Can I let you in on a secret? If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you already have the best thing: Him. If you have yet to do so, let me let you in on another secret: Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the best thing you will ever do in this life. You will never regret it.
For many of us, it is common practice to wear masks. We put up facades that hide who we truly are. We smile when we want to cry, and we push people away when we want to be held. Because at the core of it, we have been so hurt by people and events that we are crippled by fear of vulnerability. We don’t know how to be vulnerable.
God is good, all the time. A constant lesson in my life, but the conclusion I have come to every time. I always thought I was really good at trusting God. From a young age, I saw the Lord work out what I thought would be horrible situations into good things. I experienced His goodness first-hand and never really had a reason not to trust Him. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and worry, though, this was always quite the contradiction. I came to realize that I didn’t fully trust God as much as I thought I did.
God is. God is faithful. God is interested in me. He is also interested in you. Every experience is a step in the pathway to a priceless relationship with God even when it is hard, even when it hurts, even when we fail, fall, or royally mess up. Save the memories and see how God moves you along toward Him.
The one thing I always want when I am around others is to feel wanted and valued. I want to know that me being there makes a difference to others and that I matter to them. Don’t we all though? From the beginning of creation, God said it is not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). It’s in our nature to crave connection and to feel a part of family.
…forgiveness does not excuse anyone’s behavior. Forgiveness simply prevents their behavior from destroying our heart.
It amazes me the way God speaks to us sometimes. I was cleaning up a mess on my kitchen floor a few weeks ago when He showed me something. As I was close to the ground, my one year old took notice and toddled over joyfully. In his mind, I must have been on the floor for the sole purpose of amusing him.
I like movies. My family’s first tv was a black and white 13inch-er. We got 3 channels. My dad would watch the nightly news, usually on CBS, and when the news was over, we could change the channel and watch Star Trek—the original, of course.
As a proclaimed child of this Father [Father God] since the age of four, however, I have most often related to the oldest son [in the parable of the prodigal son]. Yes, that’s right, I admit it. I have often felt a twinge of sympathy for the bitter, unbending brother of the redeemed black sheep.
I began my tribute by singing to my mother, Elaine Veenstra, at her Celebration of Life this summer. Little did I know the journey of grief, emptiness, and joy that I would encounter.
Receiving is just as important as giving. When we accept someone else’s gift to us we not only receive God’s love through that gift, but we are also allowing that person to give God’s blessing. When we deny someone’s gift we are robbing them of their ability to bless others and we are robbing ourselves of being blessed.
Recently, while recording Papa's words to me, He remarked,"Before Me, none are qualified to have an opinion." (Papa’s Listening Book, 3/18)
"Ooo! Harsh!" No. True. Giving an accurate opinion requires a proper perspective, good information, some foresight and a dose of Wisdom. Man, in his natural state, draws up short in all these qualifications
I recently came across a story about the brilliant ethicist, John Kavanaugh. While he was at a point in his life where he was trying to decide how to spend the rest of it, he took a trip to Calcutta to visit Mother Teresa. During one of their times talking together, he asked the aging nun if she would pray for him, that he would have clarity to make this decision. Her answer surprised him when she said it and surprised me when I read it.
Many of us are aware that there is an enemy of our soul—Satan . . . However, thank God for Jesus! We may have an enemy of our soul, but we have an even greater Lover of our soul—Jesus Christ.
One minute everything can feel in control and in an instant all inner calm can be gone. My 2-year-old really tests the strength of my inner calm. One very early morning, I was feeding my infant while my toddler was playing independently. All was fine and everyone was in a good headspace that morning. Then silence…
“I’ll just order it online…”
“Let’s order some coffee from Amazon…”
“If I don’t like it, I can always send it back…”
I’m willing to bet that we’ve all said something along these lines recently when we want/need something. At one point, we just had the world at our fingertips with our smartphones, but now we can have to world delivered straight to our door!
The phrase “going all in” is not an easy phrase to apply to our lives, but it is something that God is calls us to do. Right now in my life, I face this more than ever before; God is calling me to go all in even more.
God is Good. All the time. This is a truth I have come to learn intimately in my life, and the power of simply acknowledging and believing such a statement is bigger than anything else I’ve experienced. Getting to the point of such revelation has not been a simple journey for me, though.
I have been thinking about my original experience of becoming a Christian lately. Especially on the days when my heart is squeezing with painful yearning to see the people I love delivered from the destructive paths they seem determined to walk. Those times make me think there is a lone howling wolf caged inside of me. The longing, the yearning, the desperate cry for their lives to be spared comes out in this keening, mournful cry from the very depths of my soul.
I love Christmas. For me, one of the best parts of Christmas is the time I get to spend with family...Christmas has always been about family and being at “home” with God. The first Christmas was about just that—God’s plan to restore us to His family where we could live at “home” with Him.