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Showing posts from July, 2017

Dealing With Life’s Little (and BIG) Surprises!

We’ve all lived through them, life’s surprises - and survived. When the unexpected is our new reality, we have a choice to make even while we desperately try to suppress the urge to scream, “That’s not fair!” 
The choice: Miserable or Adaptable. 
If we focus on our unmet expectations and wallow in our misery, we’re bound to drag everyone else along into our spiral of gloom. When life throws us a curve, we will find greater peace if we can learn to adapt to the circumstances and re-evaluate what really matters in life – making the most of a tough situation.
This week, by God’s grace, the dream of a mini-vacation at the beach with all of our kids and grandkids became a reality. It was a 'God-thing' to even find a date and place that worked for everyone – at least for a few days! The week started off great. We arrived and started the process of decompression. The roar of the ocean does wonders for both of our stress levels. A few days later another family arrived, and then another. …

What Impression Are You Giving Your Kids?

It’s etched in my memory. I went into my daughter’s bedroom planning to say ‘good night’ and share a prayer together. Instead, I found her sitting on the edge of her bed with pen and paper in hand. She announced to me, “I’m making a list of everything we have to do because daddy is a pastor. Can you help me think of things?” Oh my! I hid my surprise - and concern - and instead just said, “Well, what do you have so far?” We have to go to conferences.We have to go to funerals and weddings.We have to go to church every Sunday.
…and on the list continued.
As we worked through the different items of her concern, I told her that there might be a different perspective on things that she was missing. She was open to listen to my thoughts, so I continued.
Did you know that we don’t have to go to conferences because your daddy is a pastor? We actually go to conferences because mommy wants to be with daddy. Since it doesn't cost anything extra if all of us ride in the car together or stay in the…

This Little Light of Mine!

Through the years, many children have learned this fun little song - along with all the motions! It was one of my favorite songs as a kid too. Up until this week, I have always thought of the ‘little light’ as the light of my salvation. The witness of Jesus living inside of me, transforming me. Yes, I want my light to shine. Yes, I want people to see Jesus in me. No! I don’t want Satan to ‘blow it out,’ and I surely don’t want my light hidden ‘under a bushel.’
Remarkably, I just realized that I have been hiding my light - the light that shines when we use our spiritual gifts as God intended. Those unique qualities and abilities that God has entrusted into our care to share with others. This is a new revelation to me, and that is a good thing as I am still trying to figure out how to walk confidently, and in obedience, in some areas of my life. Some gifts and talents just come naturally. To use them is as easy as breathing, and yet it is easy to then miss the supernatural reality of tho…

The Wave, The Nod and The Finger!

Before you get too excited, let me explain. It’s all about communication, and how we express our thoughts and feelings. Something as simple as a wave can mean so many different things. In a parade, a wave can be very formal and done in the ‘beauty queen’ style. Other waves of the hand can be meant to move on over or to let someone know it’s safe to cross a road. A simple wave is one of the first things we teach our children – to wave ‘bye bye.’ And, boy, doesn’t everyone get excited at that chubby-fisted motion?
The wave that was most unfamiliar to me was when we moved to Virginia. As cars passed each other on the road, I was intrigued to see that people waved at everyone. I wondered, “Does everyone know everybody that they pass on the road?” That didn’t really seem possible. For weeks, I let my husband do the waving as we passed cars. It didn’t take him long to be able to tell me who at least half of the people were who he was waving to. I soon learned that the casual toss of the hand…

Celebrating Freedom!

Today, my husband and I celebrate a sweet family member who went to be with Jesus. We rejoice in her life, but more importantly we rejoice in the witness of her faith in Jesus Christ. In my reflection of her freedom from the pain of this world, I can't help to see a parallel with the struggle our nation endured before gaining its freedom.
Today, we celebrate... The birth of the USA.The blessings of a free nation.Freedom from oppression.Freedom to worship.The freedom and incomparable hope we can all find in Jesus Christ.The promise of eternity.
In my celebration, I’m also saddened to acknowledge that many in pastoral ministry - as well as those in our churches - fail to live in the reality of our freedom in Christ. Too often, we allow the oppression of sin’s temptation to ensnare us. Our hearts and minds are held in bondage with the worries of this world.Why do we, as believers, allow this to happen? We have so much to celebrate each and every day! How can we find freedom from this re…