A Crack in the Frit

I’ve been a resident in Iowa for two winters now. This year’s was the worst in terms of brutal cold, the amount of snow, and crazy weather patterns. I learned more about the weather in the past three months than I have all of my years on earth thus far. I’m adjusting but there have been a handful of new experiences for me—(i.e. my 5 year old battery would NOT start in -55 degree weather; bubbles “deflate” in frigid temperatures, thunder snow IS a thing). 

About a month ago, I was driving across the bridge on my way home and all of the sudden, a line began slowly crawling across my windshield. The i-74 bridge is NOT the place you want to be when something is going wrong with your vehicle. I started screaming, “what? no no no! NOOO!” as I helplessly watched the line continue to spread. What in the world?? WHY was my windshield cracking??? Was this an “Iowa” thing???

I have never had a windshield crack before so once I got home I did the most reasonable thing a responsible car owner could do—I googled it. All of the results told me that there is a starting point to any crack and I should try and find that point. I could NOT find it….inside or out. I ran my hand across the windshield multiple times….inside and out, nothing. When the windshield repair person came out to take a look and see if it was fixable, she came inside and said, “I found the point of impact.” She took me outside to see it and it was the smallest little ping I’ve ever seen. 

She went on to tell me that this tiny little impact was probably caused by a very small piece of gravel that hit my (very warm on the inside) windshield at just the right speed, velocity, and time to cause the damage that it did. “So is the crack fixable,” I asked? “Well, here’s the complicated part….the original point of impact is in the area of the windshield called the frit….the very bottom black part of any windshield. The way that they are installed means there is so much pressure just from the way windshields work in addition to gravity. Anytime there is a chip or impact in the frit, it basically means it’s unfixable and the entire windshield has to be replaced.” Shocked, I responded, “so you mean something THIS SMALL…something I couldn’t even see, did THIS MUCH damage??” 

I went back to my desk and pondered about my new knowledge….about this whole frit thing and how something as tiny as a flake from the road could cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage. Then I realized how each one of us has a “frit” area within us. The place where even the smallest impact of words or actions cause us heavy damage. I have one of those brains that can’t remember where I put my keys, but I can tell you word-for-word and tone-for-tone some of the most hurtful things said to me at age 8. Because they hit me square in the frit. 

Even more so, it made me think about how many people are living their daily lives in the frit. Why even the smallest infraction makes someone seemingly explode. They haven’t gotten the help they need to work through deep rooted lies they’ve been told; they haven’t gotten or have refused the opportunity to begin healing; they fear that the things spoken over them, about them or to them are true and they’re just the last ones to admit it. 

There’s a verse in Scripture, Proverbs 25:11 that says, “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.” How true that proverb has proven itself to be. I want to be person whose words fit on others like custom-made pieces of jewelry. I think Jesus calls His followers to be the kind of people that build-up, encourage, and support those around us rather than the people that cause cracks in frits. 

My windshield of course will be replaced and the visual reminder of what winter and tiny pieces of gravel can do will soon be gone. However, I don’t want to lose the object lesson—the tongue is a small thing but what enormous damage it can do!

Anointed By Bob

I’ve been anointed three times in my life. 

In 2010, I was beginning a new college and young singles ministry at the church I attended and the leadership asked me to come in the evening of our kick-off to hear my heart and pray over me. As they prayed, I felt a hand lightly tousle my hair, anointing me with oil. I looked up and it was a man named Bob. As he prayed, it was as if he was talking to an old friend of his that had just joined us. We had never had a college ministry before and I wasn’t completely sure that I was the right person to be at the helm, but after Bob’s prayer that evening, there was no longer any doubt. He asked God to bless me as the leader of the college and young singles ministry. To bring the “missing generation” back to our church family. For God to work mightily through the people who would be impacted by my efforts.

In 2011, I was hired by that same church to be the children’s pastor. Right after I was hired, the elders scheduled my ordination to take place in the upcoming Sunday morning service. I was known in the church, but not as a children’s ministry leader so I had a few minutes to talk about my vision and plans going forward. Afterwards, Bob came up on the stage and again, anointed me with oil. Praying over me as a formal means of ordination. He asked God to bless me as the leader of the children’s ministry. To bring joy, fun, and energy to the youngest generation of our church family. For God to work mightily through the families that would come in contact with the church through our efforts.

Then, in 2017, when I was at one of the lowest points of my life–having left the church I had ministered to for the past six years and not yet knowing where I would land–Bob sent me a message asking me to come see him. Bob was in the hospital; he had been diagnosed with cancer in late 2015. That morning, I had committed to staying in bed all day. But how do you say no to a dying man’s request to come visit him? I got up and headed over. Any good pastor would know that the end of a hospital visit requires a prayer. But before I could offer to pray for him, Bob looked at me and said, “get over here. Let me pray for you.” Everything within me wanted to just burst into tears. How could I let HIM pray over ME in that moment? I briefly argued with him, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He asked for his anointing oil, dipped it on his finger and held my hand. And he asked God to bless me. To bring me new opportunities, new ministry, and a deeper trust that God wasn’t finished using me. For God to work mightily through the work that He had begun in me.

A week later on March 10th, I got word that Bob had died. I couldn’t believe it. And the blessing of being anointed by him hung over me with a special honor. I was the last person he anointed before he passed. Bob’s celebration of life was packed and every single person mentioned Bob’s acute ability to connect with God through prayer in order to bless and anoint others around him. 

From my first moments in ministry, Bob’s support meant the world to me. He was in his 70’s and he understood the necessity to have children as a part of the church family. My first VBS, I “voluntold” Bob to lead the 5th grade boys group (one of the hardest groups of any VBS or children’s ministry activity). He had those boys following his every word. It was incredible! Later on, I found out he was paying them dollars to behave and listen to him the whole week. 

When the city of Franklin wanted to ban pan-handlers from standing on street corners, Bob went (without telling anyone) to the city council meeting to defend the homeless in the area who didn’t have a means to make money any other way. He went on numerous international mission trips (in addition to all the ministry he did locally). His age meant nothing in terms of slowing down or “retiring”. Retirement to him only meant that he had even more time to serve and bless others.

Bob believed in the power of God at work in children. During the last year of his battle with cancer, the kids in the ministry made cards for him. We brought him down to kids church twice and the kids anointed him with oil and prayed over him. Never missing a beat, he would thank them for their cards and teach them about the power of prayer. At my last VBS, we had a child with special needs named Silas. Bob signed up to be Silas’ buddy the entire week. This was a picture captured from the week—

Bob was the person I called when I was upset with a leadership decision. He’d help talk me off the edge or agree to represent me well or both. He encouraged me. He saw and appreciated the growth in me as a leader, minister, and a regular person. Every prayer of Bob’s began with “Hallelujah Lord Jesus, we do, we thank you…..” 

Bob loved his family, fishing, serving, working with his hands, reading his Bible, and of course eating at Uncle Bud’s catfish. 

Every March 10th, I am reminded of a life well lived, a race well run, and a legacy left behind. I pray that I can be a “Bob” to those who are around me. I think I’m going to order me one of those keychain anointing oil holders like Bob had. That way, I don’t miss an opportunity to bless someone like Bob did for me.

On Having Courage

I was completing the next chapter in my workbook on healing when the question was posed, “what is your definition of courage?”. I found myself staring for quite a while at the blank space in which to write my answer down. I really didn’t know how I would define courage in a personal way. Dictionary answers are often pretty sterile—I like to define words in ways that are inspiring and meaningful. 

I told my leader that I didn’t know how to answer it because anything I wrote down would implicate ME as being courageous and that just certainly couldn’t be true because I didn’t believe it about myself. She began to list all the ways that she thought I had shown courage over the past several years of my life and that made me deny having courage even more. 

Switching gears, she challenged me to find a definition of courage that resonated with me. After searching for a while, I came across this quotation:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” 

-Mary Anne Radmacher

THIS captured courage perfectly to me. I can get on board with the idea that courage doesn’t always roar. What is it about us that thinks that courage means a public showing of bravado? The most courageous things I have done in my life have often been in the complete silence and stillness of being alone with God, making a decision that no one else knows about. In those moments, it hasn’t always felt courageous. But I believe it is because I always thought courage meant not having or showing any fear.

I have walked with people through their most courageous decisions: getting on with life after the death of a spouse; helping their child heal from abuse; overcoming addictions; facing cancer head on; seeking counseling and therapy or getting on anti-depressants; uprooting their lives to head to a foreign country to spread the Word; staying in a hard-relationship; ending a relationship; breaking unhealthy family cycles; going back to school after having a career and raising kids; purposefully and intentionally building bridges with “others” (people who are different than ourselves); fostering and adopting children from trauma backgrounds; parenting children with special needs; and there’s so much more I could write. 

Joshua 1:9 is often quoted at the outset of a big project or decision, “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” I have mistakenly used this verse to perpetuate the idea that courage is public bravado, no fear, no pain, no regrets. It is incongruent with the entire message of the Bible that we should have courage based on our own aptitude or abilities. The source of our courage and strength is not found in ourselves. It is found in a God who never leaves us, nor forsakes us. Who doesn’t always pick the loudest, most popular, most handsome/pretty, most talented, most likely to be chosen person to be the world-changers. Far more often, He chooses the person who everyone else would overlook that has “tried again” at every one of their tomorrows. 

So where are you in this defining of courage? What do you think about this new definition? Have you been like me, thinking that courage was always a public showing of no-holds-barred bravado? Do you think that this definition of courage might mean that you’re courageous when you never once thought you were? Share your thoughts and let’s learn from each other.

On Having Courage

I was completing the next chapter in my workbook on healing when the question was posed, “what is your definition of courage?”. I found myself staring for quite a while at the blank space in which to write my answer down. I really didn’t know how I would define courage in a personal way. Dictionary answers are often pretty sterile—I like to define words in ways that are inspiring and meaningful.

I told my leader that I didn’t know how to answer it because anything I wrote down would implicate ME as being courageous and that just certainly couldn’t be true because I didn’t believe it about myself. She began to list all the ways that she thought I had shown courage over the past several years of my life and that made me deny having courage even more.

Switching gears, she challenged me to find a definition of courage that resonated with me. After searching for a while, I came across this quotation:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

-Mary Anne Radmacher

THIS captured courage perfectly to me. I can get on board with the idea that courage doesn’t always roar. What is it about us that thinks that courage means a public showing of bravado? The most courageous things I have done in my life have often been in the complete silence and stillness of being alone with God, making a decision that no one else knows about. In those moments, it hasn’t always felt courageous. But I believe it is because I always thought courage meant not having or showing any fear.

I have walked with people through their most courageous decisions: getting on with life after the death of a spouse; helping their child heal from abuse; overcoming addictions; facing cancer head on; seeking counseling and therapy or getting on anti-depressants; uprooting their lives to head to a foreign country to spread the Word; staying in a hard-relationship; ending a relationship; breaking unhealthy family cycles; going back to school after having a career and raising kids; purposefully and intentionally building bridges with “others” (people who are different than ourselves); fostering and adopting children from trauma backgrounds; parenting children with special needs; and there’s so much more I could write.

Joshua 1:9 is often quoted at the outset of a big project or decision, “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” I have mistakenly used this verse to perpetuate the idea that courage is public bravado, no fear, no pain, no regrets. It is incongruent with the entire message of the Bible that we should have courage based on our own aptitude or abilities. The source of our courage and strength is not found in ourselves. It is found in a God who never leaves us, nor forsakes us. Who doesn’t always pick the loudest, most popular, most handsome/pretty, most talented, most likely to be chosen person to be the world-changers. Far more often, He chooses the person who everyone else would overlook that has “tried again” at every one of their tomorrows.

So where are you in this defining of courage? What do you think about this new definition? Have you been like me, thinking that courage was always a public showing of no-holds-barred bravado? Do you think that this definition of courage might mean that you’re courageous when you never once thought you were? Share your thoughts and let’s learn from each other.



Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

Several months ago, I had a vision of something I have always wanted to happen, coming true in my future. The movie reel highlight that played in my head felt so real that it shortened my breath and gave me an overwhelming feeling of pure giddiness in my spirit and goosebumps up and down my arms!

In that moment, I took what I had seen in my head before the Lord and just asked, “is this really going to happen? I need to know because I don’t want to get my hopes up if this was something that my brain just made up in order to torture me.” He didn’t really give me a solid answer. As the days have continued to pass, I have wondered what do I do with what I saw? Do I hope for it and pursue it with all my heart? Or do I sit back and wait for things to unfold?

There have been times when I have pursued something with all of my heart and found myself at the end gaining what I set out for. Likewise, there have been times when I have wanted something with everything inside of me and it falls like sand through my finger tips no matter how tightly I hold on. Am I speaking anyones language?

As I drove to work this morning, I thought about my vision again and got honest before the Lord, “God, I’m scared to pursue that with all of my heart because I’m afraid that I’m wrong about what I saw. And I don’t know that my heart can take the deep hurt that would occur if I didn’t get what I wanted. I know that I COULD pray for this to come true, to receive what my heart longs for. I know that you’re a good Father who delights in giving your children what they want. But you’re also a good Father who gives us what we need even when we don’t realize it. So all my prayers would be a waste and my heart crushed. I can’t take that.” And in the way that He tends to respond to me in these moments (i.e. a big compassionate sigh complete with a loving smile and much patience), He answered, “What if instead of praying for what you want, you pray to want what I want for you?”
I paused before responding, “Well, yeah….that’s a thought.”

So, my friends, in this moment, I’m able to tell you that I’m praying to want what God wants for me. And I’m wondering who out there has a desire in their heart that they’re scared to pursue, don’t want to get their hopes up about, and feels more comfortable staying in the box. If we really believe that God gives us what we need, can we believe that what He wants for us is better than what we want for ourselves? What if instead of getting your hopes up, you placed your hopes in God’s hands? What would happen if you said, “okay God, help me to want what you want for me.”

God is too good and cares about us too much to give us what we want when what we want is not what is best for us. What is the next step for you? What would it take for you to believe that? Bring it to God, pour out your heart and see how He responds….I bet you’ll be surprised at how things work out.

When God’s Timing Doesn’t Feel Perfect

Two years ago, my life felt like it was crumbling all around me. I had experienced two major life-crises within a year of each other and now another one hit me. No, it didn’t just hit me. It bulldozed me. 

I woke up on this morning and wondered aloud, “what do I even do now?” Have you been there? Where life is so overwhelming that you don’t even know how to put a plan together to make it just a single day. 

From my time in therapy I remembered that being physically active is important to mental and emotional health. As both my mental and emotional health were in serious jeopardy I decided it’d be best to go for a walk in a park. It was a Monday morning so I was thankful that none of the parks would be too crowded at 1:38PM. I drove over to Radnor Lake in Nashville—its a beautiful park in the middle of such an urban city. But when I arrived it was PACKED and having no clue what was going on, I asked the Park Ranger why it was so busy. He said, “Its a holiday today, President’s Day.” 

“Greeeeeeeaaaat,” I mumbled to myself as I finally found an inconvenient parking space. I just wanted a space where I could walk and think and have a serious breakdown without anyone seeing me. “You can’t even give me THAT, God?” I asked as I looked up to the sky. I pulled on my sunglasses, grabbed my iPod and began walking on the trails, trying to sort out everything that had happened in the past three months.

In that moment, God’s timing did NOT feel perfect to me. Injustice upon injustice had occurred and it felt like I was receiving the blunt end of a battering ram from almost everyone around me. All of the things I knew to be true about God didn’t feel comforting, nor bring me peace because my circumstances seemed to reveal the exact opposite of what I knew. Where was God my protector when I was being beat down? Where was God my defender when lies were being thrown like confetti? Where was the God of perfect timing with His impeccable ability to “open doors” for me? Two years later, I can tell you He was with me. His timing didn’t feel perfect in that moment because it hadn’t been my plan. (When is it ever YOUR plan for your world to flip upside down?).

Two years later I can tell you that I’m so glad He changed my circumstances, my environment, my world. I read a quotation several months ago that said, “You can’t heal in the same environment that made you sick.” Before I was even aware that my environment had made me sick, God being God, removed me from the source of infection. Hindsight being 20/20, I can see now what He was doing and I am so thankful. (Full Disclosure: I might have ugly cried last night while thanking Him for pulling me out of a situation I didn’t even realize I was stuck in!). 

My friends, do you feel like God’s timing isn’t so perfect right now? Have your circumstances changed? Has your world been flipped upside down? I can guarantee you that though it doesn’t feel like you’ll make it, you’re wondering how you’ll survive if ___________________ happens, even taking a day at a time seems like too much, God’s timing will bring about His absolute best for you. Like a mountain climber that climbs to what she thinks is the summit, only to find another peak in front of her, your perspective isn’t always going to be clear in the midst of challenging times. Keep going. Keep moving forward. Keep leaning into the God that sees and knows all things—including you and what you need to be able to glorify Him.

12 Facts About Abraham Lincoln You Probably Don’t Know

When I was in third grade we were learning about the difference between auto-biographies and biographies. Our assignment was to pick a person and read either a biography or an auto-biography about them and write a report that would also serve as a presentation to the class. 

I couldn’t think of anybody interesting that I already knew about because everything that I read was fiction. So, in true form, the date came where we had to pick our person and I ran into the school library before class began to just pick someone already. I strolled to the other side of the library that no one ever seemed to go to and began perusing the shelves. I came across a book with a man on the cover. The book was a picture biography (score!) and the man on the front seemed interesting. It was Abraham Lincoln and I figured that reading about a President would only help me get a good grade. Thus began a life-long fascination with all things Abraham Lincoln. If you weren’t aware, today is his 210th birthday so I thought we could celebrate with learning a few fun facts about my historical hero.

  1. Three states (Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois) claim the title of “the land of Lincoln”. He was born in Kentucky, moved to Indiana as a boy, and lived his adult life in Illinois before being elected President.
  2. Abraham Lincoln is the tallest president to date at 6’4″.
  3. He is the only president to have a U.S. patent; Lincoln invented a device that would help free steamboats that had run aground.
  4. He was a big animal lover–there are stories of stray cats regularly following him home from his law office in Springfield, Illinois. He had a dog named Fido, multiple cats, horses, turkeys, rabbits and goats.
  5. Do you like Thanksgiving? You can thank President Lincoln—he established the day as a National Holiday and pardoned the first turkey at the behest of his youngest son, Tad.
  6. Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd had more formal education (attending school for 12 years) than he (less than 1 year total). However, her family was a source of many political connections for Lincoln, even initiating a face-to-face meeting with his hero, Henry Clay, a personal friend of the Todd family.
  7. He was the first president born outside of the 13 original colonies (Kentucky)
  8. Thomas Jefferson was President of the United States when Abraham Lincoln was born. (James Madison was sworn in as President a month later).
  9. Abraham and Mary Lincoln had four sons, Robert, Eddie, Willie, and Tad. Robert was the only son that lived into full adulthood. 
  10. There are no living descendants of Abraham Lincoln. 
  11. Abraham Lincoln was named after his grandfather. While working the land, grandfather Lincoln was shot and killed by a Native American. His oldest son, Mordecai ran inside the cabin to fetch a gun, his middle son Josiah ran to get help and the youngest, Thomas, stood in shock beside his father’s body. As the shooter came close, he appeared to reach out for Thomas (whether to kill him or to take him), however, Mordecai shot the assassin from inside the house.
  12. Edwin Booth, the brother of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, saved Lincoln’s son from an oncoming train in New Jersey just a few months prior to Lincoln’s assassination.

I hope you learned a tidbit that you didn’t know before. Do you have any historical heroes? Who are they? When did you first encounter them? Why do you consider them a hero?

Singled Out

Valentine’s Day seems like a great time to talk about being single. There seems to be a wide variety of feelings about V-Day. When I was a teenager having someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day with was the pinnacle of relationship success. The following day at school, everyone shared what was given, shared and done the night before. This was before social media…back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Did he make reservations at Olive Garden? Or did he just take you to a movie? Did he pick you up in his car—honk the horn or come to the door? Each decision signified the level of relationship you actually had and whether or not “he was a keeper”. 

When my twenties arrived, there were a few Valentine’s Days I was “lucky” enough to be in a relationship—so of course the expectation was spending the evening together, doing something fun or nice and feeling showered with extra attention and whatever love meant to me at the time. As college ended and single-adult life came on full-force, friends began marrying off and from what they described it seemed as if marriage was filled with endless V-Day like experiences. 

Naivete is what got me through all the years that I experienced loneliness on account of my relationship status. I hadn’t realized it, but high-school beliefs underscored my views on being single—mainly that if I was single after all these years then something must be wrong with me. It wasn’t until after breaking off an engagement, walking through some of the darkest days of my life up to that point, and coming through the other side that I began to appreciate the gift of singleness! 

 I wish that my tone of voice could come through this post so that you know there isn’t even a hint of sarcasm. Its written with honest and unabashed joy! I have come to realize the remarkable benefits that come with being singled out. To my single friends, be encouraged that as single people we get to enjoy:

  • Time—our time gets to be centered around making ourselves better and experiencing joy. We aren’t bogged down by making sure that we prioritize spouses and children.
  • Flexibility—want to add something to your plate? For the most part, it’s pretty easy to arrange our schedules accordingly.
  • Availability—we get to be available for friends and family in an uninhibited manner. I’ve met with friends for late night milkshakes and French fries at 1am; I’ve driven to the hospital in the wee hours to be with a friend experiencing a crisis, I’ve showed up at important events of friends kids and my nieces and nephews, being one of their people in the crowd cheering them on. 
  • Freedom—a married friend helped me understand how much freedom I have as a single person. When I’ve had a rough day and just want to be alone and soak in a bubble bath, I can do that. When I want to be spontaneous and hop in the truck to find a new adventure? I can do that. When I want to order pizza three nights in a row, I can do that. (Okay, if I ever marry, I hope I can still do that). 

It’s important to understand the difference in being alone and lonely. Being lonely is the feeling of isolation and abandonment. Feeling as though God is against you and withholding important potential relationships (aka ‘happiness’). Fighting with yourself and the idea of others who have what you’ve always wanted. Loneliness is a state of mind. Alone-ness, however, is a state of being. It’s all of the things on the list above and more. It’s realizing that being singled-out is a gift that comes with great blessings and special abilities that are uniquely given to you at this time. 

This Valentine’s Day, and actually every day, what would it look like for you to realize that you are complete, lacking nothing as a single person? What would it take to understand the difference between being lonely and being alone? What might change if you begin looking for the awesomeness of the single life rather than only the hard stuff?

Here I Am

I’m a sucker for learning something new.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the INCM Children’s Pastor Conference in Orlando, Florida and one of the General Session speakers brought an amazing message to us—actually ALL of the speakers were amazing—but this one in particular grabbed space and rooted itself in the soil of my heart.

There are two words in Hebrew for answering when your name is called. PO’ANI is literally, “I’m here.” It is used for communicating or announcing your physical presence—think of a classroom roll call. Andrews? (Po’ani) Davidson? (Po’ani) Smith? (Po’ani). You get the picture.

And then there’s HINENI (הנני). Which is translated in our English Bibles as “Here I Am”. However, there is a deeper meaning that isn’t captured by the simplicity of the translation. It means “Lord, whatever you are about to ask of me, I’m already in agreement of it.” It is used in this context only 8 times in the Old Testament. Abraham (x3), Jacob (x2), Moses, Samuel, and Isaiah.

WHOA! That’s completely different than just answering a roll call! There is so much that could be unpacked just off this tiny little word but I’ll save the exhausting amount of details that I could share for future posts.

Each time the persons respond with HINENI, they have yet to be given the details of their assignment—they’re simply responding to God’s call. Immediately after Abraham responds, God says, “I want you to take your son Isaac and sacrifice him.” When Moses responds, God tells him “Go tell Pharoah to let my people go.” When Samuel responds, God tells him, “Tell Eli (the priest who had been raising Samuel up in the temple) that he has dishonored Me by not disciplining his sons and so I’m going to remove him from his position.”

If He hasn’t already, one day you can be certain that God is going to call out to you–He’ll have something that only you can accomplish, that He has specifically chosen YOU for because if you will HINENI it will bring glory to Him in ways like never before. Can you imagine what might have transpired had Abraham said “Po’Ani!”? God’s plan was never for Isaac to be sacrificed by his father’s hand. But if Abraham had played it safe, if he had doubted in God’s goodness, if he had worried that God would ask too much of him, he wouldn’t have learned (and we wouldn’t have testimony) that God is Jehovah Jireh (The LORD is my Provider).

Life. Altering. Obedience. This is what is on the docket when we respond to God’s call with HINENI. No doubt it is big, crazy and scary sounding to be in agreement with God before you even fully know what He is about to ask. What would it look like for you to respond with HINENI the next time God calls out to you? What would change? How might you be transformed? How might God be glorified? What might He accomplish through you when you seek to be obedient first and fully-understand later?

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while–get back to writing a blog. I had an amateur (not that this one isn’t amateur!) blog back in my beginning days of ministry. I think its technically still available online but I’m scared to visit the site for fear of what 25-year-old Taryn had to say.

Now that 33-year-old Taryn is at the helm of this blog adventure, there is a least a little bit more journey completed and for the most part, that gives a certain more wisdom to the whole thing. Be forewarned, I’m an expert in nothing. I speak before I think and that often translates to my writing as well. I make lots of mistakes and I do my best to own them.

What’s my goal this time around? What do I want? I’m not trying to get famous or start a cult-following. I want what I’ve always wanted—for God to use my life for His glory in whatever way that looks like. I want to be an encouragement. I desire to make people laugh….or at least chuckle. I want to inspire people to think about old things in a new way. I desire to challenge mindsets, culture, and accepted practices because challenges are a source of growth. I want to educate, communicate and cultivate. I want to share resources instead of keeping them all for myself.

I hope that you fit somewhere in this mix. I don’t think we’ll always see eye-to-eye but I hope that that wouldn’t prevent us from standing arm-in-arm, hand-in-hand.