Monday, August 29, 2011

60 Grit

Alton used to have a guy in is circle of friends that he gave the nick-named of ''60-grit'' because, according to Al,  his personality was like coarse sandpaper and it rubbed him the wrong way. I think we all know some 60-grit people and dealing with them can be a challenge. But, as believers, we have to ask how Jesus would have us respond.

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is for us to love God and love each other. And, he doesn’t let us off the hook when the others who surround us are very difficult to love.  In Matthew 5:43-45 Jesus says,  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

As Jesus stated in these verses, a key to dealing with difficult people is to pray for them.  When our minds start to “go there”, dwelling on all the ways we’ve been mistreated by a sandpaper person, we need to immediately turn those negative thoughts into a prayer...praying for peace with the situation and that God would intervene and provide reconciliation in the relationship.  

California Dreamin'

"Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts." ~ Unknown.

This Thursday, I will get to remove an item from my so-called “Bucket List”. I am going to be a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune. And, whether I go home with big money or leave with the $1,000 consolation prize, I will at least have the peace that comes with knowing that I chased a dream far enough and long enough to touch it.

What dreams are you chasing today? If the Lord has put those things in your heart, they are there for a reason. Don’t let them go! There may be risk involved and there may be failure in the end. But, I truly believe it is better for your heart to go after something and fail then to never go after it at all.

War Zone

It was an incredibly intense spring across the United States with a record number of tornadoes taking lives and destroying homes and business. The victims of these storms tend to use the same phrase to describe the damage, they say “It looks like a war zone!” Looking at the footage from these devastated areas, the analogy seems more than fitting.

When I look at the lives of many of my friends and family members, I see another kind of war zone. Broken homes, rebellious teens, bodies ravaged by disease and families in financial crisis are just some of the signs of another battle that is underway.

The Bible tells us that there we are, indeed, in the middle of a spiritual war zone. Listen to these words from Ephesians 6:12-20, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

There’s no need to fear; however, because as believers, we have the promise of God’s power to fight these battles, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 3-4)

So, if your life looks and feels like a war-zone today, cling to God for His strength and power!


Thanks to ever-tightening luggage restrictions being enforced by the major airlines, I’ve learned how to pack a lot of stuff in a little space. I’ve actually developed a real appreciation of traveling with fewer bags. There’s freedom found in traveling light.

Unfortunately, lots of us are weighed down by another kind of baggage…emotional baggage. Just like that poor guy trying to make his way through the airport with 3 or 4 heavy suitcases, emotional baggage makes our journey through life so much more difficult and strenuous.

The good news is that there is a kind Gentleman who wants to help us with our bags…he’s willing to take them from us, freeing us from our burden. His name is Jesus and here is what he has to say to those of us who are still carrying our own bags, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hear Ye?

Do you sometimes feel like NO ONE is listening to you? You’ve asked the kids to clean their room 3 times and it’s still a mess. Your husband completely forgot the date night you had been planning for months and instead bought tickets to the big game on what was supposed to be your special night. Your boss has, once again, overlooked you for that promotion even though you have expressed your interest in the position several times.

It’s so frustrating to be ignored! But, take heart! There is someone listening, and that someone just so happens to be running the universe. God hears the longings of your heart, the groanings of your agony and the words from your mouth before they are ever even formed. You are not being ignored, in fact, the only one who really matters hears it all.

Be encouraged today by Psalm 116:1-2, “I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Three More!

It was just a scrimmage, but all the boys on my son’s football team were anxious to get out on the field and show what they could do. Just a few plays into the game, on of the running backs on our team scored a touchdown. As soon as he could he looked up to the stands and yelled, “Hey dad! Did you see that? I got a touchdown!” His dad was beaming with pride and shouted back down to him, “That’s great, son! Now, go get three more!”

We all could use a little of that “three more” spirit. It’s a great feeling to experience success when we’re doing kingdom work. But, we can’t dwell there. Like that dad in the football stands, God is thrilled with our kingdom victories, but he knows that we are capable of so much more!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


My 14-year-old son has undergone quite a transition over the past few years. The cute, chubby little boy that lived in my house a couple of years ago has been replaced by a towering, muscular and extremely strong young man. That little guy who I used to easily pick up, wrestle with or playfully push around can now pick ME up! The other day he decided it would be funny to try and block me from getting into the kitchen. And, you know what? I couldn’t even get him to budge! It might as well have been a brick wall standing in my path!

It’s cool when our faith begins to strengthen like my son’s physique. When we become Christians, many of us are easily swayed. Trials and troubles cause us to lose focus and knock us off balance. But, as time goes by, as we trust God instead of relying on ourselves, our faith develops. Before long, our feet are firmly planted in Him and we are not easily moved. We become living examples of these words from Psalm 16:8, “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. “

Monday, August 8, 2011

If You Can't Take the Heat

It's hot...and I pretty much can’t take it any more! After sweating through a month of temps in the high 90’s, I can’t remember a summer when I was so ready for winter’s frosty return. Even though I can’t see it or feel it, I know that the season will change bringing relief in the form of cooler temperatures. And, that assurance is the only thing getting me through these blazing days.

Believing the season will change in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record, is a great, real-life example of what having faith is all about. Sometimes, our lives can be pretty uncomfortable, unbearable even. But, having faith means fully believing that God is in control, that things will get better and that a heavenly home awaits us, even in the midst of the pain. Even when we can’t feel or see God.

In the meantime, we can cling to the promise of this long-term forecast found in Revelation 21:4 “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Are you tired?

With the crazy schedules most of us keep, how could we NOT be tired?  Most of us are trying to balance work, family responsibilities, taking care of our homes, preparing meals, juggling our kids schedules and their needs, caring for sick or elderly family members, fitness and volunteering.  And, how many of us actually get the 7-9 hours of sleep we need each night.  No wonder so many of us are walking around somewhere between cranky and comatose!

If this hits a little too close to home, don't forget that you have a powerful remedy to exhaustion right at your fingertips (and, no, I'm not talking about Red Bull).  This is God's promise from Isaiah 40:29-31,

"He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fog Light

There was a heavy fog on my way into work this morning. With the help of my car’s headlights I was able to see just the road in front of me, but no further. As I looked at the little bit of road I could actually see this morning, it reminded me of this verse from Psalm 119 (105) “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
Life is kind of like the foggy road I was driving on this morning. We travel through it not really knowing what the future holds. We can guess, plan and hope, but only God knows. But, what God does give us is his word, to illuminate the path just ahead of us. He wants us to trust him with the future and rely on Him to guide each step we take in the present.