What Matters More?

What we do matters less than who we are. How we do things matters less than for whom we do them. (From the book Ascent of a Leader by Thrall, McNicol, and McElrath)

Living in God’s grace means living our lives out of who God created us to be. We can only reach our human potential outside of allowing Him to guide us to our true destiny. This path requires humility, which is not self-deprecation but rather choosing to trust God and others with ourselves by being vulnerable and truly allowing them a voice in our lives. Faith takes action as we choose to act on conviction rather than opportunity. This grace-based, relationship-oriented lifestyle leads us to be less focused on selfish ambition and more experienced in being loved and loving others.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10, ESV)



The Real Gift We Have to Offer

“…we tend to forget that our real gift is not so much what we can do, but who we are.” (Henri Nouwen)
One lie that we often believe is that we need to do more. “Do less bad!, do more good!”, we are told. For some of us, we feel and are told that what we do is never enough. Perhaps that is not our problem. What if we don’t know or have forgotten who we are? What if we are more than what we do? As Nouwen puts it, maybe the real gift that we have to offer the world is being who God created us to be. To offer the best of what we have, we must be able to see ourselves the way God sees us. In Christ, we are loved, we are blessed, we are forgiven, we are secure, we have purpose, we are unconditional accepted, and we are everything God wants us to be. With that kind of perspective and understanding of ourselves, we can offer others an awesome gift anytime we interact with them: us.
If you would like to receive notifications when we post new blogs or events please subscribe to our email list using the form below. Add us to your address book to make sure we do not end up in your spam folder.


Pivoting in Life

There are many turns in life.  One chapter ends and another one begins.  Ups and downs throughout the process.  We recently experienced another turn in our life.  Our son graduated from Campbell University!  It was a very happy and memorable day and we celebrated all weekend.  See Neil’s post from last week for more on this wonderful occasion. 

Prior to the graduation, I was thinking about our son and our life with him.  There have been happy times, sad times, good times and not so good times.  Each one created a pivot in our life’s journey.  I asked myself what I was most happy about during this graduation season.  It would be easy for me to say that I was proud of him because of what all he has accomplished and I am.  I could also say that each pivot was a literal turning point in our lives and those pivots helped make him what he is today.  That is true.  But it boils down to something much more……who he is. 

Pivots do not define us.  They can describe something we did or did not do but they do not define who we truly are.  Life’s pivots can mature us and teach us more and more about who we really are.  Life experiences offer an opportunity for us to look a little deeper at ourselves.  What made us choose this or that?  What part of my true self does this experience reflect?   

I encourage you to look at pivots in your life and take some time to reflect on them.  What have they taught you about who you are? 


****Over the summer months we will continue blogging but we will also slow down a little along the way so we may not post every Tuesday.  We hope you enjoy your summer! 


Don’t Do the Do’s and Don’ts

“For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.” 1 Corinthians 15:56, NLT

“Rules and laws do nothing to change someone’s heart. Absolutely nothing…It is the love and grace of God through his spirit that transforms the human heart from the inside.” – The Fields Brothers

Is our focus primarily on trusting God to work in and through us? Or, with good intentions, are we focused on adhering to a list of do’s and don’ts? Honest answers to those questions may set us free today. All that is good flows from trusting God and who He says I am. Trusting my own efforts to handle my sin (or someone else’s) via dependence on rules and laws will derail me and put me in bondage. Only the grace of God can handle sin and its effects on us and others. Above all else, I pray we trust in His grace and love today.

– Neil
You can sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts and announcements here:



Just Look

In John 3:14-15, Jesus references an Old Testament story. According to the story, many were suffering and dying from snake bites. Moses, their leader, was told by God to lift a bronze snake up for all to look at. When they merely looked at the snake that Moses lifted up, they were cured. They didn’t have to work hard to please God so that He would cure them. Nope. All they had to do was look at a snake that was raised up on a stick. Jesus was using this story to illustrate his own crucifixion (He would be lifted up on a cross). Like the people fixed their gazes on the snake on a stick to be cured of poisonous snake bites, we must only look to Christ on the cross to be cured of sin. God doesn’t require us to follow the new faddish 10-step plan to “being a good Christian”, to get perfect attendance at a church building, or to work hard on cleaning up our lives to be set free by Him. Self-effort attempts at godliness always lead to failure. We need something more than behavior modification to be cured. Instead of self-righteous pursuits to change ourselves, He wants us to look to Him for everything: the cure for sin, the freedom to experience His love and to enjoy loving others, and for all our other needs. Trust (faith) is the ultimate message that Jesus shared passionately. It is always by grace through faith that we are saved, never by our efforts (Ephesians 2:8-10). When we are suffering, lost, angry, struggling, grieving, hurting, doubting, or trapped, He is tenderly calling for us to look to Him.


You can sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts and announcements here:


One Step at a Time

I want what I want and I want it now! That is the typical mentality I have when it comes to my dreams and desires. My inclination to be this way is encouraged by the world around me. Just take a minute to stop and look around. We have so much information that we are able to quickly access at all times. Our smart phones are usually in our pockets and with just a few clicks we have what we were looking for. We can quickly shop and have things delivered to our homes within a couple of days. Grocery stores and restaurants are around every corner so when we get hungry there is always a quick solution. We tend to expect the same fast response when we dream big. And not just a fast response but a detailed response that is exactly as we had dreamed of.

We are told in Psalm 119:105 that “(God’s) word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. The Message translation says it like this, “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path”. A lamp provides light to a small area in front of us. It gives us enough light to see where we are taking our next step. How much more intimate is a relationship with someone that promises to be with you on each step rather than with someone that just goes ahead and shows you the ending and waits for you there? God wants us to trust that He is always with us. He wants to experience each step of the journey with us. Yes, he knows the ending. He knows where we are headed. His love for us is so great and so beyond our understanding that He also knows that the relationship He desires to have with us cannot be fulfilled through Him offering instant gratification. Instead, He wants to be a light for each step we take.


You can sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts and announcements here:


It is Enough

“But for the present let us be satisfied with the blood, that it is there and that it is enough.” – Watchman Nee

It is easy to fall for the lie that there is something more for us to do than to trust God’s provision and love for us through Jesus Christ. We trust Jesus for salvation and then begin to think we need to get busy doing things for God to keep Him satisfied with us. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Gospel is good news because it is enough…period. We need nothing more than the blood to cover us to approach our Father in heaven, no matter how many times we fail. He wants us to keep coming back to Him, despite what our shame tries to tell us. He runs to meet us when we do! Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection is the one and only cure for all that ails us. NOTHING separates us from Him and the love He has for us as his children. NOTHING. It truly is unconditional, so let’s not water it down. I pray we do not let any false teachings or misunderstandings lead us to believe anything else but the fact that He is crazy about each and every one of us and, in Christ, He loves us no matter what.


You can sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts and announcements here:


Real Trust, Real Love

“Real trust only grows inside a relationship based on love.” – Wayne Jacobsen
Our relationships with God, our spouses, our children, our parents, and our friends all need the same foundation to thrive. To truly experience and enjoy our Father and each other, love must be an underlying theme in our relationships. All too often we engage guilt and fear, believing those will somehow give us what we want as we try to use them to manipulate those around us to do what we think they should do. We do it to ourselves as well, letting fear and guilt guide what we do and how we view ourselves, God, and others.
Nothing else can produce what love does. Love generates trust. Trust opens the door to freedom, forgiveness, healing, and budding relationships that we can enjoy rather than simply work hard to control. Trust cannot be grown in any context other than genuine love.


You can sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts and announcements here:



It is possible to be part of a community but not truly be IN community. In other words, being considered part of a group doesn’t necessarily result in meaningful relationships. Any group can be full of surface relationships that amount to no more than mere acquaintances, more closely resembling strangers passing on the street than friendship.

Friendships, like what Jesus encouraged and demonstrated, were intimate and open. They were based on trusting God to move. They were not forced out of obligation. They were initiated and grown in love for each other. They were not based on policing each other’s behaviors. They were not focused on fixing each other. They were full of grace. They were not orchestrated as part of some program. They were freely initiated and pursued out of a desire to know and support each other. They were not confined to a specific denomination or some other specified group of people. They were open to anyone, regardless of any label society wanted to put on them. They “happened” as Jesus traveled and spoke with his disciples and others over a three year period.

Authentic relationships, like the ones God desires for us to thrive in, are cultivated over time as God brings us together with the right people. These relationships grow as we risk opening ourselves up to each other in hopes of getting the opportunity to share love in true community. We mustn’t think and act the same, or even have all of the same theological beliefs, in order to experience and thrive in relationships with each other. Love is the key. God can sort out all the rest…and He does.


You can sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts and announcements here:


A Choice Fueled by Faith

“Most of us postpone a decision hoping that Jesus will get weary of waiting and the inner voice of Truth will get laryngitis…Our indecision creates more problems than it solves…WE GET STUCK. With the paralysis of analysis, the human spirit begins to shrivel.” – Brennan Manning (emphasis added)

Sometimes the step of faith we desperately need to take is to make a decision. We must choose to trust our Father as we keep moving forward, regardless if we go left or right at a fork in the road. Standing still carries with it the potential for racing thoughts, increasing worry, intense anxiety, and a growing sense of hopelessness as we keep waiting for something to happen to change our circumstances. With every decision comes responsibility and consequences, which can be scary. However, each decision also carries with it the increasing experience of freedom and peace as we grow and mature into who God made us to be.


You can sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts and announcements here: