Micah is a Husband, Father, Lead Pastor and a Graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary with a MA in Christian Leadership. He and Jessica serve in West Sacramento California at Southport Church.
His desire is to share, teach, lead, and discover the undeniable Love and Grace of God through his journey with Jesus.
What's your favorite _____________? We all have our preferences, our ideals, and what or whom we are partial to in this life. Yesterday, I preached on the need to realize that the act of favorites in the life of a disciple is actually contrary to the invitation of the Gospel. "...believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism." -James 2:1 The act of favoritism is a twisting of the inclusive invitation for all to receive Christ and on the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. I consider all the manners in which we can slight one another for not enabling God to use and work through each other a real act of favoring one of another. We must consider first how disqualified we all are when it comes to receiving the nod on our own merit to be adequate to receive God's approval. It only is received by his willingness to love us, redeem us, and not condemn us when we have stepped into faith in Christ. Anything after that act that we may add or take away is a real challenge to remain humble but prudent. To be willing to see the work of God in each other is a real act of being obedient to the Lord while still bringing accountability and safeguards that protects and propagates the community of believers that we are all connected to. It's my opinion that we all stand to learn a great deal in how to not play favorites and how to not be quick to disqualify each other. I wonder, do we throw hurdles in front of each other or do we help discern pathways that result in spiritual maturity? Are we seeking to keep people spiritually frustrated or spiritually developing? I have been in real corporate forms of church communities where a lot of superimposed conditions seemed to be the glass ceiling to one another's potential or availability to where God may grow others up in their gifting and calling. We need to take a hard look in the mirror if we are superimposing favorites or if we are being willing to trust God through the success' and failures that come with growth. As I heard on the radio this morning of a story where parents of young children in daycare are dropping everything in life to bring their child a bottle because they can't learn how to use a cup or a drinking fountain. There is a disservice to the child if they can't grow past their failures and trials. I believe it is the same for each other in our growth in Christ. We must love each other through the failures, the fears, and the trials. We mustn't play favorites with people who either are too closed off to share or not spiritually devoted enough to risk growth. If we see a fault line in each other, then let's pursue to love through it, not ignore or make excuses for its' presence to only have us be partial to how God may be calling them to service. Let's not play Kingdom Favorites with a false lens that God doesn't carry for how he looks at us. We all area called, and the qualifications come from a broken and contrite heart willing to serve, grow, and obey the Lord in all areas. May we seek to be that kind of favored one of God. Keep looking Up!
But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands; Psalm 31:14-15a This was a morning where I almost quit mentally. I don't want to talk about working out predominantly on here. So, I will bring it up if I feel if it draws something worth sharing to the table. As I was on my back about 2/3 through the 2/3 of the total workout, I looked up the wall and I noticed the vinyl on the wall that read "I Can & I Will". In that moment I noticed two things, I felt I couldn't finish this workout, and second I was realized the difficulty reading is in a disorientated state. This made me consider beyond pushing oneself past comfort zones and the routine of life and faith, the can and will can be out of reach because we are focusing on our "can" and our "will" in a disorientated state. Many times we come to the end of our can and then we are left to determine the next steps based on our free will to chose what to do being on the cliff of uncharted territory or facing fear. The can seems to be what so many focus on if the orientation of life is set to the right level of comfort, ease ability, and preference. However, I feel that the greatest growth can come when we are willing to come out of disorientation moments or seasons in life. If it is the end of a relationship or career. A change that altars the day to day or even an event that leaves trauma or even new doors opening, these can leave us with the work to do in determining how much we can do about this. Psalm 31 seems to be all about these phases of life. I love verse fourteen because it goes right to the will in the midst of less than ideal circumstances for the author. "But I trust in you, Lord" is a matter of will, not ability. Do you have the will to trust God while you are on your back seeing the world upside down from what you knew it to be? Will you proclaim this while you start to see the the "can't" of each step turns into "can" if you invite the Spirit into each new decision, day, and battle within? Yesterday was March 4th and it is a day of victory if you are willing to take the reality of great and lesser things into consideration and still chose to give them little impact on the will to trust the Lord despite what your eyes perceive and the likely outcome being fed into your view. You may not be able to right now, but God can. You may be filled with doubt or twisted ideas about your worth, your ability, or your future, but God will use you for great measures of grace and purpose if you trust him, pursue him, rely on him, and not abandon his precepts and ways. Look to Christ, to his outstretched hand to you, calling you by name and filling you with purpose to carry you out into a new orientated place where you will praise God that He Can, and He will because you trusted him all the while. Keep Looking Up!
The doctor was hesitant to categorize me after taking my weight, blood pressure, and other measurements that pointed to the life long struggle that I stepped into since I was twelve years old. I helped her as we looked at the range of BMI classification with a single word, "obese". She stated that there is a desire to not label people with the morbid obesity term any longer for the stigma that it produces. I thought that it just didn't matter, if you are in that range of weight. You're unhealthy and at risk no matter if you're obese or morbid obese. I shrugged it off and started to joke with the family to be kind, sympathetic, and that I can't do random things because I am "obese". Making light of my own struggle helped to acknowledge it and to not allow it to be as scary or daunting to the threat it has on my future and quality of life. "I just can't seek to meet anyone's expectations except Gods!" Most of my family is/was overweight. My Uncles on my maternal side are men over 6' 6" and near the 280 or over 300 pound range. We are some big Scotch-Irish boys. But regardless of the genetic dispositions, learning about all types of realities that effect our health and weight, there was this nagging reality that my life was out of sync that would produce a healthier, leaner person. It was time to find a rhythm that would bring all efforts of my life into a greater harmony of the person that I knew myself to be growing into. Look, I could not open up about this and put up a mask that all these areas in my life are perfect. But then I would be adding to the problem that pastors and spiritual leaders are impervious to fault lines, flaws, and character marks of their own. I just can't seek to meet anyone's expectation except Gods! The timing of Jessica's health changes was helpful in that we have adopted a Paleo diet. This is easy compared to the whole 30 that I did 5 years ago for six months straight. The difference were the other pieces that I wasn't implementing. I was staying up late, waking up early, and working out 2-3 times a week for about 40 minutes. I was watching Netflix on the cardio machine, and just had no motivation. I lacked discipline (I hear Schwarzeneggers voice in my head saying that), and I felt just out of step. Step by step I have been making big changes to bring more rhythm and peace. The drive really is to look at the life I have been given, the setbacks, the opportunities, and the gifts that are present today. I also looked at the long game as well. The goals, the hopes, the need of others who are counting on me to keep growing, consistent, and maturing in the roles I have accepted (husband, father, pastor, friend, etc.) So my challenge to you is to consider what is out of rhythm to what God is calling to bring into a place of harmony of growing into as his deeply devoted and constant disciple? Identify what obstacles or what needs to be surrendered to get there in at least a step by step fashion. Don't over commit, but make a commitment and be consistently growing in it. If it is more sleep, then do something to get more sleep. If it is cleaning out the pantry, clean out the pantry. If it is opening up in a safe place to help overcome a emotional challenge, if it is a need to address your depression or anxiety with a medical professional, then make that call. You are not weak if you acknowledge you need help or support, you are human and we are so fragile. It is my hope that the people I can influence support, pray for, teach, and ultimately model to are seeing a person who is leading with a limp like Jacob. Leading with being fully aware of shortcomings, but acknowledging a God who fills the gap and seeks to redeem, restore, and use with each obedient effort to bring their walk into harmony with Jesus' teachings, the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the will of the Father. Find your Rhythm and keep stepping forward in it! Keep Looking Up!
"5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored." Mark 3:5 Have you encountered a miracle in your life? An unexplained event or outcome that defines logic and natural events in the world? I think many of us look at the world with skeptical eyes rather than a willingness to keep some mystery in it. A miracle can be defined by anything one doesn't understand. A rainbow was a miracle until we developed the understanding of prism's and spectrums of light. However, when we look at the workings of God, the New Testament gives us three dynamics in which we see miracles manifest; signs, power, and wonder. I recall as a twelve year old watching the movie "Leap of Faith" with Steve Martin. It's a great little flick, but it's presentation of healing with those who are eager to accept the workings of God is procured by a cynical con artist in Steve Martin's character of a traveling evangelist. His world made sense as he used trickery and traps to exploit his revival audience of their pocket watches, cash, and faith. That all falls apart when he encounters a real miracle that brings him to a crisis of faith of his own. I think his character is very much like many of us who are quick to reduce actions of piety and acknowledgement of answered prayers as hyperbole and wishful thinking. Yet, we all must come to the place where we either acknowledge that God can and will, or the opposite. In Mark we see the cynics push up against Jesus, and the recipient of the miracle only produced one action to receive his healing, faith and obedience. He responded to the promptings of Christ despite how the established holy men where chastising him and clearly opposing the work of God taking place on the Sabbath. We see it here again, man dictating to God what he can and will do. God himself responds with the prerequisites for his work to manifest, for the power, wonder, and sign to take shape wasn't bound by tradition or preference. It was enabled by submission and action based on faith. To me, this provides a lot of trust in God working in the world and in my life. If we stand before God, no matter what infirmary or condition, we can put our trust that if he calls us to stretch out that less than perfect condition, open it up to him, reveal it for its condition because of the world outcomes or our choices, he has and can do something miraculous with it. No matter who doubts you, scoffs at your condition, what bounds of selfishness or legalism they throw on you, reject them and fix your eyes on the power, the wonder, and the signs that God presents to you as reasons to walk towards Christ. Step willing to trust, obey, and place all your faith into the pierced hands of our precious Savior. In a moment or in the world to come, you will be restored. Keep Looking Up!
It's Monday, again, and I really can't believe how the weekend evaporated on me. There were many amazing moments, a few tough ones, but overall I just didn't rest. I had every intention to, but the needs and movements of life brought a lot of action instead of time to kick up the feet. A few highlights where when I almost caught my fence on fire as a I forgot to clean out the grease pan in my BBQ. Let's just say we had "Cowboy" steaks this weekend. I helped play guitar at Church for worship and I got onto a 6/8 timing which changed the whole song and ending of the service. We sold our third car in a matter of hours and were just amazed at the opportunity to tithe on that blessing and the sense of peace of trusting God in his provision. It just was a "full" weekend. I rolled out of bed at 4:25 am this morning to hit my HIT class for the fourth week in a row. My body and mind where like, "what are you doing, get back to bed" by my will is determined to see real change in my life. It was an intense workout and I hate/love the fella that got me into this routine. But I realize what I love the most is when the coach is counting down the first work out. He usually says "Alright guys, here is go it 5, 4, 3, 2..." It is just a rush to be on ramped into something that you know is needed but it takes that frame of mind to just be willing to hit the ground and do the work. 45 minutes later and 800 calories in, I am feeling great and feel accomplished and at peace. I want to relate this to the choice we have to allow Christ to lead us into places that we may be resisting or dreading to trust him in. The choices that mean we shift our priorities, or efforts, our frame of mind and heart attitude. "13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 What I love about this Scripture is it gives us a window into the exponential work of God in our lives. We give trust, we receive so much more in return. We step in faith, or we take an action that compliments that trust, we aren't spiritually bankrupt, we are overflowing with hope. Not just rainbows and pink cloud kind of hope that burns away with a parking ticket, unexpected bill, or a higher number on the scale. A hope that brings us joy and peace as we hit the ground in life and begin to trust him through doing the work of discipleship. As we commit to derail thoughts that leave us as the victim instead of the victor. As we press into the Truth instead of become entangled with the lies of deception that somehow we are bound for a couch potato form of spiritual health. We need to hear the call of our Savior who is asking us to trust him and to hit our knees in prayer and be prepared to lead us into the hard work of disciplining our minds for the aim of deeper devotion and to flex those muscles of faith when tested. I know I am using some fitness analogies, but I am just seeing more and more how we are called to bring all parts of our lives into obedience and into a healthy state of serving God. We have to see that with Christ all things are possible, and that we open these possibilities when we are willing to face the truth of where we need to grow, un learn some habits, discover some real sobering pieces of our circumstances, and invite the Spirit of God to redeem these areas that perhaps have left us challenged to thrive emotionally, mentally, physically, and in our spiritual growth. You stand with every opportunity to reach new levels of faith and abundance, I say this depending on Gods trustworthiness and willingness to bring an overflow of joy and peace into your life! Just need to do the work! Here we go in 5, 4, 3, 2...
Yesterday was the culmination of many years of preparation, trial, learning, and encountering God's abundance of grace. I have been a licensed minister in the Church of the Nazarene in the process of becoming ordained by the Church. I appreciate this journey for I desire that our churches are filled with women and men who are tested, mature, and called to serve in the privilege to minister and serve God's people. I was able to go before the board of men and women who have walked with me over these last four years and be put through the process of demonstrating if I am fit for such an opportunity. One question that was asked was simply, "What does Ordination mean to you?" I essentially answered it with the fact that it is an authentication of God's restorative work in my heart and life. That I have been called, which only God can do, and recognized as a minister, which only the Church can do (formally). As the interview led to the affirmation of this desire to be ordained, I just wept as these men and women prayed over my wife and I at the sheer grace I have been given. It astounds me to be in this place and trust that it is all the work of God through my willingness to be humble enough to grow and follow. Our God is a God who restores. As I have walked through divorce, bankruptcy, losing a home, a business, friends, without a home for a season, and sheer poverty (there was a moment I couldn't feed myself), I think of how through it all God was changeless and ever present with me. There were moments where I was given the chance to trust or to turn, and so thankful that I began to do the former more than the latter over and over again. I have found that these experiences have not disqualified me but equipped me if I let the Lord redeem them. This is the case for all. It is not God's will for pain, brokenness, and folly to be what you encounter in life. That is due to the choices of humanity in their free will choice. Whether the consequences are from your own choices or others, we are in a fallen world where bad stuff happens to everyone, good or bad people. What is given is the opportunity to encounter a God who will bless, heal, walk with you, and ultimately set you in a place to observe and witness his goodness and love for you. I do encounter many people in this season who are in the middle of good times and not so good. I am thankful that I have the experiences now to point to a deep sense of compassion as I can remember when it all fell apart, and I can bring hope that God can restore in greater measures than I ever experienced. On this Break the Ties Tuesday, how can you begin to trust more than decide to turn from God's redemptive and restorative love? Will you trust that God will see these days redeemed if you lean into him more than anything or anyone else in this world? I pray you can experience, give praise, and discover the restorative work of God and see in new ways how he will authenticate the work he has done. The healing, the sobriety, the new relationships, the new role or goal accomplished, the ministry that brings him glory as ways that will demonstrate to your tender heart and the jaded world that God is a God who restores! Keep Looking Up!
Trying to impress the students of my youth group was a usual effort as a youth pastor. A sign that I was starting to get on in years after 15 season of lock in's, youth camps, teaching purity and authentic faith, I was seeing the wear and tear. I took a bunch of guys to a trampoline place full of fun and foam pits. We were five minutes in when the sophomore in the group challenged me to copy him on the trampoline. As I landed on my back I felt a tug and a pop on the left side of my sternum. It felt wonderful too... I had just separated my rib from my sternum and I was fully ready to cry like my then two 6 year olds. Yet, I toughed it through with a sharp pain the rest of the day and decided that I can't do trampolines anymore. I mean I busted a rib! Fast forward to last September and my 12 year old wants nothing more than to go to the same fun zone and trampoline her little heart out with her friends and family. With my orange grippy socks on I stood on the edge of the same trampoline nightmare with a choice to say "I will" or "I can't". Let's just say by the end of the day I was challenged to a dodge ball competition with my kids and I against four High school boys. It was a high point as I was victorious over a group of fifteen year olds. Okay, maybe I celebrated too much, but I had just went from "I can't" that morning to, "I did"! I realized that the only person in this moment who was telling me "I can't" was myself. Often, we tell ourselves the same thing when it comes to many areas of growth and consistency. On this #BreakthetiesTuesday I want you to identify who has been the source of the words "I can't"in your inner narrative. Who has been the source of that voice that stops you short, cuts you off too soon, or never allows you to show up to the new opportunity that may be a catalyst of overcoming hurdles, fears, and setbacks? “I myself cannot do it,” Joseph replied, “but God will give Pharaoh a sound answer.” Genesis 41:16 I think often about the life of Joseph in the Old Testament. How often his life was given great vision, but the road there was filled with disappointment, suffering, and trust issues. This verse from the book of Genesis finds Joseph in a humble position that points to the source of where we will find our answers to that which troubles us and who can give us a sound perspective of what we can or cannot accomplish. We may come to obscure understandings beyond our vision or wisdom, yet we can be encouraged that God will be the voice of truth, reason, and insight that will speak into the cant's and mature them to the "I will's" of obedience and breakthrough. Even this morning I am asking God to help me understand the "I can't" of a situation so that it can be his voice saying "you're right you can't, but I will if you trust me". It takes everything within at times to crowd out all those other voices that seek to overwhelm the still and quiet voice of God. I pray that whatever you are on the edge of that you seek God to be the voice that reveals and brings you convincing confidence and undeniable assurance that you can do what he is calling you to. Break the tie of the voices who have said you can't especially your own treason. Keep Looking Up!
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." -James 1:22 Have you ever been excited from your trip from IKEA and sat down to break open the four boxes your coffee table knowing you can only assemble it while being led through confusing instructions? I swear the designers and engineers love to consider how to frustrate their customers with the four different lengths of screws, tools that came from NASA, and the smallest dots on their illustrations to hint as to where you should tap the finishing nails. All I know is if I didn't have the guidance of the manual, I would still have four boxes duct taped together to resemble a coffee table. When it comes to God's word, it is the same principle. We can be excited about opening up the Bible trusting that this is the way and it is the guide to steer our lives to take the fragmented and disjointed pieces and bring them together. Trusting that if we apply God's principles we will see freedom, renewal, and truth given by the Holy Spirit. But at times we seem to read a verse, or realize that the charge given is challenging, different, or that there isn't a desire because it calls for a surrender of self and a diverting from habits, attitudes, or values that the world and our own fickle heart is harboring in opposition. However, the charge given by James is to not let what we receive from God's word to just settle in our ear drums, but to have it make its way to our mind for decision and our hearts for a desire to thirst for the same application in our day to day. God's word may give us the charge needed and the sobering understanding, but it is up to us to create and be the illustrations for how to accomplish it. (Perhaps that's why there are no pictures in the Bible?). On this weekend wrap up, we can be charged with quoting part of this opening scripture as our mantra for the day with "Do what it says". If we can make the decision to be doers, then we need more often to be "Know-ers" of the Word. We can't do what we don't know and so that means that we need to understand what it is we shall apply. My challenge is going to be praying for those who are in front of me. In Starbucks, the person in the grocery aisle, the irritated person on the phone. I will do what I know I am called to do and that is to love my neighbor. Even though this is a small way, I am submitting and applying. I serve a God and I am empowered by the same Spirit who seeks for us to advocate on the behalf of others to have their hearts and minds be illuminated by the revelation of Jesus in all dimensions of their lives. If I don't get a chance to show you why, I will seek to pray internally and demonstrate externally for those who I come into contact with. We do this not only for others, but for how this application will transform us. How we will start to emerge with a deeper desire and come to more decisions that compliment the work and will of the Father. So much of life is accomplished when someone is a doer. Well, the same is true when we seek to be shaped into the image of Christ. We must do the work, accomplish the submission, and surrender to the application that we can't live the abundant life if we don't know what it is we are seeking to accomplish. Be a doer as you grow in your knowledge and understanding of the word. Keep Looking Up!
As the Bible study was coming to an end, the time for requests and prayer needs was given to the group in a usual fashion. There seemed to be a consistent prayer from my friend who was an entrepreneur and owned a growing drywall company. He wanted to be a witness to Jesus in his work. Admirable, but something about that prayer in general always gets me thinking about the way we at times compartmentalize our devotion and focus of the moral influence we want our faith to have in our day to day. I wonder if, like my friend, most of us are asking God for opportunities to share about Jesus in a time where we deem it "all clear" to speak his name in the work place? Or we are given the golden opportunity when a co-worker has a pressing need and your advice is enlisted and you suddenly are faced with the decision to pick up pieces of scripture or ideas you have ready and available to bring some thoughts and experiences about God into the mix to hopefully be a catalyst to change or comfort for them. What I experienced in my twenties and what I feel I am dialing in more and more in detail as I round off my thirties, is the necessary practice of removing categories and spaces where I limit my world view or practice of being a person who has integrated the moral framework of the Gospel into all parts of my identity. In my young adult season, it was the constant battle to be the person I wanted others to see to match up with who I was desperately trying to understand on the inside. With mistakes, counseling, and the grace of the Holy Spirit approaching me again and again in my shortcomings, these external and internal spheres began to match up as I made the conscious effort to allow them to be whom God desired to shape as I surrendered my best ideas of who I am to be in certain categories of my life (alone time, friends, church, work, family, in the grocery store, online, traffic). On this Tremendous Thursday, I appeal to you dear reader to not simply be "a Christian" at work while you remain apathetic to God in some other area of life. The tremendous step you can take is to allow the person you have agreed with God you that he is calling you to grow into to actually take shape more and more in every waffle square of your life. Allow the presence of grace and devotion to fill every part so that what you start to experience is the fullness of an identity that is consistent and persistent in every moment and arena of life. Nothing is more hurtful to the church when our moral affiliation doesn't match up with our everyday actions. That is too common in our world where the opposite is more difficult to see. That is a person who is steadily increasing in devotion, boldness, humility, and obedience in all areas of their experience and it can't help but introduce people to the gospel. Can you imagine what that would do to your heart, your world, and your future if you could stand in full integrity before friend or foe and be that authentic self? Flawed yet devoted. Scarred but accessible by the Holy Spirit to work through you. Imperfect, but perfectly loved and on a pathway that discovers the life of abundance as you allow the ethic of mercy, justice, and love to direct your days. A fellow alumni of my seminary was said recently in our schools publication; "I'm not simply talking about 'how to be a Christian at my job.' I mean that beyond our moral influence in the marketplace, we should also channel our energy to make the world more just, more whole, more beautiful. Why wouldn't we want to do that?" - Meghan Easley She makes an excellent point that when we go beyond our moral behavior modification level of faith, we discover that the integration of God in every corner of our heart brings the awarenesses beyond ourselves and into the world that we are called to witness to and love. Instead of a hap-hazard randomness of being able to share a verse in a work setting, we must see that there is a deeper work that we can be about that drives our attention and intention forward and more consistent. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' -John 7:38 May we make the tremendous step today to not limit who we are in Christ to only certain conversations and conveniences. May we flow full of peace, love, mercy, and justice while we exhibit the qualities of a person who is unashamed and bold in who we are while knowing whose we are! Keep Looking Up!
Yesterday felt like a breakthrough for me. It was the first time that I committed to a group exercise gym and today I am feeling the fantastic results of pain earned by progress. Isn't that a funny concept that progress is painful? I think many of us don't realize that on the other side of Spiderman burpees, giving a speech in front of strangers, or denying a temptation for the first time that the inconvenience, anxiety, and pain it may produce is the pathway to progress in our growth. I am so blessed to have two other pastors along the journey with me as I made a goal to be fit by forty. I have nine months to accomplish this and it is going to take a lot of labor to get where I hope to arrive this year in my physical goal. However, this is the same premise when we consider what may be needed for other areas where we are breaking ties with old narratives, roles, and strongholds that God is calling us to break new ground in. I believe the first best step we can take is to realize that we are not alone as God is with us in every breath and he seeks to provide a means out of the corner and beckons us to leave a place of shame, fear, or addiction. With that knowledge that "because God has said,“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”[a]6 So we say with confidence,“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? ”we can stand in victory as each decision to break ground falls behind us as we take steps. It is essential that we realize and accept that pain is evidence of the progress. If I used the evidence of how hard it is to climb the stairs today as a reason to stop instead of understanding new muscle fibers are forming, then I would misjudge the efforts I'm making. A key question is asking "is this challenge building or breaking?" If it is causing the risk of discovery, trust, surrender of control, facing fear, relying on trustworthy friends, then that is good pain. If it is causing risk of disaster, loss of your trustworthiness, surrender of control to questionable characters, and violating the word of God, then it is going to break you, no matter what your superpower is... So, what new ground can you begin to break? Is it being vulnerable to another person with accountability or removing that feeling of isolation? Is it making that doctor appointment because you can't shake the blues? Is it being willing to circle back into an area and face the faults made in the past to be able to get on with the future? Whatever it is, the pain it takes to be obedient to the Father is not in vain and He sees your obedience and willingness to rely on his strength and wisdom to grow through and to a new level of faith, maturity, and actions that demonstrate you are taking this love of Christ serious in your daily walk. Break new ground and be willing to face the pain it takes to grow into character and virtue that God is able to bless and use for others! Keep looking Up!