Sammy Rodriguez
Who is Sammy Rodriguez? He’s a guy who smiles real big. Yeah, kind of like your old elementary school principal, but not so big it resembled the strange art teacher.  It’s a rather kind smile that conveys easy lovin’. I want you to picture a tall, Puerto Rican guy with enough charisma to fill a room. He’s a guy that loves to be in the spotlight. You might even say he comes alive, especially when it comes to “game time”. What exactly is game time? It’s the many moments on stage; it’s the nights spent at universities, parking lots, and churches nationwide speaking about the love of Jesus to hundreds of young people. It’s also the everyday moments in the grocery store when he’s altering eternal destinies in the midst of searching for cereal. On his twenty sixth birthday you’ll find him in perhaps an unexpected place. While the rest…Continue Reading
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This fall, I worked as short-term staff for Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Bridges of Life, a small mission base in Southern France. I arrived at their chateau with a willing spirit but little idea what God wanted me to do during my stay. There were plenty of base ministries I was interested in, but when the chef asked for extra hands, I tied on an apron and set to chopping vegetables. I rarely left the kitchen for the rest of my stay. It was the heart of the base, knitting the staff and ministries together with daily meals that felt more like community check-ups than quick bites. I loved watching friends pass baguettes around the table, quipping with one another just as often as they counseled and encouraged. When culture-shocked mission teams came to stay at the base, I loved comforting them with bowls of mushroom soup. When Discipleship…Continue Reading
Mercy of God
About six months ago, my wife and I were driving with our newborn son in the backseat of our car. We stopped at a stop light and were in conversation when all of the sudden, BOOM! We were hit by a van behind us. Of course we were shocked, and the first thing we both thought about was our son! He immediately started crying and we both jumped out of the car so we could check on him. We didn’t even take time to notice the catering van behind us and the young women who was driving it. We were so focused on our son. The whole incident was quite dramatic with a fire truck and ambulance arriving to check everyone out. Not only was the accident her fault, but she hit a car with a newborn baby. When I did get time to talk to the women who hit…Continue Reading
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It’s been years of facing the wall of my closet, contending for the brokenness in families. Ones on the brink of disintegrating to dust. Ones like mine. Growing up as the youngest of four and under divorced parents, I’ve always fought the battle of never feeling understood, so I turned to a community of believers who did. God began radically accelerating a ton in my life. Testimonies of healings, provision, and revelations of Jesus were rising not only in my heart, but in the community I was running with. Little did I realize, I neglected my family along the way, because my constant efforts to share about what God was doing, just translated to gibberish. It seemed that even when stepping out in faith to share with them, my words fell to the ground. Through the times I was with my family, my mind never was, and it showed. The…Continue Reading
Friends
Without much notice, all the plans I had held close and made for the next few years of my life were being redirected. I found myself flying over an ocean, making my way back home to my family when I should have been en route to Africa for an outreach trip instead. Sickness had crept upon me, and to home I was returning—with zero plans and many bittersweet feelings. At first, I believed the lie that told me my return meant I had failed. It meant that I was no longer fulfilling the calling on my life and pursuing some great mission—or so it seemed. However, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that through the grace, kindness, and understanding my family extended towards me, the Lord was working all things together for my good. Our good, really. As each day passed, it became more evident that the…Continue Reading
Sugar Cookie Recipes
What is Christmas cooking without a good sugar cookie! I make them just for the fun of cutting out and decorating! This is a great way to gather friends together. Have a cookie party, decorate together and then deliver to local homeless people or even just pass out on the streets! We have done this the past several years with dear friends wherever we are and itʼs become our FAVORITE Christmas tradition. Oh my…Iʼm so excited to do it this year! Photos graciously provided by Hannah Siegrist
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Last week, in a crowded restaurant, Laura* leaned close to me and said, “Your face radiates the love of God your Father! I want that too. I want the love of God and I want him to be my Father.” She has never known God that way, but her heart told her this was real, true love. Laura’s deep desire for it led her to a prayer of repentance and an tearful plea for God to become her Father. God’s family is his expression of true love and belonging. Because He loves us, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure”(Eph. 1:5). God’s family is his expression of true love and belonging. He delights in making himself known through his family of adopted children. We are a part of his story,…
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