This morning I sipped a cup of coffee and just cried.

I cried with gratitude. I cried with exhaustion. I cried with relief, thanks, frustration, weariness, and empathy.

Let’s be real: We just survived a natural disaster in the midst of a global pandemic. It’s ok to not be ok.

“Unprecedented times” fatigue continues to tear at our stamina and well-being.

Living in “survival mode” is unhealthy for us physically, mentally, and emotionally. And most of us have been living in that place for close to a year now. According to the American Psychiatric Association, common reactions in adults after a disaster include:

  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Sadness, depression, hyperactivity, irritability or anger
  • Having no feelings at all or feeling numb
  • A lack of energy or feeling exhausted all the time
  • Lack of appetite or, the opposite, eating all the time
  • Trouble concentrating or feeling confused
  • Social isolation, reduced or restricted activities
  • Thinking no one else is having the same reactions as you
  • Headaches, stomachaches, or other body pains
  • Misusing alcohol, tobacco, drugs or prescription medications to cope

In addition to all these concerns, we may also be struggling spiritually.

One of my children spoke to me this week about feeling like she’s not growing in her faith. I assured her that we all go through phases like that, especially during dark and difficult periods in our lives. I related it to gardening. When we plant seeds in a garden, it looks and feels like nothing is happening until we can see those first green sprouts coming up from the soil. Right now, in this time of COVID-19 and winter storms, we are planting seeds. The growth and the harvest will come later. For now, we water our faith by spending time in the word, worship, and prayer. We wait for the sun to warm the ground, and we trust new life will burst forth in the Lord’s timing.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.

Isaiah 61:11

It’s similar to Lent. We abstain for now and focus on God and how we can live more intentionally for Him, knowing that Easter is around the corner.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin.

Hebrews 4:14-15

In the meantime, know this last year hasn’t been easy for anyone. Help one another. Focus on opportunities to do good for those around you. Love others like Jesus loves you. And don’t forget to cut yourself some slack, too. We have all been through quite an ordeal, so extend grace and mercy to yourself and others.

The winter thaw is already happening. Look around. The sun is shining. The Son is, too.

Spring — and Easter — are coming soon, friends!




I remember the moment with a mixture of pride-filled validation as well as shame.

I had just arrived back at school after a morning pre-Kindergarten field trip with my five-year-old son. As the children were set loose on the playground to let out their wiggles, one of my son’s sweet classmates cuddled up against my leg and reached out and grabbed hold of my hand. Seeing this, my son came tearing across the playground screaming, “She’s not yours! She’s MINE!!” Flash-forward to the present when that same son, now a teenager, would probably rather his friends not even know I’m his mom. It’s no small wonder many mothers experience identity crises as their children grow up.

Lately I do feel a bit like a stranger in my own body. The pandemic, the political unrest, and the barrage of bad news and cancellations have all knocked me so far out of my comfort zone that I can’t even remember how a comfort zone feels. The question that keeps circling in my mind asks, “Where did last year go? And what will this year bring?”

When routines and rituals are stripped away, we are forced to face the most basic truths about who we are and what is most important to us.

Periods of uncertainty can rock us to our core and make us question ourselves, our faith, our leaders, and the very lens through which we view the world around us. Where do we turn for grounding? What do we lean on for stability? What is the truth? Furthermore, who even are we?

Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” So, if I am no longer doing so many of the things that I feel defined me, has it changed who I really am? In other words, are we what we do? Or do we tend to do the things that we inherently are?

This is what I know to be true about myself: I am saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. My Heavenly Father loves me and calls me His own. I love my God and my Savior.

And honestly, that is enough.

This does not mean I will always feel super content and at peace. Honestly, right now I struggle to feel either. In response, I choose to do the following: I remind myself of the promises God has made to me, and of the reassurances Scripture provides. I reflect on all the lessons He has taught me through the course of my lifetime. I remember the stories of the faithful ones around me, and how God provided for them and proved Himself trustworthy time and time again. I spend more time in prayer and in the Word of God.

I serve a faithful God. Sometimes me faithfully serving Him looks simply like trust and a whole lot of patience. Sometimes He removes comfort and familiarity in my life to drive me more fully into His arms. Sometimes He asks me to simply be still and learn, because He is preparing me for what He’s doing next.

I choose to lean into life’s uncertainty with the certainty of who God is, and whose I am.

I pray I never doubt for a second, regardless of all the other questions that may plague me, that Jesus is running towards me screaming, “You’re MINE!”

I believe He is running towards you, too.

Rest not in what you do or who you think you are, but instead rest in who He is, and in the knowledge that you belong to Him.

Certainly His,




As I tucked my pint-sized, three-year-old son in for the night, he frantically looked up at me and asked, “Mommy! Where’s my white boy?”

Confused, I repeated back to him, “Your white boy?”

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

“Yes! He’s not here. I want him.”

My maternal brain started flipping through a catalogue of toys, trying to figure out what he meant. Nothing registered.

Johnathan grew frustrated. “My yite boy!”

“Ohhhh! Your light boy! Wait … I still don’t understand.”

And then it dawned on me. I reached under the bed, rummaging around in the dark for the hard, plastic casing of Buzz Lightyear. I pulled it out and triumphantly presented it to my son.

“Yes!! There’s my yite boy!” he exclaimed.

And off to sleep my little toddler went, clutching his white-clad hero of light.

Last week, the first Sunday of Advent, Pastor David brought a message centering on light and hope. He reminded us that we are called to not only follow the light of the world, but to be the light of the world … the light of hope.

I think hope gets a bad rap (like many other four-letter-words), especially around Christmastime. Hallmark movies and others like them lead us to believe if we hope strongly enough for a desired outcome, the magic of Christmas will make it happen. It’s important to remember, though, that the God we serve is not a wish-granting genie, roaming around catering to the whims of His people. Hope is not a magic cure for what’s “going wrong” in our lives.

Hope is a deep understanding that God is always at work in our lives, in all the good, bad, and in-between circumstances, in ways we cannot see or understand.

During times when we feel God is withholding blessing, HOPE reminds us that He is always working for our good. (Romans 8:28)

During times when we feel overwhelmed by His good fortune, HOPE reminds us that He is a giver of good things (James 1:17).

During times when we feel sadness and disappointment, HOPE reminds us that His ways are higher than our own (Isaiah 55:9).

During times when we want more than He has seen fit to give us, HOPE reminds us that we lack for nothing (Philippians 4:19).

You see, hope and positivity are not synonymous, but hope and trust are.

We trust because God has proven His mercy and grace through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We trust because He has proven His faithfulness time and again through circumstances in our own lives and those around us. We trust because He has proven his limitless love for us through every word spoken in the Bible.

 We have to let go of wanting things God hasn’t seen fit to give us, and of thinking our way is better than His. Trusting God means letting go of our own ideas about how our lives should look, how the world should look, how our church should look, and how it all should feel. Do our current times look and feel dark? Of course they do. But we can be certain the God of Light and Love still rules on His throne, orchestrating the events of the world so that all may come to salvation.

I’m not a person waiting with baited breath for the end of 2020. I don’t believe when the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s Eve, that all our troubles will be over. Is that pessimistic? Perhaps. Realistic? Probably. I don’t believe 2021 will bring the end of all that ails us. I don’t think 2021 will be the “anti-2020.”

What I do believe — and what I hope — is that as surely as there will be struggle, there will be triumph. As surely as there will be sin, there will be forgiveness. As surely as there will be grief, there will be joy. As surely as there will be sickness, there will be healing.

 And as surely as there will be darkness, there will be light: the hope found in the son of God, Jesus Christ, the white-clad-superhero-light-wielding savior of this world.




“Stop saying that so rudely every time I interrupt you!” said one of my children, who shall remain nameless.

It was quite a mouthful, and so indicative of the way so many of us converse these days. Indignation, disgust, refusing to listen to another’s viewpoint or opinion, and outrage seem to be cornerstones of today’s societal interactions. Irritation is the mood du jour. I’m not sure when we lost the art of respectful discourse and discussion, but my guess is it occurred around the same time we decided being heard was more important than listening.

Few things can block our joy faster than the heated emotions listed above, and yet so many of us seem to live almost continuously in this heightened state of agitation.

Pastor David Payne said in last Sunday’s sermon that joy is a choice. So how do we go about making that choice for ourselves?

As in all things, I believe it starts with prayer.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

God wishes for us to experience the joy of our salvation, and the joy of Christian living. If we want joy, we must first ask for it, for it is one of those God-given good and perfect gifts James speaks about in this verse. And we know, according to Mark 11:24, that if we ask for something in accordance with God’s will, and believe in His ability to grant it and our ability to receive it, God will honor that request.

Our very desire to seek God is a gift from Him, and so is our desire to seek joy. Left to our own devices, we would wander around in pursuit of selfish ends. Our natural selves find pleasure in the wrong as well as the right; in the unholy as well as the holy; in the irritation and frustration as well as the peace. We’re broken. To experience true, abundant, abiding joy, we must turn to the creator of joy itself, and ask Him for a great big dose of it.

Even David found the need to pray for joy, as found in Psalm 51:

Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:11-13

After asking for joy, we must continuously seek it and practice it. Feeling agitated? Try meditative breathing. Getting itchy keyboard fingers every time you read that one friend’s political posts? Take a break from social media. Can’t say something nice? Say nothing at all. Go for a nature walk. Sit and watch the butterflies. Read the Bible. Listen to a Christian podcast. Turn on worship music in your house and car.

The joy of the Lord is always all around us! We just need to stop our striving long enough to see it, feel it, and appreciate it.

I think of joy like glitter. You can’t toss a handful of glitter in the air and not get it on others around you. Throw some joy into the air and watch what happens. Choose to be a joy-spreader.




This morning I spent five minutes buckling myself into an ankle brace so I could play tennis. I’m healing from a severe ankle sprain, and although I really dislike the push-and-pull battle of strapping myself into this contraption, I am grateful it allows me to hit the courts again. I may not enjoy the constricted, slower movement when wearing this sweaty thing, but it provides the protection I need to go and participate in something I love.

I started thinking of all kinds of similarities between this brace and my relationship with God.

I know many people think Christians are uptight, and that their lives lack freedom and fun. They don’t want to go to church or become “Jesus freaks” because they don’t want to live by God’s “restrictive rules.”

In truth, the kind of lives believers experience within the confines of His will for us yield incredible freedom and blessing.

Yes, God gave us the Bible, and within it He set forth guidelines for how He wants us to live our lives. God also gave us free will to make our own choices, though. The beautiful mystery is that when we choose to live within God’s expectations for us, we are allowing His greatest blessings to fall upon us.

My ankle brace restricts my ankle’s movement, but it does so only to the degree that the ankle moves safely. Likewise, the boundaries God has set forth are for our physical, emotional, and spiritual safety. We find ourselves freer to live life to the fullest because we are surrounded by His hedge of protection.

Just like I would miss out on playing tennis were it not for this brace, we children of God miss out on wonderful things He has planned for us because we stray from the confines of His safety net.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

Psalm 91:1-2

If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.

Psalm 91:9-11

To experience true freedom, we must surrender authority to our Creator God, and rest in His authority over all. A word of advice? Strap yourselves in tightly, because His blessings will knock your socks off!




A lot of LIFE has happened since I last wrote a blog – cancer diagnoses, surgeries, heart attacks, a global pandemic and quarantine, a suspended school year that required me to suddenly become a homeschool teacher, a new school year, buying a house, selling a house, and moving with a severely sprained ankle – just to name a few.

As I sit here typing in my new writing room, very little feels familiar. Even my fingernails look different, with a glittery polish that I swear was not the one I selected at the nail place last week. The room behind my laptop screen holds an entirely different view. It’s quieter here, without the sirens of a nearby fire station or the distant laughter and squeals of children on a school playground. Even the fragrance here is new, because I changed laundry detergents recently, and I’m not sure I like that “powerful clean” scent.

Different is not bad though … it’s just different.

With a world that is so rapidly changing that our heads are spinning from the centrifugal forces, “different” may feel like an enemy to our peace. “Change” may feel completely overwhelming. “New” may sound like a code-word for a forced way of doing things that none of us wanted or ever asked for in the first place.

Now, “nostalgia” – that’s where it’s at these days. We long for the way life used to be, how we used to do things, and how it all felt. Hindsight is 20/20, right? Well … let’s just agree to not use that phrase anymore, shall we?

But what if even now, God is still in our midst? What if all the events of 2020 are no surprise to Him? What if He really is using all of these things for our – dare I say it – good?

According to Scripture, these are facts upon which we can rely.

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:7 (NIV)

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Psalm 139:15 (NLT)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28 (NLT)

In the midst of the many trials we are facing; in the midst of endless change; in the midst of so much uncertainty; in the midst of a dang woodpecker that will not for the love leave my new house alone; God is still in control. That will never change. And that is where we find strength to embrace the present and the future.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (NLT)

The world may look different, my little piece of the world may feel entirely unfamiliar, and tomorrow it may all change yet again, but I rest in the knowledge that my Jesus is walking right beside me in every moment. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8), and that will never change.




“Shhhh!” Johnathan urgently whispered. “There’s a fake man sleeping in my room!”

My then-four-year-old caught me off-guard with his instructions. On the one hand, he was adamant that everyone in the house conform to his imaginary world; on the other hand, his own words betrayed him when he described the man as “fake.”   

I miss the quiet, simple days of imaginary play. Life is incredibly noisy and complicated right now. Exhaustingly so, even. Gone are the peaceful school-day hours when I had the house to myself. Gone is the solitude of enjoying my morning coffee, or a few minutes here or there where family members were out of the house doing other things. Gone are the trips to a coffee shop or diner where I’d tap away at my laptop while eating brunch. We’re all stuck in the house, pretty much all the time. Television shows, music, video games, talking, bickering, laughing, appliances running, cabinets closing, dishes clanking … it’s loud up in here.

And then there’s social media. Full stop. Everyone is shouting their opinions at the top of their lungs with every meme, statement, cartoon, post, and picture. COVID statistics, instructions, politics, racism, and more at every turn. I can’t process it anymore. I literally cannot. Overwhelmed is an understatement. My brain never shuts off, yet I’ve found it incredibly difficult to put thoughtful sentences together. I procrastinate writing because that means meditating on ideas, unpacking concepts, dealing with emotional pain, and pondering truths. I feel incapable at the moment. Unqualified. Unworthy of saying anything profound or meaningful in these never-seen-before circumstances.

The deepest truth: I am desperate for peace — peace in our world, peace in our government, peace in our society, peace in my home, peace in my own mind.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

I cannot imagine more comforting words in this present time. Despite everything we currently face, Jesus has already won the battle. He has overcome this world. And the gift He left us? True, honest-to-goodness peace.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

Are you troubled, afraid, anxious? I have my moments, to be sure. These are not emotions Jesus wants for us, though. When your own child or someone you love feels this way, how do you respond? I just scoop them up into my arms, speak comforting words, and often pray with them. I imagine this is what God wants to do with us, His children. He wants to take us in His arms, reassure us, and hold us until we feel secure again.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

I feel pretty helpless, and definitely child-like because of it. So much is out of our hands right now. The weight of our current problems is a burden too great for any person to bear. So today, I want to encourage us all to climb into our Heavenly Father’s arms. Cry out to Abba, Father. Open the Bible and allow Him to speak consoling and encouraging words to you. Rest in His presence.




I routinely dropped my son off at school one morning, and watched as he climbed out of the back seat.

I offered my typical, “Bye, sweetie!”

He replied, “Bye sweetie Mommy,” quickly closed the door, and off he went.

I sat in the car for a moment, giggling at his funny farewell. This was decidedly a nice change from his “fart-and-run” goodbye from the previous morning, which he found hilarious.

Next week, however, I have to say goodbye to some friends that are moving, and I don’t find the situation funny at all. I hate goodbyes. I mean, does anyone really like them? My tender heart is the one that doesn’t want to let go during that last hug, and I fight mightily to keep tears at bay. I’ve grown pretty adept at the “be strong for the other person” act.

But my currently-breaking little heart wonders, “In a world filled with goodbyes, why are they still so hard?”

Let’s face it, people: Goodbyes stink. Nothing here is permanent. Everything is temporary. Life itself is transitory, leading to the ultimate goodbye of death itself. I think we’d rather live our lives in denial of all this, but goodbyes remind us of the truth: we’re mortal. And our time here is limited. Only heaven is eternal.

Knowing this and living this are two completely different things. We can know something yet not be acutely aware of it. We can admit the truth but not make choices with it in the forefront of our minds. So, how exactly are we to handle the ideas of our very brief lives juxtaposed against an unending Heaven?

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:2-3

If we want to remember our present limitations, we actually need to fix our minds on what is limitless: God.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:9

In contrast to the temporal earth, heaven is eternal. If we tie our future to Christ’s sacrifice, we know the best is yet to come. We know every goodbye is actually a “see you later.” In heaven, we can look forward to never having to say another goodbye.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. 

There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:4

It’s hard to even imagine a place with no goodbyes. I am so eager for it though, especially as I currently prepare my heart to help my dear friends pack up their moving truck. I sweetly recall holding their newborn in my arms, sending my own daughters off to babysit their children, family dinners, hugs at church, and watching Longhorn football games. No spoken platitudes make this easier.

I will, however, pray we will make more memories in the future. And I will, however, cling to the hope of our eternal reunion in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Christ is the only hope I profess, and He is more than enough.

Godspeed, Portwood family. See you later.

Eternally His,


Equally His

“Tell me all your thoughts on God,

Cause I’d really like to meet her,

And ask her why we’re who we are.”

Counting Blue Cars by Dishwalla—

Who are we? I’ve asked myself this question numerous times lately. As someone who tends to always find and focus on the good in others, I’ve truly struggled recently to reconcile some of the ugliness I’ve witnessed in those around me. I feel guilty for saying “I’m shocked,” because to admit shock is to admit I haven’t truly been listening to cries for help from people of color. I haven’t always believed their side of the story. It was a whole lot more comfortable to think their tales were exaggerated than to look an inconceivable hatred square in the eyes. I am so very sorry and ashamed.

It feels to me like we are living through a very dark time in history. But here’s what I really want us to hear: it’s only through darkness that God can best reveal the redemptive power of His light. And I hope and pray we’re turning on the lights.

Shining light into the darkness is a painful, but necessary, process. Without it, there is no progress. The vile ideas and habits that reside in the shadows scatter like cockroaches when we flip on the light switch. We know the disease-ridden bugs are there, living under the baseboards and inside the cracks in the walls, but when light floods the room, we can no longer pretend to deny their existence or presence. Suddenly we are forced to confront the nastiness of those vile creatures, and we have to take action to get rid of them.

Racism is like those cockroaches, infesting the homes and minds of our families, friends, and neighbors. And it is way past time to turn on the lights and expose them.

Have you ever hosted company at your fine dining table when a roach suddenly scurries across the floor? You pray your friends don’t notice, and your face flushes red while you silently panic about how to best handle the situation. We know roaches exist, and we know we may even play host to some, but unless we see the nasty bugs with our own eyes, we are quite content to claim we are immune to such an awful situation.

But the truth? Roaches are everywhere. But unless I suddenly turn on a light in the middle of the night, or shine a spotlight into the dark corners of the patio, I might never realize I’ve created a hospitable environment for them.

What I’ve recently realized is that it’s not enough to silently endure others’ racism while condemning it in my own head or speaking against it only in “safer” company. Not wanting to “make waves” is no excuse. Being able to see the good in someone does not mean I have to “let slide” that person’s racist remarks. To not call out racism and condemn it is to actually give it my blessing ; I’m creating that “hospitable environment” where people feel those hateful ideas are acceptable.

I would never allow cockroaches to take over my home, so why would I allow racism inside? If I saw cockroaches, I would grab a shoe and start swatting the little suckers, or pick up a can of Raid and drown them in poison; and, you better believe I would call an exterminator to draw a line of protection around my home so they could never return!

Like an exterminator spraying an insecticide barrier around our houses, we need to draw a blood line of Jesus around our homes. We need to refer our spiritual exterminator to everyone we know, because Jesus died for all. He created us different, yet the same. He clearly instructs us to love one another! Once your own home is clear of roaches, grab a shoe and start swatting other peoples’, too. Those insects nest and colonize and infest everywhere they land. Turn on the light and expose them! Root them out of their hiding places in the darkness, and shine the light of Truth. We cannot allow roaches of racism to multiply and take over our homes and communities or, let’s be real, even our newsfeeds.

I’ll say it again: shining light into the darkness is painful, and it’s ugly. It’s really ugly, shining light into the nasty infestation of racism. But if we can get through the painstaking process of exposing it and confronting it, we can then get to work on ending it. After hundreds of years, America still finds itself in the very first stage of simply turning on the lights! It’s shameful. It seems intolerance just keeps finding new ways to hide and proliferate. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I cannot be lackadaisical about racism. Like getting rid of cockroaches, annihilation is the only answer.

At my house, I will not turn a blind eye any longer. To my non-white friends: I believe you. It hurts to admit there is such evil in others, but I will no longer be silent under a misguided attempt to be “non-confrontational,” or to insulate myself from the hatred that exists in our world.

I vow to leave the light on for you.

Equally His,



“Johnathan! Why did you just stick your tongue out at me?” Rachel yelled.

“I didn’t!” he replied indignantly. “I was just stretching it!”

And there it is, folks — a disagreement in the Carlson household.

Let’s just admit it and face it: our world is ripe with disagreements these days. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted from it.

Wear a mask; don’t wear a mask. Go to church; don’t go to church. Get tested for COVID-19; don’t get tested. Open up businesses; don’t open up businesses. It’s enough to make our heads spin.

As Christians, how do we deal with disagreement?

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:1-3

Humble. Gentle. Patient. Forgiving. Loving. Striving for unity. Could the people you’ve come in contact with in recent days use these words to describe you? Think about that for a moment.

I believe it’s all too fashionable these days to be quickly perturbed or even outraged. The loudest voices are those that scream their discontent, frustration and disgust at us ad nauseum across our plethora of streaming devices. Where have all the moderates gone? Why do cooler heads no longer prevail? Why is anger the emotion du jour?

I dare say this is not the way Jesus would respond if He were still walking in flesh amongst us. Jesus liked to keep it simple, probably because we have simple minds.

This is my commandment,

that you love one another as I have loved you.

john 15:12

That’s it. Love others the way He did. Jesus didn’t agree with much of anyone while He was here on earth. We are a mess, after all. But He also didn’t shout and condemn everyone, and tell them how stupid they all were. He listened. He spoke wisdom in the form of parables they could understand. And then He left them to make up their own minds. He didn’t keep dogging them until they voiced agreement with Him, as many of us are prone to do. He allowed them to make their own choices.

When we insist on our own way and constantly assert our righteousness (read “right-ness”), we push others away.

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 

romans 14:13

Let’s stop bickering and sticking our proverbial tongues out at each other. It’s not like any of us have dealt with a pandemic before, anyway. We’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve been given.

May we all strive to show one another the grace and love that Christ shows us.

Agreeably His,


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