March 30, 2017
When springtime rolls around, it’s hard for me not to write about my favorite season. Visions of pink and blue hydrangeas, white gardenias, yellow daylilies, coral heuchera, and purple petunias dance in my head. Every year I save up for colorful replacements or new varieties.
There are some things about this time of year, however, that can destroy its beauty–if I let it.
You guessed it: weeds. You can tell by this picture in my backyard garden that some flowers are blooming. But most of those green shoots covering the ground and invading the good plants? Weeds! Unfortunately, just like most of the plants in my gardens, those weeds are perennial.
The sun may eventually kill the shallow ones, though my garden is mostly shady. And mulch will cover up some of the green invaders. But only for a while. Others will soon take their place. If I let them grow wild and don’t pull them out as soon as they pop up, they will soon choke out the beauty and the fragrance of my garden.
Finding God in the Garden
That’s true of my spiritual garden as well. Think about these areas of life and the power of weeds left untended: Read more
September 15, 2016
Prayers with kids or grandkids at bedtime is more than a ritual. They need that spiritual nudge, that personal hug from God and you to give them a sense of security and love. You know that praying to end the day, thanking God for all that was experienced, asking for rest and a fresh start tomorrow, is an important habit to build in your kids. But have you ever found yourself putting your kids or grandkids to bed at the end of a long day, wanting to pray, but just too exhausted to find the words? If you need help and a place to start, here are two examples:
Dear God, we thank you tonight for the good day and for the special way you take care of us all the time. Thank you for the fun times outside and the quiet times inside, and for helping us learn new things every day.
Thank you for creating us special, exactly the way you wanted. Thank you for protecting us throughout the day. Forgive us for the wrong things we do. Thank you for loving us even when we disobey or try to do things our way. Help us to always choose your way, God, because it’s always best. We pray for all the people who don’t know you, and that they will come to understand your love for them, too.
Bless our family and thank you for good times together and apart. Bless our friends and those we love, including our grandparents, our aunts and uncles and cousins. Thank you for our home and a place to sleep and good food to eat. Help us rest well, give us peaceful dreams, and send your angels around our home to protect us throughout the night. Teach us to trust you and to love you more and more. You are good; you are great; and you are faithful, God. And we love you. Good night.
Bless us with rest tonight, Jesus, and a good night’s sleep. Forgive us for the things we did today that did not honor you. Thank you for loving us so much and that you know us through and through. We need your help every day, and we thank you for the strength you give and for helping us know that with you, even hard things are possible. Bless our family and our home, and keep us safe through the night. May your angels guard us and watch over us, just like you promised. Read more
June 30, 2016
Everyone has an opinion today on what their country needs and what it will take to help heal it–especially when division occurs or election time rolls around. There are many things you can do to help, but none are more important than the one I’ll tell you about today. If you really love your country, here is the most important thing you can do to help heal it: Read more
June 16, 2016
What is a father? Whether our fathers were absent or present, we all share memories of what our father is/was like. This is my Father’s Day Tribute. Will you share yours? Happy Father’s Day! Read more
March 8, 2016
We live in a world where irrational fear keeps intruding our thoughts and our lives. Whether it’s fear of the future, fear for our country, fear for our health, or fear for our children, we fight it daily: mind-crippling, spine-tingling, heart-stomping fear.
Fears of several varieties took hold of my heart early on as a young adult, but through the years God has brought amazing freedom.
I’m not talking about the good kind of fear that alerts your spirit to an approaching enemy, that moves you into action to protect the ones you love, or that promotes a healthy respect for God. Those fears are healthy. And not all fears are irrational. Some move in and out quickly without disrupting our lives.
But what about the other kind? Where does irrational fear originate? And how do you keep those fears from taking permanent residence in your life? Here are five ways to solve irrational fear: Read more
February 10, 2016
Candy, Flowers, Perfume—these Valentine’s Day gifts still make up the largest portion of the Valentine commercial industry. And there’s nothing wrong with those. But what if you and your spouse could give each other a special gift this Valentine’s Day–one that would last all year?
Do you pray for your spouse? What better time than Valentine’s Day to let your spouse know that you are praying for him/her and what you are praying. It could be one of the best Valentine gifts you could ever offer. Make your prayer letter personal, but here are some suggestions of how you might pray for your husband or for your wife: Read more
January 26, 2016
Every parent or grandparent is concerned about making wise decisions. Are we giving our kids the right training? Fear may try to consume us. Are they being bullied? Are they safe enough? We all want our kids to “turn out right.”
At one time or another, we parents or grandparents may think we’re not doing “enough” to prepare our kids for life. Deep down we may feel inadequate. We may not feel skilled or talented or creative. Sometimes we even start comparing ourselves to other parents or grandparents, which totally makes us feel worse.
If you are a parent or grandparent, here are four things to remember that might encourage you as you prepare your kids for life: Read more
June 9, 2015
Who doesn’t want to be more successful in their work? How can you and God work together to do that? From the breakfast table to the boardroom–at home, at school, in the office, in ministry, wherever and whatever you call “work,” here are five ways to make that work more successful: Read more
April 28, 2015
What your grandchildren and children need from you may surprise you. Here are five lasting things they need that you can’t wrap up with a bow or leave in a will: Read more
March 17, 2015
When you find yourself in a wilderness of unpleasant circumstances, what encouraging words do you need to hear? How do you get through it? Read more