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    Psalm 77; Job 4:1-21; Ephesians 2:1-10

    I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.

    I’m not sure that there is a more comforting phrase for me in all the Scriptures than, “He listens.”

    “He listens,” is a complete sentence.

    It is remarkable to me that when I cry out to the Divine the Divine listens. I am constantly on a quest to understand what amazing grace means. As I sit here this morning with many things on my heart and my mind, I am struck by the reality that it is amazing grace that God listens.

    Why would God listen to me? What is it about me that God would take any notice? Why would God care about what I have to say?

    Because God loves me.

    I love my children with all of who I am. When they talk, I listen. Even when they were small and couldn’t speak coherently I took great joy in listening to their rambling and mumbling. I don’t know anyone who ignores a baby that is talking to them, particularly when it’s your own child.

    I imagine this must be what it’s like for God. This Creator God, the holy one, the sustainer of the universe, loves his creation without condition. This love, apparently, leads God to this place of intimacy where God listens.

    This morning I’m pondering this question, “Do I really believe that God listens because he loves me?”

    Good morning! May you start your week well knowing your identity is not tied to your accomplishments. #MorningMug #MorningBlessing

    Good morning! May you connect deeply with people who genuinely care about you today. #MorningMug #MorningBlessing

    Why Them?

    Psalm 25:1-10; Psalm 32; Matthew 9:2-13 Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and misfits?” This story about what happened after the calling of Matthew resonates so deeply with me.

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    Good morning! May you do something today that brings you joy. #MorningMug #MorningBlessing

    High school hoops! Go Splitters!

    This majestic crane was just hanging out on the pier. The crane had no cares in the world. 📷

    Good morning! May you know the joy that comes from a job well done today. #MorningBlessings #MorningMug

    One Who Receives Grace

    Psalm 25:1-10; Daniel 9:1-14; 1 John 1:3-10 I love that passage from 1 John that almost feels contradictory. On the one hand, if we claim to be in the light but still bounce around in darkness we are liars. One the other hand, if we claim to be without sin then we are also liars. It almost seems hopeless, doesn't it? How can someone be in the light and still be struggling with sin?

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    One Who Receives Grace

    Psalm 25:1-10; Daniel 9:1-14; 1 John 1:3-10

    This passage from 1 John almost feels contradictory.

    On the one hand, if we claim to be in the light but still bounce around in darkness we are liars. One the other hand, if we claim to be without sin then we are also liars.

    It almost seems hopeless, doesn’t it?

    How can someone be in the light and still be struggling with sin? Aren’t we supposed to be perfect and holy? Aren’t we supposed to be free from the darkness?

    This to me is the beauty of the Way of Christ. There is a standard that we are called to, a standard of holiness in the light. Yet, there is a reality that we will not be perfect and we will struggle with things. The Way of Christ simply says, “Own it. Embrace the reality that you need grace, forgiveness, and mercy."

    To be in the light is not to be perfect. To be in the light is to be honest. To live with integrity. To be one who acknowledges one’s own imperfection.

    To be one who receives grace.

    What an overwhelming thought! To be in the way of Christ is to be one who receives grace. To be in the way of Christ is not to be perfect, it is not to have it all together, it is recognize that I don’t have it all together and nobody else does either.

    So, grace abounds!

    Good morning! May you extend kindness to someone whom you just don’t think deserves it today. #MorningMug #MorningBlessing

    I’m grateful she still likes me.

    Push Comes to Shove

    Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Today is Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent. For the next 40 days Christians around the world will fast in various ways to prepare for the coming of Resurrection Sunday. This is the high holy day where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It was this moment that sets Jesus apart from all other would-be messiahs. The empty tomb is the key moment of our faith.

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    Good morning! May you know in the midst of your humanity that within you resides the image of the divine. #MorningMug #MorningBlessing

    Do you agree with Eckhart Tolle here? I am curious what people think about this. Is there always a lesson?

    Whenever something negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it.
    — Eckhart Tolle

    I love this place. Every time we come here, I never want to leave. #grateful 📷

    This made me chuckle a bit too hard.

    I’m so thankful to have been able to share our “happy place” with my mom this week. Dennis and Jeanne, Amy’s folks, are such kind and gracious hosts.

    Mom wanted to do one thing for while she was here, to put her toes in the ocean. So we took care of that this afternoon under a beautiful Panama City Beach sky.

    The Mystery of Following

    Psalm 110:1-4; Job 19:23-27; 1 Timothy 3:14-16 I hope to visit you soon, but just in case I’m delayed, I’m writing this letter so you’ll know how things ought to go in God’s household, this God-alive church, bastion of truth. This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough: *He appeared in a human body, *was proved right by the invisible Spirit, *was seen by angels.

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    Good morning! May you not miss the forest for the trees today. #MorningBlessing #MorningMug

    Whew! This is a quote…

    The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of.
    — Blaise Pascal

    The sunsets here in Panama City Beach are just something else!

    Dead End Drift

    Psalm 110:1-4; Exodus 19:7-25; Hebrews 2:1-4 It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. In high school there as a class that I took called, Math Analysis. It was pre-Calculus. The teacher taught us through projects. We did a project with satellites and orbits that was super hard and really interesting. I couldn't tell you any of the math. I don't even really remember much beyond what I've told already.

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    Dead End Drift

    Psalm 110:1-4; Exodus 19:7-25; Hebrews 2:1-4 It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. In high school there as a class that I took called, Math Analysis. It was pre-Calculus. The teacher taught us through projects. We did a project with satellites and orbits that was super hard and really interesting. I couldn't tell you any of the math. I don't even really remember much beyond what I've told already.

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    Two Ditches

    Psalm 50:1-6; 1 Kings 14:1-18; 1 Timothy 1:12-20 I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry. The only credentials I brought to it were violence and witch hunts and arrogance. But I was treated mercifully because I didn’t know what I was doing—didn’t know Who I was doing it against! Grace mixed with faith and love poured over me and into me.

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