Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Palm Sunday

I think Palm Sunday is one of the strangest days in the Christian Church.  It starts with shouts of “Hosanna!”  Jesus rides into Jerusalem triumphantly as a Savior.   It’s a glorious day, and I have many wonderful memories of it growing up.  However, by the end of the week, instead of shouting Hosanna, the people are calling for Christ to be crucified.  It’s amazing how fast everything changes.  In the end, Jesus would bring salvation to the world, but it would not happen the way the people expected. 

Often times, I have my own unhealthy expectations.  There are days I can’t believe anything truly new will show up in my ordinary life.  Personally, it has helped to have a newborn baby in my house.  However, there are moments, in the middle of the night, when I start to believe this baby will never stop crying… and those unhealthy expectations creep back up on me…  We can all lose sight of what really matters.  There may be miracles right in front of us, but so often we never take the time to recognize them. 

Jesus does not always save us in the way we want or expect.  However, Jesus is offering us more life than we can possibly imagine.  Jesus said the New Kingdom would be a Kingdom of Grace, where each of us will be welcomed.  I pray this week that we could all open our hearts and minds and see God’s Kingdom working in our lives today.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

He's Here!!

He’s here!!!  Cedar Michael Ward was born early in the morning on Friday, March 6.  What an adventure!  It’s crazy how much I can love someone who just sleeps, poops, and cries... I love him so much, but I have made so many mistakes already.  On our first night, I found myself waking him up, because I was worried he wasn’t breathing. (Of course, he was doing just fine… I was just nervous!) I also am horrible at trying to calm him down after he starts crying. I’ve tried rocking, bouncing, and even singing, but sometimes nothing seems to work. (Since my singing voice resembles a choking camel, I probably shouldn’t be surprised…) Finally, I have been up to my eyebrows in dirty diapers. (I think I make things messier after I am done changing him…)
Cedar Michael Ward
8lbs 4oz
Born on March 6

It’s kind of funny how something so frustrating and exhausting can be so wonderful.  It’s crazy to feel this kind of love.  I know it is going to be incredibly difficult at times, but I know I am called to be here sharing the love I have. (Even if it’s a messed up kind of love… J)

At Community, we are still reading Paul’s letter to Titus.  At times, this book can be difficult.  It seems like Paul is always telling Titus he has to “Do This,” or “Do That!”  However, in reality, Paul is telling Titus he has a Calling.  This week, I pray that you would all be able to feel God’s Call in your life – wherever we go!



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Finding Life in Lent

We are in the season of Lent, and in the Lutheran church, this season often reflects Christ’s journey to the cross.  Typically, this is a very somber time for me, but this year I feel like I am in a very different season.  I am filled with anticipation and hope for the birth of a child...  It’s actually kind of strange.  When I am at church, I often find myself focusing on themes like sin and death.  However, in the next moment, I am preparing for new life.  I am building cribs, stockpiling diapers, and trying to put these crazy forest animal stickers onto the walls of our nursery. (Even though I am terrible at any kind of decorating, I still find the process life giving.J)

Lent should be a time of renewal... We remember that life
comes from what is broken and dead.
At first, it didn't seem like these two seasons in my life were related at all.  However, at its heart, Christianity is all about bringing new life into death!  There will always be pain, suffering, and brokenness.  However, we believe that New Life is right here as well.  In the book of Titus, we see that it is never easy to follow Jesus, but we also find life in following the cross.  I don’t think we should ever forget that we are all broken and sinful, but I also pray that we would know that those things are not the end.  God’s Grace is always with us, and the cross will always lead to new life!