Friday, October 27, 2017

Overcome: Five Minute Friday

Overcome.  That word used to fill me with motivation to do what it takes to fight sin and my flesh and live on fire for God!  I resolved to do better and try harder.  I would overcome.

But today when I read that word, I realized that Jesus already overcame, and trying to pull myself up to do something He already did is pointless. 

The actual process of living out that victory that He won for me hasn't looked like I thought it would.  Lately, it's looked like Him chipping away at my heart.  He's tearing down things that I found my identity in.  He's showing me my pride.  He's letting me see where I have believed lies and had an incorrect view of Him.  It doesn't feel a lot like overcoming.

But in the middle of all of that, He's showing me His love for me in a way I never knew before.  And it's a pretty beautiful thing.  Slowly but surely He's giving me love for Him that makes me want to live for Him because of how amazing He is, not so that I can somehow earn His favor or make myself look good.

Maybe brokenness has to come first.  But since He already has overcome, I can rest in that and trust that He will finish His work in me.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Story - Five Minute Friday

There are parts of my story that I don't like.  When I look at it from a completely human perspective, there are times I'm tempted to despair!  I feel like I've messed it up too badly for God to use.  I've made it about myself.  I've chosen sin instead of God.  I've failed to serve those around me.  I've missed opportunities.

But God.

My favorite words ever.  He is so full of grace upon grace.  Last weekend at a retreat the speaker said that God, who is infinite (without measure), counts our sin.  But because He is infinite, so is His grace.  His grace, without measure, is so much greater than my sin. 

All the missed opportunities or the times I've made this life about me can be forgiven and redeemed.  When He forgives, it's for real.  I don't have to allow guilt or shame to take over.  When He redeems, it's beautiful and to the praise of His glorious grace!

"Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him!"

Praise be to Jesus for His amazing grace.  Praise Him that He is the One writing and redeeming my story. 

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Jesus Loves Me - And That Changes Everything

The Gospel changes everything.  Every part of my life is impacted by the fact that Jesus loves me and gave His life for me.  Because of the cross, I have my sin forgiven and I have the power to live a life pleasing to my Savior.  The Gospel changes me, and it changes the way I do life and interact with those around me.

Lately I've been thinking about how the Gospel informs the way that I interact with children.  Being a Christian means that the way I teach and love kids will look different than the way the world interacts with them.  My goal is not to teach behavior modification.  It's not to make them look like good kids so that everyone is impressed with how good a teacher I am (at least it shouldn't be).  It's not even to help them grow up to be successful in the world's eyes.  My goal is to point them to Jesus.

I want the kids in my life to know Jesus. Not a head knowledge, but an intimate relationship with Him.  I want them to know how loved they are by Him, and I desire that they grow in their love for Him. The point of teaching or disciplining them is not to force them to change their behavior and be "good" kids.  The point is to use each of those interactions to show them the Gospel.

This month's writing prompt over at Compassion is to share how being a Christian changes the way we care for children in poverty.  Compassion's goal is not simply to release children from poverty and educate them, but also to tell them that there is a God who loves them and died for them.

I love that I get to be a part of that by sponsoring a child through Compassion!  Carley gets to read letters from me that share with her how loved she is.  She gets to interact with my Sunday School kids and realize that there are other kids her age who love Jesus and love and pray for her.  It's a beautiful thing to get to watch as God works in her life, and I pray that she will learn to know and love Him!

Jesus loves me.  Jesus loves them.  And that changes everything!

Friday, February 24, 2017


Years ago I read the story of Amy Carmichael.  She sacrificed so much to go live in India and rescue little girls from a life of terrible slavery.  I was so inspired by her story, and reading about what she did in India only increased my desire to go there someday.

Over the years, I've learned that the slavery that Amy fought is still going on today.  It's something that I sometimes just push out of my mind, because the knowledge of what so many girls are going through is too much to bear.  But I don't want to push the thought aside anymore.  I can't just sit by and let it keep happening.  Amy made a difference for so many girls, and we can do the same.

This month's writing prompt at Compassion Bloggers is "why".  Why do I sponsor a child, and why do I want to use my blog to advocate for needy children around the world?

The reality of human trafficking is a huge part of why.  Without intervention, so many children who live in poverty will end up living as slaves.  They will be treated as less than human and abused in ways that I can't even imagine, unless someone steps up and does something about it.

Sponsoring a child offers him or her the tools needed to leave the life of poverty and slavery behind.  And even more, it gives so many opportunities to share the love of Christ and point them to the One who loves them and died to save them from sin.

When I went to India three years ago, I saw firsthand the difference that Compassion is making in the lives of children.  Those kids had hope, because they were being pointed to Jesus.  They had hope because they were being given the tools that they needed for a better future.  

That's something I want to be a part of, and I hope you do too.

Check out Compassion's website to learn more about how you can change a child's life!

Also, check out this website for information about modern day slavery and what you can do about it: