Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Raising an honest family

Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. 2 Timothy 2:15-17 The Message
Raising an honest family seems like a no-brainer. On the surface, we could say raising an honest family is teaching our children to tell the truth at all times, right? But honesty is more than just telling the truth with our lips. It's living the truth with our actions.
Easier said than done. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What kind of love do girls desire?

What a [wo]man desires is unfailing love. Proverbs 19:22
 
Unfailing love. It's all this heart ever dreamed of since she can remember. Isn't it what every little girl's heart craves -forever love that never fails - like it's woven into her DNA? I think so.
 
And so with every ounce of who she is, she searches the eyes of every man she encounters, beginning with Daddy. "Daddy, do you love me?" she asks. "Daddy, don't you think I'm beautiful?" she whispers. "Will you love me forever?" she pleads, even when he's walking out the door. Always searching. Always asking. Always needing unfailing love.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Redefining Your Passion - or- When Life Interrupts

Image by Lew (tomswift) Holzman
Flickr.com_photos/tomswift/4837657_CC BY ND 2.0
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 1 Timothy 5:4 NIV

Passion - the past decade's buzz word. Discover your passion and immerse yourself in it and your days will overflow with joy! But sometimes, do you ever find yourself scratching your head wondering if you got it all wrong? You realize one morning your passion's steeped in hard work and toil overflows more than joy?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

One Word 2017

Winter Apple by Justin LaBerge
Flickr.com_/photos/jml78/15932703399
CC BY-ND 2.0
I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fileds! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35b

The new year approaches without pause; a natural course marked by a wintry blanket tucked in around the corners of a slumbering earth.

While silence falls outside, one word swirls like the wind inside my mind: harvest. A strange word, I think, for a snow-fallen day. But, there it is. Unshakable. Stubborn. Lingering. It's an answer to my annual question, "What's my one word for the new year, Lord?"

"Harvest," He replies.

Like every season, it's an appointed time; one that can be marked on the calendar. But, unlike the growing season, it's a very limited time marked by urgency and the flurry of hardworking hands. For if the ripened fruits are not harvested before winter, the fruits will die and many will grow hungry. Harvest work must be done NOW. There is no "later". 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas: a two week approach

Manana de Reyes by Manuel
Flickr.com_martius/11801437753_CC BY ND 2.0
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 NIV
While we place so much energy into celebrating Christmas on one day, December 25th,  any thought of an additional celebration could give us a nervous break down.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

That's What Christmas Is All About: Charlie Brown Style


"...the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
Luke 2: 10-11

The first winter snow falls like grace, silently blanketing the world in pure white. I watch from inside where the Christmas lights burn bright, chasing darkness from every corner.

My attention turns to the cr├Ęche set upon the shelf. I touch each piece: the shepherds, the Wise Men, the angels, the rudimentary stable, Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus - they all tell the story - the simple story that redeems life and chases darkness away.

That's what Christmas is all about.

It almost seems too simple, too easy, but Truth is simple as Linus shows us in A Charlie Brown Christmas: 



We all need reminding as much as Charlie Brown, our children, and our grandchildren, that Christmas isn't about the presents or the tree or the preparations. It isn't about our loved ones, or their memories, as much as it is about the One who loves us - loves us so much that he came to us - became God. With. Us. 

God came, never to forsake us, but to redeem all of our losses - past, present, and future - through His son, Jesus. It's through his birth, his life, his death and resurrection that God offers us a way to redeem our loss and offer us peace, good will and eternal life. Christmas points us to the birth of hope and light and life through Jesus, Emmanuel, that we might know him better and be so filled with His light that darkness runs. Jesus replaces our sorrow until his joy falls like grace upon our hearts and spills to everyone around us so that they too, might know him better.

That's what Christmas is all about. Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Believing Like Mary

Labyrinth by Ignacio Bernal
flickr.com/photos/bernalredondo/8118647942_CC BY-ND 2.0
"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Preparing for Advent, I'm drawn to Mary's faith. That she "simply" opened her life to the Lord as his handmaiden in obedience to the angel Gabrielle's message to be the mother of Jesus. But, I've no doubt her journey in those next nine months was not easy.

Amongst the ridicule and embarrassment of her illegitimate pregnancy I'm sure she questioned, more than once, if she was following the right path; wondered if she should be the chosen one of God to carry his child. What was she thinking? Life would have been so much easier if she said no and just went about her business as Joseph's betrothed.