The unfading beauty…

The unfading beauty…

...The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight. I Peter 3:4 I used to be more concerned about aging and looking older…then I realized that no one cared and that no one was really looking anyway. I also realized that it is true – the most beautiful people are those whose beauty radiates from the inside out. Corrie Ten Boom has touched millions with her story of forgiveness and trusting God. During her time here on earth, she never stopped proclaiming the goodness of the Lord…even though her sister, Betsy starved to death in a concentration camp. Though Betsy herself knew the unimaginable horrors at the hands of the Nazi regime, she forgave the very man who had treated her sweet sister with such...

Jesus, when did we see you in prison?

Prison stinks. Prison stinks. This seems logical after-all, it’s not supposed to be a nice place. Stories, movies, and TV dramas portray prison. But what’s not seen or felt is how difficult prison can be for the loved ones of the inmate. I’ve learned I’m not alone. It’s not just the pain of the crime, but how families are baffled by the “system,” even when an inmate is terminally ill. When my youngest brother was arrested for a terrible crime it was devastating to me and to my family. While I didn’t approve of his actions or the crimes he committed, he was still my little brother and I continued to love and support him. The journey he took our family on was difficult, but it was also a season in my life that...

When fear takes over

The majority of time in my early years of marriage, I reacted rather than responding. My behavior, often cold and accusatory was rooted in fear.  As I began to align my life with God’s, I recognized how much fear had controlled my actions.  As I was nagging my husband about how he needed to change and lead his family, deep down it was really the fear that my circumstance might not ever change. I wasn’t trusting God to change my husband. I placed more leverage on my husband’s actions and attitude than God’s ability to change his heart. A fearful heart has great difficulty being an obedient heart.  God’s word speaks to His children to remain in obedience. In I Peter 3:6 he specifically instructs women to be like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham...

Connected but not belonging

Standing in a river and dying of thirst…or being constantly “connected,” but never engaging and having a sense of belonging. Our conversations have dwindled down to facebook feeds, tweets, texts…condensed, quick, briefly skimming the top with out taking the time to dredge into the depths. I had some time on my hands this afternoon. Actually, I chose that time. I stepped out of my office, chose not to do some dishes, fold some clothes, do some writing or organizing or planning…I stepped out of everything and went to the quiet refuge of  the wrap-around porch that is in the back of the house. Every one was either gone or napping. I didn’t even take my Bible or paper, or pen…or phone. I needed to talk, engage, to dredge...

Your voice is a megaphone about something

Ever thought that maybe the “greats” have it all together and that’s why God uses them? Though John Piper is one of my favorite teachers of the Word, Joni Eareckson Tada inspires me, Crawford Loritts always seems to hit that 2×4 spot in my brain, Billy Graham has spoken the Gospel to hundreds of thousands during his life time.  All used by God, all human, all fall so short, all desperate for God’s sweet redemption through Christ. They are people who have been used by God and have been allowed a spiritual megaphone and the platform from which to proclaim truth. That doesn’t mean they don’t have problems, don’t struggle. Sometimes, we think that it is up to others to do the work  – those super spiritual people...

Do You Have a Plumb Line?

Last summer my oldest son who is a gifted wood-worker made the hens a new chicken coop. Jordan, like any other craftsman is precise.   He doesn’t just wing it and slap it together, hoping it will come together in the end. He measures, twice, so he can cut, once. He thinks and ponders, draws up plans and considers all the angles. He set to work in those sweltering July days. He had a task to accomplish. He had a vision for the completed project. And he used the right tools. He drew a plumb line so that he knew his angles, his cuts would be straight…he had something to go by, something established, straight and firm. What about you? What are you aligning your heart and life with? If its your emotions then you will be tossed and shifted with every...

My self-inflicted prison sentence in assuming

There were times I felt as if I had been handed a prison sentence and the harsh warden was my own husband. Over and over I asked forgiveness for my crime which I assumed was making a bad choice, marrying the man I had loved. I assumed that God as judge, had sentenced me to life with a man who, at that time was not capable of returning love. I assumed that God had turned his back on me. My life was a prison sentence and I was trapped, bringing three innocent victims along with me to cower in the corner of a darkened cell. That was my perspective of God and who I was to Him. I wrongly believed God was punishing me while I felt the real guilty one had gotten off without so much as a warning. God, I thought, had the keys to my cell door but He refused to unlock the...

May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!