This Is Us

For all the This Is Us fans, this blog is for you.  For those who are not familiar with the show, it is an American television drama series that revolves around an everyday family who has three children, two are twins.  Episodes show flashbacks from the past (1980-1998) to present day (2016-2018).  The show is based off of Jack and Rebecca Pearson and their three children (Kevin, Kate, and Randall).  We know from the beginning that Jack died when the children were 17 years old.  The show begins with the children as adults at age 36.  They are all in different stages of their lives.  Kevin is struggling as an actor.  Kate struggles with weight issues, self-image, and love.  Randall is a successful business man and family man who struggles with perfection and joy.  Rebecca, after losing her husband, remarries her past husband’s best friend.  The Pearson family is no different than our lives.  We struggle with loss, love, self-image, family, children, and careers.  We laugh together, cry together, love one another, and, most of all, support each other.  This series is us — in every way!

We can learn from the Pearson family on how to strengthen our love for one another, how to support each other in all things, and how to laugh together in the good times.  The characters all have different personalities who make life work together.  Their lives are as mundane as ours.  The characters are real and relevant for all of us.  Rebecca Pearson tries to be the best mother and wife she can be, and, yet, she was not perfect in any way.  Jack Pearson was perceived as the perfect father, but, yet, he fell back to his old ways and became an recurring alcoholic.  Kevin was known as the high school football star, and then became a famous actor.  He quit his job out of frustration and became an alcoholic and drug addict.  Kate struggles with her weight and self-image so much so that it almost ruined meeting the love of her life.  Randall, from the outside, looked like he had the perfect life — great career, wife, children, and a nice home.  He quit his job after having a nervous breakdown and found himself finding his purpose again.

As seen in This Is Us,  we relate to many of these characters’ insecurities.  We are born into a family who is imperfect which causes us to have insecurities.  Some of the insecurities follow us into adulthood.  Most of us lived with loving parents who cared for us and provided for our needs.  And, yet, something was still missing.  Maybe a sibling was shown more love than you.  Maybe a parent was hard on you in an area you struggled in.  Maybe a parent reacted to a situation badly that may have scarred you for life.  Maybe a spoken word hurt you deeply, and you never recovered from that moment.  As a result of these insecurities, we struggle with finding purpose in our lives.  We struggle with our appearance.  We struggle with loving others and receiving love.  The list could go on and on.

Just like this series, the characters get back up and dust themselves off.  Life does not end with that moment.  In the midst of their tears and chaos, they find the strength to move forward.  At the end of the road, they find joy again where there once was sorrow.  You can do the same.  If you do not have a family who supports you, you are not alone.  God is always there to pick you up and dust you off to start again.  He will never leave you defeated and alone.  He will carry you through your journey and heal you from your wounds.  God will cry with you and will hold you until you stand on your own.  He will create a support system for you during a time of difficulty.  Our lives may feel like a roller coaster at times (ups and downs), but God will overwhelm us with His peace, if we only come to Him for help.


Lacking Nothing

As we begin a new year, we look back on what we accomplished in the previous year.  We go down our bucket list and realize that we did not accomplish everything that we hoped we would.  We beat ourselves up for what we lacked rather than what we accomplished.  The truth is, what we accomplish on earth will one day fade away.  It is not permanent.  Yes, we have desires and goals that were not met and will carry over into the new year, but it is not worth stressing over, because God already knows our needs and wants.  We lack nothing in Him.  Let me say that again: We lack nothing in Him.  God is our everything!

I recently heard a song called, My Everything, by Gateway Worship.  It is a beautiful song that captures who God is in our lives.  The lyrics are a love song to God.  When you hear this song sung over you, you cannot help but fall to your knees and praise God in full surrender.  The chorus says that,

You’re more than just a song
You’re more than just a whim
You’re more than just a passing fantasy
You’re My Every Way
You’re My Everything

Take a few minutes to read these lyrics slowly aloud.  God is more than just rescuing us from our troubles.  He is more than granting our every wish.  He wants a relationship with us, no matter what is happening in our lives.  As the song continues, it declares that,

I want to be with You
I need to be with You
I long to be with You, precious King
So with every day, Lord, in every way
You’re My Everything

This song cries out to God for an intimate relationship with Him.  The lyrics express the wants and needs to be with God.  We feel the yearning and passion as we read these words above.  In this song, we are saying, “You are My number one in my life.  God, You are important to me, and I want to experience You completely.”

In another song called, “So Will I (100 Billion X), written by Joel Houston Benjamin Hastings and Michael Fatkin, it declares everything God created by speaking it into existence.  The lyrics begin with,

God of creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light

And as You speak
A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
Every burning star
A signal fire of grace
If creation sings Your praise so will I

In this song, we proclaim who God is by His creation.  We are His creation, and because He created us, we lack nothing.  We may be waiting for a prayer to be answered, but, in Him, we lack nothing.  God provides our every need.  If He can speak anything into existence, then He is choosing to wait for His perfect timing to answer our prayer.  In Ecclesiastes 3:1, it states that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”  Ecclesiastes 3:11 declares that, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  BUT, “do not grow weary” while waiting, because “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).

Year 2017 may not have brought you everything you wanted and desired, but, remember what you accomplished and praise God for your successes.  I encourage you to never get discouraged while waiting, because God is preparing you for what’s to come.  In Year 2018, continue to believe in miracles.  Never lose the desire to dream big!


The True Meaning of Christmas!

An Old Blog (2014): The True Meaning of Christmas!

“Christmas is about Jesus! Jesus was born as our Savior! He came to save the world! Let us be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas as we shop, open our gifts, spend time with family, and enjoy our holiday traditions. Jesus is God’s gift to us!!!”


Is a time that brings hope to a lost world.
That tells a story of a Savior’s birth.
It reminds us of God’s love for us.

What does Christmas mean to you?

Is it about the gifts? The hustle and bustle of the holidays trying to push through the crowds to buy the perfect gift for a loved one or friend.  Or the excitement of opening up your gifts on Christmas day.

Is it about the family gatherings?  The good food, laughter, and making new memories.

Is it about traditions?  Caroling and spreading good cheer.  Driving around town mesmerized by Christmas lights.  Playing games with family.

Christmas is a time for joy!   Giving and blessing others during the holidays is a way to spread God’s love. Spending time with loved ones is a time to cherish and create new memories.  Having traditions is a wonderful thing and something to look forward to each year.


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Change Is Hard But Necessary

As we grow in Christ, God continues to remold us and reshape us into something new.  In life, change is necessary to pursue new opportunities.  It is not always easy nor is it always voluntary.  Change happens no matter we like it or not.

Currently, I have been put in a position to seek an involuntary change.  I did not realize what I was leaving behind until I took the first steps in a new direction.  But, at the same time, I cannot return to what was.  Change is a must.

I find that with change there is a moment when we grieve what was left behind as we gradually adjust to the newness of life.  There are exciting moments and sad moments blended together.  Even though a new adventure is exciting, it comes with the unknowns — the awkwardness.

The Bible tells us change is not to be feared. Deuteronomy 31:6 says for us to “be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”  God is with us and guiding us on where we should go.  We need to put our trust in Him and take another step forward into the unknown.  Jeremiah 29:11 declares that “‘God’ know[s] what [he is] doing.  ‘He has’ it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

When change occurs, we become anxious.  Our emotions are scattered.  Our old life seems to be fading away with every step we take.  What was familiar is not familiar anymore.  Philippians 4:6-7 tells us not to “fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  The Bible instructs us to pray instead of worry.  It also tells us to praise God through the difficult times.  He will see us through every situation.  

God says to “forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert, be present.  I’m about to do something brand-new” (Isaiah 43:20)  As we embrace the new and leave behind the “old”, we will see God working in our lives like never before.  We will have a closer relationship with God during the journey.  We will become stronger as we walk into a new chapter of our lives.  Yes, it may be scary but, the end result is worth it.

(Scripture – The Message Version)


My Featured Blog for the Week: The Church doesn’t need more armed guards, we need more equipped saints… — Written by Tales from the Great Adventure (Derek Maul)

We need to so soak this land in the rich witness of love and light, the kind of applied grace spills all over everyone. Through you, and through me. A thousand small decisions at a time.

via The Church doesn’t need more armed guards, we need more equipped saints… — Tales from the Great Adventure (Derek Maul)

Christian Lessons from the Movie Moana

A Walt Disney Animation Studios movie called Moana was released in November 2016.  The film tells a story about a brave young woman who sets out on an adventure to save her family.  She is the daughter of a chief of a Polynesian village.  Moana has to sail across the ocean to find a demigod named Maui to return the heart of Te Fiti, that he stole, to save her people.  Maui, is a demigod who can change into any animal as long as he has his fishhook.  Moana and Maui must find his fishhook before sailing to Te Fiti.  The voyage is long and dangerous.  There are many lessons to be learned through this film and these characters.

When Maui stole Te Fiti’s heart, Te Ka’s darkness poisoned the island.  The village is running out of food, and the curse is destroying trees.  Moana’s father does not allow her to venture beyond the reef due to the dangers of the sea.  Her grandmother, Tala, gives her the heart of Te Fiti and encourages her to live out her dreams.  Tala tells Moana that she was chosen to save the village and shows her a secret cave with ships hidden inside.  The cave reveals her families past as they were voyagers.  After her grandmother’s passing, she followed after her calling and left the village to find Maui and return the heart to Te Fiti.

As Christians, we are all born with a gift, a calling from God, to do something for His kingdom.  We are all made for a purpose, and we must seek that calling.  Just like Moana, we must be brave and set out on our adventure to the unknown.  Moana was not afraid to fail, because she knew she had to save her family.  She had a destiny she must fulfill and, with courage, she fulfilled it.  Now, she did not succeed by traveling alone.  She found Maui, the demigod, and, with much resistance, he went with her to Te Fiti.  You see, when we are on our journey of learning who we are, God is guiding us in the right direction.  Maui was a skilled sailor, and guided the boat in the right direction.  Moana learned from Maui how to be a skilled sailor.  It is no different than us.  We learn from God the more we spend time with Him.  We learn His ways and His character.  Moana began to trust Maui and learned from Him on how to be strong and confident.

Moana taught Maui a lesson as well.  In this story, Maui must learn from His mistakes and face his past.  Just like in 1 Samuel 17:1-25:7 (David and Goliath), Maui had to face a giant whom he was fearful of, the volcanic demon.  The demon could throw fireballs from the palms of her hands.  After one attempt to get past the demon, Maui’s fishhook, which makes him a demigod, is cracked.  He is afraid to lose his powers, so he abandons Moana on the ship and flies off as an eagle.

Moana is defeated and alone in the ocean.  Her past grandmother came to her as a stingray to remind her of her calling, but also gave her the choice to go home.  Her grandmother would guide her home if that’s what Moana decided.  With courage, Moana decided to return the heart of Te Fiti on her own.  She repaired the ship and headed back to Te Fiti to defeat the volcanic demon.  In the middle of the battle, Maui shows up and distracts the demon while Moana attempts to return the heart.  During the battle, Maui’s fishhook is broken.  In the meantime, Maona finds that Te Fiti is missing and figures out that volcanic demon is Te Fiti.  She courageously holds out the heart, and the demon sees it from afar.  Te Fiti runs toward Moana with speed and intimidation.  Moana doesn’t run, but, yet, she gently places her head onto the demon’s forehead showing compassion.  She then returns the heart into the demon’s eye, and, immediately, the island and the ocean is cured from the curse.  Te Fiti restores Maui’s fishhook and then lays to rest at Te Ka’s Island.  Whatever damage Maui’s caused, it was healed and brought back to it’s original state.

Just like this story, God gives us chance after chance to make things right.  We cannot change the past, but we can change our future.  Just like Maui, he caused the curse of the island and the ocean by stealing the heart of Te Fiti.  Te Fiti held a grudge and became a “monster”.  Think about it….when we hold grudges against someone or something, then we become like a monster with our vengeance.  We may not have the ability to throw fireballs at someone or something, but we do it with our words and action.  Once Te Fiti saw her heart, she melted, and turned into a beautiful island again.  She restored Maui’s power by fixing his fishhook.  Te Fiti forgave Maui, and Maui was grateful for her gesture.  As Christians, God calls us to forgive.  A grudge only makes us do irrational things which only brings more hurt.  I encourage all of us to stop throwing fireballs at each other and start acknowledging our wrongs.  Let us heal hearts; not break them.

Throughout this movie, it shows us:

  • sacrifice (Moana: leaving home)
  • love (Moana: family)
  • life’s purpose (Moana: her calling)
  • bravery (Moana and Maui: the unknown and facing their fears)
  • defiance (Maui: resistance to go with Moana to Te Fiti)
  • acceptance (Maui: returning to save Moana’s village)
  • grudge (Te Fiti: wanting her heart back)
  • compassion (Moana: showing compassion to Te Fiti)
  • healing (Moana and Maui: healing Te Fiti’s heart)
  • forgiveness (Te Fiti: restoring Maui’s power)

God is all these things and much more!


I challenge you this week to face your fears and walk out your destiny.  What has God called you to do?  Is fear is getting in the way?  I pray you find the faith to step out and go on a wild adventure with God.  He will guide you every step of the way!

I also challenge you to read the list above and see what areas you struggle in.  I encourage you to pray with God over these matters.   If you need to forgive or ask for forgiveness, I pray you find the courage to confront the issue face-to-face.  If you do not know your purpose in life, I pray you seek God for answers.  Just like the fishhook giving Maui powers, praying to God is the most powerful thing you can do, because prayer heals and restores.


How to Overcome Rejection

Studies show that rejection affects the physical pathways in our brain (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection is a deep rooted issue that people face every day, and it stirs up our emotions to make us think negative about ourselves or to something.  It can be defined as not “just an emotional feeling, [but] a message that alters what you believe about yourself” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection has the power to change who we are as an individual.  It can change the way we think about a situation.  It is a physical pain that reminds us of loss and feeling unwanted.  “Rejection can make [us] question [God’s] goodness” in our lives (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

If we don’t want rejection to ruin our lives, we need to have a new perspective on how we handle rejection.  In the Spiritual realm, we can think of it as a blessing.  Lysa TerKeurst stated that “today’s disappointment is making room for tomorrow’s appointment” (Uninvited).  We do not always understand why God says no to our prayers or requests when we want it so badly, but we do not want to miss God’s opportunities by always remembering the disappointments of our past.  We never move past the disappointment if we always ask “why” questions rather than “what” questions.  “‘What’ questions increase our ability to become more self-aware, while ‘why’ questions only focus on things out of control (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  When we ask “why” we see what we lack rather than what is ahead of us.

So…”What’s a brokenhearted person to do?” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  How do we overcome rejection?  We “praise, seek, and look to God” for comfort.  We “experience, learn from, and draw near to God” in every situation (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Rejection does not label us, and it is not a permanent condition.  It does not keep us from succeeding in our future; It just means we had a setback.  “If we give [rejection] the power to define us, it will haunt us long-term.  But if we only allow it enough power to refine us, the hurt will give way to healing” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  TerKeurst also states to “not let [rejection] destroy [us but to] use it in good ways to make [us] stronger” (Uninvited).  We need to use it to empower us to become better.  “Don’t let today’s reaction become tomorrow’s regret” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  What this statement is saying is do not allow your emotions to get in the way of wisdom.

Our past rejections do not have to define our future.  It is our choice to change rejection for the good.  Maybe God wanted you to take another path than the one you prayed about.  Maybe God allowed you to experience a hurtful situation so you could understand compassion towards others.  “The enemy loves to take our rejection and twist it into a raw, irrational fear that God really doesn’t have a good plan for us” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).  Do not believe that lie, because “God is always at work” in our lives.  “He is a present, loving Father, aware of our deepest hurts and even our deeper needs” (Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst).

Even if you don’t hear His voice, He is there!
Even though you don’t feel His touch, He is there!
Even if you lost your faith, He is there!


Yes, rejection hurts, but we can overcome it through Jesus Christ.  We are all overcomers through Him.  We do not have to live in defeat by our own insecurities.  Rejection is only a temporary setback to make us stronger.  Our past hurts and failures do not have to hinder our future.  We get up, dust ourselves off, and walk towards Jesus.  Jesus is our Healer and our Comforter.  He is the One who guides us towards our future with confidence and self-worth.

I encourage all of us to remove the labels in our lives and let God redefine who we are through His promises and love.  We live in victory when we live for Christ!  Our success comes from Him.  It does not come from our past.  It does not come from the devil.  It only comes from God.