“Aim for heaven and you get earth thrown in, aim for earth and you get neither.” C.S. Lewis

We’ll be honest. This blog really has nothing to do with homemaking. You won’t find a woman’s expert opinion of the “top 10 ways to have the modern minimalist farm house dream“, though those kind of blogs are intriguing and certainly not bad, we don’t want to give the wrong impression. This blog is meant to speak to the heart of every human (male and female) who are made to create, beautify, strengthen, store up and work diligently! We are humans, given life in order to reflect and glorify God. We do this primarily through what we invest most of our time into.

What you will find here is the way both a man and a woman learn as they desire to see Christ fill all areas of life. From brushing our teeth to talking with co-workers, from changing diapers to doing dishes – all have purpose when done in light of eternity. We hope that the things we learn and share with you in daily life will press you on to look more deeply to Christ in every area of your life too. He is our goal.

Homemaking in Heaven is really just a glorified way of saying “building up treasure in heaven instead of earth” (Matthew 6:21). It’s a phrase that reminds us to to put our hearts not on things of this earth but to look to Christ for our satisfaction and fulfillment. We are not extremists who believe money is bad or that having a home and financial security is unspiritual. It merely is a reminder to our hearts to be set on things of God and not on our all too natural longing for earthly security.

With that we both welcome you to this journey of looking to Jesus in all areas! It could include missions, mothering, fiber optics, friendship making, stories of the past or wonderings of the future – but all with one point. To gain Christ. To be identified by Him alone.

Submission Vs. Subjection

Touchy subject? Yeah, it might be a hard subject for a number of reasons. You may come to this post having had a controlling background, a distrust of men or leadership roles. You may come from the mentality that modern America would say about women’s rights or how submission is a suppression of women. There are a number of different reasons why this subject could be a little squeamish. But I had such a longing and desire that as believers in a God who has made man and woman equal (Galatians 3:26-28) and who created each other to compliment each other, this post will enable to you be blessed by the word submission. Let us not get caught in how the enemy would want to twist the beauty out of this word.

First of all, the relationship between and a man and a woman is not submission’s primary context in the Bible. By definition, “submission” is the act of yielding to someone else’s authority. In order to submit in the first place means you need to have your own, self reliant, self sustaining nature to begin with. And it was not men who asked for our submission first – it was God. God, in the garden of Eden set boundaries for Adam and Eve, asked them to yield to His authority and “submit” to Him by not eating the fruit. If God had forced Adam and Eve and never given them an option to obey it would have been called “Subjection”. They would have no choice in the matter! And that’s the beauty of submission. God Almighty gives us a choice to follow Him. Do you realize what that means? He doesn’t just want our obedience. He wants our LOVE. Love is not possible if it is not freely given. Devotion to another cannot be forced. It is an offering that is earned through respect, honor and trust. 

If you are a believer reading this, you’ve already learned submission by repenting from your sin, giving up your rights to your life and presenting your very self to the God who made you. This is the foundation of your life. Your relationship with God is NOT forced. And if it was… I would examine your relationship with Him. He offers Himself and all of His life to us freely, not forcibly, because in doing so we are able to follow the first and second commandments. He desires us to #1 – love Him with all our hearts, and #2 -to love one another (Matthew 22:35-40). Jesus turned the tables upside-down (in many ways) when He came to fulfill the Law so that we could follow in love through grace (Ephesians 2:8). This kind of submission is based in the deepest, most intimate love relationship. You have given Him your life, and so HE gives you all of His (Eph 1). 

In the same way, we partake in marriageNow as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” (Ephesians 5:24). In the same way, we partake in the body of Christ.Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” Ephesians 5:21. These examples of being part of a marriage and being part of a church are easily done wrong. They are easily manipulated by sinful people. But sinful people do not reflect our God or the work of salvation He has done in your heart! Brothers and sisters, I implore you. Do NOT let your experience of sin redefine what God created to be what causes your salvation to be beautiful. Not only will this twisted view of submission affect the way you see men. It will also affect the way you submit to a loving spirit-led church. It will affect the way you submit in love to church members who are different than you. It will most importantly affect the way you submit to our loving, most gracious God who humbled HIMSELF to win your heart. He did not force you to follow Him. Submission could be one of the most beautiful, romantic and awe-striking pieces of your Christian life. It is something SO different than the world’s definition of women’s freedom. It is also what will show them how Christianity is like no other religion. Because it is based in a choice of love and devotion which started through our God making Himself nothing for us (Philippians 2:5-9) in order to win us. 

As a Christian married woman it is truly a JOY to submit to my husband. Not a task or a burden. I have the ability to show off the gospel of love that is true in my soul by submitting to my husband. This literally means that I am not some housewife who has no opinion or place of discipleship in our home. This means my role of letting Alex be the head of the home is showing off my FIRST love. Because the love of my life is not Alex my husband – It’s Jesus! More than anything else, I want the world to know MY precious Jesus. 

In the same way – It is by our love and submission for the body of Christ that those who do not know our kind Lord will witness His nature. Do not let differences of view or petty arguments allow the beauty of the Gospel to be stifled because you are believing a lie about submission in the church. Your joy in the Lord is blasting the beauty of Christ when we respect, honor, love and care for each other in our weaknesses. It is a rarity in this world and it is our privilege. Not our perversion. 

Brothers and sisters. Our lot is not one out of a forced subjection. No – we are free. Let us use that freedom to show the beauty of the gospel that Christ has won in our hearts through our lives, marriages and churches. Submission is a beautiful, beautiful thing and it is our joy to be owned and loved by Him. 

The Gift of Tears

My hope is that this post will encourage you sisters in knowing the great treasure it is to take on another’s pain. Know that every act of remembering and holding others’ sorrows is a God given task to show Christ in a way that could be life altering. You are an essential part of how Christ leads us through the valleys.

May of 2018
She came up to me at the end of church and asked how I was doing. Tears filled my eyes as I confronted the stinging reality that the baby we thought would be adopted into our family had just been permanently returned to his bio-parent. I saw his confusion as to why we were leaving him. I broke when his zoned-out face would light up at the sight of me while being held in his real mother’s arms. And here was my friend, asking how I was doing. I don’t know what we spoke about, but I do remember her tears. There was my sister in Christ, taking on my burden and crying with me.

April 2019
She was about 6 weeks ahead of me. It was our second pregnancies at the same time and the joy and doing it again together was so fun! Fun, until I started bleeding and was told we were miscarrying. Here I was with an empty womb, and that same dear friend came to my home, held me, and cried with me. Like a big sister filled with compassion and humility – my heart was given grace to face the reality of my loss. There is no greater honor or gift than to see someone go deep with you into your painful sorrows.

March 2020
I was home after church another Sunday just days after our third baby’s due date came and went. Three women came down to our little apartment, three women who all had babies who were born very close to my baby who was with Jesus. They came into my home. They initiated. They pressed in bearing a message of remembrance, love and care. They gave precious tokens that constantly remind me of my daughter and of these ladies’ love. Each one of their children are so extremely precious to me. They hold a piece of our baby girl with them as I watch them grow into feisty toddlers now. They are a gift with more meaning than any other kind of gift could be.

I treasure these women. They are bold. They loved when it was hard to be vulnerable. Instead of retreat they pressed in with hands to hold me up in some of my darkest moments. And here is what I have to say: Your openness and bold love shows so much of Jesus, sisters. He is not fearful to go to the deepest darkest sorrows of your life and when the body of Christ exemplifies His heart, it welcomes healing. I have witnessed Christ in His people and have been humbled and strengthened by their tenacity to get into the trenches with me. So when there is opportunity to remember your sister in her trials, know that your act of remembering or giving her permission to cry or celebrating her loss alongside your joy – is one of the most meaningful gifts you can ever give.

Dear friends,
You know who you are. Thank you. I was reminded today on the 19 month anniversary of Anna’s birthday just how instrumental you were to showing me the love and care of our Jesus. The gift of sharing your tears throughout the last 3 years will never be forgotten.


It felt that as fast as my steps went, my heart was beating faster. Scanning the gymnasium full of wedding guests over and over, looking inside and outside going in circles, I couldn’t find my 2 year old anywhere. I was able to keep my emotions paused while I searched for her at first, but after 10 minutes of not knowing where she had gone, they began to push my steps faster as a lump grew in my throat.

It all culminated outside with a: “Mommy! Look what I found!” and there was my smiling little girl, running toward me from a hidden park on the other side of the building with two hands full of playground rocks. I burst into tears saying “Corrie! Where were you? We were looking everywhere for you! You scared us.” The rest of that day I was shaken.

That night as I prayed over Corrie while she slept – the severity of shepherding our children was felt deeply. “She is so naive, Lord!” I cried “She fears nothing! She doesn’t realize she is a sheep in need of a shepherd.“… “I would do anything to keep her safe.” And there in the dark room the Lord taught me a lesson:

“I did everything to keep you safe. I cared more deeply than you did – even to the point of death.”

And there I wept again. Realizing that I had tasted only a piece of the great love our God has for us. He is motivated to draw us to safety. I was comforted in the safety I’ve found in Christ’s life – and I was also challenged by His compassion. He searches for the lost sheep. He leaves the ninety-nine to find that one lost. How aggressively does He love and seek after that one? So very deeply. I tasted that. While God is not tainted by fear like I am, He is the shepherd who knows – and pursues.

If you are feeling the same pain of love for a dear one who is lost (maybe not physically, but spiritually), I hope this is an encouragement to you. He is not passively forgetting about them. He has made every measure possible in preparation for that loved one to be safe. It was for them that He is patently waiting and it is our opportunity to join him in being motivated with that same pain of love. Look to the great shepherd who knows how to draw each heart to himself in safety.

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36

No Lone Ranger Christian

There was a time while Alex and I lived in India that I was asked to play my violin at the Tibetan school’s talent show where we were teaching English. I heartily agreed and started preparing a song with another American friend who would accompany me on the guitar. We met a few times casually to practice and I couldn’t help but wonder why it was so hard to play such a simple song. On the day of our performance, we tuned our instruments together and I discovered why I was struggling so much. My violin had been tuned to itself and was a good two octaves lower than it was supposed to be. That means I was playing by ear to fix the wrong sound and was totally unable to hear the difference till I was aligned with another instrument which had been correctly tuned. It’s a baffling thing when your “A” and their “A” make a totally different sound.

This analogy clarified to me the dire need we believers in Christ have for the body of Christ. The “dire” part is that when we are alone, not tuning ourselves to the Word with the accountability of brothers and sisters… we may not even know we are off. My violin strings were tuned to themselves and I could still play alone without even knowing they were off – until that guitar clarified what a tuned “A” sounded like. Then it was nearly impossible to play with my friend if I was not aligned with the same foundation. It is the same for us dear friends. We need one another speaking into each other’s lives and challenging our life ethic and theology to the Word of God.

We are but sheep. Dumb sheep. And alone, without the accountability and iron sharpening iron… we are MOST susceptible to wrong theology, lies from the enemy and pride. We are humans with the propensity to think that we are enough being a “Lone Ranger” Christian. It sounds like a highly spiritual thing to be! When in reality, the more alone you are, the more vulnerable to pride and the enemy you will become. We are so easily fooled into thinking that we know better than Christians in history or Christians in an organized church that we are led away from the safety net God gave us to keep us close to Him! His people. His kindness keeps us close to others.

For those of us who consider ourselves “conservative Christian” you may be part of or have observed the tendency to do things differently than the mainstream flow of things. You may homeschool your kids, you may choose a more natural way of eating and you may take the health of your family in a more “homeopathic” direction. These things are chosen because you believe there is a better way than the “mainstream” idea. And in fact – it is a very good thing to find what is best for your family. However – when it comes to the church… it can become a very dangerous thing to do.

Your church, both the leaders and the fellow members are there to clarify truth, call out sin and encourage the gifts God has given you to serve the body. While you may have experience of brokenness or leadership abuse within the church… it’s not a reason to retreat. It only further gives reason to be there as an active member of your body! They need you to call out sin and clarify truth as well. Do not fall for the lie that it is “safer” to do church alone. Being in fellowship with believers who are submitted to the Word of God IS God’s design of safety. It is an act of safety to have my sister come to me and remind me to rejoice in all circumstances instead of grumbling. It is an act of safety for our pastor to clarify on confusing or misinterpreted pieces of scripture. What grace we are missing out on when we pull away because it’s hard or because we don’t want to submit to each other in love.

I pray this is an exhortation and encouragement to seek out the community of Christ. Humble yourself before them and God and get connected! There is so much more of Christ to be had when we are sharing in His fellowship with other believers! There is abundant life to be had (and to be shown) through submitting to one another in Christ! We NEED each other.

The Beatitudes Part 8

Persecuted for Righteousness

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-11

“When faith presses,
And difficulties grow,
When life blesses,
With all but scorn to know,

When people talk,
And look on you with shame,
Alone you walk,
With undefended blame,

The inward soul is tested,
Inside what will you find?
One to Christ invested?
Or one dimmed light once shined?

Hold on tight. Never let go.
Look in faith, Himself He will bestow.”

I wrote this poem a few years ago carrying a heavy weight. A weight of being looked down upon, being gossiped about – being falsely accused. There is nothing more humbling than to be perceived and talked about in a heart trampling way. Have you ever done all you can do to serve and in return be rejected? Have you chosen not to go with the mainstream flow of the crowd (even the so-called “godly” crowd) and been shamed? As Christ followers, you will be faced with these situations.

I notice that in the passage above it doesn’t say the outsiders rejected the prophets – no, the prophets were rejected by God’s people. Those wayward people of God were the ones who were persecuting the messengers who brought God’s call to repent. The people of God rejected the prophets because their obedience to God reflected poorly on their sin-filled lives. Persecution does not always come from outside. In fact, likely if you are walking in obedience to Christ visibly, the first place you will feel it will be with those within the sphere of “believer” who are convicted by your life and don’t like it. While we will be scorned by unbelievers, this is expected. What’s not expected is when it comes from a brother. There, in vulnerability of being looked down on before the body – where will you go?

Rejoice and be glad, it says? Being an obedient follower of Christ will bring light to dark places in your life and in others. It says yours is the kingdom of heaven! While you may not be given honor or respect in this world by those who don’t want to conform to the light – your promise is that the Kingdom of Heaven is yours! You are conforming to what His kingdom looks like and those that want to look holy but don’t want to give up their life for it will scorn you. So rejoice, my friend, when you walk in obedience and are rejected for it. You gain Christ in return. As this earth molds itself to its own pattern, we must continue in contrast to mold ourselves to Christ! Take heart, brother or sister, His kingdom is worth any persecution or shame you may endure. So…

“…Hold on tight. Never let go.
Look in faith, Himself He will bestow.”

The Currency of Christ

A Personal Testimony and Exhortation

This is part of my story. No, all the specifics may not apply to you, but I pray it can exhort and remind you, dear brother or sister, of how He has brought us out of our “futile ways” into being called “holy” by the precious blood.

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
1 Peter 1:14-19

“Chubby Emily” was a phase I had during Jr. High. She was measured against all her skinny-mini friends and (literally) just didn’t “fit in”. Ha. I can remember a time at youth group where all the boys compared all the girls (in code, of course, to avoid supervision) by their own measuring stick. My close girl friends got coded as “hot” – and me? Well – I got put into the “not so hot” category.

That feeling of being counted as second or inferior drove me to work out more, obsess about what I ate and carry a burden of guilt on my shoulders that only I could fix by analyzing every ounce of food I ate. It was a prison. My value would rise when I felt good about my body and then plummet when I made a mistake. It was endless pressure to be perfect. There was no happiness unless I was being pristinely strict – and of course being strict never makes you happy either.

Don’t you think it’s funny that even when in Jr. High and I didn’t follow Jesus very personally yet – that I still measured my value with complete perfection. At that point my value was completely built on how I felt I looked. If it was not perfect – I was in the lowest of low. Do you see that in the passage above, God also speaks in terms of value with perfection? “Be holy as I am holy”.

His version of perfection was not built on a currency that we use. It’s not on money, not on the measure of a perfect body, not on the scores of your grades or on your respectability or qualifications… He says be holy like He is holy. That means PERFECT. How does this happen? Well – as a daughter or son of God Almighty, we know it’s through a different currency.

The currency of Christ. No longer does our value waffle in terms of our own currency, just trying to be enough. No. These are the “futile ways” Peter talks about. When we are filled with the spirit of God and repent of those ways – we begin to live according to a whole different measure of value! And this is FREEDOM. Do you remember brothers and sisters? Remember what it feels like to be freed from your burdens of having to be perfect? Remember what happened when Jesus took that idol from your hands that you used to ceaselessly spend in order to feel valuable? Remember how when Christ becomes your value, true joy follows? You are fulfilled and satisfied. The command to be holy is possible because it rests in the perfection of the one you now worship. Not you anymore. It is a worship of your God when you spend your life looking through the lens of the value He brings to the table.

I was gently reminded of these things when I found myself, at the end of this third trimester, being overwhelmed with pity due to the all-time high my scale showed me. I sat in tears at the end of my bed as I sniffed out the words to my husband: “how can you love me like this?”. What hit me then is what prompted this post. My husband fell in love with me and I fell in love with him – because we both valued Christ as our currency. Not what we looked like, not what we were able to prove or accomplish to each other. It was Jesus. I fell in love with Alex because he saw Christ as precious and He fell in love with me because Jesus was my life. Christ was our currency.

It is too easy to forget, to get distracted or pick up old idols that draw our hearts to give them perfection in our own merit. Do not be deceived! Remember His precious blood. The perfect, holy blood that gives you value. Think through the lens of building up treasure in His kingdom by gaining more and more of Christ. He is our currency now.

Happy Birthday Anna

It’s hard to describe what emotion was hitting as we were driving to Children’s Hospital last year on this day, knowing I was in labor 16 weeks too early. The best way to describe our mindset is that emotion was not the leader. Emotion was strangely lacking and the best way to describe it is simply a “waiting”. It was very clear that things were out of our hands, probably the most clear example of our life! The position of soul was not fighting or pleading or wishing or wanting… just waiting. “What is God doing?” “My God is with me and I trust Him.” These would be a few phrases that might sum up the attitude.

And that was just it – we were waiting to see which gift He would give us. A gift of a miracle in stopping the labor and continuing this fragile pregnancy or the gift of saying hello and goodbye to our second daughter. Both were gifts of grace – things we didn’t earn out of our goodness or lack of goodness, but rather opportunities to glorify our God with whatever gift He chose and to build up His church. Her name Anna Nicole meant “Grace is our Victory” not because grace is the only aspect of salvation – but because it was an unmerited gift that we have anything at all. Or in other words, Karma has no place in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It’s my second daughter’s first birthday today… and while I have SO many different things I could share, all I can do is testify of the great honor it has been to carry the gift that our God chose in her death on this day last year. We have seen only a spurring on in faith and trust in Jesus that the gift of a miracle would not have given. We have been given opportunities to share the gospel because of it and been able to learn to look with so much expectation of heaven. I keep thinking that today we are not remembering Anna’s death, but that we are celebrating a WHOLE YEAR of her being in the presence of Jesus Himself. Parents like to be proud of their children and I am so proud of what Jesus has done with my Anna. My daughter has taught me to trust in faith in the one I can only imagine seeing and better yet – she has surpasses me and KNOWN His face intimately for a whole year. It is a much greater accomplishment than anything I could hope for her here in this life.

Happy Birthday Anna. We are honored to have been chosen to be your parents. The gift of your life has changed ours and when we think of you – we are reminded of the closeness and dearness of the One who you have taught us to trust explicitly. We Thank God for every day of those 24 weeks and trust He will only continue to use your birthday to be a reminder of His every GOOD GIFT. He knows best.

– Your Mommy

The Holiness of Home

I used to be obsessed with the fact that ONLY Wyoming, Delaware could EVER be called my “home”. Stuck to tradition and the love for deep meaning, another place simply could never hold the depth of what my growing up life held. That had been challenged deeply at the age of 14 when my family moved from my “home” to Branson, Missouri where we lived in just a “house”, as I would purposefully call it. I was very determined to never make it my “home.” But something happened when I turned 16 while on a mission trip in Alaska, shortly after I was baptized. Jesus showed up in my life and started revealing himself to me in an even deeper way than I thought was possible. Deeper than my love for Wyoming, Delaware and deeper than anything else as stable as what “home” used to hold for me. Jesus was taking me out of my own terms of stability, and reteaching me about how He was now my home.

This is what happens in the life of those who choose to follow Jesus. Slowly but surely, our God not only takes what used to be our life and turn our affection to Him – but He uses what was dear to us to show us how dear He is. My depth of love for what was secure in my life before (my home in Delaware) taught me just how much MORE of a security HE was than any home or place or tradition ever could be.

Though you have a different story than I do in finding and knowing Jesus – we as believers are ALL going in the same direction (seeking after Jesus) and are all given the same resource – His very Spirit. Not only do we have His Word that teaches and instructs us about who He is, but we have His very Spirit to make every single moment of our life and act of worship to our Lord. Do you realize we (Christians) are now walking, talking homes of the living God? (1 Corinthians 6:17-19). That means that everything we touch, everything we say is potential for God to lead and direct you to reveal Himself to this world! Ultimately any job, any task and any conversation turn into a holy worship of the living God. If you are filled with His Spirit – home is where He is. Therefore “homemaking” is simply walking in obedience to Jesus. (Matthew 6:19-21)

For some of you, your homemaking is not the traditional “mother, keeper of a home”. And that is just fine! God is not limited to one kind of “homemaking”. If His Spirit is going with you to the corporate workplace or to the coffee shop shift or to classes at school… those places are your setting to reveal your home of holy worship (Jesus in you). He uses you, His tool, to manifest himself in those places and THAT is the best kind of homemaking. Allowing Him (walking in obedience) to transform mundane settings with a touch of His Spirit.

Truly brother and sister… all that you do is holy. When we join our God in the mission of revealing Himself to this world – He makes every piece of life (singleness, married, doing dishes or writing a paper) an act of holy worship (1 Corinthians 10:31). Can you imagine the excellence of our tasks and the joy-filled countenance that would exude from our lives? My the world be blown away by the hope we possess (1 Peter 3:15).

This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” – Elizabeth Elliot

The Gift of Acceptance

Here is a short meditation Emily wrote about the joy of acceptance when following Jesus. It can only ever be sourced from a firm faith in a good God who is worthy of trust at all times.

“Behold me, here I am; thy little handmaiden Acceptance-with-Joy and all that is in my heart is thine.” – Hinds Feet on High Places

I was struck by the response of Mary, the mother of Jesus, recently. Her words in response to the angel visiting her were very similar to that of the quote above. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” They are both statements of surrender and of trust.

We think in our own context that this request to be the mother of Jesus was a privilege, an honor or simply a surprise. But Mary’s questions and response show us that she knew very well what she was signing up for… and it wasn’t honor. It was shame. She knew that having a baby before she was married would drastically change the trajectory of her life.

“How can this be since I have been with no man?” This was a much deeper question that just… “How does getting pregnant work?”. This is Mary, expressing her purity, her choice to live an honorable life before her betrothed and yet carry the son on God in her womb? How is it possible? And by her response “I am your servant…” we see that she was accepting the implications of being His servant. By giving her life to be used by God, she was agreeing to let her pure, holy, upstanding reputation be put to shame. She was allowing God to give her the gift of this baby… AND to give her a gift of suffering to go along.

This is what I’d like to refer as “The Gift of Acceptance”. Like the beloved book “Hinds Feet on High Places” and Mary’s story, letting God change their lives was made of pain and sorrow – but ALL while allowing God to move into their lives. Could it be that God wants us all to respond like these trusting women with open hands and accept with joy whatever form of Himself he sets in the palm of our hands?

Do we see obedience to Jesus more important than our comfort? Because we will one day come face to face with the reality that following Jesus will mean shame and sorrow (a cross). Is He worth it? What things might end up being a sacrifice to be called His Own?

  • Exhorting a friend with truth
  • Turning your eyes away from darkness in a room of friends who welcome it
  • Fasting from worldly desires in order to gain heavenly ones

These are small examples of ways you may have to accept with joy the task of following Jesus. I pray friend, that as you approach new ways of obedience to Christ He would give you the same eyes as Mary to accept with joy that precious, precious gift. The sorrow that brings forth everlasting life! And oh He is worth it!

My Greatest and Very Needed Embarrassment

I turned beet red. My stomach dropped to my toes and I shrunk in my seat. I had never been more embarrassed in my life! My Bible teacher had just used my homework as an example of “what not to do” in Doctrinal Canon Testing class. The paper I had been up late the night before just trying to get done was anonymously used before the whole class. They didn’t know it was me – but I did. I took an easy sounding passage of Scripture COMPLETELY out of it’s context in a class that was suppose to be teaching me to do the opposite! As I left that class and faced my teacher on the way out, I sheepishly said to him “I don’t fear you more because of this… I fear the Word of God more.

This memory used to be one of my least favorites during my Bible training season. However now, almost 7 years after that occurrence, it is the single most valuable memory which I now rejoice over having! Why? Well, I’ll tell you!

I was given a verbal “spanking” of sorts that caused me to be so fully ashamed of mishandling the Word of God in front of my peers that, the class stuck. All of it. I didn’t know how much I needed that instruction OR that its subject would become so extremely applicable to my life in the years to come.

Whether you know it or not, what you believe will come out of who you are – but you may not realize that your Christian perspective has been built up by teachers, theology, songs, podcasts, books, YouTube videos and many, many more things… but not by the Word of God. This is why as Believers in the Truth (the ONE truth, Jesus), we must TEST everything we listen to, read or hear to the whole of Scripture.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11

This is Paul we are talking about, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ! He of all people you would think should be easy enough to accept as truth for the Berean Jews… but no. They tested his words against the whole of Scripture and proved them to line up! Not only that, but they received it with great eagerness! When you have found the truth of life – it is only through that truth that more life comes.

Unfortunately, all too often are we taken up by good-sounding words or songs or books that we have not tested by the one source of truth. This fools our hearts and leads us down a path that looks like light… but is changing the trajectory of the straight and narrow. It disguises itself as “truth” and looks like “really good information” – but when it does not lead us to Jesus, we find ourself on a path away from him. Those paths can look like very holy things like Bible study, missions or family culture, but they end in a different truth than Jesus being your life. This was the same warning Paul was giving to the church at Colossae and to the young Timothy who could so easily be caught up in something besides Christ.

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.Colossians 2:8

“Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” Colossians 2:18-20

“…Remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.”
1 Timothy 1:3b-4

Remember brothers and sisters, in this time where even our government is changing so quickly… Jesus is still your life. Jesus is the rock that you should be obsessed about and the world should look at us and say “I need that rock”. Your confidence and joy should only grow stronger as this world grows dimmer! Let us be known for being a people who are about HIM and nothing else.