In case you missed it, we had Guys Night at Gather on November 3rd! This night far exceeded our expectations and we saw the Lord show up in so many ways. We had incredible men of faith come sit on a panel speak unbelievable truth. After the feedback we received from girls and people reaching out from weren’t there, we knew that we had to make the message from the night available to people to hear. Above you will find the audio from their conversation from the night.
I am not in high school anymore, yet hear me tell you that this battle of self-worth is not something that the enemy uses as a tactic only on teenagers. Nor is is something that he just uses on females. All of us at some point have struggled with our belief in our self-worth. I wish I could say that as you get older this war of believing in the value of who you are disappears—it doesn’t. However, you get better at fighting it. You start claiming small victories that you can tuck into your back pocket and use as ammunition when you find yourself back on the battlefield.
Perfection was something I strived for. As the youngest of four kids, I felt I had big shoes to fill. So fill them, I tried. Playing multiple sports, studying hard to get straight A’s, working my nights away at Dairy Queen through high school. I thought I had it all figured out. Be perfect, and you’ll be loved. Or at least that’s what I thought.
The world we lived in 10 years ago no longer exists. The one we lived in 5 years ago doesn’t exist either and if you look closely, not even the world we lived in 365 days ago exists anymore. Change is happening everywhere, every day and not one single human on this massive, revolving planet is exempt.
We Christians use the word grace a lot. Connecting it to God's favor, we put it on shirts, pallet wood signs, or in elegant script on coffee mugs. The word suggests loveliness, elegance, and peace. Few Christian consider the antonym, and in fact, many do not use it at all—graceless.
Growing up, the only thing I knew of Advent was that starting on December 1st I got to tear open a little cardboard door on a giant, festive calendar that held a piece of chocolate that I got to eat every day of the month leading up to Christmas. Being raised in various “non-denominational” environments didn’t lend itself to much talk about the greater Church calendar and its events. I really though it was kind of just like pre-gaming for Christmas, right?
Our eyes have been opened to the fact being thankful is much more than we realized. It is more than just a holiday. It is more than just the phrase “I’m thankful for.” It is more than a feeling. It is a spirit we must have. It is a choice we must make. It is an example that Jesus set for us. But how do we keep this up November is coming to an end but that doesn’t mean we zoom out on the idea of gratitude. We can zoom in even more.
Choosing Gratitude. It’s November 21. 15 years ago my dad lost a fight to pancreatic cancer and entered into eternity. Yet, even today, I am still called to operate out of a spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude. “Give thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In all circumstances – in joy and in sorrow.