By Faith, We Will Endure

At this moment I am looking out at a smoke-filled sky. The smell of a historical forest fire season lingers faintly in my house. A few moments outside to play fetch with our German Shepherd is almost too much. Even with three cloth masks, the smell of the smoke is overwhelming but this poor girl has to run, even for just a couple minutes. She is now happily asleep next to me as I write this. Just a few short weeks ago, we wrapped up the resilient faith guest blog series. This has certainly been a summer full of faith even in the midst of such turbulent times. The passage from Hebrews has been rolling around in my soul since we heard from our last guest writer…

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Reshaped For Risk

Over the past months, I have found my thoughts continually coming back to this idea of reshaping. As news headlines on an almost a daily basis remind us that we are moving into a “new normal,” and while businesses, schools, etc.. restructure how they have always done things, it is a constant reminder that the world is being reshaped around us. Because it is so very present, I find myself not left with much room to escape a question I think I would benefit from asking myself more often “in this moment right now, what is God wanting to form in me? What are the situations and circumstances in my life, by which God is at work in my life through his Spirit so that the best version of myself will emerge?”

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Embracing The Moment And The Mystery of God

…It appears I have always been trying to fit God into a box yet somehow, I could not get him to stay there. I wanted a nice tidy belief system but my foundation of a faith that always is overcoming could not withstand the crises that hit.

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Christian, Do Your Work

“You preach God at me, the least you could do is your job.”
The sentence hung in the air like a bell rung, it’s pitch lingering long before it is silent… Though muttered under her breath, it stabbed deep inside my soul as if she said it straight to my face. A co-worker of mine was struggling with someone in her department and was halfway venting to me and halfway to herself. It was a powerful judgement to bring forth in that moment and though I do not know the whole story, it’s a warning we should all heed because faith resiliency leads to faithful work.

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Life As Rhythm

As I continued on my hike I was overwhelmed by the silence. This experience of noticing myself helped me to recognize the silence around me. lt awakened my senses, this being in silence, alone. It made me more heightened to what was around me and what was happening inside me, in my own body. It brought a thankfulness for my body that worked the way it did, for the noises that I could hear all around me when I was able to pay attention, and was made aware of the smallest flowers that I could see when I actually looked. How often do we take the time to notice?

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Learning To Unknow

Unknowing. The means by which I will enter greater faithfulness in this season. I am invited to recognize my lack of understanding and I am invited to join the One who holds all understanding. But this invitation isn’t to a feast in which the banquet table is full of all the knowledge I can eat, but rather, it is an invitation to join the Host for dinner, taking what is served and not asking for more but trusting I will receive what is necessary. In western tradition at least, a guest often doesn’t dictate the meal nor the quantity of said meal when arriving at a guest’s home for dinner. Likewise, in my pursuit of understanding I find that I am led to less dictating what will happen and more reliance on Christ to provide what is needed when it is needed in my pursuit of understanding.

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Broken-Hearted and Still Showing Up: It’s Complicated

For some time now I have been in a very complicated and emotionally-fraught relationship with my mother the church. In my youth she was a caretaker, teacher, and the frequent preparer of my daily bread. When, in the course of raising me, she occasionally revealed some of her more oppressive tendencies, my child’s heart read them as cute little quirks. When I felt her stings, I characterized the wounds as inadvertent and likely the result of my own disobedience. My perspective was reasonably small.

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Glass Houses

“They live in a glass house,” I overheard someone say about our pastors when I was a child. I imagined the beautiful glass house in my mind. It must be in the woods, I thought. Could they view the sunset through the trees? Instead of television, I pictured them watch squirrels hunt for acorns from the comfort of their living room recliners.“We live in a glasshouse, Kelly,” a snarky adolescent me was told, as I rolled my eyes in church. By then, I understood the implication of those words. Translation: As a pastor’s kid, everything I did and said was a representation of our family…

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Get To Work And Let It Be

I long for structure these days; boundaries and routines. These got pulled out from under me when the Pandemic hit back in March. It’s now the end of June and my life feels like a swamp rather than the above picture of neatly plowed fields, each with their own design and purpose. My friend Camille says to look for the things that spark life in me to help me trudge through the swamp. Clues to get me from one mossy stone to the next.

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The Thanksgiving Feast

One day a beautiful envelope arrived with my name on it and a royal wax seal. Hand written in golden-red ink on thick cotton paper, it smelled like frankincense. It read:

You are invited to The Thanksgiving Feast ~ No one has ever served a feast this sumptuous, on a table more exquisite, to more worthy guests. The bread and wine served will consist of priceless ingredients grown, crafted and served by the Host himself. The nourishment of this feast procures eternal life for all who eat it.
If you accept, please come to the church when you receive this letter.
You must leave everything behind.

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