But I Don’t Feel It!

Feelings lie. They tell us we are secure when we are headed for judgement. They tell us we are reliable when we are as shifty as the waves. They tell us we are on the right path when we are headed for death. They cannot be trusted. Feelings lie. Many times in scripture, God asked his people to act against their feelings. He told them to be brave. He pushed them to trust. The beauty of faith is the act of taking God at his word. Faith in God led people to leave their lands for a promise they couldn’t …

Forgiven Much

In Luke chapter seven we can read about a woman with an alabaster jar filled with expensive fragrant oil. When she learns that the Messiah is nearby, she rushes to the scene. In an act of absolute worship, she wipes his feet with her hair and anoints his feet with the oil. Such a pricey sacrifice was immediately noticed by the Pharisee. The observation and criticism of her actions leads the Messiah to offer a powerful teaching on forgiveness. Luke 7:47, reads: “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–as her great love has shown. But whoever has …

The Fragrance of Christ

  God takes the places where others see dry, broken, dusty nothingness and he brings great beauty. As believers in Christ we have been set apart. In the midst of a desert each one of us is blooming for Him. In his grace he has turned us from death, from the ugliness of sin, and he has given us salvation if we will just receive it. He has taken our ugliness and made it beautiful. 2 Corinthians 2:15 “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” When …

Grace Enough for Me…but Not for You

Have you heard the story of Jonah? He was a man called by God to do something he had no desire to do. So he ran. He hopped on a boat and went the opposite direction. But God didn’t let him get away. A great storm frightened the sailors so they cast lots to see which one of them had angered which god. When Jonah’s disobedience was discovered he was thrown overboard. The rain stopped. A big fish swallowed Jonah and he sat in its belly for three days. He wasn’t forgotten. He cried out to God and the fish …

When I Mess Up

  Temptations sometimes over take me. I’m fragile, weak, human. I struggle with the same insecurities, the same temptations, the same sins over and over. It is irrational to think that in the midst of the grace God has bestowed on me I continue to sin. The Apostle Paul wrote “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7: 15) Sin is a constant struggle. Its ugliness alienates us from God and from others. And yet we continue to slip. We are …

Look for the Escape

There have been many times in life where temptations have seemed impossible to overcome. As I watch my children playing it is evident that they face the same struggles. Today, it is the challenge to stay focused and clean rather than sit and play. I know that their tomorrows will bring temptations, temptations that will carry greater consequences then a simple scolding from their mother. If it were not for God’s promises, promises He has proven true in my life many times, I would be fearful for my children. 1 Corinthians 10:13 speaks of God’s faithfulness. Though we face temptations …

Complete Your Grace Assignment

Pearl #5: Complete Your Grace Assignment Yesterday’s blog issued the challenge to pray for a grace assignment.  But sometimes when God sends the assignment, our reaction is much like the look on this little guy’s face.   Our thoughts may be, “You want me to love her…you want me to extend grace to him…you’re asking me to let this one go?” In Luke 9:62 Jesus said, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. When we pray and ask for an assignment, we are effectively putting our …

Pray for a Grace Assignment

Pearl #4: Pray for a Grace Assignment Have you ever asked God for a job you can’t do on your own? Have you considered praying as you go into Walmart…or as you driving to your family reunion…or going to that committee meeting…on your way to work: “God give me a job I can’t do on my own. Give me an assignment that I can only complete in you and through you.” What would you be willing to do if you knew you could not fail because you and God were doing it together?  Would you ask Him for a supernatural …

Put It All in Context

Pearl #2: Put It All in Context My husband gave me a bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day.  One of them, as you can see in this picture, is dying and looking pretty bad.  I plucked that one out and tossed it.  I didn’t throw out all the other beautiful roses just because one in the bunch was ugly. I didn’t choose to condemn my whole bouquet because of one bad flower. But yet…do we sometimes do that in our relationships? Do we fixate on the ONE time our hubby got it wrong…instead of the 99 other times he got …

Pearls of Grace

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant: 10,000 talents vs.100 denari Matthew 18:21-35 In this story, a king comes to a servant to settle up.  The servant owes him 10,000 talents.  The man can’t pay.  Under the law, the king has the right to sell the man’s wife and children as slaves to repay the debt.  That was the law.  But when the man fell to his knees and begged for more time, the king took pity.  He extended grace.  He did more than give more time — he cancelled the debt altogether. The same man, who had received this huge gift …

I Wish I Could Google God

If only I could “Google” God for answers to life’s problems. Then, I could just type a question and get a straight answer—the Truth. As a writer, I don’t always come up with the best questions to ask to achieve the right solutions. And at times, I don’t know what to pray when burdened by life challenges. So, I wish I could enter a word or phrase into my Internet search engine, trusting that God would provide the exact direction I needed. As I share in my family’s struggles with their painful issues, I don’t pretend to know how to …

WordPower

I noticed a small typo within a comment that I had posted on a friend’s blog. Instead of the word “power,” I had typed “poser.” A minor mistake? Not for a writer! And especially not in this case! My tiny error distorted the entire significance of this scripture: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor. 4:7 NIV). One word shifted my focus and the potential attention of my readers. All I could see was my mistake. I lost sight of the message and …