His Faithfulness Remains

I have had the unfortunate opportunity to endure not one, but two, exceptionally difficult ministry experiences. The first one involved me directly while I was working on a small ministry team at a large church. The details aren’t important, but it devastated me at the time. It didn’t change my view of who God was, but it was disheartening to see a ministry leader behave in very ungodly ways that were destructive to me and many others. Eventually I healed, but I didn’t realize that first event was preparing me for things to come. The next ministry falling out also …

The Weather of Relationships

Just like the weather in Arkansas, things change. Sometimes they change quickly. Just this evening the weather was hot and dry with dust blowing in from Africa of all places. The weatherman had warned us, but really? Africa? Sure enough. Then the thunder and lightning began just at dusk. When we went out to wave the last of our children good bye for the evening my hubby noticed the rain gutter bucket was full of muddy water! A relationship that seems clear and perfect can run aground without anyone really doing anything. Personalities, differences of opinions and just plain humanity …

Love & Sacrifice

Love. We’ve been hurt by it and we’ve been blessed by it. People have even died for it. Love evokes a passion from within us. However, for a lot of us love can be so confusing. How can one fall in love and then years later fall out of love? How does that work? Is love really so frivolous? Is love really that unreliable? Despite the passion that lives in that one little word, we have managed to water it down. Love has become this abstract concept that our culture distorts for its own purposes. In fact, love has become …

Taking Time to Connect

I always say when God wants to minister to someone, He orchestrates a relationship! People are often more receptive when they are in a non-judgment zone. God sends people into our lives to prepare us, minister to us and sharpen us as we travel on our journeys. Proverbs 27: 17 (NIV), “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” As I reflect on my own personal relationships, I just begin to thank God. I have had the awesome opportunity to encounter some wonderful people on my path. I have been the one encouraging and have been the recipient of …

5 Relationship Myths

My kids and I take a summer sabbatical every June to Florida, where I grew up. My husband usually goes on a mission trip and travels to a conference in June, so he kindly allows us to go to my hometown in Florida. Our last week in Florida, he flies down to join us. He loves to enjoy the beautiful west coast Florida beaches I grew up on. We also work in a mini Disney vacation with our little family and spend a couple days away, just him and me, on the beach. I cannot tell you how much I …

The Key is Love

If you’ve lived in this world longer than a few years you have inevitably learned that relationships are not easy. Whether it’s marriage, family relationships, or friendships, the truth is most of the hurt and damage in society today is a result of relationships gone wrong. Relationships were given to humanity as a gift from God. In Genesis 2: 18, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” In giving Adam a wife, God allowed him to have someone who could relate to him, talk with him, and have …

Don’t Play Whack-a-Mole with Your Passion

I’m not sure I can quite convey the emotions I experienced in the garden last November. I had been dreading and putting off the garden cleanup for weeks. In previous years I would have had that soil ready for rest, but this year my plot still held a long-dried-up bean vine, matted black-eyed pea vines, and shriveled cucumber vines with rotting cucumbers on the ground. But even in the midst of the cleanup I found myself rejuvenated. What had taken me so long to get out here again? Although most of the garden’s lush growth had browned, I found joy in …

The Lessons Were Hard

Deep under the covers, I rang in 2015 with my head fast asleep on my pillow by 8:30 p.m. Not exactly the life of the party. Six months after being diagnosed with a debilitating neuromuscular disease I was struggling with something nearly as incurable… unforgiveness. With my diagnosis of myasthenia gravis came an unprovoked betrayal from my own profession, my doctor. In twenty years of practicing medicine I never had a sick day. I returned to work the day after having surgery, not once but twice. Once I even performed surgery at 8 in the morning, changed into a gown and …

Salvation Can Come in Unusual Places

I did not have the privilege of growing up in a Christian home.  Neither of my parents knew the Lord as their Savior until just a few years before going to be home with Him. I can remember as a small child, living in St. Louis, that my mother would walk me to a church so I could go to Sunday School and then she would come back to get me when it was over.  When we moved to Arkansas and lived a small farming community my teacher at school invited me to attend Sunday School.  I was eight years …

Encounter Light in the Darkness

I woke up in the night and as I customarily do I took a look outside our bedroom window. It was so moonlit that everything was clearly seen. It was almost as bright a daylight. We had seen the moon rising as we came home earlier in the evening, but I had no idea just how bright and clear it would all be in the middle of the night. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t understand everything that I encounter in my life. Some things are especially hard to deal with. But as I focus on His light …

From Grace to Gratitude

Have you ever had a word from the Lord? I mean a literal word. As I was reading my Bible and several of my devotion books, the Lord kept showing me this one word. It seemed to keep popping out of the page into my face. That word was “gratitude”. And like most words I had to stop and think about what the word meant. Well, of course I know that it means being grateful or thankful. But I wanted to know more. What was it again; a feeling or expression of being thankful or appreciative. Hmmm, so being grateful …

The Moses Model

As I reflect on my life and the people who have impacted it the most, I’ve realized I am always encouraged by the lifestyle of a leader. Those with leadership capabilities have characteristics such as charisma, knowledge and, most importantly, they are the voice of the people. Leaders are visionaries, able to see the big picture while allowing the real experts around them to execute it. Leaders understand that they must be able to convey their insight and ideas in a way that would make anyone believe in its usefulness. Leaders are always on purpose, fulfilling a God-given calling on …