We just concluded a sermon series at Blueprint entitled “Life Verses.” Each week, one of our pastors walked us through a set of verses that has been influential in his life. But God’s Word isn’t just for pastors! It has the ability to powerfully affect and transform each of us. Today, we’re featuring the Life Verses of Laura Coulter, one of our interns. Read more →
I am a nerd about The Hunger Games. Like I read the series in four days nerdy. So, of course, I recently saw the second movie, Catching Fire. And, yes, of course, the book is better. I might add that I will not pretend I have not lived vicariously through this Katniss (that’s one reason we read and watch fiction, right?). I mean, you have to picture this woman catching fire, literally adorned in flames, emblazoned with determination, laser-like focus on her mission. But, even better, she comes from nothing, a soot-covered mining town filled with oppression. She rises to the call to be free of this hopeless tyranny, and like a phoenix (or perhaps more like a mockingjay– add geekiness), she rises from the ashes. Read more →
That’s me. Well, a pharisee is what I’ve been acting like for quite some time now. No sooner than me throwing in the towel, quitting my performance of Christianity, did this reality hit me.
One day, visibly frustrated, my friend expressed her displeasure with our constant debates. Of course I defended myself, but I realized in doing so I was only digging a deeper hole. So, for a moment, I stopped thinking of how unfair her sentiments seemed to be, and considered the worst. What if I am prideful? What if I do always think I’m right, so my opinions are really facts I believe other people just haven’t been exposed to yet? What if I’ve come up with my own rules of what holiness looks like? What if I really do look at people who don’t have my “convictions” as less righteous than me? What if what I’ve thought was a pure desire to be holy and honor God has really been a drive to gain righteousness, because I didn’t believe righteousness could truly be given to me without my works earning it for me? What if my view of God has been pretty low, especially in the unconditional love department? What if…I’m a pharisee? Read more →
In Matthew 12, Jesus said something that has always mystified me. After healing a whole bunch of people he “ordered them not to make him known.” (12:13) This wasn’t the first time he told people to keep his ministry on the down-low, and every time I read this particular instruction (which almost no one ever obeyed, by the way) I wonder why on earth Jesus gave it. But in this instance, Matthew explained:
The holiday season: that hate it or love it time of the year.
You think about all there is to gain or you remember what you’ve lost.
I went into this Christmas excited as always. Getting to see whether my family’s Secret Santa gifts would wind up in the closet or the returned items bin at Macy’s or Marshalls is always fun, but being reminded of the miracle that found its way to a manger in Bethlehem is honestly what I love about that time of year. Quite frankly, the whole thing still amazes me. Eternity stepping into time to save the undeserving? Yeah, I am compelled to celebrate—whether presents fill the living room or not. But then, there’s family. The presence or lack of family members around can seemingly make or break one’s holiday season.
I didn’t realize that until this Christmas. Read more →
Life offers us, if we’ll let it, many opportunities to become expert followers. . . Just so you know, I wrote this several years ago. It is not in response to any of the current leaders in my life, either at home, at church or in our government.
“Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.”
The context of these verses is the incredible story of God’s leadership of his people out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and into the Promised Land. As I began to picture the men and women of Israel standing on the banks of the Red Sea – roiling waters before them, raging enemy closing in behind them – I could only imagine that they were anxious and afraid, but also that they were angry with Moses for leading them to what was surely imminent death. Knowing my own nature and the tendency of most of us when we aren’t in charge but want to be, I can picture that the Israelites were disgruntled with Moses for what appeared to be botched leadership. And because they were effectively trapped between two dangers, unable to fix or change the situation themselves, they grumbled and complained. What else could they do? Read more →
Back in April, I joined others from Blueprint on my first mission trip. Simply put, it ravished me. But, since I’ve returned, everything around me seems to keep changing. Less than a month after being in a different country, I headed off to a different state where I’d spend two months serving at Kids Across America (that deserves a blog post all its own). I said goodbye to friends, family, community and my city for the summer. I said hello to 8-10 new kampers every week in the cabin I lead with my co-counselors. Then, after five weeks, I said “see you later” to those two co-counselors and “hello” to a new partner in a different cabin with different girls. I then returned home to begrudgingly say sayonara to my best friend whose teaching abroad for the next 10 months. I started a new job last week, and did I mention I’m moving in about three weeks?
Please, tell me your head is spinning too! Read more →
This week features posts from Angie Lewis. She is the wife of our lead pastor, Dhati, and proud mother of six. Angie’s unique voice and perspective promises to encourage and strengthen those who read. We hope you enjoy and are blessed.
KAA is one of our favorite summer activities. Kids Across America is a Christian sports camp in the woods of Missouri. It is great for us because it allows us to unplug, focus on our family, share our lives with the 16-18 year old campers and the counselors that come…and we get to do it as a family! The kids LOVE it. It is endless chats and yelling and high energy. One of the nights is called CrossTalk, in which the counselors reenact the crucifixion. A man plays the role of Jesus–he is beaten, mocked, spit on and hung on the cross to die. It is dramatic and always well done—painting the picture of what Christ did in dying for His people. We always consider which children to take to this part of the schedule. This year, Trinity got to go to camp as a camper in one of the younger groups. So, Jade and Briaiah were my only girls. Dhati and I thought about who was mature enough and ready to see CrossTalk. We decided I would take Jade and Briaiah, but that he would stay behind with the boys. Jade is 8 and Briaiah is 6. The boys: 5,4, and 3. So, Jade and Briaiah and I all walked down to the lake to watch CrossTalk. Read more →