Showing posts from 2018

God Gives Us The Best Treats!

So, I’m not a big fan of Halloween, but I do love treats! I love to give treats to my dog. I love to treat my friends. My husband loves to treat me. It’s extra special when I can treat my girls or our grandkids. And, I’m thrilled when I can figure out how to best treat my son-in-laws!
When I was a little girl, my dad loved to treat me and my sister with chocolate covered raisins. It maybe even counted - just a little bit - as a ‘healthy’ snack since there were raisins hidden inside! In reality, I didn’t really care what was inside of the creamy chocolate, because daddy treated us to the good chocolate from the mall candy store - like Fannie May or Marshall Fields. 
Those little white snack bags with delicious chocolaty treasures inside were so special! After all, it came with a lot of love. My dad was a diabetic who kept a strict rein on his diet. He never ate our candy, but he did enjoy indulging in a whiff of the deliciousness inside our bags! In those brief moments, I felt extra spec…

I Have No Regrets

Actually, I do. And, I hope you do to. The phrase, “I have no regrets” seems harmless, but it is often a symptom of a world that is humanistic and self-indulgent. Looming behind this proclamation for many is the conclusion that they have found all that they need through life’s experiences – good and bad. And, at the end of the day, they have risen to the occasion. They have survived! Perhaps with a few scars. But, those battles and failures were all necessary and important to get them to where they have arrived today.
We can all embrace some of the ‘no regrets’ philosophy in that we should strive to make the most of our days. Yes, we – hopefully – can learn from our mistakes. Yes, we often do rise to the top and find a sense of accomplishment when we’ve struggled through tough times. But, where did we get the strength to overcome? Where do we find our source of hope? ResourcefulnessSelf-motivationGood luckShrewdnessInstinctSheer determinationor perhaps, Karma
As the mantra of ‘no regrets…

Don’t Be Caught Unaware

If you’ve been a Christian very long or in ministry for longer than a month or two, you have likely experienced the enemy’s attack. His attacks can sneak up on us in much the same way as a heart attack – silent and undetected or massive and painful. Either way, damage is done.

The Bible equates the attacks of the evil one to flaming arrows. They can be sent head on and in clear view or they can strike without warning. The attacks may come from the least likely place - or person. At times the schemes of the enemy are easy to identify, yet others are hidden under the sweetest smile. These weapons of spiritual attack come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common. They are birthed and purposed out of the schemes of the accuser.

The most unwelcome and disturbing attacks in my life have come in times of peace. Life is going along just fine. And, out of nowhere, an utterly depraved thought comes whizzing through my mind! Then begins the struggle. “Where did that horrible…

Crossing Over The Border

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. Long trips, short trips. Either are fine with me. I usually just enjoy the experience and rarely get frazzled by delays. My timeline usually has some wiggle room, and if things don’t go as planned I can usually just roll with it. Fellow airport travelers who huff and puff as their patience is tried are more humorous to watch than tempting to mimic. Weather delays, mechanical problems and gate changes are just a reality of flight.
Another reality of travel is the necessity for pit stops. The old saying, ‘A minute’s a mile’ can challenge anyone’s bladder if the goal is to only stop when the car’s gas tank is on E. The cramped quarters in an airplane, bus or train bathroom can seem quite luxurious compared to watching and waiting for the next possible pit stop when the pressure is on!
There is one element of traveling that does, however, always makes my stomach a bit uncomfortable - and makes my prayer life increase. It’s when I have to cross o…

Living In A World That Champions Winners

The world tells us to -
Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself. Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else Make a name the world remembers.
Pride. It’s lurking around every corner. Our world teaches us to champion the winners, make a mark on this world and if possible win incredible sums of money! I have to admit that some of my guilty pleasures include shows like Kids Baking Championship, America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior and World of Dance. The prize money can be mind-boggling ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000. And, the money isn’t the only thing many reality shows boast. Winning a title or trophy are commended and almost glorified. Being promised a feature page in a magazine strokes the ego and is highly celebrated. Many contestants become mesmerized by the dream and a means in which to prove themselves worthy - a champion!
But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams
How easy it is to get caught up in the recognition and glorification of excellenc…

We Make Time For What Matters Most

As our churches gear up for fall ministries, I have heard several pastors’ wives share that they are understaffed. They’ve been hoping and praying. They’ve been asking for volunteers, but they still don't know if they'll get enough people to keep their children's programs running. The structure is in place, and there is even willing leadership. But, they wait and wonder “Will we have enough workers?” The possibility of having to cancel or suspend programming and outreach to children is common in churches – large and small. The bigger the church, the more staffing is needed. The smaller the church, the willing workers are already doing double duty.
Choosing what is best for our personal schedules is hard enough, but how do we choose what is best for a church ministry. When do we pull the plug on a ministry and when do we move forward in faith? How do we encourage others to make wise choices when they have so many demands on their time? When should we press on and seek volun…

Trusting In God’s Presence and Timing!

From our earliest days, we tend to enjoy living life according to our own personal timeline – and according to our personal preferences. Just think of when we were little babies. We had it made! We ate when we wanted to, slept wherever and whenever it was convenient, and we got to explore a new and amazing sounds and textures nearly every day! Plus, we got lots and lots of attention, oodles of cuddles and much adoration. Other than the occasional gas bubble, our first year of life was pretty sweet! 
We then became toddlers and life changed. The day’s agenda rarely revolved around us anymore. More and more disgusting foods appeared on our plates or on that crazy “airplane fork” that somehow mesmerized us into eating our leftovers. Soon, we find ourselves rushed onto the potty chair at the most random times and are daily required to instantly take a nap during play time. It’s just not fair!
How can it be that no matter how old we get we still struggle – at least at times - living under t…

Taming The Tongue – Easier Said Than Done!

Have you ever said something stupid? You know. That moment in time when words just come blurting out of your mouth before you even had time to consider how it might sound to others. It may have been the result of nervous energy or simply trying to fill an awkward moment of silence in a social setting. Regardless, your foot landed right in your mouth - a position that is never comfortable or desired!
To help compensate for my human failings, I often find encouragement in the warnings and advice found in the Proverbs. The no-nonsense honesty and vivid word pictures bring great insight, humor and conviction to my soul – and tongue. Here’s a few examples that prick my conscience and tug at my heart.
“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (12:25)
“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” (21:9)
"A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; restraining her is like restraining the wind or gra…

Making Room For The Unexpected

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3-4
It’s the American way. We live with schedules – school, work, exercise and even in our entertainment. We build our lives around a huge array of timetables of our own choosing as well as trying to balance the demands that others place on us. There just isn’t enough time to fit everything we want, or need, to fit into our daily 24 hour allotment in life.
Unexpected circumstances press our schedules even further and increase our stress levels.Weather warnings and Amber alerts catch us off guard and get our hearts racing. Oh, and what about that jarring "THIS IS A TEST" message that interrupts the one show we just sat down to watch. Or, the moment we turn a corner only to see newly placed construction signs warning of delays. “I don’t have time for a delay today. I’m already running a bit late.” Been there, done that?
Unexpected surprises in life can ruin a well-planned sched…

In A World Dying of Thirst

She entered the church and whispered to the pastor, “I had to get some Jesus today.”
You see, she was caught between two churches. The established family church of her childhood and one that shared the Gospel of Jesus. She was thirsty, and she knew where to find her Living Water.
I’ve tried to imagine what it would be like to go to a protestant, evangelical church and still never hear about Jesus. It saddens me to come face-to-face with the reality that some of our community churches are not sharing Jesus – churches founded on God’s gift of redemption. Their fountain has run dry.
In fact, I knew a dear lady who used to go to one of those churches. Her husband’s family church. One day a mutual friend asked her, “Isn’t it hard to attend a church that never speaks of Jesus?” Her response was eye-opening and humbling. She grinned sweetly and said, “That’s why I do go there. Someone needs to tell the children about Jesus. I am a missionary within the walls of that church.” Oh what a true ble…

Which Do You Love More?

Summer is full of all kinds of yummy flavors and fun activities. The weeks fly by and before we know it another school year will begin, gardens will stop producing and our long-awaited vacation will be but a sweet memory. To stretch out those fun summer moments, I’ve put together a little mini-quiz that might be fun to share with your family or friends the next time you gather for a picnic, barbeque or road trip. It goes like this…
Which Do You Love More? Corn on the cob or corn dogsWatermelon or water balloon fightsFishing poles or swimming holesA fresh peach or salt water taffyCampfires or BBQ’sLightning bugs or summers showersIce cream bars or popsiclesBall games or bike rides
It’s a simple game, but it’s often the simple things that can spark fun conversations. A twist on this game could be to guess what the other person’s answers will be and then see who gets the most right. The ideas that could be added to the list are endless. With a little creativity, you and your family could le…