Life in Stride Blog

Faith is foundational. It's the catalysis grace needs for Salvation (Eph. 2:8) and without out it, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Active faith brings healing like the woman with the bleeding issue (Mark 5:34) and even a minuscule amount can do big impossible things like move mountains (Matt. 17:20). Faith is complex. We cannot see it, but it's literally the substance and evidence of our life through Christ and our future home with Him. (Heb. 11:1). Bold faith beacons people to follow Christ, and faith of every size is honored by God and multiplied by His faithfulness. Lots of days, my faith reflects failure more than hope. My big and bold looks more like reluctant and unwilling.   But thankfully, God's faithfulness doesn't rely on mine. His work gets done in-spite of me.  But, because our God IS God, people like me can do big things. Look at Hebrews 11 -- The Hall of Faith. Biblical...

Kindness is not a courtesy — — but that's how it seems to play out in my life, ya know? I want to be that person, though.  I want to be the one who emulates Christ so well that His traits are first nature instead of screaming at me from the closet… in the basement… with duct-tape over His mouth.  Ok, I'm kind of kidding, but for real, it's hard not to focus on the negatives. They don't have to scream. They are ever-present and on repeat.  In fact, negatives are the duct tape that silences kindness -- telling me, it's ok to be reclusive and bitter since the world is chaos and people...

I'm always intrigued when I see that friends I know from different times in my life know each other. As we laugh and share how and where paths crossed, we inevitably say, "Small world."  And it is.  Somehow, even now, with billions of people, it's small.  But, I love making these connections.  I love connecting events and people. I love connecting problems and solutions. I love connecting words to make stories and scripts.  My favorite connections, by far, are the ones that make the Bible more rich and clear.  Like a few years ago when I realized that people in the old testament knew each other. 🤷‍♀️ So, yeah, maybe you realized this already. Still, for some reason, I never thought about them interacting outside of their story. Maybe it's because they never did in Sunday school…I don't know. But this revelation was eye-opening for me. I was reading the genealogy in Genesis 5 and decided to database ages and...

He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.   If you haven't read the book of Esther, I encourage you to do so.  First, because it's in the Bible and reading the Bible is highly encouraged.  Second, because some cool twists come into play, that makes this story super interesting.  I don't want to give anything away, but I want to mention a noteworthy part. A part that particularly hit home for me. It's kind of a promise tagged in with a slap in the face reality check. Here is goes: God's faithfulness is never in question.  Our obedience is.  See what I mean? GOD. IS. ALWAYS. FAITHFUL. But, how often is my obedience in questions?  How often do I fail to trust God?  How often am I unwilling to step out of my own agenda to fulfill His purpose?  -- more than I care to admit. But, this is where Esther excelled!  God placed her in a position for a purpose, and she had...

Did you know that nothing can take space in your head or heart unless you let it?  For something to take root and have influence, you have to surrender to it and permit it to take authority.  I have to remind myself of this often because I love to shift blame and pretend I have no choice — I’m helpless to the power of something. Sounds stupid, right?  I’m starting to realize that this victim mentality I’ve become comfortable with is really telling of a deeper issue — I’m not surrendering to the Lordship of Christ.  In failing to do so, I submit myself to every emotion while claiming to be a victim. It’s ridiculous. I must stop giving power to the unhealthy things that want to take control in my life.   It’s like God told Cain, “If you do well, will you not be accepted. And if you do not do well, sin lies at...

If I had to pick one quote to sum up Tested and Approved: 21 Lessons for Life and Ministry, it would be this:  "The true foundation of success is to know and do the will of God." (p. 23) Doing the Will of God is our greatest goal as Believers and the ultimate marker of success as Christ-followers -- What is God's Will? -- that we love Him and love others.  That's what this book aims to help us do as it encourages us to trust God's character, value people more than progress, and be accountable to our Christian conduct. "Results without relationships are just noisy, busy activity that really amounts to nothing." (p. 13) ABOUT THE BOOK:  Tom Lane began this book over twenty years ago as a legacy for his children. He wanted to personalize some of the life lessons he learned over the years to one day share them with his children and grandchildren.  But,...

"What if your setback is actually a setup for what God has for you next." Annie Dixon     There is so much hope, wisdom, and promise in this statement. As much as I'd love to say that I readily see this in my life, I do see it in the life of Joseph. Joseph was in line to take over as head of the family, but one setback turned into many, and years went by when he didn't know if he'd ever see his family again, let alone be their leader. Being groomed to become the head of the family set him up to know God and establish bold faith as he learned his people's heritage and saw God's continual deliverance. But head knowledge isn't enough to make you a great leader, and God had a greater purpose for Joseph than head of his family. To fulfill his God-sized purpose, Joseph needed experience making tough decisions,...

I am a "cut to the chase" kind of girl.  I like to take the shortest route and find the end as quickly and efficiently as possible. If I can skip a step or two and come to a viable conclusion—perfect! Done. But, a few years ago, at a writer's conference, I was challenged with these words by Lysa TerKeurst, "The process is the point."  These are the kind of words that echo in my mind for days, weeks, or even years.  "The process is the point." We can also say:  The trials are relevant. There is a purpose for this season. Circumstances don't define us. That last one is tough but so true. Circumstances aren't meant to define us-- They are meant to refine us, but the refining comes through defining decisions.   Abraham knows about defining decisions. At 75 years old, Abram, and his wife Sarai were childless. God made a huge God-sized promise to him....

One of my favorite aspects of the Word of God is that it is truly active and alive. I don't care how many times I've read through it or even just read a particular passage; I can always find something new and relevant.  Reading the book of Matthew this past week, I was newly struck by the recurring phrase, "as was foretold by the prophets." These six words are so powerful and pertinent, bringing greater relevance to everything that surrounds them—exposing the greater purpose of Jesus' life and ministry.  These words proclaim that Jesus isn't just a great man or another prophet, as some thought. He is the Messiah, as was foretold by the prophets. Jesus is God's love and mercy sent to us to be the blood sacrifice to pay for my sin and the sin of all humanity. Everything Jesus did on earth was to fulfill God's purpose and be...

Listen to Our New Podcast!Click Here
+ +