• Uncategorized

    Living in God’s Presence Part 2

    I have a confession—and I do appreciate the ridiculous paradox of what I’m about to say—but I didn’t have high expectations for my blog post Living in God’s Presence. Up to the point that I hit send on the email to my pastor, and later when I pressed publish on my website, I wondered—in contrast to the message of the entire post—if maybe I was confusing obsessive tendencies for Godly zeal. Then I started reading feedback and realized something—this questioning… this uncertainty… hit home with other Christians. This quiet doubt that was snaking its way into my head and heart was also at work worming its way into the heads…

  • Uncategorized

    Sunshine Blogger Award

    I’ve had the honor of being nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award—not once but twice in the last couple months. My first nomination for this peer-recognition award came from Gia at giaknows.com. Gia is a passionate Christian and raw vegan minimalist who invites others to walk with her towards better health through the powerhouse of info she provides on her blog. Check it out and follow her social media profiles: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. My second nomination came from a fellow faith blogger, Stephen De La Vega. Stephen faithfully and fearlessly blogs about his pursuit of God. He shines a love of Biblical understanding and invites us to…

  • Uncategorized

    Open Letter to Those who have Failed Jesus

    My pastor’s sermon a few Sundays ago, His Word Endures Forever, came for me on the heels of seeing, and listening to, John MacArthur. One of the sermon’s points was especially impactful to me after listening to Mr. MacArthur’s witness of a long and unblemished ministry. (If you’d like a chance to listen to His Word Endures Forever, it can be accessed here. My pastor, Nathan Franckhauser, talked about how Christians are apt to shrink into themselves when they are called out on a tarnished witness or reputation. The label of hypocrite can be as effective as a piece of duct tape over our mouths, shutting us up, telling us we aren’t…

  • Uncategorized

    Growth through Hardship

    Our gift from God. Have you ever faced an unanswered prayer? Challenging relationships? Difficult circumstances? Trick question. Of course the answer is yes if you’ve lived long in this world. I’ve been thinking a lot about learning lessons in life. Spiritual lessons. Slowly, I’m realizing that no matter how desperate I am for answered prayer—as I interpret “answered”—getting what I want may not be the best thing for my growth. Why? Because when I get what I want, I don’t grow. Despite the present-day gospel presentation, Jesus never promised an easy life post-personal redemption. In fact what he promised was the exact opposite. In John 16:33, Jesus told us, “In…

  • Uncategorized

    Running toward Empty

    As I was researching last week’s blog post, I came across two facts that particularly stood out to me. First, according to the USDA, domestic dogs are more of a threat to sheep than many large predators. Hang in there, I know it doesn’t sound that interesting. But it is. Here’s why. Domestic dogs are more of a threat than large, wild predators because they (dogs) don’t just attack, kill, and be done with it—they chase sheep to the point of exhaustion. Running toward Empty I don’t know why the picture of being chased to exhaustion resonated with me. Maybe because it’s so easy to arrive at that reality. Maybe…

  • Uncategorized

    Sheep

    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 “Not to you, ye great and mighty, who lift your heads high, and claim for yourselves honor: not for you is peace, not to you is rest; but unto you, ye lowly ones, who delight in the valley of humiliation, and feel yourselves to be taken down in your own esteem—to you it is that the Shepherd becomes dear; and to you will he give to lie down in…

  • How could a 1st-century Jewish carpenter be tempted in all the same ways as a 21st-century American woman?
    Uncategorized

    Was Jesus Tempted like Me?

    Was Jesus Tempted like Me? I was struck with a thought while reading through Hebrews. When I came across this verse—For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.—I thought, “How could a 1st-century Jewish carpenter be tempted in all the same ways as a 21st-century American woman?” We live worlds apart. Different cultures. Different challenges. Different opportunities for sin. It made me wonder, what is this about to teach me? James wrote, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot…

  • Uncategorized

    Grace with Humility

    Do you ever wonder if you’ve messed up so bad that God won’t want to use you anymore? If anyone has ever stood firmly in that place of uncertainty, I think it was David and Bathsheba. Yet tucked away into Jesus’ genealogy is a small detail of significant impact the notorious couple left to encourage those who feel irreparably broken. But before I get to that, first let’s talk about a man who did mess up so bad that God wrote him off. Not only that. This guy screwed up so bad, God wrote off his offspring as well. King Jehoiachin. David and Bathsheba’s descendant through King Solomon. Jeremiah 22:28-30 paints…

  • Uncategorized

    Juxtaposition

    Juxtaposition: the act or instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or contrast or to create an interesting effect. A couple months ago, I explored the idea of treating others according to their potential, not their past—which I wholeheartedly believe. But what happens when treating others according to their potential, not their past, puts us in hazardous emotional/spiritual/physical situations? How do we guard our hearts while still believing the best? I’m not even going to pretend to understand all that this means. It’s a deep question to answer and one of the many juxtapositions of our faith. But as I reflected on this idea,…

  • Uncategorized

    True Growth

    And so continues the emotional rollercoaster saga that is my yucca tree. Can you have too many blog posts about gardening? Maybe. But I’m willing to push the limits. An interesting thing has happened. And I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. The growth that I was searching for, the growth that YouTube promised, is here (insert trumpets and fanfare). But it DOES NOT look the way I thought it should. And I’m having a hard time accepting that. My tree was supposed to shoot beautiful new growth from the top of its barren trunk. I was ready for lush green leaves, the perfect height to sit under…