What’s it worth to you?

  When we were kids, one of my younger cousins would trade you his dime for your nickel. He thought bigger was better. That the size spoke its worth. We laughed, pleased with ourselves for pulling something over our younger cousin. Trouble is, when we grew up, we let the world pull the same thing over on us. We’ve bought into the stuff, the titles, the degrees, the labels, the...

The grace of giving from enough

I can count on one hand the number of times we saw grandma Durham. I remember visiting her and grandpa in California when I was 5 or 6. We drove from Louisiana or Arkansas, wherever we were living at the time, in a station wagon that I think we slept in at least one night. My memory focuses on the cots spread out in the field behind their house, across the...

When we are poured out and empty

Her eyes rimmed red as tears began to form. He sat in silence, empty of feeling having poured them out. Again. It was quiet in Jenny’s office as we sat with our feelings, our pain. Another fatal overdose. Another life lost. Another friend, son, brother, gone. He was 28. These times when we’ve poured ourselves out, when we feel empty of caring, these are the times we question: Is this...

The external doesn’t define you

It’s that first glimpse of the external that we define someone. Tall, short. Young, old. A description becomes our initial definition. It’s only the surface we define. I would have been in the third or fourth grade when my family went to visit friends. They must have been business acquaintances because I don’t remember another time we were together as families. I clearly remember being in their backyard where their...

This is what’s saving my life this month

It sounds dire and like the most serious thing there is when you say ‘this is what’s saving my life’. Yes, perhaps it’s a little dramatic. But then again, maybe these things are  saving us more than realize. If this is your first time to my blog, know that the only one who can literally save my life is Jesus. He saves me. Every. Day. There are a few things that...

Out of Sync with Advent

If there are Advent rules, we’ve broken one. Right from the start, we’re out of sync. Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas but when Christmas is on Sunday….hmmm. I went with the thought that of course Christmas counts so Advent begins the first Sunday in December this year. It will end on Christmas day. Perfect. Only, it seems most churches that celebrate Advent (maybe all of them?) began last...

Learning that Sabbath isn’t a day but a person

by Jaime Riefer It feels like we are always making excuses to not rest. We talk about sabbath as a lifestyle rather than a day off. We stand on our soap boxes explaining that Jesus was the Lord of the Sabbath; sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for sabbath. As people of freedom we are not bound by the constraints of forced and required do-nothingness. We do not abide...

Church: Is it just a word?

Church is defined by Webster as “a building for public and especially Christian worship”. However, if I had to a guess, when you hear the word “church,” that’s probably not what comes to mind. Whether you’ve gone to church since you were days old, you are new to the whole “church scene,” or you’ve been there, done that, never going again — we all have our own definitions of church....

In Search of the Perfect Church

by Lindsey Cornett A year and a half ago, our family packed up a giant yellow Penske truck and moved from Florida to Michigan. A lot has been challenging about this transition: adjusting to new schedules and routines, living far from family, making new friends, finding a replacement for my beloved Publix and living months at a time with no Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. In many ways, the most challenging element of...

Jesus Isn’t Just for Church People

It’s a bit complicated to describe our congregation. Some would say they’re a captive audience. While that description makes me flinch, it’s not all wrong. The residents in this six-month rehabilitation program are required to attend our Sunday service. A spiritual component is part of their recovery along with individual and group counseling, recreation, and work. We have a congregation of all men. Most of them are addicts. Their church...