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!!

Our podcast is now on PANDORA!

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Melissa and I are excited to announce that our podcast is now on Pandora!

You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, iHeart Radio, Google Podcast, Spotify and TuneIn + Alexa! We begin season two August 5th and you won’t want to miss our new topics based off guidance from Paul (1 Thessalonians)

We can’t tell you how much we appreciate all the encouragement, support, e-mails and texts we have gotten from you as listeners and friends.

We want to hear from you! Tell us what you are struggling with, topics of interest, concern or intrigue that you want to hear us work through on The Sinner and The Saint.

Also, in more BIG news . . . We have fun t-shirts and merchandise in the works plus some exciting promotions. Stay tuned!

With gratitude, Allison

Tune-in! Special Podcast is LIVE!!

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Today, we hosted our first guest on The Sinner and The Saint to discuss race relations in America. We hope you will join in on this special episode, listen to our conversation, and then start your own conversations with those around you.

Dorrell Briscoe is a friend, pastor of Six-Eight Church Durham, NC, and author of There’s A Storm Comin’: How the American Church Can Lead Through Times of Racial Crisis.

You can follow Dorrell on his blogInstagram, and other social media accounts.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

The Corona Files

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Hope Community Church asked me to host some interviews with other women to discuss life in quarantine, etc. We discussed emotions/reactions that have surprised us, ways we are coping, where we have seen God at work and much more. I then added devotions to each one. There is a series of four videos/devotions they have turned into a class on Lifeway’s ministry grid. All you have to do is follow the link below and create a LifeWay login if you don’t already have one.

https://ministrygrid.lifeway.com/#/redeem-invite/XJRJ/NWGV

I’m praying you all are well, healthy and finding some joy in each day. I also pray that if you watch these videos they bring you encouragement, hope, laughter and comfort. The wisdom and truth these women share are extraordinary.