The word "ministry" evokes a wide range of emotions, opinions, and ideas, especially from those in the Church. What makes a ministry successful, fruitful, and sustainable? What exactly should ministry look like? In the end, who is ministering to whom? Today's post is the first ever guest post on this blog and is written by our friend and former Pastor, Charlie Collier. This is a man who handed out his personal cell number to homeless drifters and church members alike, a man who valued the teaching of women enough to share his pulpit with them, and a man who loved this city and its people in a uniquely tangible way. Their family has been a blessing to all of us during their time here, and they will all be dearly missed! Here's what he learned about ministry as he pastored our church in the city of Cleveland for over a decade…Read More
I'm linking up with Emily P. Freeman's "What We Learned" series this month, where we pause to reflect on the past season before we move ahead into the future. Do you set aside time to examine your own life? It's not something I'm naturally good at, but these posts remind me to slow down and pay attention.
Here's what I learned this spring in no particular order:
1. Living with a diabetic is harder than I thought it would be.
Type 1 Diabetes is a disease that never sleeps, but I read the other day that there’s a 1 in 20 chance she could die in hers. I wish I hadn't seen that, but there’s no way to "unknow" it now. It’s been almost a year and a half since her diagnosis, and we’ve been functioning as her pancreas for every single one of those days. On one hand, it’s an incredible blessing to be able to do so, and on the other, it can be exhausting. The past three months it’s been particularly challenging to manage her unpredictable blood sugar levels….Read More
Some of my “shoulds” stem from way back in elementary school when I first discovered comparison and became acquainted with the feeling of not measuring up. This is partially due to my personality and the fact I have a deep-seated belief that I’m lacking something important (Enneagram 4) and also because I’ve incorporated lies into my psyche to the point I’m convinced this is who I am, or who I am not.
Consequently, it’s taken me a dreadfully long time to accept myself for who I actually am. Maybe you can relate? Maybe you find yourself desperately wishing you could be like someone else, or that your life would look a little more like hers. Or maybe you were so sure things would turn out a certain way, and they just….haven’t.
But in order to make peace with ourselves and our lives and somehow find the beauty in all of it, we need to start with the truth. The truth is the way things are, for better or worse, not how you would like them to be, or how you think they “should” be. Rachel Hollis says it like this: "It’s impossible to go somewhere new, to become something new, without first acknowledging where you are. The self-awareness that comes from truly digging into what you’ve come to believe about who you are is invaluable…"Read More
We were running late....again.
The school has a new attendance policy this year, and we’re already on the naughty list for being late one too many times. Okay, probably twenty too many times, but who’s counting. Well, the school is, obviously, but that’s not the point.
The point is, we were already behind schedule trying to get out the door this morning when a kid somehow flung a cup of soda (leftover on the table from the night before [insert snarky eye-roll emoji here]) all over the kitchen. Like, ALL OVER. Said child took time we didn’t have to “clean it up,” but after he left I stepped in a big puddle of sticky soda on the floor and looked up to find it also amply splattered on the blinds. And puddled in the crevices of the computer monitor. And peppering a once-clean, folded pile of shirts….Read More
I finished the book of John today (which is not actually today as in this very day but today as in when I started writing this post, which was probably a week ago now. Because I have a finishing problem. And a distraction problem. And a sick kid problem. But I digress….). I’d started reading it well before Easter. Not even the entire book, mind you--just the part at the end leading up to the crucifixion.
I’ve learned over the years to be gentle with myself in some areas, though, and reading Scripture is one of them. The Holy Spirit isn’t tethered to the dusty Bible on my nightstand, but rather, He’s alive in my heart and is with me always, whether or not I succeed in reading the Word daily. I’m not always capable of living life how I think it should be lived under ideal circumstances, but what I am capable of doing is living the actual life that’s right in front of me, for better or worse.
But I’ve gotten caught up in the proverbial blank page of my writing life since the beginning of the year, and I don’t like it....Read More