Showing posts from 2014
Sometimes our lives are like peppercorns. A peppercorn is formed. And in that formation, not much seems to be going on. It becomes a little black ball. But crush that peppercorn, activate it, and a flavor explosion happens. Like a sleeper cell; that's what we are. Prepared for action, but not in action yet.

Don't let discouragement settle in. You're not finished yet. God has plans.

Look at Moses. Being unknowingly trained to shepherd the people of God. In the wilderness. Raising a family. Doing the business of life. Getting on with things. It seemed he had had his chance. He was a prince of Egypt, after all; fallen from his high position. Cast down. But what he really was, was a sleeper. Readied for activation.

Just like a sleeper cell. You're CIA material. Espionage and excitement are in your DNA. So, we lay dormant; waiting for the call to awake. Awake sleeper! In His time, He will call us into our mission. But for now, we may have small missions; small compare…
They need us
My mother was telling me about a woman she met during a hospital visit. My mother was there for a doctor's appointment - to see a doctor, yes, but more importantly, for a God-pointment, an assignment from God; something good prepared beforehand for her to do. Her appointment with her doctor was really secondary.

She met a woman in the elevator who seemed quite distraught. My mother talked with her (she does that - talk to people). The woman was having a difficult time, so my mother listened. The woman needed someone to listen to her. An then, my mother prayed with her. She needed that as well. She was touched and God was able to again use someone to help someone.

It's the highest call. It's what this world needs.

I recently heard a story about a young man that my father was going to operate on. The boy's mother was at the hospital, of course. But what she saw really touched me, and I'm sure her as well. She walked by the hospital chapel to see my father, t…
For Healing

We are in the process of being healed. He heals us because He loves us. But our healing also affects others. Greatly. Our healing can change the atmosphere around us; pick it up.

A man healed of insecurity and dependency on the external for his joy and acceptance reflects confidence and stability. A woman healed of the abuses of her past shines compassion, strength, and understanding. We all have valuable gifts to share and our healings are the wings on which those gifts are carried.

So don't feel selfish for asking for your heart-healing; even seek it. You'll make the world a better place as your healing comes. Things change when a person is healed.

Our healings can be painful and take time. They can also be quick and soon. But whether a heart-healing is instantaneous or whether it is a long-term journey, every healing is miraculous.

What is the healing you desire?

- Freedom from fear or rejection?
- The restoration of a guilty soul?
- Healing from past spiritual abuses?
No Trash!
After a few days of being left alone during the day, our dog Buddy can get himself into trouble. His choice of forbidden pleasure? Having a good snack of trash. Nuzzling the waste baskets. Chewing on refuse. Whatever you want to call it, he gets in the trash and the trash gets all over the house. And he knows it's wrong.

How do I know he knows it's wrong? Because if I call his name after I discover his rubbish reveling, his head goes down and he doesn't want to come near me. He's afraid. He's afraid of my method of dealing with his wanderings in the waste. I bring him to the area where the trail of trash is and with a deep and authoritative voice yell, "Buddy! NO TRASH!". And then a swipe on the nose for good measure.

At least that's how I used to deal with Buddy's propensity to debris. 

But something changed when God spoke to me about He deals with our fallings into filth. We've all been there; done something we know we shouldn't ha…

It's morning and I'm laying in bed praying. God is speaking to me about freedom. The wind is blowing fiercely outside; I can hear it shaking the trees nonstop. The sky is blue, cold and crisp, and I'm looking at a single leaf being blown across the blue backdrop. And I think to myself, I don't want to be like that leaf. It has no direction, no boundaries. It looks lost.

And God continues to speak. That leaf is free. That is what I have for you. Free like a stallion bounding through fields; unrestrained by rider or bridle. But Lord, I don't want to be like that leaf. Look at it. It has no direction just being blown around. And then the explanation comes. That leaf is not directionless, its path is not a random, pointless travel. It is being brought exactly where the wind wants it to go. 

And so it is with my children. They are free, unrestrained. Led by my Spirit, carried by my freedom into boundless skies and magnificent opportunities.

But we like our boundarie…
Family - The Joy, The Pain, The Struggle
God puts us in families. 

And He puts family in us. It's inescapable. Whether your family is by birth, adoption, or friendship, a powerful knitting has happened. Family is a gift and a great teacher. In His wisdom, God has placed us with certain individuals. For those of you whose families are by birth, you didn't have a choice; but God did. He knew what He was doing. Whether you're a parent, a spouse, or a child, you are placed.

At times it may seem hard or even ridiculous to try and find good out of the struggles we as families can go through. But we must search for a way to see the good; for it is there. Without the challenges of teenage children, I would not have learned patience. Without seeing an adult child suffer, I would not have learned compassion. Without raising a toddler, I would not have learned to teach.

I've learned companionship and friendship from my siblings. I've felt support from my parents. I've had the…
A word of encouragement for you ...
Be still and know that He is God. Whatever you're going through, He is God. He rides above your storms and He is Lord of all. And bottom line, when all is said and done, He is good.
He is good to you and His intentions are good. He always has your best in mind. His heart towards you is for your good.
In your life, He will leave no stone un-turned; He will not leave you as you are - He loves you too much for that.
His goal is you, conformed into the image of Jesus, made like Jesus. This will glorify Him and bring honor to Him. And this worth, this value, this precious jeweled reflection will be carried with you into heaven and your reward will be great.
The trials you suffer through are not in vain. They bring both temporal and eternal rewards. "I discipline those I love," says the Lord, your God. I am your reward, I am your portion, and you are Mine. I love you my son, my daughter, my child.
Today I would like to thank my guest blogger, my daughter Kaitlyn. Here is a moving account she wrote for one of her college courses. Enjoy.

Take a look at the classroom we are sitting in. I’d bet that everyone’s homes are bigger than this room, right? Imagine living in a room half this size with 6 or 7 other people. This is a reality for people in Haiti, a country size of Maryland that is home to 9 million. 

Today I’ll be talking about Alexandra, a girl I sponsor in Haiti, and how meeting her and the people of Haiti has profoundly influenced my life. 

The way of life in Haiti is one of gratitude. The people are happy just to talk with you, to braid hair, and to laugh. Despite the lack of a common language, kids crowd around you; they are just happy to sit and have you hug them. At church and at meals, everyone just seems to slow down- it it less about a goal or destination, and more about enjoying those around you and just being grateful for the time to talk and share. 

Haitians have eve…
Hold on to Peace
Here is a word that the Lord gave me regarding peace. In the midst of a day splattered by a rotten attitude, He gave me these words of encouragement. Take them as your own.

Peace; hold on to peace.
Don't let what's around you, your circumstances, your situations, rob you of the peace that I give. It's not worth it. What can a man give in exchange for peace?  Nothing. It is a gift from Me. It can't be bought, it can't be earned. It can only be received. It is a gift only I can give. All other promised peace is a counterfeit. Only I can give real, lasting peace.
But you must hold on to it and not succumb to the forgeries; not bend to the temptation to worry or take things into your own hands. 
When you know that the battle is mine, trusting in my desire and ability to love you sufficiently, then you will make way for My peace. For my peace is a river that flows, a shelter that covers. My peace surrounds you. 
And do not worry if you do falter or fail, for …
While the Gardner Works
My backyard had become a mess. Thorn bushes and weeds growing at will, slowly overtaking my lawn. My yard had grown smaller and smaller as the attacking weeds made their onslaught. That's what neglect will do. 

But this year, I was on a mission. I have no idea where the desire or drive came from; it just showed up. I was going to fight the weeds, the trees, and the thorns. It was a challenge; a large task that caused cuts and soreness. But I couldn't help myself. I kept going back weekend after weekend, like a warrior determined to defeat his enemy. I had a personal vendetta.

Very cool how God uses the natural to illuminate the spiritual to us. 

The summer is drawing to a close, and I find myself getting discouraged. Not over my backyard battle, but rather over the battle inside myself. Perhaps you've found yourself in the same place asking the same type of questions. When will I finally become the person God wants me to be? How long will the testings a…

There are certain scriptures that cause me to marvel; put a smirk on my face and a wonder in my heart. Jeremiah 30 contains some of those scriptures. Recorded in this prophetic chapter is this verse,

Your wound is incurable,

    your injury beyond healing.

God is being blunt; stating the fact - our current condition is, alas, tragic. Hopeless. Beyond any cure we can conjure up. On the surface such a statement doesn't leave much hope; possibly wants to make us hang our head and say, "What's the use?". And truly, without God, there really is no hope. But with God ... 

This scripture brings a reality to the fact that a healing of the heart may seem too great a task. How can the depths and intricacies of our hearts even be plunged, never mind navigated and healed? It seems too great a task to take the wounds of the years, the hidden hurts and fears, and eradicate them as if they never happened. 

The broken heart seems incurable. 

But Jesus came to bind up the brokenhe…
Don't Give Up

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." - Paul's letter to the Galatians.

Sometimes our efforts can seem fruitless. If we're honest, we've all felt that way. We put in, we invest, we care, we do, and little seems to change. But that's just our human perspective, for God has made a promise.

The thunderstorm echoing outside my window reminds me of His promise:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

God's purpose and plan will be accomplished in you because your heart is good ground and He is sowing into that good ground. So do not lose hope.

But how do we keep from grow…
Sometimes we don't get what we want. Sometimes we don't get what we really, really want. Life, relationships, institutions, churches, careers, can all let us down. And sometimes those disappointments can bring us into a quandary; a dilemma of confusion and of questioning God.

"Didn't God promise that He would supply all of my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ?" Yes, He did.

But in reality, sometimes our needs are actually very strong desires. Not that God doesn't want us to have what we want; He does. But consider this - maybe God sees a greater need than the one currently playing lead role on the stage of your mind. Would you be wiling to consider that God knows what you really need more than you do? And would you be willing to accept that His heart is not to deprive you, but rather to supply you with even greater things than you can currently imagine?

What if God, in His wisdom, is looking down right now at your situation and with a…
More than a feeling
My first album (remember albums?) was by a band called Boston. And on that album was my then favorite song, "More than a feeling." It's more than a feeling ... I can hear the melody playing now in my head. So here's a question, is your faith more than a feeling?

The thing about feelings is, well, they feel good. There's nothing like a good feeling; that sense we get when things connect and all seems well in the universe even if for a small moment in time. But feelings pass; they change like the New England weather. And a life based on feelings is a shaky life at best.

Another question, When do we go from "do you believe?" to "will you believe?" If we'll be real right now and take a look in the mirror of honesty, we'll see that sometimes we simply don't feel this thing called faith. Sometimes we get up in the morning and don't feel like we have a reason to rejoice in the day He has made. Sometimes at the end of …
Behind the Scenes
God is working behind the scenes. On our behalf.

Sometimes we don't see it. We live in a world that has been held in frustration for thousands of years by injustice, death, disease, and pain. Unanswered questions. Unresolved problems. Unfinished lives. But even in the midst of this, behind the scenes, God is working a purpose. Under all of this lies a thread of hope; hope that groans, hope that looks forward to a day of freedom from death and decay.

But until that day, we wait; we wait for what we hope for. And as we wait, He helps us. He sees our need. We take our prayers to Him, prayers that at times may seem unqualified to move the heart of God. But even those prayers He takes and turns them into deep, passionate groanings; too deep for words. He helps us in our weaknesses.

And in our sufferings, small or great, He is working. We don't always see it, or understand it. But God does. He sees it and cares. He sees it and carries us. He has a greater purpose than …
My Left Arm

I'm right handed, and, I guess that makes me right-armed. If I'm cutting down a tree in my yard, I use my right hand to hold the saw and my right arm to pull and push. That's how I've done it forever. Clip bushes with my right hand, throw rocks with my right arm, pull weeds with my right hand and right arm. I'm a "righty."

Well, until recently; when I suffered a yard-work injury. This injury caused great pain in my right arm, rendering it weak and fairly useless. No more cutting trees, clipping bushes, pulling a rake with the right hand on the bottom of the handle. Actually, that's not true; there's a solution to this problem. You see, I have two arms. Call the other arm, my left one, Mr. Neglected. The unused arm. 

It's not a bad arm; just underutilized. But not anymore! Since the downfall of Mr. Preferred (my right arm), I've found that, with a little use and training, my left arm can be quite useful. And not only that, that &qu…
What Shall I Wear?

There she stood in front of a sea of dresses and shoes. "I have nothing to wear," the paradox tumbled from her lips. "Nothing to wear."

As I hurried to the men's room at work, I was halted suddenly by the cleaning lady's cart in front of the bathroom door. Brakes on, reverse. I headed to the men's room at the opposite end of the building. And there it was, the other cleaning lady's cart; in front of the men's room door. And along with it, an attitude rising in my thoughts.

"Really? They've got to time this better. I should communicate this to Facilities and let them know ..." Halted again, this time by the Holy Spirit. You are a new creation in Christ, clothe yourself with compassion, understanding, patience, and a better attitude.

And so I did. I put on the newness. I changed my attitude and walked up the stairs to a third men's room. (Thankfully we only have two cleaning ladies. No cart.)

It really seemed too ea…