Sunday Reflection: Grace

“Because we religious types are really good at building walls and retreating to temples. We’re good at making mountains out of our ideologies, obstructions out of our theologies, and hills out of our screwed-up notions of who’s in and who’s out, who’s worthy and who’s unworthy. We’re good at getting in the way. Perhaps we’re afraid if we move, God might use people and methods we don’t approve of, that rules will be broken and theologies questioned. Perhaps we’re afraid that if we get out of the way, this grace thing might get out of hand. Well, guess what? It already has.”

Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday

What if today, you baptized yourself in grace?

What if today, instead of accepting the human call of death, darkness and sin you heeded God’s call of life, light and grace?

What if today, you didn’t look in front of you for affirmation, but up to the One who loves you recklessly?

What if today, you ignored the human rules of worth and accepted you were already redeemed and worthy?

How would you live different? How would you love different? How would you change the world?

Today, on this Sunday

Let-grace-run-wild

Let it run wild in your heart, in your mind and your world. Live into that truth, today and everyday.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Sunday Reflection | Tagged , , ,

Leave a comment

Resurrection Sunday

he-is-risen

 

You’ve put on your Easter clothes. You’ve piled into the car with a smile on your face. You greet your church family with Happy Easter!

This is how it goes, right?

Then we go home, eat a big meal with family, put away our Easter clothes and go back to life. Until next year.

But. What if we lived each day, like it is Resurrection Sunday? What if we didn’t think of Jesus’ sacrifice once a year, but every single day? What if, we felt God’s incredible love with every morning breath we take in, and every exhale before sleep.

What if we truly lived every moment as a resurrection moment?

Because when confronted with the absolute love and sacrifice of God, how can we live any other way?

This Easter, don’t put away the story for another year. Live into the promise of that cross, each and every day, and remember:

I-am-known-I-am-loved-I

 

Happy Easter, friends. Carry that message of hope out into the world, wherever your feet carry you.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Church Seasons | Tagged , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Friday Encouragement: A Hard Beautiful Day

Good Friday is a hard beautiful day. Jesus on the cross. Our sins laid bare. Dying for us. For the people who get it wrong so often.

Yet, in that hard space, where the sky darkens and the earth shakes, we are transformed. IMG_3429

 

We know he lives, he rises, he loves.

 

 

IMG_3430

Death doesn’t get the final say.

Garden of the Gods

 

God does.

 

Remember in the hard times there is a God who is unshakeable. When death knocks on our doors God gathers us in his arms and dries our tears. When you don’t feel worthy God loves you, exactly how you are.

Today is hard. But it isn’t the end.

It is the beginning.

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Church Seasons | Tagged , , ,

Leave a comment

We all get a happy ending

I am a sucker for a happy ending.

When I curl up with a book, I want to read about someone who triumphs over the hard times. The movies I watch are people fighting to keep joy when the world tells them it isn’t possible. I like the news stories that tell the hard truths so we can see the beauty underneath.

I don’t like happy endings because I want the world to be perfect, I like happy endings because that is where creation is heading.

This week is a busy week in the Church. We started out on Sunday full of joy waving palm branches and singing. Then we stand in confusion with the disciples. The holiness of the last supper. The heartbreak of Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. The betrayal by Judas. The denial by Peter.

We lay weeping with the sky at the devastation of the cross.

But.

That isn’t the end of the story. Three days later, Christ rises and appears to the women. Appears to the men on the road. Appears to the disciples.

He rises. He lives. He ascends.

Our happy ending is knowing the world doesn’t win. Our human condition is set right with Christ’s resurrection. God is victorious. We are no longer separated from our Creator.

Christ’s love brings us into God. Right here. Right now. With every breath.

It isn’t something we have to wait for. It isn’t a far off day. He is with us. And He is with God. We are with God.

So no matter what happens, we live in the certainty that we rest, work, and live with God. Not when you are perfect, but right now. Not when the world catches up, but right now. Not at the end of our lives, but right now.

We-all-get-our-happy

Even in the hard times. The times we aren’t so good. The times that bring us to our knees. Because of the resurrection, we are, every single minute, with God.

Sometimes Christianity gets it wrong. We say because we’re so bad, Jesus had to die on the cross. I used to think that way, and it led to religiosity and not joy. Now, I see that God loves us so much. He wanted to give us our happy ending now.

And that is the hope I live into each day.

God loves me so much. He loves you, so much. He couldn’t wait until the world caught up to Him.

And that is my happy ending. That is the story I will tell people I meet. The promise is already here.

He is risen.

He is risen indeed.

This Easter live into our happy ending. Go in peace and tell the world.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Church Seasons | Tagged , , ,

Leave a comment

Friday Encouragement: You are Beautiful

The world is loud with voices telling you who you are, who you aren’t and who it thinks you should be.

But, you? You are beautiful.

Exactly the way you are. The eyes you don’t like, or the body you fight, or the heart you doubt. All of it is beautiful. You are good. Your heart is good. Sometimes we lose our way to goodness but at the center of all of us is God. When we stop arguing with the world and accept the holiness of our being and the transformation already inside, love wins.

Every time.

It takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? Knowing you don’t have to do anything. Just be. That is the power of Christ. That is what we should show the world as Christians. God doesn’t separate himself from any of us and if God is in all of us and, if all of us believed in the ultimate holiness of our being,

The world would be bright with God’s love.

Go out today in the peace of Christ and the God who already loves you and say to yourself, to your family, your friends, your spouse,

You-are-treasured-You

 

That is life-giving. That is life-changing. That is Kingdom changing.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Uncategorized |

Leave a comment

Hard Days

There is troubling news all around us and I see friends on Facebook and friends in conversation struggling with this world. This world is hard. Really hard. People get sick. People leave this world too soon. Racism persists. Hatred continues. Children die because they don’t have enough to eat.

This world doesn’t have the answers.

Today on my run I was listening to Rob Bell talking about the immensities of life. The things that happen that have no explanation, the cancers, the hurt, the pain people experience just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And he told the story of Jacob. A man who wrestled with God and walked away with a limp. Not in in pain, but because he experienced the divine.

That may now be my favorite Rob Bell quote.

We live in a world where love and suffering live alongside each other. Creation hasn’t caught up to God’s divine love and that middle place is difficult, lonely and hard most days.

But the right now isn’t how the world ends. It’s just the growing pains to our ultimate story.

Now-the-dwelling-of-GodGod will wipe our tears. God does. He experiences our pain, knows our suffering. He isn’t a distant God who leaves us to suffer. He wipes our tears.

And I believe we can have peace right now. In the midst of tragedy, in the midst of life that doesn’t make sense. When you turn on the news and your heart grows sick, remember God is unshakeable. And we are unshakeable because we are with him. Don’t get stuck in the pain of this world, because the world doesn’t win in the end.

Love Does.

Go out today in the peace of a God who doesn’t fail. Who gathers and protects the people of this world and showers his glory on us all. Don’t let your heart grow sick with the world, let it rejoice in the certainty that the world will be transformed.

Just as you have been

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Christianity | Tagged , , , ,

Leave a comment

Your bright light

You my child have light. The world will tell you that your light isn’t bright enough or important enough. The container it is in is the wrong size or shape, or it’s too broken to make a difference. The world will have you believe your light won’t be missed.

But your light matters.

It matters to the people who know you and the ones who don’t. It matters to the person you just smiled at, the person you called by name. It matters to the church that is dark, the city cloaked in sadness, and the workplace stumbling.

Your-broken-vessel-mixed

It is your unique vessel mixed with God’s love and that produces a light that will never shine like anyone else’s.

Don’t hide that light.

Don’t seal the cracks.

Don’t plaster over what makes your light yours.

Let your light shine, because your light matters.

It will be missed. Shine it loudly, the world needs to see it.

Don’t hide it beneath layers of insecurity and doubt. It is brighter than you think. The cracks and the crumbling spots just shine that light even brighter.

And always remember, it is your body and God’s love that make the light shine in this world.

FullSizeRender (2)

So shine bright, and don’t doubt for a second that your light matters.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in prayer | Tagged , , , , ,

Leave a comment