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My hopes for you as a church-goer.

The church has been on my heart and mind much lately. It is a heavy weight when you see what God’s people can do to one another; what they do to hurt one another.

Sometimes is it unintentional and innocent. Sometimes it isn’t.

Chris and I have moved around quite a bit over the past 10 years. We’ve been members of 5 different churches since we’ve been married, and I was a member of another before we were engaged. We’ve seen great models of leadership as well as great failures. We’ve served alongside men and women who truly “get it” — the purpose of the church and their roll in it. We’ve also witnessed  men and women who seem so far away from God’s heart for the church that it gives me a greater appreciation for God’s kindness and patience. (Because if it were up to me…thankfully it isn’t.)

My hope for each of you is…

You are an active member of a vibrant, Gospel-centered church. There is no perfect church or perfect pastor, so if you are waiting for that ideal church to pop up in your neighborhood you might never become a member of a church. Membership should be taken seriously. We should not rush into the commitment, but we should not skirt it either. The church is the bride of Christ, and not being a member of a local church is like saying that you would like  to be friends with my husband, but ignore me. The bride and the groom go together. You cannot have one without the other.

You understand that church is not all about you. Yep, that’s right. The pastor’s job is not to make you happy, and the church does not exist to make you comfortable. God designed the church to be a reflection of His glory, and when you and I bicker about worship style or where the pews should be situated, we waste time and we shame the name of Christ.

You have a steadfast commitment to the Word of God above all else. Above what makes sense to you. Above the traditions you’ve enjoyed. Above what the by-laws of the church say. Above what your friends and family thinks is right. If we walk away from God’s Word as our foundation as a church or as individuals we are treading into dangerous, volital territory

You are willing to follow the Spirit of God where He leads. If that means change, then change is good. If that means no change where you think there should be, then stay put and don’t make waves. God is our faithful, loving shepard and He has good plans for us, even when we can’t see what is on the horizon. Keeping in step with the Spirit is always what is best and safest.

What our churches would look like if we all got a vision for God’s plans for our lives and congregation! How we would truly be reflections of His glory if we got out of the way and let Him move, instead of cling to our own plans!

Praying that we will each be willing to lay down our selfish ways and follow Him…starting with me.

What are your hopes and prayers for the church today?


When the Word takes on a new meaning

I love to study the Bible! It is a joy to see truths jump off the page.

For me, finding the main points of a passage is like a framing picture I can pick up and put on my desk—a tangible, visible representation of who God is and what He wants from me. Characteristics of a true Christ-follower become clearer, commands are more distinct, Christ’s greatness better seen.

I can pick up these “framed” truths and observe them again and again. Over time, my desk collects frame after glorious frame—portraits of the masterpiece of Scripture.

I’ve been in the Psalms for a few months now, and I saw Psalm 86 in a different light recently. I’m sharing about today over at Caroline’s.

I hope you’ll join me!


Bedtime prayers in the Orr Household {as overheard by Mom and Dad}

Kenneth: Ok, so here is what you do. Pray and ask God to come into your heart. Say, Dear God, please come into my heart.

Anna: God, come into…

Kenneth: No! Say Dear God…

Anna: Dear God…

Kenneth: Will you come into my heart?

Anna: Will you come into my heart?

Kenneth: So I can be a Christian.

Anna: So I can be a Christian.

Kenneth: So I won’t go to hell.

Anna: So I won’t go to hell.

Kenneth: OK, now I’m going to go tell mom.

{little boy footsteps}

Kenneth: Um, Anna just prayed out loud, that she wanted God in her heart.

Mommy: Oh, yeah?! Why did you want her to pray?

Kenneth: So she won’t be in hell.

Mommy: That’s good that you don’t want your sister to be in hell. What’s the worse part of hell?

Kenneth: Jesus isn’t there.

Mommy: That’s right! You know, Kenneth, what you did is what Christians are supposed to do. We are to tell others about Jesus, and about their need for Jesus—because of their sin—and about how they can be with Jesus forever.

{little girl footsteps}

Mommy: What happened, Anna?

Anna: I prayed to ask God in my heart.

Mommy: Oh, yeah? Why?

Anna: Because I want to become a Christian

Mommy: Why do you want to be a Christian?

Because I love you.


This made me smile.

So, obviously there is still much Anna to grasp about the gospel (and Kenneth about evangelism).  There are many more conversations to be had. However, I just love that my six-year old is sharing the gospel my three-year old! (And just so you know, we really don’t talk about hell being the primary reason to become a Christian. I think Kenneth has heard it at church a few times, and his little mind is fixated on it.)

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14

Linking up with Inspired to Action, The MOB Society, and Scripture and a Snapshot:


Going to Haiti

My husband Chris and I are going with a group from our church to Haiti in about three weeks. Honestly, it has crept up on me! I am really looking forward to this trip (and not just because my kids are staying behind!) I will miss them incredibly, yet I am looking forward to being able to do ministry with each of my hands free and without the constant pull of someone needing “mommy”.

Don’t get me wrong, this trip will not be a vacation. It is going to be full of long, hot days. We will be doing some construction as well as hosting a vacation Bible school for 250-400 children!

We have been talking to our kids about our trip and have used one of our Family World Vision Nights to focus on Haiti. Operation World has a great website, where you can look up information and prayer requests for each country. We watched this 2 minute prayer video as a family and spent some time praying for Haiti and our time there.

Then we hopped on over to World Vision’s Gift Catalog and picked out our giving for the month. There are many options where your gift is “multiplied”. So, for $25 we were able to provide $100 worth of food to help children and families still in need after the earthquake. I love that World Vision will send you a card for your gift. This is a fun visual for our kids. I wish I had started this earlier, but I have recently started to keep the cards and hang them up for the kids to see as a reminder of how we can be part of taking the good news of Jesus to the world, through our giving and our prayers.

I long for our kids to have a vision for the world. I want them to know that they are incredibly blessed. I want to give them opportunities to see the needs of the world and to serve the Lord through bringing aid to the needy. For now, their involvement is through a computer screen and their prayers, but I look forward to when they are old enough to go and serve alongside of us. I love the idea of taking a family vacation to go on a mission trip!

Would you join me in praying for Haiti, and our upcoming trip?

  • For open, receptive hearts.
  • For endurance through the hot days and good rest in the evenings.
  • Safety in flying, then on the boat to the island we will be serving on.
  • For the team in Haiti who are preparing everything for our arrival.
  • For many children to meet Jesus through the VBS we will be doing.
  • For the follow-up efforts after we leave, that many would be plugged in to the local church and into discipleship relationships.

How are you engaging your family in world missions? I would love to hear any ideas you have, as we continue to involve our children in “going” to the nations!

Anna’s Song

I’ll admit that bedtime is not one of my favorite times. I rush through it, just pushing towards the finish line of my day as mommy.

Often I regret speeding through it all, instead of stopping and savoring the moments I have with them. They want to be rocked, loved, sung to. I know that this will not always be the case, and I will wish that I had more often taken the five minutes to sing instead of rushing off to write a post or check my email.

Since she was a baby, I have sung Amazing Grace to my sweet Anna. Lately her usual request is “God is Bigger than the Boogie-man”, yet I still try to sneak in “her song” when I can.

I long for her to know and understand the truths of God’s great and glorious grace!

{Gracious Lord, reveal your grace to her heart}

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

{Grace that is irresistible to her soul}

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

{Grace that she cannot escape from, no matter what comes her way}

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

{Grace that will never let her go}

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Philippians 4:23