All in a gospel centered life
“Who do you want to be this year?” This question floats around every costume store around the 31st of every October. This post takes a moment to look at who you want to be, what your life confirms or denies about this statement and an encouragement to pursue Christ and His holiness. Keep reading, friends!
During each Easter I find myself pondering deep questions. I wonder about Judas and he’s role in the betrayal of Christ. Could he have resisted, and what would have happened if he had? But this year, the question that keeps racing through my mind is about Jesus’s example of submission. How did He do it?
In March 2016, Olive, my oldest granddaughter, was born with cytomegalovirus (CMV). This virus is virtually harmless to everyone but neonates. The early detection of CMV, although hard to process in the moment, was a testimony to God’s faithfulness. Olive’s story is miraculous, and I do love sharing it.
This post is very timely, as tomorrow I am facing the next big change. I am retiring. Cue the choir- "Hallelujah!" I have worked full time 28 of the last 32 years.
Each time I watch the Olympics, I always have the same thought- we need an average Joe. If I was in charge I would insist we start each event with a random drawing from the list of spectators- “Would the person sitting in Section F, Row 16, Seat 7 please report to the starting line or the ice rink, whatever the event.” Then we would all watch as the average Joe, someone like us, attempted the event.
As much as I profess that GOD IS MY SOURCE, there is a part of me that also subconsciously thinks, “but I got it God, don’t worry about me.” When I want water I turn on the tap, out comes clean cool water. The City Water Board has never let me down.
Micah was asking rhetorical questions and providing God’s answers. In verse 8, he asks “what does the Lord require of you?” In light of today’s topic, he is asking- “what are God’s goals for you this year?” “How does God want you to live your life?” And then Micah states God’s answer. It is simple, yet perfect- act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. This, my friends, should be our top three goals this year and every year. Keep reading.
This Christmas, I want to encourage you to get down... on your knees. Spend time in prayer and meditate on God's word. Take some time from the wrapping of gifts and trimming of the tree and reflect on the true meaning of this season.
Let me explain. In marriage, consumerism happens when we treat the holy covenant we made with our spouse and God as a mere business transaction. This happens when we look at marriage as a commodity – when the marriage is no longer producing or pleasing, we sell and get out of the agreement.
It was Christmas Eve 2013. I was busy in the kitchen chopping the salad, mixing fondue seasonings and fretting over each detail of our traditional fondue meal when my daughter, Maddy, called me into the living room. She had a surprise gift for me. I saw the size of the package and immediately knew what it was – telescoping fondue forks. I had seen them at the store the previous week. Sweet, but not tradition. I considered that Jody, her dad and keeper of all traditions, would not be happy with the change. Nevertheless, I put on my brave face and opened the gift. But as soon as I began to unwrap it, I realized that I was wrong. This was not trendy fondue forks. Instead, I found a picture of a POSITIVE pregnancy test!
I’m not sure my mother-in-law knew what she was starting, but her Christmas Eve fondue tradition has done exactly what a holiday tradition should do! Good traditions should bind your family together so that you can celebrate the true meaning of the holiday.
I'm good at my job. So by all accounts, I am a communication specialist. So I'm sure it came as a big surprise to my sweet husband that when we first married, I was really bad at communicating with him. Considering this early time in our marriage, you could compare Jody’s situation with someone who had just married a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America only to find out their new spouse couldn’t cook at home – their spouse could make delicious meals for strangers, but could hardly boil water in their own kitchen. You would want your money back, right?!
We are seldom content. Given the myriad of home improvement shows on TV, we all desire the perfect home, complete with the latest flooring, perfect shade of gray paint and stone counter tops. And don't get me started on Facebook. It lets us peek into the best moments of our friend's lives, and forces us to compare these with the undesirable parts of our own. These cravings, and our lack of contentment, are not invisible to those around us. People in your life know what you crave by your speech, by how you spend your time and money, and by what deeply moves your heart. Your spouse knows the true desires of your heart. So do your children and friends.
Last Friday I turned 20,000 days old. I know, wow, huh? Yes, that is a lot of days! And yes, I loved every one. I calculated this momentous occasion three years ago when it dawned on me that I was getting close. I was also disappointed that I had missed the 10,000th anniversary of my days here on earth. So I put the date (July 28, 2017) in my iPhone and set a reminder, so that I wouldn't forget to acknowledge the milestone and CELEBRATE it accordingly! It reminded me at precisely 9:00 am, one week before, just as I had planned. So for one week, I pondered the huge number and the state of my life.
At that moment, the chicken side of me won, and I began to scream and splash about, and in general, pitch a panic! Jody came up from snorkeling alarmed by my screaming and assumed the worse - SHARK! He scrambled towards me. I was attempting to get up the boat ladder, but my legs wouldn't make it happen. I was paralyzed by fear! The fish, combined with my own screaming, had convinced me I was soon to die!