Learning from highlights of the past

I have a rule which I follow pretty diligently. Protect the first hour and last hour of the day – no televised news shows and no talk shows. They plant seeds of negativity that have to be weeded out before the roots take hold. If you’re into gardening you know how pesky those insidious little strands can be. I don’t advocate cutting off awareness to current events or living without a shred of knowledge about what’s going on in the world, but you can set the tone and make peace …

Read more

Peace: The Music of the Soul

On August 31, 2013 I was trampled by a horse and nearly lost my life. On August 30, 2013 just 24 hours earlier, I posted these thoughts. These are still my thoughts, feelings, emotions … the music of my soul. “The will of God will not take you where the peace of God will not keep you. “ I was hooking up an old TV and testing to make sure I got all the wires plugged into their right sockets (yellow to yellow, red to red – you know – rocket science) …

Read more

The Fire and the Masterpiece

Awhile back I watched the Day of Discovery program produced by RBC Ministries.  I was intrigued by the familiar topic of the potter and the clay.  Isaiah 64:8 says ”Yet Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we all are the work of Your hands.” I’ve heard that story all my life. The potter (God) takes a lump of clay (me) and puts me on the potter’s wheel, spins me around while dousing me with water, and shaping me into a masterpiece, fashioned …

Read more

Lover vs Enemy – Which Do You Choose

Have you ever started your day from the moment of wakefulness with an unexplained sense of regret? Monday, I woke up disappointed; no reason, but the tug toward discouragement was obvious. Monday follows Sunday, the day of spiritual feasting.  It didn’t take long to recognize the leading character in this restless descent into pessimism. While my guard was down, the ‘Enemy of My Soul’ brought out his messy paintbrush and tried to ruin the landscape of the beautiful day God planned. During our pastor’s sermon on Sunday, he was reading in …

Read more

Faith or Fact?

I remember the first time I ever heard the term ‘poster child’. I was 10 years old, sitting in the living room with my mom and her friend waiting for Sunday dinner to be ready. They were discussing a picture on the back of a magazine where Easter Seals presented their poster child, encumbered by leg braces, and supported by metal crutches.  Since then I’ve come to hear different nuances of that term ‘Poster Child”.  They are the ‘Poster Child’ for discord, ‘Poster Child’ for medical mystery, ‘Poster Child’ for …

Read more

Go toward the light …

When I enter a room to relax, kick back, veg out – in short, to become the epitome of a couch potato in appearance and momentum – I dim the lights, grab my blanket, and enter the state of inertia.  Not so when I enter a room with intentions to work on a project, read a book, do some cleaning, or check off items on my to-done list. When I’m on a mission, I turn the lights on, sometimes more than one, because I want to see clearly, need every …

Read more

A different definition of kindness

I drove by a church and noticed their marquee that read “Lord show us your kindness.’ That thought has followed me around for days. I wondered what events prompted the display of a message so clear, yet so perplexing. “Lord show us your kindness.” It’s an understandable request. There is no complicated rhetoric to decipher; the request is straight forward, so why wouldn’t it leave my mind? I may have just unraveled the tangled dilemma, though. The Lord, our God, is always kind – even when he allows unkind circumstances …

Read more

Unacceptable

Unacceptable – What do you think when you hear that word? Disheartened? Anxious?  Unacceptable. If you’re anything like me – human – you’ve experienced ‘unacceptable’. No matter how much effort I put into an activity, I never get it right the first time; don’t achieve perfection; concede to the do over. It’s tempting to affix the label ‘unacceptable’ to the whole project and just give up. Consider this with me for a moment. Sometimes we pray for God to give us direction, to open the right doors, and to show …

Read more

Comfort and Joy

Comfort, comfort my people … shortly before I went to bed, I got a text from a friend with a message not unlike many I had received this week. “Without warning two of my friends were laid off indefinitely from their jobs. Please help me pray for them.” I had a sick feeling multiplied by the number of similar requests to pray just in the past week. From my recent prayer journal pages – Please pray: My mom has dementia and I don’t know how much longer I can care …

Read more

Faith – Who needs it anyway?

Have you ever been on the cusp of a new experience and had no idea how it was going to work out? One chapter comes to a close and the next one opens with an unknown plot.  Scary! What if I made a bad decision? What if the results are disastrous? What if it doesn’t work out? Those are not my thoughts, but the enemy of my soul will be very adept at substituting my productive thoughts with debilitating fears. In case you’re going though a rough patch and you’re facing a difficult situation, let’s help …

Read more

Refining Grace