Church Relationships

I’ve thinking recently about relationships, especially the relationship within the church. You see, I am a new believer but a long-term church goer. I’ve gone to many different denominations and now attend a non-denominational church, so I want to highlight the differences I’ve seen and the relationships we should have in the church.

I am guilty of going to church to be a “good” Christian, chitchatting with acquaintances and skipping out the door to go back to “normal”. Most of the church sermons I heard made me feel good and happy; there were a few that brushed a nerve but none that really shed any negative light on my actions. These messages are good; We should know about God’s love for us, and how we’re saved by grace but it’s like you’re only  dessert. It’s  delicious but is best in moderation.

I’ve also been to church where all they preach is brimstone and hell and I leave terrified and with a list of things I better do or God will judge me and condemn me. Again, these messages can be good but again they shouldn’t be 100% of what you hear.

I attend a church now that focuses on scripture as the “theme” and we’re currently reading through Romans.   The first few times I attended, this was a bit new to me because it seemed like a Bible study and I didn’t realize that a pastor could preach for 45 minutes on one verse. I was used to a more topical approach – anger, love, grace, etc.

I find that the approach my current church uses is very beneficial because it has more of a balance. We talk about the good but we also talk about the tough things too. There are days where I am bursting with love from the message and other days where I am squirming in the hot seat, knowing that God is using this message to grab my attention and redirect me.

Since I am a foreigner and most of my church is, we are all very close and see each other outside of church and our life groups. This adds an additional layer of accountability and sincerity that can sometimes be easy to fake back home. It’s easy to be “Super Christian” for a few hours Sunday and for life group but seeing these men and women constantly will reveal inconsistencies.

It’s against my nature to share my vulnerability and weaknesses but it’s in these moments I show God’s strength and see His love. This public (life group usually) confession shows that I’m not a hypocrite but that I am simply a sinner. My relationships within the church allow and encourage my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to approach me privately and hold me accountable to what I believe in and I am expected to do the same.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.” – James 5:16

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you an him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” – Matthew 18:15-16

It’s hard to hold people accountable or to be accountable if you’re not sincere. If we only share the good and never the bad, we’re hurting ourselves. God expected us to encourage and build each other up because He knew that we would experience low times.

The relationships in the church shouldn’t be insincere and fake but should be transparent and authentic. We need our leaders to set the example and to share their struggles as well their victories. While I might admire someone for their strengths, I am more likely to relate and respect someone for their weaknesses. It’s in our vulnerability that we become friends and truly form a bond. It is in our weaknesses that God’s strength is seen.


What do you think about church relationships? Do you think the church would be different if the leaders and members were more transparent with their struggles? What about the messages the church preach – do you think they should be more balanced or is there a reason to preach one over the other? I’d love to hear from you!

Single Blessings

The blessings of being single are numerous but it seems like people think there’s an age limit on the blessings – like being single is a blessing until you’re 27 and then it becomes “sad”. I realize that I am generalizing but there is an attitude difference towards people being single in their early twenties versus people being single in their early thirties.

We are not promised marriage. Let that sink in for a minute. God has not promised to give all men and women who desire marriage a spouse. He will call some people to remain single for their entire lives. Forever.



How does that make you feel? Do you feel scared, uncomfortable, okay or what? If you feel negativity towards the idea of being single for the rest of your life, I urge you to lean into God because those feelings could be a sign that you’ve not given Him every aspect of your life.

I struggled with this for a few months as it seemed everywhere I looked (thanks FaceBook), there was another engagement, wedding or baby announcement. Here I was with no career, no potential boyfriend, no house, etc. just waiting and feeling envious.

I prayed about it, had people pray for me, read books on it and somewhere along the journey embraced it (most of the time – I’d be lying if I said I don’t have moments where I wish I was in another season but the same is true from people on the other side). Being single gives me an abundant amount of time. I am able to get more involved in my church, dedicate more time to this blog, plan to participate on a mission trip, read an insane amount without interruption, eat ice cream for dinner 🙂 and travel the world. All of these things are possible while being married but it’s not as simple. It’s juggling your desires with someone else’s and if you have children, ice cream for dinner means they will never sleep. LOL.

The other day, I was talking with a good friend of mine and began planning the travels we would do after our teaching contract ended. I want to take a few months to go home and then travel before committing to teaching again. I’m looking at you Trans-Siberian train trip, China’s tourist attractions (Great Wall, Forbidden City, etc.), Mongolia, some of Eastern Europe and then a dash to South Africa to visit some awesome friends.


We’re making a list – a dream list – of places to go and things to do. You might call it a bucket list but I call it goals. I have a nice eclectic list of things I want to do and see and ways I want to serve. It would be nice to get married and have a family but if that’s not in His plans for me, I’m okay with this life that He’s given me.


I also want to point out that this is not a “ladies only problem.” Men struggle with a single season as well, but it’s something I’ve overlooked and I’m sure others have because it doesn’t seem to be discussed.

No matter what season you’re in right now, I encourage you to list ten things you’re thankful for. What are your dreams/goals/bucket list items? Anything I should be adding to my list?

Grace in Action – Travis’ Testimony


Today is a Grace in Action post, which is where I will be featuring other people’s testimonies. Others’ testimonies should serve to encourage us and glorify God by seeing His grace in their lives.

As always, I am blessed to introduce this testimony, especially as he is not only a brother in Christ but also my real brother (even though I tried denying it a time or two 🙂 ). Without further delay, here it is:

 Travis’  Testimony

Through God anything is possible and is something I have come to learn. God was always in my life but I chose to ignore him and instead chose to be selfish and self-destructive. I was a drug addict, a thief, and a liar. Everything in my life was going horribly wrong and I was the problem.

I pushed God away but he was always there. If you’ve ever been an addict you’ll know what I’m about to explain is true, but for those of you who haven’t gone through that, here’s a weird fact that someone once told me. Why is it when we are doing the worst things to ourselves, like lines of coke at 3 in the morning, does religion get brought up every time? Because God is always there, at every opportunity, loving us even when we don’t love ourselves.


It took going to jail several times for me to finally accept someone’s offer to go to church. I figured every time I’d tried to change my way, I had failed. The day I walked into that church three eerie things happened:

  1. The sermon was about forgiveness and loving yourself.
  2. The first time meeting this preacher he came up to me and told me he had been an ex addict, and felt the urge to come talk to me.
  3. When the preacher asked if anyone needed to be saved, my body got goose bumps and automatically walked itself to the front, which is surprising because I hate crowds.

I was saved that day and a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I don’t drink anymore, and I don’t use drugs anymore because He took away the urge and dependency. In less than 2 years I’ve turned my life around. It isn’t perfect but I’m blessed and my heart is happy because every night I pray for God to use me as his tool and to help others.

I want to do so well in His name that people who know me from my past ask me how I managed to do it. My answer will be God did this, not I. It will make them wonder and hopefully convince them to be saved. Lead by example and spread positivity to everyone around you. For we are warriors of God and need to spread it without words!


Rahab2’s Comments:

I hope you were encouraged by this testimony and understand that no matter what’s in your past, it’s not too big for God. He is willing to use you, if you accept His gift of grace.

If you’re interested or moved to share your story, please leave a comment or email me at I’d love to hear your story and see His Grace in Action.

Dangerous Prayer

praying hands


“Be careful what you wish for” is a common saying but I’ve learned a similar saying: “Be careful what you pray for.” It seems like an obvious thought but I never really considered that I needed to be careful with my prayer life.

I like to watch online sermons and found Craig Groeschel of Life Church. I found his series “#struggles” and it really spoke to some things I was feeling at the time. Once I completed that series, I watched some different ones but then found his series “Dangerous Prayers”. My friend and I had been talking about our prayer lives and I was concerned that mine was becoming routine, so I figured this series would be a great one to watch. It’s a three part series with each part focusing on a different “dangerous prayer”. I thought dangerous was overstated; I mean how tough could these prayers really be?

The first sermon focuses on the prayer “Search Me” and inviting God to search your life and reveal anything negative that you should be working on. It makes sense and seems like a good prayer but God has a way of continually bringing issues to the surface. Turns out I’m not perfect. 🙂 Still, this prayer seemed a bit “easy” and it just reinforced my belief that the title “Dangerous Prayers” was just a catchy slogan to draw viewers in.

The next sermon is “Break Me”. This one made me a bit nervous. I didn’t pray the prayer at the time. I thought about it but I decided that I really didn’t want to be broken and I like my comfortable life; I mean I moved to Korea, I listened to God and left my comfort zone. I deserved to relax a bit and coast…this is not the attitude God is looking for.

Moving on, I watched the third and final sermon called “Send Me” which is also a bit scary. I was convincing myself that I didn’t need this prayer because I was already abroad and had done my part. Someone else can be sent. I mean Korea can be tough but it’s not a third world country. Sigh.

Sometime’s it’s hard to see your weaknesses in black and white, knowing that you will be posting them for anyone to see BUT I want to be honest and share in my walk of faith.

Prayer is one of my weakest areas. Some people pray out loud; some, like me, write them down; some don’t pray at all; some only pray authored prayers. Yet, prayer is part of our battle plan. We are called to pray to battle Satan.

“…And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
-Ephesians 6:17-18

Prayer matters. It is not something to merely check off a “To Do” list but something to study and learn about, so that we might be warriors in this battle and help win battles through our prayer lives. There are safe and dangerous prayers.

I prayed the dangerous prayer and asked God to break me. It’s scary, because He is breaking me. I didn’t realize what was happening until a few days ago when I was giving God all of my frustrations and hurt and then it clicked: I have a lot of big things going on right now – people who are ill, people who have passed away, no plans for the future, friends leaving Korea, the list goes on and the “bad” news keeps coming.

I feel overwhelmed but I felt a bit better when I realized that God is breaking me down. He’s answering my hesitant prayer and I imagine that though the journey will be dark and painful at times, I will come out of this, a better and more mature Christian who has drawn closer to her Father.

What’s your prayer life like? Do you believe in “dangerous prayers?” I love hearing from you all!

2016 Goals

Hey everybody, seeing as it’s mid-February, I thought I’d share my goals for 2016, now that I know I haven’t completely failed all of them yet. J  I am sure most of you made wonderful New Year resolutions. I did not. I’d tried making New Year resolutions before and usually failed within the first two weeks, so this year I decided to make my goals for the year and I focused on six areas: spiritual, social, financial, intellectual, physical and career.



  • Continue to consistently have Quiet Time and study my bible.
  • Volunteer my time regularly
  • Increase my giving by 3% before the end of the year



  • Be more intentional with my time
  • No cell phone when socializing with family and friends



  • Continue with Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps
  • Save up and pay for my medical coding course
  • Save at least 5% of my down payment goal



  • Read at least one nonfiction book a month



  • Start working out consistently
  • Clean eating 80/20 ( I really wish the percentages were flipped. Why can’t I lose weight from eating ice cream? 🙂 )
  • Maintain my nonsmoker status



  • Enroll in a coding course and begin studying 15 hours a week
  • Determine whether or not I am called to stay another year in South Korea. If not what am I going to do???


Did you make goals or resolutions for 2016?  How are they going?

The Impact of One

breast cancerIt’s amazing the impact one person can have without even knowing it. I went to a small Christian boarding school for high school and while I was terrible at maintaining those friendships, I have kept up with people thanks to Facebook. I complained a lot about my high school but it was such a blessing.

One young lady, a few years younger than me named Allison was one of those genuinely nice people. We knew each other (because everyone in a small school knows everyone) but that was it. I remember her laughter and her athletic ability and that she was nice. I cannot recall a negative thing about her.

It’s times like this where I just don’t understand God. Allison was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer. She had a small army of prayer warriors praying for her thanks to her best friend’s and cousin’s requests and updates. She passed away recently at the age of 28.


I just don’t understand and I know I won’t but it raises so many questions and emotions for me. It makes me sad that such a kind person, who just graduated from nursing school was taken home. It makes me angry that she’s gone but so many people who “deserve” bad things (rapists, murders, etc.) are healthy as a horse. And it makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel guilty because I know people could recall a lot of negative things about me and how I made them feel. I just don’t understand God’s plan and it’s surprising that someone I was only acquainted with would impact me this way.

Maybe it was her happy and grateful posts or the fact that she supported others in their battles with cancer. Maybe it was her smile over the little things or the awesome animal pictures and videos that people had posted on FaceBook to cheer her up. Maybe it’s the true uplifting and deep friendship shared between her and her best friend; a friendship that should stand as an example. The friendship is one where you can feel the anguish of the diagnosis, treatment and setbacks as if they were her own. Maybe it’s seeing Allison holding her goddaughter and knowing that she will never see her grow up. Maybe it’s the fact that so many people have shared stories of how she impacted them and how much she will be missed. Some are, of course, extremely close and others are like me who remember her from past encounters.

Here’s what Allison’s battle has taught me or reminded me of:

  • People will remember how you made them feel, whether they were close to you or just a mere acquaintance.
  • True friendship prays for each other, wishes well for each other and is there for each other always
  • Graciousness means so much
  • You can fight with all you have and still lose the battle
  • Live in the moment and keeping aiming for the future
  • Life is short and uncertain and has no guarantees
  • Bad things happen to good people
  • God doesn’t always make sense to us


I know that God had his reasons and I am thankful that she isn’t in pain. I just wonder why He had to call her home so soon. I wonder why there wasn’t a miracle of healing. I trust in Him and His plan but I wonder how the good in this will appear or when it will appear.

Go hug your family and friends; tell them what they mean to you. Reconnect with old friends. God’s plans are good but sometimes they hurt and make no sense to us.  Prayers for her close friends and family are appreciated.

Rahab – A Story

I’ve been looking more and more into Rahab and wondering about her legacy. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be in her shoes and make the decisions she made. Her faith is an obvious beacon of God’s ability to work in one’s life without them even knowing.

I’ve been doing some research and learned that Rahab is considered to be the first recorded Gentile convert. I just want you to stop and really put yourself in Rahab’s shoes.

Unknown-1.jpegImage from: pinterest

Take your biggest/most shameful sin and imagine it as your identifier. Your name, Sin. Rahab, the prostitute, Amanda the Addict. This is how you are known. Now, imagine the world as it is today because we still have the corruption but take away the church. Jesus hasn’t come yet and your community worships at the altar of self/money/things. In your FaceBook feed or twitter account, you begin hearing about these Israelite people and they sound weird. They are the complete opposite of your people. You have many gods, and they have one. You “yolo”; they focus on eternity. Their God is with them and reportedly has been winning battles for them. Literally winning battles for them.

They defeated the Egyptians because their God sent plagues against the Egyptians, parted the Red Sea to save the Israelites but then drowned the Egyptians. They were interesting but weird. Everyone in your community was apprehensive about these enemies coming to invade and were warned to be on the lookout. Your house is on the edge of the border and you’re obligated to your country to defend it and report any suspicious activity. You don’t want people coming across the border illegally do you, especially when their sole purpose is destruction of your community?

Now imagine, two men have come to your house and requested a place to stay. They’re strangers but they’re paying well so you let them in. They aren’t looking for the usual special; just a place to stay. Your politician and local law enforcement issue a warning that spies have entered the city and they know that they’re at your house. What do you do?

Luckily, this isn’t about what I would do but about what she did. She hid the men and then lied to her King. She betrayed her country. It’s something we would condemn. Interesting. I’ve always said 1) God, 2) Country, and 3) Family/Friends but thankfully have never been put in a situation where I’ve had to choose because honestly that’s a tough call.

Meanwhile back in the story, the politician and law enforcement are sent on a wild goose chase, you go back upstairs to help the spies escape. In exchange for saving their lives, you want immunity and protection when they come back. They give their word and tell you to hang the red rope (imagine the scarlet letter of your sin) out your window when they return and they will save you and your family, as long as everyone is in your house ready to go.



Now imagine anxiously waiting. Packing things up. Explaining to your family and trusting them not to betray you or slip and say anything. Suddenly you hear a noise and the weird Israelites are walking around the city one time. You don’t know much about warfare but even Mulan has more warfare then this. You throw your rope out the window and wait…and wait….and wait some more. You wait six days while they do a Nascar victory lap around Jericho. On the 7th day, they remember the marching band, which look like priests and are holding trumpets. They walk and then stop. Suddenly, the marching band blasts the horn and the trumpets and the warriors all shout and you feel the trembling and the crashing and the dust rising. You can barely see but after you’re done waving your hands to clear the dust, your jaw drops. The walls have collapsed and the Israelites are advancing. They are merciless as they cut down men, women and children.

You’ve never prayed before but you hit your knees and beg God that the two spies remember and honor their promise. They remember. Their leader, Joshua, has ordered the destruction of everything and all people in the town, except for you and your family. You’re all saved and live among the Israelites happily ever after. The end.

Just kidding – this isn’t Disney – this is God. I expected the story to end her but references to Rahab are weaved in. She marries a man named Salmon. I don’t know much about Salmon but I know that he is an Israelite and was the father or grandfather (genealogy sometimes skips generations) of Boaz, the husband of Ruth. The end.

ruth and boax

Ruth and Boaz

Wait – Matthew 1:5 has “and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab…” It’s unusual for the women to be mentioned in genealogy and it’s interesting to note that 4 women appear, with one being Rahab, the prostitute. It is amazing and miraculous that God determined she should be named in the genealogy of His son, Jesus Christ. A gentile, a prostitute and an outsider is honored enough to be recognized for her role. The end? Nope, not yet.

Flip to Hebrews 11:31. This is where the author is listing examples of people who have acted in faith. “By faith, Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” Rahab, the woman with a past is an example of how we should act in faith. I don’t know about you but sometimes, I get down about my past and I see my sins and not me. I don’t believe I can add value or mentor anyone in faith because I am broken. God says that’s if I act in faith, God can and will use me. I am worthy, not because of who I am but who I belong to.

Rahab appears again in James 2:25. He writes “And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way.” I am encouraged that Rahab is held up as an example of faith. I am encouraged that a woman with a past is mentioned in a world where women aren’t always held up as good examples. I’m encouraged that God felt called to include her in His love letter to us. Rahab should encourage and inspire you, knowing that no matter what has happened, no matter what you’ve done, if you’re willing, He will use you in a glorious way.

Let me know if you enjoyed this and would like to see more of these. I love hearing from you guys!

A Broken Nation

Valentines Day has passed where I am and I find myself a bit sad. We have a day dedicated to love but what happens when it’s over? It looks like life goes back to normal and that makes me sad. I realize that the love on Valentines Day is focused on romantic love but let’s take the romance out of it. I’m sad that a day after Valentine’s Day, we go back to the hate or apathy.

broken heart

The world we live in today spreads messages of hate blatantly and subtly. We aren’t born hating; we learn it. I am concerned that when I read about our potential future presidents spreading a rhetoric of hate. I am concerned when I read about how popular these messages are and how divided the United States is becoming. I am sad when I hear people spread fear and hate regarding race, gender, sexual preference, religious beliefs, socioeconomic backgrounds, and jobs (law enforcement). I’m said reading about all the deaths that are occurring because of these things.

The Bible calls us to love. We aren’t just called to love people who agree with us or look like us or, or, or. We’re called to love everyone. We aren’t to respond to hate with hate but with love. We are called to pray for those who hurt us.

Jesus said: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:44

I am sad that we have a day to celebrate love but this isn’t the message we’re hearing or spreading regularly. We have political candidates so thirsty for power that it is considered normal to insult and ridicule other candidates as talking points. This isn’t about the political parties but is making the point that hate has become our rhetoric and has divided our country.

broken country

I was talking with a friend the other day about this. We have completely different political views but I love and appreciate hearing her perspective. It doesn’t offend me that she has a different perspective or that she completely disagrees with me on so many issues. I respect her for her views, but this isn’t as common anymore. I see more and more FaceBook posts and hear about friendships ending because they disagreed with them.

I don’t want to surround myself with people who always agree with me. I like hearing different perspectives and just because someone doesn’t agree with me doesn’t mean that we can’t be friends. It doesn’t mean I’m right and they’re wrong; it means that we have different experiences that lead us to look at something differently.

We’re becoming intolerant of anyone who is different from us while preaching tolerance. Hate is a message that is spreading more and more. We wonder about the increase in violence but this shouldn’t be surprising when hate is what is being taught. We can change that.

We can choose love over hate. We can refuse to spread the hateful rhetoric or the article but instead pray for our nation/the issues. We can teach children to look past the surface and look to character instead.

I’m challenging you to pick love and not to engage or share the hateful messages. What do you think about what’s happening? Do you agree that the message of hate is being spread or is it just more media coverage? I’d love to hear from you.

Grace in Action – Beth’s Testimony

In an earlier post, Grace in Action, I told you I would be sharing people’s testimonies and I am very honored to kick this off with Beth’s Story (aka Aunt Bubba). Beth was the first person I interacted with on this site and has already been so supportive and willing to help.  Her story really touched my heart and I hope it touches yours as well.

 Grace in Action – Aunt Bubba’s Story
On our first wedding anniversary, my husband and I took the top tier of our wedding cake out of the freezer, ate a few bites of it, then made the decision to get divorced.

Before we got married, we agreed, that no matter what, we would never get divorced. We had both dealt with divorce in some capacity in our lives. For me, it was a part of my childhood. My parents divorced when I was eight. For him, it was two divorces prior to our marriage, but we were going to be better and being married than my parents were and his previous marriages. We were going to go to church every week, pray together and stick together no matter what. It didn’t work out the way we planned. A year and half after saying I do, our divorce was final.

At the time, I felt like I had done everything I was supposed to do to try and make it work. I wouldn’t realize until much later that I left out one very important factor – prayer.

Allow me to back up a few decades.

I was the kid who always felt my parents “made me” go to church. I didn’t want to go, but they made me. Church was boring to. I often times fell asleep or doodled on whatever I could find to doodle on. The only cool thing about my Grandma’s church was the fact that she was the pianist. Sometimes she would let me sit next to her and help her turn the pages of her sheet music.

Grandma always told me to “start my day with scripture.” She did, but I remember saying to her, “Okay, Grandma,” but beyond that, never did what she asked me to do.

After my divorce was final in 2011, I started dating again and met a man who I would spend the next three years with. Almost two years into that relationship, I felt like something was missing, not just in our relationship, but with me.

Whenever I would talk to my friend Amy about things going on in my life, she would use scripture and talk about God. It always made me uncomfortable. Now I realized Amy was planting a seed in my soul. I started attending services at Woodcrest Chapel on a regular basis. Two years later, I would finally understand what seed Amy was trying to plant in me. In November 2013, I fully accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and was baptized.

I ended my three-year relationship because the man I was with wasn’t on the same page as me spiritually. Like Amy, I, too, tried to plant a seed in him, but the soil around his heart was impenetrable. He had his own spiritual beliefs, which I tried to understand and support, but knew that our religious and spiritual differences weren’t healthy for our relationship.

Fast forward to 2016. It’s been two years since I ended that relationship. Spiritually, I’ve never felt stronger. My faith in God and belief that He has wonderful plans for me bring me so much peace and comfort.


Figure 1 Photo from

I’ve dated here and there since my boyfriend and I broke up, but I’m currently in a season of waiting. On the cusp of Valentine’s Day weekend, sometimes it’s really tough being single. Sometimes, it’s hard being single AND a Christian. It still proves challenging to find someone who has the same spiritual and religious beliefs that I do, but I’m not giving up yet. If you’re in the same boat as I am, I want to encourage you not to give up either.

I’m going to continue to put my faith in God and get to know him better. Now that I’ve accepted Christ into my heart and into my life, I can finally say I’m doing what my late Grandma wanted me to do all along—starting my day with scripture.

If you would like to follow me on my faith journey, check out I would love to hear your story, too.

Aunt Bubba

Rahab2’s Note: I really hope you enjoyed reading this.  Remember the purpose is to inspire and share with other Christians to glorify God. If you’d like to share your testimony as well, please comment here or you can email me at I’d love to hear from you!