New Year, Same Me

I keep seeing everywhere on the internet people saying “New Year, New Me!”   Hope is in the air.   Even on my run today, I saw so many more people out jogging than I usually do.   It was nice at first, but then I found myself getting grouchy after a couple miles of having to share the sidewalk.   I cynically thought, “Give it a week. You’ll be back indoors where it’s warm and safe on the couch soon.”   The truth is, a lot of us don’t keep our resolutions (if we are brave enough to even […]

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God Blesses Those Who Wrestle Him

To wrestle with God…   Such a peculiar privilege.   In the middle of the pain and struggle I can forget the strange but wonderful truth…   This particular wrestling match is an incredible, unparalleled blessing.   When Jacob wrestled with God in Genesis 32 he left marveling “I saw God face to face and yet my life was spared.” (Gen. 32:30). He left with a new identity, being called “Israel” because he “…struggled with God and with humans and [had] overcome.” (Gen. 32:28)   He also left limping.  Because God had wrenched his hip out of its socket.   […]

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When Christianity Isn’t Enough

  I’m discovering sometimes Christianity isn’t enough.   At least not the Christianity that I have encountered over the years.   Because, you see, Christ’s message isn’t presented in its completetion in many churches and homes.  When we get one-sided versions of the gospel, we get distorted views of Christ. And it can make quite a mess if we aren’t careful.     On one side of the spectrum, there is a presentation of the gospel that is more sin-focused than redemption-focused.   “No porn, no cussing, no premarital sex,” are some of the battle cries of this brand of […]

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When God Makes You Empty

  Sometimes God’s desire for us in a season is to empty us.   It can be such a scary spot in our faith journey.  It can be so painful and lonely for our hearts.   Because sometimes God asks us to let go of good things: hopes, dreams, people, places.   And sometimes God asks us for negative things; things that we say we don’t want in our life, but that we can’t seem to easily let go of: fear, anxiety, depression, apathy.   Sometimes, somehow, these things hurt even more when He removes them from our hearts.     It is […]

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What Being Loved By God Really Means

“I am loved by God.”   It’s a statement I can say without getting too excited, honestly.   I can say it with about as much enthusiasm as the weather forecast or a random trivia fact. And I used to be pretty ok with that.   But lately?  Lately that’s bugged me.   Because that simple phrase has packed within it the most important information I need to know about myself, God, and basically every situation I’m going to encounter from here on out.   That simple phrase holds the key to my identity as a human being.   It tells […]

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Time to Stop Living Defeated

  I live defeated.   I live as if I don’t have a Savior who died to give me the fullest life.   I live as if I’m alone, as if I haven’t been invited into the most mind blowing, world-rocking relationship with God Almighty Himself.   I live as if I don’t have the hope of eternity.  Some days, I just slug through.  Waiting for tomorrow.  Feeling like I’m in a cycle I will never escape.   Certainly not feeling victorious, or precious, or part of something amazing.   And it needs to stop.   See, I live empty […]

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Walking with God Through Blue Monday

If you didn’t know already, today, the 3rd Monday in January, is stated to be the most depressing day of the year.  It’s infamously named “Blue Monday.”   Is it really?  I’m not sure.   But it’s ironic that I’ve already heard a couple people today talking about feeling a little worse than normal.   Maybe it’s because we’re now out of the holiday bustle and re-entering the routine (perhaps with larger waist sizes!) And now we’re remembering again everything about the routine that we don’t like.   Maybe it’s because once again  the sun rises late and is going […]

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When God Keeps You Waiting

So you’ve given your life to God, asked Him take you wherever He wants, jumped in feet first, and buckled up for the ride.   God, I’m ready to go where you want! Where to? You ask excitedly, hands on the steering wheel.   A moment passes. Then another.   God? Um…I’m ready to go now! Where are we headed?   Again, silence. What you had thought was a season of passionate surrender and adventure seems instead to be something entirely different:   a season of waiting.   If you’re like me, this season can try your faith and stamina […]

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When the Holidays Hurt

  Even I’ve been feeling it, that familiar melancholy at the back of my neck like an itch I can’t quite scratch. I have no reason to be sad, not really, not that I can easily pinpoint anyway.   But it lingers.   I think maybe it’s because December brings with it a whole gamut of emotions; of joy and celebration, and also deep pain and loss.   I know I’m not the only one.   Scott just came home telling me that the Air Force was warning its members yesterday that suicide is prevalent in this season.   So […]

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Why Do I Keep Reliving My Mistakes?

As Christians, we are meant to live like Christ has ACTUALLY cleansed us of all our sins.  Like we are ACTUALLY spotless.  But…what does that look like, exactly?   Because a lot of us, we live the opposite way.  We live like God wants us to relive the severity and grossness of our sins over and over.  We live as if this constant stream of guilt through our consciousness is what God wants from us.   We live like the deeper we feel the shame, the deeper we experience “holiness.”   I believe this is one of the Enemy’s most subtle (and dangerous) attempts at robbing us of the joy and […]

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