God is doing something new (Isaiah 43:19). Let’s be strong. Let’s be courageous. Let’s not be afraid.
Bravery comes in a variety of ways.
There I was. Sitting on the edge. Paying off my debt to a group of 8 - 5th grade boys. My invoice of losing a game of lightning in super embarrassing fashion demanded a tendering of being “blobbed” into the chilly waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
One big problem: I can’t swim.
21-year-old Tim. Scared out of my mind. What if I don’t hold my breath in time? What if I hit the bottom of the lake? What if I drown? What seemed to be playful trash talk proved to be one of the most anxious memories of my life.
I was a good sport. I walked up what seemed to be the tallest ladder in the world. Plopped onto the big plastic inflatable balloon sitting in the water. Scooted down.
And before I could say “...way”, I sensed myself floating. Up. Higher. Sir Issac Newton was right (in case you ever wondered). Whatever goes up, must come down.
The rush of adrenaline jetted through my veins. The sound of these prepubescent boys giggling because they had just launched someone almost three times their age. And the joy I felt knowing that I had either died and gone to heaven or was alive ready to do it again.
Oh… and thank God for life jackets.
For me, bravery was staring down my fear and anxiety about never really being in water. Questions about water safety raced through my brain. Bravery was doing something I had never done before (or wanted to do before). Bravery was allowing myself to experience something different with a group of other people that brought us all joy (at least, in the end).
Bravery takes trust. Trust that the "other side" of our feelings, experiences, or this life will be "good". Trust that we are not going to be alone. Trust that our life jackets will actually do what they're designed to do. Trust that this whole thing isn't about my ideas, hopes, and dreams - it's about something much bigger... much more divine... much more about God's work than mine. Trust takes bravery.
Could it be that God is asking us to grow in our bravery?
When it comes to our current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 (let’s be honest: we can’t control any of it), I think of my fear and anxiety that came from a place I’d never been before. I mean, how many of you have been through a global pandemic? I think of doing things I’ve never had to do like lead an almost exclusive online church community. I think of allowing myself to experience something different... a new chapter that God wants to write in my story (and yours!).
And whether it is waiting to be “blobbed” in the lake or waiting for re-entry, we have a life jacket. I’m reminded of Joshua’s encouragement to God’s people when they were living in fear and anxiety, invited to do things they’ve never done, and sitting together about to enter a new season, place, and lifestyle. Joshua said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. The LORD is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
That's a great Word to center ourselves on as we move into June.
Indeed, God is doing something new (Isaiah 43:19). Let’s be strong. Let’s be courageous. Let’s not be afraid. Why? Because the LORD is with us every step of the way.
Let’s become brave… together!
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery (JB) was less than a mile from where we used to live in St. Louis. A little trivia: It is the oldest operating military installation west of the Mississippi River.
I always loved how JB would honor the women and men who had served in the military. The first-ever graveside I led there brought tears to my eyes. It was full of reverence, respect, and honor. I left feeling grateful for the thousands of people buried there that I never had the opportunity to meet face-to-face, but shared the common conviction that freedom matters.
This week, I wanted to share a Memorial Day message from one of the greats: Billy Graham.
As you remember the women and men who gave their lives to protect our national freedom, may also remember the One who gave His life for our eternal freedom.
Check out Billy Graham's message here and let me know what you think.
Happy Memorial Day.
Love you all!
I recently asked our ministry team to think about their relationships with friends, family, and their neighbors and describe the brokenness that they see others experiencing right now.
Their responses make me stop and pause because it's where I am, too. Check it out.
Wow. That's heavy stuff. Do you see and feel the same things? I do.
I would love to learn what you and your neighbors are experiencing. Let me know by completing this short survey. Your input will help us, help you love God, love people, and live like Jesus.
*indicates a required question
There is no doubt that my life has changed in the last eight weeks.
Life has indeed, changed.
I’m guessing your life has changed, too.
The truth is that our lifestyles and culture have changed… and they will continue to change.
I want to come alongside you in this online space and walk with you on our shared journey of staying home and staying healthy.
Throughout the month of May (and perhaps longer), I’ll be sharing conversations and resources at oslc.com/stayhealthy that will help us all stay physically, mentally, emotionally, and of course - spiritually healthy.
I’ll post new content each week - usually Wednesdays and Fridays, so check back often.
Love you guys. -pt
The OSLC ministry team is a growing collection of women and men who live as a family on mission, leading the OSLC family in connecting an unchanging God with a changing world by loving God, loving people, and living like Jesus.