Category Archives: Lenten devotional

Saturday 4.23.11 Lenten Reflection by Paula Marriott

Paula Marriot has attended The Church of the Resurrection since 2000. With her husband, she led a small group in 2003 that was one of the pioneering small groups for Resurrection’s West campus. Paula serves as a co-leader of the Hospitality Team, is a Group Life Minister, and has served on the Campus Advisory Team, all at Resurrection’s West campus. 

I love the book I Married Adventure, by Osa Johnson. It tells of her amazing experiences with her husband Martin exploring Africa in the early 1900’s. The Safari Museum in Chanute, Kansas, where I grew up, honors them. Other than growing up in Chanute, my life isn’t much like Osa Johnson’s, but her book title would be a good description of life with my husband, Rick Marriott.

Who could have known when we locked eyes our first year of college what God had in store for us?  We didn’t—“God” was not on our personal “radars.” In our homes going to church was optional, and neither of us was interested. Our wedding was the first time we went to church together!

Three years later, a teaching colleague invited us to church and dinner on Easter Sunday.  We remember my colleague’s husband praying at the table and including us (by name) in his prayer. That got our attention. Weeks later, Rick came home from class with a quote from a professor: “If you were on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Another attention getter. (Rick still has that little piece of paper in his own handwriting.)

The “adventure” hadn’t begun yet, but God was making it onto our radar. Rick became Biology teacher and Basketball Coach at Burlington, CO High School. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes there needed a coach to lead the group. Rick agreed—another way to connect with his players, he thought. I worked at a local radio station. One daily program featured a local minister—one week the Methodist pastor, then the Presbyterian, Baptist, Assembly of God, etc. The Baptist pastor always ended our chats by asking, “Paula, are you saved?” Whatever I said didn’t satisfy, so he kept asking. I had no clue what he was talking about.

In summer, 1972, Rick took a group of his students to an FCA conference in Estes Park, CO and I headed south back to Alamosa, CO for the week. We had NO IDEA the God of the Universe was taking us to these places…separately…to turn our lives upside down. In Alamosa, I visited my former teaching colleague. I told her about the Baptist pastor’s persistent “saved” question, and asked, “What does SAVED mean?” She and her husband showed me in the Bible that Nicodemus asked Jesus a similar question, and we talked about how Jesus answered the question. The Holy Spirit was opening the Scriptures to me, and for the first time I began to understand “saved.” I went to bed thinking about our talk. The next morning I knew something was different. I can’t explain it. I just knew I was different, like I’d taken off blinders. The drive back to Burlington was glorious. It was as if I had been living life in subdued hues with a compromised color wheel. Not only had the color wheel expanded, the intensity level had gone up for me in every way…even in the Eastern Colorado landscape.

During this same week, at Rick’s conference in Estes, he heard legendary football coach Tom Landry describe his faith in Jesus Christ as personal, life changing and vital. Rick knew he wanted the same, so he knelt alone and asked God for what Coach Landry had. On a summer Sunday in 1972 our ADVENTURE began. We describe it as two freight trains, one from Estes and one from Alamosa, colliding head on in Burlington. We had lots to learn, but we returned to Burlington with hearts transformed, lives changed and our paths redirected.

Our Methodist pastor soon heard the news and came to visit us. He listened to our story, patted our knees and said “That’s nice, but it won’t last. You’ll get over it.” With one sentence, he motivated us with a burning desire to NEVER “get over it.”

Rick and I had lots to learn, but that wasn’t a problem for God. Burlington hired a new football coach that year. Soon after meeting them, we learned he and his wife were deeply committed Christians, sent there to do more than coach football. We started meeting weekly to study the Scriptures in each other’s homes. Others joined us—now we know we were in our first “small group.” Life became an ADVENTURE with Jesus at the center. It didn’t take us long to realize what a miracle it was that we came to Christ at the same time, hundreds of  miles apart, not knowing what the other was doing. (Cell phones, texting, instant communication didn’t exist then.) Our prayer is that this witness of what God did in our lives will encourage others to believe God is willing, and powerful enough to move mountains to reach us. We are so thankful God worked in our lives. Where would we be if He hadn’t?

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Friday 4.22.11 Lenten Reflection by Marcia Foil

Marcia Foil, a member of The Church of the Resurrection for five years, serves as a Disciple Bible study group leader as well as in the Prison Ministry.

I know most people consider Christmas or Easter their favorite holidays, but for me Good Friday is the best. It was on a Good Friday that my faith was transformed. The Tenebrae service was always moving to me. The way that the lights are lowered and extinguished to symbolize the dimming of the light of the world moves me to my core. What darkness the people at Calvary must have known, not just the darkening of the sky, but also the darkening of their hearts.

I grew up in a religion that was very rule-based. If you followed all of the rules, you could “earn” your way into heaven. It was during the Tenebrae service that I realized that I could never ever do enough to EARN God’s love. His love just is. God loves us so much that He was willing to sacrifice everything. In the form of the Son, He made Himself into flesh and endured great pain and suffering, facing everything his children could ever face. At the same time, in the form of the Father, He gave His only son to us. I have lost a child, so I know something of the depth of pain involved in that sacrifice. I know that I would never willingly make such a sacrifice. I will forever be in awe of God’s love.
It was the realization of my flaws in comparison to God’s perfect love that transformed by faith. I am humbled by my sinful nature in light of God’s grace. When I recognized my own flawed and sinful nature, I knew that it required the greatest sacrifice to bear all of the sins of the world. In this humbled state I felt the true strength of God’s love. I know my relationship with God is closest when I am in this unpretentious state. Good Friday reminds me that I fall short of the mark, but God loves me anyway. Good Friday teaches us all what true unconditional love really is.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Thursday 4.21.11 Lenten Reflection by Terri Blythe

Terri Blythe became a member of The Church of the Resurrection in March of 2009. She currently serves as a small group leader in the church’s Group Life ministry.

I have been in church my whole life. I truly believed in God, and in the marriage vows I took at the young age of 19. I knew early on in my marriage that the man I chose to marry was not the best fit for me. However, I stuck with it as that is what I had promised to do. I spent 18 years loving a man who wouldn’t go to church with the kids and me. He was very controlling, but church was the one thing that I stood up to him on. I knew that I had to have that in my life or he would take everything away from me. God kept me grounded during those 18 years and helped me cope with the way my life had turned out.

Finally, God opened my eyes to what was happening in my life and our kid’s lives. I realized I didn’t have to stay in that hurtful, destructive marriage. I didn’t want my husband belittling our daughters as he had me over the years. I didn’t want them to think that it was okay for a man to treat a woman that way. Once I decided to ask him to leave, it was as if a HUGE load had been lifted off my shoulders. I knew then that I had made the right decision.

I spent a lot of time reading the Bible and doing a Disciple I class in my church, studying and listening to what God had to say. I was trying to figure out what I had done wrong and where my life was suppose to go from here. I had been a leader at work, but in my personal life I was very quiet and reserved. I was asked to lead a singles group at our church. That turned out to be a great experience for me and helped me get back on track after my divorce.

It took me a while to figure out who I actually was again, but with help from God and family, life has turned out great. I’ve married the love of my life. Jake and I each had two daughters, and we each have a grandson. I’m currently leading a small group here at Resurrection, and I feel truly blessed to be a part of that group. I know God is with us each and every day.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Wednesday 4.20.11 Lenten Reflection by Michelle Mathia

Michelle Mathia worships at the West campus of The Church of the Resurrection, and is an assistant small group leader there. She joined the church in 2001.

Jeremiah 29:11: “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Isaiah 55:8-9: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so too are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Psalm 84:11: “For the Lord God is a sun and a shield. The Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Six years ago we had outgrown our house. It was time to build our “dream home.” We wanted more space, but our friends also influenced us. Our entire social circle had grand homes in grand neighborhoods. We felt like the only ones still camped out in our starter home. We sold it, moved to a rental, and embarked on building a home. I would lie awake and fantasize about my new house. I dreamed of driving through my fancy neighborhood to my fancy home. I planned dinner parties, and pictured the friends we would invite. Our house would be a sign we had arrived. In my fantasies, I felt happy, complete, full of joy. I would finally measure up. I had a proud sense of wellbeing.
Our dream home quickly ran into roadblocks and complications. We pushed forward, overcoming obstacles. We saw many of these victories as God at work, paving the way. I so wanted this house to be a reality. I prayed feverishly for God to bring my dream to fruition, to keep opening new doors for each one that closed.
I had only recently begun a more committed pursuit of God. So, as I prayed feverishly for this house, I was also asking God to transform me. “Lord,” I prayed, “make me who you created me to be…use me for Your purposes…change me…remove from me all that is in your way…rid me of anything that stifles your light…create in me a new person.”

It hit me one day that God was really trying to answer these prayers. God was not paving the way to our dream home. The “victories” were not answers to prayer, but the result of our determination to get what we wanted. I realized this house was my agenda, and the desire for it was driven by the very things I was asking God to remove from me. I had the perfect plan, and wanted God to get on board. But God wanted me to get on board with his plan.
When I first sensed this house was not God’s plan for us, I was angry. We had worked very hard. We were entitled to the same things our friends had. I felt that my new commitment to the Lord and all that I had put into my spiritual life should be rewarded somehow.
Psalm 84:11, Isaiah 55:8-9, and Jeremiah 29:11 had always resonated with me. Now, as I stewed in my frustration and sense of entitlement, these Bible passages led to a revelation. I saw that if God asks me to turn away from one pursuit it is because he wants to give me something better. I realized that if I always pursue my best plans, I can miss out on God’s best for me. I came to trust that God could give me all I longed for in my “house” fantasies, but he had other ways to do this. Deep down I knew a big house wouldn’t really fulfill my desires. I suffered from the disease of “never enough.” God was more eager to do a restoration job in my soul than to build a new house. I came to see what God already knew—as long as greed, status-seeking, discontent, coveting, self-focus, and seeking value through human approval lived in my soul, no house would bring me happiness and fulfillment. I would be in a fabulous house with my soul full of life-stealing character traits.

We decided to lay the house at the altar and walk away. Next we paid off all our debt. Then we pursued a mortgage within the guidelines of Christian financial advisors. We committed to give God our “firstfruits,” the full tithe, rather than whatever was left over after paying for our lifestyle, to live by God’s financial principals and not our own. With a new price range set, we began the search for our next home. This was a time of heavy pruning for me, as I began to let God answer those earlier prayers. I submitted to the process, and God used this time to pull out many stubborn traits that needed to go.

When we found our current home, I knew almost immediately it was in God’s plan. It could not have been further from the home I had dreamed aesthetically. Not one material matched my taste or was even remotely attractive to me. As I looked around, I almost had to laugh. For the first time, it did not matter! The floor plan was perfect for our family. More important, I could feel God’s hand all over this house. I actually felt content. This house was enough. This showed a huge transformation! Over our four years here, the blessings, depth and richness that have been added to my life are impossible to capture in words.

Last summer, for kicks, we drove through our “dream home” neighborhood. I was very happy in our home, acutely aware of the life God had given us, but I wondered if I might feel twinges of the jealousy and coveting God had wrestled out of me. But driving through the neighborhood had the opposite effect. Nothing about that lifestyle drew me any longer. It just called up feelings of stress and pressure to keep up. My husband said, “We were so focused on creating the perfect house, when God wanted to give us a home.” When I gave up my dream, I gained a full, prosperous, rich life. I have a home full of God’s love, and a community where I can live out my faith with other believers who know me (the person God created me to be, not the person I wanted others to think I was). All of this after I let go of my dream and released my plans. I had to go where God was pointing me in order to experience God’s best for me.
Many people cling to a plan, a dream that “just has to come true.” My heart was set on that house. But it could be a baby, a mate, a more prestigious job, more money, a better body, or an achievement that brings status or recognition. Dreams and plans aren’t inherently bad, of course. But to believe that my plans are better for me than God’s blocks God’s best every time. Many times over the last four years I have felt the tug to pursue some of these things. If I begin to feel God gently pulling me in a different direction, I at first resist, and hold tightly to my plan. But remembering the amazing life I gained by letting go, I regain the grace to once again say “yes” to His will, and “no” to mine.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Tuesday 4.19.11 Lenten Reflection by David Sisney

David Sisney joined The Church of the Resurrection in 1993. In 2009 he was one of the first members of the Downtown campus. He currently leads a small group and a Disciple 1 Bible study group downtown.

To borrow a line from one of my favorite movies, “Life comes at you fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it.” When you live life at a frenetic pace, how do you keep from missing it? Jesus’ final day happened VERY fast. A day filled with many emotions, among which anxiety, fear and hate loomed large. In all those emotions, what almost everyone seemed to miss was the clear message of love that occurred on that cross! As often happens, we didn’t really get that message until it was all over. That is how God works sometimes. In the chaos of the moment we don’t always get the message, but once the dust has settled the message emerges, perhaps enlightenment comes and we can make sense of the chaos. But you have to be open and be still…

As I reflect on the first half of my life, it seems that the times of greatest fear and anxiety have to do with the most important people in my life–my family. Whether it is a major health related issue with a parent or a growing pains issue with one of my kids, these tend to raise the most negative emotions inside me. It seems that the things (people) that really matter are the things that stress us out the most. Life can throw us some very serious curve balls, and these issues can pose a major challenge because they throw us out of control. When I add the stress of my career, family responsibilities, perhaps too many volunteer activities and the multitude of other things that fill my days, these challenges can completely overwhelm me. So I am trying to learn to embrace the quiet times—the calm between the storms. I am not perfect at this yet, as my wife would tell you. I still have a very hard time just sitting still and being present in the moment. For me, if the to-do list is not full and working, then I am prone to feel that I am worthless as a productive human being. I actually get depressed sometimes when I am not moving and doing things at lightning speed.

But it is in the quiet times when we can hear God—when we reach out in prayer and then listen for His voice. We can see His word in Scripture, reading the Bible and praying for peace. I am working diligently to live into the scripture message “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). I am a work in progress. “For I can do all things through Him who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13).

So as we evaluate the individuals who were the actual “witnesses at the Cross”—who are you in this scene? Are you even there? If so, which of these characters are you? I think I know who I would be, and I don’t necessarily like that revelation. So I am going to work hard to be still and truly understand the message of love Jesus delivered through the cross. I want to continue to embrace the peace the quiet times have to offer.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Monday 4.18.11 Lenten Reflection by Scott Nehrbass

Scott Nehrbass, a member of The Church of the Resurrection since 1997, has led or co-led Disciple bible study groups for over 10 years, leads the 9 am KiDS COR band, and sings in the group “Called Out.”

RESOLVED: In examining myself, I will focus on God’s holiness, which builds humility; in examining others, I will focus on God’s grace, which builds mercy.

My Disciple group’s recent studies have focused on the real, authentic Jesus. You know the Jesus I’m talking about–the angry young man we see in the gospels, not some watered-down, namby-pamby version you may have gotten in Sunday School. He’s the Jesus who cries out, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Luke 6:41)

What is so simultaneously magnetic and revolting about this real Jesus is how deeply He disdains perceptions and demands reality. Jesus couldn’t care less what people think of me; He cares about who I really am. He cuts me to the quick and sees straight into my heart. He wants real change, from the inside out.

Ironically, this same Jesus who calls me to be brutally honest with myself desires a completely different approach in my thinking about others. I’m not Jesus, and I can’t see into another’s heart. I’ve not walked a mile in his moccasins, and I don’t know what she’s been through. Certainly, I’m not without sin, so who am I to cast stones?

Every day I find myself doling out mercy after mercy upon myself and heaping judgment upon judgment on others. Why do I do that? What is this self-centered disease with which I seem so hopelessly afflicted? Thanks be to the real Jesus! Every day He saves me from the wretched, sinful man that I am . . . and He’s saving others, too.   

If you’re full of yourself this day, perhaps you need to take a moment to center on the real Jesus and pursue true holiness? Doing so will build humility. If you’re judging others, perhaps you need to take a moment to center on the real Jesus and remember God’s grace? Doing so will build mercy. It’s the real Jesus’ “winning formula” for a life not of this world.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Sunday 4.17.11 Lenten Reflection by Brent Hildebrand

Brent Hildebrand serves as a Disciple 2 group leader, and is involved in Late Night Men’s and Beyond KC Missions. He’s been part of the Resurrection church family for 15 years.

My faith story is not about how I came into a personal relationship with Christ, since I accepted him into my life at the age of twelve. This story is about my life-long journey, since I put my faith in Christ, toward the goal of being an effective disciple. I’m in awe of the incredible and powerful testimonies of people who have been in the dark places of drug addiction, life-threatening illness, prison sentences, or damaging relationships, people who have turned their lives around through their Christian faith. I’ve had my share of life’s challenges, but they pale in comparison to these catastrophic scenarios.

I guess my life has been pretty normal. The issue was that my “normal” life, over the decades, was lived with a “normal” (and lukewarm) passion for becoming fully engaged to serve and grow in my faith. I felt I needed to be a “subject expert” in various areas of church volunteerism or leadership before I committed my time and effort to participate. Unfortunately, several churches I was a member of magnified this feeling of inadequacy. Earning the right to lead was based on scripture mastery, length of church membership, and absolute alignment to the all of the church leadership philosophies and theologies. 

What I have found life-changing about the Church of the Resurrection in terms of my spiritual growth is that there are so many opportunities to participate, to volunteer, and to lead. I feel strongly that Resurrection encourages “big and bold” ideas. These may involve risks to create new service programs, teaching ideas and worship experiences for the congregation and for the neighborhood and world communities Resurrection touches. One of these “big and bold” ideas is that every congregation member has the ability and capacity to serve, to make a positive difference in the congregation and community. For me, that has meant that with my very average intelligence, music skills, teaching experience, and leadership attributes, I have been able to take part in and lead several trips to the Navajo Nation through the Beyond Kansas City Program, to lead a Disciple 1 and 2 group through the Group Life ministry, and to play in Crossfire, the Late Night Men’s Praise Band, for the past several years. (Crossfire has reached out to perform concerts for the Lansing State Correctional and Healing House facilities.)

I’d like to make a simple, yet perhaps a bold, challenge to the readers of this testimony. Get involved. Take a risk. Start (or expand) your journey of spiritual development and resurrection witness. I make this call to action humbly, as I have so much to learn and so much room for continued growth. You’ll be amazed at how the attitude of “here I am, Lord—please use me, with all my limitations,” combined with the vast number of faith-based service opportunities at Resurrection, will enrich your life and the lives of others.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Saturday 4.16.11 Lenten Reflection by Nan Smith

Nan Smith has been part of The Church of the Resurrection from its very beginnings. She is an active leader in the church’s Women’s Ministry.

tI have been a “witness” to some great events over the past few years. I have seen Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Tim McGraw and, best of all, Dancing With the Stars Live at the Sprint Center! As a “witness,” I wanted to get the best possible seat, one that was close to the action.

Recently, we were looking for tickets to the Big 12 basketball tournament at the Sprint Center. We are big Baylor fans, and we wanted to see our Bears win a game or two! The seats that were reasonably priced were way up in the stands! The ones we wanted, up close to the court, were very expensive!! So the comfort of our own den began looking more and more appealing for watching our Bears.

As we look forward to celebrating Easter this year, I started thinking about being a “witness” to all that Christ has done in my life. God has given me a front-row seat to an incredible life filled with the love of an incredible family and wonderful friends. The cost of this “front row seat”? For Him, it was his life. For me it is FREE! My ticket to the best event ever—my life with Christ—has been bought and paid for in full!! I don’t have to do anything except accept this gracious gift. This “event” is so much better than anything you might see at the Sprint Center, however. Because this time, you don’t have to just watch. God is inviting you to participate!! Go ahead, get out of your seat—go from being a “witness” to a bold and courageous participant in God’s kingdom work! 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”   Jeremiah 29:11-12

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Friday 4.15.11 Lenten Reflection by Bob Webb

Bob Webb has been a member of The Church of the Resurrection for over ten years and is a member of a RezDowntown Small Group (“Best Small Group Ever!”). He also serves on the RezDowntown Advisory Team, the Missions Committee, and is Head Usher for the RezDowntown Usher Team.

What inspires you? For me, it’s a crisp, well-turned double play in the bottom of the ninth with the game on the line. It’s a selfless random act of kindness or the willingness of a firefighter or police officer to risk life and limb to save others in the face of danger. Inspiration comes from a Monet landscape, a solo cello concerto by Yo Yo Ma, a stirring valedictory speech or a Sonora Desert sunset. Yes, inspiration takes many forms.

A couple of years ago, Pastor Adam Hamilton spoke about his vision to see a hundred families relocate from Johnson County to downtown Kansas City to form a base membership for a Resurrection campus in the heart of the urban core. It was an inspiring sermon. My wife Stacey and I had always thought it would be “cool” to move downtown, and we wished we could be a part of that movement. However, we knew in our hearts that there were just too many obstacles to overcome to make that dream a reality.

As weeks and months passed, the inspiration didn’t fade. Something more was taking shape. There was an inner voice that kept prodding, reminding, questioning, in spite of all of the hurdles that needed to be crossed.

So what obstacles were blocking our path? 1) A consulting job that wasn’t paying the bills; 2) a house that needed a new roof; 3) that same house needed to be sold in a down market; 4) a son blessed with lots of friends attending a suburban high school; and 5) a neurotic Dalmatian dog with a lot of issues who probably wouldn’t thrive in an urban setting.

But through prayer, and by the grace of God, each hurdle was overcome. A spring hail storm and insurance took care of the roof issue. We were able to sell our house within a few weeks of putting it on the market. We became empty-nesters when our son graduated from high school and went off to college. Sport, our Dalmatian, passed away due to complications from surgery, and though we miss him dearly, he would not have been happy in an urban environment! Career-wise, I was offered and accepted the best job I’ve ever had with the best company I’ve ever worked for, all within a matter of months.

In October 2009, we moved into a sixth floor loft in Western Auto # 2 and joined the Sisneys and Wilsons in responding to God’s calling and Adam’s vision. Living the life of a loft dweller downtown has been a dream come true. We felt inspired by God through Pastor Adam to be part of the growth and development of RezDowntown, and God literally moved mountains to make it happen.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Thursday 4.14.11 Lenten Reflection by Terry Gwin

At The Church of the Resurrection since 1998, Terry Gwin is active in Alpha, leads a small group, and serves in the church’s security ministry and the RezRiders motorcycle ministry.

As a child I attended Sunday school for a short time. Like many others I learned about all the stories in the Bible, but I didn’t know God. I didn’t have a relationship with Him. I knew about Him, but I didn’t know Him.

For the next 35 years I lived with what many describe as a giant hole in my life. I was lost, trying to fill that “hole” with one thing after another, only to find it was all very temporary. Before long I was back looking for something else to fill that “hole.” I had no moral compass and no sense of direction. I was quick to deny that there was a God. I took His name in vain without the slightest hesitation or remorse. My behavior was so rebellious and disrespectful to Our Creator it is indescribable. I looked at Christians as weak-minded and boring.

But I also asked, Was this all there is to life? Was I destined to stumble through life like this? I was aware that as a human being, I was unique in all the universe. Was it possible I was created by coincidence? Not likely, but by whom and why? Could there be a Creator? I came to realize that whoever created me must have loved me a great deal to have given me the great gifts of being able to think, reason and love.

Finally, I thought, “Everything on earth is there for my use and pleasure. Why not begin to investigate the Bible?” Maybe it would have the answers I was looking for. As I began to read and understand, it became clear to me that God had been with me all the time, protecting me and preparing me for something better. Slowly I began to change on the inside. I was becoming a better man and I liked it very much. I was hungry to know God better.

I’m still amazed by how God could love me after the terrible, indescribable things I’d done, but He did. Even when He let me endure hardship, I was blessed with knowledge and understanding I wouldn’t have known without God. So I tell you, if God can love me he can love anyone. I wake each morning ready to experience a new day of wonder at His love and plan for my life.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.