25 Days of Advent

Let’s be honest, we have plenty of stuff, what we need is more Jesus.

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year!

But I think that all too often, we make it more about presents and getting what we want than celebrating it’s true purpose: Christ.

Each year our family tries to focus more on Christ than on stuff. Let’s be honest, we have plenty of stuff, what we need is more Jesus. Part of that process is to delve a little deeper into Advent. Last year, I put out 24 daily verses on Facebook that parents could share with their children. They were the same exact verses we recite in our home, and that worked well enough. But this year, I decided to put all of those verses on one page and to go one step further. We now have 25 daily verses because shouldn’t you have one on Christmas day too??

These verses are broken into the various categories surrounding Jesus: the Purpose and Glory of Christ, Prophecy of the Coming Christ, Birth of Christ, Journeys After the Birth of Christ, and we wrap it up with another dose of the Purpose and Glory of Christ. I would not begin to claim that I have an exhaustive list of verses that someone could use, but I feel as though these give us a great overview of the entire story.

I’d be honored if you’d take this simple sheet, post it in your home, and read over these with your family each day starting December 1st.

The blessing you see as they connect the Old Testament with the New Testament is absolutely precious.

Merry Christmas!

25 Days of Advent

Teaching to Learn

I pray that you may be active in sharing you faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. – Philemon vs. 6

Any teacher will tell you, the best way to learn something is to teach it. When I began teaching, I was assigned to 4th grade Math and Science. To be honest, I was a bit nervous about teaching Math. Multiplication facts are sort of a big deal in the 4th grade in case you didn’t know, and they certainly weren’t my strong suit. I just couldn’t get the hang of them as a kid, (really just mostly the 7s & 8s) and abandoned them nearly altogether as soon as we were allowed calculators.

So yeah, I wasn’t looking forward to that part. But as we started to go over them and over them, they started to click for me. It really stemmed from knowing that it was my job to help others to know that information. I had to know to be able to guide them. So the more I taught, the more I learned.

It’s the same way with any concept. Want to learn how to knit? Try to teach it to someone else. Want to study your Bible more? Lead a study group. We are told to be active in sharing our faith, so that we will have a good understanding of our blessings.

Sharing with and teaching others gives us an opportunity to think intentionally over the matter. We come to have a better understanding of that concept. To be active in sharing your faith, you have to know what you believe. You have to be able to reason with yourself first on why it is that you need a Savior.

What has Jesus done for me and why would anyone else need Him too?

The more I ask myself that question, the more I’m going to see every good thing I have in Christ. It might sound a little backwards, but it works. It’s like the saying:

God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

A bit counter-intuitive, but then, God’s known for working outside of the box on most days.

If you’re at a point in your life where you could really use a more personal relationship with Jesus, start sharing your faith with others. The rest will follow.


The One Whom Jesus Loved

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Jn 1:14

I have always been drawn to the book of John.  This book is generally known to be the gospel of love, and it’s easy to see why.  One of the most well known verses in the Bible rests within this book:

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jn 3:16

But it’s more than just talking about love, it’s the way John writes.  You can hear his love and devotion to Jesus.  His gospel is the only one to begin with more than a matter-of-fact genealogy report or time line of events.  No, John’s gospel begins with 18 verses of devotion to Jesus.

In those verses, John refers to Jesus as: the Word, God, Life, the light of men, a light shinning in the darkness, the true light, glory, one and only, full of grace and truth, giving the right to become children of God, and at the Father’s side.  Can’t you just hear the devotion in his voice?

That’s how his entire gospel is written.  It’s dripping with love.  But there are two instances that always move me.  The first being at the Lord’s Supper in chapter 13.  I absolutely love the way John refers to himself as “the one whom Jesus loved.”  I don’t get the “pride” feeling from this, as though he is saying he is the only one that is loved, but more of an overwhelming confidence in the Savior’s love for him.  It’s a powerful thing to state out loud, “Jesus loves me,” or “You love me,” and really mean it.  More than just a children’s song, a deep truth that settles into your bones.

But the actual part that I love is in verse 25, “leaning back against Jesus…”  Is that not the best?  Can’t you just picture John leaning against Jesus, knowing that he is loved, knowing that Jesus accepts him just as he is?  That’s what I want.

I’m a hugger.  I hug people that I love.  And not just one of those light, barely there hugs.  Nope.  I grip and squeeze because I want you to know that I love you.  When the day finally comes that I get to see Jesus face to face, you better bet that I’m going to be squeezing.  It’s a good thing that we will have all of eternity because I’m going to be there a while.

My other favorite instance is the last verse of John (21:25) which states,

Jesus did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

It’s like John’s whole heart is simply too full to even be able to write it down.  It’s as though he’s saying, “Jesus is too much for anyone to ever fully represent.”  There is so much “awe” in that sentence.

And let me tell you, if the Apostle John had written a thousand books, ten thousand books, I would have read them all.

Oh to finally be with You!

To grip You in tight embrace.

To spend my days holding the One willing,

To save me by His grace.

Never to let go.

Never to slip away.

Always to be there.

Always to say,

That I also am

The one whom Jesus loved.

Lies I Told Myself Over Spring Break

I really love Spring Break, don’t you??

Now that it’s over and life has gotten back into the normal routine, I decided to reflect over this Spring Break just to see how productive it was.  I mean, that’s what it’s for, right?  Being Productive?

All year long I feel burdened down with stuff to do, so I look forward to breaks like these to give me a change to get caught up on things that need my attention, but don’t always get it.  So I wanted to see how well I’d done this time around.

Turns out, not so good.  In fact, I was a Big Fat Liar.  I lied to myself ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Here are my biggest lies:

I will not waste this Spring Break.

And a big one at that.  It was the beginning of all lies.


We will have plenty of time to work on the yard.

We usually host Easter at our house.  We also usually don’t do a lot of yard work until Easter rolls around.  I just knew that I would get so much work done outside to get ready for Easter.

We had plenty of time, I just didn’t do anything.  And so now we are scrambling to get it all done.  Like usual.


I will schedule all of my posts and blogs for the next few weeks.

I won’t actually tell you how far behind I am on this.  Let’s just say, I’m trusting in the Lord’s provision.


I can spend so much time with the girls!

Not so much.  They were gone nearly everyday with friends or family.  Which I totally love!!  We are SO BLESSED to have such loving and kind family that comes to dote on my girls, but I don’t think I even saw them for a full 24 hours the entire Spring Break.


I’m going to go for a walk everyday!

I don’t think I’ve been on a walk since before Spring Break even began, much less everyday.  Who did I think I was kidding???


I will finish creating my latest journal and get it sent in for review.

That surely didn’t happen.  It still hasn’t happened.  But I am getting closer.  So, So close…


We can take the girls to a family movie.

As I said, we barely even saw those little stinkers!  I really did want to take them to see a family movie, we just never had the opportunity!  Does that count as a lie??




I can finally get caught up on all of the housework.

And I didn’t do a single one of them.  No Dusting.  No Mopping.  No Marathon of Laundry.  NO NOTHING.

Y’all, I really did have good intentions.  I wanted to get all of those things done, but when the temptation to sleep in, sit and relax, stay up late, and binge watch my favorite show comes around, it looks like I’m just too weak to stand up to it.

I’m hoping for better results come summer…


Embracing Your God-Given Purpose Part 2

Recently, my church hosted a Ladies’ Conference.

The conference started on Friday night and picked back up for a full day on Saturday.  We had a worship team, three guest speakers, door prizes, lunch, security, prayer team, crafts, and some of the most beautiful shirts you have ever seen!

It was a jam-packed weekend.  I couldn’t possibly tell you how many times I’ve heard how great it was, how beautiful the music was, or how much the speakers really “spoke” to them.

And that’s wonderful.  But I’m going to have to take their word for it.  I don’t remember much of anything at all.

As part of the conference leadership team, my major responsibility was to handle all of the money.  And as tedious as that can be when you’re juggling payments coming in from all directions, I also happen to work at the church.  So anytime someone needed help with something, there I was.

I loved being busy at the conference.  I love doing things “behind the scenes” to make sure everything runs smoothly.  But all of that busyness kept me from really fulfilling the purpose of the conference: to be filled with God’s Word and to Worship Him without all of the distractions.  Mission NOT Accomplished.  Mission Failed.

Man!  Did I overdo it on the busyness!

But here’s the truth: I have let my busyness distract me from my God-given purpose too.  I have been letting what was “almost right” take the place of what was “right.”  And I’ve been doing it for a while now.

God’s Word says that He has a plan for me and you, a purpose.  But so many times we allow our to-do list to out weigh the purpose for our lives.  We put it on the back-burner until we forget all about it.  When we allow ourselves to become that distracted by busyness, we take away our blessings from those around us.  Those that need us most.  Those that need us to fulfill our purpose.

So, yes.  Dishes need to be done.  Bills need to be paid, and work needs to be completed.  Dinner needs to be cooked and laundry put away.  Kids need to be dropped off and picked up, and somewhere in there, a shower needs to be had.  And it is a lot.  It’s a lot everyday.  But God didn’t create us to live by a to-do list.  He created us for a purpose.

If you haven’t yet discovered your God-Given Purpose, I suggest you take a look at Part 1 where I discuss ways you might be able to discern that for your life.

After many long and stressful years, I finally embraced God’s purpose for my life.  And as amazing as it is to finally be here, bit by bit, I let my to-do list become such an overwhelming part of my life that my purpose was put right there on the back-burner.  Nearly extinguished.  I felt stagnant, lazy, and busy all at the same time!  I wasn’t feeling “amazing” anymore.

Maybe that’s where you are, too.  You know what it is that God has called you to do, but you’ve become a little bit too busy to see it through.

Well, I wasn’t going to take it anymore!  I wanted to get back on track.  So the very first step I took was to pray.  I sat down in my favorite chair and spent more than a minute talking to God about this whole thing.  I told Him how I was feeling, and then I actually waited around to hear what He had to say.  We did this for a few days, and along the way I had my friends and family pray for me too.

Slowly the fog on my life started to lift and I began to see that I had just lost sight of my purpose.  It wasn’t as important to me as it had been.  But I’m like you and there’s a lot on my list to get done, so I literally said, “God, there are only so many hours in a day.  How do you expect me to fit it all in?”

His response?  “How about some purposeful planning for your purpose?  Perhaps you’re not spending your time wisely.”

True.  I was busy but I wasn’t productive.

As my next step, I picked up my notebook and made a list of the goals that I had for my purpose and for my life.  Things that I wanted to see happen that didn’t seem too far out of reach, but still quite a bit further away than sitting in my chair was getting me.  I spent some quality time on this list, and then I prayed over that too!  I wanted to make sure that my goals matched His purpose.  I asked God to guide me in deciding which of those were the biggest priority and should, therefore, get more of my time.  I needed Him to show me how to make it work with the time I have to work in.

As it turns out, I was wasting a lot of time in the mornings looking at my phone and in the evenings watching one too many episodes of my favorite show!  Not to mention all of the little moments throughout the day where I would just take a minute or two, or twenty to sit and “veg” out.  I really wasn’t being as dedicated as I thought I had been.

Armed with goals and a plan for my purpose, I set out to find accountability partners.  I let those closest to me know what it was that I was trying to attempt and they continued to pray over me as well as keep me motivated.  In fact, I need them to keep questioning me!  I’m about as big a backslider as you can imagine!  I have to have someone keeping me honest!

And so far, God has provided blessings in accordance with my faithfulness, just like He always does!

I sincerely pray that God opens your eyes, ears, heart, and spirit to know your purpose.  And then I pray that you won’t allow busyness to distract you from that God-Given Purpose!


Can’t I Just Have A Burger?

So apparently, over the winter, my house was broken into.

Nothing was stolen, but the culprit did something even more heinous.  They got into my closet and shrunk all of my clothes.  All of my capris and t-shirts to be more specific.  Can you believe the nerve of some people?!

Since I do not have the funds to completely re-purchase all of my clothing, I decided to do the only other thing I could think of: Pray.

Well, that plus diet & exercise.

It hasn’t been easy, folks.  In fact, some days are down-right hard.  I even find myself saying some of the same things over and over again on this journey to reclaim my clothing.  And I figured that misery loves company so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite excuses.

1. It’s not my fault it’s so delicious.

2. But I need a fruit punch.

3. Oh yay.  Salad.

4. Didn’t God tell Peter that all food was clean?

5. I’m too tired to be active.

6. I’m pretty sure that I deserve that roll.  Maybe even two.

7. No, I need food.

8. It’s too cold to be outside.  Too wet?  Too windy?  What can I come up with that keeps me from going outside?

9. Nope.  I’m going to eat all of this.

10. Oh look.  More salad.

11. No more processed food!  Well, maybe just this one…

12. Look.  The more I walk, the more my leg hurts.  I think God’s trying to tell me to cool it with the walking.

13. That is rabbit food!  I’m a person!

14. We should probably go ahead and eat up all the rest of this bad stuff, and then I just won’t buy anymore.

15. It might be easier to go ahead and buy more clothes at this point.

16. Coffee doesn’t count.  Does it?!

And since none of those are working, I guess I’ll keep on praying.  Maybe I’ll even keep on dieting and exercising too, but that’s a BIG maybe…


Embracing Your God-Given Purpose Part 1

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jer 1:5)

There’s this concept that when we have restrictions, we are actually being given freedoms.  Sounds counter-intuitive, right?  Well, maybe not.

Jeremiah tells us that God has a plan for us, a good plan (29:11) and that we have been set apart (1:5).  Romans tells us that we have been called according to His purpose (8:28).  Being told that you have been set apart for someone else’s purpose may sound like an overbearing restriction to the rest of the world, but it should sound like freedom to those who follow Christ.

At some point we all wander through this world trying to figure out what it is that we’re meant for.  Am I good at this?  Would I be good at that?  Some of us are given no direction at all while others are processing through the demands and expectations of those we love.  But at the end of all that wandering, there’s God.  Waiting.  In fact, He’s been waiting.  Since before you were born.  Since before He formed you in the womb.  Waiting to give you your purpose.  Or more rightly, His purpose for you.

But of course, His purpose for you can’t be everything.  No, it can only be one thing.  Which means you’re about to get quite a few restrictions.  But that’s okay!  Being restricted from doing all things, allows you the freedom to do your thing.  To focus all of the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given to you on your thing.  The thing God has set you apart for.

It used to bother me that I can’t sing.  Like really, really can’t sing.  I’m just not made for it.  That doesn’t keep me from singing in the shower or the car, but let’s just say I’m definitely not trying out for a solo in the church choir.  And I’ve learned not to sit around those women who can sing.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  I’m thinking they could have done opera at some point in their lives.  If I do accidentally place myself around one of those lovely women, I find myself trying to match their pitch.  Which, of course, I can’t.  So I end up sounding like a balloon with a slow leak in it.  Not a good thing my friends.

The good news is I finally came to terms with it.  Now, instead of stressing out about trying to find the right note, and wondering if everyone can hear how horrible I sound, I simply close my mouth and enjoy God’s gift.  Singing is not my purpose.  I’m clearly restricted from it, but that restriction gives me the freedom to embrace what’s meant for me, and to celebrate that purpose in others.

I simply want what God has set aside for me.

Here is what has been kept for you… it was set aside for you for this occasion. 1 Samuel 9:24

So what if you don’t know what your purpose is?  What if you’re still wandering around searching?

First, it does help to have friends and family who will help guide you.  Saul was out wandering around, looking for some lost donkeys, and he just so happened to have his servant with him.  When Saul was ready to give up and head back home, his servant spoke up, “There is a man of God…let’s go there now.” (1 Sa 9:6)  And even when Saul was ready with the excuse that he had nothing to bring to the man of God, nothing to offer, his servant didn’t let him off so easily, “I will give [the silver] to the man of God.” (vs.8)  Having a person or even a team of people willing to push you to seek God’s wisdom for your life and your purpose is in and of itself a gift from God.  Seek out those who will pray for you and lend you wisdom as you seek to find your purpose.

Second, don’t be scared to go outside of your comfort zone.  Samuel, the man of God, had just been told by God Himself that Saul would be the one to govern His people.  And yet, when Saul was given this news, all he could think about was how small and insignificant his tribe and clan were.  How completely unimportant he was.  How he was not enough.  So many times the purpose that God has for our lives rests outside of our comfort zone, what we’re used to.  Our bubble.  To think of reaching outside of that zone is scary.  We begin to doubt if we’re good enough for the job.  Truth is, we’re not.  But God is.  And it’s His purpose we’re doing anyway so I’m pretty confident that He’s got that good plan tucked away just waiting for us to be willing to pick it up.

Third, respond to what God puts in your heart.  After being anointed with oil, Saul’s heart changed.  Not because of some oil, but because God changed it.

The spirit of God came upon him in power and he joined in their prophesying. (vs.9)

That moment when God reveals His purpose to you, it changes you.  Things that seemed important before, aren’t.  Doubt turns into anticipation.  Worry turns into hope.  A fire burns in you that only your purpose will satisfy.  It won’t even be reasonable to those around you.  The people who knew Saul saw him with the prophets and asked, “What is this that has happened to [Saul]?” (vs.11)  But it won’t matter.  You won’t be able to explain it.  Finding God’s purpose for your life means having a heart that’s open to that kind of burning fire.

Finally, be prepared to leave it all behind.  Even after being anointed with oil and being chosen as the leader of God’s people, Saul went back home to Gilbeah and his fields.  It wasn’t until he made a decision to step into his role, his purpose, as king that he effectively left behind who he used to be.  But when he did, he was able to fulfill the role God had for him.  Sometimes, God asks us to leave it all behind for him.  Maybe that’s your hometown.  Maybe that’s a career.  Maybe that’s just the “plan” that you had for your life.  To really be able to live out our God-given purpose, we have to be prepared to leave it all behind.

And remember, just because you finally find your purpose, doesn’t mean that you can stop seeking after God intently.  We live in the world, and the world is ruled by a liar.  A liar that wants nothing more than to destroy your purpose.  We must be diligent to seek God’s continued direction and guidance even within the purpose He’s given us.

We have to remain on guard between what’s right, and what’s almost right.

Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong.  It is knowing the difference between right and almost right. – Charles Spurgeon



Turns out, friends really are important.

Some time back, I wrote a post called “You’ve Got A Friend In Me … Sort Of.”  In it, I wrote about how bad I am at friendships.  I always have been, and I thought I always would be.  I set out my standards for my imaginary BFF.  Things that I thought would be exactly what was needed for my new friend and I to get along really well.  They would need to be, well, just like me.  Around my age.  Kids like my kids.  Husband like my husband.  My witty personality wouldn’t hurt either.

I prayed and prayed for God to send me one friend who would fit the bill.  ‘Cause, you know, I’m not sharing.  (That was one of the requirements too.)

Well, of course God does things His own way.

One day, this sweet woman sat across from me and said she’d been praying for her relationships too.  Did I take that as a heavenly gift of mutual friendship?  Nope.  I politely told her that as much as I really liked her as a person, I was on the lookout for someone more in my stage of life.

You can’t make this stuff up, guys.

Fast forward like a month and the light bulb finally went off.  Ding!

So now I have myself some friends!  Oh Happy Day!

My family has been supportive of it too.  In fact, I thought I’d share with you a few of their responses to my new-found friendships:

 “So proud of you for finally making friends!  It only took you 36 years.”

Well, I’m only 35, but I get the point.  Thanks very much, Dear.

“Thanks for giving Mom friends.  Now maybe she’ll get out of the house and actually do something.”

That was during prayer ladies and gentlemen.

“Mom, you should go to camp with your friends.  Friends always bond closer together at camp.”

Actually, that’s a great idea.  We’re looking into it.

“We are stuck up each other’s rear end all the time.  It’s okay if you go do something with your friends.”

That would be my loving and supportive husband.

“Don’t worry, Mom.  We like it when you go out with your friends.  Dad lets us eat whatever we want.”

There’s the little one, always looking on the bright side of things.

And here I felt bad for wanting a little “me” time.  Life is hard, even with Jesus, and that’s why #FriendsAreImportant


But Mom! When God Uses Children To Teach Us About Himself

I’m becoming more and more convinced that the Lord gives us children in order to teach us more about Himself.  To allow glimpses of His infinite wisdom in our finite experiences.

How so?

Let’s start with my Little One.

This past Christmas was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for her.  Day after day she expressed a deep desire for two very specific Lego sets.  (Let me just say that Lego Ninjago knew exactly what it was doing by coming out even remotely close to Christmas.)

I can’t tell you how many times we talked about those two sets.  We looked them up on every online supplier just to see if they were still in stock and who had them for cheaper.  We had to convince her not to spend every single cent she had, plus some of her sister’s, to buy it for herself before Christmas ever came.  Those Lego sets were the thing of dreams.

So of course, they were wrapped under the tree just waiting for the great reveal!

Then, with only about a week left until Christmas, she informs us that she has asked Santa for … an Elf on the Shelf.

What??!?!!  Excuse me?  Where did this come from?!

And for about 1,000 different reasons, that’s not happening.  As we lovingly explained to her that fact, she was crushed.

But why?  Why was she crushed?  Because all of her friends have one and she feels left out.  I’m so sorry kiddo, but that’s not reason enough.

Here it comes folks.  The Great God Moment.

She goes to bed, still upset, and I think to myself, “If she could just be patient for a few more days… What is already coming for her is so much better than a silly little doll.  It’s all she’s been dreaming of!”

I kid you not, I just felt like God was looking right over my shoulder going, “Yep.  I know what you mean.  It’s kind of like that dream that you’ve had.  You know, they one that you sit and talk to me about for hours on end?  But didn’t you also get upset with Me when I didn’t give you this other odd-ball thing that just popped into your head out of nowhere?  If you could only be patient for a little longer, what you have coming is so much better than you can imagine.”

You can bet that one hit me hard.

But God didn’t stop there.  I’ve got two daughters and He planned on using both of them.

My Oldest is basically a crazy cat lady in training.  I’m pretty sure she wants an indoor cat more than most people want their favorite sport team to win the championship.  The desire consumes her.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen.  It’s not like we haven’t gone down the road of animals.  We have.  And we have learned that we are not good animal parents.  It’s for the good of everyone, animal included, that we don’t bring a cat home.  It isn’t that I like to see her upset, I just know that it’s for the best.

And I’ve had to tell her that time after time, after time.  She just won’t give it up.

In fact, just the other day, when she began acting weird about going out of town, I finally got her to come clean that what she really wanted was to go by the Pet Store.

To which I said, “No.”  That wouldn’t be fair to her since it wouldn’t end the way she wanted.  I was trying to spare her feelings, really.  But it didn’t work.

Turn on the tears.  And the wailing.  And the gnashing of teeth.

Here it comes y’all.

I looked at her and said, “I am not the cause of your pain.  You are.  You allow yourself to have hope that there’s a chance I will change my mind.  But I don’t.  I don’t change.  My answer is always the same, and for reasons you don’t want to hear.  This pain comes from your failure to accept my answer.”

Oh goodness!  There’s God, right over my shoulder again saying, “Tell me about it!  It’s kind of like that thing you keep asking Me for even though you know almost as much as I do that it’s not the right thing for you.  My answer has never changed, only your ability to accept it.”

Okay.  Okay, I got it.  Well, I mean, I think I got it.

God has a plan.  He’s got a plan for me.  He’s got a good plan for me.

Can I please just trust Him?  Can I trust His timing?  Can I trust Him when He closes doors?  Can I trust that He hears me?  That He sees me?  That He loves me?

Can I trust that He loves me enough to keep me on the path that He has for me even when I get as distracted as a dog chasing a squirrel??

Man, I’m trying.

But if I forget again, at least He has two beautiful girls to use to help remind me.

Lord, please help me keep days of waiting from becoming days of doubt.  You are the God of split seas and crumbled walls, I know that You are ABLE!  Keep my eyes on YOU!


Falling & Rising

“No one has ever fallen so grievously that he may not rise again. Conversely, no one stands so firmly that he may not fall.

If Peter (and Paul and Barnabas) fell, I too may fall. If they rose again, I too may rise again.” 

– Martin Luther.

Peter’s name meant “rock.”  He was supposed to be the “rock” of Jesus’ church. (Mt. 16:18)  There are many times that he did exhibit this rock of faith: walking on water to reach Jesus (Mt. 14:29), confessing Jesus as the Christ (Mk 8:29), even injuring the servant of the high priest on the night Jesus was arrested (Jn 18:10).

But even this rock of faith was not enough to keep Peter from falling.  When the pressures of this world became real and overwhelming, Peter denied Jesus.  Denied even knowing him much less being the rock of His church.  Three times.  In One Night. (Jn 18:15-27)

Just like Jesus knew he would (Jn. 13:37-38).  God knew from the beginning of the world Peter’s story, and He still chose to call him.  Chose to use him to build His church, even though He knew Peter would fall.

If God knew Peter’s story, then He knows yours, too.  He knows just how far and how hard you will fall.  Because we all fall.  Romans 3:10 tells us, “There is no one righteous, not even one.”  It’s not a matter of “if” you will fall, but “when.”

The key is to rise again.  Peter denied Jesus three times, but Jesus later reinstated Peter as his rock by confirming three times that Peter loved Him (Jn. 21:15-17).  One confirmation for each denial.  Then Peter truly became the Rock of Faith.

Jesus loves you.  He knows you.  He knows your sin, and still loves you.  Nothing “in all creation will be able to separate [you] from the love of God” (Rm. 8:39), not even your sin.  Not even your secret sin that no one else knows about.  Yes, yours.

You are not so fallen that Jesus can’t raise you back up.  For His glory.

Jesus, the friend of sinners, who has compassion and mercy on the guilty, wants you.  Wants to talk to you, to listen to you, to restore you.

He wants to raise you up out of sin and despair to deposit you into the Father’s hand where “no one can snatch [you] out” (Jn. 10:29), to keep you safe for all eternity.

Lord, help us to know that everyone falls, but that through You, we can rise again.  Let us never be fearful of coming to Your throne to seek redemption, which you freely give.  Help us through the pain of falling, and be with us in the joy of rising!