Can you see the wonder across her face? The complete joy and splendor… about pancakes with sprinkles and candles? The flame flickering and twinkling in her eyes. Mesmerized by the beauty. Anticipating the deliciousness. Can you hear the squealing with delight? Absolutely awestruck.

Do you receive the kingdom of God like a child? Luke 18 commands this – and it’s left me pondering what exactly that would look like. What would it feel like if we approached our Creator and eternity, like a child?


        • Hey Mommy, how do birds fly?
        • Who teaches them to flap their wings?
        • Where do their parents take them?
        • Why do they fly south for the winter?
        • How do they know it’s warmer in the south?
        • What’s instinct mean?
        • But how do you just know?
        • Do you have any instincts, Mommy?

If you’ve spent any time with young children, you’ve probably found yourself in one of these never-ending question cycles of why, what, how, when, where, or who. A hunger for knowledge and understanding is part of childhood and maturing. It’s not just the hunger, but also the confidence to seek the answers. When I hear the term “child-like faith”, I don’t take it to mean blindly believing what you’ve been told, without asking questions.. I think it’s more of a willing and humble heart to explore who God is.

What questions do we have about God or salvation that we need to get to the bottom of? Are we ashamed to admit we don’t understand something? Are we so busy with our to-do lists that we haven’t allowed time for curiosity?


From sun up to sun down children rely on their parents for so much. This chapter actually uses the word infants – and wow, babies require even more than children, to keep them alive. Feeding, bathing, clothing, diapers, transportation, safety, medical attention, etc. They cry to communicate and eventually we figure out what they are asking for. They learn that we will comfort them, feed them, help them, when they’re in distress.

God has never let me down, has never left me to figure it out alone. He has always comforted me, directed me, and loved me, through every distress. Yet each time I can see a storm coming, I begin to worry. And isn’t worrying a sign that I’m not trusting and willing to rely solely on the Lord? Complete surrender to God is so beautiful, and this level of trust comes from experiencing patterns of His faithfulness.

This weekend, let’s ask God to show us which qualities of children we need to embrace and emulate as we grow in our faith. I know I can approach the throne of God with an awestruck heart, more curiosity, or greater reliance and trust. What child-like qualities do you need more of in your life?

Our Father

“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.” Luke 11: 2-4

Today’s Reading: Luke Chapter 11

One of the things that I’ve learned in the past year (hey…yeah I’ve been writing for a year now!) is that the sharing of our personal testimony, no matter how simple is so very powerful.  In so many ways, I’m working to strengthen my faith in what I call the post-honeymoon phase of Christian journey. Being a Christian isn’t so new and shiny anymore, it’s more about holding myself accountable to go deeper into God’s word and mature in my faith.  It’s not just about the having faith anymore but about growing in my faith.

When I read Luke 11 today I was struck by the coincidence that in the first several verses we hear the Lord’s prayer that was literally a cornerstone of my Catholic upbringing. The famous painting pictured above hung in both my grandmother’s kitchens as a symbol of their faith. Then, just a few verses later I read the verse that actually opened the door to real faith for me. I want to share that story with you today. I grew up in a strong Catholic family. I attended Catholic school my whole life from elementary school through my doctorate degree at Creighton University.  I wouldn’t trade my Catholic roots. I learned about social justice, about self sacrifice and most importantly about the strength that can be found in a group of believers. Even now, as we approach lent I will observe some Catholic traditions as a way to connect with God through discipline and intentional prayer.

In October of 2011, I realized for the first time that I needed a lot more spiritual strength than I had. I hit a literal spiritual rock bottom. Our son had come through a very severe illness and was seemingly healthy again. Until one day he wasn’t.  A whole new and different problem arose that had been silent since his conception. Our pediatrician found the problem with Ollie’s heart purely by accident.  He heard a murmur that was actually unrelated to his actual more serious diagnosis. I’ll never forget that day. In fact, I now work at the same hospital that we went to for his first cardiac echo.  Would you believe that just last week I ran into the technician that performed that echo while at work? Just seeing her face brought that day back to me with full force.

It was a Wednesday.  I was supposed to be at work but instead I just drove home and sat alone on my couch. I kept thinking that I should call this parent I knew from work, but I really didn’t know why.  I know now that it was the firm hand of the Holy Spirit guiding me.  Amy acted quickly.  She showed up at my door with her bible in hand and those infamous yellow cards.  I have all my cards as you know if you are a frequent reader here.  The other thing I have are the memories of the words she said to me. On that day, I was hopeless. I viewed what was happening as a kind of punishment.  I was searching for a way to bargain with God to make this go away. Through tears I asked Amy why God was “doing this to me?” What had I done wrong and how could I appease him again so that he would take this suffering from my child. Her answer was this passage from Luke:

“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13

For the very first time in my life, I saw God as a gracious and loving Father.  For the very first time. I understood that my pain and sadness were not something He was “doing” to me rather something that He was using to bring us closer to Him. Now, when I face these types of situations, and I often do, I have the ability to look to God for strength and trust in Him that there is a greater plan.  What a miracle! Our Father is there for us. In the daily ritual of a prayer and in the bigger chasms of our life. I hope you’ll read Luke Chapter 11 today and receive the comfort and strength that our Father has for us. Certainly, there are lessons to be learned but also the reminder that He is with us always.



Today I’m honored to introduce our guest writer, Jennifer LaFrance, my beautiful bride.

Today’s Reading: Numbers 33; Psalm 78:1–37; Isaiah 25; 1 John 

As I lead my small group in Little Kidsview on Sunday mornings I can’t help but to be so thankful to God that He has brought these children to me. The pure innocence and desire to learn more about Jesus just warms my soul. These children have taught me so much and I am forever grateful that they are in my life. I have had these children for the last eight months and am very sad, as they are moving on up to the next age level. Almost every Sunday since August, these children have come to my small group with a great amount of energy….I LOVE their energy. When we first started prayer requests in August I would get things like “pray for the Polar Express” or “pray for my dog”. However, as time has passed we have progressed to “please pray for my brother” or “pray for my neighbor, he needed help mowing because he doesn’t get around very well.”

1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you have heard for the beginning, that we should love one another.

These four and five year olds have learned the importance of JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself). This is what is important in life. Wouldn’t it be great if we all could think like this? In this world that we live in it is so easy to become self-absorbed. Yet, it isn’t about us….we are just living out the life that Jesus has for us. I am reminded of this acronym daily as it is on a door hanger on three of our doors…my son made them in Little Kidsview; one for his brothers room, one for our room, and one for his room. Psalm 78:5-7 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.

Ollie is in my small group on Sunday’s…I love everything about him. He has a great sense of humor, a smile that makes me smile, care for others, and an energy for everything we do. My son, Jackson, is also sometimes in my small group. I have shared Ollie’s updates and pictures with Jackson, and every time we stop what we are doing to pray for Ollie. Jackson wants so badly to visit Ollie and bring him toys (because that’s what kids want to do for each other) and wants him to feel better, JOY. Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

1 John 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

However we can help, we will, because that is what Jesus wants us to do. I want to teach my children, to do for others as Jesus has done for us…..JOY As you go throughout your day today, and the rest of this week, please try to remember JOY.