Release

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Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.” Matthew 11:25-26

Man made light dimmer

In the midst of “regular” life stuff, I’ve had the program of frustration, anger and exhaustion running the background of my mind. I know it stems from the illogical, wonky, and tilted ways the world seems to be thinking and moving in these days.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my inner light has felt dim. I know it’s there, but cobwebs and bugs flocking to the light have seemed to cover and mask it. BUT GOD in His graciousness, gave me something a formula in my quiet time today through these verses from Matthew and a beautiful prayer.

I’m calling it the So-And-So formula.

His ways are concealed and hidden (Matthew 11:25-26)

SO

Release it (frustration, anger, confusion, exhaustion) all to Him (Matthew 11:28-29)

AND

pray (Matthew 11:25)

SO

You learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:30)

I pray this formula will bring you the hope, peace, joy, release and confidence that is has brought me today. May we keep our eyes on the Creator so we maintain the confidence that He “spells out clearly to His children and the ordinary” (v. 25) His truth. May He give us His nightly strength and courage to lean into Him and away from all else so our lights shine brightly.

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:27-28 (MSG)

Sea Foam and Sparkles

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You know those days at the beach when the wind is so wild it creates layers of frothy foam that blow ashore and scatter like tumble weeds across the sand. It’s almost as if the ocean seems to foam at the mouth like a rabid animal? Kinda like me when the winds of my life are blowing a gale and things get a little dicey in my heart, mouth and spirit. (That’s another blog)

Anyway . . .

The foam covers everything it comes in contact with and eventually dries. Seashells are easy prey for the foam’s assault. When the wind dies down, slows and stabilizes the foam dries up. What was once white becomes a dried dingy brown coating on anything it came in contact with. The sand doesn’t seem to be affected much, but seashells are different. Their once shiny exterior that reflected the sun goes dull and instead of lingering together in a heap; each one unique in shape, color and style . . . They all begin to look the same. Like a diamond that hasn’t been cleaned after months of diaper changing, dog baths, dishwashing and lotion applications to stop the dry wrinkled skin from getting worse. BUT, it’s just an illusion and temporary. The shells are still unique, shiny, able to reflect light and be cleaned up if only washed by another way or picked up and cleaned by the helping hands of a passer by that recognizes it as their favorite shell.

This, I discovered in a conversation with God and walk on the beach this Mother’s Day weekend, has been my problem over the past several months. I forgot! I forgot that sometimes life circumstances (whether created or forced upon us) attack and cover us while the wild winds are blowing. That even when they seem to disappear, we can be left with a mucky grimy film covering us. We just walk around dim and wonder what’s wrong. Like a funky smell in your car or house you can’t locate or identify. We may even worry that we won’t ever get back to where we used to be or that no one will appreciate or recognize us anymore.

Just as the shell can’t predict when the next cleansing wave will makes its way to them, nor can we. But with faith in our Heavenly Father and those He dwells in the hearts of, we have hope. We may be hit by a massive wave of realization through scripture or worship to simply see ourselves shiny and unique once again. Or, It may be a person who picks us up with a word, prayer or message of hope. The truth is that no matter our temporary exterior (circumstances), we are still shiny underneath, loved, able to reflect light and create delight in someone’s life – we may only require a little polishing.

If you have been feeling a little bit like you have been covered with a layer of yuck (it can take many forms: disappointment, anger, frustration, confusion, fear, betrayal, etc.) Hang tight! Your renegade wave will come renew you or some passer by, that the Creator of Waves will send, will see you, scoop you up, encourage you and open your eyes to the glory and delight that is still within you.

In the wait, know this. God sees you. This will pass. You will shine again. You will delight again and you will reflect His light brightly once again. And then, your eyes will be opened to those He places in your path that need to be reminded they are seen and treasured. You will recognize their plight and you will shine them up and remind them of the treasure they are just as someone did for you.

And so it goes with God’s people. Our emotions, circumstances, and life challenges will ebb and flow like the tides, but one thing remains. . . They will recognize us by our love for one another and the way we reflect His light.

Join us for a Virtual Bible Study on Jeremiah

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We are excited to team up with Restored For Moms to bring you this virtual Bible Study.

I’ve had this study rolling around in my heart and head for a long time and I finally got it out on paper. This 7-week class is great if you are busy or need more to do because you can choose to do as much or as little as you want to each week. The study format allows for those at every level to engage and be a part of the discussion with the group on our Wednesday evening calls via Zoom. Melissa and I will even be incorporating our The Sinner and The Saint podcast topics into the study during this time as an added resource.

No need to purchase materials. Everything will be emailed to you once you register.

Class information: Wednesdays starting April 7, 2021 and ending May 19, from 8:30-9:45 pm.

I may be in pj’s with a cup of hot tea so come as you are. REGISTER today to reserve your spot.

Embracing and Celebrating

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Not all journeys look the same!

I recently had the unique and incredible opportunity to participate in a yoga, meditation and cooking class retreat. During that retreat, I had the opportunity to walk a labyrinth for the first time. It was beautiful and a light snow was falling. However, like so many other times in my life, I was putting pressure on myself to do it just right, have the perfect experience, and discover something incredible within my myself.

Here is what was going on in my head (hand with me, it’s a mess in there) . . . “Ok, I think this is the right way to walk it, just get going, start praying and walking hurry up, wait, I think I was supposed to come into the labyrinth with a certain prayer focus, what if I’m doing it wrong, have I been this way before, just pray and focus, sometimes people pick up a rock along the way to place on the alter when they get to the center, you should look for something special, no, just pray, God, thank you for this amazing weekend and the opportunity to be in this beautiful place. Please show me your beauty around me and, oh, gosh, maybe that is the special rock I’m supposed to pick up. Oh, no. I’m not doing this right, I’m supposed to walk all the way around and then land in the center, why am I already at the center. I just need to start over. [I back out of the maze and begin in a new spot]. Lord, I’m struggling here, I want to lift up my children and husband to you today, each of the women at this retreat and please reveal what you would have me, oh there is an amazing and beautiful strange piece of bark, I think that is what I’m supposed to place in the center, No, it’s supposed to be a rock, I think you just need to call it quits, you tried.”

And so I did, I shrugged my shoulders and began to walk out of the labyrinth not having any real focused prayer time due to my own judgement and desire to do things “right”. However, after I walked out, I could not ignore the Holy Spirit. I turned back around, walked into the labyrinth, found the bark and placed it on the alter. I knew that odd piece of bark was exactly what I was supposed to place there. Still nothing, just obeying. And then as I walked out of the labyrinth for a second time, and it came to me. The purpose and prayer focus that God wanted me to lean into.

Why this long story? More than anything I want us to remove the comparison and pressure we place upon ourselves. Sometimes we spend so much time trying to figure out how to pray the perfect way, show our faith to others, study the Bible, live our lives, etc. that we miss the entire point of it all.

To be still and listen to God, embracing and celebrating we are each unique in our hearts, our journeys, our paths and our roles. There is no perfect way to God – there is just God. He is before us and with us wherever we are, how ever we are doing it, and He isn’t waiting for us to get it all right before we approach Him.

May you feel this truth fall upon you like a soft snow that melts into your being and becomes a part of you. You are already enough! God is with you right now and doesn’t leave you. There is no judgement as you come before Him to listen and learn. Lean in and rest in the fact that your journey with God will not look like everyone else’s because you are His unique creation. May you embrace and celebrate where you are on your journey with Him today and every day. Amen

You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this. Psalm 139:13-14

You may have already found my unique piece of bark on the alter from the labyrinth. If you look at the cross made of black rocks (at the bottom of the picture), my bark is slightly above it to the right.

First Podcast & Challenge for 2021

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Photo by The Sinner and the Saint on December 31, 2020.

Do you participate in the New Year Resolution tradition? Pick a word, make a resolution, evaluate your commitments? What does it look like for you and what are some new ways to approach it so we can skip the “failure” piece? You will not want to miss our first podcast of 2021!

You can also join us for the January Month of Joy!

Everyday, throughout the month of January, we will post a word.
As you go about your day, take time to reflect on the word of the day and capture an image that reminds you of that word. Then look up a scripture to go along with the word. Keep your photos and scriptures in a journal or on your tablet/phone. Ask God what He is trying to show you as the new year begins. Tag us in your photos #sinnerandthesaintpodcast#monthofjoy

You can download the calendar on our resource page and follow along on Instagram and Facebook!

I’m NOT freaking out?!

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I woke yesterday (the day after the election) with the lightest spirit, a sense of unimaginable peace and hope. WHAT THE HECK, RIGHT?! If you have been a Christian long, you know that when you are experiencing this in a time that most aren’t . . . It’s GOD!

I’ve been inquiring, through prayer and within myself why, with no certainty, I was feeling this way and God placed on my heart the scriptures from 2 Samuel. It’s the story of when David’s son, born out sin with Uriah’s wife, was sick. David pleaded, prayed, fasted and begged for God to spare his son’s life. As you would expect from any loving parent, David was so distraught the servants were worried about telling him that his son had died.

However, once they told him. David did something unexpected. “Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” Taken from 2 Samuel 12:15-23

Don’t get me wrong. This is very unusual after losing a child, but the unlikely response make me think of my current situation where peace and rest were the last emotions I thought would be taking me over. Then I realized that like David, I have done all I can [for this election]. I researched, educated myself, prayed, had difficult/challenging conversations with others, I voted and I worked the polls all day. Although I will always pray for our country, I’ve done all I can do for this election process. It’s in God’s hands (as it always has been) and I find it wonderful to sit and rest in His power and plan.

I pray we all continue to love and lean into God’s plan, that we put aside fear and anger to love one another with His great love, and handle the coming days, months and years with a grace, love, and light that ONLY God’s people have the ability to do.

You can’t out sin God’s grace

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It’s never to late to come to God.

We’re all sinners, some of us just hide it better than others.

Are you holding on to one last secret…afraid that God will never forgive you?

Perhaps you’ve had an interaction that left you thinking,”If this is what being a Christian looks like, I’ll pass!”

Or maybe you are a Christian and you can’t seem to get it just right.

If you need a little encouragement and truth this week – Today’s podcast is for you!

LISTEN HERE

Stay In Your Lane, Karen!

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This weeks podcast is out, and it’s part of a series based on some incredible insight found in 1 Thessalonians 5:11-25.

Listen on your favorite podcast platform now or click HERE. <a href="http://

Can you imagine the peace this would bring to those we know and who serve us? This week, let’s consider how we can respect and love those who encourage us and teach us through the word of God. I have a list of people who have helped me grow in Christ. How about you?

Therefore (1) encourage one another and (2) build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to (3) respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and (4) to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. (5) Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, (6) admonish the idle, (7) encourage the fainthearted, (8) help the weak, (9) be patient with them all. (10) See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but (11) always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. (12) Rejoice always, (13) pray without ceasing, (14) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (15) Do not quench the Spirit. (16) Do not despise prophecies, (17) but test everything; (18) hold fast what is good. (19) Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. Brothers, (20) pray for us. (21) Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I put you under oath before the Lord to (22) have this letter read to all the brothers. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-25

Season 2 of our Podcast Starts TOMORROW!

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🥁 roll please!!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!

Season #2 begins tomorrow with “Be the Sunshine!!”

AND we are starting this season with a GIVEAWAY!! 

Oh yeah, we spent our time off working on some merchandise that we know you’re going to 💗!! 

Check back on our social media accounts tomorrow for our new episode & for a chance to win some The Sinner and The Saint swag!!