Monthly Archives

June 2015

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Warm Embrace

Anyone who knows me knows that my family is so important to me. For a girl of 22 years of age I do not really fit in with many of my peers. I prefer to spend my Saturday nights going with my parents and two younger cousins to play bingo; I enjoy going to lunch almost every day with my grandparents; I love curling up and watching Hallmark movies with my mom; I eat dinner every week night with my parents, cousins and aunt and uncle. Many people would consider this to be boring but for me I am most comfortable and fully myself in the loving presence of my family. I just returned home from a week long vacation to the beach with my dad’s side of the family and while there I recognized the peace of God in a new way.

I have been blessed abundantly to have a loving and warm family. I spent the week laughing, eating and relaxing in my family’s warmth. I felt like I was in a warm cocoon or a warm embrace. It was as if God was using my family’s love to surround me with God’s own love. God has blessed me with this incredible gift, I was given four months to laugh, love, break bread and make memories with my family before I leave to go to Scotland. These memories will last me a lifetime and I will treasure this summer deep within my heart. No matter where I go in this world they will be with me and I will carry their love and hopefully they will carry mine.

In the last two months I have experienced God’s love in a new way–I have been embraced in God’s peace and love by simply being with the wonderful friends and family God has placed in my life. In rare form, at least for me, I have relaxed I have been learning to let go of past hurts and pain, manage the feelings that I am experiencing, love more, open my heart, accept who I am, look for God everyday and hope for God’s good plans.

Brothers and sisters lets start to actively seek God in our everyday moments. I have been reading two different books and they both address this idea of looking for God in everyday things and in everything that we do. Imagine if we looked for God in all the trivial moments of each and everyday and if we found God. How much closer would our relationship grow with God if we allowed ourselves to truly feel the wind as the Holy Spirit, if we recognized the gift of being a good cook as a gift from God, if we recognized that breaking bread each night was a form of worshiping God, if we sought out God in every aspect of our days and found God holding us right there and treasuring those moments of being in union together. God wants to be in a relationship with us but we need to want to be in that relationship with God too.

Lately I have been feeling God’s warmth, it is truly amazing how God’s warmth can penetrate all the pain and suffering if we let it. Let’s try to seek God everyday in every moment even the painful ones. Allow God’s warmth to fill you and bring you peace.

“Mack, I don’t want to be the first among a list of values; I want to be at the center of everything. When I live in you, then together we can live through everything tat happens to you. Rather than the top of a pyramid, I want to be the center of a mobile, where everything in your life–your friends, family, occupation, thoughts, activities–is connected to me but moves with the wind, in and out and back and forth, in an incredible dance of being” (WM Paul Young, The Shack). 

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. May you seek out God in every moment of your day and may you find God’s presence.

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Stand With Charleston

I never thought this would happen here, not where I lived. Hateful and violent attacks that appear on the national news happen other places not 20 minutes from me. But the sad and painful reality is that hate is abundant in this world, it is everywhere–even in our own backyards. My heart aches. I wonder what kind of person could do this to innocent people? I wonder how a person could be so broken and cruel that he would kill nine innocent men and women in cold blood. I have prayed asking for the right words to address this tragic event. I will not promise that these words will be the best but I could not leave them unsaid.

Brothers and sisters our hearts all hurt and are heavy with this violent and cruel tragedy. Hearts around Charleston are heavy, hearts around the country are heavy, and God’s heart is heavy. The families of the nine killed are not alone in their grieving–in fact the God that those nine people gathered to worship is grieving right beside them. Holding them in his hands and working to make good come from this. But their suffering, hurt and pain will remain with them so we must be faithful to our brothers and sisters and pray for them.

I pray that they recognize God’s loving presence surrounding them. I pray that they know their loved ones are safe forever with God in heaven. I pray that despite the evilness of this crime they do not repay evil for evil (Romans 12) and allow hate into their hearts, but instead let God’s love fill them up and over flow. I pray that we as brothers and sisters are faithful to these families and remind them that love and goodness is still very present in this world. I pray that they know they are not alone. I pray that God blesses them and holds them deep in the healing part of his heart. I pray that these families who are walking in the valley of the shadow of death shall fear no evil for God is with them every step of the way (Psalm 23). I pray that God’s love will sustain them. And I pray that we all have hope and believe these words: “all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

My beautiful sisters and brothers in Christ, this is a tragedy. Evil is so present in this world. Please love one another and show love to everyone you meet. I know and I have so much hope that goodness, light and love will always triumph over evil, darkness and hatred. We have been taught by our fairy tales and by our religion that GOOD ALWAYS CONQUERS EVIL–LOVE WILL ALWAYS WIN. As our Lord and Savior said: “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33). God is with these families, with this community and with this nation. God will never forsake God’s own children. Just remember, God is with us and for us never against us.

We have been issued a call, one that is by no means easy–especially in a circumstance like this. But we are called to love. Yes, even our enemies (Matthew 5:44).

Romans 12:17-21

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible,so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

We cannot let this world and the evil people in it harden our hearts. We must spread God’s love. We must face the evil in this world and stand up against it–we know the end of this story, good is going to win evil is going to lose. Brothers and sisters stand together in unity of love. Defend what is good and stand for what is right.

Sisters and brothers take heart for this world has been conquered by the One who loves us with an unconditional love, Jesus. May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

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Growing Pains

I am going to be honest, I have been dragging my feet lately. I have been kicking, screaming, and fighting against God and what I know I am supposed to be doing. I have been praying and trying to wait till I am comfortable, till I feel better about myself, till I think I am ready. But what I have come to find out is that we are most certainly not called to be comfortable. Although I know God is patiently waiting for me to accept the challenge he has issued me and I know that God is loving me but I also know that I will feel better if I quit dragging my feet and try to start living into God’s call.

I feel like I am lost right now. I feel like I am avoiding having deep conversations with God and avoiding that closeness with God. Sort of on purpose but at the same time not on purpose. I can feel that what I am called to do is not easy and is not comfortable. I have to go against what society tells me is normal and listen to the answer to my prayers that God has consistently whispered to my heart.

I am growing and it is not an easy process–I am growing in a way that I am proud of but if I am being one hundred percent honest, sometimes I wonder about God’s plans. I wonder why things didn’t work out like I wanted. I know that God’s plans are the best but that still doesn’t stop my human lack of trust question God’s plan for my life and for the life of those I love.

Things will always turn out better the way God plans them and allows them to happen. Even when I know that everything is better God’s way I still, at times, focus on the hurt. It is a choice to choose God, to choose trusting God, and to choose the path God has asked us to walk–everyday it is a choice. We have that option and I am working towards trying to choose God.

Proverbs 19:21

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

I recently read a book about an incredible young woman who feels God’s call in her life. This woman chooses God everyday, though his path is hard it is worth it. Kisses from Katie is an amazing and inspirational book, one that is a prime example of what our lives can look like if we choose God everyday. Though our calls are all different, Katie and I agree that we all share one universal call–whatever faith one may practice or not practice–we are ALL called to love one another. Our personal pathways allow us to love people and show love in different ways but the basic goal is the same to spread love.

John 15:12

“This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.”

I have not been fully trusting God with all my heart, and truly believing that God’s plan is the best one. I run from God, I am scared that things will not always work out for the best and I doubt BUT how lucky are we that we worship a loving and forgiving God who is patient with us and always stands beside us. I felt that I needed to be honest with myself, God and my readers. This blog has been such a wonderful outlet for me and it is truly humbling that people would feel that these words I have written have something special to say. The words come from God and I write them publicly because I know I am not the only one to every feel this way; I am not the only one who ever turns or runs from God and I hope that if you have ever felt the way I have shared throughout these posts you find some level of comfort knowing you are not alone. Though this is digital it is a community of faith–know that you are not alone and that you are loved.

Growing is painful, but it is worth it. No matter how we act God remains faithful. We are not alone and when we decide to listen for God’s voice in our life the growing might be painful, but it is worth it. Wings are not an easy thing to grow.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.