What I learned from giving up social for Lent

I share Kobi –  I didn’t realize how much I shared her on my platforms until I couldn’t post a picture or a story of our lives together. I really missed letting everyone know all the cool ways she’s been growing, but it did allow me to treasure the memories that much more.

Praying is a way of life – I really missed praying for my friends and acquaintances via my social platforms. It made me feel connected and like I was helping them, so to not have access was harder than I thought. I mean I did still pray but it just wasn’t the same.

Baking from Scratch Cookies, and Brownies mostly, but I’ve also made some ooey gooey bars, and I just made scones last night. I’ve also made several gluten free options.

Reminding myself of the Gospel daily –  It doesn’t sound like much, but it really did make a difference in how my days presented themselves because I would talk through the Gospel and then try to apply it to situations in my day. It just leaves me lighter and more forgiving.

Intentionality is HUGE – I had to be diligent to reach out to people, otherwise the communication was few and far between. I also had to be intentional with what I did with my time (hence the reading) and actually seek out news from different sources. Another benefit of being intentional is that we found some really great neighbors just by being intentional when our children played together to actually talk to the parents *read one of my biggest fears*. Being intentional also meant making time for myself to workout, I just feel so much better when I take 30 minutes for myself no matter the time.

Memories can be made every day – Somewhere along the way I grasped the concept that I could be intentional every day to make memories with Kobi and so that is what I did. I now have a slew of memories written down for the last month and it makes my heart happy.

Reading is fun! –  I already knew this, but I got to remind myself of this and I finished 3 books while I was away. Now that I think about it, they were all Autobiographies/Memoirs and they were wonderful. I read My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor, Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, and Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Making mom friends isn’t that hard – All you gotta do is show up, and be willing to be put yourself out there. I looked up a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group here in Miami and started attending and they have been a huge blessing! It’s been so nice to be able to connect with mothers in the same season of life. Kobi and I have had playdates and good outside of the home time together because of it. I also started going to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) on the recommendation of the MOPS moms and that was so good to make connections with some great women not to mention the studies are phenomenal! If you haven’t heard of it you need to google it and sign up!

I AM A GOOD WIFE – This one is huge! Since we got married I had this false sense of what a wife should be because I never really had any true examples, so I’ve just been winging it; with God’s help of course but it’s still not been first hand discipleship so I’ve felt inadequate. However, during this time I’ve been able to be a bit more attentive to what makes William happy and what helps our family run smoothly and I’m actually doing a good job and I’ve found a joy I didn’t have before.

Eating Gluten Free and Vegetarian is pretty good – I realized during this whole thing that I needed to expand the way I worshipped and if I were to worship the Lord with my whole self I should take care of the body that I have been given. Therefore, I have been really buckling down on eating gluten free when I can because it makes me bloated and causes really bad back pain, (so not a real allergy but a sensitivity for sure). I also met with a woman who had PCOS and got rid of it and is pregnant with her second child by ditching the meat, and sense the Lord had already been talking to me about I decided to give it a go. The whole thing is still a work in progress and I’ve done some research so I think I’m on a path of a flexitarian. I’m trying to eat mostly veggies and really limit my meat intake when I can. The overall experience has been better than I thought and I’ve even made several gluten free treats from scratch.



Make A Note Monday: Quotes to get you through the week By Jacob Goff

I ran across this earlier this morning and just thought it was great! My friend Jake wrote it for his blog Simul Blog which is a blog that dissects the scandal

that is the gospel! I especially liked number six which talked about the importance of not forgetting that we are all sinners and need to remember what God has done for us. I hope you enjoy them and can use them to get through your week!

1. The best end to a rant we have ever heard:

You know what you can absolutely depend on with 100% certainty? Jesus died for your sins. If you are confused about everything else in the world, you can bet that this particular message, which happens to be Jesus’ main message to you, cuts through all the crap and is just about the only thing you really need to remember. In fact, at the last supper, He gave us this one little thing to do: communion. He said, it is to remember His death. So, remember, His death is the ONE THING He wants you to remember. The rest of it is complicated and confusing. He loves you. He died for you. Believe that and live. Remember that and you are OK.
-Jim McNeely, from his blog post Random Rants

2.  It’s Been Paid.

The crime was paid for–your crime was paid for–the pardon was secured. He gets charged, you get justified, that’s the deal. That’s the way God’s currency works . . . He is currently at the right hand of God the father, having risen from the dead, and he is in session for you. He is interceding. He is pleading his blood perpetually on your behalf. “It’s been paid. It’s been paid. It’s been paid.”
-Tullian Tchividjian, From his Easter Sermon


3. What Prayer is Not:

For another thing, prayer is not “going to God” (he’s already in you), or “seeking God” (he’s already found you), or “opening yourself to God” (you couldn’t keep him out if you tried), or “becoming spiritual” (he’s already sent you the Spirit — who would rather show you Jesus than help you display your spiritual prowess). And it’s certainly not buttering God up with abject apologies for your existence — because in his Beloved Son, he already thinks you’re dandy. Prayer is just talking with Someone who’s already talking to you.
-Robert Farrar Capon, from the Foolishness of Preaching

4. The Law is no Skilled Mechanic

Jesus taught that the law’s stranglehold on humanity was finished. I do not mean that Jesus was a “liberal” in the contemporary sense. I do not mean to say that Jesus cast off the law as simply one big and needless inhibitor of human potential. Not at all. I mean that Jesus recognized the inability of the law, which shows us exactly who we ought to be, to provide its own fulfillment. Christ did not say that the law is bad. He said instead that the law is wholly good. But most importantly, he said that the law is no skilled mechanic. It cannot fix what it has broken.
-Paul Zahl, from his (game-changing) book Grace in Practice

"The law is no skilled mechanic."

5. C.F.W. Walther’s Law/Gospel Distinction Explained:

The Law tells us what to do, but it does not enable us to obey; the Gospel gives salvation freely and empowers joyful obedience in response. Walther was adamant that no Gospel element should ever be combined with the Law; instead, the Law should be proclaimed first, and then the Gospel should follow. The Law says “Do!” and the Gospel follows and says “Done.”
-Justin Holcomb, from this great post about LCMS founder C.F.W. Walther (who pastored down the street from where I am currently typing this)


6. Afraid of Being a Sinner

Beware of aspiring to such purity that you will not wish to be looked upon as a sinner…For Christ dwells only in sinners.
-Martin Luther, quoted in this tweet

7. This is a Huge Relief:

. . . You can go on about your life without all the religious obsession over your own purity and goodness. Nobody cares whether you’re good or not, and while God cares, he doesn’t obsess over your goodness. He did something about it. God forgave you when you didn’t deserve it, and he gave you the righteousness of his Son. You’re fixed, and you probably didn’t even know it.
Now you do!
Isn’t that a relief?
-Steve Brown, from Three Free Sins

Launch Day Was A Success!

Yesterday was our official first service as a church and although it was a long hard road to get to this point it, it was a success!

The team rallied together to unload all of the equipment and set up the space to look its best. It was such a hectic day I wanted to take tons of pictures to remember it but with all the work that needed to be done, I only got a few.

I guess the most important part was that we (me and my husband along with our Pastor and his family) got the chance to see everything come together. It was surreal yet so exciting at the same time to see everything that we worked towards for the last year come to pass.

It’s just gonna get better and better from here! We saw a lot of new faces and I am sure that God touched each person in a special way. God has a plan for the city of Miami and we’re honored to be apart of fulfilling it through Bridge Church!

To all those who were praying for us THANK YOU! We definitely couldn’t have made it this far without your prayers! Please continue to pray for the people of Miami, that there hearts would be opened to hearing the gospel and thereby transforming their lives and the lives of those around them.

William setting out the signs before the service.

Goty welcoming everyone to our first official service as Bridge Church!

William speaking on Tithes and Offerings. I love that man!

Pastor Fikri preaching on Vision the first part of our Winning in Life series!

Church Planting Boot Camp: Day 3

So today in the church planting boot camp it finally hit me… I am called to full-time ministry. Actually it came out in a blanket statement but it was the first time that I have had time to believe it. I don’t know if it was the surroundings or just the timing but it finally hit me and made me realize that God has indeed called me to do something I never thought I’d be doing, EVER. I don’t really know what it’s going to look like nor do I have any real expectations of what it’s suppose to look like but I know that this move for us to Miami is just the beginning.

I also heard a statement that grew my faith even more… and made me think well if I can just remember this I’ll be alright! It was simply this:

I am never going to say it perfectly BUT I am going to open my mouth.

It just gave me an extra stock pile of courage so that when I face those hard times of what do I say, how do I say, what will they think… I can remember this and say you know what it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day it’s about telling people about The Gospel and making disciples and nothing else matters… and that’s something I can live with.

So those were my takeaways from day three of the Every Nation Church Planting Boot Camp. It’s been wonderful thanks for participating in this journey with me.

Church Planting Boot Camp: Day 1

I know that a lot of you may be wondering what this is and in fact so was I…  I still can’t quite put a finger on how to explain it, but the best way that I can try to describe it so far is: a place of preparation for future or current church planters. It’s a place to gather and bounce off of each other a place to support one another and to come along side with and pray for one another and all of the wonderful churches each group represents…

I’ll be apart of the boot camp for the next four days and I’ll be sharing some of my takeaways from each day… so here it goes…

Today the one thing that really stuck with me is the concept of allowing The Gospel to grip your heart DAILY! Yes you read that right; DAILY!!! I know that I think about it at least once a month when we take communion at church for sure and there might be a few other times when I am really sharing my testimony and realize where I would have been if I had never heard The Gospel… but to dig that deep on a DAILY basis well my goodness it’s a new concept; a complete paradigm shift and I am absolutely bought in to this new way of life! I have no idea what it’s going to look like but I know that my relationship with Jesus is about to be catapulted into the next hemisphere and the thought of being that much closer to Jesus brings such a warm smile to my face.

All I know is once I get something into my heart and into my head It is hard for me to shake it…so here I go starting my new way of life one day at a time… I will surely keep you updated on how this one seemingly small decision is affecting my life. Stay tuned…

On the lighter side of things… I also learned more about social media strategies and was super excited. Thelma Bowlen (you can find her website here) came in to speak to us church planters. She shared with us the importance of social media and the role it can play in helping us get our churches out there into the rest of the world or community we are trying to reach. She had a lot of awesome tips and a lot of different tools we could use… it was super informative if you’re into social media that is…

well that was my first day at the Every Nation Church Planting Boot Camp… It was definitely eye-opening and way less scary than I thought it would be. Not to mention I met some really awesome people planting all over the world to include East Nashville, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Canada, South Africa, and Belize… Oh the places I will go!!!