Bible study

Lie #3: All Checkboxes Are Created Equal

I can get the same sense of satisfaction from finishing a tv show as checking off a box in my planner. I feel as accomplished when I add another finished book to my Goodreads account as I do posting a blog post.

As someone who enjoys finishing tasks, I take enjoyment when I check off a box that I’ve accomplished something.

But not all checkboxes are equal or accomplish the same thing in life. I can fool my brain into thinking I did something at the end of the day. I can believe the lie that I’m accomplishing what I should be doing with my life by watching a tv show.

There are survival accomplishments: buy the groceries, pay the bills, file the taxes, do the dishes, wash the clothes, and read yo’ Bible.

There are make-life-better accomplishments: go to that doctor’s appointment, take my kids to the dentist, Target runs, organize that closet, buy some flowers, water the plant, meet with the insurance agent, and/or actually put up those clothes and dishes you washed.

There are entertain-your-brain accomplishments: binge the show, read that mystery novel, listen to the music, or maybe Wednesdays we PopCast.

Then there are the accomplishments that actually are long-term, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life accomplishments.

I can get bogged down in the weeds of just finishing survival accomplishments with a side of entertainment accomplishments and never actually accomplish the things I want to do in life (especially when my mental health isn’t the best.) I heard a podcaster call it “running the errands of life.”

I have goals that will never get accomplished if I never put time towards them. These goals require me doing things that I don’t always feel like doing. I want to be a better writer. I want to study my Bible with intention. I want to publish a book with a traditional publisher. I want to disciple my kids. I want to have a marriage I enjoy. I want to see a book I wrote on the shelf at Target. I want to really know God. I want to fulfill the Great Commission to the best of my ability. I want to make life better for other people. I want to enjoy my family and love them well.

What will my life be known for?

What will your life be known for?

Are there things you want to accomplish that get pushed to the back burner? Have you believed the lie that all checkboxes are created equal?

Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us.
— 2 Corinthians 6:1 The Message

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Song for you today.

Uncovering from a shame blanket and relishing the robe of righteousness

I have been buried in emotion, and I've been seeing an emotion pro (otherwize known as a therapist) to help me dig out.  One thing that happens to me when I have deep feelings is that my brain gets hijacked.  I am overcome with feelings of rejection and I cannot think clearly.

We've identified a few triggers that send me into panic.  Anytime I perceive I'm being ignored, feel unwanted, or feel rejected, I believe that I am unsafe.  I am sent into flight mode, and I withdraw myself from the situation that is causing me stress.

My therapist has also told me that I have a shame blanket.  This means that almost every feeling I have has an element of shame linked to it.  I feel like I've done something wrong to cause the stress.  I've caused others to reject me.  I don't even think about it.  Whatever the feeling I'm having or feeling I perceive others have about me, I immediately feel:  it is my fault.

Just knowing I have a shame blanket gives me even more shame.  What is wrong with me?


As I've been working towards healthier thinking, I can clearly see God working in my life.  This summer I decided to join a weekly, interdenominational Bible study called Community Bible Study.  The books of the Bible we are working through are not heavily read portions of Scripture.  We just got through studying Haggai and we are now working our way through Zachariah.  I would have never guessed that these books of the Bible would have had such an impact on my life, but they have.

Studying the prophetic visions in Zachariah was tough work mentally.  Trying to understand Bible prophecy is like sorting wet spaghetti, nothing feels firm or graspable.  In the midst of this study, I found something that felt as though it had been written directly for me.  Zachariah was describing one of the visions he had about their high priest Joshua.

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?’ Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ And to him he said, ‘Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.’ And I said, ‘Let them put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.
— Zechariah 3:1-5 ESV


This vision has direct meaning to God's people at the time it was written. Joshua was a real person. He was actually the high priest of God's people who have left exile in Babylon and are back in Jerusalem working on rebuilding the temple.  

This vision also is a prophecy of the coming Messiah. It is a clear illustration of the atonement Jesus Christ would offer.

So when I say that these verses felt very personal to me, I am aware that they were written for His people then. But they also can be an encouragement for His people now.

The enemy loves my shame blanket. He loves that I feel guilt over every feeling that God created me to have. Feelings are not sin, but the enemy loves that I feel like every emotion gives me the shame and guilt that sinning would envoke.

Do you know who doesn't love my shame blanket?


looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Jesus endured the cross.

Jesus despises shame.


As I sat with my Bible study book, unconfidently trying to understand the book of Zechariah. A book written by a priest and prophet around 520 B.C., I was stunned to read this passage and feel how palpable God's love for me was in these words.

This man was standing before the Angel of the LORD, who many believe is Jesus in a temporary form. To his right is Satan, acting as an accuser or a prosecutor. He has a strong case for accusation because Joshua is clothed in filthy, excrament-smelling garments.

Joshua doesn't have to defend himself. He couldn't if he wanted to. He has no defense. Instead God defends him and all of His people that Joshua represents as high priest. 

Not only does God defend Joshua. He commands that Joshua's filthy garments be removed, and he is clothed in a pure robe. He is given a clean turban for his head and clean garments.

Joshua wasn't told to go clean himself up or to wash his garments on his own.

Joshua didn't deserve to have his filthy garments replaced with pure clothing.

Here I am, a child of God who has been adopted into His family. I have been covered with the atonement of Jesus. My sins have been forgiven, and my God sees me clothed, not in the filthy garments I have created for myself, but in the righteousness of Christ.

But I wrap up in my shame blanket anyway.

I think I'm not loved.

I think I'm not worthy of love.

I think my feelings are wrong.

I think my feelings are bad.

I think I am bad.

All of this thinking is tearing me up and paralyzing me. Meanwhile, God wants to wrap my head in a clean turban. He wants me to think of myself the way He thinks of me.

He loves me. He sees me as worthy of love. He chose me. He sees me as good. He sees all the good things he created me to be and do.

How do you let go of a shame blanket?

God is going to have to do the work of prying my hands off of the security of being wrapped in bad thoughts about myself. Shame feels right because I am a sinner, and it doesn't take much to convince me that I am the problem.

Shame feels right and grace feels wrong.

Our flesh will never feel like grace is right because grace isn't fair.

Joshua didn't deserve clean new garments. Joshua deserved the accusations.

I don't deserve for God to take my shame blanket and cloth me in a robe of Christ's righteousness. I deserve the accusations, and my head is full of them.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
— Isaiah 61:10 ESV

Today I have the assurance that my Abba Father is being a good parent to me at reaching down to take something dangerous out of my clumsy, unknowing hands. He is pulling away the comfortable blanket of shame that I have grown accustomed to living wrapped up in. I am crying like a toddler who wants that thing in her hands and doesn't understand my parent is trying to protect me from hurt. Like any good parent, He is placing something safe and good in my hands and hoping I will forget about the dangerous thing that He has taken from me.

Lord, help me to not want my shame blanket. Help me to capture my negative, accusatory thoughts and replace them with the thoughts you have about me.

Help me to feel secure in this robe of righteousness that you have placed on me, even though I don't feel like I deserve it because I don't deserve it.

Jesus told us to pray, "Your kingdom come." And in God's kingdom, we are all clothed in white robes forever and ever.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’
— Revelation 7:9-10 ESV

When His Kingdom does come, I will be able to physically see my white robe, and will never ever see or feel my shame blanket again. So I fervently pray that His Kingdom comes, now, here on Earth as it will be in Heaven.

Lord, uncover me from this shame blanket and guide me in relishing my robe of righteousness!

Thank you, Jesus!

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Here's a song for you, because I like sharing songs with my friends.

Paper Tigers & Impressing God

A Write 31 Days Series

Table of Contents:

Day 1:  Intro (below the photo links for the other days)

Please click a photo for each day to read more. 

Day 1: Intro

This Write 31 Days series I’m going to share with you about my dysfunctional relationship I had with God, and how I’m trying to grow into a better one.  I’ve discovered that after about 27 years of being a Christian, I had some bad theology I was living out.  This past year, I learned some things about my God and about myself the hard way, by falling on my face, completely failing, coming to the end of myself.

Here was my number one problem.  I thought I could impress God by being good and doing good.

Turns out, that idea doesn’t line up with scripture.  In fact, scripture tells us that trying to be good enough for God to be impressed is impossible and counterproductive.

This isn’t the message I got as a young person trying to live a Christian life.  I was told over and over how important reigning in my behavior was.  I was told over and over that I should let go of trying to please people and instead care only about what God thinks of me, which I subconscious interpreted as I had to earn my acceptance by God.

I have been working my head off serving in ministry, and I felt like God would be disappointed in me if I didn't do well.  And I am pretty sure that I thought God would be impressed with all I was doing for Him.

Even as I write out these statements, all of these ideas feel so very unsettled in my mind and heart.  When I lined out what I am going to write about for the next 31 days, most of my outline consisted of questions.

I’m going to attempt to write through these questions, and maybe by the end of these 31 days, our journey will take us to a much clearer place, a truer understanding of the God who created and loves us, a sounder theology, a humbler position, no longer driven to earn God’s approval or love, and no longer driven to impress God.

The message version says that when we are intimidated into observing traditions instead of realizing that we are heirs and children of Christ, we are subjecting ourselves to fearing paper tigers.

By the end of this series, I hope we will be fearlessly secure in our identity in Christ.

But now that you know the real God—or rather since God knows you—how can you possibly subject yourselves again to those paper tigers?
— Galatians 4:9 The Message

***Special thank you to my awesome son Andrew for making the origami for me.


I like to share a song on each of my blog posts because music makes life more fun.

Day 28: Leading



At 36 years old, I had never lead a Bible study.  I had barely attended one.  I was cynical about women’s ministry.

In the spring of 2013, we had just begun our adoption adventure.  A friend asked if I would consider leading a study of the book 7: an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker.

I had read the book the summer before, and I had loved the idea of fasting from things that pull us away from God and farther into the culture of this world.

I made emails and fliers and let my friends know about the study at my house.  I had a great turnout all throughout the study.  We had amazing conversations, and I loosened my hold on earthly things just a little.  It was a success.

As our 9 week gathering came to an end, a few ladies began to ask if I was going to do another book because they didn’t want to stop meeting.

I thought about where my cynicism was rooted in my criticism of other women’s Bible studies.  My biggest point of criticism was that I didn’t understand why women wanted to just meet and study the Bible endlessly and never do anything that they had learned.

I had liked the study of 7 because we were doing something, fasting each week.  We were figuring out that God could sustain us through a week without coffee, tv, or shopping.

In school, our teachers tried to incorporate learning styles for different types of learners.  We were told that there were visual, audio, and tactile learners.  I don’t think that this is exactly true.  I think we are all visual, audio, and tactile learners.  We just lean heavier into one category than others, or maybe there are people out there who are evenly distributed among the three in their learning.  It isn’t a yes or a no, but it is a sliding scale.

Tactile learning is when you learn by doing something.  Most of our daily life is full of stuff that we learned by doing, like cooking, washing dishes, vacuuming, clicking screens, reading, writing, and parenting.

I began to look back at times of growth in my Christian life, and I realized that the times I had grown the most were not times of heavy study in the Word of God.  Growth came when I was going through something or when I was ministering to others.  God and I grew closer by tactile learning how to live the Christian life.

That is what a faith adventure is anyway, isn’t it?

Doing something with God, together.

When I was 5, my dad build an entertainment center.  Now days you can get away with a little table or you can even hang your tv on the wall and not even have an entertainment center.  But in the 80s it was different.

He made it big enough to fit our console tv inside the bottom middle.  There were shelves for our encyclopedias. (Kids, those are volumes of reference books we used before Al Gore invented the internet.)

As we acquired a VHS player, my dad modified it to hold the player that was the size of a stovetop, and he added drawers to hold VHS movies.

That entertainment center was ginormous.  It was about 4 1/2 ft. tall, 10 ft. long, and 2 1/2 feet wide.  And I had “helped” my dad build it.  I took so much ownership of that thing.  When my parents decided to get rid of it a few years ago, I was so sad.  I morned it like a lost pet.

I had built that thing with my little girl hands.  I had rubbed sand paper across that wood and panted on lacquer.  We had moved it to three different states.  In all the moving, it had cracked across the back, and it had a license plate holding it together.

That center was a fixture of my childhood.  I sat in front of that thing and watched Cookie Monster, Erkle, Hee-Haw and Andy Griffith.

But had I really built it?  No.  My dad did all the heavy lifting, planning, sawing, and sanding.

God calls us to come build something with Him.  He wants to hand us sandpaper and brushes as we build the Kingdom together.  We don’t do the real work, but we do enough to become invested in what we are building.  We begin to treasure people, the church, the unreached, the hungry, the thirsty, the broken, the orphan, the widow, the sick, and the imprisoned.  We treasure them because we have invested our heart into them.

I wanted a Bible study that was tactile.

I made a plan.  We would study and meet to talk about our lessons for three weeks out of the month, but once a month we would do something.  We would plan outreaches using the encouragement found for women in Titus 2.

One week we taught a healthy cooking class to low-income moms, one week we delivered summer fun kits to single moms, one week we had a used clothing swap at the church, one week we had a class about reading to your kids, one week we taught low-income families how to save money by making household supplies like laundry soap, and one week we had a pizza crust making class.

The group only lasted six months.

Attendance got smaller and smaller as we continued, and it fizzled out.

Sometimes you try something, and it just doesn’t fly.

I don’t regret trying it.  As I write this, I still think that it’s a good idea.  I had fun doing those outreaches.

The principle of a faith adventure is to step out.  Usually God moves in ways that you don’t expect.  That doesn’t mean that He isn’t working.

At the tail end of this group, I had the opportunity to step out and try something else with God.  I heard about the IF:Gathering conference.

In, February 2014, I hosted an IF:Gathering at my church.  I really wanted to go to Austin for the first IF:Gathering, but I couldn’t logistically do that (i.e. no money for that in our budget) and on top of that, the tickets sold out in a matter of minutes.

So when Jen Hatmaker posted her blog about IF:local, I was on it.  I wanted there to be an IF:local in my city.  So I decided I would host one.  I put all the details together and kept it simple.  I had 12 ladies attend, and it was wonderful.  But, here’s the thing.  It was small.  

In December of 2015, I went to a brunch with 5 other ladies and we decided to have a city-wide, multi-denominational IF:local in Amarillo.  From the beginning, our goal was 500 women, free of charge to attendees.  We knew God could provide the money.  Over the next few months, we added other women to our team of planners.  We worked hard getting the word out, asking for donations, and working out details of the event.

I will never forget our meeting the first week of January.  We sat around looking at each other asking if we were crazy.  We had $200 in the bank, around 2% of the money we would need.  We had less than 40 people signed up, and the event was only one month away.

We could have walked away at that point, called it off.  Instead we prayed for God to move.

God was going to have to do the work we couldn’t do.

I am so thankful for that experience, because we saw a miracle.

On February 6, 2015, we had 500 women show up to the event, and God paid for every bit of it.  That month prior to the gathering, donations had trickled in and sign ups slowly were added all month long.

Sometimes you try something, and it flies.

God wants us to hold the kite string, but only He can send the wind.




I love music so I include a song with each blog post.  Folk music is an easy target for ridicule, but if you don't think this song is beautiful, check your pulse. is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Get in His Word

“Get in His Word” is what I wrote on my little May notebook under the prompt “What is God calling you to do personally?”

The May notebook was a gift for note taking at the IF:Local Leadership Gathering, and I loved it’s little dotted pages and mint green cover.

Sometimes the whole idea seems silly.  Do I really need to read the Bible again and again?

I look at most of the pages and think in terms of “I know this.”

My friend Kaylie Hodges wrote a new devotional called Hold Fast.  In it, she says we are blinded by the mental lists of facts we already know about that particular passage.  “We open to Daniel and mentally make a list: Diet, Fire, Statue, Lions. Check. We want the words to move us and to draw us closer to God, but it is hard to see how.”

Kaylie nailed if for me.  I go into it, not empty and ready to learn, but bringing my knowledge to His words.

At the IF:Lead Gathering, Ann Voskamp said, “In the morning there is no Facebook until your face is in the Book.”  She went on to say, “The Bible is not an accessory to the Christian life.”

Needless to say, I was convicted.

But now that I am back home with my comforts of tea and couches.  My brain asks, “Is it really that serious?”  What I really want is to casually consume new material, other books meant for my entertainment.

Quickly my mind and heart recalls my prompt answer, “Get in His Word.”  It is clear that the Holy Spirit led me to write that, and I wasn’t the only one either.  Both of my conference roommates wrote the similar words in their cute May journals, even the roommate with a seminary background felt the call to study deeper.

I need the reminder that His Word isn’t just another book.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
— John 1:1 ESV
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
— John 1:14 ESV

When God is prompting and calling me into His word, He is calling me into His Son, into Himself.

The Great I Am is the Word.  The Word is God.

He is calling me into light.  He is the Light.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’
— John 8:12 ESV

Ann is right.  This book isn’t an accessory.  And this book isn’t merely a book.  This book is Him.

Why wouldn’t He be calling me to Himself?

Studying His word couldn’t be more convenient than it is today.  We have apps like “First 5” and “She Reads Truth” that will get us into God’s word with the click of a button on our phones.  There are podcast and apps that read you the Bible out loud for those of us who are audio learners.  And IF:Equip leads you through His word daily while providing a quick thoughtful videos.

Also conveniently, I came home from the conference to find an email from my good friend Kaylie about her new devotional that she had written over the past few months called Hold Fast.

It is a free 7-Day journey from discipline to devotion, because in our discipline we find His devotion.  This word from Kaylie has been such an encouragement to me, and a tangible way I can follow His call.

I’m thankful for new friends at conferences who lean into learning more about Him, and I am thankful for old friends who follow God’s call to write about Scripture so that I can lean into reading His Scripture.

This doesn't have anything to do with this blog, but one of my favorite bands Jr Jr released an album this week.  I love this song because I like snapping along on the bridge.  The video is pretty cool too.

When the time is ripe

I've heard it said that there are two types of people in the world, those who love Neil Diamond and those who don't.  But seriously, there are two types of people in the world, those who are morning people, and those of us that are sane.

Morning is not my jam.

My motor has to rev for a while before it really gets running.  I've always known this about myself.  This is not new information.  And for years I beat myself up about not being the type of woman that jumps up, pops my Bible open for study, and then cooks my children a nutritious breakfast.  I tried that once, and it just wasn't happening.  (I hope my kids remember that morning I tried and not just their cereal existence.)

Someone finally set me free when I heard someone say, "Study your Bible everyday.  It doesn't have to be at 6am, but pick a time and do it."  I wish I could remember who that was.  I would give them props here and a virtual high five.

When I heard that I didn't have to study my Bible at 6am to be a godly woman, my heart painted it's face, jumped on a horse, and cried, "FREEDOM!"

So I've been set free, but every once and a while I hear or read a word and it shuts me back into that stifling dungeon of perfectionism, falling short of that idealistic woman in my head.

That word is firstfruits.

I love the picture and concept of firstfruits.  I cherish remembering that everything I have is something that God made and truly belongs to Him, and that I can lay the first of my produce and possessions at His feet in honor, love, and worship to my Creator and Provider.

Now that we aren't all walking behind a till and placing seeds in the ground, thank you industrial revolution!!!, this idea of firstfruits has become even more symbolic to us.  Back in Moses's day, God laid down the laws for His people, he asked them to practice the Sabbath and to celebrate Holy days.  He told them to bring the first of their grains as an offering.

There is so much symbolism and foreshadowing of Christ in all of the institutions God set up in Exodus and Leviticus.  Everything that is asked of Moses, Aaron, and those desert-living Israelites points to God as our Father, Jesus as our high priest and Savior, and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Handing that sheaf of wheat to the priest was setting up God's system of tithing.  But we have to understand that God doesn't need grain.  He doesn't need sustenance to nourish himself the way that us humans do.

Even now, as we tithe, I hope you know that God doesn't need our money.  God doesn't have a bank account He needs to balance or bills to pay.

God wants our heart.  That grain was precious to those people.  They were living in a desert and trying to feed their children.  Giving that firstfruit to God took self-restraint and acknowledgement that God was providing for them.

God is still in the business of hearts.  Tithing the first of our money still takes self-restraint and acknowledging that God provides everything.

My point is that the firstfruit has and always will be symbolic.  And I swoon over the glorious pictures that God paints for us.

My problem comes when we take the firstfruit idea and try to apply it to time.

Time is mysterious.  Solomon wrote about that in Ecclesiastes 3, "There is an occasion for everything and a time for every activity under heaven:...."  We've all heard this part of scripture thanks to the 60's band The Byrds.  (Personally I prefer their song, "So you wanna' be a rock n' roll star."  It's beyond groovy.)

So we might think that our early morning hours are a firstfruit of our time.  I grasp the concepts that lead to that conclusion, and I've heard some testimonies of people who were touched or encouraged in their walk by this analogy.  I've heard women testify that their morning barns were filled and their vats were bursting with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10)  I'm happy for them.

But for me, that dog don't hunt.

Think about time with me for a minute.  Right now it's almost lunch time, but in Addis Abba, our little boy we are waiting to adopt is just going to bed for the night.  What time is on the moon where the zones don't apply?  Are our firstfruits our teenage years?  Our twenties?  I hope not.  I've still got time to live and give back to God.  He gives me each second so graciously and generously.

Let me give you non-morning people some of that "FREEDOM."  Give God your best time.  Give God your time that is ripe and fresh and sweet.  For me that is mid to late afternoon.  Figure out what time that is, and lay it at His feet with prayer and study of His precious word to us.  If 6am is your best time, give it to God.  (And I'll try to be friends with you, but I can't promise anything.)

Can I tell you the moment that I realized that I could finally completely let go of my "morning firstfruit" guilt.  My church started having a night service after a decade of not having one.  We started meeting on Wednesday nights last year for worship and Pastor Donnie Lane, Jr. sharing some teaching from the Word.  A few weeks in, my husband and I had this conversation.

Me:  "Wow!  Donnie really saves his deeper preaching for these night services.  He really is digging into the word and revealing some truths." 
My husband, James:  "Not really.  You were just awake." 
Me:  "Ohhhh!  You're right!"

So that happened.  Ha!  Thank you God for giving me a husband that knows me.  My dad also knows me too.  Sometimes when I call him, he answers the phone, "How's my little night owl?"  It's true.

Let these verses encourage you and your heart any time of the day you might choose to read this, to draw near to His Word and Him who was the Word.

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:19-22 ESV

Writing this blog has turned into a YouTube session of listing to The Byrds.  So I thought I should share.  Listen to this masterpiece.  The trumpet, the vibraslap percussion, crowd noises, and those lyrics.  Music makes me happy.