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How Much Is Enough?

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26
We know God will take care of us, right? Sure we do! We may not have memorized the verse in Matthew 6:26, but we know the principle. God will provide for our needs and often gives us way beyond what we need. God often times simply provides for our needs through our paychecks and at other times He seems to cut it pretty close before He allows a miraculous provision to appear.
So, how do we handle the waiting? Do we trust the God of the universe to come through for us and just wonder how He’s going to do it? Or, do we give into worry? There’s a great story in the Bible that got me reflecting on these questions recently. In fact, she’s a pastor’s wife. Never heard of it? Well, let me remind you.
It all took place in the time of the prophet Elisha and is recorded in 2 Kings 4. This “wife of a man from the company of th…

Is Jesus Just One More god That We Serve?

I love traveling, and on this particular day it seemed as if we’d been traveling for hours. Peering out the bus window, I caught glimpses of a security fence and yellow warning signs that screamed of danger - and hidden land mines! We’d only been in Israel a few days, but it all was starting to feel really normal. Crazy as it might sound, it was just as common to see a camel at a gas station as it was to see an armed soldier. We even looked down into Syria one day, standing atop of the Golan Heights. That was totally surreal! Israel, it’s a land of vast beauty and a land that is in constant turmoil.
Our next stop was filled with beautiful greenery and flowers. It was gorgeous, especially since it was in such stark contrast to the miles of desert we’d just passed through. We walked down a little pathway and found a rushing stream that glistened in the sunlight. It was so inviting, in fact, that I just had to take a shoe off and dip my foot into the water. It was super cold, but oh so re…

Something Just Doesn’t Feel Right

Have you ever had one of those days when things seemed a bit off? You get dressed for the day, and something feels weirdly tight or twisted. Your neckline seems like it is hanging funny or your hemline seems a bit funky. Something is off. You look in the mirror multiple times. Does everything look alright? From the front. Back view. Side view. Hmmm. What is it?
Well, for me it was my jeans. They just felt weird. I didn’t think too much of it since I had been used to wearing shorts all summer, and I hadn’t put on a pair of jeans for weeks. “I guess it just feels funny,” I thought. "It’ll probably take a little while to get used to wearing jeans again. I always hate it when I have to switch to closed-toed shoes. Makes me feel claustrophobic for at least a week!” Still having no clue as to the cause of my discomfort, I went about my day. 
It was my day off, so I was catching up on some things out-of-doors. As I squatted down to tend the flower beds, I got that funny feeling again. “Th…

When It’s All Out of My Hands

When people or situations are totally out of our control, we find ourselves in a place where faith and fear collide. Fear of the unknown. Fear of Failure. Fear for our family. Fear of our finances.
Lurking right below the surface of all things that are out of our control is fear. Fear cripples our thoughts and can become all-consuming. Fear spreads rapidly when we’re exhausted and multiplies when we allow our imagination to run wild. The ‘What If’s’ in life steer us toward the fight or flight syndrome with fear hanging over us like an ominous cloud. The pendulum of faith and fear swings wildly back and forth until we slowly open our hands and surrender the fear of what is already in His hands.
One fear of mine that can bring on some of my most anxious moments is the fear of facing my ‘frenemies.’ You know, those people – family or friends – that we struggle to get along with. They are part friend and part enemy. They may be family, a neighbor or even a fellow believer. For whatever reas…

What Do They See When They Look At Me?

Question…
and be honest.
When was the last time you went down a different aisle at the grocery store simply to avoid having to talk with someone? Perhaps you like them, perhaps they're not your favorite. Nevertheless, for some reason you steer clear of an individual because “I just can’t deal with them today, Lord.”
Let’s consider the flip side to that scenario…
When is the last time that you suspected that someone ran away from you because they just didn’t want to deal with you? Especially the times when you have no clue why they seemed to have run away. But, what if they aren't really steering clear of you personally? What if they are actually avoiding Jesus - in you?
Huh?
Yep, sometimes our presence serves as a reminder of Jesus – simply just for being.
How about this scenario...
You see someone at the store you haven’t seen in a while – maybe even a couple of years. You’re excited to see them and you even have the extra time to talk. As you approach them you are feeling so blessed…

What Are You Celebrating?

“Rejoice with those who rejoice.” Romans 12:15a
Life is made up of all kinds of highlights and milestones, and within each special moment God has given us the gift of celebration! When we take time to reach beyond ourselves and celebrate other’s successes and happy surprises it helps to build up the church body and our shared sense of community. On Sunday mornings, especially, we have great opportunities to celebrate with others. After all, the sanctuary, hallways and classrooms are just brimming with stories to be told, miracles to be shared and people to encourage. Events worthy of celebration are found in both the big and little things of life - An upcoming wedding.A shrinking tumor, successful surgeries and new treatment plans.A dear lady back in church after months of recuperation.A first-time grandma and newborn babies.A plant shut-down cancelled and new careers begun.Awards received and ball games won.
The Bible teaches us the importance of celebration - within the function of the…

Praying For The Church

Just yesterday, a dear woman shared with me that “I pray for your church every day.” I was dumbfounded for a moment. She had been praying for our church? Every day? Wow! A myriad of thoughts flew through my mind. “The fruit from those prayers are unfathomable.” “I’m so humbled and ashamed, Lord. I don’t pray for our church every day.” “Thank you God, for this faithful lady and her prayers!” The Church - the Bride of Christ.The Church - the body of believers.The Church – all those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and are being transformed into His likeness. (Revelation 19:6-8)
Do I pray for her? How do I pray for her?
After some thoughtful reflection, I considered the prayer of Jesus in John 17. He prayed for His disciples and all those believers that were to come. (That’s us!) He prayed for unity among the believers, the church, and that through that unity the world would see the glory of His Father. Now, that prayer, in part, I have prayed for our church – but likely at …