faith

This Is My Story, This Is My Song

This Is My Story, This Is My Song

A few weeks ago, the youth led worship. They planned skits and a children's message, wrote prayers, made T-shirts, wrote testimonials, and chose music. They poured their hearts into this service. And it showed.

The overall theme was packing for a long journey - carrying extra baggage through life and trying to do it all on their own until Jesus revealed himself to them and offered to carry their burdens. But instead of playing fictional characters, the youth assumed their own identities - they were themselves and the baggage they carried were real things they struggle with in their own lives.

One high schooler shared her struggle with depression and anxiety.

Another about grief and loss.

One talked about turning her back on God, the way He sought her, and the joy she's found in returning to Him.

A 6th grader spoke about taking a stand and choosing to believe in God even when her friends and teachers try to tell her He doesn't exist. 

Within the security of grace

Earlier this year, I shared my goals for 2012. Among "make more decisions" and "pursue excellence," I wrote:

- Keep the faith. Think positively even when surrounded by negativity, stay strong even in the midst of frustration and weakness, find new ways to actively build my faith throughout the year, commit to worry less.

As such, I thought I'd share an expression of faith that's been on my heart lately. This year, the season of Lent spans the entire month of March. It is a solemn time in the church year, a time of self-reflection and sacrifice (giving things up). A few weeks ago, our pastor shared this thought with the congregation: "Lent is a time to examine ourselves as God sees us, within the security of grace." It resonated with me. "The security of grace" is a thought so comforting, so freeing. It's not an excuse not to do my best, it's motivation to try again, to forgive again, to move forward. It's a simple reminder that my whole life fits into the palm of His hand. We can choose to live in this security of grace every day. What will you choose?

Welcome, 2012

Happy New Year and welcome, 2012! We celebrated the final week of 2011 with four Christmases in three states! Today, however, we are back home and back at work. Though much of my work revolves around the academic year (September-June), there's something about the new calendar year that inspires me to set new goals, re-organize, and re-balance my priorities. It's a time to re-focus on the things that matter and start fresh. I saved this graphic when I came upon it a few weeks ago. I think it's a great reminder of important items that don't generally make my resolution list.

- Keep the faith. Think positively even when surrounded by negativity, stay strong even in the midst of frustration and weakness, find new ways to actively build my faith throughout the year, commit to worry less. Professionally and personally, these are words I want to live by this year.

- Pursue excellence. True excellence - a standard of passionate and dedicated work, a new definition of success (more on this later).

- Make more decisions. Powerful, effective decisions. Changing the pattern of indecisiveness, learning to make decisions without seeking outside input, and collaborating with others without deferring.

The other day, I re-encountered this quote: "Indecision is the seedling of fear." - Napolean Hill. I want 2012 to be a year of learning how to make more decisions, a year of overcoming fear, and a year of making excellent things happen.