Every day, all day long every human has this one thing in common: mankind has the ability to choose. Although our Father made us all very unique and individually fashioned, He made us all alike in this one thing – choices. Wow, what power He has put in our hands!
Transitioning into the unknown. This is what it felt like, graduating with my master’s degree this past May. I’ve been through several different types of transitions, but this one was the most different and felt very unfamiliar, which also caused unfamiliar insecurities to come forward.
What is unity? One of the definitions (of many) listed in Webster’s Dictionary really put it straightforward: the quality or state of being made one. So, what does this mean for our church? And what does it mean for the church as a whole? I believe prophetically that God is calling us into a unity that will carry on beyond the current season we are in at Living Word.
There’s a phrase that has been in my mind and heart the past several months, and it is simply, “Follow me.” Two simple words, but they stir so much within my soul. It brings the beauty of possibility, hope, expectation, and right alongside these thoughts and feelings creep in uncertainty, questioning, and even fear.
“Who are you to tell me what I need?”
Maybe that’s not what you are thinking, but a few years ago I might have if I saw this article. But today? It is no exaggeration, I believe everyone needs a B-Team.
The obvious next question is, if this B-Team is so important, what in the world is it?
Can I let you in on a secret? If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you already have the best thing: Him. If you have yet to do so, let me let you in on another secret: Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the best thing you will ever do in this life. You will never regret it.
The human mind and soul, more than ever, is searching for someone who is trustworthy and faithful. Someone who presents their past life and future goals without deceit. How can we know we have found such a person? What should we look for?
What I understand from the vision is that Living Word Church is an Ephesians 6 church. They are a people that are well equipped and ready for an intense game, more challenging. The challenge, however, means that Living Word Church is switching to an unfamiliar model, one that doesn’t necessarily make sense given the normal framework of how things “ought to be done.”
For many of us, it is common practice to wear masks. We put up facades that hide who we truly are. We smile when we want to cry, and we push people away when we want to be held. Because at the core of it, we have been so hurt by people and events that we are crippled by fear of vulnerability. We don’t know how to be vulnerable.
God is good, all the time. A constant lesson in my life, but the conclusion I have come to every time. I always thought I was really good at trusting God. From a young age, I saw the Lord work out what I thought would be horrible situations into good things. I experienced His goodness first-hand and never really had a reason not to trust Him. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and worry, though, this was always quite the contradiction. I came to realize that I didn’t fully trust God as much as I thought I did.
God is. God is faithful. God is interested in me. He is also interested in you. Every experience is a step in the pathway to a priceless relationship with God even when it is hard, even when it hurts, even when we fail, fall, or royally mess up. Save the memories and see how God moves you along toward Him.
Jesus was hanging out in the temple one day sharing stories as he was prone to do. Pharisees, Sadducees, Priests and elders were systematically grilling him with difficult questions in an attempt to trip him up and catch him saying or teaching something wrong. Jesus handily deflected the verbal arsenal as each inquiry was launched at him. Finally, one particular Pharisee, who happened to be a lawyer, scrutinized him with yet one more question.
The one thing I always want when I am around others is to feel wanted and valued. I want to know that me being there makes a difference to others and that I matter to them. Don’t we all though? From the beginning of creation, God said it is not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). It’s in our nature to crave connection and to feel a part of family.
…forgiveness does not excuse anyone’s behavior. Forgiveness simply prevents their behavior from destroying our heart.
It amazes me the way God speaks to us sometimes. I was cleaning up a mess on my kitchen floor a few weeks ago when He showed me something. As I was close to the ground, my one year old took notice and toddled over joyfully. In his mind, I must have been on the floor for the sole purpose of amusing him.
I like movies. My family’s first tv was a black and white 13inch-er. We got 3 channels. My dad would watch the nightly news, usually on CBS, and when the news was over, we could change the channel and watch Star Trek—the original, of course.
Guilt and conviction are not synonymous. Guilt separates us and draws us away from God. Guilt leads us into bondage and torment. God is quick to forgive when we mess up and is not the author of guilt.
As a proclaimed child of this Father [Father God] since the age of four, however, I have most often related to the oldest son [in the parable of the prodigal son]. Yes, that’s right, I admit it. I have often felt a twinge of sympathy for the bitter, unbending brother of the redeemed black sheep.
I began my tribute by singing to my mother, Elaine Veenstra, at her Celebration of Life this summer. Little did I know the journey of grief, emptiness, and joy that I would encounter.
So, what is forgiveness? It’s an acknowledgment that the power of the Holy Spirit is GREATER than the power of the offense. It’s a realization that we want His hope more than we want to hold onto bitterness and resentment. It’s a decision to trust God more than our circumstances and to allow Him to heal our wounds.