Does America have enough dogs for all the people who want one? -Response

Original Article Here

Dear Kim,

I am so glad that the Washington Post published this article! As someone who shows, owns, and trains responsibly-bred dogs, it is refreshing to see any media piece that does not blindly follow the “Adopt Don’t Shop” (ADS) trend. I agree that statistics from organizations who push ADS like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) are not credible due to their ulterior motives.

Recapping the article, pro-ADS organizations have been found to inflate euthanasia rates by 50% in privately funded research compared to studies done by non-biased sources. They have also promoted the “Adopt Don’t Shop” mantra, creating a storyline of a shelter dog dying every time someone purchases a purebred dog. Why would pro-ADS organizations like the HSUS and ASPCA purposely inflate statistics? Is their motivation only that of saving dogs’ lives?

When most people think of the HSUS, they think of their local pet shelter. This is false, yet intentional. The HSUS does not actually run a single animal shelter, and less than 1% of it’s money goes to actual animals. Yet 85% of their marketing includes animals in shelters. Where does the rest of the money go? Possibly the known $51,000,000 of ‘investments’ in the Cayman Islands the HSUS holds. This is one reason why the Better Business Bureau gave them a “D” rating for transparency and integrity with donor’s money. Using the façade of being the largest organization that saves the millions of abused and murdered animals out there is a great marketing tool, and is why having statistics to match their story is so important to the HSUS.

These organizations need the public to believe there are millions upon millions of animals who will die if money to keep them alive isn’t found. If this is true, the title of this article, Does America have enough dogs for all the people who want one? would be irrelevant. Admitting one owns a purebred rather than a shelter dog is akin to wearing chinchilla fur coats because it is believed that for every purebred bought, a shelter dog dies. But shelters have been able to raise adoption fees to be that of what one would expect to pay for a purebred due to demand. There will always be breeds that have harder times finding homes, but for the most part shelters do not have issues adopting out young, friendly dogs. Shelters have been able to be more selective, with some shelters denying up to 70% of families looking for an addition to the family. It is okay for a shelter to wait for a perfect family, but not okay for a family to wait for the perfect dog.

If a person is going to be spending thousands of dollars and dedicating years to this new family member, they should have the right to invest in a dog that fits their every need. A dog with an unknown behavior and health history is not for everybody. The ASPCA and HSUS fight this logic by creating pathos-stuffed propaganda that has led to a dangerous groupthink with an easily chantable slogan of “Adopt Don’t Shop!” They ignore the benefits of a responsibly, intentionally bred dog, and have ways to shut down any who oppose their stance.

I believe that a person should be able to choose to adopt an animal from a shelter or find an ethical breeder who has their dogs’ best interest in mind without fearing judgement due to a storyline created by lies told by money-hungry organizations masquerading as nonprofits. There are groups like this in every sector, yet this cause is unique as it deals with living creatures that often find places in people’s heart. This makes it a complex issue, where there are often valued lives at stake. The best way to make a difference is by supporting local shelters whom are nonprofits, erasing the stigma that the only ethical dog is a rescue dog, and by understanding that this issue is more complex than the three words masquerading as a moral compass.



Personality Finders


Personality Finders

For my entrepreneurship class

I really enjoy tests like Meyers-Briggs, Strengthsfinders, TrueColors, and Enneagram. Every person learns differently and has different ways of taking on a project or challenge. When a person discovers how they work best, they are able to be more efficient in their work. Strength-finding tests are important for many reasons, and they help one discover how they may best find success in challenges and in life.

My favorite test is probably the Meyers-Briggs (MBTI). I do not find it to be the most helpful though, as it usually just confirms and justifies ideas one has about themselves before taking the test. I am an INTP, which stands for introversion, intuition, thinking, and perceiving. This is a great type to have as an entrepreneur. One of the most important things that entrepreneurs must do is lean on their intuition, which is what N’s tend to do naturally. Thinking rather than feeling allows one to make hard decisions, and possibly keep a business afloat rather than trying to do the easy thing that keeps emotions unhurt. As long as introverts know how to cultivate relationships to their advantage, there is not much difference between introversion and extroversion when it comes to business ventures. Judging and perceiving both have their pros and cons, but I enjoy creative thinking found within perceiving. The MBTI only tells one what they hopefully already know about how they work best in the world, but doesn’t give them ideas to improve.

The Enneagram test is the oldest personality test in history, and is based on one’s fears. I am a type 3, which means that I fear being unvalued by others. I can see this in myself when I constantly say yes to opportunities I have no interest in. I am just so glad that someone may think of me for something that I automatically want to fulfill their need. This can be extremely dangerous and to my detriment, and is something I did not see in myself until I took the test. The Enneagram has allowed me to look at my decision-making process before jumping into new ordeals.

Lastly, StrengthsFinders is a test that helps one cultivate their natural abilities to be the most effective leader they can possibly be. These strengths can be cultivated into greatness or turn into a weakness. My top strength is command, which can often come off as bossiness, and as a woman, bitchiness. It is important to learn how to have grace and humility along with authority so that others actually want to follow even when they do not have to. Finding mentors and heroes to look up to who have similar strengths is important to discover how they handle their abilities to make the best out of them.

I have been lucky to have had access to tests such as these throughout my academic career to help me become the best I possibly can be. It is important that one does not simply take these tests and look at the results without internalizing them. They are great learning tools that can grow a person beyond their greatest expectations. Discovering how the world works is important, but discovering how oneself works may be of even more importance.


“Right” & “Left” are used to describe one’s political leanings, not their stance on whom within our species may be titled as a human being. 
So call racism as it is. Call social justice as it is. And above all, call out hate disguised as politics as it is. 
There is hate on both sides of the divide. There should be no question of that. 
This is important my friends, do not confuse righteous anger with blind hatred. Though they may often feel much alike in our hearts, the actions following each could not be more different. 
Peace is not always an option. 

Do not call for peace. 

Do not call for victory. 


Call for truth. 

Call for justice. 
Fight for truth. 

Fight for justice. 
And above all,



Perspective is reality. The way one writes is one way that they communicate with the world around them. Very few professionals will take another professional within their field seriously if they do not communicate in a way that portrays intelligence whether said intelligence is there or not. 
Writing is an important aspect in all areas of life.In leadership, writing is often overlooked when searching for what makes a particular leader successful in their cause. The art and craftsmanship of a well written speech can move mountains, a powerful call to action can create major social reform. As a nonprofitess (a woman within the nonprofit sector), the importance of knowing proper protocol when it comes to professional writing can be a matter of life or death for the people one serves. Grant holders, possible sponsors a volunteers may be a perfect match for an organization’s cause, but without the proper knowledge and communication being transferred, they may never get involved or pass by an invitation. This is why “a (wo)man is only as good as his(her) word.”

Leadership Philosophy

Leadership is a tool that allows one who has flown far to guide others in the direction of flight. Though where others choose to fly after finding flight is beyond the control of the leader, they are happy to know they have aided in the discovery of freedom that allegorical flight brings. Just as one without wings cannot be trusted upon to teach flight, a leader without values and a life to reflect said values cannot be trusted to guide. A leader leaves room with others feeling valued and respected, and finds joy in other’s success. They are the first to leap and the last to abandon the cause, showing others that their faith in their leader’s strength to protect and serve is not merely an illusion of levitation. Finding joy in trial and tribulation, leaders have the heart that is broken more so in viewing pain than receiving in place of another. This selflessness cultivates a community of trust and appreciation, with the leader hoping others follow their flight plan of compassion. Every leader has a personal catalyst, often being a singular ideal in the form of religion, a life-altering event, or experience with a leader who aided in the formation of themselves. Leaders whom identify Christ as their catalyst yearn for no more than to serve others before themselves, to love as they have been loved. In all, a leader in Christ never forgets Whom first came to give the gift of flight, the gift of freedom, and the gift of leadership.

Jesus in College; There in the Challenges

What does it mean to follow Jesus in college? It means many things. Many sacrifices. Many values that set you apart from your peers. But it also means joy. Jesus is the one constant in this world full of changes, uncertainties, and inconsistencies.

It is interesting, sometimes it seems as though the strongest followers of Christ are those whom have gone through the greatest struggles in life. This is directly in contradticion to the belief that as soon as one gives their life to Christ, their struggles become nonexistent. This is untrue, and harmful doctrine often preached by those who teach from the “prosperity gospel”. The truth is that followers of Christ often are put under duress that the rest of society may remain oblivious of.

But doesn’t this truth contradict the claim that Jesus brings unending joy? What if joy can be found within suffering? Just as it says in Romans 5:3-5, “Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

There is hope in suffering. There is love in suffering. But unless one decides to lean on Jesus within the valley of suffering, there will only be isolation and fear to be found.

Lean on Jesus within suffering, as He has already given His life for the Beloved of the Father’s Heart. Growing and developing into the person God wants one to be will not be without challenges. It will not be without suffering. Embrace it. Embrace Jesus. Because He has already embraced you.

Wherever You Go; Do Good

Congratulations graduates! You made it! But now what? Where do you go from here?


If so, where? And why? What do you plan on doing there? What do you plan on doing after that? How are you going to find success?

That’s all we’ve been asked over the past year. Some of us longer.

“So where are you going to college? What are you majoring in? What do you want to do with your life?”

There’s a pressure to know exactly what we will be doing and how the rest of our lives are supposed to pan out.

It’s okay to not have the answers right now. It’s okay to never have those answers.

Just as it says “For I know the plans I have for you…”

God has placed certain loves, certain passions, certain talents, and certain opportunities in your life.

These things can be best described as “hints” as to the path God has for your life.  So follow your passions, take those opportunities, discover the joy of living a full life in Christ without having to worry about the future.

But as you begin to live your life, to discern the plans The Father has for you.. I have one request, one mission, one call to action.

 Wherever You Go, Do Good.

Each one of us has the potential to change the world! If not the world in it’s entirety, we have the ability to change someone’s world!

Through acts of kindness, encouraging words.

Make everything that you do matter!

We are called to do so within so many places in scripture!

Matthew 25:35-40

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Luke 3:11

“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

Hebrews 13:16

Do not neglect to do good and to be generous, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.

Philippians 2:13

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.


God wants to bring joy into our lives, and He wants to bring joy to others!

Let him use you in such fashion!

Allow Him to work through you!


It is so easy to become caught up in this world, to let time fly by us in such a way that every once and a while we stop and look back, asking ourselves where did the time go? And what do I have to show for said time?

Living a life for nothing but yourself is not the way to live a life that matters.

Love the Lord with all your heart, and love others just as He loves you.

Because He DOES love you. More than you could ever know.

More than I could ever even dream of conveying to you.

It’s a love like no other, and there is nothing we could ever do to lose it, a love that we never have to prove our worth for. Which is something I personally am extremely grateful for.
Love others just as God loves you.

Wherever you go, do good.


I would like to leave you with this story, it is one that has been told to me many times in the face of discouragement, and has fueled my passion for making the world a better place. There is so much negativity in the world, sometimes it seems like the only option is to lay down and let it consume you.

Be a light in this world. A lantern in the darkness.


An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, after a storm, he saw a human figure in the distance moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.

“Young lady,” he asked, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.”

“But young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference.”

The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying, “It made a difference for that one.”

Dear Grads, Love Paul

While writing this sermon, I knew that I wanted to focus on the topic of the importance of community within the church. I wanted to be able to reflect on my 18 years here in a way that showed the importance of leaning on one another to grow as followers of the Way. Then I began to look for scripture that fit perfectly into the image that I had in my head. Unfortunately, actually no… Fortunately, we serve a God that very rarely leads us on a path that fits perfectly within our imagination. In looking for scripture, I found a verse in Romans 12, and then continued within the chapter. Then read the entire chapter, then read it again. It seemed to be a sermon in itself…. And then I deleted any progress I had made in my writing and began again with Romans 12 as a focus. So allow me to read it to you.

1And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

3Because of the privilege and authority. God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

6In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

9Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

17Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge;

I will pay them back,”

says the Lord.


“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.

If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap

burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.


With a stretch of imagination, or maybe not a huge stretch, it is almost as if Paul wrote this chapter directly to high school graduates of this day. Think about it:

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world

God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.

Don’t think you are better than you really are.

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

Or even the advice of: And don’t think you know it all!

This chapter is a how-to on living a life as a true Christian, so that others may see it in the way that you act while living as a member of this world. Moving away from our families and into a group of peers has its challenges, and it is not a rarity to see a young person who was once on fire for Christ fall away from him during this transition. One mistake Christians make that causes us to fail in the goal in living in a Christ-like way is because we fall away from community. This isn’t an issue that only us young-uns deal with. Throughout our lives we will constantly be fighting to stay on track with God. It is not hard to fall away.  The practice of Christian community, quite simply, makes the gospel a lived reality. It embodies a specific, personal way of life together in Christ. It strengthens us to live the life to which we are called; it conveys God’s life and power to the world at large. And it is necessary.

Christian community is simply sharing a common life in Christ. It moves us beyond the self-interested isolation of private lives and beyond the superficial social contacts that pass for “Christian fellowship.” The biblical ideal of community challenges us instead to commit ourselves to life together as the people of God.

It’s a process that is revealed in the “each other” language of the New Testament: Love one another, forgive each other, regard each other more highly than yourselves. Teach and correct each other, encourage each other, pray for each other, and bear each other’s burdens. Be friends with one another, kind, compassionate, and generous in hospitality. Serve one another and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Those who live in the Western world have a hard time imagining the New Testament culture in which it was normal to live with parents, relatives, servants, and other workers. We are accustomed to living in nuclear families—father, mother, and children. Yet, the ancient world didn’t even have a way to express what we call the “nuclear family.” We only find the word oikos, which means household, house, or extended family. God used the oikos to extend the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. The early believers modeled transformed lives and distinct values that were often countercultural. Yet, in these crowded, urban environments, people were able to see Christianity up close. They heard and saw the testimonies of those transformed by the gospel, and they desired to experience Christ for themselves. Husbands loved wives, servants were treated with dignity, married partners submitted to one another, and love reigned supreme. Friends and neighbors were drawn to this new transformed community. It was simpler to stay living in a mindset of worship and reverence for God when surrounded by others who love Jesus.

One of the most vibrant illustrations within my life of the concept of Oikos has to be my family’s yearly trip to Lakeside, the mecca of United Methodism within Ohio. My aunt Jenn is a pastor in Cincinnati, and since I can remember, each year the entirety of the Hindes make the trip with her to annual conference and live under one roof for a week. Not only do we live together, eat together and play together, it is a week in which we all grow closer in emotional intimacy, taking own walls and speaking on hardships that we would not normally share if at home. This creates an environment of support that lasts so much longer than the week.

Not only does lakeside bring the family closer, it creates a bond within our community as well. Friends stop by our porch during lunch time to grab a sandwich or chips along with a conversation and game of scrabble.

One of my fondest memories at Lakeside happened at Pastor Scott Ocke’s cottage.

You see… If you do not know me, one important thing to know is that I am an absolute animal lover. So when I was informed that a pack of baby foxes had taken up residence in a sewer near Pastor Scott’s cottage, I was delighted. So delighted in fact, that I decided to visit them during his usual cookout during Conference week. And I brought hotdogs for them. The only problem with this is that hotdogs and fingers look very much alike.

This church has been a family to me. I have story after story that I could tell about the insane amount of time I have spent in this church growing up. Sitting up in the sound booth with my grandpa until the 11 o’clock service, because 11 o’clock meant that my grandma would finally give in and take my sister and I to Mcdonalds for being well behaved at the first two services.

I can tell you the best hide and seek spots in each room of the church, the prettiest view from the roof (not that I know how to get up there or anything), I’ve been taught how to color coordinate the altar to the flowers and candles used within the sanctuary, who to call when there is water where water should not be.

One of the greatest ways to stay connected to God, to begin to live a life fully in Him, even through life’s transitions, is by staying connected to healthy communities of other believers.


Romans 12 hits on this, as well as other ways to live a life for God. Let’s go through some of it.


Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.


We can worship God by being different? What’s that all about?

A believer’s character, conduct, and conversation should be reflections of Jesus, who lives within. On our own, we might place too much emphasis on behavior and get caught up in following rules and rituals that look Christian without truly reflecting Christ. But God has given each believer His Holy Spirit as a teacher and guide. The Spirit works to transform our minds and hearts so that we are markedly different from our peers. When we listen to the Holy Spirit, we speak and act in accordance with our true identity: God’s sons and daughters.


Being set apart also means not belonging to the world. To be in it, not of it. This can bring isolation away from others. This is why we need community. When the world asks us to act in a way that isn’t in a spirit of worship, we can fall back unto our community of fellow believers.

2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Good and pleasing and perfect. Can you describe yourself as good and pleasing and perfect? I can try and describe my dog as good and pleasing and perfect. But then I remember his annoying habit of barking as loud as he can whenever I’m late for curfew and have to sneak in the back door. Not quite pleasing. Coffee might be perfectly good and pleasing and perfect, but then I remember what it tastes like without half the mug being cream. Chipotle is good and pleasing, and would be perfect if it was cheaper.


But can a person be good and pleasing and perfect?

I don’t think any of us can.

But that is what God is calling us to. He’s not calling us to be, only to.

Let me say that again.

By staying away from the sins that the world tells us are desirable and fun, we are able to enter unto the path that God is calling us towards which will always be more fulfilling than any life could be. There are so many things society tells us to be. Society has imprinted upon our soul, has twisted our values for better or for worse, has skewed our image of what is good.. To have flaws is to be human. To work towards Christ is to be holy. He is the measuring point. Using anything else will cause a soul to attempt to belong in a way that is only unnatural. Attempting to fit a square block through a round hole.

Good and Pleasing and Perfect. To my peers, don’t worry about fitting in to what is expected of a college student. Worry about God.


4Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.


Recently I have become a part of an amazing group of friends. These friendships started out of nothing but my mere curiosity. I heard a small bit about a group of young people all living together in a not-so-great part of Toledo in a ministry house, sharing their lives together and ministering to the people around them. That’s something you don’t hear about every day. They invited me to a bible study one night and I got to truly see what verses 4 and 5 of this chapter are talking about.

Each of these guys are unique and bring their own set of skills to the table that bring light and life to their mission. They have a big 4-car garage that they have turned into a skate bowl for like skate-boarding. Sundays they have “skate church” for local youth in the bowl that was started by one of the guys, other nights they slide instruments and sound equipment into the bottom of the bowl for worship, and other nights you can find them across the street in a community garden they have newly created. Its amazing, something I’ve never experienced before, and oh my gosh I wish this way of life wasn’t as “different” as it is.


Here, my grandma is the queen of hospitality. She is also the bane of visitors. You might think you’re keeping your head down, visiting this church for the first time… but I promise you, she’s already recognized you as a friend and will be zealously welcoming you after this service. She’ll make you feel at home, care about you, and then do her best to find a place here where you will be filled and will be able to fill others.

The queen of hospitality has a special knack at figuring out exactly where someone can fit in the body of this church. Its fun to sit back and watch her at work. If the church is a body, she’s the tongue telling everybody where to be. Sit back and watch it sometime, you’ll see exactly what Paul was talking about.


Let’s jump to the next piece of advice Paul wanted to give to the class of 2017, as well as every believer.

9Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically

John Wesley summed it up in this way: Whatsoever ye do, do it with your might. In every business, diligently and fervently serving the Lord – Doing all to God, not to man.

As Christians, we are called to work hard for the Lord. To do everything as though we are doing it for Him. If God asked you to do a personal favor, I’m guessing you wouldn’t do it half-heartedly, there wouldn’t be any “lazy” in your name. As a proclaimed Christian, everything we do is in the name of the Lord.

Working at a coffee shop, there are certain people you enjoy being scheduled with and people you aren’t too happy with. This has little to do with personality, and all to do with work ethic.

There is very little you can do in life to make up for a bad work ethic.

Love others, and show that love by working for them as you would for God.


17Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.

If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap

burning coals of shame on their heads.”

21Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.


Fun fact about me, I was voted most savage of the class of 2017. What is savage you ask? I was known for being quite ruthless when it came to revenge once someone hurt me. There was definitely a time in my high school career when I allowed evil to conquer me rather than me conquering evil by doing good.

If someone does something nasty to you, they should have to own up to it, right?

I had to learn to lean on God, trust Him and have faith.. that revenge was not necessary.


When I am asked to explain what faith is, its hard for me to say anything more that ‘it is to believe.” But that definition is so incomplete. I believe that the Earth is round, but that doesn’t mean I have devoted my life to it as I have Christ. I do not do good works in the name of gravity or global temperature changes. I have enjoyed Martin Luther’s commentary on Romans 12, and in that, his definition of faith when it comes to Romans 12:17-21.

He says:

Faith is not that human illusion and dream that some people think it is. When they hear and talk a lot about faith and yet see that no moral improvement and no good works result from it, they fall into error and say, “Faith is not enough. You must do works if you want to be virtuous and get to heaven.” The result is that, when they hear the Gospel, they stumble and make for themselves with their own powers a concept in their hearts which says, “I believe.” This concept they hold to be true faith. But since it is a human fabrication and thought and not an experience of the heart, it accomplishes nothing, and there follows no improvement.
Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God . It kills the old Adam, makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses, and all our powers, and brings the Holy Spirit with it. What a living, creative, active powerful thing is faith! It is impossible that faith ever stop doing good. Faith doesn’t ask whether good works are to be done, but, before it is asked, it has done them. It is always active. Whoever doesn’t do such works is without faith; he gropes and searches about him for faith and good works but doesn’t know what faith or good works are. Even so, he chatters on with a great many words about faith and good works.

Faith. Community. Sancitity.

To my graduates, but also to my not-graduates: Love each other, love God, and purposely and intentionally pursue a relationship with Him through life’s transitions. Romans 12 is just one passage in the New Testament that can be used as a guide to life. The roads the early disciples do look different than the roads we walk today, but the word of God is the living word of God. It holds true and passes the test of time. We have to actually read it and study it to get anything out of the Word. We must want to live in a way that glorifies God. Sometimes its not easy, and its easy to become distracted with all that glitters. But it has been promised to us that there is no joy greater than what is found in Christ.



Anger towards God is okay. It is expected. It is wanted from Him. To fall on your knees and swear at the sky is to begin the process of healing. Don’t fight it. Don’t step away from the Father, instead cling to Him. Because He is the only place to find hope, mercy, and healing in the desert places of life.