Die to Self (again)

The primary reason for a fitness run yesterday morning was more emotional and spiritual than physical. I was seeking peace and calm, and wanted to be away from various distractions in order to focus on writing this post.

During this 45 minute exercise event, the following were observed:

  • The remnants of a likely stolen purse dumped in the woods.
  • A pile of litter from an apparent party in the woods.
  • A motorcyclist speeding (illegal), passing a bus on the right (illegal), in a no passing zone in a heavily populated/tourist area (illegal, selfish, and just plain stupid). The craziest thing is the motorcyclist was angry with the driver of the bus and was sounding his horn shaking his fist at the bus driver!
  • A young woman without hair who was likely undergoing treatment for cancer.

While returning from the run with a different mindset, it wasn’t what was expected. Angry over the observed crimes and sorrow over the woman with cancer, the realization was that we live in a world full of sin and brokenness. Sin that harms ourselves and others and separates us from our creator. Brokenness from disease that brings death to the body.

In truth, I was and am no different than the criminals. I am a sinner in need of a savior. There was some hate that came into my heart, and I confess… something inside me was hoping the motorcyclist would crash. Lord, forgive me.

Today’s reading in 1 Corinthians 15 mentions the various forms of “death” (die, death, dead) twenty-four times. Death is imminent and no one can argue this, and that is why we need Jesus. He defeated death and through this we can have life eternal.

One theme that has helped guide my journey is “dying to self”. For me this means making the choice to resist temptation and “die” to the sinful desires that put “me” as priority verses God’s will.

I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! (1 Corinthians 15:31)

Like Jesus died for us, we must die every day to our selfish desires. Such as:

  • One more serving of food at the party when I’m already full. Die to self.
  • One more drink of alcohol when I’ve already had enough. Die to self.
  • Judging others when I too am a sinner. Die to self.
  • Wanting something new when what I have seems old. Die to self.
  • Trying to hold on to the things of this world while knowing our real treasure is in Heaven. Die to self.

Imperfect but forgiven, grateful today for the many who have pointed me to (and keep pointing me to) Jesus including my mom, dad, my sisters (Katie and Marne), Amy, BJ, Rick, Heather, Mike, Duane, Robbie as well as our entire Bible Journal team, past and present.

Assessing Hearts

My last two posts were related to job interviews and as I type these words I am flying to interview several additional candidates. This brings me to the realization that this is the sixth week in a row that my top priority at work has been in the assessment of people in order to build a strong team.

My mom recommended praying prior to each interview, for God’s wisdom and guidance in making decisions on each candidate. In doing this, I felt better prepared for the conversation, more spiritually aligned with my creator and had the reminder that these conversations were not about me. That was terrific advice, thanks mom, I love you!

In today’s reading of Luke 24, I observed Jesus assessing hearts for fears and disbelief. Like trying to identify the right candidate through understanding their hearts and motives, Jesus is assessing our hearts for fears, disbelief and motives. Are we living for him or for ourselves? What would Jesus say about your heart right now? Are you in?

After reading this chapter several times I thought about the priorities of Jesus immediately following the resurrection. I want to be more like Jesus, so I wonder what did he do and what can/should we do to be more like him?

Upon rising from the dead, the most important event in human history, Jesus continues to reveal his humanity as well as his lordship over all, death and life. Let’s learn from him:

  1. He appeared to two followers but they did not recognize him. Where is Jesus engaging us but we are failing to recognize him? He is in every moment of every story of our lives. Let us acknowledge and thank him for his presence, for not giving up on us, for not letting us down.
  2. And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27) He reminded them of the fulfilment of scripture concerning the Christ. He said who he was, what he did, and why he did it. Let us not take this lightly. He died to give us life eternal.
  3. He broke bread with them, asking a blessing. Communion and prayer, spending time with the people he cared about. Are we intentional in our meals with believers and future-believers? Do we invite Jesus into the conversation?
  4. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. (Luke 24:31a) In what ways do we “recognize” Jesus as we partake in Holy Communion? In what ways are our eyes closed to him right now?
  5. He reveals himself again, offering peace. As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” (Luke 24:36) We should always expect Jesus to show up in our lives, don’t doubt him, he’s there. He wants us to have the fruits of the spirit, with peace being one of them. And I cannot help but laugh a little bit wondering if Jesus intentionally tried to scare them.
  6. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? (Luke 24:38) He assessed their innermost thoughts, addressing their concerns and doubts. It is shameful how often my first response in times of trouble was more about me and my own strength (or lack thereof) than looking to God. What is eating at you right now that you’ve not given up to him?
  7. Jesus desired food. Was he hungry or did he do this to prove his body was real? Will we be hungry for food in Heaven or will it just be a pleasure to enjoy, to break bread with our brothers and sisters? Who cooks the food in Heaven and where does it come from?
  8. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45) How often do we read the scriptures but do not understand? We should pray for The Holy Spirit to supernaturally help us understand. If the disciples didn’t understand but received power to do so, it would make sense that the same would be true for us.
  9. He gives them their mission, the great commission: and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47) What a beautiful verse:
    • It proclaims forgiveness through repentance. I’ve done a lot of sinning and I need forgiveness.
    • It is a leadership statement. Jesus is clearly leading his followers, giving their mission and priority. His example is a leadership lesson for us. Go tell it on the mountain!
    • It is a reminder that this is a gift for all who will accept it, and it is critical that we share with those who do not yet believe.
  10. Jesus told his disciples to wait. While he gave them direction, he wanted them to wait for his timing and likewise we should as well. Praying for God’s will, that we seek his timing and not our own.

May you on this day be filled with the peace that comes only from our lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Interview II

The enlightenment continues through the interviewing process.

The core values of our company are spectacular. It would have been thrilling to be in the room when the countless ideas finally came together as a complete set of succinct values in written form. They are:

  • Passionate About Winning
  • Team Play with Trust
  • Honesty – Integrity – Candor
  • Caring About People
  • Positive Attitude

As a leader in the company, part of my job is not only to live the core values but teach and instill them in others, and assess job candidates and vendors for their “fit” within the organization.

I recently shared the core values with a candidate and asked him to tell me his thoughts on how he will embrace them if he joins our team. His response (paraphrased):

“I always have tried to apply what my father taught me: Manage people as you would like people to manage you.”

Simple yet eloquent, aligning with the words of Jesus, stating the second greatest commandment:

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31a)

Today’s reading: Mark 12

In another conversation with a vendor candidate, I verbalized one of our core values “caring about people”. The leader from this vendor literally said “we care about people… more or less”, as if to say they don’t really care about people. I about fell out of my chair! On one hand I felt sorry for these people and anyone associated with them, and on the other hand I thought, thank you for making my job easier… you are dismissed.

Caring about people is not just a good corporate slogan, it is a command, second only to one other:

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:29-30)

Through His miraculous and mysterious ways, God seeks relationship with us. He puts people in our lives and allows us to enter situations where people knowingly or unknowingly speak his truth (such as loving others). He gives us his commands not to restrict us but to enrich our souls here and for eternity, because he loves us.

And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:34a)

Father God, will you guide us today to respond wisely to your commands and your will? Grant us wisdom to understand and courage to respond so that we too can be not far from your kingdom. Reveal our sins that cloud our judgement; forgive us in the name of Jesus. Renew our hearts and spirits to set aside our selfishness and seek you first today. Amen.

Opportunity

Do you have experience assessing people whether interviewing prior to hiring and/or assessing the performance of existing talent? Chances are most of us have been the interviewee or the interviewer at some point.

Over the last two weeks I’ve spent the majority of my time assessing individual candidates as well as consulting service providers and it has been energizing and fascinating. I love meeting interesting people and love it when a candidate really takes hold of a question and surprises me with their answer. One candidate was asked to write what his “dream job” would be, and his response literally had me in tears with both laughter and amazement!

The theme of these conversations has not been “are you good enough” because in general all of these people have fantastic credentials and experience. In these interviews I’m generally doing two things:

  1. Assessing the human. Their heart, passion, attitude, and self-awareness. Are they honest? Will they be good for the team? Will they persevere in challenging situations? Will they demonstrate the core values of their employer?
  2. Selling the opportunity. I often use the phrase “keys to the kingdom” as a metaphor regarding what I believe the candidates can receive if they accept the position. The candidate can benefit, grow, and achieve her or his dreams as part of this incredible journey. Truly the opportunities are endless, and if they had any clue as to what it could mean they would jump for joy and leave their current position immediately. I am excited and I mean it from the bottom of my heart!

Unfortunately even highly qualified and extremely motivated people miss out on unimaginable opportunities. They don’t understand the vision or they are just not interested enough to try to understand.

And so it is with the opportunity God wants to give to us.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

In Luke Chapter 12, Jesus seeks to convince and convict us that what we might see or think here is not what is being offered by him eternally. Our perception is too often focused on the things of this Earth; power, money, things, experiences. Or we get caught up in fearing the bad things; illness, pain, loss.

33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33-34)

Don’t let another day go by and miss the opportunity. As my dear friend and fellow Bible Journal author (Rick Jebb) said to me recently: “Some people might find it ok to live this life without God, but being without God in the next life is not going to go so well.

You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:40)

Father God, I repent for seeking the things of this world, for putting me first. For constantly being distracted from the eternal opportunity you are offering. Forgive me in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

In My Father’s House

As a kid I worked hard to avoid going to church. Hiding under the bed, faking an illness, often hoping my parents would forget it was Sunday (which they never did).

It wasn’t that I didn’t like being there, it was more about wanting to do something else like sleeping or playing outside.

The childlike pattern went on for way too long, but in January 2005 everything changed. There was a church just down the street that Amy and I had heard was pretty good and a little voice inside me said, “if not now, when?” So we went and never looked back.

At Eastview Christian Church, we found authentic teaching and worship changing our hearts like never before as we came to a deeper understanding of the cost of sin and the value of grace.

From the first time we went, we didn’t miss a Sunday (apart from being out of town) all the way until May 2018 when we packed up and moved out of the country. This “not missing” had nothing to do with checking a box, no bonus points with God, nor from anyone. We longed to go. We loved to go.

Last week I took the opportunity to travel back to the USA. First stop, Normal Illinois and then directly to Eastview for their night of worship on Good Friday, then back again on Easter Sunday.

There were many joyful reunions; big extended warm hugs with tears of joy and lots of smiles. Most important, once again I felt at home, in my Father’s house. Heaven will have similar feelings and realizations. Truth, peace, joy, praise, love, and awestruck wonder as the name of Jesus Christ is proclaimed as King of Kings.

Please take the time to read Luke 2. It is rich with content. The birth of Jesus, angels speaking, prophecy fulfillment, insights into Jesus as a young boy and much more!

Luke 2:41-51 provides an account of Jesus at age 12 going missing then being found by his parents in the temple.

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)

Jesus had an earthly mother and father, but he also knew of his Father in Heaven and he also considered the temple “his father’s house”. Physically I do not believe there is anything super spiritual the structure of our churches; what is important is what happens inside and the life change as the people live out what was taught.

There’s a song that we joyfully sing from our couch as we watch eastview.church online and have sung many times there in person. It is a song about our identity, not what the world tells us but who God says we are.

It acknowledges our Father’s house as a place for us.

Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
In my Father’s house
There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God
Yes I am (Who You Say I Am – Hillsong Worship)

Here’s a link to the full song on YouTube: Who You Say I Am. Powerful lyrics and all powerful object of worship. Praise God.

Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah

Is there anything weighing on you today? Are there concerns in your heart that perhaps keep you awake in the night? How about problems that you want to keep private, but perhaps if a trustworthy person could see through you and ask confidentially what’s going on, you might just open up?

I’ve got a troubling situation eating at me. It has kept me up at night. The options in dealing with this situation are unpleasant. Relationships are at stake and there are potentially harsh impacts to some people no matter the current apparent solution.

Through much practice and learning from many mistakes in the past, I’m in a better habit of noticing these situations and quickly giving them over to God. I don’t pray specifically for him to fix it, I pray for him to take this burden from me. To reveal himself for his glory. To guide my heart. To remind me that the problems of this world are not mine to worry about. To forgive me for trying to control a situation on my own and for my worry.

The ensuing peace after this time in prayer is indescribable. We have a king, a father, who loves us, who knows our hearts and wants us to go directly to him with our troubles. He doesn’t want us to try to hide our problems or for us to worry, he wants us to make him lord of all things in our lives. And we can do this because he has proven himself worthy over and over again.

Today’s reading: Nehemiah 2

Nehemiah was a servant to the king. The time period is believed to have been around 444 BC.

In today’s reading, Nehemiah was suffering from deep sadness that he could no longer contain. As the king becomes aware of Nehemiah’s sadness, Nehemiah becomes fearful.

Why fear? Wouldn’t we want someone to know of our sadness and inquire as to what is going on? Well, not exactly in this case. It was against policy to show sadness in the king’s presence, and further as we learn in Esther 4:11, one could be put to death for approaching the king without being summoned.

Like our God and King, the king in Nehemiah 2 could have responded harshly, however he responded with love, grace, and mercy. The king listened and responded and responded favorably to Nehemiah’s requests.

Learning from Nehemiah’s examples:

  1. Nehemiah used his position of power (favor from the king) to serve God rather than himself. What opportunities are before us today where we could choose to serve Jesus rather than ourselves?
  2. While Nehemiah does convey that he was fearful, he also faces the fear with boldness in God’s name. Who and what can we fear when we know that God has it all in his hands? Nothing!
  3. Nehemiah appeared to have been prepared when he was given the opportunity to ask the king for a favor. We must always be prepared in the name of Jesus. “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15)
  4. Nehemiah attributes to God what should be attributed to God. How often do we praise ourselves or fail to acknowledge God when we see victory? “And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.” (Nehemiah 2:8b)
  5. Nehemiah called people to action (again using his power to serve God) and they followed. I believe they followed him because he stayed close to God, he proved himself worthy of being a leader, he was committed to the cause, and he was able to articulate the mission to the people as a matter of logic and heart.
  6. When facing opposition, Nehemiah boldly relied on God’s promises. Again, fearlessness and proving to be a leader worthy of following.

Father God, we seek your wisdom today. Give us the courage and the words to proclaim the truth about who you are and why we serve you. Give us also the wisdom to keep silent when we should just listen instead of talking. Help us to become better leaders and better followers, in your son Jesus’ name and for your glory. Amen.

Fallen Fortress

There are two very heavy vehicle-sized doors made of iron at the entrance of our driveway and a very tall fence around the perimeter of our multi-family dwelling. The only way in is through the doors or climbing the fence so it feels relatively secure.

Unfortunately this week our “fortress” was proven to be weaker than we had thought. While leaving for work one morning, I discovered someone had “keyed” the side of my car. Why… how… who…? I have no idea… After the initial shock and disgust there were many other feelings. I was a victim to a crime which led me to feel powerless, betrayed and violated, with no one to rescue me.

What if (hypothetically) in this scenario I had a brother who was aware of the crime taking place? And in this crime my brother not only sat idle and did nothing, but then proceeded to help the criminal destroy my vehicle and then insult me after doing so?

That’s pretty much what happened in Obadiah 1.

The people of Judah (their brothers) were being attacked and not only did the Edomites sit idle, they helped the attackers! Imagine first the feeling of “being attacked” then imagine your brother (or someone who should help you) helping the attackers complete the job, then laughing in your face, pillaging and plundering your belongings.

In the end, God was furious with the Edomites (the house of Esau) for their pride, greed, violence and betrayal. God made it clear that they would pay dearly.

 For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
  your deeds shall return on your own head. (Obadiah 1:15)

As always I look for Jesus in the story. We betrayed him. We spit upon him, denied him and murdered him therefore we deserve the same fate as the Edomites. We betrayed God’s chosen one and we continue to betray him through our sin.

Unlike the Edomites, we can look to the one we betrayed for redemption. Even though we are guilty of putting him on the cross through our sin, he does something what no other “god” can do: Jesus forgives us even though we do not deserve it, then he offers us an eternal place with him in Heaven.

Mercy and grace and an eternal home in a place with no sadness in exchange for our hearts. Deal.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7)

God’s Rightful Place

Recently a good friend asked me to inform him of any mistakes he is making and for me to share ideas on how he could improve. As a response started coming to mind, my thoughts went to admiration for his courage and humility in opening this door to real conversation.

Do I know where I can improve, and the mistakes I’m making?

Considering this question I quickly wrote eight areas for me to improve; four professionally and four personally. Only one of the eight was technical or tangible (objective) and that was to continue to improve in my Italian language skills.

There was no science behind the number of areas, it was just that these were the first to come to mind and they seemed right. Certainly there are closer to 80 or maybe even 800 areas for me to improve but let’s not crush my spirit just yet.

The remaining seven…

  1. Communicating better. Sharing ideas and setting expectations; not assuming people know what I’m thinking or what is going on.
  2. Asking better questions. Becoming more vulnerable.
  3. Becoming less judgmental.
  4. Becoming more humble.
  5. Loving others more.
  6. Allowing more joy in my life (by removing distractions).
  7. Listening better. Stopping and listening and referring back to the goals around humility and becoming less judgmental.

Today’s reading: Isaiah 6

All of the aforementioned improvement areas (and related weaknesses) are good reminders that I am a sinner in need of a savior. Failure in these areas can usually equate to some sort of sin (typically selfishness, pride, greed, and even hate). I constantly need to remember to focus on the appropriate priorities, and most important, I need to be cognizant of God’s rightful place in my life. 

God’s rightful place is to be high and lifted up. To be Lord of my life. To be my first thought in the morning, with me throughout the day and in the night.

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1a)

We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (as in Philippians 2:12), in awe of our loving and perfect God who knows us and calls us by name. To be like Isaiah, knowing our sin is unacceptable to God.

And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5)

Isaiah needed an intermediary (the burning coal) to pay for his sins.

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” (Isaiah 6:6-7)

We too are in need of an intermediary that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10)

Consider praying today for God to reveal opportunities for putting him in his rightful place in your life. May He richly bless you today, for His glory alone.

Clarity given, but faith needed to receive

Autumn 2018

We learned of an exciting opportunity to join the February 2019 mission trip to Kenya with members of our church in Illinois.

Amy had been on a mission trip (and has been eager to do another one with our entire family) and I’ve wanted to go on a similar trip to Kenya for a long time. Since our current home is halfway there from the USA this idea became even more enticing.

We started praying about the trip and met the rest of the team who had already signed up. Through video calls we became even more eager to join; the team consisted of several loving, kind, energetic, fun and faithful people. The primary objective of the trip was to photograph and engage with children. This sounded like a perfect opportunity that would involve our entire family.

As we moved forward filling out forms, preparing finances and making plans for the trip, things were looking great. God was at work and we knew it!

A few months into the planning we learned that there was a problem with Amy’s European residence request (permission to remain in Europe). The end result: If she left Europe (now our home) before the residence request issues were resolved, she would risk being deported.

Our prayers for the trip then focused on requests for clarity and direction. We prayed for definitive answers; for it to be clear as to whether or not we should go on the trip. His will be done.

Clarity Received

Our lawyers eventually made it very clear that we should absolutely not go to Africa at this time. We felt this probability in our hearts in the days leading up to receiving this information, so we received the news with mixed emotions. We were saddened to not be part of the trip, but thankful and relieved for the answered prayers for clarity, thankful that we met some wonderful people, and thankful that we could still support the team.

We are now talking to this ministry group about plans to join them in Kenya, 2020 so we have plenty of time for prayer, preparation, and planning!

Today’s Reading

1 Kings 17 has some classic miracle and faith stories that many of us have heard since we were children. What stands out for me is Elijah’s faith, a reminder that we may not know (or even agree with) what God has planned, however we need to wait, listen, and obey.

  • Elijah being fed by ravens. He faithfully received God’s provisions. I’m pretty sure I’d have some doubt in this plan… “I am sure you know what you’re doing here God, so I must have not heard you right, you said ravens are going to bring food for me? Surely not!”
  • The woman and her son who were about to die of starvation. Elijah asked her for her last morsels of food and she obliged. By faith, he trusted God that the partaking of the woman’s “last” food would not result in the demise of her and her son.
  • The woman’s son dying. Elijah faithfully asked God to heal the boy. Why ask for something you do not believe God can do? Elijah believed and God miraculously answered.

Elijah’s faith reminded me of how I need to be faithful as well as lead my family in being faithful through all circumstances, seeking to become more like Jesus every day. We don’t know why our mission trip roadblocks weren’t miraculously cleared. Looking at the photos of the team there this week, my heart breaks a little bit, yearning to be there, but I know God has a different plan and it is good.

Through all of this we are given another opportunity to increase our faith. To apply the learning to our daily life. To give all praise and glory to the only one who is worthy.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Luke 15:10)

For more information on the team serving in Kenya right now please check out: http://www.goyasponsorshipteam.com/

The Goodness of God

Psalm 103 is a quick way to get to know God, or if we already know him, it is a great reminder as to who he is and what he does. The Psalm says he:

  • forgives (Psalm 103:3)
  • heals (v3)
  • redeems (v4)
  • crowns (rewards) (v4)
  • satisfies (v5)
  • works righteousness (v6)
  • reveals himself to us (v7)
  • takes action (v7)
  • is merciful (v8, 10)
  • is gracious (v8)
  • is slow to anger (v8)
  • is love (v8)
  • forgives, accepts our repentance (v9, 12)
  • loves us (v11)
  • is compassionate (v13)
  • knows us (v14)
  • rules over all (v19)
  • speaks to us (v20)

Who are we?

As for us, even on our best day we cannot even compare ourselves to all of these attributes. In fact, it is likely that we can read these attributes and recall a very recent time when we were quite the opposite.

Our response is a choice.

The Psalmist calls us to action in response to who God is. Calling us to obey His voice, do His will, and keep His commandments. This reminds me of a recent sermon by Mike Baker at Eastview Christian Church. Pastor Mike said something to the effect of “the reason some people have a problem with Jesus is that he requires us to give up control and submit to Him.”

Would you submit to someone or something you do not know or understand? Probably not. This is why I believe God reveals himself to us in many ways each day: so that we may know him. He does not try to hide from us, he calls out in every moment of every day, seeking to draw us near.

As we go through today, let’s remember who he is, what he has done through his son Jesus, and what he will do. Look for the aforementioned attributes in every situation, the good and the bad. He has always been and always will be. Our circumstances may change but he does not change, he is good, he loves us and he will never leave us.