Sunday, December 20, 2015

The truth about Christmas

Christmas.  It's one of the busiest times of the year. With all the caroling, Christmas pageants, buying gifts and getting the Christmas cards out, it can be a bit hectic. It's challenging, but if we try, we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas that began over 2000 years ago.

It wasn't about Santa Claus and lighting trees with colored lights. There was nothing about making lists and checking them twice like it is today.  Don't get me wrong, I don't these things are wrong and I've done all of them all my life. But that not what Christmas is really about. 

It started with God's gift to us in order that we could spend eternity with Him. He came to earth as baby and a few decades later would be a sacrifice to forgive us for all we've ever done wrong. That's how much God loves us. 
One thing that helps point me back to a good perspective of Christmas is listening to music that exalts Christ and his birth.  Right now I'm listening to music from the annual concert put on my the Azusa Pacific University choir.  A marvelous performance of Christmas music that's presented each year.  Hearing the music reminds me how it all started more than two centuries ago.  This, in addition to attending a Christmas Eve service at Fellowship Greenville, help me focus on the true meaning of Christmas.   

Your turn. How do you keep the real meaning of Christmas at the forefront of your mind in this season?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

God loves us will always take care of us

I remember the first time I gave Petey a bath.  He didn’t like it and did all he could to avoid it once it I’d put him in the tub.  I’d coaxed him and encouraged him to sit in order to relax, to no avail.  He jumped out  and ran through the house.  Twice.  Both times, I picked him up and carried him back to the bathroom and placed him in the tub. That was an accomplishment in itself!  Holding him in place, I made him sit, soaped his body, and rinsed him off. 

When he got out, I wrapped him in a towel. He buried his head in it and pressed it  against my body as if to say, “I need you. I’ve just been through a terrible time and I need you to love me and hold me!” I’d put him in the tub because he needed it, but that didn’t matter.  Afterward, He just wanted love and comfort. I dried him off and he went on his way. 

It made me ask myself, “How often do I do the same thing with God?”  He puts something in our lives that we don’t want to go through. It may be a situation that seems impossible. But he knows we need it and in the grand scheme of things, it’ll be good for us, even if we can’t see it at the time. Like Petey, I’ve survived things that I don’t understand why they had to happen. But when I turn to God, He holds me, loves me, and reminds me He isn’t going anywhere.  He’ll always be there for me. 

How about you?  What has God brought you through where God’s reminded you of his presence and/or faithfulness as you look back on it?  I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Storms in our Lives


Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and

forever. Hebrews 13:8


“Oh, it’s not cloudy out,” I said, sitting at my computer one morning. It was quite overcast when I’d gone outside just a few minutes earlier.
The forecast I’d just read confirmed that it would be cloudy for the next three days with rain likely. But as I sat at my desk scanning the headlines, I looked through the blinds and saw the sunlight on the trees.

 A few minutes later it disappeared.

I recognized the parallel to my life. I had assumed the weather would be stormy based on evidence I’d seen and what had been predicted. Yet, a different story lay outside a few minutes later. Then it changed again.

Life is like that. Circumstances can lead us to believe one thing; when then they change, we change our minds. My emotions can be fickle too. If someone compliments me, it makes me feel good. If I’m criticized and/or given feedback I don’t like, I may take it personally and believe I’m a failure. Or my health can change for the worse. Sometimes life feels unfair.  So how do we know what to think if we don’t know what’s true and what’s not? We have to focus on what’s stable, what never changes. One of those things is God’s love and faithfulness to us. No matter what happens in life, God remains the same.

What do find to be stable in your life? Who or what can you count on when things in your life are in flux?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Photos courtesy of

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Neighbors To The Rescue

It was a beautiful day so I took my basset, Petey, for a walk. We headed down the cul-de-sac and saw my neighbor, Bonnie, walking her dog, Hattie. Hattie’s a brownish-red pug who’s about three. When Petey spotted her, he got excited.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An Attitude of Gratitude

Since this is November and we celebrate Thanksgiving in just two weeks, I've decided to take a cue from my friend, Cathy Baker, and think on the questions she asked in her last post on gratitude.

  • What is outside my window I haven't noticed before? {Chrysanthemums.  Pink,  yellow, red, and orange flowers pop up reminding me that there is beauty even in the midst of the clouds and rain.}

·       In this moment, I am grateful for: {My basset Petey. I am grateful for his company and unconditional love.}

·       One person I thanked God for this week: {My neighbor Bonnie. We're developing a friendship as she comes over several times a week to take Petey for a walk, even in the rain.}

·       One way God is allowing me to use the gift(s) He is giving me for His glory: {Hosting and facilitating Bible study.}

·       One scripture verse I'm especially grateful for in this very moment and why: {Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Neighbors rallied around and took care of a few weeks ago.  Thankfully, I had no serious injuries. More on this in another post.}
 What are you thankful for these days?


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Habits come from practice and perseverance

I went to observe a class at Greenville Literacy Association and one of the ladies there showed me her work. 

When I pointed out a mistake she said, “I always do that. I write how I speak.”  I encouraged her by saying that’s normal and that it takes practice to get better. That the more she does it, the more natural it’ll feel. And that it’ll become second nature when she does it enough. 

On my way home, I realized my relationship with God is similar to that. When I first set a specific time to read my Bible, it’s often awkward, or I forget.  I have to discipline myself to think about and follow through on it. But the longer I do it, the more comfortable it’ll get until it becomes natural. 

I’m not there yet.  It’ll take time, but with practice and perseverance, it’ll get better and easier.  Maybe someday it’ll be so natural I won’t even think about it when I go about my days. 

How 'bout you? How do you form a habit that sticks?  Let’s talk about it and learn from each other.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mercy on a Sunday Morning

I started out a little late heading to church that morning.  Not real late, maybe 5 minutes or so.  I drove a little faster as a result.  About a mile and a half down the road I heard a siren

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hold onto what's stable in life.

I was listening to a podcast by James Watkins the other day when I got up to get a highlighter off my other desk. I’d been sitting on a chair that had wheels.
 When I went to sit down again, the chair had rolled backwards.  Fortunately, I saw it and I went to grab it with my left hand.  It rolled further away from me as I reached for it. I grabbed the desk with my right hand and said to myself, “Gotta hold on to something that’s not moving and won’t move, like this desk.”
Life is like that too.
Our world is constantly changing. Society is changing. Whether it's our standards for our lives, what we know or think we do, or people’s views of right and wrong.   It’s all elusive and trying to grasp or hold onto it is like my reaching for that chair that continued to roll away.  Holding onto it would’ve only made me fall.  Just as holding onto society’s values that change leads to our downfall.   

I’ve found that God never changes and is always there for me, even when all else seems to be slipping away or is just out of reach.  I can always find and hold onto him.

What do you hold onto?  Does it change with life’s circumstances or can you hold onto it, knowing it will stabilize you regardless? What difference does it make in your life?  Jump into the conversation!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back to Blogging

I took a break for several months but am back to writing again.  Today I'm blogging over at Jennifer Hallmark's website, Small Acts of Kindness.  I hope  you'll stop by.