For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Hebrews 11: 13-16
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (NIV)

I remember visiting cemeteries with Grammy. Around Memorial Day, we’d gather flowers from Mom’s garden and place them in glass jars that she’d saved just for this occasion. The fragrant smell of peonies filled the car as we’d deliver the bouquets to the graves of various family members. I never found this odd or out of place. That’s what we did to show respect and celebrate the life that our loved ones lived. I haven’t gone to the cemeteries for a few years, but I think my brother still does, and I appreciate that.

Hebrews 11, sometimes called the hall of faith, lists many of God’s pilgrims who searched for the promised land. What they really sought was a place in heaven with God. Remembering them and reading their stories shores up my faith. When I think about my Grammy, who prayed for me every day and my dad who loved Jesus, I’m reminded of my loved ones who fought the battle that God placed before them. A spiritual war that with God’s help they won.

In memory of all who have fought to keep our country free, those who went to war to make life better for others and those who protect us every day, thank you. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Faith in the Storm

Matthew 8:23-26(NIV)
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.  Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Much of Ohio’s spring has consisted of storms. Every time a thunderstorm approaches the area, our dog, Tater, whines, walks in circles and tries to get on my lap. He weighs almost ninety pounds, so he doesn’t stay for long. On the other hand, our corgi-dachshund could care less about a little thunder and lightning. If she doesn’t get a biscuit out of the situation, she’s not interested. For Tater, Tim and I are his shelter. His calm from the storm.

Photo by Jean Guichard
Sometimes instead of seeking refuge, we need to stand in the storm and trust God. I have a picture hanging in my living room that depicts a lighthouse in a storm. The lighthouse keeper, waiting for help, stood at the door. He’s not hiding. He’s riding out the storm until he can be rescued. I believe that God is my refuge, but I also believe that there are times that he wants me to stand in the rain and let the storm rage, while I hold on to my faith. Of the disciples, several were fisherman. They understood the dangers of a raging sea. When the waves crashed they headed for shelter. But Jesus wanted them to stop running from the storms of life. He tested their faith, much like he tests ours. It’s not easy to trust when so much hurt and heartache surrounds the world. Jesus calls me to have faith in him and his word. It’s up to me to believe.

Friday, May 10, 2013

This One's for the Girls

Psalm 139:13-14
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

I remember the first time that I felt my oldest child move in the womb. A tiny quiver stirred inside. At that moment, I knew that sweet baby would bring joy to my life. No bigger than a minute, I knew beyond a doubt that she’d teach me, fill me with awe and bring me closer to God. That stir wasn’t just the wonder of new parenthood; I felt the same with her sisters. The Lord created a bond between us when He knit that child into the person she’d grow to be.

Now that my girls are adults, I see the work of His hands. Anyone who has more than one child knows that each one has their own personality, gifts and perspective. There were some growing pains and sibling disagreements, but they loved their way to adulthood, as they followed the path God led them on. Each one shares their faith and love in their own way, either as a parent or mentor to children and young adults. I’m blessed to see how they live for the Lord.

As Mother’s Day comes around, I want to say thank you to all the women who have influenced my daughters. What a joy to know that there are ladies who reached out to mentor, teach and just be there. And I want to say thanks to my girls for making me the mom that I am today. J

Has someone reached out to you and made a difference in your life? 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

No Matter How Fancy, It's Still McDonald's

2 Timothy 2:14-16
Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

In Asheville, North Carolina, across from the famous and fancy Biltmore, stands a McDonald’s. The signs at the entrance and exit wear the golden arches. And I do mean golden. They are painted with gold gilt. Quite impressive to the person used to the larger than life, plastic, lighted ones that shine from the highway. Inside a baby grand sits in one corner, playing tunes to sooth the weary traveler. A fireplace graces a cozy eating area and a small fountain in the shape of a coffee cup hangs from the wall. Impressive, different, but does it make the food any different? Nope. It’s still McDonald’s. The same menu, the same sweet tea, the same yummy fries. A fun eating experience, but no matter how they might try to dress up the eatery, it’s still the same.

For years, people have tried to gussy up the jacket of the Bible, binding it in leather or gilding the page edges with gold. I’ve owned an orange one, one with flowers on the front, a white one with gold lettering, and a few others. No matter what the cover looks like, the Word of God remains the same. The accounts that the writers penned came from God. The Old Testament overflows with stories of His people. The New Testament witnesses Jesus sacrifice for sin. Timothy reminds me to handle the scripture correctly. As I read, I ask God to give me wisdom and understanding through the Holy Spirit. I love and trust God’s Word, no matter what wrapper it comes in. 

What's you favorite story or scripture?