A Quiet Life, A Full Life

We recently picked up a book from the library entitled “Dear Mr. Washington
by Lynn Cullen. It is a humorous look at the story behind Gilbert Stewart’s famous portrait of the first President. This one.

The book follows Stuart’s children as they attempt to follow George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior on Company and Conversation while the President sits for his portrait. These rules (110 of them) were copied down by Washington by the time he was 16. Continue reading

Gone in an Instant

When life doesn’t seem fair, it can be hard to keep the perspective that God knows what He’s doing. When events and circumstances seem to pile up inequity and loss, trusting the Lord becomes challenging. The struggle to understand pain and suffering can be overwhelming. The past month I’ve experienced a repeated lesson. An ever-increasing revelation that life is precious. Fragile. Frail. A vapor. And that I have no control over it. I am a shadow. Continue reading

Devotional – A Dead Stick

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

What good is a branch without the support of a vine? Nothing. It’s a dead stick. If you have a branch that has produced fruit, is weighted down with luscious grapes, but then is cut off from the vine, eventually all you’ll have is some shriveled up raisins. Ewww. Continue reading

Devotional – Show Me Love

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Amazing. For a solid three chapters prior to this verse, Peter is discussing how we should live. Submitting ourselves to authority, abstaining from sinful behavior, husband/wife relationships, not to gossip…on and on. He talks about us being set apart – living lives that demonstrate that we are different from the rest of the world. And then there is this verse. Nestled in chapter 4 – so easy to miss. “Above all” – above all the other stuff. Love. That is so profound. It seems easy, but it is by far the most difficult task of all the instruction given in the four chapters I read today. Continue reading

Devotional – Walking Away

Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

I read once that integrity is doing the right thing – even when nobody is watching. The fact is, it’s really difficult for our private thoughts and actions to mirror those up for public consumption. Even harder for me than achieving personal integrity is the unrest I feel when in my relationships with others, things don’t add up. There’s a disquieting of my mind as I try to think thru conversations and understand the motivation of others. There are things in my life I don’t want to talk about with others. Areas I’m ashamed of. While I can be honest with myself about where my personal convictions stand, I will never know the whole picture behind someone else’s actions. I cannot possibly hope to understand what drives others responses in life. The full truth of where they are. But God does. Continue reading

Devotional – Rules…and Wisdom

2 Timothy 2:5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

This verse is kind of a side note for today – but I had to put it in here. I get a lot of grief for being competitive, clarifying the rules and expecting everyone to play by the established understood guidelines. In life, in sports, games – whatever. I want to know what the rules are, and I want everyone to be playing by those rules. Cheaters drive me nuts. Seriously. Absolutely crazy. I do not understand why on earth you would cheat to be the winner. What exactly did you win, if you cheated? I have always said that winning is worthless if you didn’t get there honestly. I learned that lesson after I cheated to win when playing “Sweet Valley High” with my sisters in 7th grade. Yeah sure I made it to the dance and had my boyfriend in tow…but I felt like a total loser because I knew I cheated. And now look – I found in my devotional reading today this verse that totally backs me up. Hooray. Now, on to the real guts of what God taught me today. Continue reading

God’s Gifts – “Keeping Up With the Joneses”

Between making and packaging a couple hundred truffles, setting up for a luncheon, speaking at that luncheon and throwing a birthday party for my son – I haven’t had time to think lately, much less blog or bake. Wow. What a week.

I wanted to share with you all what I spoke on over the weekend at my church’s annual ladies Christmas luncheon. Here’s part 1…

God’s Gifts Are GOOD!
(and He wants to give them)

Matt 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.

We all love giving gifts to our kids. It’s just plain fun. God wants to bless us with gifts too – and His budget is limitless. But there are some things that keep us from experiencing the fullness of God’s gifts in our lives.

Keeping Up With The Joneses Continue reading

Devotional – Wrong All The Time

Matthew 11:18-19 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

Back to the same lessons. God keeps bringing me scriptures to drive home this point. So, I’m sorry if I seem redundant to you – I’m only passing along what I feel the Lord keeps showing me. It’s just your bad luck to follow a blog written by an (apparently) slow learner.  Continue reading

Devotional – Predicting Responses

Mark 11:31-33 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

It’s interesting to me how often a group of very educated people can’t come up with a simple answer to a basic question. Election day was yesterday and whatever side of the aisle you fall on, we can all probably agree that politicians in general use way too many words to ultimately not say very much of substance. Trying to please everyone, quite often leads to what I like to call mamby-pamby speech. Basically, not taking a hard stand on anything for fear that it will turn people off. Continue reading