Is There A Reason For The Struggle?

Is There A Reason For The Struggle?

If you're going through something difficult right now and you're wondering why then take a moment and read. There's a reason for what you're going through, and it has a good ending, but *spoiler alert* it may not be the ending you’ve imagined. The circumstances of life are most difficult – there's always something going on to cause worry, fear, and anxiety. But have you ever considered those difficulties to be invitations to draw closer to the Lord? Have you ever thought that the dryness of your soul is meant to be quenched and that the thirst is meant to drive you toward Jesus, not away from Him? I’ve been thinking a lot about the wilderness lately. It's actually kind of a funny story. I was asked to preach at church on a Sunday morning about a month ago, and the message was about the wilderness. My message followed my lead pastor's message on the same topic, I just had an additional perspective....
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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139:14 This verse keeps shouting at me in a loud whisper: believe! Know it's true. I don't know if this ever happens to you like it does to me, but have you ever disliked a part of yourself and forgotten that you are actually fearfully and wonderfully made? For a good deal of my life, I've not understood a particular driving force within my being. I have a deep desire to take things that are not quite right and turn them into beautiful, efficiently functioning things. This means I see the broken parts of systems and habits and usually ways to "fix" them, but sometimes that comes across as negativity. I'm not trying to be negative - inside my heart, I only want to make things better! If I'm being honest with myself, I've unconsciously loathed that part of me. I've found...
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It Was Just Flower Arranging

It Was Just Flower Arranging

I was prepping for my daughter-in-law’s baby shower and I’d been on my feet all day. It was getting late and I was super tired and achy. And, as it turns out, my husband had a difficult time getting home in Friday rush hour traffic. He didn’t make it until after 8 pm with the flowers I’d requested him to pick-up for the shower. Although I was so tired and really wanted to rest in my bed, I unwrapped each bundle of flowers and began sorting them by color and type. I had a vague sense of what I wanted them to look like, and what I didn’t want, but as I gathered up the stems, I just couldn’t make the bouquets look right. (I think the Lord skipped over me when He passed out the creative ability to beautifully arrange flowers. That’s not a 'poor me' statement, just reality. He gave me other gifts, by His design; but here I was, needing...
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The Dark Side of Change

The Dark Side of Change

The day my mom called and told me my aunt was getting married was an exciting day! After we hung up, I began to wonder and hope that because of the enormous change in their lives, my mom would decide to move her home back to Texas. My mom and her sister had been living together for the past five-plus years, but that living arrangement kept her far from us, her kids, and her grands and great-grands. We longed to have her around more! The next time we spoke, my mom said, “yes!” she wanted to move back to Texas. I enthusiastically, and without reservation, offered my home to her, and from there we began making plans for her to move in with us. What I didn’t realize at first was making this change would be hard. Even though I had a spare bedroom, I had furniture in there and had recently redecorated it. I had to find new places for my...
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Peace and Goodwill

Peace and Goodwill

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14 Once there was enmity between God and man. Sin came early on in the story of mankind, and because of it, God was separated from His most beloved creation. Man was destined to live in a tragic condition: lost in darkness, tormented, mistreated, used and abused by an insidious slave owner. God’s grand plan seemed eternally ruined. When God created mankind, it was with grandeur. He risked the success of His plan by placing so much choice and authority into man’s hands. Man rebelled and seemingly crushed the life out of God’s expectations. Whenever there is separation from God, there is no peace. And it can seem like there is ill will between God and man. As it turns out, God wasn’t mad at man at all! To prove it, He sent His Son to...
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