Hearts Full of Grace, Souls Generated by Love

Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is simply one of my favorite people. If you haven’t watched Selma, I would highly recommend it. Get yourself a box of tissues and a friend to process with. Looking back on the history of race and America is not for the faint of heart.

People can be so wicked, cruel and ignorant. Fear does crazy things to people. The tension for me is in asking the question: what would I do? Great books and movies force me to ask this question. What would I do, really? And more frequently than I care to admit, I’ve found that I might not be the right side of justice, love, or understanding. I don’t know that I would have been willing to march, speak up, go to jail, or put my family at risk. The luxury in looking backwards is that you can see the outcome and know what steps to take. The reality of living in the moment is that you have to risk a lot and overcome many fears to make the right decision.

My prayer and hope is that I would have a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. For me, one of the ways I try to do this is by increasing my time with Jesus and taking care of myself. This month, I’ve had 2 retreats.  One was a New Year retreat and the other was a Silent Retreat. Both were SO good. One started by looking backwards and bringing me to my now and the other started with my now and looking ahead at what’s to come.

The first retreat was at Awaken Community Church. It’s a covenant church in St. Paul off of West 7th. It’s a community of incredible artists and deeply thoughtful people where I feel like I am both loved and pushed to pursue Jesus out in the world. It’s been a great space for me to process, think and generally figure out what’s next for me. It’s been exactly what I’ve needed in this season.  At the retreat we were asked to study Luke 24:13-35.  It’s the story of 2 friends who are walking on the road to Emmaus. They are sad and have lost hope because of Jesus’ death. They don’t yet believe that Jesus is alive.
When I placed myself in the story, would I have been sad and hopeless on the road or would i have stayed in Jerusalem with hope for more than a few days??  As much as I would like to say that I would have hunkered down with hope in Jerusalem, I would have probably been on the road sad and hurt that the man I gave up everything to follow in was laying dead in a tomb. Have you placed yourself in a Bible story lately?

The second retreat was a Silent Retreat at The Urban Retreat Center.  If you are longing for some time away or looking for an amazing retreat (there are even date nights and small groups) I would recommend this hands down. It was SO good for me and my soul. I worked on my Rule Of Life, a practice that helps you identify and be intentional about how you live and how you balance life, spirituality, health, work, etc. It was only 2 hours, so I didn’t actually craft the whole thing, but I did have time to pray and answer some really good questions.  I looked at where I currently am, my roles and desires and what I wanted my future to contain.  The last question, the one I didn’t finish, was so profound:  “What has God placed deeply in your soul that speaks of your most sincere concern for others, yourself, and God’s kingdom?”  If you know the answer to this question for yourself, then you should make your rule of life!  And tell me about it!

So those are my thoughts on this frigid January day in Minnesota. I’m working on writing more (journaling more than blogging, but that can change depending on my day) and I also decided to start my own business. I’m super excited about it and you can read up on it or do a little stalking by going to my webpage, by clicking here.

I hope that your heart will be full of grace and your soul generated by love as you begin this new year. I pray that each of us will learn from the brave men and women in the past who pushed past the fears and unknown to change the world. I pray that we would be people who risk much and end up on the right side of justice, love and understanding.

The What and the How

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. More than normal for this introvert. I wanted to write weekly blog posts and have amazing updates on my life.

But, every blog post I wanted to write was going to come off sounding a bit crazy and bit political.  And I don’t like to engage in politics behind a screen. I’ve found that I have computer-courage. Similar to liquid courage,   it allows you to say and do things that you normally wouldn’t.  And, to be honest, neither of those types of courage ever got me anywhere.

I have struggled with coming to terms with the fact that I’m not supposed to be out in the world hustling to climb the corporate ladder. I was secretly hoping that God would have it in mind for me to go back to being an analyst, making 6 figures.  We could buy a nicer home, move to a better location, send Austin to college and Nick to private school.  I could buy my Subaru.  We could go on a family vacation that wasn’t in Minnesota. I was REALLY hoping.  But it’s clear to me, my husband, and my closest friends, that what God has for me is not about all those things.  And, in an effort to just be transparent and real, I feel like I must not keep those thinking things just in my head.  That I must put them out there.  I have to make some of these thoughts “real.”

If you don’t speak it, is it real?  If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?
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So, first things first: the job search.   Some of you care, some of you don’t.  But it is the most asked question that I get.  What am I doing?  I’m currently doing a few things.

1.  I’ve started to do some art. Well, art/design/building/creating with my youngest sister. She and I work together one day a week and then on our own during the rest of the week. We are playing with pallets, paints, canvas, sharpies, spray paint, thrift store finds, plants, candles, and anything else that inspires us.  We will be launching a website and “store” soon.  Our first public show is at Awaken Community Church (it’s a Covenant church in St. Paul that I just LOVE) from 12-3 on Sunday November 29 and December 6.  Come and see what we have been up to!

2. I’m also substitute teaching at New Life Academy. I know, crazy, right? I was excited to try “teaching” (and by teaching, I mean the absolute best parts of it without all of the hard work like lesson planning and tests and all the things that teachers do all day and night).  When I was younger, I would spend days playing teacher in the basement of our house. I loved chalkboards and handouts and teaching my sister all the things that I knew and that she NEEDED to learn. So, yes, I love subbing.  I’m working with the middle school and high school kids.  They are sassy and funny and full of dreams and fears.  I also just show up and do what the teacher has asked and then go home without any work coming with me.  It’s been almost 20 years since I had a job that didn’t come home with me.   ITS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE and a pleasant surprise.

3. I’m still volunteering with non-profits that I love and I have joined a board.  I’m learning about housing and poverty and life skills, with Steps of Strategy. It’s something that keeps challenging me and I continue to learn how much I have to learn.  I love the people that I get to work alongside of and it’s a good reminder for me of how many amazing things I have in my life and that the quest for bigger and more sometimes means that I have less to give to others.  

4. I’m working on writing and developing a curriculum.  This one has been on the back burner, but it’s getting moved up because its one of the things that I know I need to be working on, but it’s easier to not.   It’s hard and requires me to put a whole lot of fear behind me so I can actually do the work.  

And then, the other question, how am I doing?

I’m doing well. I can see how God has planned this time for me and my family. I struggle with missing many people and organizations. I miss running large events and selling mugs. I miss the Christmas planning and preparing to be hospitable for hundreds of people.  And if I’m honest, I miss the hustle.  I know how to hustle. I know how to work hard and get approval and be a success. I’m pretty good at depending on myself to get things done.  What I don’t know how to do is wait and depend on others.

What I know is this: this season isn’t about the hundreds for me, its about a few.  Advent won’t be lost on me this season. I really don’t know what my career path looks like right now, but I’m doing well.  I do know that I’m a better wife, mom, and human being right now because I have margin and I am loving the flexibility in my week.   Jeremiah is providing for our family financially and it’s so great to see how God is using him.

I know the pace of my life and the work that God is doing in me doesn’t look like what I or others think it should look like.  But His best work never does. I’m thankful for this times and these unwritten pages.

P.S. If you’re looking for some amazing organizations that doing some of the hardest, in the trenches, work for those on the margins, check out these places:

1. Safe Families, MN 
2. Urban Ventures 
3. International Justice Mission

 

 

 

Of this I’m sure, #41years

I’m 41 today.  And it feels just like 41.  It’s not the new 31, and it’s certainly not over the hill.  It’s 41.  And it’s good. I don’t make a lot of lists, but I was thinking about what I’m sure of now that I’m 41 and it led me to the following:

  1. Hard work doesn’t mean success. It means you’ve worked hard.  It does not make you better than or less than. It simply means you are a hard worker.
  2. While the 40’s is pretty great, you don’t necessarily know who you are or what your career path will look like.
  3. Even though you might not know who you are or what you should do with your career, you aren’t afraid to find out and try. #carpediem
  4. Joy is a choice. Sometimes the hardest choice, but you can choose it every day.
  5. Being humbled is the surest way to find humility.
  6. Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said we need to love everyone. If someone can’t love you, that’s between them and Jesus.  Your job is to love them anyways.
  7. Forgiveness is hard work. It’s sometimes daily, and sometimes you have to fake it til you make it.  But you will make it. And it will look SO good on you.
  8. Social media is not a reflection of real life. For real. People hide the deepest hurts and darkest secrets. They will never show up as a status.   People don’t post about affairs, DWI’s, addictions that are destroying everything, or how they embezzeled from their employer. They will however tell you what they are eating for lunch.
  9. If you don’t know your worth, you haven’t spent enough time with Jesus. Knowing how much you are worth will help you make all the best decisions. This world does not know how much you are worth and it can not tell you; this world will eat you up and spit you out.  Jesus though, He is the real deal.  You are worth everything.
  10. Laughter is the best way to heal. It dissipates anger and lets love in.   Surround yourself with people who not only make you laugh, but encourage you to laugh at yourself.  And then throw your head back and laugh until you pee. If I’ve learned anything in the last 41 years, I’ve learned to be prepared to laugh until I pee.  #pantylinersafterbabies

Faker, Table for 1.

I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. Not if you’ve been inside my house, because there, I’ve been pretty loud. Perhaps too loud. But in the publishing my thoughts for public consumption, I’ve been quiet. Vulnerability does that to me. I like to have things in a row…my ducks, my sweaters, and my spices. And when I don’t, I’m not fan of showing it. I especially like my faith to look like it’s in a row.

Cue the timely Bob Goff tweet:

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Well. Doesn’t that just make sense.

The truth is, I’ve been faking it.

Faking like I have everything in a row. Shocker, I don’t. But putting that out there feels a little scary and a lot risky. But it’s honest and it’s mine. If I learned anything while on staff at a church, it’s that each of us is on a faith journey and none of them look the same. And this morning, I did have an epiphany about why I feel so, well…stripped.

Before I tell you about my “dream,” let me explain that I am fiercely independent. Because of this, I have always wanted to make sure that I could “take care of myself.” Taking care of myself meant that I could fix my car when it broke down. My dad owned an auto body shop (shout out to Jim’s Fender Rebender fans) during my younger years. I grew up smelling paint and playing with windshield adhesives. My dad didn’t necessarily teach me the business, but I learned a lot by watching him and his employees. Maybe I’ll even tell you all about Mookie sometime.

But today, I needed to give you a little background on me and cars. My dad didn’t understand my determination (he calls it stubbornness. potate-o, potah-to) to fix things, but always encouraged me to “settle down” and “we’ll figure it out.” He also handed out nuggets of wisdom on everything from checking your oil each time you fill up to how to whip a shitty on a frozen lake. He also taught me how to change my tires and remove the lug nuts.

That lug nut thing, it’s important for this story to make sense. Because if you try to take off a lug nut that is over tightened, with too much force, you can strip the lug nut. So here’s a picture of what I’m talking about:

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I had a semi-lucid dream/talk with myself this morning. It was kind of outta body and kind of inna body experience. It was strange.

There I was, looking at my car and my tire; telling myself that I, have a stripped lug nut. I was telling myself that my life was just like that stripped lug nut. I had tightened my life and my career so tight, that when I needed to change the tire, I ended up with a stripped lug nut.

My faith was like a lug nut screwed on too tight. I had been trying to shut out any doubt and know all of the answers, that when it came time to leave my job, it was actually so entwined with my faith and who I was and keeping it all together, that in the process of leaving, I pushed too hard to keep it all together and I stripped the nut.

In the “dream,” I cussed at the tire, the lug nut and the stripped bolt. Tossed the tire iron across the yard, sat down defeated, and wept. And then, when I was done throwing my tantrum, I got up and called my dad. He knew exactly how to get that lug nut off.

I think what I needed to see and understand from this “dream” was that I know how to do this, but sometimes I need to ask for help. Which means not being a faker, inviting someone to join me at my table. I’ve been trying to hear God and figure out where my next steps are, but I haven’t actually asked him for help yet. I need Him at my table. So, that’s what I’m going to go do now. And then I’m gonna call my Dad and thank him for all those lessons in changing my own tires.

Just Lisa

I was at my therapy appointment (honestly, we all need a therapist) and I was talking about my future career options.   Basically, my uncertainty that I wanted to be just a fill in the blank.  And then my brilliant and amazing therapist (for real) told me to say it differently.   Not as an adverb, but as an adjective.  If you don’t know the difference (it took me a minute, too) here is the difference:

just |jəst|

adverb:  barely; by a little: I got here just after nine | inflation fell to just over 4 percent | I only just caught the train.

adjective: based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair: a just and democratic society | fighting for a just cause.

And in that simple (or incredibly wordy and weepy) exchange, I was no longer just anything and I was absolutely Just Lisa.  The air felt lighter and the pressure to have my career define my faith or my worth shifted away from what I do and focussed on who I am.

While I was on staff at a church, I had the amazing opportunity to work with people who are doing crazy great things in the world.  In a crazy turn of events, I was asked to write a blog for them about one the things I’m passionate about, justice and human trafficking.

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I can choose to be just Lisa, unsure, small, and barely able Lisa. Or I can choose to be Just Lisa, capable, smart and brave enough Lisa to share this post and my thoughts on things. A change in perspective (and semantics) can do amazing things.  What words do you use to define yourself? Do they minimize your abilities, or do they empower you to have an impact where you are?

Sparklers and Mortars and A Very Happy 4th of July

Nothing says summer like watermelon and the 4th of July!

Nothing says summer like watermelon and the 4th of July!

It’s July 2nd. I’m sure that there is something significant about this date somewhere. July 2nd is about the time that I begin planning my July 4th celebration. We still don’t know what we are doing and the pressure is higher since the 4th falls on the weekend. I should have been planning this weeks ago; sidling up to friends who have campers, cabins, lake houses.  But alas, I did not.  And I rarely do. Which is why 90% of my 4th of Julys are made up of mostly last minute moments.

If any of you are last minute people, LMP, (also know as Perceiver on the Myers Briggs), you know what I am talking about. This does not mean we don’t have fun. It means that the memories are less Instagram worthy and more America’s Funniest Home Video worthy.

For instance, when you are a LMP, you might end up deciding to just purchase your own fireworks to shoot off in the common area of the townhouse where you live so that your 3 year old’s sleep schedule doesn’t get interrupted. This shouldn’t be a big deal. Unless you are a last minute person who is married to a very excitable person, VEP, (also known as a sales persons dream).  Then, things get REAL.  Because you,LMP, send the VEP over the border to buy fireworks quickly for that evening.  VEP is living the dream because he is being sent to the land flowing with milk and honey, or in our case, beer, cheese, and illegal fireworks.  (For those of you not in the midwest, Minnesota doesn’t like to let normal folks set off large fireworks, you know because safety.)

In the world of a LMP, a very strange thing happens…GUILT.  I feel bad about being so last minute and it’s my fault we didn’t make plans.  And when VEP returns with many dollars worth of  illegal and large fireworks,  and the neighbors and kids cheer and rally around him, you go with the flow.  And pray that no one loses a hand. Or head.  It’s actually a very real possibility.

There is a slight chance that your VEP doesn’t follow directions and doesn’t actually know much about fireworks other than that they are SO loud, SO big, and SO illegal.   Which means SO AWESOME.

When a VEP encounters SO AWESOME, someone is going to come close to death. (I’ll tell you about Mexico in another post.)  My VEP set up the fireworks and went to town before dusk.  I tried to explain night and day to him, but we were halfway through the pile when we could finally see them in the sky.  I think we saw maybe 2 night sky fireworks when the inevitable happened.  A lighted firework tipped over.  Now, if this was a Minnesota legal firework, VEP would have been able to just tip it back up. But this was a SO loud, SO big and SO illegal firework. The only option that VEP had was to run.  And scream at all the sweet neighborhood children to do the same.  I swear it was slow motion.  The chaos. The screaming. The running. The BOOM.  That firework shot out of it’s container and like a bolt of lightening and disappeared behind the townhouses across from us. Thankfully, there was a neighbor outside grilling who was able to tell us where it went. Right next to his head.

I swear that if we had had cell phones that could video, we would have won some sort of prize.   But, it’s a last minute moment.  No video.  No photos.  Just a photographic memory of meeting new neighbors who have the ability to laugh when faced with their mortality.

You would think that I would learn, but I like a good adventure and I love those last minute moments.  Happy 4th of July y’all.  May we never take for granted our freedom and may we continue to fight for those who are denied theirs.

Prayer Matters

I returned home from the Global Prayer Gathering (GPG) in Washington DC this past week.  Spending time withInternational Justice Mission (IJM) reminds me how God is moving all over the world in every hidden and small space.  This year, the focus was on how our prayers matter. Indulge me for a moment to share some quotes that I heard during the GPG:

  • “Faith is fear that has said its’ prayers.”  Brenda Salter McNeil
  • “God can do ALL on His own. But God chooses NOT to do on his own. He unleashes His power into the world through our asking.” Gary Haugen
  • “To pray is to trust him as you may and He will reward you that you would trust him more.”  Amy Carmichael
  • “Jesus, if you change people as they say, change me.” First prayer of a former slave who is now working for IJM
  • “I want to be beautiful again. I want to regain all I’ve lost.” Prayer of a rescued trafficking survivor
  • “I tell you these things so that you would always pray and NEVER GIVE UP.” Jesus

I spent time in prayer for many different countries and different forms of injustice and I was struck at how often I forget how powerful prayer is. I think that the discipline of praying and building our relationship with God is one of the hardest things to learn because it’s something that can be faked and simply cannot be taught. We have to just do it.  We have to practice it. And for each one of us, it looks completely different.   The only way to figure it out is by doing it.

My time spent at the GPG encourages me to pray more passionately, more frequently and with expectation.  I begin to see that God answers prayers in the most incredible and huge ways.  Like this:

  • In Uganda, there are now 11 police stations in IJM’s project area that have been trained and resourced by IJM so that they no longer see property grabbing as a “family matter” and are recognizing it’s devastating impact.
  • In Guatemala, IJM is partnering with government official in a historic initiative that allows IJM to train national police on protecting children from sexual assault.
  • In South Asia, in 2014, IJM helped rescue 512 slaves in their largest operation to date.  Govenrment officials are frequently investigating and prosecuting cases of slavery on their own.
  • In Cambodia, after 10 years of IJM working there, IJM has trained thousands of local authorities in the fight against sex trafficking and, after a decade of work, it’s very difficult to find children in the commercial sex establishments – less than 1 percent in most places.

There is still so much work to be done in the world.  And our personal relationship with God can always use some more time and attention.   If you are interested in praying with and for IJM, I have 2 links below that you can explore:

 A guided prayer time

View the GPG online with On Demand Videos

And, if there is any way that I can help you in any part of your journey, please let me know!
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Lisa Adams,
Director of Missions

Who are you? A reminder.

My sister and I were just talking this week about this realization that somehow when we got married and then gave birth to our kids, we gave up our identities.  It wasn’t something that we planned on doing.  In fact, we didn’t even know it was gone for years.   It was a slow fade.   I had slowly become something to everyone but me.  I stopped doing the things that I loved and began doing the things that needed to get done to keep everyone else okay. Which works out fine if your life never has crisis.  Anyone here never experience crisis?? Crisis and identity go hand in hand for me. I learned that crisis and has a funny way of spotlighting you.  Like this big bright light shining down on you when you are feeling weak and vulnerable and afraid.  Like how white pants show every dimple and ripple.  Am I right? So, when crisis came for me, I had forgot about the Lisa who was strong and brave and who was passionate about music and justice, and helping other people, and who Jesus LOVED and who loved Jesus.  What I remembered in that spotlight was the Lisa who had hurt other people, who made some bad choices and deserved to be punished, the Lisa who didn’t feel like she was good enough for anyone to fall in love with her.  These were the loudest voices.   When my marriage was in crisis and the pain of a potential divorce and raising a child by myself was my reality. I was standing there in tight white pants.  And that spotlight is harsh.

The reason I’m telling you this is because I wanted to be able to tell you what someone once told me (while I was weeping and snotting, and breaking down and standing in that spotlight) –  was that Jesus desperately loved me.   He is mad about me. She reminded me that the harsh voice I was hearing was wrong…and not anything that God would say.   He had forgiven me.   He finds me beautiful.  He thinks I’m smart and funny.   He knows the kindness I have shown others.  And he chose me.   His light is a soft candlelight, with beautiful black pants.

And to make sure that I continue to hear that voice (instead of that spotlight) and be more “LISA”I started to do a few things:

  1.   I cant even begin to tell you how important this was for me.  I’m a therapy pusher!
  2.  My table. I invited a few cherished dear friends into my inner circle and I’m completely transparent with them.  And they with me.   They remind me when I need to turn down the spotlight and light candles instead.
  3. I started to go to concerts again. In my pre-husband and sons days, I went to multiple concerts and musicals each month.   Music is my love language for sure.  So, I’ve started to make room in our budget and calendar to do just do concerts.  I just figured out my summer schedule and I am SO excited. It makes me giddy and feel like me.

So for some of you, this will be an affirmation.   For others, you may not have heard these words in a long time.   But I wanted you to know that God loves you.  His is mad about you.   He calls you His.  You are smart.  You are beautiful.  You are kind.

Now, it might sound like my life is just full of crisis.   It’s really not, but those moments have truly allowed me to grow in my faith and in who I want to be so I tend to tell those stories.

Schoolhouse Rock

I’m writing to you from Washington DC! (I know, very House of Cards). I have the privilege of being here this week at theGlobal Prayer Gathering!

International Justice Mission (IJM) will gather over 1400 people over the next couple of days to lean into God’s heart for justice. We will will worship, pray, sing, and hear stories about how God is on the move all over the world.

This year, I was asked to be a part of the group that would lobby with the House and Senate! There is this new legisaltion called the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act (S. 553) that IJM sees as very critical to ending modern day slavery.

Basically, it would create a non-profit that would raise money to fund anti-slavery efforts around the world. This particular piece of legislation is so encouraging because it is both bi-partisan and it requires funding from other governments and the private sector. I see it like a little miracle act that is bringing the whole world together to end slavery.

My task was simply to let our Congress people know that I cared deeply about this. I went into this this morning thinking that it would be super intimidating and difficult to navigate. I mean when people talk about going to “the hill” and “lobbying” I don’t really think I’m part of that scene (unless the hill is the pulpit and lobbying is what I do in the lobby). I didn’t see myself as an advocate. But after this morning, I realized that I am.  And so are each of you.  The influence that you wield simply by living in your city and state is LARGE. Sending an email matters. Phone calls do not go unnoticed. This does not require some special skill set or Poli Sci degree to get your voice heard. You can be an advocate anywhere.

I tell you this because I walked away from today stunned that what I learned from Schoolhouse Rock is actually true!  And I also came to believe there may be day that WE will see an end to slavery in this world.  Our generation could be the one that says no more.  That freedom is something that everyone should have. God is on the move and He wants us to join Him.  He wants us to advocate for the orphan and the widow and the slave. He wants us to be a light in the darkness of human trafficking and violence and slavery.  Will you join Him?  Are you willing to be an advocate for people who can not advocate for themselves?

I would love to see you join this movement to end slavery!

If you are interested in learning more about advocating for justice around the world or would like to sign the act, you can go to freedomcommons.ijm.org

And if you have more questions or just want to get together to talk about justice, I’d love to help you with that. You can reach me by phone or email.

P.S.  The Global Prayer Gathering is being recorded, so I’m hoping that by next week, I’ll be able to share that link with you all.

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Lisa Adams,
Director of Missions

Here Comes the Sun

I have to be honest, I don’t love the Beatles (I know, I’m a rebel), but as I watch Winter turn to Spring, I hear the lyrics of Here Comes the Sun…”Little Darling, it’s been long cold lonely winter” in my head. This winter has kind of felt like that, right? The cold, and gloomy, and of the lack of life have been everywhere. It seems no matter where I turn, I hear stories of struggle. From the shooting in Kenya, to Isis, to illnesses, and people who have so much life to live leaving this earth too soon. Winter, has been upon us for so long and it at times has felt so lonely. With all the tragedy we can start to wonder where God is.

And then Easter happens. We are reminded that with Jesus’ death we are give new life, and we understand that Spring was always in God’s plan. From the death of winter comes the new life of Spring. Hope. New beginnings. A chance to start fresh.

As Spring slowly begins to wake the earth up, and grass gets greener and plants start to bloom, we see God’s fingerprints everywhere. If He keeps the small delicate flowers blooming, and he cares about the tiniest sparrow, certainly he is at work in our lives. Even when, or maybe especially when, we feel like we are in a season of unending Winter.

The blooming of Spring makes me feel strangely brave. Like the possibilities are endless and that we can change this world into something beautiful. Something that looks more like the Kingdom of God and less like the heartbreak we currently see across our papers and TV screens. I want to urge to look for the opportunities that might be right in front of you this season. Maybe you are looking to get involved at Crossroads, maybe you’re looking to serve somewhere in your community, or maybe you’re just looking for community and people do life with or maybe you’re looking for freedom from the past.

Whatever you feel you’re needing in your life be brave and pursue it, God will be faithful through it. The ice is slowing melting, and the sun is coming! While I don’t lose my mind over the Fab 4, i appreciate the hopefulness of this song, it’s a beautiful reminder of how Spring always comes, and God is always faithful.

If you’re interested in finding a place to serve, you can find some great opportunities in our GO catalog, here.

I also want to remind you ladies that on April 20th at 6:30 pm, we’ll be doing The Table for a second time at the Cottage Grove Campus. It’s a great opportunity to connect and get to know other women! You can register, here.

We’re also kicking off a 2 week series called “the After Party” this weekend!

Also, if you have never heard the song “Here Comes the Sun,” you can listen to it here, sung by Paul Simon, who I love a million times more than the Beatles.  Have a great weekend!

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Lisa Adams,