I’ve been tired, awkward and lost. This is my one stronghold.

Floundering is defined as: “to experience great difficulties or be completely unable to decide what to do or say next; to move awkwardly or to be in an awkward or difficult situation (Cambridge Dictionary).” 

Joy Clarkson (she talks on all things art and theology) used that term to describe what we do when we’re in the waiting spaces: We don’t just wait. We struggle to hold on to anything that will give us direction or hope. 

I’ve been floundering. Trying to hold onto something that will give me footing. I feel confused, tired, and unmotivated.

In this season where I am losing the ground, I stand on, I’m realizing I need to grow roots deeper down than where I have been. I have been rooted in this country, in my family, in my grades, and in my accomplishments. 

Yet I’m called to be rooted in Christ. 

So whenever that rejection email comes, and the feelings of “I knew it wasn’t going to happen anyway” and “you’re not that special” wash over me, and I deny the feelings of excitement and ambition I had, I have the opportunity to ask the Lord to not let this make me cold and hard inside. 

Father, please, root me in You, in your word, in your truth. Help me to stand firmly on you, for you are my Rock and my Refuge. You are my firm Foundation. 

My experiences in Turkey have been a blessing, but ultimately that’s not who I am. 

My connection to America looms ahead of me, enveloping me, and it’s scary. It doesn’t have to be. Because that’s not who I am either. 

I’ve received letters of admission and rejection from universities and programs. These labels do not define me – they cannot. 

I cannot be defined by a number on a page, a statistic pointing to some idea of academic effort or capability. 

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, Father, and I know them very well (Psalm 139). 

The only thing I can bet on in life is that God will be my unshakable Cornerstone, my Good Shepherd, my Vine, my Good Good Father. He’s gone before me in the past; He is doing so now. He is the Maker of the universe, the one who spoke and created billions of swirling stars, and formed man from dust. His breath holds Life; his hands uphold all of history. His sacrifice on the cross bearing divine wrath in my place assures me of eternal peace with Him. 

My circumstances will change. I will change. 

He hasn’t, isn’t, and won’t. 

That’s one heck of a thing to stand on.

TCKs For Christ Launches Today

Over a year ago, I met a beautiful young woman named Clarissa Choo. She, like me, had grown up in several countries. She, like me, had parents who were business people. And she, much more than me, loved Jesus. 

She had started a “TCK Letters” ministry… sending out newsletters to third culture kids to encourage them in their walk with God. On the other hand, I was just starting to write and blog more for and about third-culture kids. It was a perfect comradery. We began to write weekly and dream and plan. I remember when we started a TCK group chat and discussed what other ministries would be possible. 

Out of the small community we created grew Truth4TCKs, my organization that offers conferences and seminars for Jesus-following TCKs. 

However, that wasn’t the only ministry that grew out of our community. I want to share with you my dear friends’ project, TCKs For Christ. Their website launched today!


TCKs for Christ is a website ministry that strives to serve, encourage, and challenge teenage Christian third culture kids and young adult TCKs. These include business kids, cross-cultural kids, mixed-cultural kids, diplomat kids, etc. 

Does TCKs for Christ have an Email List?

Yes, they do! Upon signing up, you will receive exclusive content of one TCK letter and one newsletter per month in your inbox.

The TCK Letters convey heartfelt experiences through words, in which a few of our writers talk about the struggles and triumphs of their TCK life.

The Monthly Newsletter is a fun, convenient summary of new articles and interviews published on our website for the month.

Interested? Hit subscribe.

An Excerpt from a TCKs for Christ article:

The Identity of Home by Elisha McFarland.

Have you ever struggled with the idea of “home”? I know I have. As TCKs, we often battle this relentless onslaught of insecurity about our legitimate home. Throughout my entire life, the only insecurity I battled was found within a question:

Where is home? Do I have several, or none at all? What qualifies as a home? …

Questioning Home is a Difficult Insecurity

It bites deep, leaving us vulnerable and depressed. To make matters worse, this malady is not physical; it cannot be cured by drugs or remedies. This malady is of the spirit, and so we must turn to the One who created our spirit.

This answer was first given to me at TCK Camp Uganda 2016. The time spent in this camp was world-rocking. Sermons were preached, hearts were changed … and homes were found. …

Read more of this article in TCKs for Christ.

Where Can I Connect with Them?

Their social media handle is @TCKsforChrist. Connect with them through FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest.


Please, friends, go check their website out and subscribe to their newsletter. You won’t regret it. Their team is made up of unique, diverse, and Jesus-loving people. I’m so proud of them. 

3 Ways God’s Incredible Faithfulness Touches Us

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been meditating on a particular aspect of God’s character – His faithfulness.

That sounds like I initiated it. I didn’t.

About three weeks ago, I read a devotional in the beautiful book Becoming and Beholding by Ruth Chou Simons. (She’s incredible, by the way.) It showed how the rhythms of our mundane, everyday lives actually push us to see God’s sovereignty. The rising and setting of the sun mark our days faithfully, every day, every year. God displays his constancy in the very structure of our lives. The sunset not only radiates God’s beauty and grace but also reminds every living being that today has ended like it started. God is faithful to keep the earth spinning.

He is faithful in the mundane, and he promises to be faithful in the details. We are much more than the sparrows flying across the pink-burnt sky. We are loved so much more.

I meditated on Micah Tyler’s song “New Today.”

Help me rise like the morning sun

Help me see that Your work is not done

When I’m less than what I want to be

Lord, I need You to keep reminding me

That Your mercies are new today

Your mercies are new today

I can rest on Your shoulders

There is grace to start over

Your mercies are new today

This song became my anthem in the next two weeks. How could I finish the task set before me? How could I take that next step? How could I climb this mountain?

The answer was, indeed, his faithfulness. His faithfulness would keep me going.

God’s faithfulness is much more than a fact. It’s a truth that acts – and changes people.

Here are three ways God’s faithfulness applies to people:

God’s Faithfulness is Comforting

When we believe entirely in God’s sovereignty, his eternal reality, and his promise-keeping, we’re able to lay down our burdens. We don’t have to strive to get results. We work hard and leave the fruit up to him. We no longer need to stress over the future and drown in our anxiety because we know we’ll wake each morning to a sky painted by his hand. He’ll lead us gently through the pastures and the valleys of deathly shadows, all of our lives.

Each time we tread through a new dark valley, we can remember His past faithfulness to us. We can trust His word: He will never leave us nor forsake us.

God’s Faithfulness is Humbling

Every attribute of God, when contrasted to yourself, is unattainable and expansive. God is so incredibly faithful that he doesn’t stop holding the universe together, even for one second. He is devoted to the promises he’s kept despite mankind’s constant obstinance. He is God – no matter what.

We are fickle. We change – and I am a prime example of this. I may very well be the queen of mood swings. I’ll be laughing one minute and crying fifteen minutes later.

When our fickle nature is faced with his overwhelming, gracious faithfulness, we’re reminded that we can’t do it. Any consistency and commitment in our lives is his work in us.

When we feel discouraged and stuck, we remember that God is transforming us to the image of Christ, no matter how hard it is to see sometimes. He is faithful – and He transforms us.

God’s Faithfulness is Freeing

God is the one who promised:

‘And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ‘Philippians 1:6

God is faithful, so we will be sanctified. We will be brought into glory. It’s his work. Period.

We can then choose to live well and love others. We work strenuously and run the race. We reach towards the prize – but we haven’t won it. Jesus purchased eternal life for us through his sacrifice on the cross. His faithfulness to redeem us and His commitment to sanctify and glorify us give us the freedom to live without shame or fear.

God keeps His promises. He will bring His work in us to completion, so we don’t have to fret. We can live fully with everything we have.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

God’s faithfulness is a guiding, reassuring force in our daily steps. As we remind ourselves of the truths mentioned, we can live each moment confidently. We can sing, full-heartedly, breathing at ease:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father

There is no shadow of turning with Thee

Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not

As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

Great is Thy faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness

Morning by morning, new mercies I see

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Rest Triumphantly

“Do the next thing.”

It’s something I’ve heard my whole life. It’s a wise thought… that we need to keep on going, just looking at the task in front of us, taking the next step. It’s accurate and encouraging. 

But when the things I hoped in disappear, and plans fail, and relationships wane, and even the most constant parts of my life seem to step out of the scene… taking the next step is the last thing I want to do. 

I texted a loved one recently: 

“I’m just so tired of doing the next thing.”

It’s true. I’m so tired. I’m so weary of working my backside off and COVID and not seeing people and online classes.

And no one would blame me if I crawled into my bed and slept for days or binged TV or spent hours doing nothing. After all, as every single person in this world is saying, it’s been a year.

But we aren’t called to that.

As children of God, we are called to triumphant rest. 

We rest in the utmost ability of God to work all things for our good. We trust in His faithfulness. We rest because we know this daily battle has already been won. We are warriors on the winning side, and although the fight is furious, we don’t have to fear.

Jesus Christ holds all things together. (Colossians 1) 

He’s the head of the church, and he’s the Creator of all. He holds every star and ant and galaxy and whale in his power. Nothing comes together or apart without his consent. ‘For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.’ (Colossians 1:16). He’s holding your life together, your heart together, your broken pieces together. 

He’s holding you and every part of this beautiful, war-torn world together. 

And he’s going to make it all new.  

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” ‘

Revelation 21:1,3,5

If he’s making it new, we know he’s making us new too, and he’ll finish his work when the earth passes away. We can take the next step because we’re being renewed. He gives us hope as he grows us. 

So we rest triumphantly in the glory of what is to come and the truth of what is today. And we do the next thing, not because it’s easy or because we have the strength. We take the next step because Jesus is holding up the ground beneath our feet. He’s holding the air that we breathe. Jesus is holding it all together. 

Thank You to God & Friends: You’ve Helped Me Grow

When I started writing last summer, I had no idea what God had in store for me. I became a Rebelutionary, a writer, and a champion of my fellow Christian teens who’ve grown up among worlds. I’ve grown in ways that were unimaginable to me at the time.

One way God has grown me is in my passion for using my youth to the fullest. I want to do hard things while I am young. I don’t want to give in to society’s flow of doing absolutely nothing worthwhile during my youth. I want to use it entirely for the glory of God. That’s not to say I still don’t have endless bad days where I’m lazy and selfish. I do. But He’s stretching me and leading me, and for that, I am grateful. I’m also so thankful for the Rebelution team and Brett Harris, who God has used mightily in so many people’s lives.

He’s also grown me in capability. I’m learning to be more proactive and more of a leader. I’m learning to make decisions. I’m learning more about the kind of leader I am and where I need to grow even more.

He’s grown me in passion for my fellow teens who’ve grown up abroad. There is so much that I’ve learned and wish my fellow teens would know as well. I’ve moved from simply a peer to someone who wants to see her peers changed for the better, passionate about the glory of God and about the good they can do as citizens of heaven.

One of the tangible processes he used to grow me was the Truth4TCKs 2021 conference. He taught me to trust in Him, to trust in His work, but also the work of others. He taught me to show up, day after day, even when it was hard. He taught me to model his faithfulness. I never succeeded – none of us can. But in my failure, I was reminded of His faithfulness and sovereignty, and I leaned on Him.

God also gave me great relationships through this journey – and I’m so thankful.

I’m thankful to my sweet friend Sara, who mentored me through the organization process and motivated me to make this whole thing happen. If she could do it, so could I. Thank you, Sara, for being encouraging and just someone I can cry with and laugh with. You are a joy.

I’m also thankful to my team: Clarissa, Bethany, Minjin, Kristianne, and Sophia. They have been why I was even able to put the conference together. They each contributed in their own ways, and looking back, it was beautiful to behold.

I’m so grateful for Megan, who became an encourager and friend, as well as someone who graciously helped me enter the “TCK world” of sorts. You, Megan, have been such a blessing, and you had a massive role in this.

I’m thankful to all the speakers who took their time and effort to help out. This was voluntary. I didn’t promise anyone money. Yet everyone served abundantly, and it was beautiful. Thank you, Will, Megan, Chris, Ms. Kate, Ms. C.B., Melinda, Ify, Wendy & Luke, and Sam. You were amazing.

I’m amazed at the blessing that God has given me. My family. They are so loving, so encouraging. Dad, you are the one who motivates me, gives me perspective, and helps grow my vision for what could be. Mom, you are my friend and joy, and you keep me accountable. Thank you to my brothers as well, who have been so encouraging and supportive throughout this whole thing.

I’ve grown, but I still am growing. We all are. That’s life.

Lord, thank you for growing me. Please lead me in my next steps. Thank you for being so faithful to me.

How Strong Are Our Words?

Hello friends! Today, I wanted to dive into the passage below (Matthew 12:33-37) and break it into pieces so we can study it more easily. This passage is rich and convicting, and I believe it has a message that we all need to hear.


“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” 

Jesus (Matthew 12:33-37)

1) The Tree Is Known By Its Fruit

If a tree is healthy, has clean water, plenty of sunshine, and it is far away from any sort of disease, the tree will produce healthy, juicy, fruit. If a tree is diseased, weak, and in a dry area, the fruit will subsequently be unripe, small and measly. It might get rotten before it even turns ripe. 

Suppose you had two pieces of fruit in your hand. One was large, brightly-colored, plump, and juicy. The other was smaller, hard, with bruised spots, and was a pale brown color. What would you infer about the trees they came from just from looking at the fruit?

Jesus is using a very simple picture to show people how the human heart works. 

I once watched an American Girl movie based in Colonial America. In one scene, the grandfather is talking to his granddaughter after the grandfather and father have gotten in a fight. The grandfather says, “Words of anger are never from the heart.” That’s what the world wants people to believe. But Jesus says something different.

2) Heart Fruit

If someone’s words are uplifting, encouraging, fun, wise, lovely, and admirable, that shows you what is in their heart. If someone is constantly encouraging and lifting others, it shows that they are humble and they care for others. If someone is wise and is constantly teaching others about God’s Word, it shows that they have God’s Word stored up in their hearts. If someone is fun and lovely in what they say, it shows that they treasure the beautiful, unexpected, joyful moments of life. 

If someone’s words are discouraging, dirty, rude, foolish, and repulsive, that gives you a very clear look into their heart. They discourage because they are proud or they are insecure in who they are and thus they try to put others down so they can feel high up. When they constantly make fun of someone they are doing the same thing. Their words are dirty and repulsive because they treasure sin. They are rude in their talk because they find themselves to be above the person they are addressing. They consider that person worthless. When their words are foolish, it means they haven’t stored up God’s Word in their heart. 

You may think, “Breanne, that’s way too harsh.” But I didn’t come up with it. Read the verse again. That’s what Jesus was getting at. 

3) Good Can’t Come From Evil

In verse 34, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees He is talking to. Although the Pharisees’ words seemed good, Jesus knew what their hearts looked like. Their hearts were evil. 

So even when they spoke “encouraging” or “good” words, their intentions and wants were self-exaltation, honor and self-righteousness. They wanted to do good so that they could be seen and known and respected. But Jesus said that that wasn’t “good”. 

4) Good Treasure

Whatever you treasure up in your heart, that’s what’ll come out. To treasure up means to hold or keep as precious. What is most precious to you? Your reputation, or God’s? Acceptance and praise, or God’s presence? The words of others, or God’s Word? 

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 

Psalm 119:11

The more we treasure and store up God’s word in our hearts, the more we pour out that treasure. When we give importance to something, it changes our actions. 

5) Accountable For Every Careless Word

When I read this passage, this is what got me. We will stand in front of God, and He will hold us accountable for every word. Those careless insults, those empty foolish mockery-filled words. He says we are accountable for them.

We will be condemned or justified because of them. 

The Hope

But wait, you might say, didn’t Jesus die for our sins? Yes! He did. Romans 8 verses 1 and 2 say this: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

If you are a believer, you will not be condemned. 

The Warning

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Romans 6:1-2

However, we do not take grace for granted. If you are a believer, you should strive for purity, not trying to see how far you can bend the rules. 

If we are bearing bad fruit, we need to have a heart check. What are you treasuring? What are you deeming important? 


Disclaimer: I struggle with making fun of others because I am insecure in a certain situation, or putting people down because I think they are immature or “bad”. I care more about what others think than what God thinks, most of the time. Because what comes out comes first from the heart.


Some take away questions and thoughts to chew on:

When it comes to the words you speak, what areas do you struggle with? Do you tend to make fun of people? Or do you use crude language? Do you use your words to brag, and make yourself look bigger so everyone else feels a little bit smaller?

Why do you think you struggle in those areas? What sinful things are you treasuring or storing up in your heart? What are you prioritizing in your life, God, or something else?

What simple steps can you take to treasure the right things first? Remember, it’s the heart change that needs to happen first. What insecurities need to be addressed with God’s Word and His promises? What pride needs to be brought down when compared to the glory of the Maker of the universe? Memorize Scripture that addresses the heart issue, and meditate on that Scripture. Pray that God would change your heart and help you treasure the good and lovely.

God’s Plan: The Coronavirus Pandemic

As I listened to our pastor’s sermon this Sunday, I started to ponder my last post. I didn’t disagree with anything I wrote, but I felt that there were gaps that needed to be filled. I pray that this post will do that. 

God Is Completely Sovereign

Nothing can successfully stop any act or any event or design or purpose that God intends to certainly bring about (- John Piper). 

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17

God is in control of everything that has happened, is happening, and will ever happen on this earth. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Nothing happens without His permission. He has complete authority. He has ultimate power. 

God planned to bring the Coronavirus about. He is in control of every government and economy and nation. He is the King of Kings. He planned the pandemic and all its effects. 

God’s plan is intricate. His knowledge is unlimited. No sparrow falls from the heavens without Him knowing about it (Matthew 10:29). He knows every time a virus infects a new body. Every time someone loses their job. Every time someone loses a loved one. 

God Is Ultimately Good

God is the epiphany of good. He is the most self-sacrificing, self-humbling, loving, and just King there is. Psalm 34:8 says: Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 

Then comes the question: How can God be good when there is so much bad in the world? Why doesn’t God just abolish all the evil? 

The thing is, no human is good. We all have sinful hearts. We have all gone astray like sheep (Isaiah 53:6). If God were to get rid of all the evil in the world, He would have to destroy all of humanity. That includes you and me. 

God already abolished almost all of humanity with the world-wide flood in Noah’s day. He is a just God and cannot stand in the sight of filth and evil. 

The Bible also tells us that God is a merciful God. We see this over and over again in the Bible. He spares humankind by saving Noah and his family. Jonah tells God that he knew He was “a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster” (Jonah 4:2). In Psalms 78 and 106, we see His utter mercy and faithfulness to Israel even in their uttermost rebellion and sin. Lamentations 3:22 says that God’s mercies never end. And at the cross, we see God’s mercy fully displayed (Ephesians 2:4-5). 

How We Should View Trials In Light Of God’s Attributes

What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise? – Laura Story, Blessings

Laura Story states it so beautifully. What if God planned the Coronavirus so that yes, He could judge some, but He could also have mercy on people by drawing them to Him throughout their desperate circumstances? What if He is letting Satan tempt some believers, or He himself is testing their faith so that they will become “steadfast … (and therefore)… perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:3-4)? 

If God is in control of all, and He is good, and we are His children, what is there to fear? 

“…be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” 

Hebrews 13:5b-6

I know who goes before me

I know who stands behind

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever

He is a friend of mine

The God of angel armies

Is always by my side

-Chris Tomlin, God of Angel Armies


What has God been teaching you during the Pandemic? What truths has He brought to your mind lately? Are there any points in my post that you disagree with? If so, comment, and I would love to talk them over with you. 

Blessings, 

Breanne

Mission: Eternity

I sit staring at my laptop. I listen to encouraging music, poke around online, waiting for the idea to hit. Exhausted. Discouraged. Sound familiar?

I re-read a hymn today that I know well but hadn’t thought about in a while. The hymn is called O Church Arise. It’s a modern hymn, by Keith and Kristyn Getty. It’s a call to war. 

To War

A call to war? Aren’t we, as believers, promoters of peace? 

We are. But not when we wage war against the lies that culture tells us. Or the lies Satan tries to feed us. Not when we wage war against temptation and sin. Not when it’s to release prisoners of war from sin and darkness’ chains. 

We are in a battle. It might not seem like it. We get another Messenger text, we watch a show, we talk with friends, make food, take a walk. But Satan is a lion prowling around, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He is dangerous. As humans, we are weaklings in comparison to his utter evil and power. 

When The War Becomes Visible

These days, in quarantine, during the pandemic, the war has become overwhelmingly real. God is sovereign and he has allowed this. However, I believe Satan is using this. It’s comparable to when Satan asked permission from God to torment Job in the Old Testament (Job 1:6-12). God let him take all that Job had.

Satan is trying to tempt believers. It’s all lost. You don’t have any friends or family around to support you. You probably won’t get to worship normally in church again. Forget about ever graduating. Or finding a job. He also comes up with quite the opposite: Coronavirus? Why is everyone so worried? Just go watch your new show. Go take a nap. 

The whole world is going crazy. Entire governments and nations are crumbling. It’s simply gone to show how weak we are. People are turned against people, fighting over a piece of fabric, called a mask, or the last packet of toilet paper on the shelves. Friends are in tension because of different ideas on how we should cope with the virus and social distancing. 

Fighting In Light of The Victory

The hymn calls believers to war, but it also reminds them that this war isn’t your ordinary fight. The winning side has already been decided. 

Come, see the cross where love and mercy meet,

As the Son of God is stricken;

Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,

For the Conqueror has risen!

And as the stone is rolled away,

And Christ emerges from the grave,

This vict’ry march continues till the day

Ev’ry eye and heart shall see Him.

So Spirit, come, put strength in ev’ry stride,

Give grace for ev’ry hurdle,

That we may run with faith to win the prize

Of a servant good and faithful.

As saints of old still line the way,

Retelling triumphs of His grace,

We hear their calls and hunger for the day

When, with Christ, we stand in glory.

We will stand in glory. We will tell the stories of the triumphs of His grace. Our state in this war might seem desperate and impossible. The news is horrible, the whole world seems to have despaired, and yet we will stand in glory. 

Let us fight. Let us rise. Let’s remind our brothers and sisters in Christ of the Hope that never fails. Let’s fight against the devil’s lies. Send fellow believers messages reminding them that we aren’t separated. We might be so physically, but not spiritually. The Church of Christ can’t be moved. When a friend tells you they don’t want to get together because they are worried about COVID, respond in grace. The last thing we need is a Church divided against oneself. Let’s pray for those who are suffering. Let’s let people know that we are praying for them. 

Let’s stand together. A couple of months of separation will feel like a couple of seconds when we are together for eternity. 


Listen to O Church Arise here.

Listen to another song which has a similar message, and is just as powerful, called Start Right Here, here.

Treasure In Jars of Clay

‘But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.’
2 Corinthians 4:7-10

I had wasted most of my day. I was disappointed because I felt that none of my efforts to use my time well were ever fruitful. I wanted to be a good steward, to do good. I felt completely weak and defeated. And guilty.

That morning my mom had reminded me how Jesus chose his disciples knowing they would abandon Him. He chose Judas as His disciple knowing He would betray Him. In Mark 3, it says that “He went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him.” It later goes on to list the twelve disciples, and ends with the phrase “and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.”

Let’s apply the words of Mark to Judas personally. Jesus went up on the mountain and called to Him Judas whom He desired. He spent years loving and serving Judas, using Him for His Kingdom, all the while knowing that Judas would stab Him in the back. He knew that. Nevertheless, He desired Judas.

Jesus desires us. He desires broken souls and rebellious hearts. He has chosen us. This is a marvelous truth because it frees us from the spiritually deadly idea that we have to earn His love.

We work so hard to be good. To be enough. The world feeds us the lie that we can be enough, that we are what we need. It sounds like freedom. It isn’t. We try to earn the pleasure and affection of God. But we are unable. We are weak. We are human. David committed adultery and murdered someone to cover it up. Abraham lied about his wife saying she was his sister, and got his wife taken from him. Moses was a criminal and couldn’t speak well. Mary was accused of having sex out of wedlock for her whole life. We are broken, fragile creatures.

Jesus has chosen to put His treasure in jars of clay.

To find out what the treasure talked about in Mark 4:7 is, one needs to look at the preceding verse: For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). The treasure is the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” that has been given by God by shining in our hearts. We now know the glory of God. That’s the treasure. The glory of God is precious, immortal, powerful, holy, and good. All the things we aren’t. Yet he has chosen to give us that.

Clay jars are fragile. They are thick, and they look rigid and sturdy, but with one fall they break into pieces. That’s us. We think we’re sturdy, that we can navigate life by our strength. We just aren’t. And Jesus chose us. He knew we were jars of clay.

So we can rest in the fact that He chose us. We can rest because He desired jars of clay, and He uses us for His glory. The verses 8-10 explain that all the afflictions and the pains and the hardships and even the temptations to waste our time, that we go through, display His glory. Those things show that we are frail, but the fact that we aren’t ever totally defeated shows that He is mighty.

Jesus is ok with us being weak. He chose us. So I choose to rest in His wisdom and to let Him have the glory and to strive to not try to be enough.

Peace That Passes All Understanding

Before I start this post, I want to apologize for not posting on Tuesday. We had a crazy busy week and it slipped my mind. I hope the post will be worth the wait. And it’s not as long as the last one, I promise 😉

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom. It means not only the absence of war and strife but “wholeness”. When a complex world is working together as one piece, in harmony, there is shalom. When a “broken” relationship is “restored” or “made whole”, there is shalom. Through Jesus’ sacrificial death, He made whole our broken relationship with God on the cross. He made Shalom between us and God. That’s what I explained in my last post. Jesus’ death provided judicial peace.

But that judicial peace also allowed us to have experiential peace. This is the peace that is spoken of in Philippians 4:7.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Experiential peace is the peace that we feel in our hearts and minds.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

When we worry, the shalom of our trust in God is broken. We don’t believe that God can provide, or carry us, or that He can love us. The wholeness of our relationship is broken. We try to put the pieces back together by our strength. It doesn’t work. We were never meant to live without God. We were never meant to live without His friendship and presence. We cannot live a life of shalom, a whole life, without Him. So when we trust Him with our lives, He restores our broken relationship. And we have peace. We are whole.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27

This world does not have shalom. It’s broken. People search for peace. They search for that missing thing that will make them whole. Some think they’ll find it in power. In money. In human relationships. In family. In a career. In fame. But as humans created by our God, we can find shalom only in the one that created us because we were created for Him. Without the One we were created for, pieces are missing. People can not feel true experiential peace before having judicial peace. People cannot feel true peace without first being restored to their God.

As believers, we are already restored. We stand before God in Christ’s righteousness, with no strife between us. So when we feel the temptation to worry, or to search for wholeness in other things, let us approach the throne boldly and go to the One who can make us whole, and give us peace.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16