Consider this a book review. My personal opinion.
I just read Vance Pitman’s book: Unburdened: Stop Living for Jesus So Jesus Can Live Through You and it is a life-changing read! So many of us, as followers of Christ, feel that we have to follow rules and be perfect to be sure of our salvation. In essence we say we are saved by faith but kept by works, saved by grace, but sanctified by works. We can get caught in the trap of focusing on the works we do as Believers, rather than focusing on Christ Himself.
In his book, Pitman challenges us to abide in Jesus through simple and pure devotion to Him. He teaches that the life of a Jesus-follower ought to look like the life of Christ because as we abide in Him, He lives through us. Pitman’s study of the Gospels of the Bible revealed that Jesus’ life was centered on relationships with God the Father, with His disciples, and with the world. Relationships, not religion. Continue reading “Recommended Reading: Unburdened: Stop Living for Jesus So Jesus Can Live Through You”
Many of us may be glad to see 2020 to come to an end. COVID-19 flooded the world with illness, suffering, death, grief, economic losses, social distancing, depression, anxiety, and fear.
The COVID “flood” reminds me of another worldwide flood recorded in the Bible. Continue reading “Good Bye 2020!”
The background photo on our website speaks hope to me. The vibrant flowers catch your eye at first, but behind them in the distance towers the remains of Mount St. Helens, a volcano which erupted in May 1980, covering the area in lava and filling the air with ashes. I recall as a child witnessing on TV the devastation caused by its powerful eruption, and in 2017, my family visited the site to see it for ourselves. Continue reading “Hope from the Ashes”
Recently, a friend said to me, “You’re such a warrior.” Maybe it was her Southern accent, or maybe it was my poor hearing, but I didn’t hear “warrior.” I heard “worrier.” So, my response to her was, “Well, I used to be, but I’m not any more. God rescued me from the pit of worry.” She was puzzled by my response and spelled it out for me: “W-a-r-r-i-o-r, not worrier!”
Me? A warrior?
I’ve shared before about my struggles with worrying (read more in “The War with Worry”), and the Lord has done a great work in me. He has rewired the way I think. No longer do I jump headfirst into the deep end of the pool of worries and woes. No longer do I let my thoughts run over the cliff like a runaway train with no bridge ahead. How did He do it? It was a process, for sure, but the final blow to my habit of worrying came through the gift of cancer. Continue reading “From Worrier to Warrior”
At this time of year, nearly everywhere we go we see signs of Christmas. We like to drive through our community, turn on some Christmas music, and enjoy the decorations that adorn the yards and houses. Twinkling lights of various colors hang on bushes and trees and outline the houses. There are evergreen wreaths embellished with red and gold ribbons, candles glowing in the windows, and Christmas trees overflowing with gifts of all sizes and shapes. Yards are filled with large plastic or inflatable characters, from Santa and snowmen to the Nativity with Baby Jesus at the center – the baby who was also known as the King of the Jews.
Continue reading “Gifts for the King”
What’s that smell? Cookies baking in the oven? Popcorn popping in the microwave? Burgers on the grill? Those aromas can create a hunger in me even if it isn’t mealtime! But while these scents can make my mouth water, there are other food-smells that have the opposite effect. I’m not a fan of collards. They give off a distinctive, strong odor while cooking. It is such a strong smell that I’ve heard some people cook them outside so that the odor will not permeate the whole house. I wouldn’t want my house to smell like collards, but you may love the way collards smell. The way we evaluate scents depends on our own preferences – it is very subjective.
Like foods emit aromas to us, if we are Christians, “we are the aroma of Christ to God” (2 Corinthians 2:15). Continue reading “A Pleasing Aroma”
At this time of year, many people start thinking about summer vacations. It pays to plan ahead because you can save money and ensure that you stay where you want to stay when you want to stay there. If you don’t like to plan all the details, maybe you would prefer to do what we did recently: pick your destination and let someone else do all the planning.
My dad and I chose our destination: Israel. That’s the only thing we did. Continue reading “The Ultimate Journey”
Traveling to Israel, “the Holy Land,” was life-changing in ways I had never imagined. In the middle of our 10-day journey, we found ourselves at a lovely hotel at the Dead Sea. This was a much-needed respite from all the walking we had done and still had ahead of us later in the week. I thought it would be like any other day at the beach, but I was wrong. Continue reading “Dead Sea, Living Water”
On October 2, 2017, our family was struck by tragedy when my husband’s only brother was murdered – shot and killed in his own driveway while heading out to work. In the days that followed, the Lord clearly called us to share our story and our hope with others. It started with my mother-in-law sharing at his funeral. From there, my mother-in-law, niece, and I have been walking through every door the Lord has opened to us to offer His hope to others.
Sensing that our call was not just to a particular church or denomination, but rather to the entire community, we sought the Lord about where to go and how to start. Continue reading “Answering His Call”
The Olympics: The torch, the ceremonies, the medals, and the athletes. Night after night, we are engaged by the competition and by the inspiring background stories of the competitors. They have trained for years, investing endless hours in the gym, on the slopes or on the ice, just to compete here. Each one has a unique story, some of which are full of adversity along their paths to the Olympics – injuries, the deaths of family members, financial distress, etc. We are inspired by their ability to overcome their circumstances and to focus on the end goal: a medal.
Every person faces adversity at some point, and like these athletes, we must focus on the end goal.
One of my own challenges came in the form of my cancer diagnosis a few years ago. Continue reading “Eyes on the Prize”