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Michael Murray was born in — wait a minute… Why am I writing this in the third person??? Can I start over?!

Hi, I’m Michael. I don’t have life figured out yet. I’m still a mess. But I believe that every single person matters to Jesus. And I believe that he invites us all to follow him, one shaky step at a time.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ …


Following Jesus means following him into the suffering.

The inside of a cave with light shining from the outside.
The inside of a cave with light shining from the outside.
Photo by Ksenia Kudelkina on Unsplash

I had to get a new phone last weekend.

I’m one of the few people on earth who still has a flip phone. Because of my disability, the buttons on a flip phone are much easier to use. But on Saturday, all the buttons stopped working. (I probably dropped it one too many times.) It was torturous because I was still receiving text messages, but I couldn’t open them. (Okay, maybe describing the situation as “torturous” is a bit dramatic, but it felt like it!)

On Sunday, I went to the store and purchased the only flip phone in stock. But my SIM card wasn’t able to transfer over, so now I have a brand new phone with zero contacts in it. I can’t even look up numbers from my old phone since the buttons don’t work! I have to build my contact list back up from scratch, which seems like a daunting task. (Although it is fun to guess who’s texting you and see how long you can keep the conversation going before saying, “By the way, who is this?!”) …


Intro to The Gospel of Mark.

A small wooden cross staked in grass.
A small wooden cross staked in grass.
Photo by Maksim ŠiŠlo on Unsplash

(Note: The following article was written before today’s riots took place. Given where we find ourselves, I think it’s even more important to embrace Jesus as the Suffering Servant.)

The Christmas tree has been taken down. The new calendar has been put up. (My mom got me a page-a-day calendar of Mr. Rogers’ quotes. Today’s is “We are all neighbors.” I can already tell it will help lower my blood pressure.) There is something about a new year that feels hopeful. Or at least, we hope for it to be hopeful.

We’re going to begin the year by spending some time with Jesus. Starting off any year with Jesus is a good idea, but this year it seems especially necessary. We went through a lot in 2020. And as much as we’d like to believe otherwise, a new year doesn’t begin in a vacuum. We’re all carrying difficult things into 2021. Fixing our eyes on Jesus will help us prepare for whatever this year brings. …


Now through January 4th.

A stretched-out hand holding a Kindle eReader.
A stretched-out hand holding a Kindle eReader.
Photo by César Abner Martínez Aguilar on Unsplash

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, and your new year is off to a great start.

Many Christians approach the new year with a resolution to read the Bible more. It’s a good goal, as long as we’re not doing it out of a place of guilt. The Bible became life-changing for me only when I stopped reading it out of obligation and started reading it to get to know Jesus better.

In 2020, I published my first devotional book, Nobody Left Out: Jesus Meets the Messes.


“There is no peace on earth,” I said.

A bell tower with 5 bells embedded in the wall. Blue sky above.
A bell tower with 5 bells embedded in the wall. Blue sky above.
Photo by Jung Ho Park on Unsplash

I heard the bells on Christmas day,
Their old familiar carols played
And wild and sweet, The words repeat
Of peace on Earth, good-will to men

If there’s one Christmas carol that sums up 2020 for me, it’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

The lyrics come from a poem Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in 1864. (Isn’t that an amazing name, by the way?!)

It has been musicalized many times, including by the Christian band Casting Crowns. But my favorite version is the one my friend David Burleson wrote for the Christmas EP God at First Sight. (You can watch David sing the song here.) …


But Christmas is about God getting in the trouble with us.

Shot of a parked bike on a sidewalk. A basket is on the front of the bike.
Shot of a parked bike on a sidewalk. A basket is on the front of the bike.
Photo by Qusai Akoud on Unsplash

As I was working in my home office today, I heard a man outside yell, “Get back over here! You heard me the first time!”

A few moments later, he added, “You’re in trouble.”

I looked out the window and saw a kid riding his bike, being pursued by an exasperated dad.

Today has been a stressful day, and for some reason, hearing the dad’s words made me laugh.

“You’re in trouble.”

Three words no kid likes to hear. No kid wants to be in trouble. …


Part III of Christmas Songs

(In this series, we’re taking a look at the Christmas story through the lens of songs. If you missed any, you can catch up on Part I & Part II.)

I have some ambivalence about the next Christmas song on our list. I love the lyrics, but the song itself can be somewhat annoying in practice. (Is that bad to say???)

The song I am referring to is none other than “Little Drummer Boy.” My annoyance comes from the endless drones of “Pa rum pum pum-pum’s.” I know — those drum beats are the whole essence of the song. …


But he’s not drumming for me…

Men dressed as British soldiers playing in a band in a sancturary in front of a seated audience.
Men dressed as British soldiers playing in a band in a sancturary in front of a seated audience.
Photo by Mark Leishman on Unsplash

(In this series, we’re taking a look at the Christmas story through the lens of songs. If you missed any, you can catch up on Part I & Part II.)

I have some ambivalence about the next Christmas song on our list. I love the lyrics, but the song itself can be somewhat annoying in practice. (Is that bad to say???)

The song I am referring to is none other than “Little Drummer Boy.” My annoyance comes from the endless drones of “Pa rum pum pum-pum’s.” I know — those drum beats are the whole essence of the song. …


Part II of Christmas Songs.

This month, I’m taking a look at the Christmas story through the lens of songs. Songs have a way of revealing truth to me in a way few other art forms can. (That’s why I love musicals so much!) We hear the Christmas story every year, and it can become so familiar to us. But sometimes, hearing one simple lyric can help me experience it in a fresh way.

Last week, I looked at the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” We were reminded that hope shivers in the wind. …


Born to be the death of distance

A measuring tape on the gray concrete showing the one through seven inches marks.
A measuring tape on the gray concrete showing the one through seven inches marks.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This month, I’m taking a look at the Christmas story through the lens of songs. Songs have a way of revealing truth to me in a way few other art forms can. (That’s why I love musicals so much!) We hear the Christmas story every year, and it can become so familiar to us. But sometimes, hearing one simple lyric can help me experience it in a fresh way.

Last week, I looked at the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” We were reminded that hope shivers in the wind. …

About

Michael Murray

Just a broken, messy guy trying to follow Jesus one shaky step at a time. Born with cerebral palsy. Get my free 5-day devotional here ➜ https://bit.ly/36wHUj6.

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