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Our Kids Don’t Need a “Before and After”

We all love to see “before and after” photos. Dowdy to beautiful make-overs, overweight to healthy dieters, and of course, messy to neat organizing. Photos like these are inspiring!  (I usually forget to take the “before” photos, but even the “after” photos make me happy—hence the picture of my make-up drawer.)

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How to Claim Truth from Sarcasm

The inscription of the charge written against Him was: The King of the Jews.

Mark 15:26

 

Today I was turning to a passage in my new Bible when something caught my eye. In Mark 15, the words “The King of the Jews” are pulled out, put in all caps, and bolded, like this:

 

THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

I was right in the middle of another train of thought, but these words leapt out at me and stopped me with these thoughts:

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Living in the Pocket

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

I Peter 4:10

 

I went to a Dave Matthews Band concert this summer, and I had many thoughts while I was there. Since the band tends to go on long instrumental riffs, there was a lot of time to think…

I thought about how I’m getting older. When I went to my first Dave concert in college, “Ants Marching” was big. This time, there was a teenage girl sitting next to me who said, “Well, I’ve never heard of Dave Matthews Band, but my dad says I’ll like it.” Wow.

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I Will Not Fear.

 

Read it! Psalm 3

I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.

(vs. 6)

Think it through

So you know I’ve struggled with anxiety, right? The regular kind, and the clinical kind?

That was meant as a joke. If you’ve read any of my stuff, then you’ve figured that one out. And during the course of each of my talks, I share that I’ve suffered with clinical anxiety and that it was the catalyst for this ministry and the whole idea of spiritual clutter. I generally only talk about it for five minutes or so—and I do it in a way that ties in directly with the specific talk topic, so it’s a little different each time—but I always share.

Recently, a MOPS group coordinator who was in the process of booking me as a speaker for the fourth year in a row (bless her heart!), asked me,

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What’s Your Why

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

 

I recently saw a meme (from the wonderful Michael Hyatt) asking, “What is your why?”  On the very same day, I received a short email from a fellow organizer that said simply this:

“Seems very odd that you focus mostly on Christian audiences. I’m not a Christian.

Seems like you would lose out on a lot of people who are not Christian.”

 

In other words, “Why are you doing what you’re doing?”

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Taking A Risk

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Matthew 14:29

 

A couple of weeks ago, I got a hair cut. I asked the hairdresser to take off at about eight inches of long layers in favor of a shoulder-length blunt cut.

This was a stupidly huge deal for me.

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We Still Have Jesus

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:16-17

 

Have you ever opened your fridge, so sure of what you’re about to eat, and found that the food you’re looking for was eaten by someone else?

I hate that.

Not only am I the kind of girl who really doesn’t like for her plans to be thwarted, I’m a picky eater who finds it difficult to make substitutions—especially when I’ve made a “healthy eating” plan for my day. If what I thought I was going to eat isn’t there… well, chocolate looks even better.

Yesterday I went to cupboard to grab my favorite kind of breakfast bar, but it wasn’t there.

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Are You Real or Fictional?

 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:13

 

My sweet daughter came home from Writing Day Camp last summer bursting with news. “I met a real author today!” she exclaimed.

My husband and I exchanged a smiling look over her head. Then she added, “And I met one at school last year, so that makes two real authors.”

“Wow!” my husband said, matching her tone. “And, you live with one!”

She blushed. “Oh, yeah, but…”

But.

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Get Ready to Beat Your Drum

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,

On my drum?

 

We all have favorite Christmas songs we love to hear all season… and on the flip side, we all reach out to change the radio station when we hear our least favorite carols (perhaps for the fifth or sixth time).

The Little Drummer Boy hasn’t been one of my favorites. Maybe that’s because it’s not strictly Biblical, or because it’s the story of a child I could no longer identify with… until recently.

During this Christmas season, The Little Drummer Boy has elicited a strangely emotional response in me—even bringing me to tears.

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Our Emmanuel is Already Here

Read it! John 21

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

(vs4)

Think it through

Many of Jesus’s followers had a hard time recognizing him after the resurrection. Isn’t that weird?

Mary thought he was a gardener. The two disciples walking to Emmaus were kept from recognizing him until after he broke the bread. The seven disciples on the fishing boat didn’t know it was Him, even with his familiar request to throw their nets to the other side of the boat.

They couldn’t see that their Savior, Jesus, was right there with them!

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