Inspirational Thoughts

Maneuvering Through Life’s Troubled Waters

Robert and I embarked on a week-long adventure in the state of Arkansas. We rented a condo on a lake and plotted a week’s worth of hiking trails and other nature-based excursions.

One of our outings included taking a canoe trip down one of the many rivers located around the area where we stayed. Since we could both count the number of times that we had been canoeing, we told the park ranger that we wanted to go canoeing, but we needed to have a river that was not challenging with lots of rapids since we were pretty much novices.

He enthusiastically recommended a river where the cub scouts and boy scouts went floating. He assured us that the trip would be uneventful. Hah!

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This Meaning of Repent May Surprise You

Repent Change Your Mind Turn Aroound

You’ve seen the image in movies and on street corners – A disheveled person with wild, hair, holding a cardboard sign with the scribbled words in bold, black print – Repent! The End is Near! – Or Repent! The Kingdom of God is Near! Sometimes they’re shouting and sometimes they have a look of quiet madness.

The most famous person for declaring this word, repent, was John the Baptist. The third chapter of Matthew… Continue reading

Are You Tending to Weeds in Your Garden?

Robert and I were at dinner a few weeks back. We had the entire section of the restaurant to ourselves until an older gentleman came in and sat down at the table next to us. The waiter greeted his customer on a first-name basis and proceeded to take a beverage order from him. When he returned with the man’s drink, the waiter asked his customer if he had a computer and if he spent time on the Internet. The customer said, “Yes.” The waiter proceeded to tell him that over the weekend he had gone on the Internet to catch up on some things including looking at his FaceBook account. Before he knew it, two hours had flown by. The waiter said, Isn’t it crazy how time seems to fly by in double time when you get on the computer?” He continued, “We’ve had so much rain that my garden was getting overgrown with weeds. I only had so much daylight to work with over the weekend and I really needed to get out and tend to the weeds or they would have taken over my garden! I had to stop wasting time on the computer!”

Robert and I both heard this exchange and we looked at each other. Without saying a word, we smiled because we had grasped the true meaning of the dialogue. The waiter brought our food and we ate our dinner without sharing our thoughts. The next day I told Robert that I needed to write about the conversation that we overheard at the restaurant. Robert immediately asked, “The one with the waiter and the weeds?”

This story was a great illustration of how we choose to spend our time and what is truly most important. If the waiter had spent all afternoon on his computer, the weeds would have continued to take over his garden. He knew that he only had so much time to tend to his weeds and he made the right choice to put an end to his time on the computer. Continue reading

Christian Humor and Laughter – Joy Comes in the Morning

Humor, laughter, joy – It’s all part of being a Christian. So, I’ll be the first to admit  that I’ve been writing about some pretty serious stuff lately. All of this soul searching is hard work. But we all know that all work and no play is not good for the soul, so I’ve decided to blog on a much lighter note today.

John 15:11 says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you… Continue reading

God Bless Fathers On Earth and In Heaven

Father’s Day is a time when Dad’s have their day. Father’s Day cards are filled with messages of, “Relax, You’ve Earned It!” and images of men sitting in front of the television with their feet propped up in a recliner and their trusty remote, beverage of choice and snacks at their side.

What does it really mean to be a father? I believe that being a father is one of the toughest jobs in the world, especially being a… Continue reading

Seeking and Finding Abundant Wholeness

In order to attain abundant wholeness, we must experience many peaks and valleys. Until we walk through our dark times, we can’t experience true light. (Watch my video Help for Dark Times.)

So, when you are faced with sadness, doubts and fears, be prayerful and examine these feelings to address a buried issue that may have never come to the surface. My favorite way of dealing with feelings is to journal and get it all “out” and down on… Continue reading

How to Listen – God Gave us Two Ears that are Open All of the Time

Someone said the other evening at a church meeting that God gave us two ears that were always open and one mouth that we could shut. I had never “heard” it put that way before, so I wanted to share that description.

Meditation involves listening to God. As part of God’s family, it’s important that we listen to others too. Sometimes we are called just to show up and be present.

Paul Reiter shared the following with me. Paul is the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy and will be joining us during our Build Spiritual Muscle series in the month of June. It was too good to keep to myself, so I wanted to share it with you.

When I ask you to listen to me,
And you start giving me advice,
You have not done what I asked.

When I ask that you listen to me,
And you begin to tell me what I shouldn’t feel that way,
You are trampling on my feelings,

When I ask you to listen to me,
And you feel you have to do something to solve my problems,
You have failed me, strange as it may seem.

Mother’s Day – God Bless Mothers – On Earth and In Heaven

Sunday will be Mother’s Day. (Check out this Prayer for Mothers.) For many, it’s a time of celebration. For others, it’s a time of grief. That grief can entail mourning the loss of a mother due to death, losing a child or mourning the absence of the loving mother daughter relationship.

For me, this mother’s day will be a time of celebration. (Although I’ll share a little grief part later.) My mother is still with me. She turned 94 in January. Considering all that she has physically to deal with, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and asthma, you would never guess that she is 94 – more like 70, and she certainly doesn’t act a day over 16!

Here she is after she broke her left wrist in the fall of 2008. She goes by the name of Bea. This pose is typical of her personality because she always felt more comfortable performing on the stage.

After this happened, I told her, “Mom, you’re lucky that it was your left wrist because you’re right handed.” Two weeks later the phone rang. It was my mother telling me she had broken her right wrist. She told me she couldn’t help it because she’s always been an over-achiever!  That’s where I get it….. and her sense of humor. My mother is truly an inspiration.

I am a mother. My son will be with me this Mother’s Day – Another reason for celebration.

For others, who have lost their mothers, however, this will be a time of, perhaps, grief. Continue reading

Bible Study, Self Help Books and Personal Development – The Big Paradox

The book stores are filled with isles and isles of self help and personal development books. Topics to help you be motivated, achieve success, how to combat depression, anxiety, improve self esteem, abound. If you are seeking help to improve in an area of your life, you’ll most likely find a book on it.

My book shelves are filled with these “helpful” books, even spiritual and Christian books on the subject of improving our spiritual walk. I am a voracious reader, soaking up as much as I can. The more I’ve been reading, however, the more empty I have felt. This week I finally discovered why.

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