Showing posts from 2018

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…

No Admittance Without…

Have you ever stood outside of a restaurant or store, with your hand already on the handle, just to realize that you aren’t welcome to enter? Oh no! What are we going to do? It is not a comfortable situation to be in and your mind either starts whirling with possible solutions or succumbs to angry words about the establishment.
The times I’ve faced this dilemma are few, but they are definitely moments I remember. Here’s a couple from my history.
- On a beach getaway, we realized once we got to the door of our favorite restaurant, that a couple of family members didn’t meet the requirements. It is a pretty casual place, so we never even thought about changing clothes until after we arrived and faced the Dress Code boldly posted on the door. Thankfully, a souvenir store was next door where inexpensive substitutes were quickly purchased.
- When rushing somewhere, in a nice dress, I realized that I didn’t bring my shoes. (May be hard to believe, but I’m barefoot quite a bit and learned to dr…

Are You A Good Listener?

Webster defines a listener as “one who listens to someone…who listens attentively and sympathetically.” So, a listener listens, right? That is logical, but let’s take it a step further. The word, listen, means “to hear something with thoughtful attention; to give consideration.” Therefore, the definition of a Good Listener could be stated as “One who intentionally and compassionately gives their full attention to another who is speaking.”
That is easier said than done - with or without any distractions or noises nearby. IntentionalCompassionateAttentive
Fulfilling those qualities takes focused energy and a lot of self-control no matter who is doing the speaking. Human nature is constantly at war with us. It is hard to slow down at a moment's notice so that we can truly listen to another. Proverbs 18:13 says “He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame.” We’re all guilty. Even if we have the self-control not to interrupt the speaker, we have often figured out our…

Lessons Learned in the Berry Bush

When our kids were small a church member gave us an open invitation to pick berries from their bushes. But, they gave us one warning to heed. Watch out for snakes!
As you can imagine, I wasn’t overly enthused about the idea of taking our kids berry picking anytime soon. What was my take away from that invitation? Blackberry picking equals snakes. In the years since, I have been more than content to enjoy fresh blackberries purchased from a local market – until just recently!
We have a piece of property located a few hours away from our home. On one of our visits, we discovered that we had some beautiful berries growing on a couple of the hillsides. My husband was confident that the berries were edible, but neither of us were completely sure of which kind of berry we had found. One thing we were certain of - they were delicious!
A friend later pointed out to me that we had both raspberry bushes and blackberry vines on the property. I was thrilled! Once she pointed out the differences to …

To Bless with Encouragement

‘Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone. Take time to care. Let your words heal and not wound.’ (author unknown)
We all love receiving words of encouragement. A text with a simple quote can instantly challenge – and change - our whole perspective on life. A humorous picture posted on social media can bring smiles and laughter. An unexpected note that pops up in our inbox or lands in our mailbox can often make the burdens of the day fade away.
It feels good to live the reality of Paul’s instructions in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to ‘Encourage one another and build each other up.’
The speed and way in which we are able to connect with and encourage others has exploded in just my lifetime. I remember when my father broke down and installed a new phone jack allowing us to use a ‘touch tone’ phone that had a clip-ended wire jack. We were going from ‘hard wired’ dial to ‘mobile’ tone. Pretty fancy! Soon cordless phones were the new thing. No more tangled cords, a…

God’s So Much Bigger Than A Coincidence!

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” Matthew 6:25-27
Worry. I’m not a big worrier, but when a time crunch looms overhead and no apparent solution to the situation has been made evident, I am tempted to worry. The goal is to turn any anxiety into a prayer. “God, you and I have a problem.” Some days I do better than others.
Our Heavenly Father is so gracious and takes care of each one of us – above and beyond what we deserve or can imagine. Even when I haven’t given all the necessary attention needed to fulfil a commitment, He still provides. The result - I am humbled and ecstatic all at the same time!
I don’t believe in coincidence, but I do believe in prayer.
Recently, we had some missionaries coming to st…

I’ll Go Where You Send Me, God!

Driving down the road, I was laughing hysterically as tears rolled down my checks. If anyone would have seen me, I think they would have wondered if I had ‘lost it.’ But, no. I had totally ‘found it.’ I found the answer to a question many of us wonder about. Where will God send me? We say – and mean - things like… I want to be used by God.I told God, “I’ll do whatever you want me to do.”Use me, God.Show me where you want me to go, God.I’m willing to go to the ends of the earth...with a restriction like “without snakes, please!”So, why was I crying and laughing? 

My laughter came bubbling to the surface that day as God showed me that 90% of the time when I'm thinking - ‘Whatever you want, God’ - I'm actually translating that to include a huge life change or that a relocation plan is imminent. While I know missions can mean local or foreign, my mind goes directly overseas. My brain goes ‘exotic’ or at least across one state line. And, all this, without any intentional dreaming on …

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…