Ariel. 19. Southern California. Barista, coffee shop art director, practicing adventurer, part-time caffeine addict, full-time sass master. Worship is an all the time kind of thing.

I have a passion for coffee and tea, if that's even possible...

I have a heart for the lost and I wish for them to be found. Yahweh Shammah.

2 Corinthians 3:5-6
Hosea 6:6

“Life’s too short to drink crappy coffee and cry over boys who don’t care.” -Matty Healy (the 1975)

So far, growing up has just been a pretty huge disappointment. The curtain has been drawn and the wizard is just a man, but more than that, he’s a fat old man who’s spent his entire life living in routine and trying to make money so that he’s forgotten what living really is. I don’t know if it’s an age thing or a generational thing, but the people my age aren’t content with living 9-5 lives. I think there’s so much that God can do with an adventurous heart because it’s so willing to commit to miraculous things. But we are a generation of Peter’s, and just as much as Peter was the man who walked on water with Jesus and was quick to say he would go to the ends of the earth with Christ, he was also the man who denied Christ three times when things got rocky; when things got real. God doesn’t give up on us when we give up on Him. He’s not intimidated by our moments of weakness. When we respond with repentance the way Peter did, there will always be redemption and restoration. Peter preached at pentecost after he returned to God. No matter how many times we turn away, God restores us when we come back. It’s time we learn the difference between remorse for the consequences of our sin and repentance in response to God’s heartbreak due to our sin. By Excerpts from my mind [at 4am] #26

In the end, God was still there. In all my running and all my self pity, I had not tired Him out for even a moment. Every wall I tried to build was broken down by that much more grace and no matter how many times I made excuses, His love tore through every single one. Now I’m standing here, all my excuses dissolved by the weight of His glory, and a bleeding heart to show for it. Everything else has been stripped away, yet He still remains. He is literally the cornerstone; the only stone. But I feel like a repelling magnet. I am filthy and unworthy and what kind of daughter am I who can’t even clean myself up before my Father? And you know what He says to me? ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’ By Excerpts from my mind #23

I think one of the biggest problems with the modern church today is that they are so obsessed with the ninety-nine that they’ve stopped caring about the one. And that’s not what Jesus was about. He told stories about how important the single lost one was compared to the vast number of “found” ones. People are valuable individually as well as communally and when churches make numerical growth their sole priority, they overlook all the time Jesus looked straight at the overlooked and loved on the hard to love. It makes it easy for people to say, “Oh, well we just lost one person, but we got ten more!” It eliminates the possibility of spiritual depth in community because people start to just feel like a number in a crowd and not a person that Jesus specifically called by name and saved by grace with every ounce of love in His heart. That’s how He feels about you. He cares for you as one just as He cares for the Church as many. By Excerpts from my mind #21

But in the end, the best I can do did not set me free. All my striving did not dissolve the cage I had stepped into. My efforts to find the key I had somehow shoved to deeply into my pocket had fallen short of all His perfection and I knew that I alone would never be enough to set me free.
Then He told me that He set me free Himself. And I was free indeed and I didn’t have to change for Him to love me. I didn’t have to work for His salvation and there was nothing I could do to change His mind about me. He said His grace was sufficient and so it was. By Excerpts from my mind #19

I’m standing here, stuck in Saturday and all that’s running through my mind is that maybe these bones were just a little too dry. I feel so parched and empty, like I can’t hold onto the fact that the omnipresent God is all around me and in me and He is very much alive, not on that cross where I left Him, not in that tomb where I was laid too.
This in-between just feels so full of nothing that I forget today remembers the day that Death realized it could not hold You. And death feels all around me.
All that runs through my mind is how You said, “This one’s on Me” when Your hands weren’t even dirty. You took the filth that belonged to me, the sin I choose quite consciously and You pulled the death from my dying heart as I threw my stones and You accepted those too, gladly. You took the dying that I knew so intimately and You put it to death with love that is so much stronger and deeper than any hate I could ever see. In just three days, You broke the cage and You set me free. By The Life in His Death

Sometimes I just have a really hard time remembering that Jesus loves me in the midst of all my failure and laziness and imperfection. He loves my heart right here and right now in the midst of all my striving to change it. His patient love is there whether mine is or not.

Jesus Christ saw you when you said you wanted nothing to do with Him and He loved you. He loved the part of you that spit in His face and the part of you that clung to Him in despair. He saw the fragmented pieces of your heart that you’d given to one too many people and never to Him and He said, “yeah, I want every piece. I’ll die for it.”
He loved every spot, every scar, every mountain, every valley, and every moment in between and He looked at you drowning in yourself with no way out and said, “I want all of you forever and I will give up everything to have it.”

And He has loved us still.

"And the evil spirit answered and said to them, ‘I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?’" —Acts 19:15
Can I just say how cool it is that the enemy knows and fears us simply because of our association with Jesus Christ? Men were trying to exorcize spirits in the name of Jesus without actually knowing Him. The spirit wasn’t afraid because it knew the Stronger Man did not dwell in the exorcist.
Our relationship with Christ gives us a name in the enemy’s book. Do they know of you because you know Him? Or are you trying to call on His power without Him?

We need a reminder of who God is.

He is not a genie that you come to only when you want something.
He’s not this short, balding guy with a beard that’s trying to get you to buy into salvation.  He’s not trying to sell you something or beat around the bush to try and make following Christ more “attractive”.  God does not mask Himself or sugarcoat things.  Jesus never sugarcoated things for His disciples.

Salvation is free and it costs everything.  But He is almighty and all we need.  We need to remember that the God living in us today is the same God who has raised the dead, set the captives free, and opened blind eyes.  He is the King and we need to remember that he is living and active in us just as much as He was in the disciples.