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Showing posts from April, 2018

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…

Heeding the Warning Signs

Feelings of shame are never welcomed or wanted. Living with the guilt of unrepented sin is a heavy load to bear. However as a believer - and one righteous in God’s sight - I still experience shame and guilt. Why? Because I sin.

When considering the spiritual warning signs that God uses to help guide us, it is important to know the difference between guilt and shame. And, that there is a vast difference between misplaced (false) shame and well-placed (true) shame.

One Bible dictionary differentiates between shame and guilt in this way - "Shame is a consequence of sin. Feelings of guilt and shame are subjective acknowledgments of an objective spiritual reality. Guilt is judicial in character; shame is relational. Though related to guilt, shame emphasizes sin's effect on self-identity." (Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

John Piper has a great description regarding the types of shame we might experience. He says –

The biblical criterion for well-placed sh…

Searching For Truth

A beautiful, framed picture hangs in our living room above an antique upright piano. It was a gift from some dear friends. The artist’s drawing is focused on two key elements: the weathered hands of an older man and the pages of the Bible that he is turning. The background is shadowed with only one other detail that calls to your eye. A red ribbon laying loose on the table waiting to serve a purpose again.
For many years, I loved catching a glimpse of these strong hands digging into the Scriptures. I even embraced the picture's simple but profound title, 'Search For Truth.' But, in recent years, this picture only served as a reminder of friends lost and life's disappointments. I was no longer able to focus on the truth, the hands or the pages of the Bible. I only saw the faces of the couple that had gifted us with this picture. The man had since gone on to be with Jesus, but his wife had decided to no longer attend our church. Her absence tore at my heart, and I struggl…

God Uses Us To Bless Others...even in the simple things!

Have you ever had one of those Sundays where you’re just ready to skip out of a service or activity - for at least part of it? (I’m assuming we all have those days!) I faced one of those days recently, and God surprised me with a sweet blessing instead. 
On this particular morning, I needed to get dinner in the oven about an hour before we planned to eat. So, I snuck out of the church right after the second worship hour started and headed home. As I drove those few seconds around the corner I thought, “You know, I could just stay home for a few minutes and then get back up to the church before the end of worship so I can greet people. After all, I’ve already attended the early worship hour.”
Pondering my options, I parked my car, unlocked the door and went to turn the oven on. Just then, I heard a text come through as my phone laid on the kitchen counter. Since I almost always leave my cell at home on Sundays, I was curious to check out who had texted me at this time in the morning. (“T…

I Had No Clue How Others Celebrated Easter

“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 4:33a
This past Sunday, as we paid for a quick supper at the drive-through window, the clerk wished us on our way with these words – “Enjoy your baseball!” Huh? My husband looked at me with a questioning look as in “What did he say?” I nodded and said, “Yes, you heard right. He just wished you a good evening of baseball watching.” As we pulled away with our food in hand we were a bit puzzled. So, I did some digging.
Sure enough! Easter lands around or on the opening day of baseball season each year. This year, opening day was on the Thursday prior, and if you’re a baseball fan this is not news to you. But, I do wonder how many people have a strong association with Easter and baseball? Like Thanksgiving and football? Hmmm.
Later that same evening, I watched a few minutes of TV while waiting for a friend to arrive. Ice Age – The Great Egg-Scapade was on, so I stopped channel surfing and landed …