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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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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Christian Leaders: Stop Using Your Influence to Scare People into Voting a Certain Way

Every social media guru and marketing expert advises blog writers to stay on their chosen topic, especially avoiding topics like politics, sex, and religion, unless those subjects fit their platform. This goes double for polite conversations and mixed company.

I’m about to break the rules. II Peter 1:4-5

No doubt you’ve read more than you ever care to about the lewd video and personal testimonies displaying Trump’s nauseating brag fest about kissing and groping women against their will. If you’re like me, the thought of reading one more political post makes you want to hurl your phone out the window.

But here’s the thing: this isn’t about politics. I have no delusions that this post will change your mind about who you vote for November 8th. However, there are bigger issues for people who trust and follow Jesus to consider than the outcome of the 2016 election.
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What a Boston Terrier Can Teach Us about Living Loved

What a beautiful world it would be if people had hearts like dogs. ~Anonymous

 

Twix, my Boston Terrier, knows deep down in his doggie heart that I love him unconditionally. In the five years since I’ve adopted him, he has exuded what it means to live loved.

No Shame

No matter who pays attention to him, his response is the same. He flips over onto his back and bares his belly. He’s not afraid to ask for a tummy rub, even from a stranger.

Twix can't resist a chance to bathe in the sun.
Twix can’t resist a chance to bathe in the sun.

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Journey Pink: Michelle Viscuse

MichelleViscuseHeadshotToday I have special guest Michelle Viscuse, who blogs over at Journey Pink: The Journey of a Princess in Need of a King.

Like so many who experienced childhood sexual abuse, Michelle grappled with feeling barely tolerated by Jesus. She writes about her journey from spiritual pauper to extravagantly loved princess, so that others, like us, can realize our role in God’s creation as prized treasures.

It’s common for those who experienced childhood abuse to feel shunned by God. We know in our heads that Jesus loves the world, but that truth never quite sinks into our hearts. As Michelle puts it, “Some girls were precious in His sight – but not me.”
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Saint Valentine: Love and Injustice

We live in an unjust world. No one knows this better than St. Valentine, the man for whom the holiday we’re celebrating is named.rome-714658_1280

 

Legend has it the priest refused to obey Roman Emperor Claudias’ decree forbidding marriages. Claudias believed more men would be willing to join the army and go off to war if they remained single. Believing Claudias’ decree to be unjust, Valentine secretly officiated weddings anyway.
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Marriage: I still do!

I still do! In our fourteen years of marriage, Doug and I credit three things for our happiness:

 

  • Prayer—out loud, together. This helps us remember who the enemy is. (Hint: it’s not your spouse.)
  • Date nights—we have a standing date each week on the calendar. If someone asks us to do something during that time, we truthfully say we have a prior commitment scheduled.
  • Marriage conferences—conferences are my favorite! Attending one with my husband makes it even better. We always learn something helpful.

 

Last month we attended a simulcast I Still Do conference by Dennis Rainey’s Family Life Today. In his talk, Dennis noted that he and his wife Barbara had been married for forty years, but still had fights from time to time.

 

Even the best of friends have fights sometimes.
Even the best of friends have fights sometimes.

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