A Thank You to Moms!

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25

When I think of moms, one of the first words that come to mind is strength. Moms to boys are familiar with noise, trains, lizards, worms, water balloons, sports, Legos, and boy dirt. Moms to girls are familiar with sparkles, dolls, teddy bears, pink, princesses, giggly friends, and drama. All this AND they feed cheerios to Batman, clean up spills, make lunches, go to doctor appointments, help with homework, and clean the house. Its no wonder Proverbs says she is clothed with strength!!

Motherhood is often a thankless job and while moms know their kids love them, they don’t often feel appreciated for the immensity of services they provide. Every hour. Of every single day. And, husbands, though not intentional, we often times get busy with life and pressures we have that these things go unnoticed. I have the feeling that moms know, deep down, that everyone is thankful for what they do, but sometimes they just need to hear it!

So, moms out there…I want to say thank you!! Thank you for the strength and love and endurance that you have every day. Thank you for laughing at things when we as men get stressed out. Thank you for caring for things that we overlook and not getting discouraged even though you are often overwhelmed. Thank you for being MOMS!!!

Also, to the moms out there…I want you to settle down for a bit and hear the quiet whisper of Jesus. If He were to say anything, I believe it would sound like this, “Good job Mama, I see you. I see how you love. I see how you care. And you, my dear child, are never alone. I am with you so don’t feel like you are on this journey by yourself. I am proud of you. Your life is a treasure.”

 

Happy Mothers Day, Moms!!! We can’t say thanks enough!!

Stay Here!!

The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction. Exodus 24:12

This is an incredible verse of Scripture that I thought I’d share with you today. At first glance, it looks like God is simply calling Moses to climb the mountain in order to receive the laws and commandments God has for His people. But, there is something so much bigger going on here.

The phrase “stay here” in this verse is better translated by the phrase, “be here” or “exist here.” So, this has led Bible scholars over the years to wrestle with what Moses is actually being asked to do. Is God calling him to climb the mountain to just get the tablets of stone, or is He asking something much more of Moses?

In reality, God is asking Moses to climb the mountain, not only to collect the tablets of stone, but, to come up and be there — to exist there. He is asking Moses to come up and to be fully awake, fully alive and fully present with God in that moment. He is asking Moses to live fully aware of the fact that he is in the very presence of God, the Creator and sustainer of all, in the here and now.

God knows that we live our lives at a crazy pace, rushing from one place to another. Here’s the deal, what God is saying to Moses is simply this: “Don’t miss it!” Don’t miss what is going on all around you. Don’t be so focused on somewhere else that you miss the very moment that you are in. Like Moses, our tendency would be to climb the mountain, thinking the whole time about what might be on the top, only to reach the top, thinking about what might happen when we get back down. All the while, we miss the awesomeness of the present moment.

What would it look like to live a life that is fully present? What would it look like to see God all around you, to live in the mystery of the present moment? I wonder how that would change our perception of what is important in this life.

Today, maybe our prayer can be, “God, awaken me to who You are and what You are doing around me. Help me to be fully present so that I don’t miss it!!”

Have a great day today, my friends!!

Words Matter!!

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7 (NLT)

Have you ever had someone who just didn’t know what to say when you needed some encouragement? Maybe they’ve said the exact opposite of what you really wanted to hear. I know there have been times when I’ve desired to say something really profound or encouraging to someone and it came out all wrong. That ever happen to you? I came across some wording blunders that people put on their resume and thought I’d share. They are quite amusing…

“Finished eighth in my class of ten.”

“Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”

“Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.”

“It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”

“Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse”

“2001 summer Voluntary work for taking care of the elderly and vegetable people”

“I’m intrested to here more about that. I’m working today in a furniture factory as a drawer”

I’m pretty confident that these people did not mean to say what they said. And, I am also confident that the employers who read these didn’t hear what they needed to hear.

Here’s the deal…if you EVER need an encouraging word that will revive your soul and give you exactly what you need, look to God’s Word! As our verse above says, the words found written in the Bible are always exactly what we need! You’ll never see wording blunders. God will always give you a word that meets the needs of your situation.

So, if you’re looking for encouragement, comfort, or clarity today, open your Bible! If you make a habit of doing this on a daily basis, you’ll find wisdom and joy through the words that are written there. May God bless you as you read His Word today!!

Food??…I’m in!!

Taste and see that the Lord is good… Psalm 34:8 (NLT)

So, let’s just say you’ve been invited to a friends home for a special meal. This friend has prepared a great feast for you, the special guest. You walk in to see all of your favorite foods sitting around the table. It looks awesome and smells delicious!

Your friend invites you to sit at the table and help yourself. As the platters and bowls are passed your way you notice and comment on how wonderful it smells. Then, you pass the plate without taking any food. The next platter is passed. Again, you comment on how good the food looks but let the plate go by without taking any food.

Imagine your friends’ response. “What are you doing? Why won’t you take anything? I’ve worked so hard at preparing this meal for you! I thought these foods were your favorite?” To which you reply, “Well yes, they are my favorite foods, but no, I don’t actually eat the food. I just like to look at it and breathe in the aroma.”

Honestly, I don’t know anyone who would do something like this. Yet, as believers in Jesus, I’m afraid we do this kind of thing to God on a regular basis! We gather around a feast of good things that God prepares for us. Things to strengthen us and build our lives on. Yet, too often, our response is similar to the example above. “Mmmm…boy that mission project sure looks good, but no thanks,” or, “Wow, I know that small group Bible study is great, but it’s not for me.” We sit at a table of spiritual feast and then pass the plates along without taking any food.

I want to encourage you, today, to taste and see that God is good! He wants us to move beyond the safe, mediocre diet of Christianity so that we can experience all that He has for us. He’s prepared a feast for us. Indulge yourself!

Today, whatever spiritual growth opportunities come your way, be sure to dig in!!

#thestruggle

Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. Psalm 119:5-6 (NLT)

I’m sure most of you know, but when on social media (twitter, instagram, facebook), there is this thing called a “hashtag.” It’s really just a word or phrase preceded by a pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic. If there was a hashtag for these verses, I’d say it would be #thestruggle.

Just for fun, I looked up what some said on twitter with this hashtag. Here are a few…

“I want abs, but I also want donuts.” #thestruggle

“Need food, but too lazy to make some.” #thestruggle

“Wanna cut my hair shorter, but husband likes it long.” #thestruggle

“Gotta go to class, but I don’t wanna get out of bed.” #thestruggle

“Need to go to bed, but can’t stop watching Netflix.” #thestruggle

Do you see a pattern with these tweets? The struggle is real because of the desire for two things that seem to conflict. You want abs, but donuts won’t bring them. You know you need to go to class, but your bed is so comfortable. Netflix can be so addicting, but you need sleep!

If you are a believer in Jesus, these verses have probably been your struggle at one time or another. This struggle is very real! We want our actions to consistently reflect what we believe, but the sinful nature that haunts us brings shame in our comparison to God’s Word. It seems that the more we try, the greater the struggle! Is it just me, or do any of you struggle with this too?

The bad new is…we will always deal with this struggle while living on this earth. The good news…it’s this struggle that brings us to the realization that we can’t do life without a complete dependence on God. It’s the struggle that helps us rely on the one who can win the battle. See, it is impossible to win a battle without one side being stronger. Thankfully, we belong to the stronger side! God is so much bigger than our struggle and our reliance on Him is what brings victory. Complete dependence on God is the answer to #thestruggle.

If you’re feeling like your actions aren’t measuring up today, let it lead you to a greater reliance on the God who can win the battle. No need to be ashamed, Jesus conquered the sin problem so it can’t conquer us!

Win #thestruggle today!

The Season of Change

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

Many of us would be much more comfortable if everything always stayed the same. I would probably be included in this. Admittedly, I am a very routine kind of person. I like things a certain way and function much better when my routine isn’t messed with. But, I do love the changing of the seasons. I mean who doesn’t, right? Just when you get tired of the heat, fall brings a new temperature and outlook. With winter comes the excitement of snow and rain. Springtime is when God really shows off the beauty of His creation through blossoming flowers and awesome sunrises and sunsets. And, then there’s summer. Vacations to the lake, time spent outside, kids out of school! If seasons didn’t change, life would be so boring!

As we approach the time change this Sunday, I’ve been thinking about the changing of seasons in our lives. Most of us are ok with the changing of seasons in nature, but we are frightened with the changing of seasons in life. We find it difficult to accept when the season of life as we know it…changes. These can sometimes even be traumatic times for us if not seen in the proper light.

I admit, change can be difficult, but not so difficult if we learn to walk with God through these various seasons. When we understand that He has a purpose and plan for every season and every activity that takes place on this earth, it helps us have a much better perspective. I can’t imagine not going through the change of season that my family has recently gone through. We are now a family of 7 with 5 boys because God decided to change our season and add another one to our home. We are so thankful for this season!

If you’re struggling with a season you are in right now, trust that God has you there for a reason and remember that seasons change. You won’t be there for long. He has a purpose and plan and there is nothing that takes place that surprises God. He will guide you and, in the end, you will understand the reason for the season!

Have a great day my friends and enjoy the seasonal change!!