July 22, 2014
Ever been discouraged? During a time of discouragement recently, God reminded me of some important truths. These are the whispers of encouragement He impressed me to write and remember. In times of discouragement, I hope they encourage you, too: Read more
July 15, 2014
When I saw this tomato plant growing on the side of my house in the gravel path, it stirred up all kinds of spiritual truth possibilities. But the one that came to mind first was that with God, all things are possible. Read more
July 1, 2014
In fiction, asking “What if?” can create dozens of plot possibilities. But in real life, can asking “What if?” steal your joy or bring you peace? Read more
June 18, 2014
Live a good life? Do things that please God? Keep all the rules, right? Strangely enough, even Christians can get caught up in that mindset—without realizing it. In my last blog, we talked about what makes your heart sing. In today’s second part series, read about five ways you can make God’s heart sing. Read more
May 20, 2014
I’m done. Finished. Last One. That’s what I said the last time. But this time I mean it.
Ever uttered those words? If it hadn’t involved our entire neighborhood, I probably wouldn’t have Read more
April 18, 2014
“It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining” (Luke 23:44, NIV)
The name “Good Friday” seems to be a misnomer. Can anything good come from death by crucifixion? Does pain have a purpose? Early in Jesus’ ministry, scoffers hurled their own ignorant disbeliefs: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Read more
April 14, 2014
Is God dead? That’s the question debated in the new movie, God’s Not Dead. If you haven’t seen it, you can view the movie trailer here. People may answer that positively or negatively, strangely enough, according to their past or present experiences with a living God.
The debate is not a new one. For centuries people have chosen to believe or disbelieve in a God who not only rules the Universe, but One who offers a personal, loving relationship with the ones He created.
After viewing the movie–and I do recommend you see it–I think our capacity to believe may have to do with stones. Ones like the massive stone in front of Jesus’ tomb. That’s why I decided to share this post again with you this Easter. I hope it challenges you–and helps you find freedom to believe. And before you leave today, read to the end and think about joining me below in a powerful Easter Declaration! Read more
March 31, 2014
We’ve all heard definitions of God’s mercy. None of them can describe that attribute of God adequately. Here’s a truth that might give us a small picture of God’s mercy.
God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins (Psalm 103:8-12 MSG)
Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah (Ephesians 2:4-6 MSG).
What About You?
How would you define mercy? What’s your favorite Bible verse that describes God’s mercy?
It’s Your Turn
Please leave your comments below. Your words might encourage someone today. You won’t be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you leave a comment. Feel free to email this Christian blog to someone or to re-post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, using the buttons below, or to “like” it below or on my Facebook networked blog. If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first. And I’d love for you to sign up for my blog/newsletter and updates at the top of this website page/sidebar if you’ve not already done so. That way, I can drop this encouraging blog into your e-mail box weekly, as well as notify you occasionally of any new updates, new books, specials, contests or book giveaways.
February 3, 2014
Triumph over Tragedy
I love stories about triumph over tragedy. One Light Still Shines, by Marie Monville, wife of the man who committed the Amish Schoolhouse massacre, is that kind of story.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
On October 2, 2006, Marie’s husband of ten years entered an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and did the unthinkable. He shot ten young girls, five who died. And then he turned the gun on himself.
Secret of Marie’s Triumph over Tragedy
Most of us probably heard about the tragedy and grieved with the Amish families who lost precious children. Since that time, people have asked 28-year-old Marie how she could possibly emerge and move forward from such a tragedy with so much triumph.This devoted woman of God shares her “secret” in the prologue of her book:
No matter how tragic your circumstances, your life is not a tragedy. It is a love story. And in your love story, when you think all the lights have gone out, one light still shines.1
A True Love Story
Indeed it does. Especially in the life of Marie Monville. February is the month we emphasize “love.” But this is one love story that’s not fiction, but a true story based on one woman’s courage and faith. I encourage you to read her book. It’s not a story filled with trite phrases or glib responses, but it shows a soul wrenched by tragedy, yet drenched by the unspeakable love of God.
Her Story Is About Your Future
Her story is one of love and forgiveness, of hope and mercy, sometimes from the most unexpected places. It’s a remarkable story. But Marie would not say it’s because she is remarkable, but that her God is. Her book cover quotes her own words, “My story is not about my past, but about your future.
We All Have a Love Story Being Written
Marie is right, you know. Life is not a tragedy. And we all have a love story being written in our own lives. You may think the lights have gone out in your own life. But just like in Marie’s heart, we, too, can choose to let that one Light still shine. If we follow that Light, one step at a time, we’ll discover that love story for which we were all made.
You can read more about Marie’s book here. I discovered this book recently and couldn’t wait to write this review of her story.
1 Marie Monville, One Light Still Shines (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013).
What about You?
How has God helped you triumph over tragedy? I’d love to hear your comments.
It’s Your Turn
Please leave your comments below. Your words might encourage someone today. You won’t be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you leave a comment. Feel free to email this Christian blog to someone or to re-post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, using the buttons below, or to “like” it below or on my Facebook networked blog. If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first. And I’d love for you to sign up for my blog/newsletter and updates at the top of this website page/sidebar if you’ve not already done so. That way, I can drop this encouraging blog into your e-mail box weekly, as well as notify you occasionally of any new updates, specials, contests or book giveaways
January 20, 2014
When the “winters” of our lives descend, leaving a trail of destruction and hard times to endure, how do we deal with it? No matter who you are: parent, grandparent, single or senior, writer or teacher, blue collar or white collar, here are five ways to make hard times better: Read more