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A Good Friend

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“For your steadfast love is before my eyes,and I walk in your faithfulness. I do not sit with men of falsehood,nor do I consort with hypocrites.I hate the assembly of evildoers,and I will not sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord,proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds.” -Psalm 26: 3-7 ESV-
The people that we spend our time with have a big effect on us throughout our lives. Friends are often our support system, sounding board, confidant, and so much more. Statistically, as we get older our friend group gets smaller and smaller. I think that this shift is probably for many different reasons. One of my guesses is because we want to focus on a few deep relationships rather than multiple surface level relationships. I also think that our inner circle gets smaller because we slowly get to know ourselves better. I feel like throughout my life I have always been one who jumped around from friend groups a lot. I cycled th…

In This Together

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If any of you are suffering, they should pray. If any of you are happy, they should sing. If any of you are sick, they should call for the elders of the church, and the elders should pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. – James 5:13-15 CEB –

One of the best grades I’ve earned in seminary came in one of the hardest Greek classes. The only way I was able to do well in that class was from an incredible study group who supported and taught each other. The group was a mixture of times of serious focus and great laughter. I can’t imagine getting through that class well without those people!

James at the end of his letter is encouraging the believers to come together as a unified community. Though these Christians had struggled greatly, he encouraged them to come together to pray, rejoice, and care for each other. Caring for one a…

The Chaos Within

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What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives?
- James 4:1 CEB - So much bubbles inside me at times, I am at times ashamed to admit how much inner turmoil and uncertain decisions lie under the surface of what might to others seem like a well put together fa├žade. There is always doubt, angst, hesitancy & chaos right under the surface at times. We often assume or hope that being a Christian will smooth out and quell the storm within us.Yet often it is quite the opposite. Once we pay attention to what we should be doing and what God wants from us, our hesitancy and guilt take over and create more inner voices pulling at us. Much like the classic Jedi and Sith push and pull described in the Star Wars movies, the light sides and dark sides of ourselves are at war within us.
And sadly the turmoil does not just give us stress, it leaks out and can poison those around us. When we are not…

It May Be Difficult

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Strong as a Mountain

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"The people who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion: never shaken, lasting forever. Mountains surround Jerusalem. That’s how the Lord surrounds his people from now until forever from now!"
- Psalm 125: 1-2 CEB -
"'Because you have little faith,' he said. 'I assure you that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Go from here to there,’ and it will go. There will be nothing that you can’t do.'"
- Matthew 17:20 CEB - I was never someone who wanted to be outdoors when I was younger. I don’t like bugs, heat, dirt, and am always terrified of what creature may be lurking under a bush or behind a tree. That being said, sometime in the last few years this changed drastically. I do not know if it was a random hiking trip, or getting tired of the north Texas landscape, but I suddenly started longing to be in the mountains. I love the weather, the hiking, the smell of the air, being surrounded by trees, and of course... I…

Never Changing God in an Ever Changing World

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"Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all."
- James 1:17 CEB -

We're a few weeks into the school year. We're getting into our classes, working hard in sports, practicing for performing arts, and adjusting to the crazy normal that is the school year. It feels like life is constantly changing sometimes. Some people love the excitement of an ever-changing life while others dread the inevitable changes and wish for something constant.
In this passage of the letter of James, James reminds his readers that God does not change. God gives good gifts and gives them perfectly. Based on the verses before verse 17, it appears the audience of James was tempted to sin. We all still sin even 2000 years after Christ walked the earth! James reminds them that the temptation to sin does not come from God. God does not give us bad things such as sinful temp…

New People, New Places

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Listen also to the immigrant who isn’t from your people Israel but who comes from a distant country because of your reputation— because they will hear of your great reputation, your great power, and your outstretched arm. When the immigrant comes and prays toward this temple, then listen from heaven, where you live, and do everything the immigrant asks. Do this so that all the people of the earth may know your reputation and revere you, as your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I have built bears your name.”
- 1 Kings 8:41-43 CEB - We’ve all been there. The new person. A new space. The incredible awkwardness of feeling uncomfortable and alone. While it is tempting to celebrate the season of fall by thinking only of the return of what is familiar, we easily can skip over how the fall brings new rhythms and new places in our lives.

Whether we ourselves have all the newness happening now or not, we know there are those around us that are entering into something new. From …