Beautiful Mess: Seeing the upraise beauty in the mess before you

2022 has proven to be a challenging year and we’re not even through it. Jarrod and I as husband and wife have faced more discouragement and disappointments than we were prepared for. There’ve been nights where I cried myself to sleep in Jarrod’s embrace. There have been moments where we both just sat in disbelief and silence. There have been days where we prayed out of desperation and clung to the one thing we knew, hope. Despite the blows, I am proud that we choose not to fight with each other, but rather to stand with each other and fight on our knees. Don’t get me wrong, when things got chaotic, we did have our moments, however, we remembered who and what we were fighting against.

A lot of this year if not most of this year’s pits have been a result of external circumstances going south. You probably can relate. It’s fair to say we’ve all faced some type of mess in our life. Our minds and heart can often get muddy in these situations. We ponder our purpose. We ponder life and we ponder the goodness of God. These disappointments, both external and internal, can disrupt the pattern of a sustainable life. It affects both your mental and physical health. It did just that for us. 

Most recently we had some issues with our home water system that left us without water for a bit. For someone who enjoys her morning and nighttime showers, this was a big deal. I realize how pathetic I may sound, but for me, this was the last straw. In the pit, I sent Jarrod a text listing all the 12 things that went wrong this year. 

I was sitting in our living room curled up in a ball smelling like salt and a hint of snot. Not my proudest moment. When I read Jarrod’s response, I immediately was convicted by something the Lord impressed on my heart at the beginning of this year, “Remember..”

At the start of this year, many of my prayers consisted of “teach me to remember your goodness, Lord.” At the time, not much had gone wrong. But as each blow came one after the other, that prayer became less frequent. The crazy part is, had I made a list of all the incredible doors opened, answered prayers, and opportunities we had this year, it would double if not triple the list I had sent to my husband. 

In the moment, the mess we face may not appear all glamorous. For the most part, it probably isn’t, however, there is an uprise beauty in the messes we face. The beauty is the strength we gain. The beauty is character growth. The beauty is the grit we develop that prepares us for steeper and tougher climbs. The reality is, we get to choose to remain in the pit and mess. Our mindset and approach to life’s messes say a lot about our emotional and spiritual health. When we allow the mess to become our identity and rule how we approach life we shift authority from God. We take matters into our own hands and we indirection (and directly) tell God, He’s not sufficient. I did just that. I hit rock bottom and in hitting rock bottom I realized I lost sight of my source.

I will conclude with this. Remember God’s goodness. Remember the days He brought you through. Remember the doors He’s opened. Train yourself to see the good despite the circumstance. That is not denying your circumstance, rather it is acknowledging you trust a known God with an unknown and unpredictable future. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

Side note: I would even challenge you to dive into the entire chapter of Proverbs 3. There’s meat that’s worth chewing on. 


New Mom Series: Remember You.

In conclusion to the New Mom Series, again I write not from the heart of a new mom that has walked through this role from personal experience, rather I write in hopes of being a mom someday that can maybe reflect on what I wrote. I’ve stressed over the past two weeks the difficulties that come with new mom life based on my research and observation. One of the biggest challenges I’ve stumbled upon is forgetting oneself. Rightly so, wrapped up in all things motherhood, I too believe it would be easy to forget all and bask in the squishiness and baby joys. It would be selfish to do otherwise. It would be selfish to think of anyone else other than the miracle before you. The women I glean to have reflected on their journey however say otherwise. That Proverbs 31 woman who neglects not self stressing the importance of remembering self; keeping the priority on God, spouse, and others. Seemingly selfish, however, the idea here is that the best version of you will be compromised if you follow any other model of doing life. In order to give your young suckling the best version of yourself you need not forget your growth in Christ and your love for your spouse. Hurting either or both has torn apart marriages and produced women who have to lose themself due to a lack of care for themselves and the man they once loved. These stories broke my heart. It’s understandable but the understanding doesn’t and shouldn’t be the pass of justifiability. 

So, to you. Remember you. Keep your mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional self a priority. Remember your spouse. He’s in this with you. Remember to be selfish. With the cries of a young child, you are important. Remember you. There is no condemnation. There is no shame. You are a mom. You are a mom that can do hard things! 

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
2 Corinthians 1:20 


New Mom Series: New Mom Life

I know what you’re thinking. I have no business writing about being a new mom because I am not one. I get that. While I write not from the heart of a new mom, I write in hopes of being a mom someday and something maybe I can reflect on whenever that time comes. I should also clarify that my husband and I are not trying so I will save you the excitement there. Now back to the blog…

I have many friends who are new moms or have been around the block for some time as a parent and wives. Watching from the sidelines I can see that there’s quite a bit that comes with the transition from non-parent to parenthood coupled with being a wife and an individual. There are pains that come with being a mom as well as there are joys. 

I’ve watched friends announce the joys of becoming a mom only for that moment to be shortlived with the heartwrenching reality of lost life in the womb. I grieve for those women whose worlds have turned upside down as they question life, who they are, and the name they longed to be called by the voice of the innocent, “mommy.” I watch as these women grace new mom life without the evidence of life in the form of a child. They grieve their pain while continuing the walk before them. To that woman, I see you. While you may feel alone, you are not. I pray for you who I call a friend that you may find healing and joy even in your losses. That you will cling to hope found in Jesus. I see you walking this new mom life without the evidence of a breathing child here on earth but I want you to know that despite the lack of evidence for the world to see, that doesn’t remove the fact that you are a mom. You are a mom. You are a mom that can do hard things!

To the mom who is approaching or has gone through labor and is walking through postpartum and feels freshly new to this new mom life, I see you. You’re wearing the joy of motherhood well behind tired eyes and messy buns. You’re taking on a new life in many forms and you’re doing so well. You’ve made mistakes already. You’ve cried from frustration. You’ve felt alone some days while you sit in silence as your baby suckles it’s natural. You’re not alone momma. Your body has changed. Your hormones are wildly confused as you are. Life is different and the old norm is no more. This new life you have before you brings fresh miracles of joy. Somedays it’s hard to see. Somedays you question your purpose. Is there more? Absolutely there is but I encourage you to see that motherhood is enough. You are a mom. You are a mom that can do hard things!

From my observations, the new mom life is difficult and in the difficulty there’s beauty. I hope to remember that. I hope to remember when that time comes to give myself grace. When that time comes, I hope to remember I am a mom that can do hard things. I hope, and I pray that when that time comes I will remember to find joy and dwell not in the difficulty of my body and hormones changing, of routine changes, and the losses that come with my old life transitioning into a new season. I pray to remember I am a mom, I am a person and I have a purpose with being a mom and outside of the beautiful title of motherhood.

You can do hard things.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
2 Corinthians 1:20 

You’ve got to quit to succeed

My husband and I have been through quite the transition these past couple of months. We started the year 2022 with the goal in mind to try new things, go big, and make risky moves. Both of us have passions and desires of our own and while they may not be the same, we’ve managed to help each other and provide insight, wisdom, and encouragement as we pursue said passions that are intertwined in our purpose as individuals and as husbands and wives. While I cannot say I’ve made major big moves and as a means to not come across as braggadocious (this is not the “here’s what I’ve done blog), I am choosing to focus on someone that I greatly admire and who inspired today’s blog. That’s right, my husband, Jarrod Pisors. 

Entering the year 2022, my husband and I prayed about what the year had for us and we prayed for boldness to go after the big, hard, and risky things. We prayed about the direction for the year and that the Lord would ordain our steps. We’ve made risky steps. Some worked and some haven’t. We made grand plans that fell through and others that fell into our laps without even trying. We are not even through the year 2022 and have cried many tears of disappointment and victories. In all, we’ve learned and my learning from my husband, you must quit in order to succeed. Quit what you may ask. Well, here are the five areas I’ve watched first hand my husband quit as he scaled his brand and businesses: 

  1. Doubts – the underlying reason so many of us don’t even attempt to take a step is that we are stuck in imaginative thinking. Granted, some of our doubts are valid, however, unless those doubts become actual reality, they remain wishful thinking. Some dear friend of ours encouraged Jarrod and me to refuse to be cold timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Cold timid souls remain stuck in doubt. They refused to move. They’re crippled by fear of the unknown they’ve created for themselves. That’s the first thing Jarrod quit. He quit telling himself he couldn’t and he did. 
  2. Excuses – this exists because we live in doubt. Our excuses are our way of justifying why we choose to remain in our rut. Yes, you read that correctly. It is a choice. When we allow our doubts to take the form of our imaginative reality, they become the excuses that keep us locked in that cold damp cave of “I can’t.” Jarrod quit the excuses and his “I can’t” shifted to “I will.” Jarrod started repeating each day in the mirror “I will…” and his confidence increased with every repetition of those words that started off as a whisper. He slapped excuses in the face and took the bull by the horn. Gutsy? Absolutely. 
  3. Noise – whenever you venture into anything new there will be people (family and friends included) who will become noise to your aspirations and goals. They will be your “You can’t” whispering in your ear motivating you to quit. Do they all mean bad, no? Those who whisper these doubts and fears are a reflection of their own doubts and fear crippling them inside. The noise will encourage you to quit. The noise will tell you that you will fail. The noise will even mock and laugh at you. Jarrod however, in his masculine nature shut the noise by humbling himself in prayer. I’ve caught him numerous times in our bedroom face flat on the ground praying and crying as worship music filled the air. A presence of calm and humble arrogance cultivated when he remembered his why. The noise easily can drown by our why because reality is, that’s far bigger and grander than words that fall flat to the ground that has no bearing on your purpose.
  4. Bad habits – can be anything from spending too much time on your phone, saying yes to everyone, sleeping in too late, watching too much television, or feeding your mind with unnecessary and meaningless content. Bad habits hold us back from succeeding. It takes up precious and valuable space and time. Quitting these areas will ruffle feathers. People will mock you for “being different.” They won’t understand why you’re being selective to events and pumping “too much time” into building your business or brand. Jarrod became selfish. He got and still gets a lot of heat because of his dedication. He quit time wasting and pumped time into his business. As his wife, even I had to learn and adjust to his “absence.” Rather than complain he was always in his office, I joined him. I found ways where I could help and be an asset.
  5. Job – yes. Sometimes (not always) you will need to quit your job. Dream big, so big that your goal is to become your own boss. That’s if that’s your goal. That was Jarrods and is now his reality. He literally resigned from his job. Two businesses built up to a point that could hold us over. He took the plunge and has continued to scale. Quitting comes with its own challenges. You no longer have the security of consistent paychecks. You decide how much you make. You have to find jobs. You have to rework your budget and priorities. You also need to be aware of laws and regulations in running your own business. Most importantly, you become greatly aware of your dependence on God. Jarrod and I have learned to pray over our businesses and to rely on God and not our own strength. We’ve faced hiccups along the way but have made it a priority to not allow the disruptions in running our own business to bring a wedge between us. He especially continues to resort back to our purpose and the why.

Whatever your dream is, move from it simply being a dream to it becoming a reality. All you need to do is take one step. And that one step will turn into many other steps. 

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 
Psalm 37:3-6

Lady in Pink

Have you ever met someone and were immediately captivated by their presence? No, I am not referring to romantic encounters. I am referring to those moments where you cross paths with someone or see them from afar and their presence captivates, convicts, and motivates you to become a better person. For me, that’s the Lady in Pink. 

The Lady in Pink wore a business skirt suit. Her shoes along with the rest of her Sunday best were bright pink. Not so much so that you were blinded by the color. Rather, you just couldn’t help but notice. She walked with a sense of grace and pride. The pride she carried was not of arrogance and stature but rather of assurance of who she is. While every stride she took was deliberate, they were also graceful and filled with courage. The Lady in Pink wore a smile on her face that complimented her rosy cheeks. Her smile had hints of wrinkles from the years of wearing the beaming grin she carried through both on the mountain top and in the years of the valley. Her hair curled it’s natural shining white revealing her age of wisdom. The Lady in Pink while short in stature carried a stance of a woman on a mission; a mission of purpose. 

My husband’s gentle hands occasionally brushed past mine as we settled into the back row. We were late to church but got there just in time for the last song before the transition into the sermon. This is when I spotted the Lady in Pink. The lead pastor called for the students in high school to lead a time of prayer and altar call. The stage was lined with students ready and eager to pray. Some of the congregation responded but reluctantly. Mostly those around the age of high school students prayed for each other. The Lady in Pink in her deliberate yet grateful and courageous stride walked up to the altar. She walked up for prayer from one of the youngest students and then slowly made her way to each student that was waiting to pray for someone. She patted each one on the shoulder; a sign of goodwill and encouragement. Each with a sense of courage sparked as she walked and met each of them where they were at.

I was moved to tears. I was overwhelmed at the sight. When I looked over to my right, I caught a glimpse of my husband’s eyes and saw he too was captivated by the Lady in Pink. You couldn’t help but be moved by a woman who by society’s standards has aged and lived a life enough to need prayers, yet she humbly approached the altar and received prayers from someone whose experience of life was short compared to hers. The Lady in Pink exemplified youth despite having seen twenty years over her nominal life of three scores and ten. The Lady in Pink wrecked the pride in me and tugged my heart to yield to submission in my walk. The Lady in Pink opened my eyes to a way of living in confident freedom. The Lady in Pink…. Despises youth not, rather she walks in it.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12

You’re just not desperate enough…

My husband is one of the most hardworking men I know. He makes no excuses and often his drive is out of desperation. Not desperation of embarrassment. No, not desperation stemmed from envy, jealousy, greed, or pride. Rather a desperation that is rooted in giving his best yes in what he’s set out to do and what God has called him to do. An excuse is not a part of his vocabulary. It’s not even an option. He gets up each morning desperate, knowing every second wasted will shift the trajectory of our future. You can say I admire him. His desperation has motivated and challenged me to remove the excuses from my vocabulary and truly live out what the action of faith looks like.

One of my top Bible passages is about a woman who bled for 12 years. We are not told of her name. We are not even told much of her other than she had continual bleeding for 12 years and had spent all her money on treatments from many doctors with no prevail. In Jewish law, this continual bleeding or menstruating woman was viewed as ceremonially unclean. In order to be regarded as clean, the flow of blood would need to stop for at least 7 days.

Being ceremonially unclean, this unnamed woman would not have been permitted to enter the temple for Jewish religious ceremonies. Following the Jewish Law, due to her illness, anything or anyone she touched became unclean as well. This occurred for 12 years. For a female who has her monthly cycle, I can understand the pain of bleeding, however, this bleeding only lasts for 5-7 for most women. Bleeding continually for 12 years, coupled with the pain this brings along with the deficiency from losing nutrients in your body, and your own people shunning you I could hardly understand, or comprehend what this woman went through. This unnamed woman was desperate. She was so desperate that for 12 years she saught help. She was so desperate that despite being viewed ceremonially unclean, she pushed herself through the crowd pressing around Jesus. Did she believe Jesus as the Messiah? We aren’t told. Either way, she was desperate. So much so that she believed in faith that if she only touched the hem of Jesus’ clothes she would be healed.

In Mark 5, we read that as soon as the woman touches Jesus’ clothes, her bleeding stops and she knows she’s been healed. In an instant, Jesus does what no doctor in twelve years had been able to. Jesus’ response to the woman touching his garment was, “Who touched my clothes?” People were pushing and pressing into Him from all over, yet He stops, turns, and asks, “Who touched my clothes?” Even the disciples thought Jesus’ questioning was a bit outrageous seeing that the crowd was heavy surrounding them, but Jesus knew that healing power had gone out of Him. Jesus tells the woman her faith had healed her. She didn’t steal a miracle from God, but she was desperate for change that she was willing to believe an unknown healing to a known God. The woman had her complete and instantaneous healing. She was desperate.

I wonder if you are desperate or simply believe you are only that you are filled with excuses. I wonder if the catalyst for change lies not in your outward circumstances changing, rather in the way you think, utilize your time and what you speak over your life. I wonder if you just aren’t desperate enough.

This isn’t a healing blog. Far from it. Rather this is targeting the lackadaisical nature of humans who want results with no effort. We have all the excuses as to why we haven’t seen change. Yes, I get there are things out of our control, but there’s quite a bit in our control. Every decision you make produces some type of result. For the majority of us, our lack of decision-making produces no results. Our lack of desperation, our lack of foresight, our lack of hope has us stuck living the same year every year filled with all the wishful thinking and no results to show for it.

Where hope exists, the ability to succeed, the ability for change, the ability to amaze oneself is present. When we are desperate, we don’t live for the moment, rather we live for the moments to come. When we are desperate, we don’t drag our feet hoping things will work out, rather we utilize what’s in our hands as a means for change. We see that God is good and in His goodness he has equipped us with everything we need. We were born with talents and gifts. We were born with knowledge and the ability to inspire. Too often we are not desperate enough to walk out what we’ve been given. I wonder if only we had faith like the woman who bled for 12 years what we can do. I wonder…

Are you desperate?


Letters to a victim

Dear you.

You are hurting. You feel alone. You are overwhelmed and exhausted. You are tired of carrying a shame that was never intended to be yours. You are tired of feeling the weight of your own insecurities. You are tired of feeling like you have no voice. You are tired of reliving the nightmare of your past. You feel as if there’s a demon taunting you inside corrupting your view on life. You are tired of pretending. You are tired of hiding behind your clothing, your talent, your education, your physic, or even your family. You are tired of running. You are tired of running away from whatever resembles the one that made you a victim. You run away from the smell, scenery, sound, and anything that reminds you of the day you were no longer known by your name. You are done. You are afraid. You call yourself a victim and by no other name.

Dear you.

You are beautiful. You are not alone. You have a family. Whether it be your biological or not, you have people. You have people longing to hug you and remind you of your worth. You have friends who while they are silent, are screaming internally for your breakthrough. You are not what you wear. You are not your talent. You are not your educational achievements or the lack thereof. You are not your physic, or even the linage you come from. You are worth far more. You are of strength. You are of courage. You need no longer run. You need no longer hide. You need no longer believe what keeps you up at night. You are free from the cold dark cage you’ve called home. Your heart is free. Your mind is free. You are neither dirty nor impure. You are not to be ashamed of and you are neither too difficult nor too far gone to love. You are bold. You have a voice. You are believed. You are free.

Dear you.

Running away is not the answer. A pill is not the answer. A bullet is not the answer. A leap is not the answer. You taking your life is never the answer.

Dear you.

This may be difficult to believe, but I know someone that loves you. I know someone that cares for you. I know someone that sees no flaws. I know someone that doesn’t see mistakes. I know someone whose love is neither impure nor corrupt. I know someone that hurts when you hurt. I know someone that grieves when you grieve. I know someone that will avenge you. I know someone that wants to heal you. I know someone that can take away all the pain. I know someone that can turn your trauma into triumph. I know someone that is perfect and pure. I know someone that is of joy and mercy. I know someone that can give you life once more. I know someone that can give you a gift far greater than gold and far sweater than honey from its honeycomb. I know someone that knows you by your name and knows you for your worth. I know someone whose love for you is unconditional and requires only one thing; submission. A submission that is pure and true. I know someone that knows you not as a victim, rather as a victor. He calls you free, a conqueror, thoroughly whole and pure.

Dear you.

It is hard to trust. It is hard to be vulnerable. It is hard to believe that there is more to life. It is hard to believe that there is good. It is hard to believe that you can be healed. It is hard to believe you can be whole. It is hard to believe you can no longer be a victim. It is all hard to believe.

Dear you.

Believe with me. Believe there is hope. Believe there is truth. Believe there is life. Believe with me. Believe. Have Faith. With the same assurance you have there is no good, believe there is good. Believe there is life. Believe you are free. Believe you are whole. Believe you are not alone. Believe it with me, because… YOU ARE! He said you are. He said I am. He says it, now. He says you are no longer a victim. He says you are no longer a slave. He says you are healed. He says you are chosen. He says you are free. He says you are pure. He says you have a purpose. He says your life matters. He says He loves you. He says you are!

Dear you.

His name is Jesus.


Selective Compassion

If someone died from a DUI, suicide, drug overdose, or death sentence, do you have compassion for the individual or family affected by that loss? Often I find that we don’t. We compartmentalize “death” or grieving for that matter. We’ve unknowing placed in two categorize what we should extend compassion towards and what we should spit on. I call this, selective compassion.

I was in elementary school when I first encountered the messy side of compassion. A classmate of mine committed suicide. I remember when I first found out he had died, it shocked my entire class. Many cried and others simply lost for words. When we found out how he died, the atmosphere shifted. It seemed that grieving was no longer necessary and the compassion that was initially there instantaneously evaporated as judgment took place.

We have selective compassion. We will grieve with those who are hurting if it fits our definition where compassion is necessary. Rather than having compassion over those who die from DUI, suicide, drug overdoes, or even the death sentence, we spit on them with our words and calloused hearts. We say things like “well they asked for it,” “that’s what they get,” “good riddance,” and the list goes on. We’ve said to ourselves that their lives don’t matter and their hurting families just the same. While in most cases, it was their lifestyle choices that led them to their demise, it doesn’t remove the urgency for compassion. It doesn’t remove the reality that their lives and the life of their family matter. It doesn’t remove the obligation we have as Christians to love no matter the circumstances. Compassion should never be selective.

Christians are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to showing compassion. We expect to see the Kingdom of God grow however, we reserve compassion for those who we say are good and suffering. On the other hand, we rejoice or are not even phased when someone who sinned or lived in sin suffers or dies. We are quick to cast judgment and in our judgment, we’ve played the role of god determining who deserves compassion and who doesn’t.

In Luke 10:30-35, we read the story of the Good Samaritan. If you aren’t familiar with the parable, here you go:

Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him...

We aren’t really told much about the man who got robbed. We aren’t told if he was an alcoholic, rapist, or killer. We aren’t told if he was a man of high status or wealth. We aren’t even told of his skin color. We are simply told, he was coming from Jerico, was robbed, stripped, and beaten. We see that neither the priest nor the Levite helped the man from Jericho. You would think that of anyone who should help and have some form of compassion, it would be one of those men. But they didn’t. Matter-a-fact, they chose to walk on the other side of the road ignoring the man in need. They had no compassion yet called themselves men of God. The most unlikely person, a Samaritan who people were not entirely fond of back then, was the one that helped. The [Good] Samaritan did not require an explanation to extend compassion. He didn’t need first to hear the man from Jerico’s story or find out who he was before showing kindness. He simply saw someone in need and was moved with compassion.

In the New Testament, you will find that before Jesus performed miracles He was moved by compassion. Compassion [Kindess] is the catalyst for changed lives. But we’ve missed it. We say we want all to come to know Christ, only if they fit our image of who belongs in Heaven. We walk around patting ourselves on the back. We praise how great we are as Christians, yet we neglect to see the plank in our eyes as we judge the speck in others.

Am I saying that compassion translates to agreeing with the lifestyle choices and decisions of others? No. Absolutely not. What I am saying is that you and I are called to have compassion towards the beggar, the bruised, broken, divorced, suicidal, addict, criminal, and the like. Why compassion? Because in compassion, we remove any grounds of judgment. In compassion, we translate the gospel message that all needs hope. In compassion, is where the catalyst for changed hearts becomes accessible.

Compassion doesn’t agree with the sin or wrong done. Compassion says you are still loved despite the wrong you’ve done. Compassion doesn’t remove the consequences that come with sin. Rather, compassion says in the consequences your life is not over, there is still hope. Compassion is simply and magnificently the heart of God.


If you cannot be a missionary in your backyard, what’s the point of going overseas?

I love missions. I love that we’ve been given a commission; a spiritual assignment here on earth. I love that before Jesus left He trusted us with going into the world to share a good news (thee Good News) that can save the worst of sinners and can set free those captive for years. What a gift and privilege we’ve been given! Far too often however, we have misunderstood missions as a foreign journey. We sojourn to nations outside of our norm. We engage in cultures far different from ours. We learn a language that is different from what we were born into. For what? Because we say, we are called to missions.

I grew up in a country far different from the one I hold nationality in. I grew up in a country where the Caribbean Sea was a stones throw from my bedroom window. I grew up hearing the familiar sound of steel pan playing in celebration primarily in the months of September and November. I grew up knowing not fast-food and bigbox stores, rather shops around each corner with island time programed on every mans watch. I grew up with houses all shapes and sizes painted every color of the rainbow and some. I grew up knowing wealth and knowing poverty. I grew up in what many of today’s American call their mission field.

I’ve been overseas a number of times. While I don’t hold the “calling” of full-time assignment in a particular nation or people group, I know my mission field is exactly where I am. I know my mission field is my backyard. I was maybe 6 years old when I learned this on my first missions trip. At the time I thought it silly the church was calling it a “missions trip.” Where we were going wasn’t even an hour away from where I lived. It wasn’t anywhere fancy like Africa or a Roman province. My family hosted American missionaries who told stories about the marvelous places they’ve been. That was missions wasn’t it? Getting on a plane and going somewhere you have little context of. Boy was a wrong.

My mom signed herself along with my brothers and I to go with the church to spend a week with a Minnonite community. It was a little town just south of where we lived. We were broken up into different teams and each team stayed with a Minnonite host family. The host family I was with had a daughter my age and a son one of my brothers age. We were told to do life with this family. We were told to fall into their routine and in doing so, be the light of Christ. I thought it silly, really. Why would these people who lived in my backyard need to know Jesus? There’s people in Africa, Asia, Eurpoe and beyond that needed Jesus. Not these people. So, I remained a recluse. I did as I was told but with heavy hesitation all while Miriam, the girl my age, graciously hosted me in her home trying for me to become her friend.

I wanted real missions. This trip down south really wasn’t fulfilling anything. At least that’s what I thought. To my surprise, by the end of my time with my Minnonite host family, I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to talk about Jesus more with my friend Miriam. I wanted to continue feeding the chickens in the morning with her and going off by the pond picking wild berries as we share stories of what it’s like in our home. I wanted to continue sharing stories I learned in Sunday school and develotionals I had with my family. It was on the drive back to my normal life did I realize that missions was too often glorified as a trip in the great beyond. A lie I had believed with great conviction when in truth, missions was my neighbor. It’s my backyard. It’s the lonely girl sitting in her familiar stop each Sunday at church. It’s the lady at the casheir who’s just not having it. Missions are the people I encounter at business shows I attend with my husband. They are my family who know not Christ. Missions, is all around.

Before leaving earth, Jesus told His disciples,

Then Jesus came to them [those who followed Him] and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:16-20

Go was never about a specific location. Too often we are wrapped up in a destination that we miss the, now. We miss the opportunities and God moments where disciple making is right before us. Too often we are wrapped up in the title of “missionary” that we dare not witness the name of Christ because it’s far too uncomfortable and besides, someone else will do it who has the title to do so. Too often we shy away from making friends with someone in our backyard because that’s too easy. We tell ourselves, they are not the people we are called to witness to. Too often, we have failed to see that missions was never about us. It was never about a location. Rather, it was always about the gospel message of hope and redemption being made know through the name of Jesus to every people group.

To my missionary friends overseas and local. Keep doing the work of Christ. Keep proclaiming the name of Jesus and finding unique and creative ways to bring those lost to Christ. What you do is needed. Your calling is one divine by Christ; a soldier is this spiritual war.

To those who who are eager to be on the field, I ask just one question, have you first made missions your backyard? Because if you cannot make your backyard your mission field, what’s the point of going overseas?

You will find that your neighbor while may look like you and share some similarities, has stories of their own. You will find, that there are people sitting in your row at church in desparte need of a friend. You will find people at work and in your passing, are lost too. So before you hop on plane and travel to the great beyond, know that the nation we are called to share the gospel message, is where we currently are.


Sin – Not an opinion.

If the Bible calls it a sin. Our opinion doesn’t matter.


To some, that phrase may come across as a tad bit abrasive. I don’t believe the intent of the statement was to shut down personal opinions. It doesn’t mean your opinion is of no value. Rather, it’s more challenging the nature within us that tends to bend the truth in order to fit how we think or the lifestyle we choose to engage in. If the Bible calls it a sin, it’s a sin. Our opinion, while important, doesn’t remove the basis of what is sin.

Christian or not, we all do it. We find ways to justify how we choose to speak and live. We try to bend the gospel message or moral code in order to help us feel a little better about ourselves. We tell ourselves why what we say and do is justified. We become tremendously callused in the heart that we tell ourselves and anyone that challenges us that we owe no one an apology for how we choose to live. Christians in particular are quick to bend scripture. We pick and choose verses to side with our belief system. Ultimately, we are quick to hold others accountable, but when we are placed in the spotlight of scrutiny, we dare not be questioned or challenged.

Sin is not an opinion. Sin is understood from the foundation of the earth as a way of living that opposes the nature of truth. Today, sin is masked behind what looks good. It’s actually advertised as pretty and safe. It’s more enticing and appears harmless when in actuality is deadly. I believe it is safe to say that Christian or not, you and I both know what sin is. You and I both know the difference between right and wrong. Either way, aside from sin that’s understood and does not require gospel knowledge to know the difference, there are seven specific sins that are considered, deadly.

These seven deadly sins are known as lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. This comes from Proverbs 6:16-19. Why exactly are these specific sins considered deadly? For starters, each deadly sin stems from a desire for more and the human want for excess. Now there’s nothing wrong with having “more”, but in each of these sins, an idol is created. God is no longer God, rather the grip each sin has on us becomes the new god. These sin opposes and rejects the root of Christianity that is built on love for God, love for others, and love for our bodies. These sins solely focus on self and when self is the focus we, in turn, make ourselves the god.

So, how exactly do we defeat these deadly sins? In order to defeat we must understand what cures…

Virtue cures lust. Virtue that bleeds morality that temptation when it comes, has no bearing. 
Abstinence cures gluttony. Abstinence is self-restraint. It's a strong mind that says no when everything within says, yes. 
Liberty cures greed. That is, confidence or even independence to no longer depend on things to satisfy needs, rather being content with what you have.  
Diligence cures sloth. Diligence is zeal and passion that can only be found when God enlightens and reveals our purpose.
Patience cures wrath. Patience extends grace and mercy. Patience isn't easily angered or disturbed. Rather, patience walks in a manner of love that often cannot be understood. 
Kindness cures envy. In kindness we learn to extend joy for others versus jealousy and a hardened heart. Kindness sees the good and lives the good.
Lastly, humility cures pride. A humbly living shifts attention from self to first Christ and then others. Humility literally means low and in living low it is dying to self.

Sin is not an opinion. The reality is, whether we like it or not, sin places us in a death trap. Our mind and heart space become detrimental when we allow any of the seven sins to have a place in our lives. Lust leaves us wanting more and will do whatever it takes to have more even if it means violating our bodies or someone elses. Gluttony keeps us dependent on food that appears to fill avoid when we turn right back to it each day because the void was never filled. Greed keeps us hungry for what we don’t have and fights even if it’s to tear others down to get there. Sloth keeps us living the same day each day for years. We have no drive to become and be. Wrath controls our hearts and mouth. It tarnishes our character and only brings out the worse inside of us. Envy has no friends. Envy remains the rut of insecurities and shame for the lack of want. And then there’s pride. Pride is found in each deadly sin. Pride never asks for help. Pride cannot admit when wrong. Pride cannot see the need for change within. Pride remains and pretends until all it can do rot in its stronghold grip.

There’s a reason why God referred to lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride as deadly sins. Each of these removes God and places itself as the god. Each of these opens the door of experimentation that it becomes easier and easier to lose ourselves. Each of these draws us further away from dependence on God to dependence on the sins to gratify our wants and needs.

I will leave you with this. Of these deadly sins, have you noticed any in your life that you have allowed your opinion to sway your conviction on it? Have you given any of these deadly sins a “pass”? Maybe you’ve convinced yourself your opinion holds more bearing than God’s truth?

I challenge you… be honest with yourself. Sin is not an opinion.