40

Imperfect Me

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I wrote this poem a few years ago after watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ for the first time.

While I was moved more than I can even begin to express by the portrayal of Christ’s incredible sacrifice, I was also struck by Peter’s agony at the cross.

I cannot imagine how distraught he must have been to realize that even after Jesus warned him about what he would do, Peter still denied that he knew Christ. (See Mark 14:29-31 & Luke 22:54-62).

As you read the words below, consider them not only from Peter’s perspective but from ours as well. Continue reading →

22

The Gift of Time

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When he takes the time to read your book because he’s your Pastor and he wants to encourage you in your ministry.

When he spends hours working on your blog even though he is trying to keep his business afloat because he’s your husband and he believes in your message and because he loves you.

When he flies across several states to visit you and your family even though it’s expensive and he has to take time off of work because he is your daddy and he loves you.

When he asks if you have time to play your favorite games with him because he is your teenage son and he still loves spending time with you because you’re his mom. Continue reading →

26

A Letter To The Lonely On Valentine’s Day

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snow-heartDear Lonely Heart,

I know this is the loneliest day of the year for you.

Your co-workers’ desks are littered with chocolate wrappers and every time a flower delivery comes through the door, your heart hurts just a little because you know that bouquet isn’t for you.

You know that you will spend the evening eating take-out with your only company being the latest sitcom and your lazy cat.

You dread going to work on Monday knowing that you will be regaled with tales of how the lovebirds in the office spent their romantic evenings.

While the rest of the world celebrates the loves of their lives, you feel so utterly alone. Continue reading →

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How Then Should We Walk? {The Walking Series Intro}

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Our Pastor recently finished preaching through the book of Ephesians. As I listened, the idea of our Christian walks was at the forefront, especially during Chapters 4-6. I felt compelled to do a series on walking because we so often hear about the need to “walk our talk.”

Jesus said that we believers are light and salt to the world. (Matthew 5:13-16) How can we be a Christ-like example to the world if we do not know in what manner we are to walk?

That is what I would like us to look at during this series. Would you join me? Continue reading →

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A Letter To Our Son

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birthday-cupcakeHappy Birthday, Young Man!

When Solomon was given an opportunity to ask for God anything that he desired, he chose wisdom. By that very request we know that he already possessed a great dose of it, don’t we?

One of the greatest gifts we can give to you is to share the wisdom and knowledge of things we have learned in our lives. It is in that spirit that we share these with you.

These are the things we want you not just to know, but to live out in your life: Continue reading →

17

Shining Light In The Darkness – 31 Scripture Verses

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Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~Psalm 119:105 

But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.~John. 3:21

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~John 1:5

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” ~John 8:12 Continue reading →

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10 Reasons We Need Not Fear The Valley

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10-reasons-valleyI recently shared my thoughts about the mountaintop and valley experiences we all go through in life. If you missed that, you can read The Mountaintop Experience: Part 1 and Part 2.

Today, I’d like to share a bit of encouragement with you if you find yourself currently in a valley. I’d love to give you 10 reasons from Scripture that we don’t need to fear our valley experiences.

Humanly speaking, it is difficult to do anything but fear during our trials, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

Let’s consider His word: Continue reading →

6

The Mountaintop Experience – Part 2

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A few days ago, I posted The Mountaintop Experience. If you haven’t read that, you can click here to do that. We’ll wait for you.

Welcome back for part 2. I almost didn’t post this because it is so short and sweet, but it was requested that I do, so I hope you are blessed by it.

If ye then be risen with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on things on the earth.  ~Colossians 3:1

We need to look up with our eyes and with our hearts.  Whether we are stuck deep in the valley or we are on top of the mountain praising God, we need to look up.

We need to keep our eyes on our Savior. Continue reading →

16

The Mountaintop Experience

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sermon-mount

Today, I have the privilege of sharing A Sermon On The Mount at our Annual Ladies’ Retreat. As you cannot be with us, I wrote a shorter version to share with you. Imagine yourself hiking to a mountaintop, finding a seat on a rock, and considering the following:

The thing about mountaintop experiences is that we don’t appreciate them until we’ve spent some time in the valley.

When I think of the three most recent valley experiences I have had, I don’t exactly remember them with fondness.

I’m not going to try to convince you that valleys are fun. They’re not. Continue reading →

2

A Home With God

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“Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” ~John 14:23 (NKJV)

Wow! Imagine that, God wants to make a home in you and me. He doesn’t want to be a weekend retreat house or a vacation cabin. I don’t think He’s even thinking about a retirement home. I believe God is looking for a permanent dwelling place for His Spirit to set up residence, allowing us to have an intimate fellowship with Him. Continue reading →

18

When Our Thoughts and His Words Collide

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lamp-Bible

It recently occurred to me that there is a disconnect between the things I think and worry about and what Jesus has said in His Word. I worry about the dwindling savings, about retirement, about the future of my boys, and a host of other concerns. These are all things the world tells me I need to be concerned about. But what did Jesus say? Continue reading →

22

My Life Song – Live Like That

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live-like-thatSometimes I am so laser focused on the to-do lists that I let the daily tasks of life dominate my thoughts and actions.

And then I listen to the song Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets. The lyrics to that song inspire and encourage me in a way that causes me to zoom out and take a bird’s eye look at my life. From that view, I remember that I am a small part of something much greater.

Let’s consider the lyrics: Continue reading →

8

The Importance of Sharing Our Faith

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A Spiritual Rebirth

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If you are just joining us this week, welcome.

We have been looking at the idea that Vacation Bible School has just as much to teach us adults as it does the children who attend. You can read the first two posts here: How Great Is My Faith? and The Result of Great Forgiveness.

Today we are looking at the story of Nicodemus and what Jesus had to say about spiritual rebirth. Our text comes from John 3:1-18. Continue reading →

6

The Result of Great Forgiveness

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This week we are looking at the idea that Vacation Bible School isn’t just for kids.

While the program is catered to them, specifically, I believe that God has just as much to teach us. Here is how I put it yesterday:  “While I don’t usually stumble upon brand new information while preparing to teach VBS, I am always humbled by the fact that though my head may know all of this stuff, my heart needs to ponder it yet again.” If you missed that post, you can read it here – How Great Is My Faith?

While yesterday’s subject was faith, today’s subject is LOVE.

My Bible titles Luke Chapter 7 as “A Sinful Woman Forgiven”. The lesson of this story is simple, yet profound: the result of great forgiveness is great love. Continue reading →

4

How Great Is My Faith?

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Vacation Bible School isn’t just for kids.

As I was preparing for my 9th VBS this week, I was once again reminded that every year I start out with the perspective that I will be teaching the children about God. Each year, I am reminded that while I may be teaching the kids about God, God is teaching me more about Him.

I take many weeks to read the Scriptures, the material, to plan, and to pray. Every time, I am reminded that I need these lessons just as much as the kids do. There will be some children who will hear these truths for the first time. There will be others who know the stories, but their faith will be strengthened.

While I don’t usually stumble upon brand new information while preparing to teach VBS, I am always humbled by the fact that though my head may know all of this stuff, my heart needs to ponder it yet again. Continue reading →

20

I Am Not A Gentile

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not-a-gentile

I had just had one of those precious moments with God. You know, the kind where He whispers something to your spirit? A few familiar words where He reminds you of something so simple, but so profound that you will never be the same?

I had just had one of those moments and I was moved to tears not because He revealed something to me that I didn’t already know, but because He allowed me to experience it to the depths of my soul. I was living in a moment where He was changing me with His love and I was in awe because I was aware of the work He was doing in me and for me in that very moment. Continue reading →

9

More Than Enough

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 You are faithful, You are Savior

You are more than enough

The lyrics above are part of the song More Than Enough by the Newsboys.

Today, I would like us to ponder the question, Is Jesus really more than enough for us? Theologically speaking, He is more than enough. What I want to consider today is what our hearts and our minds think about the sufficiency of Christ.

Continue reading →

8

Joyful, Hopeful, Patient, & Prayerful

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A few years ago, my Sister-In-Law gave me a beautiful postcard that I have kept in my kitchen ever since. It has a picture of a big, bright sunflower and the words found in Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”

These words have been a source of strength to me over the years as I have read them. It recently occurred to me, however, that perhaps I have become so familiar with these words that I am letting them wash over me, rather than allowing them to really sink in. Come swim with me, will you? Continue reading →

13

Christmas In July

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I know… I know… no one wants to think about Christmas in the middle of summer. Hang with me, though, I have a really good reason for mentioning it now.

You see, I’m a planner by nature. I like to plan meals, schedules, budgets, etc. July 1st means that this year is half over already.

That also means that Christmas will be here before we know it. We know it’s coming. It’s the same date each year. Most people, however, find themselves unprepared, financially, when the big day comes.

Speaking of finances, do you know how much we spend on Christmas gifts? Continue reading →

10

How to Not Let the Past Dictate the Future

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I am so thankful that I am a new me. I don’t like everything about the old me.

This isn’t a post where I get bragging rights. I’m not here to boast about how together I am.

In fact, I wrote recently about how we must be careful not to fall into the comparison trap. If you missed that post, you can read it here – Grace, Not Perfection.

You see, I have this wonderful friend who has, on occasion, lamented about how he wishes he had come to faith in Jesus Christ earlier in his life as it would have saved him some grief. I try to remind him that our pasts have made us who we are in the present.

We all have regrets about who we were and the things we have done, but we need to remember that it is the present that dictates how we are affected by our past. Continue reading →

6

He Is Praying For You

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And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” ~Luke 22:31-34 (NKJV)

As our family was reading this chapter, several thoughts came to mind. The first was, Has Satan asked to sift our family like wheat? Surely there are seasons in our lives where it seems like everything that can go wrong does, and we wonder if Godly testing might just be reason behind our circumstances.

My next thought was the overwhelming comfort I felt in Jesus’ words, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail.” I cannot even begin to put into words the peace that this sentence gives me; as I know that my Jesus not only prayed this for Peter, but that He prays it for you and I as well. Continue reading →

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