Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Confronting Our Failures

"By confronting our failures, we come closer to reaching perfection."

~Scott Beare
This is the first I've heard of this motivational speaker, but his quote says volumes about life in general. I'd like to make an application to our Christian walk as well. We cannot hope to ignore our failures and think we will show Christ to the world. The disconnect between our walk and our conversation will be apparent to those around us. We cannot possibly hope to challenge the world, even if we speak the truth, if we don't live it.
Now I realize that we all make mistakes, sometimes even choose to do wrong. But facing those failures, asking God's forgiveness (and those we have wronged) and seeking His help, we can move closer to the perfection that is only available through Christ. As the following scripture states, we have work to do, and I would challenge you to not neglect it, even at your busiest times!
Now, I know this is not pleasant work. But it is necessary. God …

Everyday thanksgiving

Yesterday we celebrated a national day of Thanksgiving. Early in our nations history, our president set aside November 26th as a day to spend in contemplation and thankfulness to God for peace and bounteous blessings. We have continued that tradition to this day. Yet today it has become a day to overeat, play games, watch football, and even shop.

How much time was spent thinking on the blessings we enjoy? Perhaps a few, if a prayer was said to thank God for the food. But what else? Was there time set aside to remember what we really have? I don't mean materially, but spiritually. Or is the dearth of activity in that department suggest a deeper emptiness?

Every day should be a day of thanksgiving. As a baptized believer, I have the most blessed existence! It is not limited to the day or the hour I even spend in the assembly with other Christians. It is a minute by minute thankfulness for the free gift given by Christ when He gave up His right to heaven, came down to live a…

Pure Religion

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27
Two of our local congregations recently visited at several nursing facilities. We pass out cookies, sing a few hymns and visit briefly with the residents. They are always so appreciative of a touch, a sincere inquiry about their day, the songs of their youth. I watch as many sing from memory, listen with their eyes closed or even sleep peacefully the entire visit! :)
It is a small thing, once a month, to spend a few hours doing this. But what does God require of us? Just what we can do. We cannot all take orphans or widows into our homes, but we can visit a lonely, home-bound brother or sister. We can take a bowl of soup to a sick neighbor. We can share what God has given with those around us. But truly, we should share with those who cannot give us back. It's not 'what will I get out of this?' It…

Beauty of Autumn

Genesis 8:22
"While the earth remains,Seedtime and harvest,And cold and heat,And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease."
I just love Fall. It is my favorite time of year. Not only is the earth a riot of color, but the special times with family are nearly here. I just love the crisp air, the bright clear skies. I love the rainy days as well; the soft patter of the drops as they soak the soil and clean up the atmosphere.
Autumn also reminds me that God has promised the cycles of the seasons, and He does it with such artistry! With the tilt of the earth, even the sunlight changes the way things look; shadows and light appear sharper, more brilliant. It amazes me how each detail, even the way leaf and acorn fall to the earth, becomes a work of art.
He never fails to keep his promise whether we remember Him or not. But don't forget to stop and and be thankful for the beauty that surrounds you. And then thank Him for his faithful attendance to the sea…

Nesting and What next?

Well, we are 'here' and loving it. Almost all the boxes are unpacked, faces are becoming familiar and sometimes I can even put names with them! :o)God is good and He brought us to our new home safely. We are settling in and making our nest comfortable. We thank God for a home and loving church family. Now, to get to work. . . . more later!

Savoring the moments

Sometimes we are so focused on the future or a result of some work, that we fail to enjoy the present. It is with difficulty that we slow down to see the smaller moments and treasure the little things like the color of the lingering fall flowers, the smell of the earth after the rain, or the touch of a loved ones hand.
Lately I've been so focused on when and where we will end up, that I've forgotten to appreciate the here and now. But in my haste to be somewhere, I've forgotten the precious gift of the present.
God is able to wrap wonderful gifts up in the strangest paper sometimes. Rodger's joblessness this past 6 weeks has given us opportunity to spend time with our son and his wife. Their gracious sharing of their home has given us the time to get to know our daughter-in-law better and to be of service to them as well. The time spent eating together, running an errand, scrubbing a floor or straightening a room has been a blessing to all of us.
I know that Rodg…

Fending off the Slings and Arrows

Perhaps you have experienced times in your life when you just wanted to give up, to throw in the towel, just call it quits. You felt that you could not go on. I have moments like that. Yesterday Rodger and I were blessed to speak with a dear friend who has been through incredible health issues. Recently both he and his wife have faced life-threatening illness. Today, he is thankful for each day, a gift from God to be thankful for. Our conversation focused on his gratitude for the little things; their jobs, their home and the once-overlooked joy of walking down the street.

In pondering on our phone call, I thought on the obvious idea that God has a different view of our life. He can see the conclusion of the situation we are in. Although we cannot see it now, He has given us what we need to stand firm in our faith and face what the future brings. If we are truly His, we have the strength from God within us through his Holy Spirit. I recently read this quote by Helen Keller, &…

What Makes You Smile?

This morning, one of the sales blogs I follow asked this question. He went on to explain how attitude can make or break your sales. It isn't just about a good gimmick, or sales pitch. He used as illustration his delightful one year old daughter, who is happy to just 'be.' She spreads sunshine just by enjoying her little world.
Just so, attitude can make or break our influence in every aspect of our life. We know that circumstances can make us unhappy, cranky, even belligerant. If we do not have a heart full of joy and gratitude, we can become selfish and demanding. I sometimes feel obligated to be angry and upset, because the world is just not a nice place. I begin to think I have a right to react negatively to it's rough and tumble treatment.
But I find that is not what Christ wants from me. As His child, He asks me to supercede my selfish wants and desires. He asks me to act, not react, to the world. I don't mean that I am putting on a performance. It …

When In Doubt, Breathe

Some years ago, my dr. noticed I was very tense and suggested, "When in doubt, breathe!" I laughed and relaxed.
At times of tension and stress in the years following, I have remembered those 4 simple words.Sometimes I have to consciously stop holding my breath and take the next breath. It's a simple act, but it helps to clear my foggy brain. Fresh air and fresh thoughts begin to fill my head and I can clearly see the next step.
Once I can think, I am able to hear God as He directs my steps.
Proverbs 16:9 "The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps."

My Daughter My Sister

Sunday night following our visit with the Lonestar congregation, our youngest daughter tapped her father's shoulder. He thought she would say she was getting hungry, as it was late and we hadn't eaten supper yet. But she surprised him by saying, 'Dad, I want to be baptized.' He came to get me and I burst out crying . . . tears of joy, but also of surprise. She has always been aware of things more than many her age, but I was not expecting this. We try hard, being a minister's family, not to push our children beyond their years, and yet, it is inevitable that she would hear and think on the spiritual things. That, indeed, has been one of our goals. I said long ago that if I entered heaven and did not find my own children there, I would have failed my mission in life. As a mother, my first and foremost goal is to bring my children up to love God and honor him with their lives. I can't make that happen, of course, but I can guide, teach, admonish and ooin…
Proverbs 14:23
In all labor there is profit,But mere talk leads only to poverty.
It is awesome to find that much of conventional wisdom is based on Biblical teaching. When we kids were young and would whine about the hard work my mother gave us to do, she would always say, "Hard work never killed anyone." End of discussion, get back to work! :o) Everything at our house was done the old fashioned way; from scratch. Cakes did not come out of boxes or from the bakery. Meals were made from individual ingredients and always included jars of fruits and vegies we had put up ourselves. We appreciated what we had because we not only put those fruits and vegies up ourselves, but often picked, dug or cut them first. I have always loved asparagus, and let me tell you, cutting those things in a dusty field, at the end of an already hot summer day was no picnic! But oh, did it taste delicious when we pulled them out of the freezer the next winter. We were thankful for the good food …
Yesterday was, in effect, a day of losses. In the middle of packing and storing our home of 2 years, Gabe called to fill us in on Jen's latest doctor visit. Just a short time later began a series of increasingly sad calls. On her way home, she had severe abdominal pain. He rushed her to the ER and they took her by ambulance to another hospital. She had an ectopic pregnancy which resulted in internal bleeding and miscarriage. She was doing well last night, but due to the blood loss, they were watching her, with the possibility of going home today if she continued to do well.Jen's physical recovery will be fast because they were able to do the surgery laparoscopically. But the emotional impact of losing their baby tugs at my heart. Miscarriage is as real and tangible as losing a child you've held in your arms. Hopes, plans, and dreams are crushed and scattered. It challenges your view on life, death and what is fair. Faith is battered. Sometimes we don't get w…

Detour

When taking a journey, often we are forced to take detours. Signs along the way take us around obstacles and dangerous situations. How we respond to these may help or hinder our final destination.
Obviously, I'm going to make a connect to life's journey here. We made our plans to move and here we sit, not knowing our destination. It looks right now like we will take a detour through our son and daughter-in-law's home before we find our own landing spot. Not the route we planned on.

But fighting the detours is dangerous. I remember a college acquaintance telling of a trip his mother took. She saw the signs saying, Do Not Enter, but wanted that particular road anyway. So around the barrier she went, up the ramp and stopped just short of a steep drop where the ramp ended, unfinished, in thin air.
We are often like that determined lady. We have a destination in mind, and a route, and onward we march (or drive) unwilling to be detoured by obstacles or signs. Now, some…

Life's An Adventure!

Today stands as our two week mark. In two Wednesdays, Rodger will give his last devotional at our loving congregation. We will, most likely, store our household goods until we find a more permanent home. In the meanwhile, Michael and Emily have offered their home to us and our youngest daughters. Little did we know 4 months ago that we would land, even temporarily, 20 miles away! I feel somewhat like Sarah of old when her dear husband announced that they are moving - - but all he could tell her was that they would know 'where' when they got there. :o) (Gen.12:1)So, in the words of my dear friend Joyce, "Enjoy the journey!" I believe I have two choices on this journey, kick and scream or look forward to the adventure. Now, I'll let you in on a secret; I've done a little of both! There are days I want to know if the curtains are going to fit. Should I take that extra dresser or sell it at the yard sale? Do I pack the boots in a box or put them in my …

Transitions

Welcome! I am new to the blog world, so bear with me as I develop this site. I hope to work on my writing here, and in the process, share some thoughts I hope are worth reading!
After some 30 years with my dear husband, we are in the process of, once again, finding a new church home. Our destination is 'unrevealed.' But we know and trust that God has something in mind: He simply has not given us the details yet.
Transitions are always difficult. I liken them to a parachute jump. We take the leap of announcing our intentions of moving, and then wonder where and when the free fall will end. :)
But God is faithful and will see us through.
Psalm 27:13-14 is a great comfort: "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the D)" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">goodness of the LORD in the E)" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be G)" style="f…