Sometimes when we talk with people who are interested in volunteering at Life.Church Online, we notice something. They tell us that they love our mission, that they’re passionate about sharing God’s love, and that they have a heart to serve…but we can sense that there’s an unanswered question in the back of their minds:
So, I got into a fight. It was so stupid - full disclosure, it was over a desk. I wanted to move into a space at work and this other girl didn’t want me to. In the whole process, she said and did some things that hurt my feelings. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m not a cry-at-movies kind of girl. I could not relate to the movie Mean Girls or any shows like 90210 or Pretty Little Liars. I don’t do drama. But there I am, getting my feelers hurt about a desk.
Last year I started experiencing a health issue. At first I tried to ignore it, thinking it was temporary and nothing serious. As time went on, it became clear that this was not going away, at least not on its own.
Sarah is intelligent, soft-spoken, and kind. She has a gentle laugh and a way about her that makes you feel at ease in a moment. But honestly, I was nervous to talk to her. She lives in a part of the world where it’s illegal to share her faith. As I was preparing for our conversation, I thought, “What persecution have I faced for following Jesus? Nothing that comes close to losing my life or family. I wonder what this conversation will be like?”
On an otherwise innocent Sunday afternoon, an otherwise innocent four-year-old boy climbed to the top of a mountain and chucked a stolen necklace as far as he could. That morning, I came across the necklace in my Sunday School class at our North Hollywood church where my dad happened to be the new pastor. I loved seashells, and the necklace had no shortage of them. When it was time to eat animal crackers and juice, I must’ve put it in my pocket. You know, so some other heathen kid who didn’t appreciate seashells wouldn’t try to play with it. Fast forward, and I’m at home later that day. I reached into my pocket and my little fingers discovered my inadvertent plunder. My post-toddler logic decided that chucking it off the hill was the best way to avoid being found out.
It’s hard to believe I’ll be celebrating 20 years of being on staff at Life.Church this coming May. Am I really that old? No—I just started before puberty is all! I’m now the Campus Pastor at our location in Rio Rancho, NM, and I’ve really grown up at this church in more ways than one. I have grown so much over the past two decades in my relationship with God, in how I lead, how I parent, and how I am a husband.
It’s the beginning of 2016. What goals do you have in mind for yourself? Whether it’s getting in shape, living within a budget, or developing your relationship with God, you can follow these steps to successfully reach your goal.
Honestly, I don’t ever look forward to starting the year with a 21 day fast. Yet I’ve done it the past eight years.
Sometimes God uses our scars to tell our stories, but sharing our stories with others can seem nearly impossible.
It’s become a cultural norm for us to hide our shame and our struggles. We try to cover them up, and social media makes it all too easy to hide our hearts behind a glossy filter and a carefully crafted caption.