Book Review: Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost

When it comes to the church, we all have stories. Some stories are of ones where we feel welcomed and included, comfortable and free to worship; while others are stories of pain and confusion, uncertainty or discomfort.

I remember my first few months away at college, hopping from church to church in a small prairie town, trying to find the one that felt most like home. One Sunday evening, while out for a walk with a friend, we encountered two elderly ladies on their way to an evening service in the school gym. I’ll never forget how excited they were when we agreed to join them, how overjoyed they were to show us off to the other attendees during after-gathering cookies and coffee. The love of Christ radiated off our new, white-haired friends. That church wasn’t the one for me, but I’ll never forget that feeling of being welcomed so warmly. That was what I was looking for in a church family: community, a warm and open invitation, and most of all, Jesus.

In Traci Rhoades new book, “Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost,” readers are invited to look past the denominational differences that separate us and instead find Jesus amidst the differing worship styles. As she says, “We don’t all practice our faith the exact same way, but our God is big enough to embrace all the ways we encounter Jesus. And Jesus sits at the head of the table. Always.”

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The Gift of Being Seen

It doesn’t matter who they are. As soon as she sees them walking towards her, the little hand pops up over the edge of the stroller, waving hello.

She sees them.

The neighbours. The dog walkers. The ones busily shouting into their phones. The ones walking alone. Old. Young. The ones I’d chose to avoid eye-contact with.

She sees all of them.

And I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if I stopped to truly see them too.

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A Good Friday, Even in Death

A year ago today, we said good-bye.

In an ugly hospital room, surrounded by friends and family, my mom gave up her failing, earthly body for the arms of Jesus. And if I’m honest, it felt too soon. This wasn’t the script I’d written. There were more grandbabies for her to hold. More laughter and smiles for her to wrap us in. More life.

It seems fitting that this one year anniversary falls on Good Friday: a day marked by death and sorrow. A day for tears and mourning. A day when the clothes are black, the mood somber. But what man meant for evil, God meant for Good — even death upon a cross.

Because Good Friday holds such GOOD news.  Continue reading

Kindergarten Spring Break Activity: Fruit of the Spirit, Week 2

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we’ve spent the past two weeks working our way through the Fruit of the Spirit! Originally, I’d planned for more low-key lessons but, with a global pandemic and who-knows-how-many-weeks of self-isolation, we had to ramp things up for the sake of staying busy. (And let’s just say that these lessons are even more pertinent when you’re crammed together in close quarters for so long!)

Overall, these activities and discussions have been “fruitful” reminders for the whole family. It’s been a joy to watch our children grow in their understanding of scripture and what it means to follow God!

Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

(For those who are just joining in, be sure to check out Week One!)

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