Love in Action

 God is love. God is "agape." Agape is different than "eros," which is most often the definition of love that the world offers and understands. Every song on the radio is about this kind of love.  "Eros," is physical, sexual, emotional. Agape is also different than, "phileo," which is the word for brotherly love, like the love we have for our family and friend relationships.  Agape is different and holds a different strength, power and motivation. It's the word used to define God's love in 1 John 4:7-21. I've been caught by this section for a few weeks now. Agape is a love that transforms us to our very core to look and act like God, Himself. It's a love so powerful that it actually changes us and changes our perception of God, ourselves and others. Agape love brings the awareness of how holy God is, my sin nature in comparison and how incredible it is that God sent Jesus for us - it's self-sacrificing for the sake of another

Love Defining

We do not define God. God defines us.  This is the starting point of my faith. This is the beginning of humilty for me, a heart bowed low in worship.  Like a tantrum-throwing toddler, I may not always like the sovereignty or the parenting of God, but I am content that He is the end all, has the first and final say. He is the Potter. I am the lump of clay that needs work, molding, refining fire, redeeming beauty. HIS love defines me, not this world's perverse understanding of "love." HIS love defines me, not even the church's definition of love does this because His love is higher, more powerful than we mere humans could arrogantly assume we understand, or tie up in a nice, logical box.  How high, how wide, how deep, how long is the love of God (Ephesians 3:18)?  I do not accept our world's weak view of love, more importantly God's love. "Love is love" is just...FALSE. Any love isn't love. How ridiculous it is to believe this! Any love, without bo

When God Disappoints...

 A few weeks ago while I was leading worship at Redeemer, I told our congregation that I will not allow the enemy to steal God's goodness from me. Many of us have been praying and contending for over a year now for a sweet friend of ours to be healed from cancer. In the middle of this same year, there have been others we have prayed for as well for healing, and yet that healing never came. At least, not in the way I was praying. Now my friend, Lin, is quickly deteriorating and my friend, Mark, is grieving and praying for a miracle for his wife in what looks to be like her last days. I stand by what I said. The enemy will not steal God's goodness from me because God's character isn't proven or disproven by circumstances. He is the I AM. He is who He is and I find great comfort in that because His character is the only thing steadfast in my life, the only thing that doesn't go up and down with life's glories and trials.  But I am disappointed.  I'm disappointe

Worship in truth

 We are saved to worship God, to love Him in relationship. All that Christ has done for us in the past and all that He is doing now leads us to this. What, then, is true worship? Jesus told the Samaritan at the well in John 4 that a day is coming and has already come that God's people would worship Him in Spirit and in truth. In truth. Truth...the absence of all things false, fake, perverse. What does worship in truth look like?  I'm a worship leader, a worship song leader, so I say this next thing with a bit of irony, maybe. Our corporate worship is the smallest act of worship we bring. The American church, or maybe the Western church in general has exalted this Sunday moment as the most important act of worship. I know this because worship has become an industry filled with lights, auditoriums, a high focus on emotions and how worship makes us feel. The church spends its money on stage equipment, promotion, cameras, buildings...all for the 1 day a week culmination of 25 minut

Rest and Trust is Worship

  Here's a happy little saying:   Rebellion is the opposite of rest and trust. 😁 I just finished rocking Evelyn to sleep for her nap. Sometimes I linger longer than I need to...because she's cute and so sweet when she sleeps! But that has nothing to do with this post, other than it allowed me time to read. Michael bought me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and that gift has restored my ability to read! I find myself reaching for that instead of my phone...and so, while I rock, I read. Today I was reading Isaiah 30.  I am allowing God to teach me about rest. And as I grow in the ability to rest, in the ability to live and move from rest, my trust in Him will grow, too. I am allowing God to teach me how to slow down in my approach to life. I am allowing God to teach me how to pray, rather than respond to what happens around me. This will be a long lesson because I am allowing God to engrain in me a deeper habit, a deeper way. Rest allows God to be God for me. Rest gives me mome

Rest and Trust in 2023

  Evelyn on Christmas break...resting!   Rest. Trust. I'm not a New Year's resolution kind of girl, but if I were to try to pinpoint what I feel God saying to me as I enter 2023 it is these two words. Rest. Trust.  I haven't written a post in over a month. My family has been plagued since October with RSV, the flu more than once, head colds, chest colds, strep, etc. With my husband, Michael's travel schedule, it's been challenging keeping up with our schedule & responsibilities in between sick kids and their sick mom! We entered Christmas week on antibiotics hoping that this would create some supernatural bubble of protection that would allow us to celebrate Christmas with our family and friends...and to give us a reset physically to be strengthened.  In the middle of this exhausting season, I am grateful. Though, I haven't been grateful at every moment. I get very stressed when I'm not able to handle my agenda with excellence, when I have to let things

Happy Thanksgiving!

  There are 138 passages of Scripture on the subject of thanksgiving and some of them are so powerfully worded.  Colossians 3:17        "And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."  1Thessalonians 5:18        "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  In EVERYTHING??? I used to read this verse as a daunting, impossible command. I used to chalk it up as one of those verses in the Bible that I'll just rely on Christ's blood to cover me because I know I'll never live up to THAT! Now, though, I read it differently. Now, this verse to me is an invitation. If God commands us to give thanks in everything, there is a promise within the command. This verse means that in everything, there is something to be thankful for. God is giving us a key to a mindset that also keeps us connected directly with Him.  Psalm 100:4 tells us that we enter the


Staying in a place of awe or being WOWED by God is the key to childlike worship. Paul in his letter to the Romans writes that way better than I did!  Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgements, and His paths beyond tracing out!  "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay Him?" For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever! Amen.    ~Romans 11:33-38 Maybe it's because I've officially reached middle aged status. Maybe it's because I'm now a parent who has to have the answer and solution for all things and often feel like I'm scrambling for wisdom. I don't know why...but I'm at this place with God that the more I know about Him, the less I know. I feel this great caution in holding a mentality of solid rightness in my understanding of God. Obviously, by experience and study

Abba, Father!

Abba - Johnathan Helser What comes to mind when you hear the word "God?" What is your concept of the Creator? Some people view God as a life-coach. There's no real relationship, at least not on a personal level because joining a church is kind of like making the team. God is perceived to communicate with commands, rather than soft-spoken encouragement or loud directives. One's responsibility is to train hard and perform well.  Others think of God more as a teacher. To them, being a Christian means studying harder, learning more, memorizing doctrines and Scripture, and then being able to regurgitate it at all the right moments. The important thing is getting a good grade and graduating to the next level of spirituality. God's role is to make sure we spell His name right or to give detention when we misbehave.  Then there are those who view God as their boss. Getting a good job in the Kingdom is priority one. Christians are just so many employees who are responsible

Worship is Submission...uh-oh! The "S" word!

I'm American. It's in my national, cultural DNA to rebel against this dirty word. The "S" word. Dare I speak it? SUBMISSION! Oh how we hate that word! Especially as a woman, I have this engrained inner diva in my spirit that, with hands on my hips, highly wants to refuse to acknowledge this word. I'm American. Ain't nobody gonna tell ME what to do or how to do it. Nope.  The truth? You are not a worshiper of Jesus without submission. Without submission, you are a worshiper of self. You have so placed yourself higher than God, expecting God to bow His ways and thoughts to yours. This is our culture. And sadly, this is growing in the Western church culture. Without submission, we can simply scroll through the Bible and pick out the verses we like or agree with and throw out the ones we don't like. Submission is the right approach to God's Word...even the verses we don't like, we don't understand, we don't agree with, or that we deem only to b