4 Girls 1 Purpose

We are girls who love Jesus and have a passion for encouraging & equipping others to be all they can be for Him!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Proclaim It Until You Believe It

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul..."

Those have to be some of the most beautiful words ever penned. If you’ve been around church for a while, you’ve probably heard this hymn. If you haven’t, no worries, we’ll share it with you! The song is called “It Is Well”. Believers sing it often, but do we really believe it? Like the song says, whether peace is present or whether sorrow is present, it is well. Is that what we really think? Before we go any further, let’s talk about the guy who wrote this hymn. His name is Horatio Spafford. Here is his story from sharefaith.com:

Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known Christians of the day. At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had. In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family's ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived. With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul..” 

The telegram Horatio received from his wife said, “Saved alone.” Gut. Wrenching. When he was on the boat, headed to be with his wife, it was at the very spot that his daughters drowned that he wrote those famous lyrics. How in the world could a man who was facing such a terrible reality say, “It is well”?  

Horatio knew the promises of God. He knew that God said He would never leave him or forsake him. {Deuteronomy 31:8} He knew that ALL THINGS work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. {Romans 8:28} Horatio knew that even though he could only see a few pieces of the puzzle, God saw the whole thing. Horatio taught us a very important lesson... We can choose to proclaim that it is well, even when it doesn’t seem well, because we know that God is always near and in control. Maybe things in your life have caused you to think that it’s not well. Proclaim it is well. Maybe you feel hopeless. Proclaim it is well. Maybe you’re hurt and broken. Proclaim it is well. Maybe life is awesome right now! Proclaim it is well. Remind yourself that whether you’re in a season of peace or a season of sorrow, it is indeed well because, as Phil Wickham says, “The hands that hold the world are holding your heart.” So, proclaim it. Proclaim it until you truly believe it! It is well, dear friends. It is well because Jesus is here.

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, 
when sorrows like sea billows roll; 
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, 
It is well, it is well with my soul. 
It is well with my soul, 
it is well, it is well with my soul. 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, 
let this blest assurance control, 
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate, 
and hath shed his own blood for my soul. 

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! 
My sin, not in part but the whole, 
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, 
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! 

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, 
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll; 
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, 
even so, it is well with my soul."

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, August 31, 2015

How To Block Out The Haters

"If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won't love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can't see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You've got to love both." {1 John 4:20-21 MSG}

People can be hard to love. Our eyes have recently been opened to just how difficult it is to love all people. Especially those who oppose us or the ones who oppose those we are close to. However, their behavior should not determine our response. Same goes for you. As God's chosen we are called to love especially when it is not easy. The above passage tells us that we cannot truly love God unless we love people even the difficult ones. Loving God & loving people are a package deal.

Step 1 to blocking off the haters: Don't be a hater. 

Let’s say that one more time. Don’t be a hater. Be a 1 John 4:21 lover instead. We will not be able to effectively grow in our ministries & our personal walks with Jesus if we are busy being bullies. We will not be able to move forward from the discouragement of the haters if we are dishing it right back. Choose kindness and encouragement instead of exclusion and gossip. Choose to be someone’s friend whether you feel like it or not. Extend honesty, but not judgement... 2 different things! It's not our place to judge.

Make the decision now not to be a hater. (Side note: this does not mean support every decision that people make especially the wrong ones. This simply means that we are to extend love to the people no matter the decisions they make. Support the person, but don't be in support of the action if the action doesn't line up with God's Word. Example: someone that is gossiping. Love the person, extend kindness when given the opportunity, but be sure not to encourage the gossip or join in on the gossip.) It's easy to be a hater, and sometimes we may do it without even realizing it, so ask someone to keep you accountable.

Step 2: Change your focus.

Have you ever watched a basketball game before? (If you haven’t- youtube a clip of someone shooting a free throw shot!) Every time a player goes to the foul line to shoot a free throw, the fans of the other team start hooting and hollering, occasionally booing, to try to distract the player so that he doesn’t make his free throw. The best players are the ones who can focus on making the basket rather than the noise of the crowd! Other people’s behavior should not determine our focus. Our focus should be on Jesus. Our focus should be on what He’s called us to do- love Him & love others. God is for us. This truth alone has the power to change our lives. What does a human opinion matter anyways when our God is for us?

Really though, bottom line is that God has it taken care of & He is for us. He doesn't need our help to be great & in control. He doesn't need us for anything, but He loves us with an unstoppable type of love that our minds can't even fully comprehend. That is the God that is for us. That is the God that is on our side. That is our Father that loves His children more than anything. When we look at the haters in this light, why would we be discouraged? Why would their opinions even matter? 

Psalm 21:8-12 in the Message version says, "With a fistful of enemies in one hand and a fistful of haters in the other, You radiate with such brilliance that they cringe as before a furnace. Now the furnace swallows them whole, the fire eats them alive! You purge the earth of their progeny, you wipe the slate clean. All their evil schemes, the plots they cook up, have fizzled—every one. You sent them packing; they couldn’t face you." 

One final note, don't be a hater to yourself either. Don't be too hard on yourself. You're God's prized possession & no matter what you do He loves you more than anything. If you've asked Him for forgiveness, He's forgiven you, so forgive yourself. You’re not a burden to God. He knew you wouldn’t be perfect! He is a good Father. Think about a kid learning how to walk... It’s awkward. The kid stumbles and he falls. When that happens, does the father scold him for falling down? Does he punish him for stinking at walking? No way! He encourages him to get back up. He celebrates when the kid gets one more step than he did before. That’s how God is with us! He doesn’t quit on us when we fall, He picks us up and helps us take our next steps. 

So. Don’t be a hater! Be a lover :) 

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, August 10, 2015

Try or Die

It is easy to believe that Christianity is full of things that we have to do. We create this checklist in our minds. Read the Bible. Go to Church. Pray before every meal. Donate to charities. While all of those things are honorable, loving Jesus and living for Him isn't about a check list. In fact, it is almost the opposite. Instead of trying so hard, we should be dying. Let us explain.

Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 
Paul explains to us that our old selves were crucified with Christ. That means that we no longer are bound by our old ways. Our sinful desires still exist, but through Jesus we have the power to overcome that temptation! We must not live in our fleshly ways, but now by the spirit. We must die to ourselves daily. 
1 Corinthians 15:31 lays it out clearly for us, “I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” You see, with our own strength, we cannot achieve much, we need Jesus to help us. Louie Giglio once said, “I can’t, but Jesus can.” 
So it is important for us to die to ourselves and rely on God to make us strong.

Today, let's focus on breathing out "I can't" and breathing in, "but Jesus can." May His power overtake us! 

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, July 20, 2015

4 Keys to Living with Balance

You know that old expression about how you can never forget how to ride a bike? Well, you can definitely forget how to skate. I strapped up in a friend’s pair of rollerblades the other day with every expectation to pick up right where I left off. My wobbly legs and outstretched arms to keep my balance proved that several years of being out of practice can really do some damage on this skill.

Seriously, it was a sight.

And much like rollerblading, balance is something we need in every area of life.  I came back from this venture with a bruised knee and some everyday wisdom on living with balance:

1. Balance is either developed or depleted over time.
Despite whatever talent I had as a kid, I was pretty much starting over. Without tapping into the balance and control I had once mastered, it had just about vanished. Our ability to balance various elements of our life is a lot like a muscle that gets weak if we don’t use it. However, when we develop consistent patterns of balanced living, we are able to make constant, steady progress.

2. Momentum helps us balance.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but barely moving at all actually can do more harm than good. I found myself skating at a snail’s pace from fear of falling, only causing my wheels to catch in every crack, crevice and crater along the sidewalk. Newton pegged it in his first law of physics: an object in motion stays in motion. As we keep moving forward, picking up speed with confidence, we gain momentum that propels us right over obstacles. This could mean sticking to that workout routine, being consistent in daily time with God, or finding a way rest and recharge on a regular basis. Whatever area of your life needs balance, stay the course and you’ll develop a rhythm that can keep you going.

3. Our stumbling makes us better next time around.
Each time I skated over something that tripped me up or threw me off balance, I was able to recognize that danger the next time around. I was wiser, and knew to step over or skate around those things that caused a near fall. The same goes for the challenges, danger-zones, and temptations that trip us up in life. We don’t have to stumble over those same things the next time when we choose to learn from our past and accept the wisdom that is built by experience. We recognize those things early on, and recalibrate our path to keep zooming on. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to "strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
Running, or skating, the course set before us in this life becomes a lot more enjoyable when we recognize what things work against us and adjust accordingly.

4. Where we reach in the shaky moments determines how we regain balance.
When we do lose our balance, and we all do, what we grasp to for our recovery really matters. I learned this by hitting a bad crack in the sidewalk that threw me forward and sent me on my way to a potential face plant. I instinctively grabbed for a tree branch above me, and with a snap both pieces of the tree branch and one of my knees collided with pavement. We have two choices when we lose our balance: reach inward for strength to regain a center, or seize something nearby. We make this choice in life all the time, and instead of tapping into the power of God in us to re-center and stabilize us in the midst of chaos, we reach for the closest thing around us. It can be a relationship, a job, comfort food, a substance… We cling to it with hopes it can come through for us, but we still walk away with scuffs and bruises. Look inward, and allow God’s grace and strength found in you to bring you back to a place of balance.

Living a balanced life takes discipline, wisdom, commitment and trust. It can be difficult at times, but the reward is a healthy rhythm that leads to wholeness and blessing.

Ask God to show you what areas of your life aren't in balance right now. Lean into His Word for what adjustments you can make to find your center in Him. Then, you'll be unstoppable as you propel into fulfilling His plan and purpose for you.

-Amanda Zecher

{Meet Amanda}

Amanda is a coffee loving, guitar playing, social media-ing creative genius! She is a champion leader and an all-star at helping people recognize and seize their full God potential. She is a dear friend of ours and we are so overjoyed that she would guest write for 4G1P! She also belongs to an amazing site called "Becoming". You can read more of her posts here!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Meteoric, Astronomic, Titanic, Oceanic...

“God’s love is meteoric, 
His loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
His verdicts oceanic.
Yet in His largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.”
{Psalm 36:5-6 MSG}

As we’ve said recently, we are loving reading through the book of Psalm in the message version. These verses jumped out at us the other day! Let’s break them down line by line.

God’s love is meteoric. Meteoric means, “very fast or sudden.” When you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, His love rushes to you! There is no delay. And everyday after you begin your relationship with Jesus, there is no change in His love. He is fiercely in love with you and me! His love is fast.. It comes upon you like a rushing wave. It covers you. It delivers you. It’s right there for you… All day, everyday! 

His loyalty is astronomic. What do you think of when you read the word “astronomic”? We picture that one scene from Lion King when Rafiki is talking to Simba about how his father is alive and then Simba looks to the sky and his father speaks to him. Anyone else remember that? If you’re wondering, the definition of astronomic that we’re talking about has nothing to do with that scene. But wasn’t it a fun throwback? :) The astronomic this verse is talking about is defined as, “Extremely large; exceedingly great; enormous.” How powerful is that!! God’s loyalty to His people is extremely large, exceedingly great, and enormous! It’s astronomic. This makes us think of God leading His people to the Promised Land in the Old Testament. He made a covenant with Abraham and He was loyal until the end. His people, though they went through hardships, made it to the Promised Land! His loyalty to them was astronomic. And His loyalty to those of us who have a personal relationship with Him through faith in Jesus is also astronomic. Same God back then, same God right now. 

His purpose is titanic. When we think of the word titanic, we automatically think of the ship that sunk long ago. It makes this line of the verse seem a little weird. But do you know that the word titanic means the exact opposite of what happened to that boat? Titanic means, “Of enormous size, strength, power, etc.” God’s plan for you and God’s plan for me is strong and powerful. It is better than anything we could ever come up with on our own! A life lived in His purpose is a life well lived. You will not be able to fully flourish and reach your full potential until you are living in the purpose He has for you! How do you find this purpose? Ask Him about it, read what His word says, and talk to people who are further along in their spiritual journey to help you understand what He’s calling you to in your own spiritual journey. 

His verdicts are oceanic. God’s decisions are great in size, amount, degree, and intensity. They are powerful. We once heard a quote that said, “If God says it, that settles it.” God’s word should always be the final say! Think about it for a moment. God knew the beginning and He knows the end. As far as that goes, God knew before the beginning and He knows far beyond the end of time. He knows everlasting to everlasting and everything in between. This is oceanic! Be sure that you can trust all your cares upon Him. Nothing will catch Him by surprise! Our response?? Simple ... trust and obey!

Finally, “Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.” God knows all, see all, yet allows us a private audience with Him. He hears the cries of all His children, yet pays special attention to each one of them. He is personal. Ponder that for a minute. God, the Creator and Sustainer of all that is seen and unseen, cares intimately about you. The One that spoke all into existence and holds time in His hands concerns Himself with you and your steps. Wow! This is good stuff. Still pondering? We hope so. After you grasp just how much God loves you spend a few minutes in prayer simply thanking Him for His goodness to you.

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Don't Be Stinky, Use Your Spiritual Soap!

When I was a kid I sort of went through a season of having a bad mouth. When I would curse, I can vividly—VIVIVDLY, remember kicking, screaming, and begging for forgiveness whilst my mom pulled me into the bathroom and scrubbed my tongue with a bar of soap. It was absolutely the worst punishment ever. But now, what do ya know—I never curse (never = rarely). Now that I look back at that traumatising experience, I am so thankful for my mom because she didn't just say she'd deal with it later and leave me cursing like a sailor, she decided to prepare me for the future and help me to mature!

Just like my mom used to have to wash my mouth out with soap in order to teach me a lesson, I have to hide God's word in my heart and speak it out of my mouth to teach my mind a lesson.

In order to renew our minds and become more mature, it's vital that we guard our hearts and take every thought, emotion, and impulse captive to the structure of life shaped by Christ!

For me, the easiest way to do this is to speak God's word over whatever I'm facing (even if I can't speak it audibly, you get the point—speak it in your mind if you have to). It's so so easy to do, for example: if you're angry, use your iPhone to google what God's word says about anger! Hello! Start killing off those terrible thoughts and strongholds bit by bit. Start putting what God says about your situation into your situation. Don't let your emotions, thoughts, and impulses rule you. Let God help to mature and bring the best out of you, you'll be so much better for it! "Emotions are a great servant, but a terrible master." —Christine Caine

Scripture to Note:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭4-5‬ NIV)

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭20-24‬ NIV)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭2 NIV)

-Cole NeSmith

{Meet Cole}

Cole Nesmith is one of the greatest guys in the world! He is a champion of excellence. He desires to bring God his best in everything that he does! He is a great friend and leader. He is part of Barefoot Church in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but has been attending Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia since January. We are so excited to have him as a guest writer!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Good Father

We once heard a story of a father-son duo that rocked our world. TheWeek.com tells us about this special duo.. “After Rick Hoyt sustained severe brain damage during birth and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, doctors recommended the family give up any hope of him living a normal life; institutionalization was the only way. But the Hoyts paid no mind, and raised Rick like any other normal kid. Though he was restricted to a wheelchair, couldn't speak, or use his arms and legs, the boy camped, swam, skied, and attended public school — eventually going on to graduate from Boston University. Fifty-one years after that grim diagnosis, Rick not only lives in his own apartment but is also a celebrated athlete. How you might ask? With the help of his father, Dick. When Rick was in middle school, he wanted to enter a charity race to raise funds for a recently paralyzed fellow student. His father, who had never run before, offered to push him in a clunky chair. That arduous race led to a lifetime of team racing (not to mention better chairs). Using a specially engineered chair, Dick and Rick have finished more than 1,090 races, including 252 triathlons, 70 marathons, and 94 half marathons.” What an incredible father Dick was to his son!
This got us thinking.. Earthly fathers can be the greatest blessing. We love our dads! They are the greatest in the world and they love us so much. As great as earthly fathers are, our heavenly father is even better. For those of us that have a personal relationship with God, He is our heavenly father! We think Dick Hoyt is an awesome picture of how God is with us. When we were born, we all received a terrible diagnosis. We were all born sinners. But God, in His great love for us, sent Jesus to die for our sins. For those of us that have surrendered our lives to Jesus, He has come alongside to push and guide us in this race called life. God is a good, good father. He loves and cares for His children far more than we can even comprehend.

Today, won’t you be mindful to sit with your heavenly Father and praise Him for being so good. Even when life isn’t good, He is good. What a cause for praise!

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Monday, June 8, 2015

Even When I Don't

I often have so many thoughts going through my mind at the end of the day. Then sometimes, I lay down to go to bed and try to process the day but I can't even form my thoughts. I don't always understand my feelings and it can get pretty discouraging after a while. But, I've learned one thing over the years, God always knows my heart. No matter how chaotic my mind gets, He knows. In fact, He knows and understands me when I don't even know and understand me. That brings me peace and comfort.

I had a friend say to me something like, “I know myself well enough to understand that I don’t really get me.” Think about that for a minute. Humans are very complex. We are woven so intricately that even we don't completely know ourselves. But rest assured, love, because God knows us. He knows our deepest desire and every emotion.

When we are feeling discouraged because we can't figure out what we want or even what we are feeling, surrender it to God. Lay it at His feet. Know that it’s okay not to know. Be encouraged by this verse: Psalm 139:2 says, “You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.” We don't always have to have it together. In our weakness, we see God's strength. One of our favorite pastors said, "Our greatest weaknesses are often the canvas upon which God displays His greatest strength." {Steven Furtick}. How cool is that?! God turns our weaknesses into something great for His kingdom.

All the love,

Kendall Grayson

Monday, May 25, 2015

Feel the Rhythm

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
{Matthew 11:28-30, MSG}

As our good friend Sanka Coffie once said, “Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! Cool Runnings!” If you’re thinking, “What does this verse have to do with bobsledding?” The answer is… absolutely nothing. This verse has nothing to do with bobsledding but everything to do with the “rhythms” of grace. We have to feel the rhythm, learn the rhythm. What does rhythm mean anyway? “A strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound.” What does grace mean? “The free and unmerited favor of God.” Here we have something VERY powerful! As Jesus is telling us to learn the unforced rhythms of grace, He’s telling us to learn the strong, constant, free, unmerited favor of God… and it’s unforced. It is given to us but not forced upon us.

How do we get into the rhythms of grace? (The rhythms of receiving and extending the grace God offers us and experiencing the fullness of a relationship with Jesus.) Think about for a minute the best dancer you know. Now think about the worst dancer you know. What makes them different? What makes one so great and the other; well, not great? There is a good chance that rhythm is what separates the two. Rhythm, groove, and insync-ness to the music is vital. A person can learn all the moves, do all the motions, but that person will not flourish as a dancer unless he gets into the groove. He has to get into the rhythm. He has to be in sync with the music… What’s the rhythm in your walk with Jesus? Are you in sync with Him or are you just doing the “moves”?

Our relationship with God is not meant to be based on a check list. “Okay. I prayed this morning… check! Read my Bible… Check. Went to church on Wednesday AND Sunday… Check! #SuperSpiritual” That’s just not how it’s supposed to be. Even though all of the things mentioned are great and so important to our spiritual journey, we must get in tune with the rhythm, not just do the motions if we are to truly grow in the rythms of grace.

How do we move from just doing the motions to feeling the rhythm?

  1. We have to stop treating our time with Jesus like something we have to do. It is something we GET to do! We have the unbelievable opportunity to have fellowship with the same God that created the moon, stars, ocean, mountains, etc. He made it all, knows it all, and still desires to know and love us. In James 1:18 it even says “And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession.” It is the biggest honor in the world to be able to spend time with Him!!! It’s not a “have to”, it’s a “get to”.
  2. When we feel ourselves starting to just do the motions, we need to stop what we’re doing and talk to God about it. Ask Him to help us experience the unforced rhythms of grace.
  3. We have to give God all we’ve got. We can’t only go to Him when things are bad, or when things are good. We have to have an everyday, all the time relationship with Him. A relationship where we talk to Him, listen to Him, and lean on Him every second of everyday. That is when we will truly experience the beautiful, unforced rhythms of grace.

    All the love,
    Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Watch & Learn

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and
work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
{Matthew 11:28-30, MSG}

There was a time when my dad was going to teach me (Baylee) how to fish. But before I continue with this story, you have to understand, my dad grew up out in the country. Going fishing was a regular outing for him. He would basically call himself a pro. As you can imagine, my expectations for this lesson were high. So, now back to the day when he was going to teach me this skill. It started a little something like this. "Here honey, let me show you how to do it." In his demonstration he put his hands on the fishing rod, casted it out & caught a big, fat, truly MASSIVE... tree. That's right, he caught a tree. In case you're wondering, neither my dad nor I are master fishermen these days. Practically speaking, it's obvious that my dad was out of practice. However, the principal remains true, we learn best from watching. And it just so happens that on that day, I learned how not to catch a fish!

We don't have to walk through life blindly. Jesus is literally inviting us to watch & learn from Him. It's just like in school. A good teacher is not going to give his students an algebraic equation & expect them to be able to solve it without first breaking down the formula. God, desiring for us to learn, has given us a guide book that breaks down what is means to be a follower of Christ - the Bible! Not only that, but He's made the Holy Spirit available to live as a guide for whoever would accept Jesus. Here's a simple formula to lay it out: God's grace + our surrender = abundant life. We are called to follow His example. We are called to love Him & love others. This is the only way we will be able to learn the unforced rhythms of grace (which we will talk more about in blog #3).

How can we watch and learn today?
Read God’s word & listen for God's voice. We can’t learn how to do what He wants us to do if we’re not constantly and consistently reading the Bible. We not only need to watch, but we need to listen. Proverbs 3:5 in the Message version says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” How can we separate God's voice from the other voices in our lives? NOTHING that comes from God will contradict His Word! If what you're hearing lines up with the Bible, you can trust it. If what you're hearing does not line up with the Bible, you can be sure it is not coming from God!

All the love,
Kendall, Baylee, & Brelin xxx