Easter Joy: Is Jesus Enough?

Holidays tend to bring out discontentment in me like nothing else. If it’s not advertisements selling the latest and greatest in Easter decorations, then it’s Pinterest making me crazy with recipes and cutesy flower arrangements.joy, abundance, Jesus is enough

I know the Sunday school answer: Jesus is enough. But busyness steals my heart sometimes.

You too, friend?

If you find yourself in a decorating and cooking frenzy this holiday, take a deep breath, pour a cup of something hot and put your feet up for a minute. Let’s take a break from DOING Easter and simply celebrate it.
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Fruit of the Spirit vs. Fruit of Idolatry: Peace or Anxiety

I used to have such a wrong idea about the Fruit of the Spirit. I’d read the verses in Galatians like a laundry list of so many things I couldn’t do enough, be enough. I would either flip to another book of the Bible, or vow to work on being more loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, etc. But the next day, I wouldn’t even be able to list all nine.

This post is the first in a series based on the fruit of the Spirit.

Anxiety, peace, Fruit of the SpiritI’ve been anxious for as long as I can remember. When I was eight, right after my parents divorced, my mom moved my brother and I away. We were suddenly thrust into a new town, new school, and new friends. The shifting sand under my feet turned into a landslide.
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Anxiety and Parenting: A Bad Mix

anxiety, childhood trauma, parentingI’m just beginning to understand the connection between the anxiety I’ve felt my whole life and childhood trauma. Until recently, I wasn’t even aware that I lived with anxiety—it’s just always been a normal part of who I am. But it’s affected my relationships negatively, especially in parenting.

This week, our little town is reeling. A teenage young man was killed when he and another guy fell off the back of the car. Another teen was driving. Three families will never be the same. My heart goes out to the families, especially the moms.

That was my worst nightmare as a mom of teenagers—they’d do irreparable harm and ruin their lives somehow. I didn’t have any rational reason to fear this—my girls were sensible and responsible.
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Beauty and the Beast: Life isn’t a Fairytale

Beauty and the Beast
Unlikely alliance

It’s a tale as old as time—a book-loving beauty named Belle in an unlikely alliance with a handsome prince-turned-Beast.

Early on in my community theater career, I got caught up in the magic when I doubled as a townsperson and an enchanted vase in Beauty and the Beast.

Kim, our director, demanded nothing but the best. “Three times, perfect!” she’d say, and we’d run the scenes until we could do them in our sleep.
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Jesus Meets Us in Unexpected Places

Copyright: raikhel / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: raikhel / 123RF Stock Photo

Ever had one of those life-changing, eye-opening moments? I was reminded of mine as I read the story of Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.

As a Pharisee, he was among the most respected and revered among his fellow Israelites. As a student of Gamaliel, he had a top-notch religious education. As a Roman citizen and son of prominent Benjamite parents, he enjoyed much more privilege than the average Jerusalem dweller.

No doubt, he was on track for High Priest someday. He had everything going for him.

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Where Do We Find The Goodness of God Amidst the Chaos?

I’ve heard people say they can’t believe in a racist, misogynistic god who lets tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes destroy entire cities. Who lets so many in the world go hungry and without clean water. Who lets so many suffer. An uncaring god who turns an unsympathetic eye to mass shootings, lethal diseases, and endemic poverty.

Copyright: homeros / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: homeros / 123RF Stock Photo

I have to agree with them. I couldn’t (and don’t) believe in a god like that either. I believe that God is good, and that He wants nothing but good things for His creation.

But there was a time not long ago when I had forgotten all about the goodness of God. My emotional pain had wrapped me so tight that I was suffocating. There were times I literally couldn’t breathe it hurt so much, and yet the world seemed to go on like everything was fine. Read more

Who’s Calling?

Ever want to give up on a long-term dream or a huge goal? Maybe it’s homeschooling or losing a bunch of weight. Maybe it’s getting that record deal or learning a new language. Whatever it is, it’s likely you’ve been bogged down in the middle.

Even if you felt sure in the beginning you were called by God, you began to doubt He ever asked you to do this thing. You might have asked yourself why you even began in the first place. I’ve been there too.

This week, I have some encouragement for you. It’s from Peter and John’s example in Acts 4. 

“Get up! The chief priest wants to talk to you.” The jailer scowled at Peter and John as they slowly rose from the dirt floor, bodies stiff from their night of confinement.

Peter and John Arrested Photo credit: Sweetwater Publishing, Free Bible Images

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Waiting to Bear Fruit

I’ve been doing a lot of waiting this week.

Waiting for packages to come, people to call back, and for God to answer prayers.

almostripetomatoesIn my garden, I’m waiting for a tomato to ripen to its peak. I could pick it today, but if I give it a little bit more time, I’ll have the most flavorful, juicy tomato possible. This weekend, it will be perfection.
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El Roi: The Way God Sees

“Who gives this woman?”

Image courtesy of Samantha Johnson, Monumental Moments Photography www.facebook.com/monumentalmomentsphotos
Image courtesy of Samantha Johnson, Monumental Moments Photography

We’ve all heard the pastor ask this question at the beginning of traditional wedding ceremonies. It’s customary for the father of the bride to say, “Her mother and I do.”
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