Birthday: November 4
Hometown: Modesto, California
Favorite Bible Passage: Romans 5:1-5. Honestly, the whole book of Romans
Musical Influences: Coldplay, Audrey Assad, The Paper Kites, Jenny & Tyler, Bethel Music, The Liturgists
Favorite Book: The Great Divorce
Favorite Movie: Juno, Fight Club, Holes
Hobbies: Typography design, playing guitar and piano, kayaking, writing, reading, figuring out other people’s accents, drinking good coffee, being outside, and petting people’s animals.
Fun fact: Maddie is a twin! She’s back for a second Fulltime year after completing her first one in Summer 2015. Since then she’s opened up an Etsy shop, worked at Target, and volunteered her summer as a part of CTI’s summer training community.
Maddie’s Blog Posts
Greetings from the mitten, y’all!
So the book of Matthew is popping up all over the place for me. I read it on my own over break, it’s in our team Bible reading plan right now, and we just heard a sermon on it this morning! I couldn’t help but share some of my reflections.
The gospels are very unique books, there’s a lot going on, from fulfilled prophecies, to teaching, to our salvation being won on the cross. But recently, Jesus’ sermon on the mount has been sticking out to me the most.
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus talks about anger, lust, and loving our enemies–to name a few, and through all of it, I can’t help but feel called out. Even still, the further I got into the passage, the more I thought: This is a lot. The standard to enter into the kingdom of God is PERFECTION.
And that’s true. Our ability to enter the kingdom was not purchased with our ability to follow the law perfectly (because we can’t), but with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus who fulfilled the law.
He makes us righteous, holy, and blameless before Him. This new identity empowers us to be better than we could ever be on our own.
So we do not have to look at Jesus’ teachings and be intimidated, but rejoice that we have a God who is making us more like Him, from one degree of glory to another, so that we may walk in His ways. What a Savior!
As we continue in our tour, I pray that you may be encouraged by the things we share and what God has revealed to us during our time here.
It’s not over yet, though, so I’ll be seeing you on the road,
In the spirit of us being in Kansas for the past few days, it only seemed appropriate that I titled my final blog post of tour this way.
It’s been a long tour. We’re on week thirteen; we’ve been to 15 states and have been to 43 out 46 scheduled venues–and I’ll be honest–I’m pretty tired, and I can find myself desiring to go home. Sometimes, home is Minnesota, sometimes it’s California, but mostly, I like to pretend home is wherever I say it is.
I think we spend a lot of time building our homes.
We build homes out of fancy buildings with lots of stuff that we care about, we build them out of our job titles, out of accomplishments, out of friends and significant others–and we work so hard, but they do not stand. Sometimes, even, they cause more pain than anything.
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. – 2 Corinthians 5:1-9
I don’t think I’ll ever feel at home here in this world, and you might not, either. So we wait in anticipation for the hope given to us through the blood of Jesus. God proved that He is for us by shedding His blood for us. Therefore, then, He is worthy of our hope and trust. God is for us.
Confident in the home and identity we have in Christ, we make it our aim to please him, no matter where we are. God is for us, so then, in the likeness of Jesus, let us offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, so that we may be for God.
So whether you find yourself in your hometown, a new community, or maybe you’re moving around every day like us–I encourage and challenge to build your home in Christ. It is the one thing that will not fade away, because we know that he is with us until the very end of the age.
Hello from Idaho!
We’re officially into our last three weeks of winter tour, which is just crazy–this tour has flown by. From Nebraska, to Arizona, to Oregon, and everywhere in between, we’ve grown so much over the past three months.
This tour has been challenging. A big takeaway for me has been that God does not call perfect people to ministry.
Not even people that are remotely perfect.
When we see this, we can recognize that we’re imperfect, and surrender ourselves to God. We can seek Him, we can spend time with him, and be filled to the point where there is no longer room for bitterness or hatred or shame.
Or we can ignore it.
I’ll be honest, there’s been a lot of times where I’ve decided to ignore the grace extended to me and try and work for what I think is God’s love–but is actually the love and approval of others.
The emptiness and pain of misplaced hope is consuming, and it will take you down.
Receiving grace forces us to lay our pride down and recognize that we have nothing to offer without Christ. So often, I want to see myself as a wonderful, magnanimous person who doesn’t receive, but gives.
When we look at ourselves with sober judgment not only must we recognize that this the gospel and this mindset don’t coexist. The blood of Jesus was a gift. It was not earned or deserved, but it was necessary for us to be brought back to God.
Even though we’re going to continue messing up, at least, I probably will, God’s love does not run out. When we come face to face with our sin, we don’t have to choose shame because the love of God is endless. That’s His whole thing.
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness”, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
So that is the message we proclaim. Not ourselves, because I’m realizing that myself without Christ is simply a message of brokenness and misplaced hope. The message of Christ is of redemption and restoration even with our brokenness. Our boast is in Christ.
See you on the road,
The road has taken us a lot of places this past week, but last Sunday, we got to play at Watts Powerhouse Church in Los Angeles. The church has a variety of ministries in the Watts area, efforts to provide food and education, to name a few—God is at work in Watts, and it’s really beautiful.
At the church several Sundays ago, when we were done playing, I was listening to the sermon, surrounded by audible “hallelujahs” and “amens” from the congregation, and it occurred to me that I’d never been anywhere like Watts before. I looked around, listened, and began to tear up, because it was there, outside of my comfort zone that I caught a small glimpse of how huge God is.
There’s a passage in Jeremiah 11 where God commands Jeremiah to tell about His covenant with the Israelites. And Jeremiah says: “So be it, Lord.”
Every single day, you and I have the chance to tell people about the greatest Love we’ve ever known, to tell them about a love that saves us from ourselves, remains unconditionally, and changes our hearts to love like He does.
Being uncomfortable is hard. It calls out our ego and bad habits, but more importantly, it drives us to the cross where Jesus promises to take those things away. We can live freely and uncomfortably for the sake of the gospel, and it is in this journey that we grow and begin to look more like Christ. It begins with “So be it, Lord.”
We’re currently rolling down 99 South with Modesto in the rearview mirrors (for now, of course). We were blessed by our time there. What started out as a time to be housed between venues turned into some incredible ministry opportunities at Mill Creek Church and the Modesto Gospel Mission.
We connected with amazing people, had meaningful conversations, and the gospel was shared this week. One particularly awesome experience though, was getting our trailer unlocked before our youth group at Mill Creek.
As you might know or figure, we keep our equipment locked up in the trailer we pull behind our fifteen passenger van. When we get to a venue, we unlock it and load in.
Except on Wednesday night, the lock didn’t open.
So we were in a pickle. We had to set up and there was a broken padlock between us and our gear, and our initial methods of repair weren’t working. We needed bolt cutters, and we needed them before kids started showing up.
So David and I left for the nearest auto parts shop. Driving down McHenry, we’re surrounded by auto dealerships, and David says: “I’m gonna try something.” And we pull into the Chevy dealership. I watch him run in, and unfortunately, they don’t have any bolt cutters. No matter. We continue towards the repair shop, until I remembered the day I spent at the Honda dealership last summer getting my brakes fixed, and how I got to tell the mechanic I was working with that I was on my way to serve in music ministry for a year, and it turned out he went to my church! It was an awesome connection.
All that to say, I remembered this and our massive Chevy van and trailer rolled into the Honda dealership. I stepped into the mechanic office, and one perplexed mechanic asked how he could help me. I saw the man from my church at his desk and addressed the room with our trepidation.
To cut the story short, they had bolt cutters. As David and I were standing there, watching sparks fly as they cut the broken lock off of our trailer, I was amazed at how God just does stuff.
He put us at a church right by the Honda dealership. God’s ways are higher than mine, and I usually don’t know the specifics of what He’s up to, but I wonder if He kept our lock from opening to show us that we ourselves are hindered by a broken lock, but He certainly isn’t. Or maybe, he wanted to show us that the body of Christ is amazing. Or that he provides us with things that turn glory back to Him. Maybe it’s all of the above.
Anyway, we played that youth group and the Gospel was shared. We had a good several days here, and we’re excited to come back in March.
For now, though, we’re headed to a few venues in the LA area. We’ll be at Angel City Coffee in Bellflower, as well as Watts Powerhouse Church on Sunday. If you’re in the area, I’d LOVE to see you and for you to hear the message we have.
See you out there!