Thursday, December 31, 2015


2015 was the first year I decided to choose one word to focus on, as that was what the Church urged us to do. My word was relentless. 

Not for me to be relentless, but to bask in and recognize the love of our redeeming God is relentless. No matter what. He is relentless, consistently and passionately pursuing me. He is relentless, His love is relentless. 

2016 my word is intentional. I want to focus on being intentional. Intentional in my relationships, my actions, my words. To be intentional in my being and the way I interact with people, the way I portray myself, and portray God. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter. Black lives matter, black lives matter, black lives matter.
Black lives matter.

Are we hearing this? Seeing it? Believing it?
Because black lives matter.

Yes, all lives also matter, but right now, black lives matter. I love the analogy in this article because it helps put it into perspective:
It's like calling 911 and saying someone is breaking into your house and you start to provide them your address and the operator says, "All houses matter, not just yours" and you are so confused, because No duh, all houses matter, but right now it's your house getting broken into and your house needs attention and help. 

So yes, all lives matter. But right now, our friends of color need attention and help and support.

"So finding those opportunities in everyday life that you can actually wield your privilege rather than trying to excuse it away or justify it. That aligns you as an ally."

I've had my own white privileged perspective (WPP) my whole life, and it has developed and gotten wider and brighter and more colorful as I've grown, gone to various places in the world, immersed myself into cultures, broadened my horizons, interacted with people, educated myself, and been vulnerable with myself and others, and acknowledged my WPP.

My own WPP said, Hey, some people are racists but few people are. Most people are wonderful and great and kind. 

My own WPP said, Hey, people really are equal...for the most part. 

My own WPP said, Hey, people need to work hard and then they can get ahead and do well in life. 

My own WPP said a lot of things. And it still says things from time to time. Because I don't always understand. And I'm not always perfect and great. But what I'm getting way better at, and actively doing, is recognizing my white privilege, stopping myself and reflecting, reframing, and being more of an advocate and ally for people of color.

Because black lives matter.

So with my white privilege I'm in a unique position to do something, and that's to align myself with the cause. To align myself and declare that black lives matter.

And I believe Jesus would say black lives matter. If I didn't believe He would, I'd seriously be questioning my commitment and faith. But I'm all in and fully committed to a God who loves and says, yes, indeed, black lives matter.

Black. Lives. Matter. 

Jesus Would Say Black Lives Matter:
Jesus would say Black Lives Matter

Articles from Relevant Magazine:
The Problem with All Lives Matter
From the President
Justice Part 2


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jottings on John

I'm really pleased with my alliteration on these!
I read through the Gospels, and these are just some of my own summation of points I got from the Gospels. John is the fourth and final Gospel. I don't specifically discuss stories or content, just my own thoughts/themes.


  • Can't talk about light without talking about darkness
  • John doesn't demand we blindly agree. 
  • Important to know scripture. 
  • People liked spending time with Jesus. 
  • Jesus calls on us personally; he cares about us as individuals. 
  • Ch 2: Used something gross and made it wonderful. 
  • Jesus didn't use the whip to harm, he used it to lead animals. 
  • There is such a thing as righteous anger. 
  • Jesus gets to the heart of issues. 
  • Jesus crossed barriers. 
  • Jesus uses simple situations to glorify God. 
  • Jesus gets tired. 
  • Jesus gently confronts. 
  • Jesus meets us where we're at. 
  • Jesus loves women. 
  • The first time he states that He's the messiah is to a Samaritan woman
    • Non-jew. Bad rep. Woman. 
  • Acknowledge we have needs. 
  • Don't blindly follow the law. 
  • Change is scary. 
  • When Jesus performed miracles, didn't want focus on miracle, wanted it on Him. 
  • Jesus' disciples had mixture of doubt and faith. And that's okay. 
  • Hashtag introvert tendencies. 
  • I love that the Bible shows the wrestling and grappling of people (7:40-52)
  • Disabilities aren't punishment. 
  • Jesus cries. 
  • Following the Gospel isn't easy--cross has death and Jesus asks us to die before Him. 
  • Jesus feels pain. He feels with us. 
  • Sin has to be dealt with. 
  • Be humble enough to let others help. 
  • Jesus is an advocate, defender, and is there for people. (14:16). 
  • All of the disciples saw his wounds, not just Thomas. 
  • Thomas expressed his doubts and God revealed himself to Thomas. 

A Look at Luke

What I got from the book of Luke (third Gospel of Bible).


  • Luke is detailed, diligent, intentional (1:3)
  • Mary had fear and showed it--God replied and addressed her fear. 
  • Miracles and signs were performed with intention. 
  • Luke takes more time to explain things. 
  • Connects and cites Old Testament in New Testament. 
  • Luke takes the time to map out the genealogy of Jesus. 
  • Satan knows and uses scripture too. (chapter 4)
  • Jesus has personality of both introvert and extrovert. (5:16)
  • Our friends affect us. 
  • Jesus takes time to be by himself and pray. 
  • Jesus speaks so people can understand; uses language and concepts they are familiar with. 
  • Important to be persistent
  • Jesus loves people. 
  • Being a Christ follower means to choose God above all else. 
  • Don't give up on people. 
  • There are always second chances with Jesus. 
  • Humility is important. 
  • Inclusiveness and diversity is important. 
  • Don't be lukewarm. 
  • God loves you enough to deal with your crap. 
  • God doesn't just forgive, he restores. 
  • Jesus is witty. 
  • Nobody is unworthy; all are loved. 
  • God provides hope for the broken. 
My take on the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11):
  • Younger Son: Desired independence, went away as far as possible, spoke his needs of being independent to his father. 
  • Dad: Listened to son and gave him his desire. 
  • Older son: Tries to earn dad's favor, questions his own rewards, doesn't step in, essentially tells brother "you're not worth it". 
  • When younger son ready to come back: Had a plan and followed through with it. He confessed and admitted it and did something about it. 
  • v. 20: "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."
    • Means his father was looking for him. 
    • His dad ran to him--didn't meet him halfway, didn't wait, he ran to him. 
  • Son had a long speech prepared, he was cut off because dad essentially says, "you came, that's what matters". Dad disregards sons unworthiness and then the party begins.  

My take on the Lord's Prayer:
Father, Acknowledge God
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come. 
Give us each day our daily bread. Be real with needs
Forgive us our sins, Confess sins
for we also forgive everyone who sins Ask for strength 
against us. 
And lead us not into temptation. Rely/trust in Jesus

Musings on Mark

My musings on the book of Mark, the second Gospel in the Bible (New Testament).
There's a lot in there that I understand how so many people can read it and get something different out of it.

  • Mark writes like a no-nonsense guy
  • Jesus liked close knit groups (Mark 3:7)
  • Jesus answers our questions (Mark 4:10, 34)
  • Jesus explains laws of Old Testament and laws of new covenant (Mark 7:6-23)
  • Jesus explains how people can/do twist or use the Bible to further their own agenda (Mark 7:8-13)
  • Jesus has so many human characteristics, reminding us that He was fully human--he expressed a myriad of emotions, slept, ate, sighed. 
  • Jesus raises the standard for marriage and relationships. 
  • Jesus performed miracles when purposeful (v. 52)
  • Jesus asks us to share our hearts/desires with him. 
  • Jesus believes in servitude, serving others, humility. 
  • The Pharisees described him as a man of integrity (12:14)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

How Terrorists Help My Faith

These past few weeks, I've come to the realization that terrorists are helping my faith.
Terrorists, by definition are, those who use violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Islam is a really neat religion. Islam has five pillars of faith: Belief, worship, fasting, almsgiving, and pilgrimage.

I get challenged within my own faith so often, especially lately, because I have so many doubts, questions, and confusions, primarily about other Christians. Because I look at so many people who have the label of "Christian" and they don't look anything like Jesus. I think,"If Christianity were right and Jesus was real and able to conquer sin, Christians wouldn't pervert the Gospel" and "If people who claim to believe in the Gospel actually did, they would do life much differently".

Terrorism has given me some hope into Christianity, because I see another religion (Islam), which is a really beautiful religion and guided by kindness, charity, gentleness. And you have people, terrorists like those who are part of ISIS and al-Queda, who pervert the religion of Islam and say they are Muslim.

And somehow, I am able to separate terrorists from Muslims; I am able to see the difference between those who are actually practicing Islam and those who are perverting the religion and saying it's in the name of Islam. ISIS/ISIL, standing for Islamic State of Iraq/Syria, is an incorrect acronym. Because the Islamic State would look a lot different than resulting in terrorism, I would guess. In no way does terrorism from "radical Muslims" affect or skew my view of Muslims or the Islamic religion. In no way do I see any resemblance.

So how come it's so hard for me to have that differentiation with Christians? Maybe because it's more personal, since I subscribe to the Christian faith, maybe when I see "radical Christians" it hits more at home?

Terrorists help my faith because I realize all faiths, all people groups, have "radicals" and not in the good way (Because, arguably there is a good way to be radical). Terrorists help my faith because I see a vast difference between true Muslims and....those who say they are Muslim and perpetuate terrorism. It's really easy for me to not generalize the acts of terrorism to all those who are Muslim.

But it's hard for me to not generalize the acts of "radical Christians" to Christianity and ultimately, to Jesus. I look at terrorists and I realize that if I believe that terrorists don't represent Islam, then it's reasonable to assume that "radical Christians" don't represent Jesus. It's reasonable to assume that Jesus doesn't look anything like "radical Christians". And it's reasonable to assume that those Christians who pervert the Gospel aren't representing the Gospel, they are representing their own agenda.

So I look at al-Quada and ISIS and I think they're terrorists who use the Islam faith as a springboard for their own agenda and aren't actually submitting themselves to God and that helps me to look at Christians who use the Christian faith to springboard for their own agenda and aren't actually wholly in love with Christ.

I do believe Jesus is real and I do believe He conquered sin. And I believe those who have submitted themselves to the I AM and fully repented and allowed Jesus to be the King of their life and spent time with Him and grew in their faith and talked to Him and believe that He did die and rose again and believe that He has endless and boundless grace and agape love, that they wouldn't pervert the Gospel and they would do life differently.

I think these thoughts are right: "If Christianity were right and Jesus was real and able to conquer sin, Christians wouldn't pervert the Gospel" and "If people who claim to believe in the Gospel actually did, they would do life much differently".

If someone says they are Muslim and their actions result in terrorism, I don't believe them. Likewise, if someone says they are Christian and their actions result in hurt, anger, judgement, or despair to others, I don't believe them. Because terrorism doesn't represent Islam and meanness doesn't represent Christianity.