Our mission at Firebrand is to know Jesus, and to make Him known in our community, in our nation, and in the world.

life

  • 2019 was the year

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    Nothing in 2019 came easy, there have been some setbacks, but some significant victories too.
    In many ways 2019 reminded me a lot of the whole decade just past. At the very end of 2009 my family and I moved to Gig Harbor in Washington State from Johannesburg, South Africa. The most difficult thing I have ever done!
    By God’s Grace we are still here, I'm not in the best of shape, but we have survived and we’ve had the privilege of bringing God’s Kingdom with us.

  • A Tender Heart

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    Is your heart tender? Or do you guard it well with lots of barriers to keep it from being hurt? Jesus had a tender heart. He was full of compassion and love for the crowds that gathered around Him. When He was grieving for His cousin John’s death, He did go to a desolate place alone to grieve, but when the crowds came, He did not send them away. He knew they were like sheep without a shepherd, hurting, broken, and yes, even hungry.  His tender heart, sore from grieving John’s death, was still willing to care for others who needed His compassionate and healing hand. There was no guarding of His heart. He let it be tender and vulnerable, even to the point of allowing His own people to reject Him, spit on Him, hand Him over to be crucified.  He felt it all and it must have been so very painful.

     All of us, at one time or another, will face grief and sorrow in our lives.  We will mourn and be sad, but we must not stay there.  So often we want to make it so we never have to feel that kind of pain again, and we build walls in our heart to guardus frommore hurt.  But sadly we only end up isolating ourselves, as our hearts become hard and impenetrable. People around us who need our true, caring love don’t receive it because we don’t want to let them in all the way. We are guarding our hearts, not letting them be tender toward those who need our compassion.  Fear controls us rather than letting Jesus love people through our tender, vulnerable hearts.

  • Are You In A Season of Molting?

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    Webster’s defines “molt” as the “casting off or shedding of feathers, skin, or the like, in the process of renewal or growth.” I see it first-hand as my chickens go through a molt in the early Fall. For a few days, they lose piles of feathers, then they are almost naked for a few days. They look horrible and miserable. However, when the whole process is finished, they look young and beautiful again with clean, strong, new feathers which will keep them well-insulated through cold winter months.

    This year, as I watched my chickens go through the molting process, I saw it as a picture of my own life in Christ lately. The Lord seems to be ridding me of my old ways of dealing with life that are not helpful for my faith in Him. My “old feathers” need shedding to allow the new, healthy, strong ones to replace them.

  • Being Still

    There are certain cycles of behavior in my life that I am continually repeating. The biggest one is trying to control my time. The world is screaming about efficiency and productivity. My human need to control everything in my world grabs onto it.

    It starts with one little thing. First, it’s a simple plan for the day. That plan then begins to grow, and I turn it into a to-do list. That to-do list turns into a schedule so I can make sure I get everything done on time. I look around, and I see more things I am not getting around to that I wish I could, and so I add to my plate until it’s overflowing. Before I know it, I’m staring at a day without enough time in it, a pile of things I can’t get to, and I’m living in a stressed and frazzled state of hurry and rush and pressure. My failed plan tells me that I am not enough. I don’t do enough. I’m a failure. I’m a mess. I’m a bad wife, mother, grandmother, friend…

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  • Creating Freedom

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    Tell me one thing that you did when you were young that you absolutely loved. It was probably second nature and engrained in your day-to-day life. Do you still do it? Or have you set it aside as something that was childish or unnecessary? What do you do now that brings you pure joy?

    When I was young, I loved to draw. Pencils, crayons, markers, it didn’t matter. Singing was my second language. I could spend hours playing alone, lost inside a fantasy world I created inside my head. I never felt alone when I was immersed in one of these activities.

    As I got older, the world slowly invaded these sacred areas of my life. The love of art became art classes where every detail of my creation was analyzed and graded. Band moved into my life and I disappeared into a sea of faces playing what was instructed. Choir was a structure that robbed the freedom from my song. Fantasy was a game for children that I was forced to leave behind.

    As I grew and became more a part of the world around me, I started to notice things.

     

     

  • Easter 2015

    A Full and Fruitful Life
  • Empathy

    There is a drastic difference between Empathy and Sympathy.

    In this short video Dr Brené Brown describes the differences very well. 

    As believers we need to get good at empathy. Empathy is described as an instruction, the great law of the New Testament in these simple words: "Love your neighbor as yourself".

    Empathy requires listening, not to formulate a response, but listening to feel what the speaker is feeling. We have been trained to form opinions, defences and responses while we listen. We have to unlearn that if we want to love biblically. We have to become good at suspending our judgement for the sake of feeling what the other person is feeling. 

    At Lazarus' tomb in John 11 there were a lot of responses that Jesus could have had:

    • "I was busy, I couldn't come."
    • "At least you still have your sister."
    • "You should have gotten him to a doctor earlier."
    • "Hs death is a result of sin in the world."

    Instead Jesus simply wept. Because He felt for them, he had empathy.
    The response of the 3rd party observers is critical to see: (v36) "So the Jews were saying, "See how He loved him!"…"

    If those outside the church don't see how much we love each other, then what would convince them to question their own faith.

    In this video Dr Brown ends off by saying, "rarely if ever does a response make things better, what makes things better is a connection." How very very true.

  • Great Adventure Awaits

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    Have you ever heard the term “A sense of adventure” or “We are off on an adventure”? What exactly does that mean and, more importantly, what does that mean for you? I have long been intrigued by those men and women who pursue the greatest of adventures and often wondered what drives them to do it? Is it a purpose, a lifelong dream, a driven nature that seeks out those possibilities of achievements? Are they looking to fulfill some desire that has been churning in the innermost part of their being?

    I suppose there are just as many answers as there are questions, and I for one have always had the questions. You see, I often lack in the “doing” department which has always left me quite disappointed. No, it isn’t that I’ve never tried or sought out adventure, because I have and, yet I am also my own worst enemy telling myself that “I can’t” or “I won’t”.  Oh, those words drive a steel spike right through the heart when you’re trying to build up the courage.

  • Into Me

    Into Me

    By Barry G. White

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    I am but an empty cup

     Poured out in the hope of filling up

    Fragrant aroma begins to steep

    The fullness I simply long to keep

  • Love and Fear

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    REM's classic Losing My Religion is a pretty fascinating song:
    "That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight, losing my religion."

    Ben Gibbard wrote the song Follow You Into The Dark with his band Death Cab For Cutie. In the song he speaks of an experience under the discipline of a Catholic nun:
    "In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
    I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
    And I held my tongue as she told me,
    Son, fear is the heart of love, so I never went back"

    That's Ben in the corner, that's Ben in the spotlight, losing his religion. 

  • My Heart

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    This is a drawing that Dawn created around Psalm 139:1. It reminds me of so many aspects of our individual relationships with our God. He is Lord and savior; He is healer, friend, and judge. He is the one who replaces calloused hearts, hearts that have been turned to stone. Ezekiel 36:26 "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

    Psalm 139:1 "O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me."

  • Onward Now

    Onward Now

    By Barry G. White

    OnwardNow

    In the throes of another day

    What is it that you cannot say

    Have you really considered the trees?

    They dance so gently through the breeze

    Winds may blow with ferocious sound

    Yet there they are planted in the ground

  • Sunday Baptism

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    Sunday was a wonderful day of sunshine, friendship, and baptism down on Fox Island at the BeachLab.

    What a joy to worship together outside, dig a little into the thinking and relationship behind water baptism, break bread together, witness Carlos’ baptism, and then spend some time social distanced around a table eating dinner!

    Thanks to all who made this wonderful day happen.

    You can see the videos here.

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  • Thanksgiving is a Verb

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    On Thursday this week, around tables laden with turkey and pie, +300 million Americans will make lists of thing they are thankful for. Now that's a very nice sentiment, but it is not thanksgiving.

  • When You Run Out of Prayer Words

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    Have you ever run out of prayer words? Have you ever been so desperate, been in such pain for so long, that you just have no more words? Have you ever just gotten past the point of being able to pray the same desperate prayer again, sick of hearing your own words? …I have! 

    It almost seems like a necessary place to get to.

    I’d like to explain why.

    Rom 8:19-23

    19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have thefirstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

    All of creation is waiting for “God’s Sons” to be revealed. That means all the galaxies, all animals, the demons, the angels, every spiritual principality, and power; they are all waiting.
    So then who are these “Sons of God” that everything, and everyone, is waiting for?

    The spiritual principality and powers are also called “The Sons of God” right throughout scripture. We see them popping up in God’s counsel in Job 1. They are sometimes called the Hosts of Heaven or God’s Holy Ones, Jude 1:14.

NCMI

Firebrand Church partners with New Covenant Ministries International (NCMI).

NCMI is a trans-local ministry team, with an apostolic heart who help pastors to equip and mobilize believers at the local-church level.

NCMI Website

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