Everything or Nothing

Christianity is free, but it will cost you your entire life. Nobody ever changed the world by living safe.

-Banning Liebscher

Scroll social media and you’ll see post after post about what people think is wrong with the world today. People pointing fingers and blaming people, things, ideas for all that is wrong with the world.  But at the end of the day, this world is the way it is because of sin. Because we all are sinners. Sinners who came into this world full of selfishness and pride.  We weren’t trained to be this way. We were born this way. We were created with the ability to think for ourselves, make decisions for ourselves and do those things we want to do in order to get what we want. No one had to teach us how to live or think that way.

God created us with free will and a whole lot of responsibility to live out our lives but most live a selfish life. Lives focused on self and sin. We want what we want, sin and all, and when we don’t get it, we throw a fit and blame the world around us.

This world is headed for disaster. It is headed for disaster because people have turned away from God. People are choosing sin. People are focused on self, pleasure, and gratification. And we were NOT created for those things.

We were created for a greater purpose. We were created to do great things! We were created for God. We were created to glorify God in all we say and do.

Glorifying God with our lives means giving up everything.  It means total surrender.  To give up our lives means it will literally cost everything. EVERYTHING. But giving up everything means that in return you receive His grace, His love, His forgiveness, an eternity spent with Him and so much more. So much more than you could ever hope or imagine. But free will allows us to choose our own story and own way. But in the end, if that is the choice you make, you will most definitely end up with nothing.

The next time you see another news article blaming some other issue as being the reason the world is falling apart, take a minute, take a breath and pray.  Ask that God would open your eyes to see this world as He sees it and then ask Him to show you the part you play in His story. Ask Him for a heart that sees, loves and speaks His truth and not the “truth” that this world wants us to follow. And be willing to give it all away for something greater!

“That is why He warned people to “count the cost” before becoming Christians. “Make no mistake,” He
says, “if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what
you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push
Me away.

But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever
suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after
death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect—until my
Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased
with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.”

-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Hidden Treasure

Matthew and I love to wander through the used bookstore.  There used to be one minutes from our house, but it shut down a few years ago and now the only other location is about thirty minutes away which we visit occasionally.  We can always find some kind of hidden treasure within the shelves whenever we go and this last visit was no exception. I’m quite certain we might have just found a real treasure 😊

I have read through a lot of little devotional books over the years. You know those daily ones that take about 3 minutes to read and give you a bit of encouragement to get through the day. They are delightful but typically do have a lot of meat to them.  I haven’t bought one in a really long time for that reason. But on this last visit to our little bookstore, I stumbled across two books: 40 Days of Faith and 40 Days of Grace by Paul David Tripp.  There were two brand new copies of both on the shelf so I grabbed them both and thought why not. 

Last week, I started reading. The daily reading is simple and short but the depth of what is found inside has been truly profound.  I started with the 40 Days of Faith. Mainly because I know that is where my heart is most troubled and needs the most work.  My prayer for the last few years has been, “I believe. Help my unbelief” and it has been a process to say the least.

Day 1 in this little book didn’t hold back and packed a punch right to the gut. One I really needed and it started with these simple words:

It is vital to know that faith is not just an action of your brain; it’s an investment of your life. Faith is not just something you think: it’s something you live.

Here’s the thing. That isn’t some profound truth/statement that I’ve never heard before. However, it is a truth/statement made in a way that I haven’t thought about before.  And each day since has been filled with the same great insight, just like the first. I’m left convicted, encouraged and excited each day about what could be ahead.  The possibilities that could be in front of me. The movement that could take place if I would just trust and have the faith I once held to so dearly to let go and believe. 

I am still a work in progress.  A person with a lot of trust issues still working through all those issues. But I don’t believe for a second that this random little book fell in my lap. I DO believe that God cares enough about me and loves me more than I realize to put that book in just the right place so that He can do that work of answering my prayer of helping my unbelief 😉

All Things Maverick

I think I’ve seen Top Gun: Maverick at least 12 times now. Once in IMAX, Twice in 4DX and the rest on a normal screen. I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll probably see it a few more times before it leaves the theater. It has gotten to the point that now as I watch the movie, I’ve quoting every line without even realizing it. The movie makes me laugh, makes me anxious (even though I know what’s going to happen) and just leaves me feeling good. Each time I’ve seen it, the theater has pretty much been sold out except for the 10:30 AM showing in 4DX I saw with my youngest. Even then there were at least 10 other crazy people seeing it that early in the day. And each time I’ve gone, I am surprised at how full the theater is and how that many people are still going to see it.

Now I think we can agree that it is a really great movie! As sequels go, I would argue that it is probably one of the best to ever be made. The box office numbers would probably back me on that one. This movie has broken records and after the holiday weekend, its domestic total reached $571 million and $1.115 billion worldwide. To say this movie is a success seems to be an understatement.

So it has left me thinking, why is this movie so popular? As I think through it, there are many positive things to note. One cannot not appreciate the nostalgia that is found through the entirety of the movie. It is all so very heartwarming. But there is also the redemptive quality that most people love in a good story. We see how much Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell has matured over the years and the way the struggles of life have humbled him. There are many lessons learned through the movie but my favorite would be “Don’t think. Just do.” And then there are all the characters, which in my book, are all pretty much likable from the word go. Which I love!

But you know what we don’t see? We don’t see an agenda being pushed. No politics played out. And in this day and age after too many years of toxic politics, a pandemic and the current economic struggles, we find America in a funk and it needed something good. Something to celebrate. Something to cheer. Something to bring us together. And that is what Top Gun has given us! And you know what that makes for? Excellent entertainment!

So Hollywood pay attention. The people have spoken and we want more! We don’t need trash, sex, violence and a lot of foul language to bring us into the theaters! We just need a good story presented well and we’ll show up!

Side note: We are members of Regal Unlimited. We can see movies as often as we like and whenever we like for a flat fee every month which is how we see movies multiple times. Google Regal Unlimited for more info on how to become a member.


The ongoing script pushed by those continuing to sensationalize a false narrative, is that of misinformation and confusion that the church/believers only care about “winning” the SCOTUS decision and/or only care about the birth/life of a child.

I’m pretty certain I can say this regarding the churches I have previously attended, that the sanctity of life is regularly taught and fought for and that those same churches have taken action to help those in crisis. That single moms have been welcomed and those in financial need have been helped and cared for. This I know personally as I have been taken care of in this way by the churches I have attended. The churches I have attended have supported and participated in helping the local crisis pregnancy centers. Foster care and adoption highly are encouraged, supported and an active ministry within the church (and this is most true for the church I currently attend).

All of this to say, believers have not been sitting idly by for the last 50 years just waiting for a change. No. Many have been actively involved in their communities caring for those who needed care. Are you shocked? Maybe surprised? Of course, you are. Because this isn’t the narrative being spun by the media or those pushing a certain agenda. Like every other hot button topic out there, misinformation is shared, and hatred spread thus creating further division through propaganda and scandal. Sadly, this country falls for it each time it happens. Whether it’s Covid, a shot or now this, we play into the hands of those wanting to divide and conquer. Instead of taking a minute and sitting with a fellow human to truly share in real conversation, we feed into the chaos. The chaos created as a way to further push the real agenda of power, control and money.

Once again I am praying that the bickering, arguing, insults, threats and demeaning stop. That we learn to listen and to see one another as human beings worthy of love and respect. That regardless of your stance, it is just that, your stance and a choice made as an individual whether that involves, Covid, same sex marriage, abortion, religion, you name it. To remember that an individual’s beliefs or opinions have never been swayed by a lack of compassion or by abusive and bullying behavior.

For those who label themselves as a believer or follower of Jesus, the belief’s we hold are based on the Truth of scripture and those Truth’s do not change. However, as I’ve mentioned in another post, an individuals’ beliefs about Truth are determined by one’s personal relationship with the Holy Spirit and each relationship is different so we aren’t always going to land on the same truth.

We need to remember, right and wrong/good and evil still exist and even when the world tries to teach something differently, we must hold to the Truth of God’s word. His word has always called for action not just word.  So, we can share our thoughts on these topics but we need to move! Act! Go, Do and BE to those who do not know Him! We are the hands and feet and though we can speak the Truth, the world is changed when words are put into action.

This world desperately needs Jesus, but they aren’t going to find Him through the hateful or demeaning words on social media or picket signs. We should look and act differently than the world and that cannot happen if we are conformed to its image.

We must remember that the posts, the protests, and the hatred being spread, does not and will not change the Truth of scripture and God’s sovereignty.  We also need to remember that none of this is a battle that we need to win because it has already been won. We know He had the victory and that one day, every single knee will bow, and tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! So, rejoice in knowing these things! Pray that eyes will continue to be opened to truth, and pray for true repentance in our country. 

In the end, remember to be strong and courageous! We need to love and respect one another! To stand in strength, in love, in humility, in hope, and in joy! One day, these things will pass away and will be made new through Him!