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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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Then I Will.

Read it! Psalm 61

Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.

(vs. 8)

Think it through

Two weeks ago we decided to love the law. Last week we decided to obey it. Now let’s acknowledge that we can’t do either on our own.

True confession: I am bad at group projects. In school, I always wanted to be the group leader so I could do the work as it should be done (ahem, perfectionist), and get the A.

You know the old saying about how there is no “I” in “team”?  

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I Will Remember.

 

Read it! Psalm 77

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.

(vs 11&12)

Think it through

This morning, I lost one of my kids again.

If you have kids, you know this feeling. You call out a name, but the only sound you hear is the hum of the refrigerator. You start walking from room to room, still calling for them, then you’re jogging, checking out closets and the basement. The house feels empty; your heart fills fear.

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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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So It’s Getting Tougher

Read it!

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.”

-Isaiah 40:29

Think it through

I don’t know about you, but this is when it starts to get really hard for me. Easter is still looking pretty far away… but all that Easter candy is staring me in the face whenever I enter a store. I’m not complaining—still smiling!—but it’s a fact that I’m getting tired of giving up chocolate.

This is the time to take a good look at how good we’re really doing with this Lenten fast. Truth always clears out spiritual clutter that’s rooted in feelings!

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Missing Out on Butterscotch

Read it!

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

-Matthew 10:39

Think it through

One Lenten day in 2008 I was at the mall with my kids (only two back then!), ready to redeem my coupon for a free Cheryl’s cookie. (The Library Summer Reading Club coupon sheet comes through again!)

Now normally I’d walk into a place like Cheryl’s and make a beeline for the chocolate. I mean, what’s the point of a cookie that doesn’t even include chocolate chips? And let’s see if we can find one that has chocolate batter as well…

But it was Lent, I’d given up chocolate, and I’d resigned myself to not getting a cookie at all. I’d get the free one and let the kids split it between them, case closed.

Then I spied something called a “Scotchie.”

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Organizing You is Back!

I was sitting at a desk in a tiny hotel room in Edinburg, Scotland.

Believe me, I never thought I’d begin a story like that! But just after the Lord called me to write a book, He gave me the opportunity to accompany my husband on a once-in-a-lifetime business trip.

My husband went off to his conference, and there I was in a hotel room in Scotland, completely alone for the first time in years, with nothing in front of me but a blinking curser.

After a few minutes I moved from the desk chair to the floor and kneeled. Lord, I can’t do this. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know how to start writing a book.

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Celebrating My 100th Post (A List of the Best of My Best)

I can’t believe it, but this is my 100th post.

As I wrote on my “blogiversary,” I never thought I’d be blogging at all. Yet today I took a look back at my first 99 posts, and you know what? There was some good stuff in there!

Over time, my posts have evolved from Monday/Thursday Bible study posts to a new schedule: Monday Bible study devotions with a thought-provoking “kick,” and Thursday posts that deal with either anxiety help (the Thought Shot posts) or Christian Growth (the Take the Challenge posts). All of them speak to what God’s bringing to the forefront in my life… and hopefully yours.

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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.”

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