The true meaning of “Belonging “

Our pastor shared a message about baptism today. It was a message he has been intending to give for three weeks now but the weather has not cooperated. So he ended up masterfully blending the three messages he planned to give over the last three Sundays and I gained a new insight! He also shared how we are all parts of one body, the body of Christ, and a celebration of gifts that each member of the body is given.

After Jesus was baptized in the company of many others who came to John the Baptist to be baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon him. This was the launching event of Jesus’s ministry. My new insight is that our baptism is not just about our new covenant with God. It is also about becoming connected to the body of believers that we call a church and our commitment to use our gifts and abilities in service to and with that church family.

As people, we so need to belong somewhere, to find “our people” and to find a way to make a difference in this world. God gave us the church to do both!! Maybe society’s exodus from the church has been the reason so many feel alone and aimless today. If you feel this way, I encourage you to find a body of believers with whom you can connect and serve with commitment. It will truly make all the difference in your life!

Grace and Truth


“Daring leaders who live into their values are never silent about hard things.” Brene Brown, Dare to Lead

The day has finally come…I am writing my first blog! I have felt provoked and prodded, enthusiastic and fearful, ready and reluctant. Many enticements, both large and small, have lead me to this moment. I have felt God’s nudging for some time. The final determining factor was the above quote from Brene Brown and her latest book, which I am just now finishing.

There are several factors motivating me into this new realm of openness and outspoken behavior:

First, I am a person of faith in Jesus Christ, and I can no longer in good conscience stand silent while others judge and condemn in the name of Christ. Jesus came “from the Father full of grace and truth” yet many choose to view God as angry and vengeful and preferential.  I will speak much more on this in the future.

Second, in this era of extremist view points, I believe that reasonable people need to begin to speak up. As it often stands today, the two opposite viewpoints are shouted from the mountaintops at each other with no effort to seek even an understanding of each other. Each group sees the other as the villain, the one to blame for all their woes, and rigidly defies the other at all cost. Fear is provoked in the unwitting to gain converts to their side. The hope of collaboration and compromise are melting away. My deep desire is to be at least one somewhat reasonable person who is able to see elements of truth in both perspectives and offer some more balanced perspectives; to offer hope in the chaos.

Third, in my professional life as a clinical social worker, Christian counselor and associate pastor there are many times when I learn something useful to myself, my clients, and friends at church that I would love to share with a wider audience. God’s truth and wisdom are universally beneficial to all His children! If there is any light of truth and grace that I can shine into the darkness of depression, anxiety, confusion, spiritual warfare, marital conflict, family chaos, struggles of parenting…I would be humbled and honored to do so.

And finally, if my willingness to put myself out there, vulnerably speaking out about hard things, can encourage some other people of reason, grace and humility to speak out…perhaps we could start a community whisper that could grow into a booming voice for truth and grace! Dare to be courageous?