Archives For February 2018

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful, Colossians 3: 15.

Twenty-two years ago yesterday, I married my best friend. Only then we weren’t quite best friends yet.

God had brought us both through nasty forests before we could be together. But once we married, life was still not all sunshine. There were mountains to climb and valleys to endure. Sometimes life rained trials.

Joy comes with the sunshine. But marriage is hard work. It isn’t the days of sunshine that keep people together. It’s enduring the climbs, the low points, and the rain together.

We were impressed by the number of climbs we faced in one year alone. Our house was damaged by our own personal flood. While we were out one evening, more than 500 gallons of water flowed through our faulty washing machine from the upstairs bathroom. We came home to steaming rain in the living room.

It took years to get the house back to normal–better than normal–because what came after was better than what was there before.

That trial accompanied the illness of one of my sons. And the valley of his illness preceded my own major surgery followed by a life-threatening, and for a time life-altering, medical emergency. Later that same year, my husband’s heart disease became apparent.

We marveled at so many trials one upon the other. But something happened in the hills, descents, and storms. Threads binding hearts together grew stronger. Memories. Moments. Pain. Fear. Yet laughter. Love. Joy. Not just for us as a couple, but for those around us too.

Through the trials and the triumphs came increased opportunities to receive ministry and to give it. There was increased understanding about how to encourage others. There was increased understanding of God, His love, and His tremendous faithfulness to us.

We have not arrived in any kind of utopia. Other mountains, valleys, and storms await. Life cannot help but bring them.

But, ah, the sunshine.

To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified, Isaiah 61: 3.

Revised and reposted from 2016–as we continue to celebrate our marriage and recent blessings.


Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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I’ve signed a contract with Morgan James Publishing for Restoring the Shattered (working title).

Restoring the Shattered discusses my experiences in poverty as a single mother and how Christians helped me and my children climb out of need. Our journey shows the power Christians manifest when they live out the Gospel for the sake of others.

Our family’s story illustrates common problems in our society, broken families and split communities, problems that reflect a splintered Church–whose fracturing means social problems will fall to government. And government does not hold the solution to society’s ills. So they grow worse.

But a Church acting in accord can provide solutions and can effectively lift people out of need into independence. That can happen if Christians will acknowledge that true believers come in all shapes and sizes–in more denominations than we might like to admit.

Restoring the Shattered considers the basis behind our differences–various doctrines, common misunderstandings, and the causes of the Reformation and other schisms. The original schism resulted from a misinterpretation of languages between East and West. Misunderstanding our faith languages feeds separation today. Continue Reading…

Big News Coming!

February 15, 2018 — Leave a comment

I remember the sermon–pieces of it–even though I heard it nearly four decades ago. The pastor explained the process by which dreams die.

The gist is this: You have a dream. You nurture it–feed it, cultivate it, pray over it, and wait. But it dies.

And just when your hope is gone, God resurrects it. Your dream that had died lives again.

My dream lives today.

And my big announcement is coming SOON!

(Hint) Tomorrow!

Staaaaaaaayyyyyyy tuned!


Photo Credit: Pixabay

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

“Uncommon valor was a common virtue,” Admiral Chester Nimitz said after the Battle of Iwo Jima in March of 1945.

Surely among the number Nimitz praised were servicemen who, in their younger days, had tried the patience of teachers convinced their young charges would amount to little in life.

Such was the case for three young men depicted in Clint Eastwood’s recently released The 15:17 to Paris.

The movie is not in danger of garnering any Oscars. It’s not a remarkable movie. But it tells a remarkable story. Continue Reading…

“Manhood must be demonstrated. It is largely an action. Womanhood is an essence. Manhood does. Womanhood is.” (Qtd. by Stanton)

That’s a statement many would challenge today. That there is a difference–and that the difference is significant.

Some might challenge the statement as religious. After all, it is largely in the orthodox corners of Christianity that such discussion happens at all today.

But this statement comes from a secular person–one who did not advocate biblical marriage and sexual purity. Continue Reading…

Messy Beauty

February 5, 2018 — Leave a comment

“People are messy; therefore, relationships will be messy. Don’t be surprised by messiness.” Tim Keller

We are a family–me, my husband, my children, and theirs. When my family was just me and young children, we were a beautiful mess of chaos and disorder that I constantly worked to organize. Managing five children often moving in five directions taught me that an ideal degree of order must by necessity contain some mess.

The messiness of life spills over into seven houses now with various degrees of order and chaos.

We are far from perfect. But perfection comes not in avoiding the mess–but in embracing the beauty of it. Continue Reading…

What does the United States have in common with Canada, China, Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam?

All these nations allow abortion after 20 weeks.

The US Senate last week failed to bring us up to the level of most European nations, countries that outlaw abortion for babies who’ve reached the halfway point of pregnancy–many even sooner at 12 weeks.

It’s one of many ironies that when doctors perform surgery on an unborn child–a child they intend to help live–they routinely administer anesthesia to the child.

But when children of the same gestational age are aborted, they receive no painkilling medication. These children die as their nerve endings fully convey the killing process through the child.

It is the doublethink of George Orwell’s 1984the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in one’s mind and not consider them inconsistent. Continue Reading…