I want THIS kind of freedom.

These past few days, while listening to fireworks go off all around me, I feel like I’ve been hanging out with Lady Liberty. No, not the tall one in New York Harbor—the shorter one in Luke chapter 7. She’s impressed me like never before with her bold kind of freedom.

I invite you to watch the video to hear the story, or go to Luke 7:36-50 and read it for yourself. Here’s what this incredible woman of freedom accomplished in less than 14 verses:

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Build your worth upon the Rock.

Insecurity. Why do so many of us struggle with it so often?  I can think of three reasons, and the first one goes way back to the Garden of Eden.

When the serpent set out in the garden to bring Eve down and to separate her from God, he used a specific strategy. He caused her to doubt what God had said. He said to her, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Eve shared her apple and her doubt in God’s word with Adam, and the world was forever changed.

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The PG Version of the Bible

Have you ever noticed that it’s easy to miss key truths when you’re reading the Bible?

Have you ever spaced out while your eyes are going from left to right across the pages of the Bible, and you find yourself at the end of the chapter and you have no clue what you just read?

Maybe you simply need encouragement or permission to slow down while you read. Really. It’s okay to go slow. If keeping up with a reading plan is forcing you to quickly skim words in order to keep up, scrap the plan and take your time.

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I couldn’t wait to see him!

“I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU!!!!” is what I told him starting the day he left.

Recently, my husband spent 24 days overseas, visiting his family. Here is the short version of the thoughts and feelings I journaled during that time:

Day 1 – I should be able to write 2 books, produce my worship piano training course, clean the whole garage and basement, have daily ice cream dates with my girlfriends, and lose 10 pounds before he comes back.

Day 4 – I’m so thankful for whoever invented WhatsApp, so I can see and talk to my true love on my phone anytime I want.

Day 10 – Military wives are the real heroes!! How in the world do they cope with not seeing their husbands for months at a time? We really should do more to honor them.

Day 17 – Skype and WhatsApp are okay, but I sure wish I could see my true love in person.

Day 23 – I now have just one day to start writing my 2 books, producing my worship piano training course, cleaning the whole garage and basement, having ice cream dates with my girlfriends, and losing the 10 pounds plus the 4 pounds I gained in the last 3 weeks.

Day 24 – He’s coming home today! I’m about to burst with excitement. Yet, I want to be just as excited about the return of Jesus. About seeing God in person. About being in His presence. How can I hunger and thirst for Him even more than I’ve looked forward to being with my husband?

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May We Never Forget the Good

“Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:2 (NLT)

Me: Hey, can you call me on Friday?

Friend: Can you remind me to call you on Friday?

Me: Can you remind me to remind you to call me?

Friend: Can you remind me to remind you to remind me?

Me: Can you remind me to remind you to remind me to remind you?

You may remember that last week, I wrote about the gift of remembering. There’s so much to say about that topic that one post was not nearly enough.

Last week, in light of Memorial Day, I wanted to remember those who’ve died in battle for my freedom. I especially wanted to remember the One who died on the cross to give me the gift of eternal life.

This week, my heart’s desire is to challenge us to remember the good things God has done and the good things He continues to do for us.

This whole “remember the good” theme has been quite perplexing to me over the years, in the same sense a diet is perplexing. The benefits of healthy eating over junk food binge eating is a simple and obvious concept, yet how easy is it to “forget” the obvious and eat that half gallon of my favorite ice cream within a 24-hour period?

Likewise, no one would argue that fixing our minds on the good things God does isn’t healthy and life-giving. We all know it is. And yet, it’s something we often forget to remember.

It seems that many humans are naturally much more forgetful than “rememberful” about good things.

It seems that many Christians are naturally much more forgetful than “rememberful” about the good things …

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The Gift of Remembering

Yesterday was designed to be a day of remembering.

For centuries, people have taken time to remember and honor those who have lost their lives in service to their country. 431 B.C. was one of the first known “Memorial Days”, as Pericles, the general of Athens gave a public speech honoring those who died for the cause in the Peloponnesian War.

Memorial Day in the US was celebrated each year on May 30 beginning after the American Civil War in 1868, thanks to the influence of General John A. Logan. In 1971, the official date was changed from May 30 to the last Monday in May, to make it more convenient to celebrate on a three-day weekend.

At the end of this post, I share a link to an article you history buffs might find to be quite informative.

But the heart of this post today is to go beyond historical facts, and to ask a few questions about the whole act of remembering great acts of sacrifice made by humans in the military, and even more so, by Jesus on the cross.

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What if there were Spiritual Graduations?

It’s graduation time. Preschool graduations, middle school, high school and college graduations. I think I’ve seen more square tasseled caps and gowns on Facebook this week than I can remember in years past.

It makes me a bit nostalgic as I think of my graduations.

I don’t remember having a preschool graduation. Did we even do preschool back then? We must have been smarter than 3-5 year-olds are today and not needed it. 🙂

I do remember my first week of kindergarten though. A boy kissed me in front of all the other kids, and it was the most humiliating experience of my five-year-old life up until that point.

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The Love of a Mom

This Mother’s Day was a special one for me. In Mother’s Days past, not being a mom (but really wishing I was) has made for some tough times for me.

There was the getting out the boxing gloves to fight off the envy while scrolling through loads of mom-with-kids photos on Facebook.

Then there was the “Suck it up and be grateful!” drill sergeant voice I would hear in my head, crashing my pity party and reminding me that at least I have the gift of having a wonderful mom – something many others have never had, or had and wish she was still with them.

But this year was different. There was peace.

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My Grandma Made Me Think

This past Saturday, my mom’s side of the family celebrated the life of the woman I’ve always known as “Grandma Toe”, who passed away at the age of 98 the week before.

There are a handful of thoughts and questions that always come to mind when I’m at a funeral that always make me think, “Wow, I should really think of this every day, and not just at funerals.”

In honor of Grandma, who is probably holding a dog in one hand and a cat in the other while gazing at the beauty of our Savior right at this moment, I’d like to share these six thoughts.

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What’s your #1 treasure?

In light of the National Day of Prayer coming this Thursday (May 4th), I wanted to dive more into what Jesus says about prayer, so I turned to Matthew chapter 6, where we find “The Lord’s Prayer”.

I invite you to watch the video, and ask yourself the following questions:

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