaimed each note of His creation, “good.” God purposefully brings every human life into existence upon the earth, intended for “good” works to bring glory and honor to His name.
Posted on November 2, 2019
“Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.” Ephesians 6:24 NAS
Life as a tween mom is akin to an Uber driver. Our vehicle is equipped with all of the snacks, chargers and melt-downs of home. But “the middle” is off limits.
“The Middle,” where all of the important things crucial to driving and my full control of the volume lies. In the tween-age tradition of pushing boundaries, occasionally a cute little elbow will drift into the forbidden zone and bump the shifter into neutral.
My daughters and I daily lose it on each other, take jokes too far, have an absence of patience, and a slew of other things that can probably be explained by fluctuating seasons of life on all sides. But drifting into “the middle” of the vehicle ignites a completely irrational level of panic and anger in me.
I’m grieved when I lose my temper or harshly criticize my children. Though I cannot love them perfectly, I can see glimpses of how it’s supposed to be.
Shame is strong. It’s intent is to accuse. Squash it, and all of it’s distorted thoughts attempting to convince us we’re undeserving, unfixable, and dysfunctional. Because Jesus says …so what if you are?
True love is incorruptible.
“Incorruptible love.” A powerful statement no human being is capable of living up to apart from Christ. We are all, by nature, corrupted.
My flip out over “the middle” being breached ignites a firestorm, but it always ends in laughter. The reactions are too ridiculous not to re-enact.
Grace is the key to unlocking incorruptible love. It will flow throughout our lives and look foreign to many. Grace doesn’t play favorites. Jesus came to save us all from the power of sin. Incorruptible love, this side of heaven, is extending grace to ourselves and others.
As a mother, there are many days that end to the tune of my apologies. For losing my temper, criticizing, or spending too much time gazing into my phone instead of connecting with my kids. The routine of apologizing creates an atmosphere of grace.
There’s nothing Jesus holds over our heads and says …oh, not that one. You’ll pay for that one. I can’t forgive you for that one. We can and should grow and get better. But Grace should be our number one priority.
“Always forgiven,” I assure my girls, “and never loved less.”
That’s how we’re loved. By Love, incorruptible.
Posted on December 30, 2018
“The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5
“What if I never actually surf,” I joked, “It’s a possibility!”
Monday morning Bible study prepares and leads me.
“What if God just wants to teach me something through the process of preparation?”
It’s a possibility. And it wouldn’t be the first time.
I’ve trained for a marathon before, making it through the last training run, but never to the starting line. The pain of injury, embarrassment, and discouragement was miraculously never able to overtake the lessons God laced into those faithful strides and Jesus-partnered miles.
Today’s verse reminds us what our buckets should be full of …Him.
“Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us. Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come.” Philippians 4:5-6 (VOICE)
It’s hard to keep our “gentle nature” when things are not going our way. There are things we want to be able to do, and when we can’t it’s frustrating. How do we attempt that seemingly impossible smile in the face of defeat?
“The Lord is ever present with us.”
Somehow we forget that He is there in our failed attempts, too. The discouragement we feel when we fail is hard. But that’s not what it looks like from God’s point of view. We get so caught up in what we think it will look like to achieve the task He’s given us, that we forget to throw our timeline.
“Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything.”
How often do we do that? Stop and spin on our heals to pray. That’s not our natural reaction to failure. We limp due to our fractured state, and immediately melt down in self defeat. It can cause us to question everything about our dedication to God.
“Was I just a wimp?”
“Did I just quit …again?”
“Am I a quitter?”
“Maybe …” might be the response. “But I love you anyway, and I’m not worried about it.”
“He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come.”
When we set new resolutions and goals every year, none are goals we don’t intend on achieving. If talk to God about our goals before rushing to fill in our brand new planners and calendars, He’s able to readjust our perception of what the deadline should be. A goal could linger on for a long time without a check mark or a line through it …but that doesn’t mean we’re not getting a little closer to it with each passing year.
The key to joy in this life is know that “the Lord is near.” To our victories and our failures. Through our pain and our celebration. Every time we check something off of our bucket list, He adds something else. The point of life isn’t to check everything off and then just sit around and wait to go to heaven. The creator of time is not in the business of wasting any of it.
WE are to be good stewards of our time, not looking forward to nothing left to do …but finding joy in the pursuit of holiness.
Each day He has something for us to do. If we do the best we can to see Him in it and to bring Him along on our daily journey, we’ll never look back and wonder what the purpose for any of it was. We may not understand it …but Jesus died for us to believe in Him …not to be perfect. He’s got that covered.
Father, Praise You for bucket lists, and thank You for growing us through every goal an aspiration You plant in our hearts to achieve. We love You. Forgive for days when we feel like the cross isn’t enough. Bless us to live lives that reflect Your love, and Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
Happy Bucket Listing,
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