"Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16

Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly...

What a bold and beautiful statement Paul has made here!

I've had the blessing of joining with a group of wonderful ladies on Thursday mornings to walk through the book of Colossians led by Karen Burke, a sweet friend and also the wife of Dave Burke (i.e. the leaders of our small group).

God has been doing some ravaging work in my life as I read through His word in our "homework" for the week. When we started the study, Karen asked us to list semester goals from a spiritual aspect. I wrote down, "to dwell in Christ and His word."

And as I study the homework, Paul says right there in Colossians 3:16, "Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly."

- - Hello, Whitney! - -

I love when God affirms that our hearts are lining up with His desires. I'd like to say this happens on a super consistent basis but it doesn't happen often enough.

The continuing of this verse encourages a deep level of intimacy within the believers' community... teach one another, admonish one another in all wisdom; sing together; be thankful together in your hearts to God. We need community. We need one another. It's the desire that God has created within us. When we first dwell in Christ, His love is an outpour - an overflow - into our communities. We are called to let the words of Christ dwell in us richly as a life-giving command for ourselves but also as a life-giving command for others. His words dwell in us and in return, pour out from our lips as truth to another as a form of accountability, love, wisdom and worship.

This is dwelling.

This is community.

This is worship.

So, today, I challenge you to "let the words of Christ dwell in you richly."

Side note: I'd love for you to join in on the study with us! You can listen to the lessons, go through the homework, etc., on the 4 One Purpose website. Click here for the link to the lessons. Browse through the site and be in awe of all that God is doing within and through the ministry all over the world.

Easter : For He Has Risen


There is no sweeter word to celebrate this season of resurrection and redemption.

"And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquakes and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said,


But wait. 

The Father and the Son were not done.

The angel of the Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and said, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

He is not here, FOR HE HAS RISEN, as He said."

Matthew 27:51-54, 28:5-6

Not only did He rise from the grave... He walked back to Galilee to chat it up with the disciples and a few other folks. Well, "chat it up" may not be the best phrase to describe His conversation with the disciples, but you get the point. 

Jesus is. 

No word could possibly convey
 the greatness
the love
the character
the justice
the wisdom
the sweetness
the compassion
the grace
the power
the Truth
of Christ.

We pray that we are all able to grasp a mere portion of the magnitude of Christ's sacrifice and atonement for His children this Easter. 

Check out our post about walking the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross or Way of Suffering) in Israel here

Down Syndrome & Long Post Office Lines

This morning I went to the post office bright and early.

Ok - not that early. It was 8:25 a.m. but the post office doesn't open the teller windows until 8:30 on the dot.

So I thought, "I'll be the first in line. No problem."


There were seven people standing in front of me. All of them had been waiting for quite a while. 

You would think everyone would be super perturbed and anxious, but they weren't.

You see, there was a special joy to the room. 

A teenage girl with down syndrome stood in the middle of the line nuzzled up to her mom. 

All of the sudden, she just started giggling. 

Not about anything particular, just giggling.

One of the women in front of her smiled and said, "Looks like somebody has the giggles this morning!"

That girl's laughter caught on like wildfire. 

I can't say that I have ever been in the midst of such a joyful morning surrounded by other people - strangers, at that. All nine of us, standing in line at a dimly-lit post office with Christmas packages in hand, giggling. 

Not about anything particular, just giggling.

And y'all... in that instant, the Lord broke me. It took everything within me to hold in tears. It was the most amazing moment. The Spirit of the Lord reigned in that post office this morning and I was so honored to stand in the presence of an engulfing spirit of joy. 

Strangers. United by laughter at 8:26 in the morning. It's something you see in a movie, but never realize the gravity that is lifted within that moment. 

So my challenge to you on this Friday is to laugh. Allow the Spirit of the Lord to overwhelm your heart to the point of laughter. To the point of sheer joy. To the point where the light of Christ radiates through a dimly-lit room and penetrates those around you. Because God is that good. And because when we know the love of Christ, we can't help but spread the news like wildfire.

Thanksgiving Rummaging and Reminiscing

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

Most of you have probably had five blog posts since Thanksgiving Day but we wanted to share our weekend with y'all anyway. :) I cannot wait to spend a couple of hours delving into your blogs, checking out your holiday happenings thus far. 

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. As much as I love giving gifts (and let's be honest... receiving gifts), Thanksgiving is one of the rare holidays that is all about family and friends. No tangible gifts. Just the gift of community. How awesome is that?

We spent the weekend at JD's parents in West Alabama. As some of you may know, JD's dad celebrated his eightieth birthday in October. Yeah - celebrate good times! C'mon!

He kicks it better than any eighty-year-old man we know. He walks about seven miles every day... after breakfast, after dinner (and probably most days after lunch). 

So we joined in, walking sticks and all.

And it was such a blessed time. 

There is just something so special about Thanksgiving walks with the fam. I'll never forget one Thanksgiving Day I spent walking under the amber trees at Lake Oconee (aka The Bungalow) a few years ago with my sweet Gingin. She shared with me how crucial it is to savor every moment, because you really never know when it will be the last. You think you know that until your grandmother reminds you. Then you realize you really don't know much at all so you better soak in every ounce of wisdom she has. JD and I are both thankful for the wisdom and lessons our precious parents and grandparents have taught us.

Back to the weekend....

JD's childhood room is still decked out in baseball posters. Stacks of baseball cards (with chalky gum still in the plastic wrapping of unopened cards) line the walls. Random Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurines can be found in drawers and high school and collegiate awards still hang proudly on the walls. Needless to say, I love sleeping in there. It makes me feel like I can share a special part of him that I never had the chance of knowing. 

We spent the weekend trying to clean it out but had trouble since so much held a special place in JD's memory. Obviously, we had to share a few of our favorite finds with you...

The American Gladiator soup thermos. The black slanted writing is none other than the names of each gladiator. What!?

We rummaged through old papers and sermon notes. The ones above and below were favorites of mine. 


Because it proves that opposites truly do attract. 

JD's occupations of dissimilar interests include all but one of the things I wanted to do in life. When I was young, I spent every day in the basement teaching an imaginary classroom while writing lessons on several chalkboards for my "third grade students". I started college majoring in Radio, Televison and Film to be a News Anchor / Reporter - and switched halfway to finish my studies in Public Relations instead. And now... I would love to teach an art class. 

My only non-interest was a medical illustrator.

At least we agreed on one area of dissimilar interest.

However, my favorite find was this: JD's written testimony from high school (pictured below). Even though our stories of salvation never change, our testimonies of God's goodness and mercy are ever-changing in such a beautiful way. It was so awesome to read about the place God had JD in that season of life. 

And then we found this... a poem JD wrote in college that made goosebumps pop up on my arms. 

My sweet husband is such a humble man. Reading things like this make me fall even deeper in love with him and Christ. I am thankful for him.

Unbeknownst to me, JD set up my new sewing machine and all of my supplies in front of the TV (so he could watch football while I sewed) while I was sorting through his childhood room.

Thus goes the weekend: Walking, Turkey, Walking, Sewing, Football, Eating, Cleaning, Organizing, Sewing, and Walking. :)

What was your favorite Thanksgiving memory from this year??

Linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMondays! Please go check them out and show some love! :)

Welcome Home, My Love...

Maybe you noticed these pictures on your Instagram feed yesterday?

And then you thought, "Wait. Where did he go?!"

Well, I can't tell you his destination but I can tell you that my husband has been in another country for THREE AND A HALF WEEKS!! If you were to compile every single day that we had been apart since dating, prior to this trip... it would still not add up to three and a half weeks - 25 days - that we were away from each other at this one time.

If you're new to our blog, I'll fill you in on a few key details...

  • JD travels for business pretty frequently.
  • Thanks to his gracious company, I am allowed to travel with him unless security/safety issues arise.
  • We choose not to post any real-time information when traveling.

I picked him up from the airport with this tears, bright green sign, tears, a box of Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its, tears, and Mama E's pecan mini muffins. Did I mention a terribly dreadful amount of happy tears!?

So we packed up the car, headed home and unpacked the bags. A few minutes after JD said, "I'm going to try to stay up late so I can get re-adjusted to central time," I found him sweetly sleeping with his new business class eye mask covering his eyes on the couch. Hey, he made it to 5 p.m. That's better than I would do. 

We woke up at 7:30 in the a.m. and started sorting through his foreign treasures...

How cool is this engraved scroll-holder? JD got our last name engraved in English and Arabic. He suggested we write our vows in calligraphy, age the paper and store them in here. ;) He's awesome.

JD received these tiny houses on his KLM flight. All business class passengers get to choose one on each flight. I'm thinking: Christmas Village material. 

Normally they store potpourri in the houses, we think, but they didn't for these because of Customs regulations. 

We love collecting things from other countries, especially when they have English on one side and the country's language on the other. Thus, we have a wonderful collection of Coca-Cola products. JD also brought back some Tabasco, Colman's Mustard, Ketchup and Jelly jars. Yum!

And then he pulled out a grocery bag of... chocolate bars. Snickers, Mars, Kit Kat, and Twix bars all with Arabic writing on the sides. Room service would leave them on his bedside table. It will take us at least a couple of months to finish these off, but I was so glad he saved them and brought them back to share with me!! 

What did we do to celebrate his return??

We shaved his beard off, devoured Five Guys burgers and fries, and...

we counted / rolled the coins from our finally-filled-up coin jar. And we had so. much. fun! Honestly. We sat there, laughing and talking with music playing in the background, simply counting coins. No TV. No distractions. Just spending the day together. Pure bliss. JD decided we should try to find all 50 states for the quarters and a penny for every important date in our lives year.  The only state we couldn't find was Colorado. We're hoping we'll find it eventually though! 

Oh - and we found four "Jesus Christ" coins. "Good For One Dollar In Trade" Haha! We were pumped each time we found one in the jar. Praise the Lord that we do not get into Heaven based on how many Jesus coins we have stashed away in an old coin jar! 

Come back Thursday to see how we remained intentional in our marital encouragement during each other's absence. 

The Rock Where Jesus Wept: Church of All Nations

Maybe you were a little baffled at the fact we didn't post photos of the place Jesus actually prayed upon while Peter, James and John were snoozin' against the olive trees. After a few steps through the garden, it was hard to miss the quick transition back to reality. Would it surprise you if we told you they built an actual church around the rock where Jesus fell on his face and cried out to his Father, "Not as I will, but as you will!"

The church was pretty epic. Elaborate murals consume the walls and ceiling while flags represent each nation. The Basilica of the Agony is the original name of the church. It was built from 1919-1924 with funding from twelve different countries, thus giving it the nickname, The Church of All Nations.

In the center, the high altar overlooks a large slab of rock, which is said to be the rock on which Jesus prayed in agony the night of his betrayal. 

We were just about to leave when we heard a group of people singing hymns beside the rock. They had just begun a church service. Hearing the angelic voices echoing through the church built around the rock and upon the Rock sent chills down our spine. 

When you're standing at the Garden of Gethsemane, this is the glimpse you get of the Old City in Jerusalem (where the Via Dolorosa is, etc.). The particular part of the Old City Walls is the Golden Gate, a closed gate located above ground level and below the Temple Mount. It is only visible from outside the city. 

According to Jewish tradition, when the Messiah comes, he will enter Jerusalem through this gate. To prevent him from coming, the Muslims sealed the gate during the rule of Suleiman.

As Christians, all we can say is, "Praise God that the Messiah has already come and defeated the grave! Now we wait eagerly for his glorious return." 

Slumber in the Garden of Gethsemane

Throughout our tour of Jerusalem, we realized that the atmosphere and landscape of the sites were not even close to what we had imagined... until we arrived in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

It was as if we had traveled back in time. We could actually visualize Jesus telling Peter, James and John to "sit here, while I go over there and pray" (Matthew 26:37). In this peaceful setting, Jesus falls to his face and prays to his Father. "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will" (39). 

Peter and the brothers fall asleep while they are supposed to be keeping watch... not one, not two, but three times. You know Jesus' frustration with the guys had to be pretty heated by that point. However, in all fairness to the disciples, look at these trees!! Who wouldn't want to curl up in the little nooks of the olive tree's massive trunk? 

We seem to bash Peter a lot for his mistakes of sleeping, not having enough faith, etc., but he was a fleshly human being just like the rest of us. How often is it that we beg for a few more minutes of sleep in the mornings, sacrificing the time we could be spending with our Savior? We miss so much life and freedom that Christ desires to offer us because we succumb to temptation, to our flesh. 

One of our new favorite songs is "Slumber" by Needtobreathe (video at bottom of post). The first stanza goes like this:

Days, they force you back under those covers,
lazy mornings; they multiply.
Glory's waiting outside your windows.
Wake on up from your slumber, baby open up your eyes.

Don't miss out on the blessings and adventures God has waiting for you because you sleep through life. JD and I are consistently guilty of doing this but we praise Jesus in the fact that He draws us back to Him, back to His mercy and His transforming grace.

The "Way of Suffering" or Via Dolorosa: The Last Steps of Jesus' Life

I'll be completely transparent with you on this... I've had a bittersweet dread towards writing about our trip through Via Dolorosa. First off, an entire blog could be dedicated to the Via Dolorosa, Jesus' suffering and His death. To merely dedicate one post on a blog to this journey deprives the multitude of truth there is to these steps. If you don't have time to read it all, just skip to the bottom and at least watch the video at the end. :) Secondly, I am in no way a theologist or biblical scholar. However, I will attempt at describing each section of the pathway with as much truth from Scripture as I can. 

Via Dolorosa means Way of Suffering or Way of the Cross. The sign below marks the beginning point of the route Christians believe Jesus started carrying his cross from his trial to the place of his crucifixion and burial.

The guide told us that this is believed to be an imprint of Jesus' hand. It is located at this point, as a dedication to Simon, who helped Jesus carry the cross. "And as they led him away, they seized on Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus." Luke 23:26

We just had to get a snapshot of JD touching the same spot where Jesus touched. :)

This landmark is dedicated to the woman who wiped Jesus' face. "And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him." Luke 23:27

This is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, also known as the location of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. The entrance, specifically, is the place where Jesus was stripped of his clothes... "And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take." Mark 15:24 The church was actually destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries. The building standing today was built in the 12th century. 

Inside of the church, this marks the site of where Jesus died on the cross. A silver disk with a central hole, underneath the altar marks the spot where the cross stood.

Christians lighting candles at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. 

This was the best shot we could get...

"So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews" (John 19:40). The body of Jesus was laid on this stone after being removed from the cross. Most people present were stretching out with all of their power to simply touch it, kiss it and pray to it.

And this is the actual burial site of Jesus. "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there" (John 19:41-42). 

Because of the masses trying to enter into the tomb, we were unable to go inside of Jesus' tomb. We went into another one. It was about what you would expect when entering a tomb: dark, cold, eerie and small.

THEN... the best part (which we obviously do not have a photo of)... "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" says Jesus to Mary Magdalene. Eventually, Mary becomes overwhelmed with excitement, tears, joy, and awe... "Rabboni! I have seen the Lord!"

PRAISE JESUS that He continuously claims victory over all things, including death!... 

Death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him!
That's my King!
Do you know Him? 

Whoop whoop!! Today is our 2 Year Anniversary!!!

And we'll be celebrating it by sharing...

Disclaimer: You may be thinking, "Two years is


! Give me 50 years of experience, then I'll listen." Well, we hear you. Thus, this is not only 22 things JD and I have figured out throughout the past two years; rather, most of it consists of what wiser, more experienced couples have shared with us.

1. Put God first.

And when you do, glorious and unfathomable things will come to fruition. You will have a desperate desire to serve one another, (for the wife) to submit to the husband, and (for the husband) to love his wife and give himself up for her (Ephesians 5:22-33). Women often despise this verse, claiming that it is degrading to women and their independence. Timothy Keller confronts this view and states, "Immediately, however, [Paul] tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and 'gave himself up for her' (25), which is, if anything, a stronger appeal to abandon self-interest than was given to the woman" (The Meaning of Marriage, 53). Once again, our self-centeredness is challenged. When we allow God to overflow our hearts, self-sacrifice becomes just a bit easier. 

2. Reflect Jesus. 

"According to the Bible, God devised marriage to reflect his saving love for us in Christ, to refine our character, to create stable human community for the birth and nurture of children, and to accomplish all this by bringing the complementary sexes into an enduring whole-life union. (The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller, 16)" All things we do in life or in marriage should reflect Him.

3. Lay grace as your foundation.

Since pre-marital classes, we've heard that many things should be the foundation of our marriage. We've come to the conclusion that grace takes the cake. Trust is crucial, but when one of us breaks the other's trust, what would cover it? Grace, and grace alone. Grace says that when I give 0%, my husband will still give 100%. And when he gives 0%, I must give 100%. It is by the grace of God that we have been redeemed, and it is the grace that we have received which will sustain our marriage.

4. Respect each other.

Nothing breaks our hearts more than to hear a husband and wife knowingly put down one another. Sarcasm is simply not respectful. With each joke, there is always a tinge of honesty. Those hints of honesty can quickly damage a marriage.

5. Communicate clearly but don’t


your spouse to understand.

I graduated with a degree in Public Relations and I have quickly learned that I am one of the worst communicators on the planet. Especially in marriage. JD can say the most blunt and thorough sentence, and I still won't completely grasp at what he's getting at. Granted, it goes both ways. That's just the contrast in gender and humanity. Learn to work with it and be gracious towards one another in the process. :)

6. You can never say “I love you” enough.

Some may think it's cheesy but saying / hearing "I love you" pierces our hearts in such a beautiful way every time. Be creative. JD has written "I love you sooo much" on our chalkboards and constantly leaves sweet little notes for me. The first and last words we say / hear every day are "I love you". It can really change your attitude and perspective.

7. Serve one another.

An easy way to do this is to pack lunch for each other. It will help your budget a

nd it's fun. Write Post-It notes and place them in each other's lunchbox for an afternoon pick-me-up. Surprise your spouse with breakfast in bed. Husbands, open the doors for your wives. Be consistently spontaneous. It is a simple commitment that can transform a marriage.

8. Hold hands in public.

Most of us love seeing a couple that's been married for 50 years holding hands in the park... so why not start that sweet habit now? 

9. Make Date Night Mandatory.

Strive to pursue each other even after the wedding ring hits the finger. JD and I have date night once a week (normally at Outback Steakhouse because we can't get enough of their Aussie Fries). It is an intentional time where we sit down and share what's going on in our lives together. The week is full and busy. Take time to relax and enjoy being married. On a strict budget? Visit the ladies at 

The Dating Divas

for creative, budget-friendly date night ideas!

10. Wait a couple of years to have kids.


This may not be applicable to everyone... Babies are precious and we highly anticipate the day that we start a little Filipino family of our own. However, this has been advice from both couples who had babies five years after the wedding day, and couples who had babies nine months after the honeymoon. Marriage is tough enough to figure out without adding another element to the game plan. More importantly, marriage and the newlywed life is just fun. Enjoy it. Savor it. This is your one time to be selfish with one another. Take advantage of that. 

11. Keep technology out of the bedroom.

We were advised not to have a TV in our bedroom. Thus, you will not find a TV in our bedroom. However, we've learned the hard way that computers, iPads and iPhones can be an even worse distraction. Simply put, keep technology out of the bedroom. 

12. Go to bed at the same time together.

It's an intentional act that will carry your marriage a long way.  

13. Argue peacefully, understand, forgive and laugh.

Don't raise your voice at each other. When you get into a heated argument, walk to separate rooms and develop a peaceful argument. Speak the truth in love to each other. Keep your disagreements between the Mr. and Mrs. Discuss your problems with the pastor if needed, but nobody else really needs to get involved. When the extended family gets involved, problems become escalated and very seldom do problems get better. In addition, your families will take sides and will most likely develop a bitterness toward your spouse because of the dispute.

14. Speak kindly.


ords sting and can leave scars that may not heal for quite a while. Kind words add a gentle spirit (and infinite brownie points) to the marriage.

15. Always greet your spouse at the door with a thousand kisses!

Do this and when your spouse comes home from work, it will start the evening off in quite a delightful and lighthearted way. It will also encourage your spouse to leave work at work. 

16. Be active together and experience new things as one. 

Go hiking. Join a gym and exercise together - or even better, run or bike together in the great outdoors. Go bowling. Take dance lessons. Cook together. Compromise on what you like to do. JD cuts fabric out for my store while I sew, and I play video games with him because that's one of his favorite things to do (I beat my first video game because of him - that's right - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). 

Read the same books and start your own Mr. & Mrs. book club. Travel together (even if it's to a campground a few miles down the road). Learn photography or a new sport together (we're fans of racquetball). Serve at the downtown rescue mission together.

17. Take pride in your newlywed-ness.

We are one of those couples that would shout our love from the rooftops given the opportunity. We love each other, and we love marriage... and we take joy in making that known to everyone around us. In the process, we have received lots of awesome free stuff (pastries from Starbucks, dessert, concierge seating and free candy at the movie theater, you name it!). Even if we didn't receive any of these sweet gifts, we would still take major pride in being married - but it does add a few wonderful layers of icing to the cake. ;)

18. Plan your budget, stick to the budget and don’t forget to SAVE and GIVE.


is a great resource for a budgeting tools - especially if you like color and graphs!! Dave Ramsey's tools for budgeting is also a beneficial resource to help you both decide how to allocate your monthly budget. We use


19. Distance yourself from temptation.

Be aware. Never be alone in a room with someone of the opposite sex. You may think you're strong enough, but be smart and don't test it. My parents always had this rule and Billy Graham did too. So many pastors have fallen over the past couple of years because of adultery - don't buy in to thinking you're above the temptation. This goes along with anything intimate / private. Facebook messaging has become an issue in our society. We've known two people who began communicating with their ex-boyfriends via facebook message. They divorced their husbands and married the guys they were messaging with. Bottom line: don't be naive and run quickly from temptation.

20. Encourage each other.

In every aspect of life.

21. Surround yourselves with a community of like-minded married couples,

of all ages


Soak in wisdom from older couples, fellowship with couples your age, and mentor younger married couples. 

22. Never stop being Newlyweds.

Because being newlyweds is fun and filled with adventure. Plus, there is nothing sweeter than to hear a couple at their 50th anniversary say that they are still newlyweds. 


The last thing JD heard before walking down the aisle on our wedding day was from our friend Dr. Archie Hooper: "Treat her like a princess every day." The words are so 

simple but they run deep. It is a terribly tough task but somehow JD 

adheres to it in a perfect way. We recommend this piece of advice for all husbands. 

We would love to hear from you and your love! What advice have you been given prior to or within marriage? What advice do you share with couples embarking on that adventure?

October 28: Sea of Galilee

Rewind a bit to when Jesus feeds the five thousand men (don't forget that the women and children present were not even counted in this number). Everyone is reclining on the grass, satisfied by this feast of two fish and five loaves. Jesus tells the disciples to get in the boat and go before him on the other side so that he could dismiss this massive crowd. The crowd leaves and Jesus decides to walk up on the mountain to pray by himself. He's by himself when evening comes and sees that the boat is long-gone by now. 

And what does Jesus do?

He decides to do a little more walking... only, this time, Jesus is going to walk on water. Or rather, the Sea of Galilee.

The scene is quite different from the photos above. It's nighttime, the "wind was against [the disciples]" and the boat is beaten by the waves. Have no fear! Jesus is here. That's right. JD and I love reading this story. We can just imagine Jesus walking along the nasty, crashing waves that could take a boat down in an instant - and then Jesus faces the water with an attitude of: "Hey, guys. Ain't no thing but a chicken wing. (Deep South Translation)"

Seriously though. After being scared pants-less, Jesus tries to calm the disciples, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." He invites Peter to join him after Peter challenges Jesus by saying, "If it's really you, command me to come to you on the water."

Of course, Jesus does just that. "Come." Peter steps out of the boat, even walks on the raging sea and then... "Oh no!! The wind." Jesus has conquered the wind, the water, the waves. Because of his faith in Jesus, Peter even conquers the water and the waves, but the wind... That's where the doubt set in.

John Ortberg wrote a book entitled If You Want to Walk On Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. How true that title fits to our lives! People often criticize Peter for losing faith when he sees the wind, but he was the only disciple to actually get out of the boat, trusting that Jesus would keep his feet on top of the sea. How often is it that we don't even trust Jesus enough to take us out of the boat? Moreover, how often is it that we lose sight of Christ and BOOM. We collapse into the water because we shift our focus off Christ and onto the wind, or the obstacles in life.

Fear overcomes our faith. 

My favorite part of this story is that after Peter loses faith, he falls into the sea crying for Jesus to save him. Jesus reaches his hand out to Peter, saving him from the brutal waters and says, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Is that not one of the most beautiful portrayals of Jesus? He's showing compassion, grace, redemption, salvation, and mercy to a regular guy that just lost his focus for a bit. Praise God that He desires to save us and redeem us regardless of the countless times we doubt in our God of Salvation! 

The wind ceases and every man in that boat begins crying out in worship, "Truly you are the Son of God!!"

There are so many other wonderful stories about the Sea of Galilee. If you want to check it out, the passages about Jesus walking on water can be found in Matthew 14, verses 22-33. We realize that our posts are excruciatingly long so we're trying to render that. However, we want to lead you to some other passages that took place at the Sea of Galilee. You can check them out here:

  • Jesus speaks to the multitude from Peter's boat (Mark 3:7-12, Luke 5:1-3)
  • Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)
  • Jesus appears here after the resurrection (Mark 14:28, John 21:1-23)

And a little quick fact about the Sea of Galilee... This fresh water lake has many names. However, the Israelites call the sea "Lake Kinneret", which means harp, because of its harp-shaped shoreline. Anyone else think it kind of looks like Africa too?... Or is that too far of a stretch?