• Patience,  Purpose,  Surrender,  Trust the Process

    Sweet Refinement

    My oldest daughter loves to bake and her latest artistic endeavor has been cake decorating. I’m not much of a baker with the exception of special events or holidays so we don’t often have a surplus of ingredients in our pantry. Not long ago, my daughter baked a cake and as she was preparing the frosting, realized we were out of powdered sugar. I offered her a jar of pre-made frosting but that was not going to work for her creation. She had specific plans for this cake and wanted it made to her specifications. A few moments later, I heard a different sound from the kitchen. My daughter proudly…

  • Unexpected Series

    Finding Unexpected Purpose

    In 2006, I graduated from physical therapy school. I was so excited to begin working as a physical therapist. My first official position was at a small clinic with only two other part-time therapists. Those first two years were about gaining experience while I was still learning how to most effectively manage my time with patients. Although I enjoyed that first job, it was clear when it was time to move on. My daughter was an infant and I was working several late evenings per week. She was in daycare all day, then often be asleep for the night by the time I got home. It was time to do…

  • Unexpected Series

    Update Your Faith to Navigate the Unexpected

    Many have heard the Biblical stories of Jesus’ healing. He healed people on the spot of various ailments including leprosy and paralysis, released demons, and even revived a few from death. However, do we believe God can still do this today? The Bible tells us Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). In fact, this verse holds these identical words in every translation I’ve ever looked at. I don’t think we can see this as anything other than what it is: truth. We know the Bible stories, we watch the Christian movies, we even pray for healing. BUT, do we BELIEVE he still does this in…

  • Uncategorized

    What It Means to Wear the Crown

    Straighten Your Crown’s title was given to me several years ago when I found myself in a pit of intense grief and disappointment. I knew I needed to put one foot in front of the other but I couldn’t figure out how to even stand up. I cried out to God and He reminded me who I belonged to and as a result, who I truly was. What I initially thought was defeat at the hand of our enemy was actually the starting line of a whole new journey. God let me know He was the author of my story and it didn’t end in that pit of despair. In…

  • Unexpected Series

    Our Eyes Are On You, Lord

    Are you in a situation where you just don’t know what to do? Maybe there are multiple directions you could take but you know none of them will lead to your desired destination and all of them contain terrain that looks impossible to navigate. In that case, we obviously look for the shortest path or the one with the least amount of risk. But what if that is NOT the path God calls us to take? What if there is quite simply, no easy way out? These unexpected situations in life seem like they will break us. No matter which path we choose, a dream ends, a relationship gets left…

  • Faith,  Patience,  Trust the Process,  Trusting God,  Unexpected Series

    Unexpected Stops and Delays

    Several weeks ago, my daughters and I drove to my parents’ house for the weekend. My mom needed some strawberries so we stopped at a grocery store on the way. In order to get back onto the highway, we had to turn right while on an incline with a building to our left. There was another vehicle approaching so I waited until they had passed to turn. My children thought it was hysterical when the car behind me started beeping their horn as they did not feel I was moving fast enough. From their position behind me further down the incline with a view obscured by the building to the…

  • Brave,  Perseverance,  Surrender,  Unexpected Series

    Unexpected: Blessings after the Battle

    By Leigh MacKenzie Have you ever worked hard for years on something and had it stolen or senselessly destroyed overnight? Ever felt the bile rise up in your throat from a personal injustice?   Or the tears stinging your eyes when you realize something you loved unexpectedly vanished? Read on, Beloved. This is a story of rising up after the unexpected comes knocking… The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10) It was a relaxing weekend that included family time, a biking coffee date with The Elder, singing for the worship team, and a…

  • Brave,  Faith,  Surrender,  Trusting God,  Uncategorized,  Unexpected Series

    Run to God in the Unexpected

    By Jodi Rosser I will never forget that night, the night my heart was shattered into a thousand pieces. The night my life took an unexpected turn.   Honestly, I did not want to believe what I was hearing. The weight of his words was unbearable.  Like a ton of bricks crashing over my body, his heavy words left me shocked and paralyzed.   With tears streaming down my face, I ran upstairs to call my accountability partner to share the heartbreaking news. I knew I would not be able to handle this alone. I needed her help. As the phone was dialing, I remembered our purposeful walks just months before.…

  • Uncategorized

    Unexpected: A Rekindled Passion

    By Becky Shields Recently, after taking a 12-year hiatus, I re-entered the work force. This was not something I was looking for and certainly came at an unexpected time. This was not something that I had a great desire to do. This was not even something that I ever thought that I would do again! I had enjoyed my career while it lasted but I was perfectly content being at home, schooling my youngest, volunteering at church, and acting as an Uber driver for my high schooler. I’ve loved being a stay at home mom intimately involved in my children’s lives. No part of me felt like I needed something…

  • Uncategorized

    Exploring Our Naaman Moments

    Prayer is essential to the Christian faith. We are told throughout Scripture to call out to the Lord and Jesus gives us several examples of this including The Lord’s Prayer and my personal favorite, John 17, in which Jesus prays for Himself and for all believers just before the crucifixion. In each of these examples, Jesus teaches us to pray within the will of God the Father. When it comes to prayer, I’ve prayed many prayers that I thought needed a certain answer. We can all relate to prayers of healing for a specific ailment, salvation of a loved one, or prayers for the sale of a home. These type…

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