Author: Kristen Mudrack

Shout for Joy

Looking across the aisles at church today, I saw, together, the young and the old, the married and the single, the student and the working mother, the widow and the newlywed, the father and the fatherless, the mom with the baby, and the grandpa with a walker.  Sitting next to each other.  Laughing with each other.  Crying with each other.  Lifting their voices together in praise to our God.  Standing together for the reading of God’s Word.  No matter what their circumstances, no matter their age or their gender or the things they’ve experience in life, God is faithful.  It is His faithfulness that brings the weary widow to the altar.  It is His faithfulness that brings the unmarried mother-to-be to the foot of the cross.  It is His faithfulness that brings the battered men, scorned women, hurting children, and sinners saved by grace to the place where they can find peace.  No matter what we have faced in the past, no matter what we will face in the future, and no matter what we face today, His faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100).  He is faithful to bring you out of the valley, to the top of the mountain, to redeem you from the pit, to bring you to the foot of the cross.  And so, side by side, we walk this road together – the young...

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Rain

It’s raining in Michigan as I write this.  It’s one of those days when the skies have just opened up and poured nourishment onto the Earth.  There have even been a few hints of thunder.  There are different kinds of rain.  Light, misty, almost ethereal rain.  Rain coming down in sheets so fast you can’t see your hand in front of your face.  Drizzling rain.  Pouring rain.  Cold rain.  Warm spring rain.  Rain of God’s blessings.  Many times we view God’s blessings as the spring flowers poking out of the ground, the rainbow in the sky, or the sun shining down on a beautiful summer day on the beach.  But we tend to forget the things that come before the flowers, the rainbow and the sunshine: rain.  Sometimes the rain is light and misty.  Other times it is a downpour with cracks of thunder and bolts of lightning.  The dark comes before the morning, the night before the day, just as the storm comes before the reward.  Yet it’s not just the product that we should view as the blessings of God.  The rain beforehand is just as important, if not more important, than the flowers poking through the ground.  In fact, for the beautiful flowers to grow or a rainbow to appear in the clouds, it must rain.  Rain is what feeds the resulting beauty, and darkness must...

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Beautiful

http://youtu.be/1vh7-RSPuAA  There are days, more often than not, when I find this hard to believe. I have never been the girl that turned the guys’ heads. I have never been the prettiest girl in the room, the skinniest girl in the room, the smartest girl in the room, the only one someone sees. Most of the time I just feel like I’m invisible. Maybe you can relate.  It’s not about outward beauty. I know that inside, outside, backwards and forwards. I am a child of God and I am beautiful in His eyes. I know that right side up, upside down, and sideways. But we live in a world where, if we are single, the world tells us that there is something wrong with us. What is it that people don’t like about you? What’s wrong with you? The girl with the foot fungus and hipster glasses is married – why aren’t you? Are people scared away by your disease? You do know you’re not going to stay young forever, right? Do you want a family? Why aren’t you good enough for anyone? We live in a world where to be accepted you have to be beautiful, skinny, athletic, popular, and genius – or at least two of the above. We live in a culture that encourages girls to dress in the least amount of clothing possible and to be as...

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From the Inside Out

Maybe today has been one of those days that seems to have knocked you down more times than you can count.  Maybe, at the end of a tough week, all you want to do is go home and sleep.  Or maybe going home is the problem.  I can’t pretend to know what you’re feeling right now, or how your day, week, month, or year has been.  But I can point you to the cross, the healer, the One who loves us no matter what.  This song, From the Inside Out, is one I’ve known for a long time, but maybe it’s what you and I need to hear today.  A thousand times I’ve failed Still your mercy remains Should I stumble again Still I’m caught in your grace Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame I’m pretty sure that a thousand times is a gross underestimation of how many times I’ve screwed up in my 24 years of life.  And yet EVERY time, God picks me up, dusts me off, and puts me right side up again.  EVERY time.  And His grace truly is enough.  Enough for me.  Even though I’m not perfect, even though I don’t believe that I am worth anything sometimes, even though I fail, and I fall, even though I am broken and bruised and battered...

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No Burden You Carry

No burden we carry is ever unknown.  I’ve been pondering this statement a lot lately. It comes from a song I sang years ago in church choir. God does know our burdens and He cares. He cares so much He took everything upon himself, and made Himself nothing, subjecting Himself to death – even death on a cross. Even when we feel like our world is crashing down around us, or the waves of sorrow are crashing at our doors; even when we feel like there’s no one else that knows or cares, when the snow piles up so high that you can’t see over it; even when your next step seems uncertain, even when you walk out all alone; even when you don’t understand, even when disaster strikes and tragedy looms over our heads – God is there.  He knows the burdens we carry, He comforts us in our pain, He lifts us up when we aren’t able to pick ourselves up, He cares. Even when it feels like no one gets it, no one understands what you go through every day, every hour, every minute, the things you struggle with and the temptations you truly wrestle with, He is there. I know it’s hard to feel His presence sometimes. I know it’s hard to believe. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve been so far down in the dumps that there is only one person who could have pulled me back...

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