Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Big Picture

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

I find it interesting the rage over the Colts loss on Sunday. The coaches put in the second string players and the result was losing the game. “ The Colts, after leading throughout the first half, removed Manning and multiple other starters with 5:36 remaining in the third quarter, and the New York Jets outscored the Colts by 19 points thereafter to win, 29-15, in front of 67,222 at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon.” Those in charge said it was not about winning the game, to have a perfect season. To me, if one is playing a game, the goal is to win and to take all steps possible to that end. However, winning the game is not the summation for the Colts; rather it is to operate at their best during playoffs (in January ’10). I guess that is seeing the bigger picture.

Our lives are often like that. We charge through doing what we want, playing to win, not stopping to ask God if it is what He wants. We are winning. Then, things happen that make the game hard to play. We question God, often asking why. It feels like we are no longer winning. We think our lives should be a certain way and God does not seem to be working that out for us, our way.

Micca Campbell wrote, "It's tough to figure God out when He doesn't play by our rules or have the same agenda we have. We forget that God sees a much bigger picture." In whatever situation you are in today, take heart, God knows what the big picture is.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Who is Jesus to you?

“And then He asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15

I am fascinated by the many names describing who Jesus is. He is the Son of God, Lord, Redeemer, Alpha and Omega, Immanuel, Word, Bread of Life. He is our Mediator, our Jehovah-Jireh. He is the Ever-last Father, the Good Shepherd, the Mighty One, the Prince of Peace, and the King of Kings. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And, the list goes on and on for Jesus Is.

Who is Jesus to you? Is He a genie in a bottle, a name proclaimed when times are desperate? Is He the baby whose birth you celebrate by forgetting Him in the busyness of the holiday? Someday you will be called upon to say who Jesus is; don’t be caught unaware. Jesus can be your all. Just call upon His name and He can be what means the most, Savior.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Corinthians 13- The Christmas Version

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is I Corinthians 13. This version is so special for this holiday season.


By an unknown author

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Forgive Them

" Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing'". Luke 23:34a

From Infamy to History, December 7, 1941 is a day to never be forgotten. It saddens my heart that so many in our country do not know the significance of this day. It was on this day that Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. The attack took place on a Sunday, started just before 8:00 a.m. The devastation was more than machinery, ships, planes, or land, but was at the high cost of life. Killed in the attack were 2335 servicemen, 68 civilians, 1178 were wounded. Not only was Pearl Harbor attacked, but every military instillation on the island of Oahu. Japan, although the attackers, also suffered human loss.

History that is not learned is oft repeated, and as a country, we have witnessed this. May we, citizens of The United States of America, never forget this day!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Prepare Ye the Way

A voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for the Lord: make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3

Advent is a time of preparation, symbolizing the spiritual journey of Christians. It is a time that is marked by a spirit of expectation, longing for Christ’s coming. Isaiah, then John the Baptist tells us again (Matthew 3:3) to prepare the way for the Lord. Today let me prepare the way through making straight in the wildness by repenting of my sins, those obstacles between God and me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Faith Filled Friday

Faith is more than belief; it is confidence and trust. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Neologism: What Constitutes Real Words

Today more than ever, there is an increase in neologism. It has been a part of the advertising world forever, but with the advent and increase use of texting, it has proliferated within the general population. Frankly, it drives me nuts and shows I am reticent to change. I question the veracity of such words as maxxinista, shopportunistic, and blingatude. Some such words are found only in the Urban dictionary; they have not yet made it through the arduous process to be added to Webster’s dictionary. Lenin once said, “If you want to destroy a society, corrupt the language.”

I can only wish that these types of words are destined to ubiquity. For me, the struggle to learn words that are “more scholarly” is challenge enough without having to learn words of subcultures that prefer to make up words rather than learn ones that could be used.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Counts Is on the Inside

Matthew 23:25-26 (NIV) "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

A paper for my ethics class I had to reply to the statement “The true measure of business success is found in what is done when no one is looking.” Part of my reply is as follows: The truth of what constitutes the heart of an organization or individual is found when the spotlight is off. It is easy to exhibit good ethical behavior and engage in moral responsibility when others are watching, but what is at the core is what bubbles up to the surface. If an organization or individual is not ethical, does not shoulder a moral responsibility in life, this will eventually rise to the surface. Following rules and behaving ethically is a choice made in the heart, where others cannot see.

Jesus tells us simply, that it is what is on the inside that matters. Too often, I concentrate on the outside, on putting on the right appearance. I need to work more on what is on the inside.

My prayer, O Lord is Psalm 51:10Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me”. Help me to be more concerned on what is in my heart than what I am wearing or doing so that my cup is clean inside and out. Amen.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Faith Filled Friday

Faith defined:

"being full persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised." Romans 4:21

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans’ Day

Elmer Davis said “This nation will remain home of the free for so long as it remains home of the brave.” Yesterday was the Memorial at Fort Hood for the slain of the recent tragedy. As I sat watching, my tears flowing, I could not help but look over at my husband. Chris is an AF veteran who served with honor, dignity, and devotion. Our son-in-law is currently serving in the Army, having just returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq. Our family is a family of service: my brother, nephew, uncles, cousins, have served, some are currently serving. To them, to those in the Fort Hood horror, to those who have served, to those currently serving, I am ever indebted. Thank you is NOT enough. I can, though, honor their service by never taking for granted the freedoms for which they have given. I can do my part through voting but more, through praying. Praying for their protection, for their endurance; praying for this country and the leadership of which I may agree or disagree with.

I can never discount the sacrifice of the military family either. No one I admire more than my daughter who has not once complained of the sacrifice she has to make so our son-in-law can serve. I know it is not easy yet she goes through the days with grace.

To all those who have served, to all those who are serving, and to the families who stand behind them, thank you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009



I enjoy some of facebook. It has been nice to connect with friends from days long ago; it is a good tool to stay connected quickly with family. However, when I read the entries of constant whiners, I quickly become irritated with the program and with the whiners. Everyone has something and so in reading the writings of the whiners my unkind thought of them is to just get over themselves. Yet, when I pause to think on myself, I wonder how many in my life would love to tell me that very thing. Self-centeredness is not a pleasant trait in anyone.

Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Matthew Henry commentary offers the following: Christ came to humble us, let there not be among us a spirit of pride. We must be severe upon our own faults, and quick in observing our own defects, but ready to make favourable allowances for others. We must kindly care for others, but not be busy-bodies in other men's matters. Neither inward nor outward peace can be enjoyed, without lowliness of mind.

Make favorable allowances for others……ouch. When others are being whiney, instead of becoming irritated, I am to listen, to care, and above all else to pray for them. We are told in Ephesians 5:1 “to be imitators of God.” If I keep my eyes upon Him, I become less self-centered, more Him-center and thus become others-centered.