For The Outsiders and the Misfits


Jesus was a Misfit.

He was an Outsider.

He was born to reconcile all of us back to Himself. That is why we celebrate Christmas.

Christmas time can be a tough time. Many people bring up the history of their hurts and struggles during this time. People are triggered and many face relapse. I was reminded this year that Jesus was for all of us. All of us Misfits and all of us who have seen brokenness, hurt and loss.

Jesus was born in a barn. Literally. He took the idea of what a King, a Savior, should be and flipped it on it’s head. Instead of being born in the Temple, or in a Throne room, He was born with sheep. His first visitors were like you and me, the Misfits of society.

Angels came to announce this birth to some shepherds in a field. The sheep these men tended would be used in ceremonies to wash sins away. Jesus was born in the same place as these very lambs. Yet, in keeping these sheep the shepherd themselves were deemed unclean. They were marginalized, outcasts, isolated, yet recipients of the grace of of Jesus.

This Christmas season we are reminded of how Jesus came to bring salvation, redemption and joy to all people. Those the world have deemed Outsiders, us Misfits, Jesus has called us Sons and Daughters of God. Walk in that.

Journaling for 2016



One of my resolutions this year is, of course, to grow closer to God. I have loved journaling; I have been doing it for years now. Lately though I’ve become forgetful and it has taken a back seat. I realized that I just needed to tweak the routine for me. There are a lot of different techniques, styles and advice. Ironically, I am giving you one more. The idea though is to create something for you making you more successful, joyful and closer to God.

Above is picture of what I have begun to do. It has a few different sections that work for me. Lately, my attitudes have been frustrated, lost and often feeling stuck. I have added a few things in there to help shift those thoughts and bring about something more positive. I can lay awake at night thinking of all the things that should’ve been done, or worried about how something turned out. To help this I added a section to make my mind rest at night. My journal has become two parts, the bible reading and summarization in the morning. Then, I work on everything else before I head to bed in the evening.



This should be a no brainer but I put the date on this so that I can be accountable to my journaling. It helps me to keep organized and I can look back to see growth and what God has been doing for me lately.


I need to be in the Word of God daily. I would find myself reading verses but only for work and not for maturation. My routine is to read a short section in my Bible (currently in Philippians). I will read it twice then pick one verse that has stood out to me. That is the verse that I will write down in my journal and reflect on throughout my day.


When I write this verse down I will attempt to summarize and put it in my own words. This helps make this verse personal to me. It will help me to memorize the verse better and get the theme behind the passage.


Free Space:

I love free space. It is space to doodle and to think. I can do whatever I want there. I use this to think about people that have helped me that day or a situation that I could’ve handled better. It helps me just be creative. Sometimes, I just doodle monsters. It makes me happy.

Reasons I’m grateful:

I have had an attitude of frustration at times in my faith. I read a book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It struck a cord with me and I began to write down one reason a day I was grateful. I lost that habit and realized it helped my attitude greatly. I have created a space for me to write down 5 reasons that I am grateful to God that day. They can be anything. They can be something you saw, an interaction with a friend, something beautiful. Anything that you are grateful to God for that day can be written here.

God’s love:

From doing a step study with Celebrate Recovery I have realized one of my major heart issues is that, at times, I believe God doesn’t love me. I know that He does, but in certain moments that is the default of my heart. Everyday I want to be on the lookout for ways that God loves me. It aligns my heart to know the God is at the center of everything and that He loves me.

The cool thing is that in the past few days I have been doing this my mood has be a lot better than before. It has taken some adjustment but I do look forward to it each day.  This is just an idea. Do something that works for you, but just do something. Grow closer to God this year. Be more productive with goals and get in your Bible daily. Happy New Year and lets make 2016 the best year yet.

Holiday Cheer



Christmas is upon us. Just a few more days and we will be knee deep in wrapping paper and covered in bows. Laying on the couch overstuffed with cookies and others carbohydrates. Then like that, Christmas is gone. Everyone goes back home, back to college; we tear down the tree, the lights and the nativity set you got fifteen years ago. There are things though that we need to continue to think of throughout the year, not just on Christmas. We need to think about being kinder, more generous, and reflect more on Jesus.

This time of year is always awesome because it just seems people are kinder. They smile more and are just genuinely more cheerful. Expect maybe Black Friday shopping, but we won’t get into that now. We need to extend that kindness throughout the year. We quickly forget the “spirit of the holidays” as soon as New Years is over. What can you do to be a kinder person this year? Maybe it is just saying you will compliment people more often, or swear less at bad drivers. Treating people well should be a priority throughout the year, not just on Christmas.

People give, a lot, this season. Maybe they save up all year just to give, or they have a “Christmas Carol” moment and wish to turn from their Scrooge-like ways. Either way, we are more generous during the Christmas season. What does it look like to be more open-handed throughout the year. Giving more of our time to others more regularly. Volunteer somewhere on a regular basis and become a staple of that organization that you’re passionate about. Give more of our talents away, using what you’re talented in to help a cause, to help a friend, and to further what God is doing in your church. There is always a need and you can fill that. We can be more generous with our money throughout the year. Instead of giving 10%, what if you gave 12%? You can become a better tipper at restaurants or buy that extra box of girl scout cookies and give them away. This upcoming year, lets learn from this Christmas and be more generous with our time, talents and things.

It is natural for us to think more about Jesus on His birthday. Yet, we get busy and distracted as Jesus slowly takes a back seat to life. Let 2016 be different. Take one month to be committed to one spiritual discipline, evaluate and keep it going the rest of the year. Carve out time to pray, read more, sing or play worship. Commit to that journal that you’ve written in twice and swear you’ll get back to but keep pushing it off. Keep Jesus the priority throughout the year. Allow Jesus to be the motivation for why you’re more generous and why you are kinder to others. Make it a priority to grow closer to Jesus in the new year.

We can bring the spirit of Christmas with us the rest of the year. Being kinder, being more generous, and loving Jesus in a deeper way is possible all year round. Lets extend the holiday cheer throughout the New Year.