Team Work

team workThe first weekend of the NFL football season is one of my favorite times of the year!  In fact, at this moment I can’t think of anything better!! 

Too bad my Chicago Bears lost, but at least is was a close game that came down to the last eight seconds…I about had a heart attack! Sadly, I wasn’t surprised by the outcome because I’m accustomed to them losing…boo!

Anyway, as I sat watching several of the games on Sunday, I realized how vital it is for all of these teams to work together in order to get a win. 

If any of the players try to go solo, they will find out pretty quickly that their selfishness can cost their team a victory.

I immediately recognized the way this is so true for us with our Holiness Team – God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

We cannot grow closer to God without a relationship with Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit guiding us to that end.

They each have their individual jobs in our lives and our cooperation ensures we will know what to do in each play of our lives.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26

We have to remember that this Holiness Team is our coaches and we are the players.  As with any good coaching staff, they wait for our willingness to play by their rules so that they can lead us to an eternal win. 

When we try to go it alone in our own lives we will lose every time. 

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:17

Unfortunately, I find myself all too often doing my own victory dance in the in-zone without acknowledging the help and work of the Holiness Team in my life.

We may reap some awesome benefits even without following the guidance of our Holiness Team, but it will never provide the win that we long for.  We may be dazzled by what we consider triumphs on Earth, but we won’t feel the peace, love and joy that can only come from the Holiness Team…and we certainly won’t win the Super Bowl of eternity.

For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. Deuteronomy 20:4

Have you signed with the Holiness Team?  Are you practicing on a regular basis and ready to play in any game that is thrown your way in life?

Take a chance of them and you might just win the best trophy you’ve ever imagined!!!

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 13:15 – Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.



Times of Crisis

relationship with godHow many of us drop to our knees the minute our lives fall apart? 

Eek!!! Lord knows I sure do.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to God in the time of need.  God tells us to come to Him and He will protect us, guide us and love us.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

The problem is that when we are at our lowest we expect God’s immediate attention and for Him to miraculously give us an outcome that we are happy with…however, during every other time in our lives we are okay with dismissing God, refusing to acknowledge Him, and rejecting His commandments.

We want what we want when we want it, but only on our terms.

A real relationship with God doesn’t work like that.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 1Corinithians 11:1-2

Times of crisis definitely bring us closer to God, but this is not the time to work on our relationship with Him.

How can we truly be comforted or attain the peace that is beyond human understanding if we only come to the Lord when we have a problem?

We really can’t be that prepared to accept His help during adversity because we won’t be trained in His wisdom and knowledge of what we should really do or how we should react when tragedy strikes.

The only way to really live in God’s refuge (regardless of what is going on in our lives) is to cultivate a relationship with Him – starting today.

So, where do we start?

  • ·        Ask God to help us draw near to Him.
  • ·        Pray to Him daily.
  • ·        Open up about our lives to Him and be honest with our struggles and sin.
  • ·        Ask for forgiveness.
  • ·        Turn away from our sins and follow God’s leading.
  • ·        Start reading His Word on a regular basis.
  • ·        Have faith that God will protect us in all things even when the worst happens.

It’s easy to blame God when bad things happen, but the world we live in is the result of our choice to turn away from God in the first place.  The fallen world will affect us all, but we can live in faith that our eternal life is secure by the death of Jesus Christ as long as we believe in Him and cultivate a relationship with Him.

What are you doing today to foster a friendship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 18:24 – A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


SafetyAsking how safe someone feels today is a loaded question…especially if we were to judge our security by what we watch on the news or read on our newsfeeds!!

We might not consciously consider how safe we feel on a regular basis, but I’d dare say that our bodies, thoughts and actions tell us what we think more often than we’d imagine.

The dictionary defines safety as the freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss.  What it doesn’t say is that feeling safe is a basic human need that we all have. 

We all pursue safety in diverse ways in order to be protected from the dangers of the world.  The problem is that not all things we turn to will truly give us the protection we seek.

How safe we feel really does define what we do in our lives.  Our experiences of safety or lack thereof have a direct link to the fears, worries, concerns, and anxiety we carry around today. 

Think about it.  If we felt safe…would there be anything to fear? Worry about? Be anxious about?

The answer is a resounding NO.

Unfortunately, we focus more on the things that we fear the most instead of trying to figure out what (or rather who) makes us the safest!

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, … Psalm 91:1-16

Considering how many times God tells us not to fear in the Bible, it shows me that He really never meant for us to stress about what is coming next, what could happen or what happens if….

God’s intention is for us to trust Him and allow Him to work our lives out for the best.

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. Psalm 37:39-40

It’s really hard to place my safety in someone else’s hands and out of my CONTROL!!!  UGH!!

Control is what hits the nail on the head for me.  I want it.  I don’t want to give it up.  And you can have it if you do it my way. 

Ok.  None of those ways work. 

Yes, we will suffer loss, danger and injury on earth, but the fact remains that this is just our temporary home anyway.

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. … 2Corinthians 5:1-10

Plus, when we place our safety in God we will never be in danger in His arms or lose Him. 

Have you ever thought about how safe you are and why?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 18:10 – The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

Seeing God’s Blessings

Chase at beachStanding with my feet in the sand looking out across the vast ocean makes me feel very small in this very big world we live in.  It also makes me realize how little control I have as the waves roll in, the sun rises and sets, and the moon and stars shine bright above.

All of these things should make me feel insignificant since my strength is weak, my influence is limited and my beauty is marginal.  However, this is a lie that the devil tries to convince me of. 

God definitely doesn’t want us to feel unimportant because He created us, knows us intimately and loves us much more than to the moon and back!

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalms 139:13-16

All too often we focus on the negativity in our lives instead of seeing God’s blessings.

Make no mistake…there are more blessings than we can count even in our darkest days.  The fact that God sent His son to die in our place says that each and every one of us is valuable in God’s eyes.

We are cherished beyond our comprehension and God wants us to live freely and abundantly during our stay on earth.

It’s fascinating to grasp the concept that He knows the number of hairs on our head and cares enough about us to want a relationship with us individually. 

WOW!  Do you know how many people live in this world?  Not to mention all the people who have lived and died before us!!  Geez…talk about feeling blessed that God even knows my name is unbelievable.

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30

Refusing to see God’s goodness in our lives only hurts us and pushes us away from God and His benefits, support and help.

God says He will never abandon us, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t turn away and walk into our own desert and leave Him behind. 

I don’t know about you, but I definitely make this decision more often than I should.

Walking by ourselves only produces loneliness, depression, and hopelessness. The lack of attention on God’s blessings drives us further into the pit of despair and creates a void that will never be filled by the things of this world.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Ignoring the inconceivable amount of miracles that God provides us destroys our joy and creates misery that will follow us all of our days until we change our ways.

Please don’t fall into this rut!!!

God’s blessings surround us every minute of every day.  We must learn to see them and thank Him for them if we ever plan to live in the confidence of God’ love and mercy.  Then we will live with a freedom and peace that we cannot comprehend!!!

May you see God’s blessings and know you are cherished!!!

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 16:7 – When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.



Shark Week

shark1600As many of you know, Shark Week is one of my favorite weeks during the year.  I love learning about these amazing creatures, listening to the shark attack stories (does that make me sick?) and watching the great whites jump into the air to catch their unsuspecting prey.  There are many more things I love about this yearly documentary on the Discovery Channel, but we would be here all week.

As I was watching the fascinating shows this past week, I started thinking about how much sharks can be a metaphor for sin in our lives.  They are beautiful creatures, but if you get too close you can lose a limb.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2Corinthians 11:14

The truth is that sin has a funny way of quietly swimming into our lives when we least expect it.  What starts out as an innocent thought or action (even ones that aren’t sinful) can quickly become factors that turn us from our Heavenly Father.

Sin then shames us and tells us that we aren’t worthy of the Love of God.

I could spend my entire life listing the countless sins that capture us, but it would never be a comprehensive list and we all know exactly what sins we struggle with.

Unfortunately, we are a sinful human race that began back in the Garden of Eden and there will never be another perfect person that roams the world with the Love of God besides Jesus Christ.

We can try all we want to (and we definitely should do our best to stay away from sin), but we will never live up to the perfection God intended for us. The good news is that we don’t have to.

Jesus took our sin away the moment He climbed up on that cross.  He suffered so that we didn’t have to.  His blood washed our transgressions – past, present and future – away.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1Peter 2:12  

The reason why we need to be watchful of sin in our lives is because like the sharks I love to watch, sin is captivating, charming, attractive, interesting and most of all appealing to us individually.

Plus, Satan would like nothing more than for us to sin so that he can berate us and try to convince us that God’s Word and Promises are not true.

Satan is wrapped in a lovely package and he will try to persuade us that we aren’t that bad and that certain sins may not really be sins. 

However, all we have to do is read God’s Word to know what we should and shouldn’t do. 

We may try to assure ourselves that sin won’t hurt us or derail our lives that much, but before we know it, we will be eaten alive by the sharks of sin that we provoke and get too close too.  We may lose much more than just a limb.

As scary as it is to think of our lives away from the light of God, we must remember that God says that He will forget our sin if we will ask for forgiveness and turn back to Him. 

Don’t allow Satan to convince you that you are not worthy of God’s love and mercy.

Then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Hebrews 10:17

So, the next time you sin – and you will – be sure to recognize it for what it is and ask God to forgive you and lead you into His Righteousness.

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 28:13 – Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Hanging On

your storyWith the recent suicide of Linkin Park’s frontman, Chester Bennington, I can’t help but wonder how someone could become so driven to dispair that they thought death was better than life. 

(In case you don’t know, Linkin Park is a band that has been popular for years in the pop-culture music industry.)

The reason why I have been so affected by this death is because their recent hit, Heavy, was very pertinent to my state of mind this past spring.  The lyrics spoke to me in a way that made me feel not so alone and like someone else could understand my struggle with anxiety and panic. Little did I know how indicative these words were of events to come.

A few of the lyrics include:

I don’t like my mind right now

Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary

Wish that I could slow things down

I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic

And I drive myself crazy

Thinking everything’s about me

Yeah, I drive myself crazy

‘Cause I can’t escape the gravity

I’m holding on

Why is everything so heavy?

Holding on

So much more than I can carry

I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down

If I just let go, I’d be set free


The last line specifically hit the nail on the head for me because it reminded me that my life should be in God’s hands and not my own.


What I find so sad about this tragic event is that Chester never found the peace in life that can only come from Jesus Christ.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Even at my lowest, I knew that God was with me and would lead me through.  I never doubted His Love and that He would provide a way for me to get better, move forward, and work through my darkest fears.

And yes, I am doing better.  Christian counseling is the best thing I’ve ever done for my life!!!

Chester’s suicide just makes me realize how many people continue to reject the love and power of Jesus Christ.  This suicide epidemic tells me that we as Christians still have so much work to do.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Our example will speak louder than words and our actions will have more impact on others than any words could ever do.  If we do use words they should always be loving, kind, empathetic, merciful and understanding.

There are so many of us who deal with many circumstances of pain in life.  If we were more vocal about our struggles we really could help so many people. 

Are you using your experiences to bring others closer to Christ?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 18:2 – A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Fathers VS Dads

fathersIn light of the recent celebration of Father’s Day, I thought it would be interesting to discuss what I consider the difference between fathers and dads.

Hopefully, we’ve had good experiences with the patriarchs of our families.  However, I know too well that this is not the case for many.  It’s such a disappointment that all children don’t have loving, caring, and kind parents who teach them the right path to travel and give them guidance throughout the journey.  Unfortunately, this is just the way of the world.

I was lucky enough to have a wonderful man who was a father and dad to me throughout my life.  I am also fortunate to have married a man who does the same for our two boys.  Both are respectable people who put their family above their own wants/needs and have led dependable and integrity-filled lives.  I feel very blessed to call them Dad and Husband.

The sad part is that even the greatest dads on earth are human and make mistakes.  I know, I know…it’s hard to believe when there are some awesome ones out there!!!

This is why knowing our Heavenly Father is such a blessing. 

Thankfully, God can fill that God-shaped hole in our hearts that only gets bigger if we don’t have loving parents to care for us.  God, above all, is the one parent we can always count on!

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:5

So, let’s think about the differences of a Father and a Dad….

Fathers are:

  • ·        Disciplinarians
  • ·        Leaders
  • ·        Models and examples to live by
  • ·        Honorable and trustworthy
  • ·        Guides
  • ·        Mentors
  • ·        Dependable
  • ·        Responsible
  • ·        Providers
  • ·        Loving men

Dads are:

  • ·        Listeners
  • ·        Compassionate
  • ·        Encouraging
  • ·        Instructors
  • ·        Righteous
  • ·        Gentle
  • ·        Caring
  • ·        Forgiving
  • ·        Supporting
  • ·        Loving men

A parent can be both, have a few qualities of each, or they can lean towards one or the other.  As children, we need both.  One shows us the righteous way to live and the other truly loves us through it.

Thankfully, God is all of these and much, much more.  Most importantly, He truly loves us and wants the best for us…more than any human is capable of doing.  We can only strive to be like Him by using His Son, Jesus Christ, as our example.

I hope you have had someone in your life who has been both. Regardless of whether you have or haven’t, our Heavenly Father wants to be this in our lives.

I pray that you will learn to lean on Him and trust His guidance in all aspects of your life.

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 23:24 – The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.


battlesI was saddened to hear of the impending divorce between Lysa TerKeurst and her husband.  Is no one safe?  I guess not

In case you don’t know who Lysa is, she is the founder and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Additionally, she is an author, blog writer, speaker and teacher.  Her mission is to lead women in the adventure of faith and she has done just that for millions of women around the world. 

If you haven’t used her devotionals or read her books, I highly recommend it!  She truly has a gift and I’m so glad she uses it for God’s Glory.

The reason I know about her personal battle is because she wrote a heart-wrenching blog post that detailed what she is currently going through.  It is a story of infidelity, addiction, two years of trying to make her marriage work and lastly, a hope that can only come through God.

If you would like to read the blog in its entirety, please go to

I think it is really important to realize that even people who are Christians and trying to live their God purpose on Earth are still affected by life’s challenges, sin and struggles that are common to every one of us.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

It’s easy to look at the lives of others (especially those in high places) and think they live in a bubble where the evil of the world doesn’t touch them.  This is simply not true.  In fact, the devil is probably working overtime to drag those people through the wringer to add one more minion to his ever-growing group of followers.

The discouraging reality is that none of us are untouched by the woes of humankind.

As depressing as this sounds…there is a Hope like no other in a God who loves us so much that He gave us a Savior in His Son, Jesus Christ.

But remember, even Jesus went through trials and tribulations.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, …  Luke 4:1-13

Then what makes us think we are any different?

We each have our own battles to fight.  Maybe for you it is divorce, infidelity, pornography, addiction, depression, or a wealth of other difficulties.

The real question is how are we going to respond to these sufferings. 

Are we going to give up or are we going to rely on God to lead us through, carry us beyond our troubles and give us a peace that is beyond human understanding?

We each have these choices and it is easier to give in to the temptation of turning from God and blaming Him for our hideous situations.  Instead we should trust in His divine plan – easier said than done.

The most effective way to get through anything challenging in our lives is to pray. 

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7

Take heart.  God is there even in our battles.  He will not leave us, nor forsake us.  Most importantly, we are not alone.  Others have battled the same things and survived, thrived and moved forward towards the light that can only come from Jesus Christ.

I hope you will take your battles to God and let Him transform them into learning experiences and lessons for you and others so that God’s name will be glorified.

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 3:26 – For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Point of View

6of9Clearly, this cartoon is a depiction of different perspectives, but it truly is the best I’ve ever seen.  It illustrates how every person can see the exact same thing and have a different take on how they view it.

Plus, the first part of the caption hits the nail on the head!!!  “Just because you are right does not mean I am wrong.”

How many times do we actually practice this philosophy? I bet it’s not much.

Most often we argue our point until we are blue in the face, write someone off, or these days unfriend them on Facebook because we think they are wrong…all with the intention to prove that we are right.

Where’s the empathy, tolerance and consideration? 

It’s sad that we don’t keep our mouths shut and keep our ears open more frequently.  We’d probably have a better understanding of why others believe what they do…and just maybe recognize that another opinion isn’t always completely wrong.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1John 1:8

None of us are perfect and it’s time that we start perceiving ourselves as such.  Our opinions are just that…opinions.  We see the world through eyes that have walked a certain path, but we have not walked all paths, so how can we accuse others of inferior points of view when we haven’t walked in their shoes?

Don’t get me wrong, we all have opinions and that is obviously okay.  However, we need to stop judging others if their opinions are unlike ours.

Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven…. Luke 6:37

So, how can we be better at not immediately assuming someone is wrong because they don’t agree with us?

1.       Pray for compassion and tolerance of another’s opinion.

2.       LISTEN without thinking of our rebuttal.

3.       Empathize instead of judging.

4.       Consider the path the other person has travelled.

5.       Seek understanding of other views.

6.       Research other viewpoints to appreciate where others are coming from.

7.       Love instead of arguing.

8.       Find a lesson in all situations.

9.       Agree to disagree.

10.   Pray for God’s Grace, Hope, Joy, and Peace.

We don’t always have to agree with each other and not agreeing does not mean condemnation for the other person.  It just means we have different points of view and that is okay.  In fact, that is what makes the world an interesting place.

Maybe we should start thinking before we speak.  It just stands to reason that we would live more peacefully in our world if we loved instead of judged.  Plus, without placing condemnation on others for their opinions we would spread more joy and compassion instead of self-righteousness.

What can you do to change the world you live in?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 18:13 – If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.


perfect marriageTomorrow marks my twenty-second wedding anniversary!  Woohoo!!  I know, it’s crazy that we haven’t killed each other yet…although, there is still time!!  HAHA!

For us, we usually just go to a nice dinner and exchange cards.  So, as I was browsing the card isle the other day looking for the perfect message to give to my special man I couldn’t find one that said exactly how I feel.  So, I glanced over at the lady next to me who was doing the same thing and asked her, “Why don’t they have an anniversary card that says…Sometimes you can be a jerk, but I love you a lot anyway…?” 

Of course, the same could be said about me.  Just ask Lee!!

I’m obviously kidding because I truly couldn’t ask for a more honest, loving, caring and hardworking human being to share my life with.  He is amazing and we continue to grow in our love every year.  I am very blessed and can only thank God for giving me this wonderful gift.

On the flip side, marriage is not always a bed of roses.  In fact, I would say that it is one of the toughest relationships to manage because we are all so different and we must compromise and work towards peaceful resolutions in many circumstances.

I’ve been told that slamming doors isn’t really a peaceful gesture, but it sure makes me feel better!!!  Guess after all these years, I still have things to work on!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1Corinthians 13:4-7

The above scripture isn’t just for husbands and wives.  The truth is that we can all be jerks sometimes and most of us can do it on multiple occasions.

What we should remember is that love isn’t really something we feel, but it is a decision that we have to make on a regular basis for most of the people in our lives. These people include husbands, wives, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, the guy cutting you off at the intersection and any other person we encounter.

Unfortunately, the world tells us that if marriage, or any relationship for that matter, gets too hard we can just throw it away and start over. 

Forgiveness is the key to any lasting relationship no matter who it is with.  God intends for us to forgive others and often.

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22

Forgiveness is the glue in all relationships. It offers love in the midst of anger, resentment, unmet expectations, feelings of betrayal, and many more feelings that eat away at our peace.

Plus, it is like the old adage that says, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

We can all use an extra dose of love in any relationship we are in.  For me, I hope and pray that God continues to help me love my husband at all times and helps us forgive each other even when we don’t deserve it!

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 18:22 – He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.