Megan Oaks | @MeganCOaks
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall rise up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Growing up I can remember reading this verse and taking it as waiting patiently on the Lord for his plan to be fulfilled. As an adult I have a completely different understanding of this command. As I’ve grown in faith and understanding of the word, I realize “waiting” does not mean to sit idly by and twiddle my thumbs waiting for God to do something; but rather it is a direction to get up and wait ON the Lord, to do His work and be His servant.
Cipriano Martinez | @ciprianom79
Many times I just sit and think about how God has changed my life and how grateful I should be. The day I surrendered my life to Christ, I was not a young child or kid listening to a sermon in church but instead, I was at the lowest point I’d ever been in as an adult. That day I remember all too well. I had been incarcerated, going on two weeks, and I was facing many charges. I had burned the majority of my bridges and, as I look back, I remember clearly that there was no hope in sight. One morning, my cell mate asked me if I wanted to go to church. I was hesitant at first but I accepted the offer. The very next morning, I surrendered my life to Christ in an 8’ x 10’ concrete jail cell. If only I could remember my cell mate's name, I would like to thank him for the life changing invitation.
Ellen Martin | @ellenmartin03
One of the things I struggle with is being anxious and worrying about things. I know that Jesus provides, but it is difficult to fully trust Him with everything. Matthew 6:31-33 notes what Jesus said about anxiety: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
We are to concern ourselves with seeking the kingdom of God; not about things that need not be worried about. As followers of Jesus, we should be concerned about spreading the Gospel, not about daily things. While it is true that we go through hard times, Paul instructs us in Philippians 4:6-7: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Although these verses are often quoted, it is comforting to know that we can give our burdens and anxieties over to God and He will give us peace.
Greg Stokley | @gregstokley
On a rainy Friday night, an old friend of mine passed away.
He was in his prime, with a wife, a daughter, and a son on the way.
On a rainy night in April, God took him away.
It was sudden. It was tragic. The next day I sat with his parents, deep in grief and disoriented in loss. Sure, I was grieving too, but they had lost a son. Their world had been rocked to its very core. I couldn’t comprehend it. I always have words to say to someone. That day, words escaped me. Command over words is one of the gifts I have been blessed with, but on that day the words wouldn’t come.
Daniel Foster | @danielfoster07
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” John 20:1-2
Just coming out of the Easter season, I’m sure most of us read the above passage. It is now the third day after Jesus had been crucified and laid in the tomb and Mary (and others) decided to go to the tomb early in the morning and take a sneak peek to see if Jesus had in fact risen. Upon arrival, Mary noticed the stone was no longer blocking the entrance to the empty tomb and decided to run and tell a few of the disciples. This is where it kinda gets funny.
James Daman | @jdaman04
Living in Phoenix causes me to completely forget that other areas don't experience 60-70 degree weather in Winter and early Spring. Winter often feels like Spring in other parts of the country, however in Phoenix, we know Spring is here when we start seeing lots of weeds pop up in our yard. As I work on getting rid of the weeds, I can't help but compare it to the work we do in Celebrate Recovery.
First, our goal is to get rid of the weeds, I don't know many people who are proud of their weeds. When I did a Google search to see if there were any weed contests around the world, I was able to find them, however they were all competitions for a different kind of weed.
In order to achieve our goal of getting rid of the weeds, we must work at it. We can't just pull the top of the weed off, we must get to the root and often we need help. Our lives can be a lot like that. Our inventory is a lot like getting at the root, it takes work, but it's worth it. If we just take care of the surface, it may look nice, but the issue will resurface, much like the weed.