God and the Complete Mess

Redeemed–that’s the word that comes to mind today as I think about my life. To be honest, I have walked closely to the Lord for over a decade now, so sometimes I forget how crazy my life was before I completely let Him take over.

So many of my dear friends played a major role in the transforming work God has done. For them, I’m forever grateful. Because there is an Annie most people never knew.

At the age of 15, I sat in a courthouse, across the table from a local judge as he decided how to handle a MIP (Minor in Possession) citation I acquired while making a very poor choice, repeatedly.

Four hard truths
The truth is, I was just longing for acceptance.

In that same year, I attempted suicide. The truth is, I was longing to be heard.

After many bad choices, I found myself in relationship after relationship, and unhealthy ones at that. The truth is, I was longing to be loved.

With alcohol making its way into my life at an early age, it became very normal for it to be a part of everything I did. The truth is, I was looking to escape pain.

God writes new stories
Sometimes I seriously forget where I have grown from. But recently, I was reminded of the power of sharing our stories. My story reminds me that God can take a complete mess and turn it into something beautiful. I would love to say all of my bad habits and mindsets shifted overnight, but that would be untrue. It took time. It even took work. But, through the entire process, God was with me.

Because God can change the course of our story, if we want a better life, it’s out there. If we want fulfillment, we can obtain it. If we desperately want to be free from the lies that chain us, it’s possible.

The best advice I can give anyone is to invite the One who created us into our mess, whatever it is. This was what changed everything for me and the turning point of my entire life.

He’s not afraid of our sin, our anger or our bad choices. He truly wants to walk into it, take our hand, and lead us out of it. That’s what he did for me. And, if you need it, he will do it for you too.

Annie Moss is an entrepreneur who leads two companies. Kimono+Co, is an online apparel company designed to see women embrace their own beauty, and The Vintage Sparrow offers jewelry that awakens courage in the heart of every woman.

Washing Feet in the 21st Century

FROM KIRK WALDEN, EDITOR: For regulars here, you know 1st Faith is where anyone has an opportunity to tell a story of faith. Why? Because one of the strongest ways to build a friend’s faith is through telling our own story.

A story which captures me is the one of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. It’s a story only mentioned once in the four gospels, but even today Christians focus on this moment’s significance and lessons.

Clearly, this act was one of servanthood. Here is a king, washing his followers’ grimy, calloused feet. This doesn’t make my bucket list of “must do’s.” But it was for Jesus.

Which creates a question. What is a modern-day equivalent of foot-washing? May I offer one, which I often overlook?

In today’s world, we’re wedded to IPhones, Droids, laptops. We’re filled with social media. Any conversation is easily derailed by the distraction of a call, a “Let me just text him/her back really quickly” or a need to rush off to the next thing in our busy lives.

Today, we don’t worry much about dirty feet. Still, our lives get messy. Sometimes, the only way to wash off our emotional dirt is to vent to a friend. Modern-day foot washing? Listening. Listening, really listening, matters.

Our modern dirt pops up when we face the real-life challenge of living out our faith in a mixed-up world. When the wind and rain of circumstances hits us from all directions and we try to make sense of things, our spiritual feet get dirty. Our dirt may not be some sin, or a situation demanding a quick fix. It’s just stuff. Messy stuff.

Jesus, on his final night, stopped. He took time to thoroughly wash each disciple’s feet. And we can be sure He listened to his friends as He carefully cleaned those feet which journeyed alongside him over three years.

Sometimes, the best example of servanthood is two available ears. No judgment, no quick fixes, no pat answers.

If we offer this gift, perhaps our friend will experience refreshing as the overwhelming circumstances of life wash away. And the feet our friend needs to walk this journey are once again clean, ready for the next step, wherever it leads.

What’s Your Story? Tell us Here.

Find us on Facebook, and on Instagram (@Real1stFaith)

No Boat for You!

There’s a story which—at first glance—makes me look at Jesus and say, “What were you thinking?” It’s in Luke’s account (Ch. 8), the story of Jesus healing a demon-possessed man.

A quick refresher. Jesus calms the sea, then when he and the disciples get to the other side, waiting for them is an absolute whack-job of a man with brutish, chain-breaking strength who terrorizes everyone. He’s naked as a jaybird, yelling at everyone.

When Jesus shows up, the man falls at Jesus’ feet, begging Jesus not to torment him. In short, Jesus expels the man’s demons into a herd of pigs, who then jump off a cliff. The man suddenly becomes sane, and asks the question any of us would, “Jesus, can I come with you?”

This makes sense, right? But incredibly, Jesus said, “No.” He sent the man away, telling him to return to his house and tell others what God—through Jesus–did for him.

Weird. It looks like Jesus is choosing favorites, saying—like Jerry Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi—“No boat for you!” But at 1st Faith, we see something amazing in this moment. Jesus is telling this man, “All you need is your story. Just tell it.”

Today, it’s easy to focus on learning the right verses, or crafting the correct arguments to convince others to believe. It’s intimidating. Soon, we decide sharing our faith just isn’t our thing. But perhaps, all we need is our story.

In the end, this guy went out and told “the whole city” what Jesus did for him. I bet people listened and a lot of hearts turned.

The lesson? Our stories of faith encourage others, and can change lives. This platform—1stFaith—is for you, to tell stories.

Here, we don’t ask only the perfect, or the smartest, to share stories. We want stories from real people living real life. Transparent people, like the man in Luke 8. Getting in the boat wasn’t for him. Because he had all he needed—his own story.

Remember a time when your faith grew? Tell us at 1stFaith. Together, let’s change the world—with your story.

We want to hear your story–tell us here.

Like what you see at 1stFaith? Support us here.

Find us on Facebook, Instagram (@Real1stFaith) . . . & Twitter, too.

No Boat for You!

There’s a story which—at first glance—makes me look at Jesus and say, “What were you thinking?” It’s in Luke’s account (Ch. 8), the story of Jesus healing a demon-possessed man.

A quick refresher. Jesus calms the sea, then when he and the disciples get to the other side, waiting for them is an absolute whack-job of a man with brutish, chain-breaking strength who terrorizes everyone. He’s naked as a jaybird, yelling at everyone.

When Jesus shows up, the man falls at Jesus’ feet, begging Jesus not to torment him. In short, Jesus expels the man’s demons into a herd of pigs, who then jump off a cliff. The man suddenly becomes sane, and asks the question any of us would, “Jesus, can I come with you?”

This makes sense, right? But incredibly, Jesus said, “No.” He sent the man away, telling him to return to his house and tell others what God—through Jesus–did for him.

Weird. It looks like Jesus is choosing favorites, saying—like Jerry Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi—“No boat for you!” But at 1st Faith, we see something amazing in this moment. Jesus is telling this man, “All you need is your story. Just tell it.”

Today, it’s easy to focus on learning the right verses, or crafting the correct arguments to convince others to believe. It’s intimidating. Soon, we decide sharing our faith just isn’t our thing. But perhaps, all we need is our story.

In the end, this guy went out and told “the whole city” what Jesus did for him. I bet people listened and a lot of hearts turned.

The lesson? Our stories of faith encourage others, and can change lives. This platform—1stFaith—is for you, to tell stories.

Here, we don’t ask only the perfect, or the smartest, to share stories. We want stories from real people living real life. Transparent people, like the man in Luke 8. Getting in the boat wasn’t for him. Because he had all he needed—his own story.

Remember a time when your faith grew? Tell us at 1stFaith. Together, let’s change the world—with your story.

We want to hear your story–tell us here.

Like what you see at 1stFaith? Support us here.

Find us on Facebook, Instagram (@Real1stFaith) . . . & Twitter, too.

Washing Feet in the 21st Century

FROM KIRK WALDEN, EDITOR: For regulars here, you know 1st Faith is where anyone has an opportunity to tell a story of faith. Why? Because one of the strongest ways to build a friend’s faith is through telling our own story.

A story which captures me is the one of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. It’s a story only mentioned once in the four gospels, but even today Christians focus on this moment’s significance and lessons.

Clearly, this act was one of servanthood. Here is a king, washing his followers’ grimy, calloused feet. This doesn’t make my bucket list of “must do’s.” But it was for Jesus.

Which creates a question. What is a modern-day equivalent of foot-washing? May I offer one, which I often overlook?

In today’s world, we’re wedded to IPhones, Droids, laptops. We’re filled with social media. Any conversation is easily derailed by the distraction of a call, a “Let me just text him/her back really quickly” or a need to rush off to the next thing in our busy lives.

Today, we don’t worry much about dirty feet. Still, our lives get messy. Sometimes, the only way to wash off our emotional dirt is to vent to a friend. Modern-day foot washing? Listening. Listening, really listening, matters.

Our modern dirt pops up when we face the real-life challenge of living out our faith in a mixed-up world. When the wind and rain of circumstances hits us from all directions and we try to make sense of things, our spiritual feet get dirty. Our dirt may not be some sin, or a situation demanding a quick fix. It’s just stuff. Messy stuff.

Jesus, on his final night, stopped. He took time to thoroughly wash each disciple’s feet. And we can be sure He listened to his friends as He carefully cleaned those feet which journeyed alongside him over three years.

Sometimes, the best example of servanthood is two available ears. No judgment, no quick fixes, no pat answers.

If we offer this gift, perhaps our friend will experience refreshing as the overwhelming circumstances of life wash away. And the feet our friend needs to walk this journey are once again clean, ready for the next step, wherever it leads.

What’s Your Story? Tell us Here.

Find us on Facebook, and on Instagram (@Real1stFaith)

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