Run

Run

Well, I guess that’s that. It’s over.” The bridge of our friendship was crossed and set aflame. Raw emotions and bruised feelings put us on opposite sides of a river that could no longer be crossed.

I’m no saint. Four decades of walking through life has left a graveyard of dead friendships behind me. Some are clearly because of my own recklessness with the hearts that have been entrusted to my care. With some, perhaps I’m not so clearly the only one at fault. When we draw near to others, our broken places always end up clashing. Too often it’s too much to bear so we cross a bridge and light a match.

The Wanderer

Some days the weight of those burned bridges is overwhelming. I gaze over my shoulder at the graveyard of dead friendships and grieve. It doesn’t matter who lit the match, the gap is now too wide to cross. Although the world throws around words like forgiveness and reconciliation, they are quickly followed by demands for a pound of flesh. Somebody must pay. It’s easier to stay on our own side of the river, wandering alone down the shore. The message we hear is clear…forgiveness is impossible. Roads that split never reconnect.

As I wander alone, I stumble into chapter 15 of the book of Luke. Although this story is about family, the principle carries through. Words were said. Or perhaps the words were left unsaid. “You’re dead to me,” was communicated. The paths diverged for the two who had cherished each other. One stood firm, the other wandered off. Both were without the other. The relationship was over. Forever.

The wanderer soon learned that life alone was miserable. Others merely saw him as a means to an end and walked away as soon as his usefulness was gone. He looked up from rock bottom, gazing past his shattered hopes and remembered the one who truly loved him. But that bridge was burned. The inferno consumed it quickly and it was gone forever. Even if he could find his way back, he could never repay all he owed. He would never deserve that love again.

Even so, he wandered back toward the one who had never left… Toward the one who had firmly stood at the gate…first watching the prodigal wander away with the father’s money and heart…then watching for any sign of his return. His faithfulness was rewarded when a lone figure emerged on the horizon. The familiar silhouette in the distance brought a flood of joy. Arms outstretched, he ran to reunite with his son. The one who had wandered had the courage to return. The one who remained behind faithfully anticipated the glorious day of his return.

Honestly, bridges are a horrible metaphor for relationships. Our emotions and desires are not matches setting the world ablaze. True and treasured friendships are never burned beyond reconciliation. Like the parable of the prodigal son, humility and love on both sides of that river build new bridges on which we stand. Love says “you are more important than my pride.” Love is quick to forgive and runs toward reconciliation.

Take a look back at your own friendship graveyard. Can these dry bones live again? Jesus teaches us that as long as we’re living, reconciliation is possible. He models it for us. He stands firmly and unwavering upon the truth, arms open wide and ready for us to return. The past remains in the past. We step into our future pure and fully forgiven. We can run to Him, and then we can run to each other.

Who you need to run to? I bet those arms are open wide, waiting for you to take the first step. Run, and let the celebration begin.

Derek

Derek

This is Derek. 8c8d5893-9d7c-4a9c-a937-9709d44eaa39I met him a few years ago at a pumpkin patch. Although I’ve seen his family around these parts my entire life, I guess I never got to know any of them very well. The look on Derek’s face intrigued me. I pulled up a bale of hay and struck up a conversation.

“Hello, friend!”

“Hello, young one. I’m Derek. What can I do for you today?”

“You looked lonely. I thought you might like some company.”

“I’ve been in this field for years. Through thunderstorms and blizzards, tornadoes and earthquakes. I watch the pumpkins grow. I see the people rush by. After all these years, a touch of melancholy has set in.”

“But Derek, you’ve seen countless beautiful sunsets from where you stand. Plus, the work you do brings warmth to the people of this land. Things can’t be all that bad, right?”

“Young one, I do not grow melancholy for myself, but for those I see hurry by. Look at that family over there, tell me what you see.”

“Well, there’s a mom and dad with their toddler. I saw them pose for a picture with scarecrow just a moment ago, now they’re hunting for the perfect pumpkin. It’s actually a sweet sight.”

“Ah…but did you see how they rushed? This pumpkin patch is a mere checklist item for them, a chance to capture a picture, not a memory. Did you see their daughter? There was a butterfly on the scarecrow. She was enthralled by its beauty. Perhaps she lives in an apartment in the city and has never seen one before. Her parents didn’t see the butterfly…they hollered at her to look at the camera and then made her move on as soon as the shutter clicked. The picture was more important than the moment, so the moment was missed.”51ce8bd6-8d7e-4311-a864-c4dfd38d9d36

“Gee, Derek. Surely it isn’t that bad. Look at them enjoying the pumpkins!”

“Watch the little girl. See her staring longingly at that cute little pumpkin with the discolored stripe? She sees the beauty in the imperfection. But dad tugs her away. He’s finding the biggest, most perfect specimen. He’s missing the beauty of the young lady’s perspective.”

“Okay, Derek, now I’m getting a little melancholy, too. I see myself in that situation, and I hesitate to tell you which side of that relationship I’m on.”

“I’ve seen you, too. You’ve been here many times, but this is the first time you’ve noticed me. You’re learning, young one. You’re growing. You’re slowing down. In a good way. There is still hope for you. There is still time.img_0096

Listen, young one. Most people walk through life with their head down. They hyper-focus on what they don’t have and neglect what gifts have already been given. A single hardship overshadows a hundred blessings. Young one, take a step back from the moment you’re in. Seek a long view on life. In ten years, the overwhelming hardship you face today will no longer matter. However it resolves, it will be in the distant past. Why worry so much about it today if it will not matter at all tomorrow? What will still matter are the relationships you have and the memories you make. Play more freely. Love more deeply. Rest more frequently. You will discover your days are full of beauty and love. You will learn to truly soak in a sunset. Even your cloudy days and darkest nights will retain a glimmer of hope, love, and beauty.

Some days you will be sad. Some days you will cry.  With a longer perspective, you are free to fully feel, knowing it is simply for a time or a season. The sadness and tears will pass, and the sunshine will return.”

“But Derek, when we love deeply, we hurt deeply, too.”

“It’s worth it young one. Every time. It’s worth it.”img_0162

img_0097I walked away from Derek deeply pondering his words.. As I walked my boys over to the pumpkin patch, we meandered a bit. For the first time, I noticed the family of red-headed woodpeckers nesting in a telephone pole. The setting sun broke through the grove of trees that were now between Derek and me. After a brief pause, I picked up my pumpkin…slightly lopsided with a discolored streak right up the front. Like life, it was imperfect but beautiful.

 


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Missing You

Missing You

Just like autumn, this season cycles by regularly. Missing you.wp-1471208972972.jpg

I remember the journey…the months our paths crossed. I tried so hard to make it work. We all did.

But I was missing you. Even though I tried to love without expectation…to fully accept who you are and where you were at…I see now the impossibility. I did have expectations. I tried so hard to love with my whole heart…to pray with my whole spirit…to cling to you with all I had.

I see it now…we didn’t meet you where you were. We were missing you. We tried to meet the needs we perceived, which were different than the needs you actually had. Although we thought we were walking together down the same path, our journeys never really intersected did they? Were we one family? In my heart we were. And we continue to be. But I was missing you.

To some degree, maybe I was enamored by the potential of you. The potential of us. God had given me the daughter I had longed for but never knew I wanted. With my eyes wide open, I recognized your past, faults, and personal limitations and didn’t care about any of it. I accepted you exactly as you were. As much as I hated the abandonment and hurt you had suffered, I thanked God it led you to us. To me. Together, I knew you could finding healing. You could recover. And then you could thrive. That’s what I expected. But I was missing you.img_20151105_141421-01.jpeg

You didn’t need transformation. You weren’t after recovery. You didn’t want a forever family. You never asked us to be one. And yet we tried to be that for you. You aren’t to blame. We were simply missing you. We missed who you really were. We missed getting to know the real person inside the young woman trying to survive. I didn’t understand that your life experiences did not prepare you for the life we threw you into. You had no context for what we offered. And yet we expected you to embrace us. We expected you to appreciate us. We expected you to love us. We expected you to try. But we were missing you.

That you managed to stick with us so long is a testament to your persistence. Or maybe it’s your stubbornness. The life we made for you was a gilded cage, though. It had peace, but you don’t crave peace. It had space, but you don’t need space. It had stability, but you’ve never known stability. It had us, but you’ve never needed us

This isn’t a right or wrong thing. You are who you are, as am I. I still treasure your heart. I still accept you as you are. The jagged and broken pieces of me tear against yours. I grieve because I lost you. And I grieve because I lost the potential of you. And I grieve because I failed to see the real you, and that is a true tragedy.

Now, just like then, I am missing you.

21

21

Perhaps you’ve ACE97B34-A36B-4F18-9A42-9C34B2B4DF00met my sweet princess, Christy Bouchard.

Today is our 21st anniversary. Our story sounds sappy at first glance. She taught me how to tie shoelaces when we were in preschool. We met again in High School, becoming acquaintances at 15 and dating at 16. Sticking together like glue through college, we went on to careers, babies, houses, and grander adventures. By any outward measure, it has been a charmed life. It’s enough to make some people sick. It seems like there has always been a “Christy & Dave.”

A look behind the curtain reveals the full story. Buckets of tears have been shed…a few times caused by each other, and often due to the circumstances life brings our way. There have been profound times of loss…loved ones, jobs, money, pets. Sick kiddos. Sick spouses. There have been nights we have spent wondering if us will make it through this. But we have pushed through those times. We keep persistently moving forward through those dark times until we reemerge in the light.

A good marriage takes work, and some days it feels like the world has deemed this kind of work unworthy of the time and effort. What kind of person does this?

Let me tell you about my sweetie…

First…she’s got the biggest heart of anyone you could hope to meet. She comes by it quite naturally, too. I’ve met her family. That heart not only allows her to persist through the hard times and rejoice in the good time, but it is also the kind of heart that you want to treat with tenderness when she turns it over to you. It would be a tragedy to damage something so pure and beautiful.

Second…she’s the ground to my stars. That may not sound all that romantic, but we all need counterbalance…but I’m a wild-eyed dreamer with my head in the clouds. My vision is always focused on tomorrow and I tend to neglect today. When I’m running off to conferences or early breakfasts, she helps me keep perspective on the here and now…the important things. Like showing up to work or calling the doctor when I’ve been dizzy for weeks on end. Family. Friends. Vacation. That stuff matters.

I could sing my wife’s praises all day long…

The last thing I want to mention is perhaps the most overlooked. You’ve heard about the importance of endurance, persistence, faithfulness, forgiveness, and tolerance. Those are all vital. But the one thing that has been a linchpin is fearlessness. In 21 years, she has frequently heard statements like: “let’s build a chapel in Brazil” or “let’s move to Houston” or “let’s move back to Tulsa.” We have found ourselves kissing in front of Rodin’s “The Kiss” and whipping through small towns in the French countryside in a stranger’s Volvo. Sunrises on the beaches of Brazil and rainy mountaintops on slick dirt roads in that same beautiful country. She’s discovered she has a knack for holding both chickens and babies in foreign lands. And we have both shed tears of joy while watching Christ melt hearts and transform lives in front of our eyes. There have been all those times when we have fearlessly said “yes” when everyone else told us we were crazy. We’ve seen the trajectory of lives change during those times, even as our own hearts broke.

Even more…fearlessness isn’t just about adventure. It isn’t just the things you do. It’s also a way to love. It’s risky. Looking someone in the eyes and handing them your heart unconditionally will lead to hurt. Every time. It takes someone fearless to surrender themselves fully to someone else, trusting that even if there are dings and scrapes, we will both be better in the end because we have loved. We have loved fully and been fully loved. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it’s hard. But it’s worth it. My goodness, it is worth it.

Reentry

Reentry

Reentry hurts.image

Picture the Space Shuttle returning to earth. The friction of the life-giving atmosphere creates enough heat to kill. The wrong speed or attitude can bring disaster.

In my mind, a drawback of modern travel is the pace. It is a wonderful luxury to be able to wake up one morning in Brazil and fall asleep the following evening in Oklahoma. It all happens so fast it’s impossible to process, though. Upon returning, we find our head and heart still remain in Brazil while our duties and obligations are in front of us in the States. 

Spiritual journeys will not leave us unchanged. Even the decision to spend a few weeks overseas alters perspective. It impacts the trajectory of life. Walking foreign streets and witnessing the power of the Good News that can transcend all barriers and obstacles will stretch our faith to unexpected capacities.

My soul yearns for a gradual return from this experience. Two weeks overseas can’t be unpacked quickly. Like a good Brazilian meal, it all takes a bit of time to digest.

It  seems like just a few hours ago I was walking the streets of Jardinopolis, praying as an old Catholic woman’s eyes filled with tears as imagefor the first time she began to comprehend God’s love for her. She might spend the rest of her life unpacking this truth. Minutes later I was praying with the family of a young man who had been afflicted with a degenerative disease since birth. All eyes were swollen with tears as mom, aunt, and son all accepted Jesus as their savior, knowing we would all be dancing together in the next life.

Today, my eyes open to controversies about passwords and processes. Antivirus software and divestitures. Firewalls and F-bombs. I can feel it…reentry burns.

Like the atmosphere welcoming back the Shuttle, there is nothing inherently wrong with the environment to which I return. It’s life-giving, meaningful, and necessary. Transitioning so quickly from there to here causes the unease. My soul is split in two. I appear fully here but I’m frequently still there.

Reentry is all about speed and attitude.

So I pray. I silently pray for those who so frequently come to mind. The man we visited who was home with his two children. He chose Jesus and learned about the source of hope. The pastor working so hard to shepherd his people in a town battling darkness. The little boy with the feeding tube and his loving mom who wanted us to tell his story. The man who turned down living water and instead poured himself a glass of wine at 9 AM. Our interpreters. Our missionaries. All those who sent life-sustaining messages of hope, encouragement, and prayer from back home.

As I pray, the disparate worlds begin to align. The mission field isn’t there. It isn’t here either. It’s everywhere. The heat is a reminder that things are not as they should be here or there. The life-giving message of grace and hope is desperately needed by every person. Even here, in the middle of my normal life.

Mission is something we do, not someplace we go. Because of this, I press into the pain rather than seeking relief. I allow that yearning for where I’ve been draw me closer to our Creator who sent me. I allow the longing to draw me deeper into the trust in Him…the One who has never let me down.

I don’t have a choice about the speed. Attitude is a choice. Through prayer, trust, and perspective, the heat from reentry fuels the continuing mission.image

Redemption

Redemption

The past can be a weight…the magnitude of the tragedy overwhelming and all-consuming. Every time your eyes close, you see their faces. Sons taken too soon. The anger rises anew. Lost jobs are insignificant compared to the lost loved ones. Lost freedom. But you go on.

 

I met him on a trip. He was hired to do construction. We were building a church. We were also building THE church.

North and South Americans stacked concrete blocks, threw cement, painted walls, and tiled a roof. Shoulder to shoulder, we joyfully toiled from sunrise to sunset until everyone was exhausted. Christians and non-Christians alike, simply working with and loving each other.

Each day on the long walk home, he would pick up scrap wood and construction debris. Someday…eventually…his house would have real walls. A roof. Someday.

But God… God is a rescuer. He is a redeemer.

“…the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners” Isaiah 61:1

Late in the week a decision was made. A decision for Christ. And life became new. Restored. Redeemed. The chains shackling him to the pain of the past were broken.

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Embraced by both the savior and His church, something special was found. Forgiveness. Community. Reconciliation. Hope. Life.

img_7557His house now has a roof. And walls. His precious family is safer than they have been in years. Because of a church? Because of THE church? Because of the redeemer! Jesus reached out through the obedient workers. The light of Jesus was shining through them all week. It drew him. It gave him a new hope and a new community. And the trajectory of six precious lives changed for eternity.

 

 


This post originally appeared in October, 2013. This is one of my most well-known photographs and one of my most treasured stories. The original events took place in Niteroi, just outside of Porto Alegre, Brazil. It was a privilege to be a witness to these events and an honor to capture a few moments with my camera and words. We are leaving for another mission trip to Brazil soon. As I reflect on all God has done and anticipate what He has in store, I decided to share this particular story again. 

#TeamTori

#TeamTori

Sweet baby Tori (from Tori’s Triumph – Team Tori) is healed and whole this morning. IMG_5484In light of this news, I have to write. That’s how I process stuff. That’s what I do.

There has always been something special about Tori. Even before her terminal diagnosis, her smile captivated everyone. It was a joy to see her on Instagram every day. And those eyes… they were a glimpse at the joy we all long for deep in our souls.

When she was diagnosed and throughout her illness, her incredible parents demonstrated to the world how to walk through the most difficult of times with faith and enduring joy. In the middle of the hardest times they have never stopped trusting Jesus. They have shown all of us that sometimes the answer to prayer is the presence of Jesus with us and the fellowship we have with other believers. We will never be completely healed and whole in this life, but we can look forward to the day when every tear will be dried and every pain will be a faded memory. While we wait for that day, we run our race with endurance, confident in what lies ahead. Confident in the promises He has made and the love He has for us. Even when this world doesn’t make sense. Especially when this world doesn’t make sense.

I’ve carried a picture of Tori with me for longer than I can remember. She has been with us as we worshiped in Aracaju, Brazil. She was the only guest that tagged along as Joey and I did our father/son trip to the UK. I have taken her picture with famous authors, podcast hosts, and even a wax figure of Sherlock Holmes. Of all the pictures, the oneIMG_5822 I took at the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England is my favorite. The time we have here on earth is precious. Yes, we look forward to the eternity to come, but right here and right now matters, too. This time is significant, and it will not last forever. Treasure every moment. And please, please, please…don’t let another moment pass without accepting the truth about the God who created you and sent His son into our world to demonstrate how much He loves you. None of us know how many days we have. Don’t waste a single one by running from Him.


Update: Lesa recently released a book about their journey (Even So, Joy). Please consider buying it, reading it, and allowing it to transform your life and your faith. You can find it by clicking here.

Perfect Moments

Perfect Moments

#mytulsasky
An unexpected sunrise.

Perfect Moments

 

Could it be… those cherished perfect moments you stumble upon are determined by perspective instead of circumstance? It isn’t what happens that matters, it’s how you view what happens to you. For some these moments are fleeting and elusive. For others…they are everywhere, all the time. They are found in the in-betweens…between the cracks obligations and expectations, pressure and responsibility. When life is interrupted and off-schedule, glory suddenly shines through.

You pause unexpectedly to catch up with a friend. You get lost watching a sunrise slowly unfold. Suddenly…there it is.

Tension releases as you slowly exhale. What really matters in life? The people we know, how we love, and how we express it. Our relationship with the Creator.

Those treasured moments of stillness and peace that speak more loudly than the cacophony of the races we run. Honestly, stillness scares us. But stillness fuels us. Don’t hide from it.wp-1453825492772.jpg

Pause. Breathe. Connect.

Yes, I understand some days can be pretty rough. I get laser-focused on the fire in front of me and chaos around me and forget about the peace within me that comes from the Creator above. Quiet time? Who has time for it these days? There are computers to reboot, data to move, homework to write, and dishes to wash!

And then suddenly something happens that kills the noise. An unexpected phone call. Road construction that forces an alternate commute. A sunset so gorgeous you have to pull over. Interruption followed by peace. A new perspective gained through the unexpected. It is in these moments life is found. These moments bring clarity. These are the moments we share with our friends around a bonfire. Perfect moments aren’t crafted, they are encountered. They are experienced. They are treasured.

Go treasure hunting today.

 

Obrigada, Pastor

Obrigada, Pastor

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God’s handiwork over the beach of Aracaju, Brazil early one morning.

She pushed right past my outstretched hand, ignoring my North American custom expressing openness at a distance. She placed her hand on my shoulder, her wise old eyes looking through mine into the hidden recesses of my soul. Her seasoned voice didn’t falter as she firmly said “obrigada, pastor.” After a quick embrace and kiss on the cheek, she slipped off into the crowd. Those words lingered briefly in my mind before settling into my soul.

“Who am I?” This question shapes our journey. Maybe that is our journey. Like a handshake, I’ve attempted to be open to it while also keeping a safe distance. Our circumstance and choices shape who we are. Even more, at our core we each have a unique design driving our direction. In our desire to fit in, it’s easy to hide from this design. It’s tempting to step into the crowd instead of into our destiny. .

This journey I’ve been on has been unique, to say the least. Not many computer security guys with existential tendencies fall headlong into a relationship with Christ at 32 after a lifetime of adamant atheism. When the relationship first took off I stepped fearlessly into it, letting God lead me anywhere He would like. My answer became, “Yes, God” before hearing the question.

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Bringing the thunder. Aracaju, Brazil. 2015

This led to community-building, worship-leading, and mission trips. A few of these yesses also led to heartbreak and loss. They were worth it. The earth shook. We saw a glimpse of the Kingdom right here on earth. God was there through it all, sustaining me.

And now…God’s turning a new page. In this chapter, I’ve been reluctant to say yes. The calling doesn’t fit my qualifications.

Our first night in Aracaju, my pastor pulled me aside and asked, “would you rather preach the first service or last while we’re here?”

This hit me out of the blue. What? Me? But… don’t they usually get qualified people to do that?  

That one question forced an internal confrontation I had been avoiding.

One of my “Yes, God” moments led me to seminary. I don’t know what He has planned, but I’ve trusted Him. Last January, the church licensed me. I can officially perform weddings now. So does that make me a…pastor? I wrestled with this for months. There is a weird mixture of high standards and heavy baggage associated with the title “pastor.”

I took the first service. I knew it would be smaller. Less pressure.

As I frantically prepared a sermon for an international congregation , I couldn’t help but reflect. From our hotel in Aracaju, my mind drifted back to Gravatai.

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Prayers before preaching. Gravatai, Brazil 2013.

Two years earlier I had delivered my first sermon. I preached a lesson from Gideon from the pulpit of a chapel I helped build in 2011. This was before seminary. It was before chaplaincy. I taught about the purpose God had for Gideon. I explained that God built a potential into Gideon, which God would use. I told everyone that God had a plan, even if Gideon himself thought too little of himself to see it. How could I have forgotten? In His own way, God was providing a glimpse…foreshadowing things to come.

“Be the church.” That’s what our shirts said. That was the message of my sermon. To “be the church” is much more than showing kindness to others and helping the poor, widows, and orphans. Matthew 16 tells us that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the church. Gates are defensive, not offensive. Evil is on the run. Jesus didn’t intend for us to sit within the safety of our walls in the comfort of our pews. He intended for us to engage in warfare, taking on evil wherever we find it. Our weapons are not swords or guns, though. We are to fight using grace, compassion, self-sacrifice, and love. These weapons tear down gates, break chains, and set people free.

It went well. The band played “How He Loves” in English and Portuguese. It wrecked me. My own gates fell. My inner turmoil over my identity was far from my mind. And then the service was over. Everyone celebrated, hugged, and greeted each other.

I turned. That was when she spoke those words. “Obrigada, Pastor.” Thank you. Pastor.

God’s design for us is to stand out, not to fit in. Through us, He brings His kingdom to earth. The message to Gideon was “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12). He told Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you…” (Jer 1:5) Our God-given purpose sits in the sweet spot that happens to be right outside our comfort zone.

Sometimes God calls us to step into an uncomfortable truth…one we didn’t expect. Maybe it’s even one we’ve avoided.

God seems to speak to me most clearly when I’m in Brazil. This year He affirmed a piece of my identity I had been denying, and He used a sweet old lady speaking in a foreign tongue to do it.

The truth is…I am a pastor.

Part One: Grace

Part One: Grace

My mom loves asking conversation-starters. A few months back she asked my favorite word. This sounds simple enough, but I take questions like this seriously. I treat it like it’s a commitment, like I’m stuck with that answer forever. My mind plays out a crazy scenario where I run for president. During the campaign, someone will dig up the casual answers I gave to questions like this and grill me about them. So, of course, I didn’t answer right away. The question rolled around in my mind, bouncing around the dark recesses of my subconscious only to pop back out unexpectedly.

Grace.IMG_5544

To reach the status of “favorite” a word must be special. It is more than the way it feels as it forms in your throat and passes over your lips. A word’s meaning and life-changing power factors in as well. More important still is the history we have together. Grace changed my life and every relationship in it. It is more than just a word I quietly whisper as I exhale frustration. It isn’t just the secret to a happy marriage or the path to reconciliation with God. It is all this and more. Diving into the inward and external depths grace is a transformational and lifelong pursuit.

The more I’ve explored, discovered, received, and shared grace, the deeper my realization of the urgent need humanity has for it. When our relationships are bound together with grace, every misunderstanding can be worked through and resolved. Grace is interwoven with forgiveness and gratitude, which together can overcome the greatest wounds and harshest trials.

Let our lives be shaped by an abundance and overflow of grace.

In our little corner of the internet known as “Grace, Truth, & Coffee,” our conversations are shaped by grace. We may explore hard or controversial subjects, but we do so with grace. Grace shapes communities and changes lives.