Friday, May 20, 2016


I haven't written in forever - I can talk more about that later.

But I have a message I have to share.

One God has poured into my heart for my own generation.

I was up in the middle of the night. It happens occasionally. I wake up to comfort the babe back to sleep and can't get myself to sleep after. Usually I just lay there wishing my eyes would close and I could stop counting the minutes I have left until daylight, until my girls wake up. But this one night, a few nights back, instead of laying there I was drawn to get up. Ok. I'm listening. I grabbed a drink of water then stood at the counter.

Now what.

We have recently made a long distance, 10 hour move, so my bible and the routine of reading it daily has slipped.

Go find it. Read it.

So I do. But where?

I'm not one to flip it open and read - I like a little more structure than that but it was 315 in the morning I'd been up since 2, I was tired but my body wasn't going back to sleep.

So I did.

Here is what God has pressed upon me to live and share:

Don’t Be So Easily Offended.

Some of you will even feel a twinge of offense at that. Don't. Hold it back. Read on first.

We are notorious for it. Many Americans are. In fact, I dare say the vast majority of America is perceived as being this way. Not that everyone is, and not that this even includes the actual majority of people, but rather that this is how we are perceived. As a nation, as a people who are easily offended-news doesn’t help the case.

But I see it everywhere. An attitude of entitlement the moment someone does something against us. Just look in the news or on the internet to see what crazy things people are suing for and fighting against nowadays.

Now before going on I must say a few things this isn’t.

This isn’t me saying we should be door mats.
This isn’t me saying we should be ok with getting walked all over and taken advantage of
This isn’t me saying we shouldn’t stand up for whats right or what we believe in.
This isn’t me saying to not have opinions or strong beliefs.

As Christians, I need to say that its time  to stop being offended - maybe not being, but acting so offended.  
Stop being offended  and acting out that offense at those who argue against you.
Stop being offended at those who question or belittle your faith.
Stop being offended at the words and actions used against you whether they are because you are a Christian or just in every day life.

Because as Christians, as those who claim to follow Jesus, we find our examples for living in scripture right? You can't claim to be a Christian and ignore what you see and read in scripture all at the same time.

Look to scripture.

That is where our model is to come from – we are to live differently than a society who is easily offended – thinking they are entitled to supreme treatment. I’m not preaching poverty gospel. I’m not saying to purposefully put yourself in harms’ way. I’m saying what I’m saying.
Stop being so easily offended.

There are two people in scripture who should have been offended (there are probably more but two stand out the most for me right now) and yet they weren’t. The first is the obvious one – Jesus. You know, his insane treatment with no real legitimate accusation against him. You know, how he was killed on the cross but never really was found guilty prior to this punishment.

If that happened in todays’ day, there would be riots and car burnings and retaliations and fighting and more killing. Especially if it was one race doing it to another, or one religion to another, or one political party to another, or one activist group to another.

Yet what were those last few words of Jesus’? 'You get them God! You make sure these evil men burn in hell for killing me your son!!!' Nope. That wasn't it.
In fact in the last moments of his life, when death was near and his pain was to its max degree fro the torture he faced. He used what little strength he had left, what few breaths he could muster to say the following
‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do’
He didn’t gather his troops. He didn’t call forth justice for his death. He didn’t yell back at those trying to kill him. He didn’t even argue his innocence.

‘Father forgive them’
'Forgive them....'

Jesus wasn't the only one with this mentality. This love. This grace. This eternal perspecitive.


Have you heard of him?

Do you remember his story?

I’ll post it here if you haven’t.

Feel free to read/skim it to refresh your mind but if you’re like me and skip through posts quickly just go to the bolded part – it’s the focus of this next portion.

This is the end of the speech he was giving and if you ask me pretty bold and harsh words:

You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.


WHILE they were stoning him, Stephen cursed back at them and yelled out for justice, he screamed this isn't fair!


While they were stoning him Stephen grew in self-pity proclaiming WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO ME! DON’T THEY KNOW WHO I AM?!


Quite the opposite.

WHILE they were stoning him, Stephen PRAYED.

And he didn’t pray to change their hearts. He didn’t pray for God to get revenge on them. He didn’t pray that they get what they deserve.

‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’

But here’s what is even crazier to me. This prayer wasn’t said when they first started stoning him. Stoning – like literally throwing stones at someone until they die. That has to take a long time.

This prayer was said at the VERY END of this torturous way of dying.

This prayer, this prayer of forgiveness not offensiveness was said seconds before he died.

The love Stephen shows for those cruel men who took his life from him is so humbling.
That when no one would have blamed him for being offended, for demanding justice, for fighting against this, for calling out vengeance, he chose love. He chose Forgiveness.

So maybe the next time someone does something that hurts, when someone does something ‘worth’ offense, maybe our response should be love, should be forgiveness, not revenge, not making a point, not anger.

“Father forgive them. Do not hold this against them.”

Does is still hurt. Yes.

Is it still wrong. Yes.

Does it straight up suck? Yes.

But Father forgive them.

Responding with love isn’t saying that it isn’t these things.
Responding with forgiveness isn’t saying that didn’t hurt, isn’t saying it is ok, isn’t saying that I am happy with what happened.

Responding in such a way is saying that while this hurts and wasn’t right, I am choosing to still love you. Love you with a love so much bigger than me it can only be from God. Because in that moment, in that hurt, I can’t possibly love you unless the love comes from God himself.

Choose love. Choose forgiveness. Not revenge. Not offense.

Friday, November 13, 2015

No Room For Fear

I haven't written in a long time.

Maybe a year?

I don't even know.

I got disillusioned.

I almost gave up.

I had a baby!! (She's adorable...and going on 6 months!!)

But tonight, right here, right now I have to write.

I have to write to process the craziness that is around me. Not me physically, but that which is in this world.

Tonight there were some insane, horrific attacks in Paris.

Bits and pieces of the news unfolding is catching my ears as I get my babies to sleep, kiss them extra, hug them harder.

I'm not going into the details about the attacks, but I have to write to process my heart.

I am a mom.

Before becoming a mom, I had a narrow view of life and our world. I took more risks, I was more carefree and fear never crept its bony fingers into my soul. Now, as a mom, the cement steps outside my door cause my heart to lurch as my toddler goes running out to hug her daddy home from work. All spiders are poisonous. Walking in a parking lot calls forth the hawk eye. Strangers being a little to friendly get my momma bear sense on high alert. I have two babies to care for, to love and look after. And now, as a mom, the fear of what could happen clouds our days if I don't consciously claim the freedom from fear we are called to.

And now this.

A tragic attack.

I can't imagine. No. I can. Too well. I can imagine horrors and terrors comparable to a psycho movie. So I don't go there. I don't let my mind go there. I can't. I can't let fear take over my inner, paralyzing me from moving, doing, going, being. I hold firm to the belief that we are not to live in fear. God did not call us to live in fear because all of this, all of this tragedy isn't beyond him and isn't a surprise.

It is said in the gospels that this world will be hard, this world will have troubles - but we must hold firm to the truth, the promise, that He has OVERCOME the world. In the end, this will all pass away and we will be in eternal glory with him. And that is where I put my hope. That is where my hope is grounded.

And with that I continue to go, to live, to buy groceries, to play at the park, to not give in to fear. There is no room for fear where I know my God is bigger. My God is bigger.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Untold Testimony

There is a testimony out there that doesn't get shared.

There is a testimony out there that gets brushed to the side.

There is a testimony out there that has fallen into the hands of the enemy.

There is a testimony out there that isn't being told because it has succumbed to the falsehood that it in and of itself isn't exciting enough, isn't 'bad' enough, isn't emotional enough, isn't deep enough, isn't long enough, isn't dirty enough, isn't enough.

And it like so many aspects of the Christian culture today has put emotional appeal above Jesus Christ - which in reality, in its purest form, brings the greatest joy and peace and fullness. More so than any story ever could.

Is it your testimony?

Are you the one hesitant to share because you feel its boring? plain? simple?

Maybe it includes some of the following:

Grew up in a Christian home
Went to church every Sunday - usually twice and on Wednesdays
Accepted Christ as a young child
Life wasn't perfect but God was always there

Let me tell you something. Something beautiful. Something life changing.



Because it's not about your story, it's not about you, it's not about the junk you got yourself into, its not about the mistakes you made or didn't make, it is about one thing and one thing ONLY..

In that moment that you became a Christian, in that moment that you accepted Christ as your one and only Savior, whether at 5 or 50, YOU WENT FROM DEATH TO LIFE.

You were dead, you were a corpse rotting in the sin of this world and Jesus changed you from that, to LIFE, to LIVING, to be FREE.

Every testimony has that at it's foundation and coursing throughout its veins and that makes EVERY testimony beautiful and powerful and miraculous.

Your story is beautiful!
Your testimony is powerful and life changing because of the one who changes lives and is all powerful.

Don't downplay your story or any story
Don't let it be the untold testimony


Monday, August 25, 2014

The Disillusioned Writer In Me

Yet Still Pressing Forward

A season of deep disillusionment with writing has kept me from approaching my computer with an intent to put my thoughts and feelings to words on the screen.

Disillusionment seemed to be the word that fit the inner struggle that has been happening before I even fully knew what that word meant. So, I looked it up.

My conclusion, what I thought writing to be, what I saw others doing with their writing and blogs, pushed me to lose sight of why I was doing what I was doing and what direction I was going with it.

I began giving this more thought in the past few days and weeks to try and pin point exactly where this was coming from and where I wanted to go, moving forward in the same or different direction.

Much of this feeling of unease and of being unsettled came from an annoyance of other bloggers. I let others and their blogs become my focus rather than pour into what I felt God was leading me to do. I would see their posts...which did multiple things that frustrated me: bible abuse to get an emotional reaction, writing the same sort of thing over and over (i.e. your typical 'I see you' 'I hear you' Cliche motivational type posts) and I became annoyed with the surface attitude and the dig and forcing of an emotional response.

I get it.

I get that as a blogger you want readers and to get readers you need to connect...but sometimes, many times, it felt so forced and fake. Even when they said they were being real it felt fake, forced. So maybe I also got frustrated with the community of bloggers. All doing the same thing, going in the same direction, but all spinning their tires trying to get there, wherever that is. 

Rather than look to God and stay focused on him and his guiding, I looked around me and became fed up with all that was there, or not there. 

All of this led to me feeling lost in my own direction of my blog. I didn't want to become a surface, emotional writer. I wanted my writing to hold more to it, to mean something more eternal, more lasting, less temporary as emotional responses are.

But I didn't know what that was.

I don't know what that is.

I feel I'm getting closer.



I just had to use this time to remind myself of why I write.
I write because when I do, when I sit down and begin to type, when I allow God to use my words, I rarely feel as close and connected to him as I do in those moments. With my computer open and my bible pages spread next to me I feel as if I am doing exactly what he is guiding me to do. I write because I have to. I write because this introverted self needs solitude and internal reflection to get all that runs through my head out before me so I can see it, process it, correct it, use it, grow from it.

That is the focus I need to hold on to. This isn't for anyone else. They may benefit from it, or not. But this ultimately is for me as I follow God in this.

And with that, the clouds break, the disillusionment begins to dissipate, the sun warms my face, I feel in the right place at the right time once again. Constant reminder.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why I don't like Christian Women's Conferences

(Ok, I've only been to two but have had similar experiences.)

A while back I mentioned having gone to a women's conference and that I was processing some things from the weekend. One of which was something I have been struggling with and working through since going. I know many loved the women's conference and I will say I did enjoy my time, seeing all those women worshiping God and being encouraged and inspired by the events of the weekend, but I struggled with the lack of bible, of Jesus, of gospel.

A lot of great things were said, a lot of truth spoken and encouragement delivered, but I struggled with the fact that very little scripture was used. This isn't to say that scripture isn't and wasn't the original basis of the things that were being talked about, its just to say that it wasn't very openly, deeply used.

And that rubbed me the wrong way.

I saw a multitude of examples of 'bible abuse' where pieces and parts and fragments of scripture are plucked up and inserted into someone's talk but in the process is taken entirely out of context or is molded and stretched to fit the point they are trying to make, to emphasize the emotional trigger they are going for.

Something about that didn't settle right.

And for the past few weeks I have been telling myself that it was just me being critical. It was just me, who watches sermons with her husband for fun, expecting more than what these types of events are all about. It was just me nervous that I will do the same thing the next time I get an opportunity to speak to a group of women. It as just me.

But then, toward the end of last week, I was reading in scripture and came across the following verse and so much of what was creating unease within my heart became clear to me as to why. Take a look with me. This passage is Paul talking to the Corinthians about not being divided, not being caught up following people but to be always following after Jesus:
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Is it possible that too many words, too much emphasis on creating catchy phrases and incorporating lengthy words empties the gospel of it's power?

That instead of Jesus getting the credit, the fancy talk is.

That many of the good talks have actually become a distraction from Jesus. An intricate combination of words peppered with pieces of scripture so it can be disguised as bible teaching and not just a good speech.

I'm not saying all messages presented did this, or that even any of them did, although it feels like this with some more than others. I'm not saying those messages don't have a purpose and weren't used in powerful ways to touch the hearts of women. I'm not saying that God didn't use the words spoken and allowed them to speak directly into the situations of those hearing.

I'm not saying that I could ever do any better.

In the end, if anything, my conclusion is that this was eye opening to me. The unease I felt, the unsettled feeling was necessary because it drew my attention to the direction any speaker could easily go - forfeiting the true power of Christ in order to get a seemingly bigger emotional reaction. Eye opening because speaking to groups of women is a passion and dream of mine and I want it to contain the power and authority of Jesus, not be mere words of eloquent wisdom. I don't want to get caught up in trying to say the right thing that I take away the power of Christ which is my sole purpose for doing any of it.

I praise God that he can take my weak but best efforts and turn them into whatever he wants to use them as. That he can take the powerless and fill it with power. That he can take the timid and insecure and overflow them with authority.

I pray that as I continue to speak to groups of women, that my focus be Jesus and that the cross be held forth, that the work of Jesus be glorified, the light shine on the power of God and not on the words coming from my mouth.

And for that, for the heart of the women who spoke, for their love for Jesus and desire to spread his love, for their passion to encourage and uplift other women, for all of that and more - I thoroughly enjoyed the women's conference and did actually like it. I pray that their efforts and hard work are used by God to cause a revival in the hearts and lives of women across the nation!

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Have you ever been to a Christian women's conference? What did you experience? How did God use that time in your life?

Live Each Moment By Faith