Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tips For Triumphant Living -- Invest in Others

I spoke at a women’s retreat a while back and during the weekend I was showered with gifts and notes from the ladies. After I returned home, I sat down and read through all the notes. One statement especially touched me. “Thank you for investing yourself in us.”

This went straight to my heart. Sometimes as I plow through hours of preparation to speak or teach I feel guilty about the time taken from my family, my friends, my church and my personal time. I grouse about it. Even while reading scripture and working through insights and gaining knowledge so I can share with others, I sometimes complain. Why would I do that? It can be boiled down to one word—selfishness.

This woman’s note makes me cry. I’m grateful for the privilege of sharing Christ and His truths, and I’m ashamed of my own selfish heart.

God offered His son. Christ gave everything for me and for you. Sharing our gifts with others is not asking too much. In fact, when we give we receive. Spending time with other Christians, learning God’s Word, leaning on Him, being a voice for Him—all of these are gifts. All he wants us to do is to pass them on.

I pray that as I learn to listen to God's voice my selfish voice will be quiet. May I hear Him above all else, above every selfish need. May we all hear. Only then shall we know the privilege of investing in others.

Grace and peace to you in Christ.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Interview with Karen Whiting

I'm privileged to be a member of CAN (Christian Authors Network). Karen Whiting is one of the gals who works hard to keep the site running smoothly and providing information to its readers.

She chatted with me today and managed to get her interview with me up on the site already. It was great fun talking to her. Stop by and say hello. You can find the interview at

Grace and peace to you from God.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quite Moments With God -- Love Your Enemy

When we're treated unjustly or betrayed it hurts. It’s especially painful when the treachery comes from family or a close friend or a fellow Christian. I’ve been there. I’m there now. And I'm certain these feelings of betrayal will be part of my future. I know because even the best people can be thoughtless and unkind sometimes.

When we’re wounded by someone who ought to love us, what should we do? Strike back? Withdraw? Get angry or bitter? Never trust again?

The response God asks of us is to love . . . even our enemies. Not easy to do, but He’s clear about this. In Luke 6:32-36 we're told, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Convicting words. When I consider Christ on the cross, praying for mercy for those who cursed him—loving them and dying for them, I know what I must do. I must love. Is it easy? No. Is it spontaneous? Sometimes. Is it possible? Yes. God makes all things possible.

Allow the Lord to open your hearts. Love one another, forgive one another, be merciful to each other. Christ is our example. May His way be our way.

Trust in Him and He will create a new heart in you.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quiet Moments With God -- As Little Children

I often stand on my deck and look toward the back of our property where my mother-in-law used to live. I miss her. Verna shared our lives for many years and went to live in heaven five years ago. She was a special woman.

One of the things I loved most about her was her childlike heart. Matthew 18:2 – 3 says, He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Verna was no Bible Scholar, but she loved and trusted her Lord. She knew hardship and sorrow, yet never lost her love and trust of others. Although she sometimes displayed a crusty exterior her heart remained tender.

The day she died, she’d been gardening and was found lying among her flowers, looking as if she’d lain down to take a nap. In the end there’d been no struggle, only childlike faith.

All these years later, I catch glimpses of the kind and loving woman who simply believed and trusted. I can see her being caught into our Lord’s arms where He held her close. Verna's uncomplicated faith reminds me of what Jesus asked of all of us. We don’t need to be theologians, we simply need to believe.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Quiet Moments With God -- Sisters

I just received this photo and memories flooded me. These are fabulous women! I can't wait for heaven when we'll have eternity to chat together, pray together, and praise the Lord together.

Many months ago I was asked to speak for the Wapato Valley Baptist Church. As I drove to the coast last weekend I listened to worship music and prayed. I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me, telling me that I'd been chosen for this time, this place and this topic. I felt humbled and honored. I had little idea, however, that although I was the "teacher" God had a lot for ME to learn.

When I arrived at the beach house in Lincoln City I was thrilled. It was absolutely beautiful! And the team of ladies who met me there immediately felt like family. I knew it was going to be a great weekend.

By the time the rest of the women from Wapato Valley Baptist began arriving my back was having a hayday. I have a bad back, and it flairs up from time-to-time. Interestingly it chose this weekend to get cranky. In spite of it, God saw me through and I was able to fulfill my "obligation".

I watched the ladies love and care for each other, and they didn't forget to have a lot of fun as well. And through my pain I was introduced to the beauty of the women of this church. These lovely ladies prayed for me, cared for me and spent time with me. Although my body was hurting my spirit was being nourished.

In the months prior to the retreat, as I prepared to teach about Living Without Masks, I was challenged. As I studied and worked through scriptures I learned so much, and then when I shared with the women during the retreat God spoke to me. By the end of the weekend, He'd given me a glimpse of His plans for me and revealed a mask I had no idea I'd been wearing. I must say, I was stunned at the revelation. I'm in process on this one, but I'm excited to discover what God has in store for me.

We serve a great God. He doesn't miss anything and He knows what each of us needs in order to grow and mature so we can better serve one another. I thank Him for his love and grace, especially that which was so beautifully demonstrated through His servants.

I'm always amazed at how God can take a group of His children, throw them together and make a family. The ladies of the Wapato Valley Church are my forever family.

God uses people and circumstances to cause change in us. May we all open our eyes and our hearts to Him and discover a deeper, richer relationship with our Lord and with others.

Grace and peace to you from God.