Give a Shout!

 

7321064334_13f41f91df_zWe all have them—days we don’t feel like praising God.  Maybe we’re exhausted and can’t even find the words to offer the feeblest prayer.

Maybe we’re convinced that God could never use us, because honestly…why would He?

The song, “Shout to the Lord” has led millions in worship to our Lord. But guess what? It wasn’t penned during a mountain-top experience. The words filled the heart of a young mother as she struggled to maintain peace in an upside-down life. Continue reading

Serving in the Yucky Stuff

I can’t stop thinking about him. DSC05581

Last week I wrote about a man who made a positive impact on others because of the way he approached his workday. My husband met him on a hospital elevator and in a matter of seconds, this man touched the lives of myriad others.

No, he wasn’t a doctor, nurse, or other medical personnel. He wasn’t an administrator. In fact, his work falls into the “invisible” category—you would only notice if it wasn’t done. Continue reading

Distressed and Beautiful

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So, I was feeling all “crafty.”

I took plain wooden letters and smeared a touch of Vaseline on the edges (recommended by one of my crafty daughters). Then I spray-painted the letters, let them dry, and wiped off the Vaseline.

Voila! Almost-instant “distressing.” Then I brushed antiquing paint over the top—all to disguise the fact that I bought the letters at Hobby Lobby a few hours before. Continue reading

Upside-Down, Indeed

Bb-broken world

As I prayed about this week’s post, I couldn’t stop thinking about current events in our community, our nation, and the world.

For many, 2015 has been steeped in sorrow.

“Lone-wolf” shootings, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and government scandals rock the nightly newscasts. Human life is discarded like so much trash. Those who mock God’s laws are lauded as “heroes” while those who stand for righteousness are called “bigots.”

Not to mention Satan’s use of our political and justice systems to wage war against Christ-centered laws and precepts.

We do live in an upside-down world and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to wonder if God is still in control. But we have to remind ourselves…

He is.

Continue reading

The Joy to Come

Over recent weeks and months, it seems that our nation and community is overwhelmed with sad news. Many are burdened with loss and grief. God’s people are not immune to hard times…but we do have hope…

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The Christian life is not an easy one. We face countless hardships, trials, and temptations. We juggle the demands of family, career, and church responsibilities. We fret about health and finances. We grieve over the loss of loved ones. All too easily, we become weary and disillusioned as we question our hope and purpose.

When daily burdens become overwhelming, I love to read Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. He reminds them to not lose heart when they have trials and persecutions. He encourages his fellow believers to fix their eyes on Jesus instead of the things of this world. He writes that our troubles are “light and momentary” compared to the eternal glories to come.

To gain perspective, it is essential to take time to set aside worldly cares and focus on eternal joys.

I like to envision the beautiful reunions in store for the believer. Wives will be reunited with husbands. Parents will joyfully embrace their children. Mothers will tenderly cradle little ones that were lost to them on earth. Friends and family who have been temporarily separated will come together and celebrate.

And we will all meet at Jesus’ feet, our hungry eyes feasting on His awesome and precious face.  joy

How wonderful to know that in Christ, we have a solid hope and future! How comforting that at this very moment, Jesus is preparing eternity for us. And how amazing that our Creator actually wants us to spend forever in His presence.

Oh, what joy waits for us!

Precious Lord, how I delight in knowing that I’ll be spending eternity with You! Thank you for Your promise of eternal life. Thank you for walking with me each day, and for putting my earthly troubles into heavenly perspective.

 

 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

(From Time Out: A Quiet-time Devotional, edited)

Ah, Vacation!

rainpic1Slipping away to the beach for an early-morning walk, I feel light rain on my face. Should I turn back? Is this the beginning of a downpour?

I pause before taking a few more steps toward the shore. Seagulls soar overhead, while waves race each other to the sand. The rain picks up a little. Again, I wonder if I should turn back. Then…

…I notice a faint streak of color. At first soft and pale, the colors deepen into the brilliant spectrum of a rainbow. Overwhelmed, my heart squeezes and I begin to sing…How Great Is Our God

But wait…I’m in a public place. I must look pretty strange, feet in the sand, singing to a rainbow. I glance around, self-conscious.

But the moment draws me back in, and with God’s help, I stay.

And I worship.

As I cherish these all-too-brief moments, I am reminded of a couple of things. First, our Creator God can do anything. He is in control. He is bigger and stronger than any circumstance in our lives.

And second, if I had turned back when things became a little unpleasant, I would have missed a unique opportunity to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Oh Father, give me strength and courage…to be thankful for the rain.

 

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How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!  Psalm 47:2