(Ordinary)Gospel.(Automatic)Family.(Latent)Mission.

Last night, our college ministry had the semester’s first large-scale gathering of students and others in the college-age range at what we call The Brook. I had the opportunity to co-host the event with a dear friend of mine, and we’d spent the past weeks planning, creating and losing sleep. [Pause] Think about the arrangement of that sentence. I said I had the opportunity to co-host. But what about the planning, creating and losing sleep? Were those opportunities too? Considering that when we think about an opportunity, we usually follow it up with some noteworthy action, a platform, some dream come true or some profitable endeavor, I’d say no. The fact that God would let me stand on a stage was the opportunity. Isn’t that what we all want in some arena or another? To be seen and heard.

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Love Like You’re Dying

My husband started dying six months before our wedding.

Dying, yes, in the way of all flesh. As in the way a newborn begins to age after its first breath. The way the sticker price on a new car plummets as soon as you drive it off the lot. The way tender green leaves turn, toughen, and fall. Dying in that universal human way. But dying also more visibly than the average 23-year-old typically does. Dying more surely than any freshly graduated, almost newly married, virile and viable sample of humankind ever should.

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It’s All God’s

So often you see sibling rivalries in families—competition, catty fights, disrespect.  I grew up in a home like that and honestly my sister and I never recovered.  I was never made to honor my sister and never had to share or consider her as more important than myself.  We had our own room, own tv, own toys, own clothes and we were not allowed to touch the other’s property without asking.  It created a sense of entitlement and individualism in the both of us.  I didn’t need her.  She didn’t need me.

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TIME: it doesn’t heal or forgive

So many emotions were mounting in my heart: fear, excitement, uncertainty, expectancy and joy. The anticipation was tremendous, but I had to lock in. As such, the only logical thing to do was to shut my phone off. I had to meet with Jesus in a real way before I spoke on His behalf and rallied college students to take up the mission to see their campuses changed with the Gospel. In my heart, I knew this day would be remembered forever…

That was 9-15-2011. I relive it often.

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66 books in 30 days (part 3)

8.   Solomon’s life illustrates our real problem (lavish whoredom not lack of wisdom)

  • This was by far the one that was most pivotal for me.  If you don’t pay attention to any other point, please follow this one.
  • I Kings Chapters 10 and 11 lay out this point beautifully.  In 1 Kings 10, we see a chapter that focuses on Solomon’s wisdom.  The Queen of Sheba is impressed with him because he’s so smart.  The chapter goes on and talks about all the money and possessions he had as a result of his wisdom.  It looks like an upward swing.
  • 1 Kings 11:1 starts off with a sad verse, however, “Now Solomon loved many foreign women…”  Solomon’s heart went after things that God told Him to stay away from.  His head was in the right place, and he was the wisest man to ever live, but that didn’t stop His heart from wandering.  Solomon’s real problem wasn’t a lack of wisdom, it was lavish whoredom.
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    66 books in 30 days (part 2)

     Part 2 of the lessons I learned from reading the entire Bible in one month. (see Part 1)

    4.  Doctrine leads to Doxology

    Very early on, something else occurred to me.  The Bible is filled with people thanking God.  Wherever God’s character is seen and revealed, His people explode with a kind of spontaneous and robust praise—they can’t help it! It just comes out as the natural response to God revealing Himself.  The only people that don’t respond with praise when God reveals Himself are people that have a hard heart and are frustrated with Him (i.e. the Pharisees in the gospels).

    It exposed how hard my heart was and just how little I was appreciative that God would choose to enter into relationship with me and show me things about Him that are beautiful. I’ve begun to take special notice of the things that I’ve learned about God and respond with thanksgiving in return.

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    66 books in 30 days

    Confession

    I’m a pastor.  That means that, in some sense, I get paid to read my Bible.  I’m a Christian.  That means that I’m supposed to read the Bible.  You can see how being a pastor has its advantages.  I get paid to do what I’m supposed to be doing!  Since this is the case, you would assume it wouldn’t be a struggle to read my Bible.  Right?

    I had to include this intro so that you don’t think more highly of me than you should.  The last thing I want to do is post this in order for you to be impressed by my iron will or steadfast determination.  The reality is that I don’t have either of those and that’s exactly the reason I had to do something this radical.

    Here’s how it went down… Read more →

    Joy in the mundane

    The more I looked at my life, the more I began to notice that I was truly discontent with it. I found it to be pretty mundane and thus void of any joy. I wanted a change. I needed a change. Everywhere l looked and everyone I talked to seemed to be in one of two camps. On one end, I heard if I wanted to be happy I needed to do something about my life. With all the self-help books and resources out there talking about how to make a “better life now” it only made sense. On the other end, I heard it’s just a phase. It’ll pass. My situation would “get better in time.” I just had to hold on and wait it out. Read more →

    Lesson Unlearned

    BAD NEWS

    It was my freshman year in college.  After a long day, I came home and listened to my answering machine (obviously, this is 1994).  There was a message on it that would soon change my world.  My sister said words I never thought I would hear, “They’re getting a divorce.”  Unsettling news to say the least.  I walked outside my dorm room and cried for hours.  I couldn’t imagine a world with my parents not being together.  I was so confused.  I just remember being angry. A flood of old memories came back to my mind. Wrestling with my dad after breakfast and hearing my mom laugh as I tried to take him to the floor.  Football games, dinners after church, bad jokes my dad would tell, our family laughing together…all gone.

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    Different But Equal (Part 2)

    2: ROLE of RESPECT: You have the power to breath life or death.

    The best way we can help is to breath life into our husbands.

    How do you breath life?

    God created man with such a uniqueness from women.  I wish someone had TOLD ME SOONER!   As a woman, I don’t need the same things a man does; they don’t need the same things we do.  I see this in my sons and daughters already. Trinity, Jade, and Briaiah need to be protected, pursued, told they are beautiful, affirmed, hugged; their hearts need to be shepherded.  Dhati, Brayden and Nathaniel need to conquer, they need to be the strongest, they need to know that their lives count for something and they naturally protect.

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    Different but Equal

    I am a mom of six, and I take this parenting thing very seriously. When I am asked to share about marriage and women’s roles in marriage, I ask myself, “If I could have had only two concepts shared with me or two concepts I could share with my daughters, what would they be?” Read more →