Have We Stopped Searching?

Have We Stopped Searching?

I love Christmas, but not all things Christmas. Now before you go thinking I’m going to talk about materialism and busyness and Santa, I’m probably going to throw you for a loop when I tell you I don’t particularly enjoy Christmas lessons, devotionals, or sermons. I can’t determine if it’s an inward groan or a silent yawn, but it’s almost a reflex every year. My problem is that having spent over 30 Christmases in church, I guess I’ve just grown calloused to a point. Until a few years ago. I was reading in Matthew 2 as part of an online …

So We Serve

So We Serve

Why do we serve God? In looking back at areas where I serve, I can see all sorts of motives: because it’s expected of me, because I’m supposed to, because I’ve been asked, because no one else will do it, because I see a need and I want to meet it, because I want to feel like I’m making a difference, because I love the person whom I’m serving, because I want to please God. Some of those motivations are quite selfish, and some are not. I think we can even serve with multiple motivations at once. But many times …

Ask Me Anything

Ask Me Anything

Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14: 13-14). Maybe it’s my conservative Baptist roots, but I’ve always been uncomfortable with verses like these. I’ve seen people misuse these “name it, claim it” verses as if God is their own personal genie who only wants to make us happy. So most of the time I skip right over these words instead of looking more closely at them.  If Jesus said it, he meant it.  …

Do I Love Him?

Do I Love Him?

Do I love my husband? Of course I do. How do I show it? Normally, when I want to show my husband I love him, I’ll make an extra effort to do something that is important to him. For instance, he enjoys a clean home. So many times when I begin to clean – knowing that with 2 children it will never be perfect all the time – I look around the house and choose what I think would be most important to him. Clutter bothers him but he couldn’t care less about closets. So I work on picking up. …

Eternal Life

Eternal Life

“This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent — Jesus Christ” (John 17: 3).   What comes to your mind when you think of eternal life? My mind immediately goes to life after death. I picture heaven, seeing Jesus face to face, and having no fear or sorrow. That is what eternal life has always meant to me. But here, Jesus says that eternal life is knowing God and knowing Jesus. Thus, eternal life begins at the moment we turn to Jesus for our salvation because that’s when we begin …

Glorifying God

Glorifying God

Do you ever get overwhelmed, wondering if you’re doing enough for God? We want to glorify God, but when does that actually occur? Is there a magic number of things we do that surpasses that “glorifying God” threshold? Or perhaps, like me, you see the endless needs in the world – poverty, child hunger, injustice, childhood abandonment, broken marriages, depression, grief, broken hearts…. And you wonder how it is possible to bring the light of Jesus to all of these situations. Any attempts I make seem like a drop in the ocean. A few ripples but little lasting change. How …

One

One

Did you know that Jesus prayed for you before he was handed over to be crucified? “I pray not only for these [disciples], but also for those who believe in Me through their message” (John 17: 20).  Jesus prayed for future believers. That’s you. That’s me. And what do you think he prayed for? That we would be filled with the Spirit? That we would do amazing works? That we would boldly proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth? Jesus spent seven verses praying for us, and in those seven verses, he prayed the same prayer four times: “May …

If You’ve Ever Been Forgotten

If You’ve Ever Been Forgotten

I opened Drew’s backpack to discover that his class picture was in. As any mom does, I scanned the familiar faces looking for my boy. I scanned again. Then I looked at every individual’s face, wondering how I could miss my red-headed child. I couldn’t believe what I didn’t see. Drew was not there. I looked at the date when the photo was taken and I didn’t recall him missing class that day. I texted his teacher asking if he was absent. She promptly looked into it and texted me back. She discovered that Drew had been separated from the …

What If God Doesn’t Grant Your Desire?

What If God Doesn’t Grant Your Desire?

What is the one thing you desire? That one thing you’ve asked of God? Now that you’ve got it in mind, consider what David says in Psalm 27:4: “I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking [Him] in His temple” (HCSB). I had two striking thoughts when I read this verse in light of… the “one thing” I desire. First, I was a little ashamed. David’s “one thing” boiled down to simply …

Crying Over Hot Dogs

Crying Over Hot Dogs

My poor friend Heather. She probably wasn’t expecting her statement of, “I’m not sure if he has bought hot dogs yet” to bring me to tears. But she’s a counselor for a living. I was pretty sure she could handle it. I was shocked by my meltdown. After trying to gracefully hang up the phone as quickly as possible, I began to examine what in the world caused my reaction. It seemed to be caused by quite a few little things that had added up: 1. I called our local garden supply store for the third times in 2 weeks to find …

“And God Whispered, “I wanted YOU to See Her.”

“And God Whispered, “I wanted YOU to See Her.”

She and I watched our children play together in front of us. While I didn’t know her well, I knew of her and she and I had chatted some in the past. Something about our brief time together that day burdened me. I could tell she was frazzled, but there was more to it. She was sad. I can’t begin to suppose the reason for her melancholy or whether she was just having a bad day or something else.  She left before we had had a chance to talk longer, but I couldn’t shake my burden for her. As I got …