Friends and family!
How are you? I hope you all are having a great week and haven’t been too busy to not make it outside and enjoy this November (?!) sunny weather. But! Bozeman just received a trace of snow last night. Let’s keep praying that it comes. Bring on the snow…we need winter!
This previous week was a tough one for our nation. I have no desire to discuss anything election related, but I just want to say how much of a disappointment the reaction of the public was. There was too much anger, frustration, hurt, and hatred. My sister told me that the night after the election, the hospital that she works at was on lock down and she was barricaded by police on her way home. How horrible is that?! As a nation, we should rather come together in love, thanksgiving, and praise. We have an opportunity to unite together, rather than separating in half and letting liberal versus conservative define who we are. That is not who any of us are. We are an American people, with freedoms that many people wish they had. I had an ethics seminar yesterday for one of my jobs. The instructor mentioned that she was in Uganda during the day of the election. She had many people approach her asking what was going on that day with the election. She explained that many locals told her that we should feel blessed as a nation to be able to vote every four years for a new leader, whereas they live in a dictator run country. So, let us see the silver lining in this election of our new President and continue to pray for him and the house and senate officials, with their decisions for our nation.
On Sunday I decided to watch the live stream of Fresh Life Church, at home. To give you a little information on Fresh Life, it is a non-denominational Christian church located in Kalispell, Montana. There are multiple campuses located around Montana (and one in Salt Lake City!) that live stream the sermon each week.
The sermon this week was the pre release party of their new album, More / Enough. It was so fun to watch the campus in Kalispell baring all, sharing how they were inspired to write the songs that are featured on this album. This sermon was a breath of fresh air and is the inspiration behind this blog post. It was a very timely sermon, with our election being last week and different things that are going through my mind each day. I decided to organize this blog post with quotes from the songs within the album, and share with you how they have inspired me.
“Can you hear it here and now? Chains are falling to the ground. As freedom rises with the sound, the sound of His name…Jesus.” (“The Waiting (Lingering)”, Fresh Life Worship)
The album name (More / Enough) is a reminder to myself that Christ is more than enough for me. The objective behind this song/album name is to encourage us that filling our emptiness with “things” will never be enough. Christ is. Sometimes I feel like I’ve had enough of God and am filled to the brim…but there is always room for more. He has offered infinite joy to me (and you), and desires us to see His plan unfold in our life. “In my weakness, show your goodness” (“More Than Enough”). I am a weak human, that worries all to much about my day and what the future holds for me. It is my goal to let go of all of my worries, and rely solely on the firm foundation God offers to me (and you!) and know that God has a beautiful plan for my life.
“You are alive inside us now. We believe it. We can feel it. Your’s is the glory and the power. Your kingdom come down.” (“Heaven Come”, Fresh Life Worship)
As many of you know, I have two tattoos (that my lovely roommate designed!).
The first one says Gershom. Gershom is the name that Moses gave his son, meaning “stranger to this land.” The typical response that I receive is, “So you’re not from Montana?” I am from Montana, proudly born and raised. But Montana is not my home, nor is this earth. My home is in heaven…”But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20). My treasures are the people that enter into my life. My desire is to share the love of Christ to those around me.
My arrow was the tattoo that I was most excited for and the one that took the longest to design. My inspiration behind it was from the beloved author C.S. Lewis, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you will get neither.” My focus is on seeking my homeland. Heaven is the end goal. When worshiping Christ, my hands and the point of the arrow are pointed upward toward Him.
I am so thankful for Fresh Life Worship reminding me why I placed these tattoos on my body. It is a simple way that I can share my faith with people, the treasures I hope to one day see in my home in heaven.
“You stand beside me when I’m filled with doubt. I know I’m prone to wander, but your heart never falters. When shame rushes in that consumes my mind, your promises restore me. You always keep loving. you don’t miss a thing, but you love me still.” (“Still”, Fresh Life Worship)
This was a good reminder that all of us are filled with sin. We are all consumed with anger, hatred, frustration, envy, lust, etc. but God still loves us. He sees us as beautiful and something worth offering grace and mercy and forgiveness. I am no where to being perfect. I struggle with all of the sins listed above, but thank goodness for a father in heaven that has compassion on me.
Friends, thank you for reading my post. I hope that it did not come across as “preachy”. As I have said in the past, my goal is to be vulnerable with you and share the important sides of life and how I am making my way through my epoch.
Fresh Life has been my home for the past two years. I was invited by my roommate, Sarah. I grew up going to church, bible study, vacation bible school, I went to church every so often in college, and a little bit here and there post college. I thought I had my life together…went to church because I felt like I had to, not because I wanted to. I did not realize I was on a path of destruction. I went through a tough bit of time about three years ago. I was on a road that was far from the road God had chosen for me, in pursuit of my own worldly desires. I was satisfied in the moment, but it was destroying me one piece at a time. When I went to Fresh Life I was broken and hurting, but I found a home at once. I had never been to a church where people learned my name right away and greeted me week two by my name. I had never felt more loved and accepted for my sin, than in the house of Fresh Life. Over the years I have grown in more ways than I could ever imagine. Pastor Levi Lusko preaches in a way that I understand and makes me want to fully grasp the love of Christ. I am so thankful for Pastor Levi and Jennie and the people at the Bozeman campus.
To wrap back around, More / Enough is not available yet, but you can still check out Fresh Life Worship on Spotify and iTunes and listen to their album Fall Afresh and the EP Heartbeat, which includes some of the songs that will be featured on More / Enough. I also want to extend an invite to join me for church this week, either at The Emerson in Bozeman at 9am or 11am or online at www.freshlifechurch.com (livestream at 8am, 10am, and 12pm). The new sermon series is Blood and Thunder, which will be speaking about the ways we can see God move.
Thank you again so, so much for reading. If you feel so inclined, please share my post or follow to read more of my thoughts in the coming weeks. Next week, I will be writing a more lighthearted post (since the past few of been quite serious)…probably something food related……
Have a great remainder of your week! Love y’all.