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Showing posts from October, 2012

Never Quit Because of Someone Else

It's going to happen eventually if it hasn't happened already: someone is going to irritate you, insult you, provoke you, infuriate you, or do something else that makes you feel like you're being run out of town on a rail! Don't fall for it. It's nothing more than the old enemy tactic of trying to get us to engage in "friendly fire." What a strange term. I can't figure out what's friendly about being fired upon!

What should you do when you want to run away from your church home because of a conflict with another person?

1. Don't. You do realize that all churches have people in them, right? When you find the First Baptist Church of No People, you haven't found a church. Stay in your church home. Too many people have left a good church in search of a better one, only to end up out of church all together. Let the Lord strengthen you by staying put. "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." (Prov. 24:10)

2. Aim f…

There are No Perfect Days

You go to the doctor with a strange, gnawing pain in your abdomen. They run a battery of tests and tell you that "everything is normal." Good news, right? Except that you're still in pain. If it weren't for the pain, you'd be having a perfect day.

You drive to the Christian school to pick up your tribe of students. One of them is being escorted to the van by his teacher. "There's a note for you in his backpack," the teacher says with a tense look on her face. Up until that backpack with the naughty-note, you were having a perfect day.

You're anticipating a wonderful vacation, but the sky outside looks ominously gray. When you wake up in the morning, everything outside is buried under three feet of snow. The airport is closed, not to mention many of the major roads. Not a great way to start what was supposed to be a perfect day.

What is the definition of a "perfect day"? Is it a day free from trouble? There is no such day, so let's…

An Excellent Spirit is Expensive

Daniel is one of my favorite people of the Bible. Just read his reputation: "Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm." (Dan. 6:3)
It's a blessing to have such a testimony. Imagine being so trustworthy, reliable, honest, and even-tempered that the king would feel comfortable handing you the keys to his kingdom. Having an "excellent spirit" means that Daniel worked hard to be a just and honest servant. His reputation impressed his leaders, but not his peers. "Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him." (Dan. 6:4)
What was their problem?
Envy.
Those envious peers wanted Daniel's position and prestige without having Daniel's character. And since they could…

New Mommy is a New Normal

From a reader: I was wondering if you would consider doing a blog on being a New Mother? My Husband and I celebrated our 1-year anniversary in May and are expecting our first child on August 3rd. Any help and tips would be appreciated.
Well, by now this dear reader is, Lord willing, a new Mommy. Enter the world of New Normal. Here are some things that I wish someone had told me:
Kiss your sleep good-bye for five weeks per baby. That's how long it took the Taylorettes to learn night from day. Maybe other babies are different, but mine seemed to have an auto-detect system that alerted them when their Mom and Dad had settled into a good sleep. Their cries always reminded me of a cross between an alley cat whining and an engine that wouldn't start: ah rat ah rat ah rat raaaaahh. And then I'd poke Norman and say, "Your turn."
Nobody told me that they urped up like that. I had to wear a dress that was soaked with slime at the shoulder my first Sunday in church with our …

Living on Less and Enjoying More

I love the "better is" verses in Scripture. These verses have a way of putting things into proper perspective. God clearly shows us that less can be more: "Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife." (Prov. 17:1)  

It really doesn't take a lot of money to comfortably exist, but we can talk ourselves into the mistaken notion that we need just one more thing. A modest income goes a long way in the hands of a prudent person. 

How can we make more out of less?

1. Ask yourself, "Do I need this?" If the answer is "no," postpone the purchase and pray about it. Maybe you'll decide that you don't want it at all. I have seven black skirts (a uniform staple). I saw another one while running errands recently, so I tried it on. It was sharp, but way overpriced for two side-seams and waistband. I told myself to "wait" because it wasn't a need. Besides, if that skirt makes it to the …

A Great Pretender

A sister friend of mine asked this question in a note: "We all go through a lot in silence. Why is that? Why can't we share as moms and friends and Christians? I don't understand it..."

Some people are intensely private, choosing only to share things with a very small group of people. In other cases, some people are blessed with godly family members who are also excellent sounding boards for counsel. But I'm afraid that all too often, the more common reason is that we don't want people to know that we're struggling. Somewhere along the line, an unwritten rule was passed down that said, "Whatever you do, pretend that everything is all right."

Pretending that everything is all right when it's not is all wrong.

God sees things very differently than we see, and He endorsed getting godly counsel. Consider these verses:

"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." (Prov. 11:14) Any good p…

Did You Hear That?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you suddenly lost the ability to hear? There are birds singing outside my window as I write this. Without the miracle of hearing, my world would not include songbirds. A description that I read on a website about the deaf said this: "It is similar to a goldfish bowl; always observing things going on..."

People who are hearing-impaired did not choose their lot in life. People who having hearing but won't heed have chosen to pretend that they are deaf. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)

The intention to heed (to regard and observe) makes hearing worthwhile. A hearing ear is useless when it's attached to the body of one who won't heed. I often wonder what motivates a Pastor to continue writing and preaching sermons to so many ears that hear but won't do. My best guess is that these men of God love Him so much that they'll just keep preac…

God saw that...

Do we really believe that God can see us, or do we just say that we believe it? When a person knowingly lives in a way that displeases God, the lifestyle itself says "God can't see me." Or worse yet, the lifestyle is screaming, "I don't care if God can see me or not!" This is a hazardous and careless way to live, but it is more common than we'd care to admit. How's your secret life? Not so secret. It's a live-action drama in God's sight.

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." (Prov. 15:3)

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