How To Look Like Jesus

We do not know what Jesus looked like physically. We have ideas and some people have drawn their depictions for our imaginations; however, we really do not know what He looked like.

One way that I have discovered what Jesus may be like is by who He shows Himself to be in the Bible. I can imagine His demeanor and His mannerisms by the stories I read about Him in His Word.

As I look at my oldest son, whom we adopted, I am always lost in thought about what he will physically look like as he grows up. Everything about him will be a surprise to us because we have no idea what his biological parents look like.

one of the first pictures we took of Aiden with his daddy in Grenada

Each year when we visit the pediatrician for his check up, we find that he is always in a very high percentile for his height and the doctors tell us they think he will be really tall.
I would say this assessment goes really well with how many pairs of shoes and pants I go through with that kid. I can’t keep them on him. Seriously – I bought him a pair of tennis shoes at the beginning of the summer break (which was the end of May) and they are already getting small. Amazing.

What I love about our situation with Aiden is there is no comparing him physically to family members. We do not look to our family genes to know what he might appear like in the future – we are able to focus on who he is as a person.

one of my favorites of Jared and Aiden in Grenada

Just like I do not know what Jesus really looks like, I may not know what Aiden will physically look like. However, I can read God’s word, take stories that show who He really is and pour those into my son so that he can look like Jesus when he grows up.

I am so thankful God gave Aiden an earthly father who is doing this for him – showing him the traits of Jesus in a very real and tangible way every single day.  I am able to see my husband be such an amazing father to him. A father that is showing Aiden what it means to be a good soul, to have a good heart, to love others well. Aiden is able to watch his earthly father and mimic his traits to this world.

Jared holding our youngest, Ryman, with Aiden nearby

Are you doing this for your children?
Take who Jesus shows Himself to be in scripture, mimic that in your own life, so that as your children watch you – they are watching Jesus.

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there. I am so blessed that my boys got one of the best!


Life After The Black Hole

Today is October 10. I checked my blog today and the last date I posted was June 28. I mean… hole much?

For years we have had friends with school age children tell us that their summers get crazy when the children aren’t in school and Jared and I have never understood that. Can’t you put them in camp? Aren’t they visiting grandparents? Don’t you let them watch TV in the summer?

And then I became an instant mom to a 4-year-old who completed preschool this past May and all of a sudden my world halted. I had him scheduled every single week this summer with some sort of activity. So what happened to me??
I spent the whole summer managing his schedule only to realize that was all I had time to do – if I was going to also see my husband, clean my house, get some of my own work done here and there, and feed my family – The only thing I had legitimate time to do was manage my child’s summer schedule.

I just now (after he has been in kindergarten for two months) feel I am shaking off the black hole dust of summer. I honestly have no idea what happened, but I do know that as my priorities have needed to shift since becoming a mama, I was right on point to have been wrapped up in his little universe for his summer break.
We were both ready for school to start, but it was a good first full summer home with him.

Aiden at Disney (he went to Disney World this summer. Swoon!!)

Since getting my feet on the ground again, new things have been happening in the Ribble household. I can’t specify at the moment ALL the things, but I want to mention one of them.

Last year, I felt very strongly God asking me to become involved in the college ministry my church supports with a group of Belmont University students. I was able to write a bible study for the gals of the group and go through it with them. I was so excited for this time with them and greatly appreciated getting to know them.
As God would have it, the beginning of this school year brought about the current college minister moving on and the church approaching me about being the new College Minster for our church.

Because of the size of our church and the current involvement of the college students, this is a part-time position. I have a lot on my plate with my adoption work, writing, and wife/mom life, but it was very clear that I had already set my life up to be involved with these students and that God was carving a path for me back a year ago.

I accepted the position and my sweet husband jumped in with me. We have been going non-stop getting ourselves accustomed to this new ministry and adding new activities for them to be a part of/serve in. There’s a million times in my life being on staff at a church made sense (and was a reality at one point) but I never expected to be a collegiate minster.

I love it. These students are amazing. I don’t feel old enough to be their elder, but I am and I just have to deal with it and appreciate that they tell me I look like I’m still in my twenties and I am cool. Thanks kiddos. I will cherish those words. 🙂

I leave you with this, which is something I will write about again soon :

Bob Goff Quote
I have been taking the students on a journey this semester of looking at Jesus in different circumstances throughout the bible and dissecting his temperament and his compassion. I want to teach them to look for the character of Jesus and to emulate it to those they come in contact with. If they learn nothing else while under my leadership, I want them to know how to love others in a way so fitting of the King of Kings. It’s the least we can do.

My challenge to you my readers… If you haven’t jumped ship over my sabbatical…. Is this :

Pick up your bible. Find a story about Jesus (there are a lot of them by the way). Read about how he interacted with those he came in contact with. Why did he speak the way he did? Why did he love the way he did? Why did he stop his world for certain individuals?

The very first story I presented for the students to look at about Jesus was the story of the paralytic being lowered through the roof to him.
Bob Goff said this, “We are throwing people off of roofs we should be lowering them through. We’ll be remembered for our love, not our opinions.”

We need to love well. We need to bring people to Jesus at all costs. And we need to be the Jesus who will stop for them when they need us.

Can we be this Jesus to those around us?

Let’s try.

It’s good to be back friend. I love you all.


The Trait Project : #7 {Boyd Thomas}

He will probably be upset that I used his real name in the title, because no one alive calls him Boyd anymore. Most people know him as Tom or Little Tommy Tucker, but I know him as Dad.

He was the first man I ever loved.

Krystal & Dad

I believe he would agree with me telling you our relationship got off to a rocky start. When I was born my dad was a very hardworking retail manager of one of the largest office supply companies in the US. He didn’t manage just one store; he opened and closed stores in a few states and had a large territory to cover. Because of this we moved every six months and he missed most of my “firsts” in this big world.

Of course I don’t remember him missing those things, but I do remember not feeling very “familiar” with my dad. I was young and there was plenty of time to make up for those years, but it was work we both had to put in.

My dad is a “man on a mission” about every single thing in his life. He and my husband share this look  I call “Go Mode” and when they are in this mode, there is no talking about anything other than the work they are thinking about. I try to hide my resentment of this mode in my husband, but it is a very difficult task. HA.

My mom tells me stories about my dad as a retail manager  I have such a hard time believing because time and, honestly, the Lord have softened his rough edges. Apparently back in the world of handheld recording devises that recorded on cassette tapes, he would record what he had to say about you and the areas you needed to improve for that days work and leave the recording on your desk. Ouch. Bossy much? HA!

He was this type of person in the corporate world for the first six years of my life.

For the biggest portion of my life though, he has been a pastor. If there is one thing I have seen as I have aged within the evangelical world, there is a huge difference between a preacher and a pastor. My dad is blessed to be both of these things, but as his daughter looking in on his life, he is much more of a pastor. His heart for people is astounding.

He has a true love for the people God has created on this earth, this being every single person. His ultimate passion is to see everyone come to know the love of the Christ he serves, but he knows just being Jesus to people is where the rubber hits the road.

Dad in South Africa

{My favorite picture of my dad. He has been traveling to South Africa to train pastors and do mission work there for more than a decade now. This picture shows so much of my father’s heart.}

As an adult I have had the privilege of watching him pastor a group of people from afar. I actually prefer it this way. I know he and my mom would love to have my family be a part of their church, but I actually get more joy in watching his ministry from afar. The main reason is I get to enjoy and appreciate the love his church family has for him. They adore him. The church he pastors now thought they would never be able to get a preacher like him and they take such good care of he and my mom. It’s astounding to see. Their overflow of affection radiates into my own little family that lives a few states away. They love us well even though we aren’t there with them. It’s a true testament to the man my father is; to the leader God made him to be.

I remember being in elementary school and when we had projects to write about our “heroes” I would always choose my dad. I think this is because he was still a mystery to me. If we were to be honest, the people we consider our heroes in life are often elusive to us. We don’t really know them well, but we long to. My dad was like this to me. I knew I would spend a lifetime getting to know him, and as an adult, I can honestly say, I know my hero so much better now.

I am able to work a room full of strangers because of his influence. I have a love of academia because of him. My gypsy soul comes from the adventure he instilled in me. I am sarcastic because of his personality (sorry mom!). However, the best thing I have gained from my dad I am putting to use today is my ability to “pastor” people. I have a love for people I know directly comes from seeing him love so well. If you need him, he is there. I want to be this kind of girl. I want the people God brings me in contact with to know they can count on me and I will be there for them. I want to love people with a Christlike determination for the well-being of their soul.

My earthly father does this so well.

I want my son to be a man who will be sensitive to the needs of others. I want him to be like his Poppy {my dad’s assigned grandparent name from his grandchildren} in so many ways.

Krystal & Dad at her wedding

Dad, thank you for loving people how God loves them; and most of all, thank you for loving me.

-Krystal Marie