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Surprising Moments of Grace

Have you ever been surprised by a moment of God’s grace? Maybe you haven’t been bopped over the head by a tidal wave of undeniable grace, but what about a precious moment? Living with our hearts and eyes open helps prepare the soul for an encounter. I had one recently. It happened so fast; I wasn’t prepared. But it was definitely God’s grace. I’ve been volunteering at Hutchison Elementary School with the PALS program since it’s inception nine years ago. (This program matches elementary students with adult mentors once a ... Read More »

Do We Actually Want Authenticity?

It’s okay to not be okay. This is a quote from a wonderful email a friend of mine sent recently. It even serves as the introductory line to a popular Christian song on the radio. However, do we believe it? It is ironic that we live in a world begging for others to be authentic. But in my experience, I don’t believe we are truly comfortable when people actually live into authenticity. It’s raw. It’s messy, and quite frankly, people are generally uncomfortable when sitting too closely to another person’s ... Read More »

Be Good, Be Strong, Be Brave

When our daughters were growing up, my husband often traveled out of town for work. Over the years, the girls and their daddy developed a ritual for saying their farewells, which they still observe today as the girls leave for college each semester or when it is time to say goodbye after a visit. Each time they part, Steve will kiss the palm of each of his daughters’ hands, and the girls will then hold their palm to their face for a moment while they say out loud: “Daddy loves ... Read More »

Yoga Pants and Green Socks

I was thinking recently about one of Rev. Barbara Miner’s past sermons at Floris UMC—the one where she encouraged us to take a picture first thing in the morning before any attempts to beautify our appearance. Her point in this challenge was to remind us that we are already masterpieces in God’s eyes, so we don’t need to make ourselves look good in order to be worthy of his love. She encouraged us to embrace all of our imperfect perfection and try to love ourselves as we are, like God ... Read More »

We Are All Neighbors

I was reminded about how connected we all are when I was in the grocery store the other day. From a distance, I recognized a woman who I’ve met twice during the Floris Guest House, our church’s week of hosting homeless guests. I smiled as I remembered meeting her and felt grateful that we’d been able to help her for at least two winters. I smiled at the thought of seeing her in the grocery store just as I would a neighbor. In the next instant, I also felt hopeful ... Read More »

Be the Donkey

“Be the donkey.” To this day, this is still the single greatest advice I have ever received as a vocalist. Early in my participation in Floris UMC’s contemporary worship team, a few of us attended a vocal workshop. At this training, we learned proper techniques and bad habits we should avoid vocally. Then the training sessions dug into the heart of the worshipper. The leaders used a story we generally associate with Palm Sunday to help put our role into appropriate perspective. During this session, she recounted the story of ... Read More »

Reclaim Your Sabbath Day

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.” – Exodus 20:8-10 I’m dating myself here, but does anyone but me remember when most stores were closed on Sundays? When I think about those days as a kid I remember feeling sometimes that Sunday afternoons were boring. No mall to go to, no errands to do with my mom…just books to read, maybe some TV to watch and hours ... Read More »

Sharing the Good News

The results were rather shocking. I mean ever since I was a child I knew my cholesterol was high (familial hyperlipidemia is the official diagnosis), but this was off the charts. My cholesterol was 314. My LDL was 209, and my HDL was 95. (Note: physicians like to see your cholesterol below 240—LDL below 160 and HDL below 60). Something had to be done. When the doctor and I spoke about strategies, she was pretty clear. She said my levels were likely the result of my age and that medication ... Read More »

Sniffles and Small Group Solidarity

Nearly a dozen of my small group members went to see “The Shack” together recently. It is sometimes hard enough to get two calendars to line up, so it is pretty remarkable that we could all make it work. What I loved even more than the coordination and commitment we demonstrated was the fellowship we enjoyed—especially during the funny, as well as the more emotional, scenes in the movie. How many people do you have in your life that you can cry with? I don’t just mean the kind of ... Read More »

Unless the Lord Builds the House, Those Who Build It Labor in Vain

Years ago, I drove past a home construction site where the foundation had been laid but the frame had yet to take shape. A small sign greeted everyone who came to the job site. It read: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” – Psalm 127:1 I marveled at that bold expression of faith! What courage it took for that builder to proclaim his faith, on the job, everyday. What a privilege it must have been to work for someone who gave such thanks and demonstrated such humility. I didn’t have that ... Read More »

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