All Praise

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5 NIV

Have you ever swam underwater with goggles? I’ll never forget the first time I did.  Growing up in Florida, I was in the water more than dry land it seemed. We were coastal kids. Pools, lakes, and ocean fronts were our playground. One summer afternoon, my dad came through the door with a few pairs of goggles. Not the Olympic swimmer kind that look like glasses from the future (or maybe the past). These were the ones that cover your whole face with a snorkel strapped to the side. He tossed them to my brother, sister, and me, and we all made a mad dash for the pool. With the goggles “suctioned cupped” to my face, I jumped. My body took its’ instinctual cannon ball shape and before I knew it, I was underwater. I had done this thousands of times before, but this time it was different. I could see. Clear as day. It was a whole new world. Well, it had always been there, but now I could see it. 

Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the kingdom of God would come, answered, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ And why? Because God’s kingdom is already among you.” Luke 17: 20-21 MSG 

The kingdom of God is what Jesus spent most of His time talking about. And according to Him, it is here. RIGHT NOW. But oftentimes, like these Pharisees, we see what we want to see, don’t we? I know I do. Here’s the thing, the ministry of Jesus wasn’t about giving us 20/20 vision, it was about giving us sight. Jesus was trying to teach us to partner with God’s eyes. He was trying to wake us up to a whole new way of thinking, seeing, living and perceiving. Maybe the sacredness of something is only limited by our ability to see it. Maybe instead of looking for what’s not here we should stare long enough to see what’s actually here. If we have anything to learn from the Pharisees, it’s that we can stare God in the face and have absolutely no idea we are doing so. 

As followers of Jesus, we don’t get to know the details of every chapter of this story, but we do get to know the ending. In case you need a refresher on the plot line, the arc of redemption is long, but it ends in glory! So, the way we view our life right now has got to be informed by where we believe this is all going.You see, Jesus wasn’t only trying to get you into heaven, He was also trying to get heaven into you.

Why should my heart grow weary? / Don’t be so downcast o my soul 

You are in every moment / You are my greatest miracle


-Sean Curran

I’m Leaning On You

Jesus, take the beauty from the pain / Jesus, lift these weary hands again

Turn the silence into songs of praise / Jesus I am leaning on Your name

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Psalm 90:1-2 NASB

We’ve all experienced a circumstance with failed expectations. The plan gone awry, the unexpected call with bad news, or that person that couldn’t come through. It’s easy for us to recognize that we can’t count on the material, but maybe not as easy to remember the other side of that — the reality of something everlasting. It’s not a “fairy-tale-happily-ever-after” kind of everlasting, but an eternal and everlasting reality in the deepest, most secure, meaningful and powerful way imaginable.

God has created this world and everything in it. He created each of our hearts and sustains the breath of all living things. If there is anything or anyone worth trusting, it would be the God who was there before everything we’ve ever known or seen.

The eternal God sacrificed His own Son for our sin — when we were still His enemies! Jesus lived perfectly among us, took our sin for us as He died, and to our great joy rose again to offer us new life. He was the only sacrifice that could span all of time.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? Psalm 27:1 NASB

He is the Everlasting One, and He specializes in bringing beauty out of pain, lifting weary hands, and drawing out songs of praise. He is trustworthy when things make sense to us and when they don’t. God is a place of refuge, a place of safety (Ps. 57:1-2), and a source of comfort and hope (Ps. 16:11; Phil. 1:6). We are promised that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39), that He is faithful (1 Cor. 1:9), strong (2 Thess. 3:3) and always working (Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28).

Oh, I’m confident that nothing can ever separate us from God’s great love / 

Neither death, nor life, no power on earth You promised us / I’m leaning on You

King Of Glory

Have you ever looked at a pair of shoes, or clothes online, and started noticing ads for those things everywhere you looked? The more we see something, the more likely we are to end up buying it. It’s crazy! It matters what we look at, because we become what we behold. There are some days where we need to adjust our vision. We need to look up and fix our eyes on someone greater than ourselves.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? 

Psalm 121:1 NIV

Psalm 121 asks the question, “where does my help come from?” In the days of the kings, Jerusalem would have been surrounded by shrines to man-made gods. The leaders of the nation had lost sight of who God was, and they chose to worship false gods. The psalmist is saying, when I look around at these idols for help, I come up empty-handed. These lesser gods can’t really help me out. Relationships won’t satisfy my soul. Money won’t fix all my problems. New ideas or a political party won’t help me at the deepest levels of my life. Because these false gods don’t bring peace to the soul, the psalmist then says — 

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 

Psalm 121:2 NIV

Psalm 24 tells us that our God is the King of glory, the Lord strong and mighty. Jesus is the King over all eternity. He can do what no man-made thought, idea, or creation could ever do. Jesus died and rose again to rescue us and bring our souls to life. He is a mighty King who is on a mission to push back the darkness and breathe life into the hearts of people all over planet earth.  As a church, we want to fix our eyes on Jesus. We want to raise our sense of expectation, because our King is great and He is on the move. We will become like the One we behold and reflect His glory to the world.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

Ps 24:8 NIV

So, wherever you are today, look up. There is a King of glory and He’s coming for you. He alone can rescue you and bring peace to your soul. He is on a mission to rescue the world, and He wants to invite you in to be a part of it.


-Brett Younker

Way Maker

God has always been a Way Maker. In Genesis, we can see the pattern of God saving His people and working on their behalf at all times. In the garden after the fall, God provides a covering for Adam and Eve and a promise of a future hope. He told Noah to build an ark that would save his family and the animals from the flood. When Abraham went to lay Isaac on the alter, God provided a ram to be the sacrifice.  When Joseph was kidnapped, enslaved and imprisoned, God still had a plan. In a roundabout way, God raised Joseph to a place of power and authority that provided rescue and made a place for the house of Israel in the years of famine. When Moses led the nation of Israel out of Egypt, God parted the waters of the Red Sea and led them to the land of promise.

As believers, on our own journey toward the promise of God, we can find ourselves in the space between our former captivity and the land of promise. For many of us, we are standing on the shores of the Red Sea with an insurmountable road block and the enemy at our back. Even still, God is faithful to make a way for us to live in freedom and to accomplish His purposes in the world.

Jesus said in John 14:6 (NASB) —  

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Ultimately, Jesus died and rose again to make a way for all of us to be reconnected in a relationship with our Heavenly Father. He has invited us to be a part of what He is doing in the world and He has given us the power through His Spirit to accomplish it.

Jesus is the one who makes the way. All He requires from us is our faith. Every step we take we are trusting and believing that God is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. Wherever you are today, whatever miracle you need, bring that to Jesus. Lay it before the Way Maker and trust that He is working on your behalf to bring you hope and peace.

Like the nation of Israel on the other side of the Red Sea, when you see Jesus move and work in your life, respond with joy and gratitude. Let worship be our response to the power of God in our lives.


-Brett Younker