Archives

Get Organized? Or Let Jesus Handle the Mess?

Read it! John 13

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

(vs7)

Think it through

I love Peter. Peter who walked on the water toward Jesus, told Jesus exactly what he was thinking, and jumped out of the fishing boat to swim to Jesus even faster. Poor Peter who’s frequently documented as getting it wrong.

Even after Jesus says, “You don’t understand what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later,” (that’s The Message version, very direct), Peter says, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!” Passionate Peter.

He meant well, but he wasn’t listening. He saw the Lord with a towel around his waist, kneeling at his feet, and closed his ears. He closed himself to the perspective Jesus was trying to give him, a perspective of trust in The Master.

So often I see the “messy” areas of my life and I think I know better. Like Peter, I’m passionate for the Lord, jumping into the deep water of this ministry and telling the Lord exactly what’s on my mind. But also like Peter, I get it wrong. I want things to move faster and go differently—it seems so obvious to me how things should be!

I imagine that Jesus is patiently saying, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Hey, I Don’t Hate This! (My Blogiversary)

I never intended to write books. That was God’s request. (Or maybe order? No, call).

I never intended to be on social media, either—yet it’s what you have to do, right? I can blame my publisher for the Facebook posts and tweets… but I give my sister-in-law Kristen full credit for the happy time I’ve spent on Pinterest!

I certainly never, ever intended to blog. My publisher made me do it. Honestly, I thought I would hate it. And now here I am with one full year of blogging under my belt, thinking, Hey, I don’t hate this!

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

What Not to Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you…

-Isaiah 43:2

 

I took a hard look at my bad reactions to overwhelming circumstances when my friend Rachel Wojo gave me a copy of her new book, One More Step.

Rachel and I have similar ministry messages in a lot of ways. In One More Step, she takes the reader on journey through the different feelings we face in the midst of struggle and gives solid, faith-based ideas for how to handle those feelings. In my favorite chapter, Rachel talks about weeding out negative thoughts much like I talk about clearing out spiritual clutter! In another chapter, she had wonderful suggestions about steps to take and things to avoid when life becomes overwhelming.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Victory is Ours

It’s been raining in Ohio for weeks. If you live here, you know. If you don’t, well, I’ll just say that I’m not sure if there was more than one day in June that it didn’t rain and July has been almost as bad.

Being an “inside girl,” I really don’t mind rain…but things are getting pretty soggy, even for me. And my fellow Ohioans have been getting a little fussy about it. My positive rejoinder, “Well, at least we’re really using our bowling pass!” is starting to wear thin.

Last week there was a day with absolutely no chance of rain in the forecast. I’d been avoiding errands, so I hopped in my car and headed straight to Michaels (my favorite store—crafts!). I pulled into a parking spot, gathered up my coupons, and then spotted the umbrella that had taken up permanent residency in my purse. As I happily removed it, I prayed, “Thank you, God, for this beautiful sunny day!”

Immediately my heart swelled with a larger-than-life word, a sudden understanding:

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Welcome to Alabama

My sister, her husband, and their three daughters had an eventful trip home from vacation last week. The baby had a fever, their GPS took them down a rabbit trail, they had to make many, many stops… and then they hit Alabama.

Alabama is a tall state. When you’re driving north from Florida to Ohio, Alabama seems to go on forever.

When they finally hit the Tennessee border, the five of them celebrated with honking and shouting. Hooray for the short state of Tennessee! My brother-in-law even shouted, “Tennessee Milkshakes for everyone!” (Yes, he knows Tennessee Milkshakes aren’t a thing—that just goes to show how excited they were.)

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

When it’s Hard to Wait

Read it! Psalm 33

We wait in hope for the Lord, He is our strength and our shield.

In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust His holy name.

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in You.

(vs 20-22)

Think it through

When you’re a kid, it’s hard to wait. To wait for dinner, to wait in line, or to wait for Christmas.

When you’re an adult, it’s harder to wait. To wait to make that purchase. To wait for that call from the doctor’s office. To wait for dreams to come true and hopes to be fulfilled.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Why “Venting” isn’t Cool

Read it! Philippians 2

Do everything without complaining and arguing,

so that no one can criticize you.

Live clean, innocent lives as children of God,

shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked people.”

(vs14&15)

Think it through

The first step to living the sweet life that I really wanted to share with my kids is living with a thankful heart. So I created a page about complaining.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

My Knight in Shining Armor

Read it! Ruth 2:14-23

“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law.

“He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.”

She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our Kinsman-redeemers.”

(vs 20)

Think it through

I am fascinated by the idea of a Kinsman Redeemer.

In Ruth, the title “Kinsman Redeemer” refers to male relatives of a deceased husband who had the option to come forward and “redeem” the widow: to marry her and care for her. Without a Kinsman Redeemer, a Jewish widow had very few options. Like Ruth, they were reduced to gathering dropped bits of grain in order to eat.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

What a Character!

Read it! Ruth 1

At this they wept again.

Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.

Vs 14

Think it through

When I’ve read Ruth in the past, I’ve tended to focus on, well, Ruth. But today it’s Naomi who’s calling for my attention, speaking to my heart.

Naomi has never been my favorite person. Her protestations that her daughters-in-law should turn back after they’d already left (could she not have mentioned this earlier?), combined with her self-imposed name change in verse 20, seem like attention-seeking and nearly manipulative behavior to me. But maybe I’ve been reading Naomi all wrong.

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!

Do You Wander the Roof?

Read it!: II Samuel 11

In the spring at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbath. But David remained in Jerusalem.

(vs 1)

Think it through:

II Samuel 11 is one sad, sad chapter. David makes mistake after mistake, and they’re big ones: adultery, manipulation, and murder. I read this chapter looking for David’s heart for God, and I couldn’t see it. The last verse says that though David got what he wanted (married to a widowed Bathsheba), God was displeased with his actions. This has to be a gross understatement!

Read more… →

Thank You for Supporting Our Ministry!