Often, we desire the best, yet we tend to, on occasions, resist what it involves to attain it. College students attend universities to obtain degrees, but some of them initially throw caution to the wind, particularly during their freshman years. They drink alcohol in excess, party unreasonably, and hang out to the wee hours of mornings. Then the students get their grades and it hits home to them that their lax studying habits resulted in dreadful progress reports. Wake up calls do happen with students making amendments by properly prioritizing their activities. In such choices, their best can indeed be achieved. Workplaces have folks who slack off on the regular and then they complain when they aren’t receiving the best from employers. Such workers give less than their best but expect the best to manifest for them. Certainly, those expectations aren’t reasonable. Athletes who aspire to Olympic status regularly practice for hours for long stretches of time — years. They aim for the best and they invest their best. ProfessionalContinue reading »

Is it true that forgiveness can have levels and stages of processing? Is it fair to say that some things are easier to forgive than others? I believe so. Indeed, forgiveness, in some instances, can be more than slightly challenging. We have seasons when we engage in “wrestling matches” within ourselves concerning the matter of forgiveness. We’re prone to take up resistance stances, despite what we know the Lord instructs. The Bible clearly tells us about forgiveness and that we are to do it. In truth, there are occasions when it’s easier said than done. The forgiveness journey comes in various shapes and sizes. We know of marital infidelities, family betrayals, financial cons, workplace back stabbings, etc. And then there are some folks who live in false states of reality who tend to believe that they don’t need to seek forgiveness. We find it “best” relative to our “comfort” levels to forgive folks who seek it. But we’re not so comfortable when we know that we need to forgive, yet,Continue reading »

Likely, we all know of or have been involved in scenarios, particularly between two people, that take on the form of blame being tossed back and forth. Yes, the blame game with involved parties “justifying” why the issues of contention aren’t “my fault.” Some folks typically have the posture of them, in their estimation, being “pure as the driven snow” while, to them, others are usually the culprits of what has caused friction. Such accusatory and unreasonably judgmental folks add to the problems rather than to the solutions. On the other hand, people who fairly assess and acknowledge their roles in the malfunctions succeed in helping in the solution processes if they proceed with amendments relative to where they went awry. Of course, there are occasions when indeed others are responsible for the conflicts which arose/arise. And such folks are sometimes the very ones who unjustly place blame on us where such isn’t suitably placed. The Lord gives guidance in how to handle such matters. In the Bible, in 2Continue reading »

We’ve learned about the assorted experiences of people who we so admire for pressing on despite uncertainties and challenges. Yes, there are many brave and determined folks who press on in the midst of varied circumstances. There are marital issues, job issues, neighborhood issues, financial issues, as well as security issues. God teaches us how to best press on — to trust the Lord — to seek the Lord for the help that we need to continue. It’s such an enormous relief to know that we aren’t alone in our trials. The love and comfort of God are gratefully welcomed. Yes, a present help in the times of our needs. Life’s occurrences cannot “swallow” us if we keep ourselves anchored, rooted and grounded in the blessed assurances provided by the Lord. Nothing is too hard for God. We can rest in that awareness, and encourage others about that truth. People providing for one another is essential. Surely, God created us to enjoy fruitful relationships, and to gain from those connections.Continue reading »

There is a wonderful worship song that poses the question, “Mary did you know?” It’s a well done song that I have been singing parts of for weeks, and as I was playing it mentally, I began to wonder, as I have before, if Mary even knew what she was getting into? We know the angel came and talked with her before she became pregnant with the Son of God, but, in thinking of it, I wonder how much she really understood? Maybe she was completely focused on the conception and what kind of a reaction that it would cause both in her personal life and in the community in which she lived. While it is true that both Mary and Zechariah sang of great things in their respective praises, Mary in Luke 1:46-55; “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for theContinue reading »

I wonder how often folks pause to do introspection. Isn’t it more likely that people “inspect” the conduct of others more quickly than we do introspection? Self-evaluation is indeed necessary to tune in to where we need to adjust and alter what is within us. Yes, sometimes spiritual “housecleaning” is something that we should do. When we engage in that healthy exercise, it not only benefits us but also those folks with whom we engage and encounter. Certainly, we do well to make changes in our personal and professional lives. Regular quiet time with the Lord sure helps us to recognize, understand and to know what’s necessary to address. God reveals what best pleases him. When we line up with the guidance of our Lord, such wise choices are always a plus. Years ago, I worked with a guy who regularly complained about the conduct of others. One day as we rode the bus, seated next to each other, he proceeded to inform what, in his estimation, was wrong withContinue reading »

I wonder what various types of things the folks mentioned in the Bible did to have fun. What types of recreational activities did they indulge in to unwind? They did play; it says so in the Bible. One place that play is expressed is in Exodus 32:6 – KJV, “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” I can imagine them playing hide and seek. Likely, they engaged in competitive sports. We don’t read where Jesus played. Is it reasonable to believe that he did? Probably, Jesus did fun things to balance his life on earth. If he engaged in competitive games, my guess is that he always won. Really, can we visualize Jesus not coming in first every time if he competed? Or it could be that he let others win from the standpoint of earthly perspective? We can only speculate, but I do believe thatContinue reading »

Recently, I watched a video that placed about five or six children, individually, in a room to learn their responses. Each child was asked what one gift they desired for Christmas. That one gift was placed before each one of them. Each child was then asked what one gift was wanted for the family. The answers were given to the facilitator. The family gift was placed beside each child. The catch was that each child had to pick ONE gift. They all picked the family gift. They each were asked why and they shared that family mattered most. The outcome was that the children were given BOTH gifts. They were so happy. Their parents were in another room and when their children joined them expressions of love and hugs flowed. That video nearly moved me to tears. It was so precious to observe how those kids chose and shared why. It’s a wonderful thing that not all family members are biological. We have friends and blended folks who are family.Continue reading »

In the Bible, we read where God promised Abraham a son. Genesis 16:19 – KJV, “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” Abraham was beyond ninety five years old and Sarah was ninety when they had their covenant son, Isaac. Abraham was old, too, when Hagar bore Ishmael. Talk about waiting — wow! David was anointed king years before he performed in the role. He experienced challenges while he waited, challenges that included King Saul, who became his ardent rival. Saul was in hot pursuit of him. At one point, David hid from Saul’s relentless onslaughts. Saul’s son Jonathan befriended his father’s enemy, David, while David waited for change to come. David had opportunity to slay Saul but he spared his life because David declared to him in I Samuel 24: 10 – KJV, “Behold, this day thine eyes haveContinue reading »

Oh, how challenging it can sometimes be for us to trust and wait. Expectation sits within us as we wait. What we wait for varies. Some folks are waiting for healing, enduring the episodes and bouts. Some folks are waiting for financial relief, which can certainly strain mentalities. People wait on suitable mates hoping for matrimonial bliss and steadfast contentment. Job expectations are another facet of waiting, as are college acceptances. Scores of youth claim, “I can’t wait to move out on my own.” If they only knew . . . . Often, it’s a matter of how we wait — our frame of mind and spirit. Attitudes make meaningful differences in regard to waiting modes. Dispositions run the gamut in our pause seasons. Groups of folks do well and trust God while needs and desires are pending. Calmness is their choice. Other folks are antsy while waiting and don’t reasonably handle periods of waiting. Nope, being on hold often isn’t delightful in comfort terms. But, wait we must. It’sContinue reading »

It’s astounding to read in the Bible, and to know firsthand about the miracles that were/are performed. Jesus, in his consistent loving posture, had compassion on folks and did remarkable miracles among and for people. He multiplied fish and bread to satisfy hunger. He turned water into wine at a wedding. He raised the dead, healed lepers, opened blind eyes, caused the lame to walk, and called forth Lazarus, dressed in grave clothes, from the dead. Yes, he heard the voice of Life and returned to the land of the living. Food miracles, drink miracles, bodily, spiritual, and mental healings. Wow, wondrous love actions continue to come our way from our Lord. Yes, worldwide miracles and healings continue to land in our midst and in us, as well. The Lord equipped his followers to perform miracles and healings, too. What grand deeds are done in the name of the Most High. They appear in assorted sizes and on manifold levels. Our gratitude reaches deep for the wonderful works of God.Continue reading »