Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In the summer of 1986 I had the awesome opportunity to be a camp counselor at Lutheran Island Camp, in Northern Minnesota. I met amazing Christian young men and women and we all became good friends. We worked, played, laughed, cried, and shared the love of Jesus with our campers and with each other. That summer was a definite turning point in my life and I will never forget what I learned about true Christian friendship that summer.

The summer flew by and we knew that it would be difficult for us to say good-bye and that we would all never again be in the same place this side of heaven. Our Program Director, Wes Baumeister, wrote a beautiful poem that I would like to share with you.

Since that summer God has placed so many wonderful friends in my life. And I have had to say good-bye to so many of them and it has been difficult for me. This year two of my close friends have moved away and once again, my heart hurts to say good-bye. I share this poem in honor of all the friends God has given to me and the precious moments I have shared with them. I look forward to that day when we are all together in heaven celebrating forever.


There are two sides to every coin.
One features the exciting newness of discovering another.
The cautious laying down of weapons
And discarding armor.
As each open up to the other
The protective layers of normalcy peel off
And fall away.
We taste each other’s experiences
Laughing at common blunders,
Crying at common hurts,
And helping each other grow.
It is sweet.

Yet when the coin reveals its other face
Our guts twist into a hurting mass,
For our time has run short
And our lives must now turn in separate directions.
Our minds our left at the crossroads
Questioning the will of God
And we stand very alone with teeth clenched
Stifling heavy tears.
The last hug is tight with frustration
And when we part our bodies scream, “NO……..
Just one more moment.”
And it is bitter.

How can such opposite realities occupy the same heart?
Both the sweet, tender comfort of a close friend
And the bitter, harsh reality of losing them
Give a certain unrest to life.
But the unrest is quickly discarded when
Bittersweet reality
Is replaced by the healing hope of the future.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,
Plans for good and not for evil.
To give you a future
And a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, May 29, 2006

This writing is in memory and in honor of all of those men and women who have served our country.

Every man must die, but only a few really live. We cannot evade death because it will eventually come; but how we choose to live our lives makes a difference every day. How many of us have the courage to truly live. How many of us seize the day? Make the most out of every minute of our life; so that we can impact and make a difference in someone else’s life. I believe that our country was founded by people who had the courage to live. They believed with their whole being in liberty and justice for all. They had a dream and vision for what they wanted for our country. Patrick Henry stated it best when he said, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death”!

It was December of 1915; France, Britain, and Russia were struggling in their fight against the German Empire. A Canadian poet, John McCrae stood by as he watched the steady onward march of the enemy, and the almost hopeless heroism of his comrades to stay the German pressure. They were marching towards certain death and yet they courageously marched forward – fighting for their freedom and that of their countries. After watching this John, sat by the bedside of his dying friend, who had been wounded in battle; he then went on to write,

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row.
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Love and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up your quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

Flanders Fields is now a U.S. Military cemetery in Belgium. Buried in this cemetery are the bodies of 368 members of the U.S. armed forces who died in WWI.

This poem is considered by many to be one of the most inspirational of it’s time. It was read from thousands of platforms in France and Britain to recruit more troops and to rally the spirits of existing troops. Once the U.S. decided to enter the war, the poem was read to encourage our troops as well.
When I look at the second verse…… “We are the dead, short days ago we lived…..” These men were willing to look death in the face and bravely the continued to march forward. They realized that they may not see their loved ones again here on earth and that their young lives would all too quickly end. That they might lose their ability to get up in the morning and thank God for another day. They died so that we might live another day in freedom.

Let us remember with honor today and every day all of the men and women that gave their lives for our country from Revolutionary War to the current war on terrorism. We have been given a precious gift to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I encourage you to ask yourselves these questions. What do I do that makes a difference in other people’s lives? What impact have I made on society? Do I live my life for myself, or for others? When I die, what will people remember about me? Will they say, now there was a person who truly lived, or will they not remember much about your life? The choices is ours my friends, because remember….. Every person will eventually die, only a few have the courage to truly live.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Have you known sorrow in your life? Has your heart felt the deepest anguish of losing a loved one? Have you experienced a grief so devastating that it took your breath away?

If we are alive in this world we will experience sorrow because of the sin in this world. Please note that I am not saying that when we sin God fills our life with sorrow to pay us back. We live in a sinful world and because of that we face death and destruction all around us. It also needs to be said that sometimes our sins do lead to deep sorrow in our life. When we allow sin to entangle us there are often consequences that lead us to broken hearts and dreams.

God cares about every minute detail in your life; He wants you to share your heart with Him. He is always there for you and cares for you far more than you can begin to comprehend. A Bible Study leader shared with me recently that when we get to heaven and we see how God listens too and answers our prayers we are going to wonder why we didn’t involve God in every aspect of our life on a more consistent basis.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. 9 On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat. This I know: God is on my side.” Psalms 56:8-9 (NLT)

God’s love is compassionate and empathetic; He knows and understands the deepest place of our hearts. He knows our unspoken fears, the dreams that we long to share with the world but are afraid that they might be squashed or shattered. God is our resting place where we can share with Him the struggles that sometimes consume our thoughts, He is safe and the best part is that we can leave all of them with Him in His capable Hands. Those same hands that bare the scars from the nails that bound Him to the cross but it was His divine love for you and for me that held him there.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You are the glue!

Do you ever play the comparison game? Wishing that your abilities included being the best at being able to sing, play musical instruments, athletic skills, or earn that six figure income that you know that you are worth.

Have you ever wished that things had turned out differently with your relationships with family and friends?

The first summer that I was a camp counselor, I got swallowed up in thoughts of self-pity. Because I spent way too much time wishing that I had the gifts and talents that other people had on our staff. I kept measuring myself against everyone else and I failed every time. The simple truth is that I was only failing in my eyes.

Mid-summer the program director met with each counselor to do an evaluation of how we had done so far. I was nervous but I really admired and respected Wes, so I knew that it would be okay.

He told me that I was one of the best camp counselor’s on his staff. I was stunned and filled with disbelief. I told him that I wasn’t athletic or very musical, and that I felt like I didn’t measure up. He shared with me that I didn’t need to focus on the gifts that I didn’t have, but that I need to concentrate on the things that I did well. I still didn’t understand. He told me that I was the glue that held the staff together. That in my own quiet way I was a leader. I lead by encouragement and accepting people for who there were. He asked me why I didn’t treat myself in the same way. I discovered a lot about myself that summer but more importantly I found the truth in God’s Word.

10 “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:10-13 (NIV)
“3 For by the grace given me I say to every one
of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:3-21 (NIV)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,

I have decided that I will update my blog several times a week. I have really enjoyed sharing my writings with all of you and I value your feedback. I am working on some devotionals that I hope to get published. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Again, thank you so much for your support, it has been deeply appreciated.

In Christ,

Monday, May 15, 2006

When Troy and I were dating, I discovered that we shared the same confirmation verse. 5 "Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass."
Psalms 37:5 (NKJV)
At that point we were not engaged but I knew that things were progressing in that direction. I thought to myself that if we were married, we would have that serve as our wedding verse.
We had that verse as the center of our wedding day but more importantly it has been the center of our marriage and family life.
Yesterday we celebrated Mother’s day. And that is always a special day as I reflect on the two precious gifts that God has given to us in Matthew and Jacob. It has always been the desire of my heart to be a Mom and when I look at them, I’m in awe of the amazing miracles that we have in them. I’m reminded of the devotion that our Pastor shared with us when Jacob was born. That in Jacob we have a little piece of Troy and Michelle created out of our love for each other. In Matthew we were told by my Doctor that he is our miracle baby, because by medical standards it should have been impossible for us to conceive. More importantly when we look at our children we are reminded of God’s love and faithfulness.
Nine years ago Troy and I had our first date! I didn’t realize it at the time. We planted seed corn of all things, but it was a memorable day. Each Mother’s Day I reflect back on our life together and I see God’s hand in every aspect of our life. God has brought us through days of joy and also of sorrow. Troy and I are able to handle these things not because of whom we are; but because of whose we are. God walks with us and He is at the center of our marriage and family. We have committed our love, family, and children to Him. We have learned to trust Him above all things and that in each and every situation He will keep us safe.

Friday, May 12, 2006

This writing is in honor of my Mom, Beverly Moorhead

As I look back through the eyes of a daughter who is now a Mother, I wonder how my Mom was able to do all that she did.

My Mom had all four of her children in 3 ½ years; with my Dad working a lot double shifts so that my Mom could be at home. My Mom did not have her driver’s license until my twin sister and I were 7 years old. So it wasn’t like she could pack us all up and go visiting to get out of the house for awhile.

There wasn’t a lot of extra money for babysitters and we didn’t have a lot of family close by that would be able to provide my Mom an extra set of hands on a consistent basis. She kept us all quiet while my Dad would have to sleep during the day when he would work the night shift. No disposable diapers were used and she did not have a lot of the conveniences that we have today.

We had a huge garden and most of the summer was spent tending garden and than canning all of the wonderful vegetables that God provided for us. Here is the variety of the tasty delights that Mom would work so hard on: tomato sauce, tomato juice, green beans, pickled green beans, carrots, corn, apple sauce, apple juice, strawberry jam, blueberry jam, rhubarb jam, beets, pickled beets, eggs pickled in the beet juice, assortment of pickles, and I’m sure that I am forgetting a few things! Nothing was wasted! And during those long days of canning my Mom still cooked us meals, baked bread and cookies and took care of all the other things that needed to be done. We didn’t have the money just to go out to eat because Mom had been to busy doing all of these other things.

As a young child I would get severe asthma attacks. This would require trips to the emergency room in the middle of the night. When we would get home Mom would have me sleep with her so that she could check on my breathing. I sounded like a leaky radiator, not a sound you would want to hear coming from your child as she is breathing. It was sometimes scary but knowing that Mom was right there was a great comfort to me.

In high school I was in a bad accident and it required me to stay in the hospital for 10 days. My Mom would come up every morning after she got the other kids off to school, to help me take a shower and get ready for the day. The nurse could have done it but I wanted my Mom. A young girl doesn’t want anyone but there Mom around when they are in the state of undress.

One morning I woke up early and I saw this strange thing on my table. I picked it up and read that it was a catheter. It was only 5:00 a.m. and the nurse happened to come into the room to check on me. I asked her what is for and when she explained how it would be used, I was horrified. She told me that she would come back at 6:00 a.m. to collect my urine. I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want anybody using that “thing:” on me. I called my Mom bawling and asking her to tell them not to do it. My Mom never complained about me waking her up so early; she calmed me down and told me that it would be all right.

My Mom was always there to listen and to encourage. Mom and Dad taught us to trust in God above all things. Whenever troubles or challenges would arise Mom was always there to remind me of how much God loved me and how He would give me the strength to get through the situation.

Mom was only a phone call away as I moved away for the first time. She listened to my joys and sorrows, my heart aches and my heart breaks, and to anything else that was going on...

My Mom is still only a phone call away. I treasure our talks and I still share with her my joys and sorrows. Now when she comes to visit I have to share her with my boys. It brings my heart the greatest joy watching her play and love my sons.

My Mom is my friend, my mentor, teacher, and a safe place. I thank God for her each and every day.

13 “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:13 (NIV)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

6 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:6-11 (NKJV)

If we could see people and life through Gods’ eyes, we would view the world differently.
In the difficult person who is hard to love; we would see a broken spirit and a troubled heart and mind. In the circumstances that leave us blinded with pain and reeling with grief; we would know that God is holding us and giving us strength for each moment.
When there is confusion and chaos, we would see the big picture and how God can work for the good in all things.

Pray for understanding and guidance as you walk through each day. Ask God to help you to love and forgive as He has done for us.

Finally remember, that God’s word is far more powerful than what we can even begin to imagine.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

1 My children, listen to me. Listen to your father's instruction. Pay attention and grow wise, 2 for I am giving you good guidance. Don't turn away from my teaching. 3 For I, too, was once my father's son, tenderly loved by my mother as an only child. 4 My father told me, "Take my words to heart. Follow my instructions and you will live. 5 Learn to be wise, and develop good judgment. Don't forget or turn away from my words. 6 Don't turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. 7 Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And whatever else you do, get good judgment. 8 If you prize wisdom, she will exalt you. Embrace her and she will honor you. 9 She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown." 10 My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. 11 I will teach you wisdom's ways and lead you in straight paths. 12 If you live a life guided by wisdom, you won't limp or stumble as you run. 13 Carry out my instructions; don't forsake them. Guard them, for they will lead you to a fulfilled life. Proverbs 4:1-13 (NLT)
This scripture reminds me of how my parents raised me. We had a little joke in our family that Dad was always right! And the truth of the matter is that most times he was right. As a young girl I would always want to try to do things my way and my parents would offer their advice and counsel. There were times when I thought that my knowledge was a little more superior and many times I was humbled. I had yet to discover the truth that with age and life experience comes wisdom.
My parent’s wisdom came from their love of the Lord and His holy word. They took very seriously their job of raising us to know and love Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
The important life lessons that I learned from them as a child are still with me today as I raise my own children.
Our Heavenly Father, longs to impart His wisdom to each of us. I encourage you to take time in the Word daily, as that is where true Wisdom begins.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 (NIV)
The love that the Father has lavished on us, to me means He held nothing back from us. God is extravagant and has bestowed an overabundance of His love, for us His children. We are not just the creatures that He created, we are His children. The love that He has for us is hard for us to comprehend or even begin to wrap our minds around. We are unable to love in the same way because of our sinfulness.
I don’t know about you but do you ever have those days where you feel unlovable. There are days when my mistakes seem unending, my actions unloving, and my words are unkind. On those days it is not like I wake up and say, “I’m going to have a rotten day and I am going to do my best to make sure everyone who crosses my path will be miserable too.”
You and I do have choice though; we can choose how we will respond the unpleasant circumstances that come our way. Let us start each day remembering how we are God’s children and that His love for us is unending. Since we are God’s children we are reflections of Him. God will give us the strength to glorify Him in all situations, even when we don’t feel like it.
And I know there will be those days when we are overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of life. At those times our prayer will be, “God please help me to walk by faith and to live by hope.” Amen.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Yesterday we celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday at Church. It is a day to remember that the Lord is our Shepherd and what that means to us in our life. A Shepherd would provide for all of the needs of his flock. His whole purpose in life was to protect and take care of his sheep.

There is a story of a little boy who was memorizing the 23 rd Psalm. His parents had just helped him with the first verse and asked him to repeat it on his own. The little boy stood proud and tall and with all the enthusiasm that a three-year-old boy could muster he said, “The Lord is my Shepherd, that’s enuf.” He meant that is all he wanted to say, but oh what words of wisdom he spoke. The Lord is our shepherd and that is enough. We have all that we need in Him. May you find your comfort, hope and peace in the Good Shepherd today and always.

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. 4 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. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
Psalms 23:1-6 (NKJV)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you did not know God? It would be a life without hope. I don’t know about you but the hope that I have in God is what gets me through each day. No matter what has happened God is always there for me. I love the following portion of scripture. The book of Lamentations was written by Jeremiah. He is known as the “weeping prophet”; because of the many difficulties that he faced being faithful to God. He preached the truth and the people did not like him nor did they want to listen him. In spite of his trials; His hope remained steadfast in the Lord. May God grant us the same hope as we journey through our lives.

19 “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. 27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. 28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him. 29 Let him bury his face in the dust--there may yet be hope. 30 Let he offers his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. 31 For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” Lam 3:19-33 (NIV)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Heb 12:1-3 (NIV)

Do you ever grow weary? Do you ever want to throw in the towel? I know there are times that I feel that way. And yet I look at this scripture passage and the thirst of my heart is quenched.

I am encouraged as I read this portion of scripture. I’m not alone; I’m surrounded by the body of Christ. More importantly I have Jesus in my life and He runs with me. As I look at these words of wisdom I am reminded that my faith is continually changing and growing by God’s grace. God is allowing me to become the person that He created me to be.

So on those days when you feel like you cannot take one more step, fix your eyes upon Jesus. This reminds me of a verse from one of my favorite songs: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

While I was on the phone today with a good friend, my son comes in and he is sobbing like he lost his best friend. I quickly ask him what is wrong and I find out that his boomerang is up on top of the house. I can’t reach it, Mom.

I assured him that Daddy would be able to get his precious toy for him and that all would be okay. I went outside and he was standing there with his tear stained face which was made more obvious by the dirt that was smeared on his cheeks. He told me that he still could not reach it.

My heart broke at the sight of those tears and remembering what it was like to be little and to not be able to fix things on my own. As I thought about this for awhile longer I realized that as we get older we do not change in how we think about things.

How many times do we try to “fix things” that are beyond our control? How many times do we think if I could only do this one thing, I could make things better? Or here is a classic; I know exactly how to fix this problem, why don’t they listen to me!

We get frustrated with problems that our beyond our control. We worry about things that may or may not even happen. We are not alone in our problems and God does not need our help to fix things.

We need to soak up God’s word so that when the challenges of life come we know that the only thing that we can do is pray and to trust God above all things.

25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 "and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matt 6:25-34 (NKJV)

“The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:5-7 (NRSV)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Troy and I were blessed to have our rehearsal dinner on the family farm. His Mom thought that because of all of the young children that it might be easier to hold it at a place where they could run and play and not feel constricted.

My nephew Sidney was standing in line waiting to receive his food. Like most three-year-olds, he was full of energy and enthusiasm for life. However, the line was long and he was hungry, he wanted to eat so that he could go and play with all of the other kids.

My twin sister Jimella was standing next to him and she gently reminded him that he need to have patience. She explained to him that “Patience is a virtue”. That is a hard concept for an excited child to grasp. But he seemed to understand and continued his waiting without further whining.

After dinner they proceeded to stand in line so that they could make ice-cream sundaes. My MIL had every tasty treat that could tempt the taste buds of young and old alike to put on those Sundaes. So it took awhile for each person to make their masterpiece; you can only imagine the wonderfully creamy candy-filled concoctions that were created for our culinary delight!

Again, Sidney was impatient to have his turn at making his own desert. Jimella looked at him and asked him, “Sidney, what did I tell you about patience.” Sidney, looked up at her with his beautiful and innocent blue eyes and replied, “Patience will hurt you!” Out of the mouth of the young come words of wisdom. It is difficult to be patient in all circumstances; it is not just young children who have a hard time grasping this concept. We can look to the Lord, the giver all of good things and He can teach us about patience.

“ 7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. 9 Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:7-11 (NIV)

Monday, May 01, 2006

I would like for you to imagine that you are standing in a room filled with books. As you look up in awe at the vast number; you see books that are ornate and books that are plain. You see all shapes and sizes and your mind is filled with wonder because you were told that the same author created all of these books.

Out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of a book that looks ugly and vile and you are drawn to that part of the room. As you come closer a putrid stench over comes you and your eyes began to water. Suddenly you look away and realize that there are quite a few books like this one amongst the beauty and splendor of the rest of the library.

Your mind is spinning as you try to conceive why would this author include these dark and obviously distasteful books amongst his life’s work?

Your curiosity can no longer be contained you take one of books off the shelf and you open the book to look at the authors name. You stare at the name and blink your eyes in disbelief and also in hope that the name will somehow magically change.

You hang your head in horror and shame and you weep bitterly because the author is none other than you. These books contain all of the words that you have ever spoken. How many of you would want people to read all of the books in your library? I know that I would feel a shame greater than what words could describe. I would only want for people to see my best words, my finest moments in life.

The following verses from James talk about the tongue:

“3 Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” James 3:3-12 (NKJV)

I believe that God wants us to know and understand how vicious and destructive our words can be. But we are not alone in our struggle; I know that God can help us control what comes out of our mouths.

We also need to remember that when we come before God’s throne of mercy and grace and confess our sins, there is forgiveness.