Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

A Word About Guns

Feb
17

photo: Fancycrave // CC0

If you’re anything like me, you’re scrolling through social media and article after article following Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida with a broken heart and a lump in your throat.

“Thoughts and prayers.”

“Other countries don’t have this problem. Gun control now!”

“More laws won’t help. Arm the teachers!”

There are a lot of comments on social media regarding guns and gun control that I would like to reply to with words that are less than kind, but after a little prayer involving lots of asking God to put his hand over my mouth, I’ll just say this. We are in a tense place right now as a nation, and most of us are full of fear. Fear of our kids being taken from us, fear of our guns being taken from us, fear of nothing changing for the better because we cannot agree on how to move forward. In an environment so charged with fear, we turn to blame. The democrats, the republicans, Congress, the president, past presidents, your neighbor who wants or doesn’t want gun control – all of these folks are easy targets for blame when we are afraid. But if we consider ourselves people of faith, we do have another choice. When we’re afraid that the world has gone to hell and there’s no other option than to start firing back, let’s listen to Jesus.  (more…)

Away in a Manger // Advent: An Invitation to Hope

Dec
10

photo: Trinity Kubassek

Advent and the arrival of Hope and Goodness into the world just makes my heart want to sing! So this year, we are taking a closer look at some of my favorite Advent hymns. Each Sunday during Advent 2017, check back to find a new post and a new song, which I hope will fill you with the joy of Christ’s birth. This week, I’m sharing with you my take on “Away in a Manger.” Press play above while you read, sink into hope and rest awhile. This Advent season, let’s remember Who we wait for and sing Him into our world together. As the season unfolds, you can find all the posts here: Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope.

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I have never personally given birth, but I can’t imagine the fear and completely crazypants emotions that must come with going into labor in a stable. First of all, that is basically outside. Can you imagine? I would have lost my mind, y’all. In a moment when you really want some privacy and comfort, that’s the last place I’d want to be. Jesus’ mom had no inflatable heated birthing pool, essential oils, or customized birth playlist soothing her soul. There was no epidural, and no doctors or nurses or midwives coaching her and ensuring her safety. Heck, this poor, extremely pregnant lady and her husband couldn’t even get a hotel room for the night. They had just survived a ridiculous road trip, but instead of getting a good night’s sleep, this woman actually brought her child into this world on a dirt floor with sheep and goats hanging around and watching. What a mama. We protestants do not give Mary enough credit. (more…)

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus // Advent: An Invitation to Hope

Dec
03

photo: Igor Ovsyannykov

Advent and the arrival of Hope and Goodness into the world makes my heart sing. So this year, we are taking a closer look at some of my favorite Advent hymns. Each Sunday during Advent 2017, check back on EverydayGrace.net to find a new post and a new song, which I hope will fill you with the joy of Christ’s birth. Press play above while you read, sink into hope and rest awhile. This Advent season, let’s remember Who we wait for and sing Him into our world together. As the season unfolds, you can find all the posts here: Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope.

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Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free…

Oh, Jesus, how badly we need You.

Things are so broken, and we have done so much of the breaking ourselves. Racism. Sexual assault. Injustice. Allowing people into power who brag about assaulting women and children. We buy and sell one another. We turn our eyes away from  oppression of the marginalized and thus we participate in it. We have a general lack of empathy, especially for those who are different from us. (more…)

Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope

Nov
19

Guys, I am so excited to share this project with you. I’ve been working something really different for Advent this year, and this series is probably the most risky and vulnerable thing I’ve ever put on the big giant internet, but I hope you will love it! Here are the details:

WHO: You and me and Jesus, friends.

WHAT: A two-part series on Advent beginning 12.3.17.

WHEN: The first two Sundays of Advent, the season leading up to Christmas.

WHERE: Right here on EverydayGrace.net. You can also follow along on my Facebook page here!

WHY: Christmas is so full of challenges relating to family, busyness, social anxiety, and big moments. This year, there seems to be even more weighing on us as our country feels more divided than ever, and no one can agree on what the Christian response is to our current political, racial, and socioeconomic tension. I would humbly submit to you that a good place to begin is worship. In the middle of all our brokenness, God’s Christmas gift to us is His very own self. Because of this compassionate God, people have written hymns and praise songs for thousands of years, but some of these have grown so familiar that we lose touch with the meaning of the words. My hope is that by looking at two Advent hymns with fresh eyes together, we can gain insight into the heart of the truly unique God that we serve, and in turn become wiser about how to live out our hope in the world we inhabit, even in the middle of the mess. Our cry this Advent: Fix it, Jesus. Help us learn to love like You.

When the series is done, the posts will appear right here as well! Come back on Sunday, December 3 for the first one. Thanks for being the best readers in the whole wide world.

Part 1: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Part 2: Away in a Manger