A Storm Up Ahead


Reposted from Sunny Skyz

My husband Bill was driving out west. He kept hearing on the radio that there were several tornado’s spotted. As he drove he could see what looked like a tornado behind him. He put the pedal to the metal and tried to outrun it.

Wouldn’t you know he looked at the fuel gauge. He had no choice but to stop for fuel. Of all times, when he didn’t want to stop, he had to.

As he started out once again and got a few miles down the highway, he had an eye opening experience. Trees were cut off. Debris was all over the road. It looked like a tornado had hit this area hard, because it had.

Bill knew if he hadn’t stopped for fuel he would have been right in the middle of this tornado.

Some times you are delayed where you are because God knows there’s a storm where you’re headed. Be grateful!

This was so true for Bill this day.

I Chose to Sing


Reposted from Sunny Skyz

God loves us all so much and He speaks to us in more ways than we can imagine. Just the other day I was driving my son to the part-time job he has at a sheltered workshop for the disabled. The sky was a dark grey. A cold rain was pouring down. The world seemed silent and sad with both people and animals taking shelter from the storm. I turned on the car radio for a little music to lift my spirits. When I did, however, Karen Carpenter’s sweet, haunting voice came out singing “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” I turned the radio back off. That was not the song I wanted to hear on such a gloomy day. Still, the song kept playing in my head as the showers continued throughout the day.

Singing_3Later that afternoon I was walking out of the bathroom when I saw my son turn the television on. A classic movie was playing and suddenly I heard these musical tones coming from Gene Kelly’s voice: “I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling. I’m happy again. I’m laughing at the clouds so dark up above. The sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love.”

In that moment I saw that God in His loving-kindness had reminded me once again that all of life is a choice, a choice to love. Rains and problems will always come. We can let them get us down or we can choose to sing. We can let the showers soak our souls or we can use them to help our souls to grow. We can allow the darkness to depress us or we can use it to awaken the sunshine and love in our hearts.

What are you going to do when the rains of life fall down upon you? I for one choose to sing. I choose to sing with all the love God has put in my heart. I choose to share my sunshine even on the darkest days and never let my music die within me. May you do the same.

From a Crutch to the Cross


Reposted from Radical Mentoring

As men, we so often walk around leaning on a crutch, an outward sign of our broken inward condition, that it can become our identity if left unaddressed. In my early teens, I lost my dad to a tragic accident. After the accident, I began to carry it as my crutch and operate in two different worlds. I began a pattern of poor decisions by spending time with the wrong crowd and putting myself in the wrong places. But I also knew better and kept close with a group of friends in the ‘good crowd’ – friends who attended church, loved me deeply and wanted the best for me. And if either crowd discovered me, I would just point to my crutch and they would understand.

In my late 20’s, I met a man who was all-in for Jesus and had a story to tell. He helped me realize how distorted my view of God was and how tired I had become from years leaning on my crutch. It was a game-changing moment. In more recent years, when I found myself in a cloud of depression, the same man reminded me of my true identity in Christ.

I don’t know what your crutch is but I can make a few guesses . . .

If she weren’t so ______, then I wouldn’t have to stare at the computer screen or spend time with that girl at the office.
If my dad hadn’t been ______, then I wouldn’t have to work so late or travel so much.
If my boss didn’t ______, then I wouldn’t have to go behind his back.
If my parents had been better at ______.
Your crutch doesn’t have to come from a place of pain either . . .

Once I get this next promotion, then I will ______.
After we get the new house, then we can ______.
If left unaddressed, over time our crutch becomes our identity. We begin to make our decisions through the distorted lens of our individual brokenness.

Think about about Nicodemus. He was well educated, had high social status and a position of power – those became his crutch. Why did he visit Jesus at night? Curiosity . . . who is this man making these claims? Shame . . . if anyone knew what I was doing? Desperation . . . I’m tired and out of options?

Or how about the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable? Limping home leaning on his crutch, preparing a laundry list of excuses and willing to accept any punishment because it was a better option than his current position. Only he found his dad running to greet him and celebrate his return.

In The Cure, John Lynch uses the analogy of the mask instead of the crutch. He says, “Daring to trust who Christ says I am, who He says He is in me, even when I feel I least deserve it and the old shame sweeps over me. This is the only way to keep the mask off to keep feeling the cool breeze on my face.”

What about you? Are you willing to face whatever crutch you’re leaning into and trade it in for the Cross? Will it cost you something – friends, job, possessions? Probably. Will you gain something greater – love, acceptance, freedom? Absolutely.

Fight Back With Joy

Reposted from Radical Mentoring

A few weeks ago, Regi, Kevin and I had the opportunity to attend Catalyst conference in Atlanta. Over the course of a few days, we heard from a number of insightful speakers around the theme “Awaken the Wonder.” One of my favorites was Margaret Feinberg, an author, speaker and Bible teacher who I’m pretty sure Regi has quoted on the blog before. Margaret is a cancer survivor and her newest book, Fight Back with Joy chronicles that battle and her decision to make joy her primary weapon during it.

From what I can gather, the book’s aim is to encourage and equip you to fight back with joy during times of struggle. While undoubtedly a valuable toolset to have, not all of us are currently experiencing a time of suffering. However, I would bet most of us know someone who is, probably even a close friend or family member.

With this in mind, Margaret’s first session at Catalyst was focused on 5 principles we can use to effectively help those who are suffering to fight back with joy. These principles apply to any type of suffering . . . physical health, mental health, financial hardships, parenting issues, job issues, you name it.

Give the gift of your ongoing presence- Be present with those who are suffering. It’s always easier to stay away but true compassion is suffering with someone. And remember it’s never too late to start.

Be slow to speak- Don’t feel you must fill every silence, or have all the answers. Let your presence speak for you. But when you do speak, speak life and joy, not harm. Don’t give clichéd responses or pat answers, instead say, “Today you are in my thoughts, my prayers and you are loved.”

Be a quiet, consistent learner- You likely don’t know all the details about what they are experiencing. So do your homework, take the time to read about and understand the situation, but also don’t turn that person into a dictionary.

Be practical, yet imaginative- During hard times, people have needs, but know their needs are changing and you won’t always know what they are. So ask what they need, but when you do so, offer 3 ideas of things you can do so as to be a blessing not a burden.

Ask God how to pray- Unless you have experienced what they are experiencing, you probably can’t actually relate so instead of praying as if you’re in their shoes, ask God what to pray. Let Him guide your prayers.

As Margaret shared these 5 ideas, I couldn’t help but think of situations and instances where I did all the things she was saying not to do. I did it out of love but without really thinking. I’m sure many of you can relate.

So I share these in hopes we can be the people who don’t just come in strong at first and disappear but the ones who show up and stay. The ones who run in when everybody else is running out.

Will you join me in fighting back with joy both with and for those friends and family who may be suffering?

Seven Life Lessons

1. Once all villagers decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella.

~ That’s FAITH

2. When you throw a baby in the air, she laughs because she knows you will catch her.

~ That’s TRUST

3. Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning but still we set the alarms to wake up.

~ That’s HOPE

4. We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future.


5. We see the world suffering, but still we get married.

~ That’s LOVE

6. Seen written on a tee shirt, ‘I am not 60 years old, I am Sweet 16 with 44 years of experience.


7. One of the things age changes is; At 22 you walk into a lounge and look around for a nice looking member of the opposite sex to start a conversation with, at 80 you walk in and look around to make sure where the toilet is !!

~ That’s SMART

The Other Side

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A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.”

Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”

The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing…I know my Master is there and that is enough.”

— Author Unknown

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