One genuinely loving relationship at a time... that's how we run the good race and show God's amazing grace. If we want to see real change in our world, it has to start with us. We have to love even when it's inconvenient or not self-serving, because that what love is. We have to love those who are not like us at all, because that's what love is. We have to learn how to love the unlovable, because "unlovable" isn't a word God approves of. He loves us all and died for each and every one of us, even the ones we disagree with. In those loving relationships, we have to take the opportunities to talk about how God has saved and changed us. The result of doing this unleashes a force greater than we will ever understand... God's Grace.

And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
— Acts 20:22-24
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The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.

{Psalm 28:7}


Even in the midst of anguish and heartache, we can be grateful. Even when dreams are at stake and we're in the midst of pain and fear, we can trust in Him. Our Heavenly Father will help us, will give us strength and protection and for that we can thank Him. We can thank Him that He knows our future and will lead us to walk in His will for our lives. We can thank Him for His plans ultimately being for our good and for His glory, even if they don't make sense to us in the present. We can thank Him for the hope that lies in Him holding our future and for the comfort He brings when holds us in the present. We can always thank Him, simply for being our good, good Father. 

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Few of us are able to learn surrender the easy way. Our lives are too comfortable. The stakes aren't high enough for us to really feel like we truly have to trust God with the core of everything we have. Surrender is really just a concept you learn about, a nice "churchy" idea to talk about... until the time you are truly tested. I certainly didn't learn the art of surrendering until I was trying to hold together a completely shattered heart and picking up the pieces of a dream that was slipping away from me. When the comforts of life fade into the background and our carefully engineered plans crumble, we find ourselves standing face to face with the reality of the only question that really matters. Do I trust God enough to hand Him everything? Do I trust Him with my biggest dream, greatest fear, most cherished possession? Do I trust God? It's one of the hardest lessons I've ever learned, but oh, what a gift to have tasted the sweet taste of true surrender.  The freedom and peace that is unleashed when we un-clench our teeth and uncurl our fingers and give Him everything is like a flood of epic proportion. 

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:7 (NLT)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

His plans are so much greater than our dreams could ever be. Everything He choreographs is for His glory and to spread His gospel further into the world in hopes that all might come to know and love Him and to be known and loved by Him. All of our hopes and dreams should rest solely with the one who knows the number of hairs on our heads and the number of days in our lifetime. He alone knows what is good for us, what will bring Him glory and what will benefit the world around us. Surrender is the gateway that ushers in His everything into our present.

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
— Mark 8:35
But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.
— Isaiah 64:8

Trust in Him, then hang on and enjoy the ride. To God be the Glory!


"Even to our old age and gray hair..." 

Isaiah 46:4 begins a beautiful verse full of promise and hope with this phrase. Even until we're old and gray, God's promises to sustain us, carry us, and rescue us will be true. We are never forgotten by God. We are never too old or too far gone to find purpose in Him and be loved by Him. Until the day He calls us home to be with Him in Heaven, He is watching over us. He is giving us life. He will carry us through whatever troubles come our way. He will rescue us from temptation and hopelessness. In Him, we find hope, faith and love... we find life... always.

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Trials and disappointment can take a lot out of us. Our souls can become weary. But when we're walking in step with God, He will restore us. He knows when we've handled all we can handle and will guide us to rest. It's not up to us to heal ourselves or others, but to allow God the opportunity to bring us healing.

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