Have you ever been a part of something historic and experienced that moment when you think, “Wow, I am so glad that I got to be a part of that!”? I am thinking of truly historic culture defining moments like, the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin wall, the first Free Willy movie, and now Summit’s 2017 Backpack Drive.
When I showed up last summer for the first night of For Her, I expected it to be a good opportunity to hear from some of the prominent female voices in our congregation and to hangout with my girlfriends. But I did not expect to feel so deeply understood and seen in a room full of women.
I’m going to be honest... this spring the Connect group I am a part of did an in-depth study of the book of James chapter-by-chapter. It was amazing. However, when we found out that Summit was doing a summer long series on the book of James there was a little (or maybe a big) moan of “oh man…we just did that!”
My friend, Maria, is a social worker for an elementary school in a distressed neighborhood outside of Atlanta. At the end of this last school year, a third grade girl was brought to her office after having a melt down. The girl had always been a good student and never had any behavioral problems. The teacher’s aide escorting her in said that the young girl had been found crying in the bathroom clutching her backpack.
When I first accepted Jesus into my heart, I experienced a supernatural peace that defied all logic or understanding. It went to the very core of my being and I knew that there was a God who loved me and that my sins and guilt were washed clean.
I often viewed Christianity as simply one giant do-not-do list. Stay away from doing X, Y, and Z and you’ll be in favor with God. I suspect much of the outside world views Christianity in this same light as well.
At the IJM Orlando Prayer Gathering, we got to hear about the work that’s happening to end slavery and we had the opportunity to pray for some specific issues IJM is facing around the world. Whether or not you were able to make it, these are the things that were prayed for and we will continue to pray for.
James is a countercultural letter. That much is clear from the very outset: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…”? I mean, come on, James, you don’t know what I’ve been through! I actually had a really good reason to not consider it pure joy.
My husband, Aaron, and I became parents in March of this year and we felt as prepared as we possibly could. My undergraduate degree is in psychology, when I was growing up my job was always as a babysitter, and I’ve spent the past ten years working in children’s and student ministries. I’ve basically had as much exposure to children and parents as a person could possibly have without being an expert in the field.
Although born near Chicago, a portion of my early childhood was spent with my mother’s family in a small village in The Philippines. By western standards, most of our village was extremely poor. Truth was, each family didn’t own very much and alone some would not have survived. Because we did life together, though, we thrived. I was never hungry nor did I feel unprotected (even with some wild animals for neighbors). Our community was living in abundance without much stuff.