Irreplaceable People, Unexpected Love

Irreplaceable People, Unexpected Love

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Things are replaceable, people are not. -Tow Truck Driver

So thankful that my person and I are alive and well -a miracle and blessing from our father. And that replaceable thing we drive around in, well God took care of that too.

This weekend didn’t turn out how we expected or desired with a whole tire coming off the car twice- once on an expressway. Somehow -both times- we managed to get to safety without impacting anyone or anything else. God gifted us with people- irreplaceable people- who were willing to help strangers in our time of need. He sent those to check on us and offer rides or help and more to temporarily put the tire back on the car.  It was a miracle how it all unfolded–we are still marveling at it!

At first I cried because I was so scared. Then I cried because so many cared!

With it being the weekend before Valentines, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate love than by experiencing God showing us his love in so many [unexpected] ways. We missed a marriage conference and fellowship with some friends, but we gained a greater understanding of what it means to rely on God, submit to him, and appreciate the things that have eternal value.

I feel our marriage has deepened in a way that only God could have allowed and our faith in him strengthened. He is good and he looks out for his children.

Praying you feel His extravagant and sometimes unexpected love this season.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.’” John 10:10-11

Can you wrap it around your mind?

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Today at our staff meeting, someone was talking about the love of God and how we try to “wrap it around our minds” –I am sure he meant to say we try to wrap our minds around it– but it came out the other way around. This got me thinking and I got this picture in my mind that will NOT go away!

Lately I have been praying through Ephesians 3:14-19 as a prayer not only for me, but for the people that I care deeply about.

It is for this reason that I bow my knees before the Father, 15 after whom all families in heaven above and on earth below receive their names, and pray:

16 Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit 17 so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts. May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together 18-19 with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings. (The Voice)

The verse talks about knowing, understanding how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (NIV).

This picture that I have is of how infinite his love is that it wraps around our minds, instead of the other way around. We can’t wrap our minds around God’s love for us, but he can wrap it around our minds. (Tweet it by clicking on the link)

It is as if we cannot ever FULLY grasp and comprehend or wrap our head around this concept of how GREAT his love is for us.

Thankfully, we don’t have to. Praise God that his love is so great that it can wrap around our mind, our head, our heart, our life! We don’t have to understand it, because we can fully experience its power!

Though it may have been a human misspoken saying, God used it to create this picture to show me that his love cannot be wrapped around by our finite minds, instead, his infinite love wraps around us and each and every person.

Confessions

Confessions

I love the picture of humility and unity that was displayed at our staff meeting this past week: people coming together. Our leaders outwardly confessed, reconciled and forgave one another for bitterness in their hearts that may have been unbeknownst to the other party. It was amazing to see the love that was spread in these small confessions and brought healing to many! Really, forgiveness has more to do with the person doing the forgiving than the person forgiven.

I have realized that on social media, I have held bitterness in my heart and I have not been completely real or honest. The pictures I post are the life I want to portray to the world but not exactly the whole story. I post the good moments and am silent during the bad or pretend like it is all ok. Yes, I want to live by faith and not make it a habit to complain or gripe, but I also do not want others to think I do not struggle and am some inhuman perfect being. It is quite the opposite actually.

So this goes out to all of my readers, I am sorry for becoming bitter about the lives portrayed and the half stories I receive. But I also ask for forgiveness for perpetuating the very same thing that I do not like!

It’s hard to humble yourself and admit you’re wrong. Let me rephrase that. It is hard for me to humble myself and admit I am wrong. I want to be right! And if I am honest-I would like to think I am always right!

While I love the idea and picture of humility, and appreciate it in others, it is so much more difficult to actually make it happen in my own life. I want to be liked, or perceived in a certain way.

A while ago, in the midst of some difficult times, I was on the phone with a friend whom I had not spoken with in a while and she said, “it looks like your life is great right now!”

And I thought to myself, what is she seeing that makes my life so great, why would she say that?!

It wasn’t until I took a look at what I portrayed to the rest of the world when I realized just how bad it was. While sometimes I may want it to be good so I act like it is, sometimes it’s not and instead I am silent. I wonder who else out there, instead of faking like it’s ok, they are silent? The moment they find one ray of hope, they share it with the world and the world thinks life is perfect.

Forgive me for acting like I have it all together all the time.

Social media is a fragile and complicated thing. One can over share- complaints, TMI, or nonsense, but one can also portray themselves in the way they would like to be seen instead of who they are—flaws and all.

I’m working on it. I don’t have it all together or know exactly how to walk this thin tightrope of reality and truth mixed with respect and dignity. All I ask is that you join with me in not only speaking the truth, but in living it as well.

Not All That Glitters is Gold

Not All That Glitters is Gold

Las Vegas, the glittering, wild and lively city. Full of billboards promising fun times and streets teaming with people looking for something. Casinos promising some big money, with people dumping their own money in to buy the dream. The strip looks like you can travel the world in a day, from Egypt to an Excalibur castle, New York to Paris, and Italy. 

But, like much of the city, it is all illusions and empty promises. Thus the saying rings true, 

“All that glitters is not gold.” -Shakespeare 

While my recent visit to Las Vegas was full of fun sightseeing, attractions, shows, and food, I was left knowing there is more in store. 

People packed on the strip, everyone trying to sell you something, promising something. Everyone is looking to make a buck, and if you’re lucky, you may walk out with a few left. If you don’t spend it all on gambling, the food, shopping, and entertainment will surely get you. 

Nonetheless, in the midst of it all, as we were walking down the strip one afternoon, I heard a Christian song playing from one of the restaurants. I’m not sure who was playing it, or how long it was played, and I do not even remember the song, but I got the message. I received that glimpse of God’s love and mercy for “sin city.” His desire to redeem it and bring it from death to life. 

Thanks God for your little glimpse of hope, that pure gold of your truth and love in the midst of the world. 

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Right as we were walking to our last brunch before leaving, the song “back to life, back to reality” came on and I couldn’t help but laugh and think to myself, yes, and I am glad to be going home, because, as much fun as it was, my life and reality are so much better than these past few days in Vegas

I have a community that is committed to being better together, united by a common goal and purpose, determined to change the world. I have a family who loves and cares for me and encourages me to live out my purpose each day. Jesus has given me eternal life to which this life cannot compare and a purpose for while I am here on earth. I’ve found something of true value, pure gold, and when you can find that, when your reality is better than fantasy travels, it is golden.