For many of us, becoming a Christian and joining a church is a lot like getting invited to a country club.
We sign up on a little card, are handed instant “community” within the group and are even given a calendar full of all the ways to become involved.
We receive a place at the table of doing, serving and attending. We meet up for regular gatherings that make us feel good, feel loved and feel accepted.
Yet, despite the all-inclusive aspects of this new life, something is missing. Something is lacking.
After years of attending, doing and serving, we find that we don’t know Jesus more intimately than we did that first day we prayed and asked Him into our lives.
You see her.
In your Instagram feed. Writing another book. Up on a stage. Traveling the globe and doing work that seems to be changing the world.
Meanwhile, you are stuck paying bills and budgeting. Carpooling and folding laundry. Hustling but not getting anywhere fast.
Your life feels far from extraordinary. Yours lacks influence, and your work seems unimportant in comparison to what she, and others like her, are doing.
People all around you seem to have megaphones and microphones, and you are simply standing among the masses: a speck in a sea of insignificance.
Have you ever just needed a friend?
And most people I know have.
At one time or another, we all will need a true friend, someone who is willing to show up, even though it’s inconvenient, costly or hard.
This life, no matter how self-sufficient we are, is not meant to be experienced alone. Community is an integral part of the human design, but somewhere along the way to gaining 1K online friends and followers, we have lost our connection in understanding the need for real friendships in real life with the people right beside us.
One of the best examples we have of how to be a good friend came from Jesus. He was the master relationship craftsman and fine tuned the art of showing up and loving people well.
Election Day is coming. For many, that means heading out to cast your vote for the next President of the United States, choosing your state’s governor or electing the local officials for your county or city.
Many months and millions of dollars have been spent trying to persuade your vote in a particular direction; to help elect the “best” candidate to lead our government into the subjectively “right” direction.
I have no idea which way you lean politically and honestly; I don’t care. It’s not that I don’t care about politics, it’s that I’d rather rally with you around something that unites us instead of divides us. At the end of election season, God will still be sovereignly ruling and reigning in all aspects of our world. So let us be united as we follow Christ into our political future.
Everybody loves fall, but within some Christian circles, not everybody loves Halloween.
The creepy masks, the gory costumes and the darkness that seems to cloak the festivities of the holiday are enough to make the best Christian turn off their porch light, attend a harvest party at church and just otherwise pretend Halloween doesn’t exist.
Now, I know that there is indeed a lot of darkness surrounding the holiday, even today, and I would be remiss to not acknowledge the influence of it on all the revelry of October 31.
I have a confession to make.
I am a gossip.
Seriously. I am a nosey busybody who wants the latest dirt on everybody who is anybody.
At first, it may sound a little silly to confess this to you but I am realizing that just because gossip is more of a “respectable sin” doesn’t make it any less hurtful or less ugly.
Sin is sin, and allowing gossip to breed in my heart is a subtle way to let the enemy sneak in and kill, steal and destroy from the relationships in my life. And I don’t want to do that anymore.
Over and over again in the last few months, God has been peeling back the layers of my gossiping heart to show me just how deep this sin runs in myself. And, friends, it. is. ugly.
You, my friend, are a missionary.
You may not have had to move to a faraway country or raise financial support, but you have been strategically placed by God to live intentionally in the very community you are in right now.
You may not be an official missionary in the traditional sense of the word, but you are indeed an everyday one. You are an everyday missionary, and God has placed you in your corner of the world for a purpose.
And I believe that purpose is to love God and love people with everything you have. (Mark 12:29-31)
You may be thinking, who me? I am not a missionary. I’m not married to a pastor; I didn’t go to seminary. Heck! I’m not even a small group leader.
To that, I say, Perfect! Because God’s Word doesn’t call people to do any of those things.
Our country is home to the “American Dream,” the idea that anyone can be anything they want to be, and the opportunity exists for everyone to pursue prosperity and happiness.
As a parent, we often want this same dream for our children. We want to give them a strong foundation, a solid education and an incredible amount of loving support so that they may become all that they were meant to be.
But what if they were made to be a garbage man, a janitor, or a McDonald’s employee?
Before we ever had kids, I mentioned to my husband that I would like to homeschool our children. Not for their entire career but just for middle school. I felt that would be best because middle school is hard and awkward. I thought it would be great to give my kids some extra love, wisdom, and educational adventures during what are typically pretty rough years.
What I did not realize was that my homeschool dream would be bumped up by six years and we would home-educate our oldest son starting in his second semester of kindergarten.
Now, as we prepare to start our fourth full year of home education, I must say, it has been worth the investment and sacrifice. Because, friends, if homeschool moms are honest, there is definitely some sacrificing happening. But it is worth it.
Kids really can say the darndest things. But sometimes, what can come out of our kids’ mouths is more rude than funny. As parents, we are often faced with the reality that we are raising little sinners rather than little angels.
My husband and I want our kids to be educated, well-rounded and successful, but more so, we want kids that are kind. We want our children to become teenagers and eventually adults who are considerate, thoughtful and intentional about their words and their actions, especially as it affects other people.
However, if we want to reap kindness in our grown children, then we need to sow kindness into their hearts when they are still little before they intentionally say the darndest things.