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A Battle of the Wills - God's Way or Mine

Today, I attended the funeral of a dear friend and ministry partner. She lived life beside me, encouraged me, taught Bible studies along side of me, shared ministry moments with me and just 'got it.' She got life, she got the sacrifices needed in ministry, she got the necessity of 'life balance' and she got true surrender. She was a great example to me of someone genuinely living out her faith, loving her family and serving her Savior. She was one of my finest mentors.

Our relationship began about 25 years ago, but a deep connection was born after the death of her son - who was one of my high school Sunday School class students at the time. His was a tragic death and one that she and her husband faced with deep pain and eventual peace. I purposed early on to speak of her son whenever memories would come to mind. The funny memories brought laughter, but there were other moments when her eyes would brim with tears of love. We never stopped sharing our love for him and the…

Am I Just Spinning My Wheels?

Do you ever have those days – or weeks – where you feel like God has something more in store for you? There is a restlessness of spirit and a lack of contentment. Nothing is particularly wrong, but daydreams of new and exciting opportunities float through your mind a bit too often. You can’t quite put your finger on what’s going on inside, but you start to feel like you just might be stuck.
Those feelings are normal – at least they are for me. I can dream. I can work. I can play. I can simply enjoy life, but there are times when I find myself bored and restless. Nothing is really wrong. Just a bit of the blahs. It is in those moments that God reminds me that he knows right where I should be, and that perhaps I just simply need to be. Be kind and lovingBe intentionalBe growingBe humbleBe faithful
It is so easy to try and rush God’s timetable or replace it with our own timeline, but learning to love others takes time and opportunity. Christian growth takes study, perseverance and practice.…

What Do I Do With All This Stress?

“Do not be anxious – or worry - about anything.” Philippians 4:6a 
That verse is easy to quote, right? But, it’s not so easy to live by! Anxious thoughts. Worry. Even as believers, those things are all too common in our every day lives – even after we’ve prayed!
The reality of life is that we all have stress, and we all cope differently with our stress. Some sleep. Others exercise. Some blow their fuse – especially toward those they love, while others hibernate and stress-eat. Been there, done that? As we all try to cope with the demands of life, our stress levels ebb and flow. Some days are more successful than others.
But, did you know that stress comes not only from difficult situations but in the fun and exciting moments of life as well? Welcoming a new baby into the family or remodeling a room in your house can create as much stress in your life as trouble with the in-laws or financial challenges. No surprise there, right? But, what about the stress caused by getting ready for vacat…

Simple Solutions,Unconventional Methods

Our church is landlocked. We have a nice parking lot, two actually. Thankfully, they both get filled quite often on Sunday mornings. As attendances have ebbed and flowed over the years, and as holidays roll around each Christmas and Easter, extra thought has to be given as to whether or not we will have enough parking spaces available. It is a good problem, but it is still a potential problem that has to be considered.
After all, we don't want visitors to get the sense that “We’re full.” or that there's “No room in the Inn.” It is intimidating enough for many to just walk into the church building. Parking shouldn’t be something stressful to navigate upon arrival to the church property as well. 
On the flip side, it is always fun to see how creative people can get when parking spots are at a premium. And, often it is the elderly folks that are the most determined to find a space that will work. I both hate and love to see an older lady shuffling in on a Sunday morning after wiggl…

That Caught My Attention!

“Are you seeking great things for yourself?”
Found in Jeremiah 45:5 (LB), that verse caught my attention the other day. “Are you seeking great things for yourself?” That’s a hard question. Yes. No. Maybe?
Are we supposed to seek great things? Or, are we to be more humble in our opinion of ourselves and our aspirations in life? The world would tell us, Yes! You deserve to be rewarded. Isn’t seeking great things how you get noticed? We are a prize and trophy-driven society. We even keep track of whether or not people “Like” what we say or share online. And the word, viral, is not something to be avoided, but rather is now associated with fame and greatness.
But, wait! The verse doesn’t end with just this open-ended question. It concludes with one emphatic word –
“Don’t!”
Yes, Don’t! Don’t seek great things for yourself. Wow! That is the exact opposite of the advice we hear from the world every day. But, sadly, I’ve even heard fellow Christians share those desires in Bible studies and small…

A Godly Woman – Who Me?

It’s that time of year again – Mother’s Day. This honorable celebration can bring up feelings of melancholy or sweet memories. Tears and laughter. 
But, what if I took it a step further and brought up the Proverbs 31 Woman? Would you instantly feel panic rising within and look for a place to hide? Do you hear yourself cry out inside “Oh no, not her! I don’t need any more guilt or pressure to perform.” Or, do you have days when you actually feel pretty good about where you are in life, until you start comparing. The Proverbs 31 Woman seems to have it all together, and we console ourselves that “She’s just too good to be true.” But, what if I told you that you and I are often living the life of the Proverbs 31 Woman. Yep, both you and me. By God's grace, it’s true!
I believe the Proverbs 31 Woman is actually reflective of a lifetime of loving, giving and serving. Not a snapshot of one day. After all, each day carries its own burdens. Why would we think a Godly woman has to do it all, …

Our Unique Gifts Are Enough

From early childhood, I disliked hospitals. Waiting rooms were torture. The hushed conversations and tears that took place after my parents visited my grandmother didn’t help my feelings to be any more positive toward the situation either. Fast forward to my teen years when my older sister got a job at a local nursing home. She had always wanted to be a nurse and was headed in that direction. But, when she came home from work those last couple years of high school, she stunk! Yes, she literally stunk. Not with anything nasty – no bodily fluids or other things that might get on your clothing when working in that environment. No, I was merely reacting to the odors of the antiseptics, medical tape and other cleaning solutions used in the late 1970’s. (Yes, I’m aging myself, huh!)
Entering into my adult years, I had only stepped foot into a hospital or nursing home a time or two since the passing of my grandmother when I was 9 years old. And, then what do I do? I go and marry a pastor. Not…