How to Love: Grace When We Don’t Understand 


Dear Reader, 

We love butterflies specifically for their many colors, and yet when it comes to the many beautiful colors of people we find barriers. We see “difference” as something to fear, instead of to praise God for. We see it with many things. We see the harsh criticisms across denominational lines of what we as Christians “should” believe, but the truth there should be simple. As Christians we “should” believe in the Bible as sole truth. However, ask Christians from different denominations and they will explain that truth differently. We can’t agree, even on something as simple as what is truth. If we elevate this to the color of the people in this world, we find the same holds true. Everyone believes the answer is simple, to love. But it would appear that what love looks like is understood differently by many. My husband and I are hoping to adopt our first child, and friends, I have no idea what race our baby will be. But I want them to know they are loved by us fully. I fear for how they may perceive “love” in this world. The “truth” spoken “in love” by this world is often not truth at all, but hatred dressed up in sheep’s clothing. Every single person has great worth, great beauty, great potential to love one another. But we must seek out how to love. What does it mean to love someone who is different than us? It means to speak up when the world has lost its mind and its heart. It means to be humbled and admit when we’ve been wrong or when we’ve been unable to understand. In order to love deeply, we must begin to understand where we have gone wrong and how we can do better. How can we understand what we have done if we never speak to those we have hurt with our silence or with our wrong words? God’s love is so much deeper than the surface love we often offer other people. Saying there is no problem simply means we can’t see the problem. It’s like closing our eyes in the midst of a tragedy and saying the commotion is nothing serious. To love our neighbor takes humility not condescension. To love our neighbor takes real conversation and real concern. Wherever you stand, don’t stand for hatred. Love, and learn what love means. We’re all learning together. Apart we fail.

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

40 Days of Prayer: Conversations With The King Day 21


Dear Reader, 

Don’t forget to pray around good food with good friends. Don’t forget that God loves community with us because He loves to bring us together over His holy communion. I’ve struggled for years with this. I’ve struggled knowing I loved God but finding it hard to really get to know and trust other people. Sometimes it’s true that certain relationships won’t work out. Some short meetings are meant to change us for the better, to teach us a lesson about loving people anyways. But some people are meant to stay rooted in our lives because God has set a place for them in the table of our hearts and He has set a desire in us to wash feet and serve and in so doing to know one another better. Not everyone will be in your circle of 12, like Jesus had. That’s something I didn’t understand for years. We are to love everyone and really care and really strive to take care of humanity as Jesus so did and as He so loved. But it’s true that there will be people that you must grow with, and lean on, and fully trust with big and small moments of your life. Friends are treasures. They are blessings in what they do and say and in who they are. Pray continually, on your own, but also in communion with people. If you have these special people in your life, I encourage you to keep growing deeper with them. If you don’t have these people yet, I encourage you not to lose hope. God will provide. Keep on praying for communion and close community. I know first hand God can and will answer those prayers. He is faithful and Good and Kind. So today friends, keep praying for and in communion with another and watch as the body of Christ’s church comes alive. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: 40 Days of Conversations with the King 


Dear Reader, 

Sometimes I feel as if my prayers have no direction. I throw my hands up and I spill out my heart, my frustrations, and my fears. I know God hears me. I have seen Him move my mountains. I have felt Him crumble my fears. What He wants with us is honest dialogue, an ongoing conversation with Him in which we give Him our all. This means all of our fears, all of our insecurities, all of our worries. He doesn’t require fancy or memorized prayers of length. He simply wants you, the way you are, to come before Him and talk with Him awhile. Over the next 40 days, in my personal life, I’m choosing one topic in my life to pray daily over, and by that I mean have honest conversations with God over. I plan on writing down my topic and pinning it up on the wall so I can see it each day and enter into the Grace of conversation with my Father God over it. I believe that private conversations with the King of Kings are life changing. I also believe and know that there is power when God’s people come together to lift each other’s burdens up to the throne room of Heaven. I just wanted to encourage you to join me if you feel like there has been something in your life you need to talk to your Father God about. Grace has a name, and it’s name is Jesus. Jesus came that we would once again enter into communion with our Father, and I believe we are able to do this with honest and open prayer. Jesus has turned His Father’s face towards us. He is listening, and He cares about you. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: What Will You Do With Your Freedom? 


Dear Reader, 

When I think of America, I think of this little cheese shop we visit every year in Wisconsin called Union Star. It sits next to the highway among fields and fields of corn. It’s quiet there. No crowds, or angry customers. Just a few passers by who stop in the heat of the day. But sometimes when I think of America, I become aware of how others see it. I am burdened by its brokenness and I am broken by its burdens. Not every leader seems to hear every voice. Every law and every bill seems to leave someone out. We fight every day for freedom, but we become more aware with the passing of time that freedom is never free, and it is never without cost. And then I think of Heaven, that place I think we are all homesick for in our hearts even if we don’t realize it. I think of how scripture tells us that we hold citizenship there. And I know that the kingdom of Heaven holds the most free people. I know that it is ruled by the love of our Father. If we are looking for perfect freedom, we won’t find it on this earth. Perfect freedom only exists in the arms of our Savior. It’s a freedom that breaks every chain and heals every heart and unites all people. I pray that as citizens of that perfect place, that we would always carry in our hearts what it means to be free from even the freedoms of this world. I pray that even in this free country we live in, we would choose to continue to carry the cross. I pray that our freedoms here wouldn’t separate us from the rest of the world, but that they would cause us to be brave in loving the people of the world more deeply. I pray that our freedoms wouldn’t isolate us, but instead would propel us into active service, mission, and love. With great freedom comes great opportunity….and responsibility. What will you do with your freedom? 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

A Grace Note: Always Free, Always Brave 


Dear Reader, 

There are many in the world today who don’t have freedom, but are incredibly brave. And there are people in the world who are incredibly free, but lack bravery. The beauty of Jesus is that it doesn’t matter if you are brave or free or both. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom”. No matter what country you live in, in Jesus we get to experience both, because only He can make us both brave and free. He breaks every chain. He gives life where death once reigned. He wins every victory and gives us the strength to win every battle. His grace frees us from every evil thing that once held us in bondage. As Christians we will always be free in Him. May we also always be brave in Him. May we who call ourselves His people and who live in the nation of the free, always be willing to fight for the physical freedom of others in this world because we know the One who fought to the death for the Spiritual freedom of the whole world. In His freedom we find grace, and truth, and life, and the fire to continue the fight for the physical and spiritual freedom of the people on this earth. Jesus reigns. May that be our victory. He who sets the captives free has come that we may have life in His name and that we would proclaim it as loud as we can. So what say you, free people? Will you who are free continue to be brave in Him? Will you use your American freedom to honor the name of Jesus who broke your every chain? Being an American does not make you “more Christian”. But it does mean you have been given great responsibility, to be brave in Christ as well as Free in this physical life. May we always understand the magnitude of our physical freedom in this country and may we be propelled by the incredible depth of our spiritual freedom to preach and to teach and to feed the hungry and to free the oppressed and to advocate for those who have no voice, in Jesus name and to His Glory. You were born free for a reason. Give your physical freedom to Jesus and watch how our incredible God moves in this world. 

In Him, 

A Fellow Grace Wanderer 

The Coming and Going: When Grace Leaves Your Kitchen Table


Psalm 121:8 The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

I was reading through Mark last night. As I was reading I couldn’t help but notice that under almost every heading were words about Jesus coming, going, entering, leaving, or going out. And later  Jesus begins saying, “Follow me”.

As I may have noted in previous posts, I am an introvert. Most days I would rather hide away in my house, spending time alone with Jesus at my kitchen table. I would rather welcome Him in than go out with Him. I would rather write about Him than speak about Him. I would rather pray to Him than do the social work for Him. But staying put is not what Jesus has called me to do, and it’s not what He has called you to do either.

Jesus wants to sit at your kitchen table. He wants to be invited in. He wants to show  you intimate and daily Grace and He wants to change you through His love for you. But then, He will ask you to follow Him. The book of Mark showed me last night that Jesus does not stand still. He rests at times, but only to pray and gain the strength to go back out again. And to us who are called to follow Him, this means that there must be movement in our own lives.

I have experienced Grace while standing at my sink and  have been changed daily by the faithful work of the One who loves me, Jesus. And I have spoken about Jesus’ desire to invite others to sit at my kitchen table with Him too. I have been compelled to ask Jesus into every ordinary part of my life, so that I may see His extraordinary goodness. But now I am seeing that the real work of Christ is that I come and go with Him. The real work of Christ is that I step out of my front door and bring Jesus with me to the front door of those He is calling to be saved, to those who have yet to experience and acknowledge His Grace.

Luke 9:23-24 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

Maybe losing your life for Jesus means losing the desires that don’t include Him. Losing your life for Jesus might look more like losing your priorities and making His work for the Kingdom come first. To lose your life for Jesus is really to give your life to Him. He says we must take up our cross daily, and He gives us enough daily Grace to do this. Stepping out of my front door and into the work of God’s kingdom to which I am called requires me to lay down my previously laid plans and to instead put on my sandals and go where Christ goes. It requires me to let Jesus take the lead.

Micah 2:13 One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their head.

We know that when we follow Jesus we do not go alone. Jesus has assured us that He will be with us to the very end of the age. But not going alone means that there are other people sitting at the table with us. There are other children that God has called. We were never meant to walk this earthly life alone, and while Jesus came to save you personally, He also came to personally save the whole world. He loves you, and He changes you by His Grace. But to love Jesus back means that you also will love His people. They are connected. They are family. There is always more room at Jesus’ kitchen table, and because of this there must always be more room at our own.

Go where Jesus goes. Walk where Jesus walks. Speak with whom Jesus speaks. Taking up our cross daily is not easy, but it’s what binds us together as family. If we want to follow Jesus, we must allow His Grace to rise up and leave our kitchen tables. We must take Jesus’ hand, walk out our front doors, and follow Jesus into the world.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

The Grace Calling: When Kitchen Table Grace Meets Community

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Grace changes us. That’s just the reality of it. One moment our lives revolve around only us, and the next they revolve around the giver of Grace. This causes a domino effect, and it pushes our grace right out from our hearts and into the lives of those who live around us.

If Jesus sits at your kitchen table, and He changes your heart while you wash your dishes or through other acts of daily faithfulness as mentioned in previous posts, and you readily have welcomed Him into the deepest parts and the everyday parts of your life, He will probably say to you, “feed my sheep”. If He’s asked if you love Him countless times and your answer has repeatedly been yes, then He will ask you to go out and love His flock. Because while Jesus loves us each personally and deeply, His grace reaches beyond the “me” and extends to the “us”. He is all about community. He is all about sitting in that upper room at a table full of believers. He is all about sitting at that table surrounded by a room full of sinners.

John 21:15-17 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep”.

If you are an introvert like me, you may love Jesus deeply but struggle with reaching out to actively love other people outside of your inner circle. While I can type my heart out here on this blog, it’s hard for me to do the face to face conversations. Do I love Jesus? Yes. Do I want Him to sit at my kitchen table and do life with me every single day? Yes. Do I eagerly jump into the mission field and invite others to sit at my kitchen table with Jesus? No. Because I am not always a Mary and I live in a Martha world. I build up the excuses about my house not being clean enough for company, or my to do list being too long. But the truth is that it scares me. There is a level of anxiety and of pride when it comes to how I live my life inside of a community. On my own, I am free to have my thoughts and free to live unabashedly in my own way. But when others are involved I am often more concerned about judgment than I am about close personal relationships with Jesus and how He desires me to have close personal relationships with the people who live around me.

I need more grace. But like I said before, grace changes us. And to ask for grace means to be asked to be changed by it.

People are hard. And there is no one who knows this better than Jesus. He came to save the world…and was killed by the very people He reached out to save. He openly preached the way to Heaven and love for our neighbor…but He was denied on the same night that He was betrayed. He was ridiculed by a man who hung next to Him on a tree…even while He was dying for the sins of the whole world. And for a short time, in the three days before He rose from the dead, His closest community fell silent and afraid of the world and what it would do to them. Preach Jesus? That’s hard. Because He was a man and yet God, preached love and yet was hated, stepped down from a heavenly throne to save and yet hung as a criminal on a cross.

The truth is that Jesus loved me, and He loved you, and maybe you and me are the most difficult of sinners. But He came into our lives anyway. And because of that, we can overcome our fears. We can let go of our shame. We can go confidently into a world of people even if they reject us. Because we have a Savior whose Grace has covered us and made us entirely new and labeled us entirely valuable to the King of Kings.

If we love Jesus, then life will be hard. But our rest will be great. If we love Jesus, then we will deal with the hard people and love them, because Jesus loved us when we were the hard people. If we love Jesus, than our introverted selves will seek to love the world in every way we can, because Jesus loved it first. To love Jesus, is to follow Him. And if we are following Him then we will feel the push to become more like Him. Which may mean holding our hands out to reach people outside of our comfort zone.

Grace is inviting more people to the table. It’s inviting more sinners and imperfect people into the upper room. For the message of the Gospel to change the hearts of this whole world, relationship and community are entirely necessary. To preach a God who loved the whole world requires us to love it too…even when it’s hard and we would rather keep to ourselves.

Consider it this week. If Jesus is sitting at your kitchen table, who is He calling you to invite in to sit with you? Who is He is calling you to form the hard and personal relationships with? How is He calling you to help other people to hear His voice and experience His Grace?

This is the hard part of Grace, the part where you give it away. The part where you allow the blanket of Grace which covers you, to cover other people. It is in this pursuit, that we see God’s Grace magnified, not only for us, but for the whole world.

Invite Jesus to come and sit with you at your kitchen table, and you will find that others may want to come and sit with Him too. This is the glory of Jesus, who gave himself up for you, that His relationship with this world would change it and that His relationship with you would change you too.

“Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.”