Encouragement To Carry On

Feeling guilty?

Like your sin has caused something negative?

Consider this: If your life was really to experience the full ramifications of your sin, you’d be dead. So if you’re breathing, you’re experiencing grace, regardless of the measure. Rejoice there!

Feeling tired?

Like you’re not sure you can take this for another year?

Everyone wants to win, but few people want to battle. Dig deep. Make it to your next meal. Don’t worry about tomorrow—today has enough cares of its own.

One step.

One task.

One thought.

One meeting.

One break.

One thought at a time.

Sometimes we take strides, sometimes we take an inches, but we’re always taking something, even if it’s just a breath of air.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'” – Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 11:28 NLT)

In Over Your Head or Just Upside Down


When was the last time you felt in over your head? A year ago? Or maybe you do right now.

No matter when it is, it’s a terrible sensation. To take the analogy literally, we as people tend to float in water, so nothing should ever be “over our heads.” The implication is that something’s bound us to the floor, or we’re simply too tired to keep swimming, and the water has therefore risen above head-level.

But there’s another possibility for those stuck in a place where it seems your abilities have been outclassed by your circumstances.

You may just be upside down.

Despite being white and soft, getting stuck head-first in the snow is extremely, dark, debilitating and unenjoyable. Whether being thrown in by the older kids, our crashing during a skiing or snowboarding catastrophe, I’ve never liked the sensation.

The key to righting ourselves during the most perplexing of situations does not so much depend on our capacity as it does our perspective.

13 No temptation [peirasmós: to prove, an experience of evil, solicitation, discipline, adversity] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Whether the temptation is to give up or to give in, asking God for his “way out” is really the only thing we need to right ourselves and handle the circumstance. The simple truth is, he sees what we can not.

If you’re walking with Jesus, the reality is you’re never in over your head. But you may be upside down.

If so, relax. Stop struggling. And ask for help, even if it’s a mumble. Then don’t fight against the pressure you feel on your foot.

It’s God, trying to adjust your perspective.


Color Palette Problem


I was recently included in a Color of the Year Instragram mashup by Mike Kim (@mikekimtv).

I actually made the montage/collage twice. Once for my metaphorical face, the other for my actual face. (Some might even argue I’m the sock, too).

The honor is quite overwhelming.

But the presentation does beg the question: how did white people ever get stuck with the white color stigma? We’re much more pink than we are white. I mean, look at my cranium. It’s more like under-cooked chicken, or maybe pork ribs.

I’ve met a few albinos in my life. Now they’re white. Some are even translucent.

Black people aren’t actually black at all. Some are cocoa, and some are coffee (both preferred food beverages).

Asian people, like Mike, are olivey, much like Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Native American folks.

True Indians are like dark cinnamon buns. Probably from all the curry and chai tea they consume. That’s my theory.

Anyone else notice the food theme?

Humans have forever tried to classify things. Science. Emotions. Music. It’s part of how we’re wired. But sometimes we try and classify things based on fear, insecurity, and sheer ignorance.

Like race and skin-tone.

Like my wife, I was raised in a “colorless” home by parents who never differentiated between skin color or race. They had Christian convictions about such biases. And also like her, it wasn’t until I was an early teen that I discovered racism was still rampant in the United States – and the rest of the world for that matter.

Yet this spirit of racism is easily identified as a fraud, and something we as Christians must be the first to exterminate.

For one, the spirit of racism fails to take into account that all humans are made in God’s image. To prefer one over the other is to alienate and shun the likeness of God himself. Doing so is anti-human, anti-Christian, and anti-God. It was God’s fail-safe and the genius of making us after himself. To say you accept Jesus but you can’t accept all men is tantamount to not accepting Jesus. Be careful.

If you have a basis, fear, frustration or vendetta toward a race, you need to repent and ask for Jesus’ heart for that people group – because they’re his people group made in his image.

And secondly, this spirit of racism didn’t even get its color assignments right.

I’m pink, people.

What a scam.




I started waiting at 16 years old.  I wanted to have a life in ministry but had NO idea how to make it happen. So I waited. I waited to grow up.

At 18, I finished high school and went to the School of Ministry in Toronto and felt like the waiting was over. At SoM, I got to taste what a life of ministry was like and I KNEW that was where God wanted me. Leading.

But it’s scary. People count on you; trust in you to help guide them. You could make a mistake or say something that they disagree with. You could be loved . . .or hated. I struggle with being a people-pleaser so the prospect of being hated freaked me right out! After I finished the school, I interned at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship for a year and I got to work in ministry but I wasn’t at the forefront, which suited my fear perfectly but this quiet voice inside me kept saying ‘You know administration is not what you’re here (on earth) for.’ I felt a bit unsettled, I wanted more but my fear held me fast.

While at TACF, I met Lee Houghton, my husband. We got engaged while I was interning and in September 2005, we got married and felt God calling us to move to North Wales (which is where Lee’s from). I was 20. We really weren’t sure why God wanted us in Wales, but we moved all the same.

After a few months, things started falling into place and it became clear that God had put us here to help plant a church. Lee was excited; it had always been his dream to plant a church! i61 (from Isaiah 61) was taking shape and as the plans developed, Lee and I were given the roles of Worship Pastors. Outwardly, I tried to be as enthusiastic as I could, I mean I WAS excited but . . . inwardly, I was frozen with terror. Hadn’t this been what I was waiting for? I WANTED to be a leader, I WANTED to step into the plans that God had for my life, but I was too scared. So I started waiting again, waiting for the fear to pass, waiting until I felt ‘qualified’ to be in a position of leadership. I was given the title of Worship Pastor but unconsciously shied away from leading, leaving Lee to make the majority of the decisions. He would try to get me to step up, but every time, I would pull back, and Lee would have to carry the load. A few years passed and I noticed that people didn’t seem to look at me like a leader the way they looked at Lee. I started to get frustrated and upset. I wanted to lead but I didn’t know what was going wrong? I told Lee I felt like people didn’t look at me like a leader because of my age and lack of experience. Lee would gently point out that I tended to lean on him to lead, that sometimes I hid from my responsibility and in those moments I saw the truth in his words and vowed to make an effort to embrace the role God had given me. I’d pray and ask for courage and the boldness I needed, then the time would come to do so and again, I’d bolt.

At Christmas time, my aunt told me she thought 2010 was going to be a big year in my life. That something would click and I would finally step into a plan that God had for me for a long time but that I had been resisting (she didn’t say the ‘resisting’ part but I knew that was what had been happening) and I knew what she was talking about. It was time for me to stop shying away for the position of leadership that I’ve been in for the past 4 years. It was time to stop waiting around for my fear to disappear and realize that God had chosen me for this job. And if God thought I was ready, who was I to say I wasn’t?

It’s been a couple of months but I’m FINALLY embracing the position God has put me in. I’m starting to understand just how much this job is MEANT for me! God took my passion for worship and loving people and turned it into something I get to do on a daily basis!

So my question to you is, are you waiting? And if so, what are you waiting for? When God has something for you, grab it with both hands and run with it! After all, if our fantastic, incredible God chose YOU, how can we possibly say no?


Bio: Jesus following, tea-drinking, paint splattered, pink-loving, creative story teller from Canada, married to Lee Houghton, mom to my 2 girls and worship pastor of i61. I tweet! Say hi :O)