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, April 26, 2014

My Lighthouse

John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Several years ago I traveled with my young daughters to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. At the time my brother, Ron, lived there, so my other brother, Darryl, and his family ventured with us down south. We spent most of our time at the beach. The kids played in the waves on kid-sized rafts, buried each other in the sand and built castles. The ocean mesmerized us. As much as I loved the water, my favorite part of the trip was climbing to the top of St. Simon’s lighthouse. We watched dolphins play in the water and got a feel for the work of the lighthouse keeper. If he didn’t keep the light burning the risk of ships wrecking increased. The pilots of the vessels depended on the light keeper to do his job, whether he lit the lamp or flipped a switch; he needed to make the top of the tower glow.

I’ve been fascinated with lighthouses for years. They grace our home in paintings, photos, and 3-D images. I love having them around because they remind me of the hope I have in Jesus. Just as a lighthouse guides to safe harbor, Jesus moves me through the rough waters of life and buoys me in the calm. I have to keep my eyes on him and trust him to guide. A ship’s captain may not know just what’s ahead, but he follows the light. As a believer in Jesus, I place my trust in him and follow his light which leads to everlasting life. Jesus is my lighthouse.

Rend Collective sings the song, “My Lighthouse”. Give a listen at

Saturday, April 19, 2014

He Has Risen

Matthew 28:5-6
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”

Commons Getty Collection Galleries
On Friday, Mary Magdalene watched in horror as her friend, her King, her Savior was hung on a crude cross. The thud of the hammer ripped through her as it pressed the nails through His hands, then His feet. Tears filled her dark eyes then spilled down her face, streaked with the dust from the road where He dragged His own cross.

At one point the sky went black, like God had blown out all the Herodian oil lamps in the middle of the night. She’d heard rumor that the temple curtain had torn in half. As she wept, the soldiers lifted Jesus from the cross. She watched Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus carry the body away. Comfort touched her heart knowing that Joseph would follow the traditions. He’d wrap her Savior in strips of linen with aloe and myrrh. Already her heart ached to talk with Him. On the way home, Mary Magdalene and her friends gathered spices to sprinkle on Jesus’ body. She wanted to see to Him right away, but the lateness in the day required her to go home.

After a night of restless dreams and silent sobs, Mary woke to a soft breeze that moved the palm leaves as the day came alive with the sun’s warmth. If only she could see Him one more time, but Saturday was the Sabbath, a day of rest and worship. She’d have to wait. The length of the day stretched before her and dragged into the night.

Sunday morning nothing held her back as she gathered the spices and friends and they ran to the garden where Jesus’ body lay in a tomb, sealed with the governor’s wax seal. She knew she’d meet soldiers, guards over her precious friend. Determined to see to his needs, she hurried. Then stopped. The guards slept on the ground and an angel, who glowed like lightning in snow white clothes welcomed them. “Do not be afraid…He is not here, He is risen.” Joy and fear filled the women. As they ran to tell the disciples the amazing news, Jesus himself stepped before them. Emotions swelled with love as they fell to the ground and worshiped. 

Based on scripture, I imagine this is how Mary Magdalene reacted to losing Jesus. She watched him die. Then Sunday came and he conquered the grave. He rose from the dead just as the prophets predicted. And he did this all so we could be forgiven of sin. He loves us. He just asks that we seek Him and accept Him as the one who gave His life so that we can be saved from hell and be at home with Him in heaven.

Easter blessings to you and yours. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hope of Spring

1 Peter 1:3-7
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

Hendersonville, NC
After a long, cold winter, the daffodils and tulips dance in the breeze. Red buds bloom in hues of pink, and green pops on the trees and lilac bushes. Spring! What a joy to witness the renewal of life after snow and freezing temperatures. As much as I get frustrated with Ohio weather and the sinus troubles that come with it, I love that we experience four seasons. I’m not sure I could live where the weather’s always the same. I met a couple from California who lived in a zone where the temperature remained between 70 and 85 all the time. That sounds great, but I know I’d miss winter and the hope of spring.

Like the varied weather, life comes and goes in seasons. Some are mild and ordinary while others cause heartache and pain. No matter what’s happening, whether I struggle with difficult circumstances or bask in contentment, I hang on to the hope I have in Jesus. What a comfort to know that heaven is on the other end of this life. As much as I enjoy my family, friends, and pursuits, I have a greater joy in the hope I place in Jesus. Praise God for his son who gave his life for me.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?

Psalm 147:17-19
 Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.

A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook. “If you could, what would you tell your younger self?” It’s kind of a tough question because there are many things I’d like to say. Especially when I look back at some of the hair styles of the 80s and 90s, not to mention the cloths. Seriously though, there are many things I’d say. But none are as important as this.

If I could go back and advise my teen or twenty-something self, I’d say— “Before you make any decisions, ask God first.” That sounds simple enough, but in reality I wonder how many times I’ve forgotten to seek God’s guidance. I remember jumping in before I gave situations much thought, and I sure didn’t stop to ask God. I hate to admit, but sometimes I forget even now. What I’ve learned over a lifetime of joys and trials is that when I do stop and talk to God about my life, my heart finds peace and my faith grows. I am thankful He’s willing to listen to this humble servant, stay near me, and answer when I call.  

What would you tell your younger self?