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Showing posts from 2016

What is love?

Love. 
We use this word freely when we speak. Statements like, "oh I just LOVE going to the movies." Or, "I am so in love with this delicious Thai food." So, I guess it could be the word to use when you really, REALLY like something since, well, love > like, right? But, what is love? How do you define it? Can you even define it? 
Two teenagers with their whole lives ahead of them spend hours each week together and are always in contact when they are apart (thanks to today's technology). They talk about the future, they talk about their hopes, their dreams, the family they one day want to have. They talk about getting married and how their life together would be -- how they would do things differently than their parents. They argue and fight as hormonal teenagers do, then they make up. He was her first kiss. They hold hands in the movies and he buys her a rose each week. Is it love? 
A dad is lying in his bed in the nursing home while his daughter reads to him. …

Christmas perfection

Over the last few years, it seems like I have struggled every year around this time. Internally, I fight between what I have always known Christmas to be (and what the world tells me it is) and what my heart feels Christmas truly is. I get caught up in all of the commercialism, all of the gift-buying, all of the secret shopping and time away from loved ones. The constant search for Christmas perfection.

And then I fight within myself -- why am I doing this? Why can't I just stay home, bask in the glow of the Christmas tree lights, watch movies or play games with loved ones? Or why don't I spend my shopping time giving back, rather than buying for those who already have so much in comparison? Why do I spend money trying to make Christmas huge and magical when the actual idea of Christmas is already huge and magical?! I strive for Christmas perfection, but Christmas is perfect just the way it is. 
Our world is filled with sinners, including myself. We focus on our desires, rather …

Reach out

Sometimes I forget why I chose to do what I do. I made a huge change in my life recently, trying to transition into writing full-time. In order to do that, I have had to learn a great deal. I have spent so much time researching, reading, searching, writing, reviewing, posting, etc. that I sometimes have to stop and remind myself that it is for God that I write. I mean, it is for him that I am even able to write! I started this goal with him in mind -- build an audience, create a platform, share God's word. When I start to feel a little off, I begin to find that I have lost my focus; I have started to look too much into how to succeed as a writer, rather than looking at God and succeeding as his disciple. 
I am sure I am not the only one who finds herself in this situation. I know many of you believe in God (if you don't, we need to talk) and have God in the forefront of your mind. Do you ever forget to focus on the real reason you are here? Do you get caught up in the business …

He is so much bigger

As of the time I am writing this blog, it is election day and the polls are still open. I have an idea of the outcome, but I cannot predict a winner. I cannot even really say with confidence that we will know who that winner is tonight... I have a feeling that is not going to be so easy this time around. I did, however, cast my vote early and I do have my eye on a particular candidate. 
In all honesty, I have gotten more involved with my emotions personally than I ever have in an election. Perhaps it is because its outcome could intimately affect me and my family in ways that it may not affect yours. Or perhaps it is because I get frustrated at those around me casting votes based on the sex or race of a candidate or because they are followers rather than free-thinkers. 
Voting is not to be taken lightly. The outcome can have real affects on real people. 
I wanted to tell people (and I think I actually did tell a few) "if you don't know who you are voting for or you don't car…

Day ONE

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It begins now. Everything that you did five years ago, last week, or even 30 seconds go does not count. All of who you were does not have to be who you are. When was the last time you considered that? 
We always try to be someone we are not. We are always trying to keep up with the Jones'. We put on a smile when we are sad. We act as though our lives are perfect when we know deep down that nothing is perfect. Social media has opened a platform for us to portray an unrealistic image of our lives. Our fake portrayal can even lead to someone else feeling inferior because their life doesn't match up to our perfect fake life. What happened to being real? When did real become not good enough?
Many, many of us never accept that fact that it is just fine to be who we are; to be who we were made to be. We even try beating ourselves up for our past mistakes. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, "Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does…

Buffalo-sized faith

Have faith. Seems easy to say, right? A co-worker tells you about a problem going on with her family, you tell her "just have faith." Your neighbor lost his job, you tell him, "just have faith." Your best friend thinks her husband is stepping out, you tell her, "just have faith." But what does that mean? How is that comforting for someone? I mean, we say it in moments when people are feeling some awful feelings. How is faith going to help? 
Well...Faith can be defined as having complete trust or confidence in someone or something. As in, placing your trust in God that he knows what he is doing with your life.
Just have faith...

Faith is one of those things you either have or you don't. You cant have more or less faith. If you have faith, then you have faith. See, Jesus said, "...I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would b…

I am ready

Every one of us has a story. We all have been through things that have paved out a part of our path thus far. We have been told over and over that everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for all things that happen. Though, sometimes things are so difficult that we have a hard time seeing through the shadows in order to find the light. Some of us may never even find it. 
When bad things happen to us on our journey, I truly believe that our body is so magnificent that it has a built in mechanism that blocks things until you are ready to face them... like, maybe we still need tools that God hasn't lead us to yet, who knows. Whatever the reason, it happened to me. See, for the longest time I was missing a couple years of my life. I knew what years they were, I knew what happened in them, but I couldn't remember exact details...until recently. Over the last couple of months I have been bombarded with memories that I had locked up so deeply in my being. 
Before I go any fur…

Amazing

So I am sitting in Barnes and Noble... mostly for distraction. I find it easier to write when I am not at home where I tend to think of all of the things that I should be doing rather than what I want to do and, well, the writing never makes it out of my head. Anyways... next to me there is a shelf of calendars and planners. Lots of colors, lots to choose from... but one keeps jumping out at me. The cover holds the phrase, "DO SOMETHING AMAZING today." It really got me thinking...

Do we really need a calendar to remind us to do something amazing? Don't we all love doing amazing things? Unless you are ill, a pessimist, or a serious Debbie Downer, I would assume you do. I mean, the feelings we get when we do something amazing should be reason enough, let alone the memories we make. 
The term "amazing" when describing something is subjective and each person determines what he or she constitutes as amazing. But, regardless, when we do something amazing, it is the act…

Love, Love, Love...

The Beatles sang to us, "All you need is love..." and love really is all we need. Well, God, too. We most certainly need him. But God is love, right? ("...God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them." - 1 John 4:16) The nerd in me just needs to translate that to: If God = Love and if All you need is Love. Then really, ALL YOU NEED IS GOD! You like that, don't you? ha! 
Anyways, moving on. Love... We say that word a lot. Sometimes we mean it, sometimes perhaps we don't, but it is the right thing to say. But is love really just a word? Is it a feeling? Is it an action? 
Of course love is a word, but it is not just a word. It is so much more than that. And yes, it is a feeling. We have loved parents and family members. We have had our first crushes, our first boyfriend/girlfriend, possibly a spouse, kids, pets. We know the feelings that we associate with love because we have felt them. 
But, still, love is greater than that. 
Love is something …

Dance, I say

What happens when we receive a gift from God and we don't acknowledge it? What if God were to waltz into your kitchen and cook up a delightful feast and you decide not to eat it? By rejecting his food, are you rejecting God? Oh yes, I believe so. 
God wants us to be happy. He wants us to feel. He wants us to find joy in the gifts he gives us. Sometimes we may want all of these things, too, but we are afraid of the stares, comments and ridicule we may receive from those around us. Sometimes it is hard to be the first to step outside of the norm. 
I was recently reading Matthew 11:17, We played the flute for you, and you did not dance... " and, in the process of my studies, I had listened to a short sermon on it. Pastors Kris Langham and Jonathan Ferguson from Through the Word likened this to a school dance. Do you remember yours? 
Anticipation builds as kids wait weeks for the dance. Days are filled with finding a date, shopping for just the right dress/matching suit, gossiping o…

He gives and He takes away

He was just another man in the park. He was hunched over on a bench staring out into the Intracoastal. He watched people as they walked by -- smiling, nodding. He saw a woman with a dog and held out his hand to show the dog he meant no harm. He was quiet, otherwise. He read his books. Book after book, he read. He even claims to have read the bible several times, cover to cover. He didn’t bother anyone. Even on nights when he was able to collect enough money to buy some beer. He still didn’t bother anyone. He drank his beer on his bench, watching the boats come and go, carrying people of lives different than his. He gets a bag of food and some room temperature bottles of water on this hot day. He smiles and throws his hands up to the sky, “Thank you God you answered my prayers!”
He is the least of these.
His eyes are bright blue. Piercing blue. His hair white with traces of blond and his skin a dark shade of tan. He has been living on the streets for a couple of years now. He had a hom…

Don't just smack the hurdle - jump it!

What does it mean to forgive? Let's get technical  for a moment, shall we? 
Forgive: "verb stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong): to stop blaming (someone): to stop feeling anger about (something): to forgive someone for (something wrong)..." (Merriam-Webster)
Easier said than done, right? I'll be honest, I don't really have a hard time forgiving folks...for most things. After all, I have done my fair share of crap over the years and I am thankful for the forgiveness I have received from those around me. Besides, who wants to hold on to anger and grudges? -- those aren't any fun! 
But what about something BIG? What if it is more than just forgiving your sister for sneaking something to wear from your closet? What if someone has physically hurt you? What if someone has seriously done wrong to someone you love? What if the actions of this person has caused your life to be different than what you had dreamed of? (whoa, hold up... side tho…

Scratchy, Scratchy

You have 22 minutes until your kids will be home from school and you want to finish reading as much of your latest book as possible. You are relaxed, kindle clutched in your hands, you exhale and begin reading. You tell yourself, twenty-two minutes and no distractions. Then it happens. Just a little at first. A small persistent itch in the middle of your back. You know you do not have much time, so you try to remain focused on your book. Keep reading, it will go away. It doesnt stop. Now it is growing stronger and you find yourself unable to comprehend what you are reading. Gotta scratch! Gotta scratch!! Oh my goodness! Scraaaaatchhhh!!!!! You drop the kindle in your lap and head straight for the attack. Except there is only one problem: You cannot reach it. No matter which angle you try, the itch is just out of reach of your fingertips. Now you have to jump up, find the nearest corner in your house to slide your back on - back and forth - until it goes away. Those 22 minutes? Now you…