gospel monday

Gospel Monday

Good morning friends!

I learned something new this week and I’ve been so excited to share.

Let’s start with Scripture in John 1:16 – For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

What is it to receive grace upon grace? It is to receive BLESSING! What is His fullness? It is His ABUNDANCE!

It is incredible that Jesus has given all of us blessings that flow from His abundance. However, what I learned this week was what a blessing actually is!

A blessing is anything, good or bad, that will help us to experience and know more about who God is. It is a new opportunity to give God praise. Another privilege to see God more clearly.

It is amazing to me that God longs to bless us, and to give to us out of his abundance. God doesn’t want to hide His face from us, but wants us to know Him fully. He deserves our praise!

I was reading my devotional about this and it had a great section I will paraphrase: “You can be blessed in the midst of a terrible situation, because being blessed doesn’t mean you have no trouble or struggle or sorrow; it doesn’t mean you aways experience success or comfort. Instead, it means that in the midst of the trouble and struggle and sorrow, you find yourself deeply secure, profoundly content, and happy in Jesus. To know God, walk with Him, and share life with Him – that is the essence of blessing.”

This really helped me put into perspective what blessings really are. It changed my heart to be more in tune with giving God praise and finding Him in all areas and at all times in my life. I am more convicted to be content with what He has given me, because He is helping me to know Him more. I am encouraged to see the biggest blessing, or “grace upon grace”, that God has ever given me: The Gospel!

The gospel teaches me how Jesus saved me, transformed me, and gave me the great opportunity to know God. To know His love, grace, sacrifice, kindness, faithfulness, and incredible forgiveness. THAT is a blessing that keeps on giving!

How has God revealed Himself to you through His blessings?

xo sarah

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celebrating baby gracelyn

Hello Friends,

Last weekend I had the privilege of throwing a baby shower for my oldest and bestest girl friend, Jocelyn. I have known Jocelyn since I was in 6th grade and as shy as can be. I asked her and our other friend, Ashley, if they would be my friend (crazy, right!?) and hang out with me at the school dance. I didn’t know at the time, but this God-orchestrated moment changed my life forever. Jocelyn and I have gone through many milestones together: Jr. High, dances, boys, college, ministry, weddings, and now babies!

This baby shower in particular was especially exciting because Jocelyn is having a GIRL! Jocelyn currently has 2 other children that she deeply loves and adores, both boys. Her third child being a girl was a precious and exciting surprise! I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we enjoyed celebrating Jocelyn and her soon to be baby girl, Gracelyn Mina!

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Jocelyn is in the striped dress and Gracelyn is in her growing belly!

I am so blessed by everyone who came, enjoyed the yummy brunch, and showered Jocelyn with beautiful gifts. Now we patiently await the sweet baby girl to come!

xo sarah

Credits: Heirloom Tomato & Parmesean Quiche from Forest Feast, Fall Bruschetta from The Parsley Thief, Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Shutterbean, Cranberry Orange Sparkler from Thistlewood Farms, and flowers & decor by Brittan.

gospel monday

Gospel Monday

Happy Monday!

Today I was so blessed by the rain, by the work I had in front of me, and, most definitely, by the Gospel. I didn’t want to let another week go by without posting on the very thing that produces in me the most passion, satisfaction, and joy.

I have been wanting to share for weeks about The Gospel Coalition Conference I was blessed to attend in the beginning of April. I was so thankful to be there and gain teaching and encouragement from so many respected and trustworthy pastors. I finally had a moment to sit down today, collect my thoughts, and share a few of the big ideas God showed me through this conference.

The conference was focused on the life of Jesus as told through the Gospel of Luke. Below are some of the valuable notes I wrote out.

  • From John Piper’s message on Luke 1 & 2: We have certainty in the doctrine of Jesus Christ. The truth about Jesus will always be the truth. The truth about Jesus leads us to repentance and obedience. The truth about Jesus leads us to a life of excellence and sacrifice. The truth about Jesus is something we must know deeply in our souls.
  • From Kevin DeYoung’s message on Luke 15:1-32: God seeks out sinners and is diligently seeking the lost. God rejoices when sinners repent and are saved! We should be a people of patience and compassion for the lost. We should be a people always prepared to seek and find all kinds of lost people. We should be a people marked by our joy in Christ.
  • From Stephen Um’s message on Luke 16:1-31: (on money) When is the last time I have pounded my chest in despair, crying out to the Lord to spare me because of my greed? Money is simply a means of exchange and we need to be theologically intentional with it.
  • From Gary Millar’s message on Luke 22-23: Our situation is so hopeless we actually need someone to trust God for us. Jesus lived the perfect life we could never live and died the death we deserve. Jesus dies in our place. Praise Him.
  • From Tim Keller’s message on Luke 24:1-53: The Resurrection is a shattering historical event. The Resurrection is the key to understanding all of Scripture. The Resurrection is a powerful message to the world. The Resurrection leads us to a place of humble worship. The Resurrection gives us a hope for the future;  that it’s there and that it’s unimaginably magnificent. The Resurrection shows us that everything will be redeemed and restored forevermore.
  • Jesus Christ calls Himself the King. He is the King. Worship Him. Obey Him. Rely on Him. Believe on Him. Expect great things from Him. Come to Him in prayer. He is the King!

I cannot put into words how grateful I was to be at TGC conference and to be poured into for hours upon hours. Not only was I lead in awesome worship and teaching, but I got to spend time with my church family. I will not forget this wonderful experience. Thank you to The Fields for making this experience so amazing. Thank you Jesus for not only saving me, but blessing me with even more grace to live this life ABUNDANTLY!

I hope you were encouraged by these words. Much Love to all of you!

xo sarah

our full life: week eight

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Monday-Thursday was pretty uneventful for us, BUT this weekend was so fun! We took our youth group up to Arrowhead Lake for Winter Camp! Some of us went snowboarding and some of us went sledding, but FUN was had by all! It was a white and wintery weekend we won’t soon forget.

 

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The backyard of our cabin was COVERED in fresh snow!

 

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A real-life Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!

 

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Jr. High girls make the best snowmen. Bark eyes and buttons with a coffee stir stick for the nose.

 

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We tried sledding in the backyard! These girls are the cutest.

 

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And it would not be Jr. High camp if there wasn’t non-stop text message checks.

 

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We were loving this holly berry tree. I would have loved to take some home with us.

 

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Selfie. Wearing winter clothes is a nice change of pace.

 

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The snow was SERIOUSLY white. I couldn’t get enough of it! LOVELY.

 

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We must have walked up and down that “secret” hill 30 times. Best sledding day ever!

 

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Towards the end of our day we watched the ducks swim in Lake Arrowhead while we enjoyed treats from The Village Green Cafe.

This weekend was ALOT of work but ALOT of fun. Hopefully all of our students feel closer to Jesus and closer to one another as well.

Did you ever go to a youth winter retreat? What did you do? What were your best memories? I’d love to hear them!

Until next week, friends!

xo sarah

graduation day

Bret Graduates Biola!

This day will go down in the record books for our family. Being Bret’s wife has been a blessing in so many ways and on his graduation day, he gave me one more reason to think he is the most amazing man in the world. So proud!!!

When I first met Bret he had no goals of ever completing his degree. He took a couple classes at community college, but that’s about it. However, the more Bret grew in his relationship with Jesus and really began to listen to the call to vocational ministry, the more he felt getting a degree would be a pivotal first step.

The only problem was that Bret worked full time 8-5pm M-F and served at church 4 days out of the week in Jr.High ministry and leading worship for college age ministry. It seemed impossible to fit school in there! But God is good, and had a plan the whole time!

Bret heard about a degree completion program created by Biola University (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) called Biola BOLD. It was going to be a long shot getting in since they were in the process of shutting down the program…and did I mention expen$ive?! But, Praise the Lord, Bret was one of the last students to be admitted into the Biola BOLD program before it closed! It was such a huge blessing! Bret was shocked and excited, to say the least. God had made a way for him to finish school, even with a hectic schedule, AND pay for it with help from his family. So amazing.

To make a long story short, by the grace of God, Bret finished his degree in 2 1/2 years…and was elected into the University’s Alpha Sigma Lambda Honors Society! I call him a genius all the time, no joke. There were great times and hard times through those years in school, and worth every second for the both of us.

On May 25th 2012, Bret walked across the stage, received his diploma, and the whole family was cheering and tearing up all at the same time. Bret was the first in his family to graduate college, so this was a big deal! And let me tell you…we celebrated!

We spent that weekend in LA with his dad, mom, sister, brother-in-law and our beautiful niece. We stayed in a nice hotel, ate great food, got massages, shopped, and his parents surprised him with a brand new car!!! We were shocked and so grateful…talk about spoiling someone rotten 😉 Thanks mom & dad!

Here are some pictures from this big, memorable, wonderful weekend:

Celebrating with Family! We are all so proud!

Bret is so excited and thankful for his graduation gift from mom & dad!

We had lots of fun in the hotel!  Especially with our niece Lucy!

Lastly, some Instagram pics from the trip! That amazing drink is some strawberry lemonade from Lucille’s BBQ. The building sign on the left reads: “Above all give glory to God,” & the building sign on the right reads: “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.” I know Bret could not agree more when it comes to the accomplishments we achieve!

Thanks for reading!

xo sarah