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meet sam:  samantha is married, works FT and also volunteers upstairs with the restór kiddos. she wasn’t on the panel sunday, but i did read a couple of her answers to specific questions i asked.


here’s a story with a few more answers to some of the questions from the journal guide:
“I kept running into a girl from high school.  I did not know her…more so knew OF HER…We kept avoiding conversation, because, frankly that’s just easier, right?  I felt the holy spirit really nudging me to say hello so I walked over and said hello.  IT WAS SUPER AWKWARD, not gonna lie.  I asked how she was doing and how her kiddos were (social media helped give me some topic points 🙂 At the end of the conversation I felt like we had opened a door.  Now, when I see her out-and-about, we’ll have opened a dialogue to continue conversation.”
how did you feel when you did this?   
“I feel like I am somewhat of an introvert so it is not natural for me to walk across the room, but what matters more is the fact that people know you care about them.  As Christ-followers, people HAVE to know we love them.”
do your priorities line up with the heart of God (that people are His heart)?
“Not always.  In the still and quiet I can align myself with him. But when it comes to those moments where I’m “in it”, whether that be disagreeing with my spouse, overhearing gossip, getting frustrated at work…I often respond according to my own priorities, instead of lining myself with Jesus. Over the past few weeks I have learned that trying to constantly align myself with the Lord has shifted …I have learned that the heart of Jesus is fierce, but QUIET. In order to respond out of love, we often must say nothing at all.”
what do you want your life to have been about?
“People. 100%”
what does it look like to give every aspect of your life to the grander vision living of radical inclusion (saying YES to people – to SEEING everyone as a child of God and worthy of redemption)? 
“I love the word redemption. That’s why I love mornings. They are redeeming! It’s like you get to start the whole day over, knowing that the mistakes you made yesterday are an opportunity for growth today. There are many people in my life that I would consider “lost”. Maybe they engage in substance abuse, lie, cheat, steal, take people for grated or simply know of the Lord, but denounce him. These are the people I am called to engage with. BUT MY GOODNESS IT IS HARD!! I am constantly fighting the urge to tell them they are wrong, or that they need to change their behavior, but then I remember my shortcomings.  It is natural for us to think we know what people do and don’t deserve, but the truth is that we ALL DESERVE HELL…our names are written all over those gates. But Jesus created new gates of grace and mercy and we are called to do the same.  When I walk across that room, or keep my mouth shut and just love, I am opening those gates for others who are unaware of them. My words, my actions and my arms can be the reason people turn away from Christ or they can practice radical inclusion.  I’m going for radical inclusion.”
thx for your authenticity sam!
see you again tomorrow for our final story this week.  if you haven’t already done so, start writing your own stories!  we’d love to hear them, too, so send us an email at
brenda troyer
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