Category Archives: Scriptures

Author: God

Be Early & Bless

IMG_3213My family and I had scrambled to get ready. We needed to be in Pittsburgh by 4:30 and we wanted to stop and eat before then.  Having appointments and obligations all morning we ran from thing to thing.  Late for our first stop, because I made a cup of tea to take, we arrived, got to work and helped while keeping an eye on the clock because we had to go to a training at noon. We sorted and worked and left at the last minute possible to get to the training.

We arrived at the training, found a close parking spot, stuck our hand into the closing elevator door to make it open and accept us. We rushed past the receptionist, briskly walked back the hall, found our seats and began.

We needed to leave the training which was running late while the speaker was still presenting. We gathered up our handouts & raced out the door.

We picked the kids up, stopped for a sandwich and were finally on our way to our final destination.  Breathing again, but no time for error, we made it to the concert at 4:30.  Aaaaaah, Success.

But, was it? We mentioned the poor unfortunate man along the highway with a flat tire, and we were hopeful that slowing car with their turn signal on was going to assist him but we can’t be sure. We didn’t have time to stop and ask. It made me wish we hadn’t been so rushed that day. And it makes me wonder what other opportunities to share God’s love we missed.

Maybe that close parking spot could’ve gone to someone who had trouble walking and if we had had time, we may have parked further away and walked. We may have spoken to the person on the elevator if our minds weren’t preoccupied with being tardy.

I wish we had greeted the receptionist, made eye contact and smiled instead of rushing past her as if she were invisible. It would have been nice to be at the training earlier and converse with the attendees a bit to share what we have learned and glean from them what they know.

When we are late or rushed we miss out on opportunities to bless others and to be blessed by them. A smile or a short conversation about the weather may be all the other person needs to have a brighter day. A quick conversation may be all you need. I have always been a pretty punctual person. I think it’s in my DNA, but I know people who struggle with being on time. They intentionally set their clocks five or ten minutes fast so they can be on time. (Until of course, they remember their clocks are fast and adjust their schedule accordingly.) I don’t need to play this trick on myself to be on time, but maybe I need to do it so I can be early. So I can maybe have the margin needed for God to use me to do what He wants me to do, not just what I want to do!

Maybe if I had an extra margin of time, I could bless someone by letting them go ahead of me in line. Maybe I would notice someone fumbling with their keys while juggling packages and offer to help. Maybe I could let that car merge first. Maybe I could ask someone how they are and wait for an answer.

I think I’ll change my clocks and change my mindset and give it a try.IMG_3209

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’    –Matthew 22:37-39 NIV



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This is Us….Really

This_is_usThe television show This is Us played after the Super Bowl last night.  A night we’ve all been waiting for.  Not the Super Bowl, but the show. Spoiler alert: Jack died. We knew he would, but we just didn’t know exactly how.  (Isn’t that true to life…we will all die, we just don’t know when or how.) I don’t usually stay up past eleven, but for this show, I had to.  I actually wanted to get it over with.  These teenagers were about to lose their father and I wanted to get it over with. As you may have seen, a young, vibrant, healthy father died of a widow maker heart attack. Sometimes these things happen.  I know, because it happened to me.

I was 16 when my father died of a heart attack and the show This is Us portrayed the gamut of emotions that those teens faced pretty true to life. I’ve wondered about my last words spoken, I’ve mourned my father not knowing my husband, and I’ve talked to a tree to tell my father my troubles. Yep, I’ve done it all and though those characters were fictional last night, the pain they emoted is real for many. I cried along with them….but not as much as I expected I would. I’ve relived the moments that I shared with them and I’m sure I’ll relive more as next week’s episode promises funeral scenes, but I didn’t actually relate as well with them as I expected. You see, their grief is new & raw, mine has been with me for 38 years. Time really does heal, but it never erases. I found myself watching the show and then comforting myself that the “Jack” character wasn’t really gone, he’ll be reappearing in flashbacks for months. In real life, that is not the case, or is it? Actually, the thing I remember most about the night my dad died was not wanting to close my eyes because when I did, I was afraid that I wouldn’t remember what he looked like. What if he vanished from my mind and my memory? How can I preserve the images?  Well, Kate (the daughter on the show), even if you lose that videotape of him, he will remain. My dad was only a part of my life for 16 years but he, too, reappears in flashback scenes. A saying he used, a smirk, even someone jumping to the front of the line at the grocery store will make me think of him. I didn’t forget, I won’t forget, so that fear is gone. Thank God.

This is Us.  This is many of us. This is some of us, yet to come. I don’t know exactly how Kate, Kevin, and Randall are going to cope with it, but I now know how I did. I can do all things through him who gives me strength. –Philippians 4:13 

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.        –2 Corinthians 12:9


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Fools, Eejits & Gobdaws!


Fool.  An important word.  It’s so important that the King James Version of the Bible says it almost 70 times!  Proverbs is a book that gives a lot of information on fools.  It has fool mentioned 42 times in 41 verses.  Fools despise wisdom and instruction, spread slander, and the heart of a fool proclaims foolishness. So, as I read about fools, I recognize that sometimes I am thinking of myself and sometimes I am thinking of others around me.  Come on, you know, you have fools in your circle too! We can definitely all learn from fools and from our own foolish ways.

Last week, I spoke too quickly and became a fool (A quick-tempered man acts foolishly. Prov 14:17) and I blurted out and called my son a name when he was acting foolishly. The minute I said it I regretted it.  I not only hurt my child, but I disappointed myself by using a name that is often classified as a swear word.  This would give my child fuel to throw up in my face for decades to come! I hate it when I slip like that! After discussing my error with my husband, he suggested I increase my vocabulary and try to find a new name to blurt out in anger.  He suggested “chucklehead.”  Chucklehead sounded way too kind for that situation, but I will employ it and store it in my memory bank for the future. While I was thinking of my regret and other chooses, I came across two new words used by a British author. Her vocabulary includes the words, “eejit” and “gobdaw.”  Love those!  Though not found in our American dictionaries, I did locate definitions for them.

eejit  –  noun – /ˈiːdʒɪt/ -a way of saying idiot which represents the way it is pronounced by some people.

gobdaw – noun – informal – A foolish or pretentious person.

Those two choices sound so much better than the one I had previously chosen. I personally have heard lots of fool synonyms over the years. Bonehead, dipstick, knucklehead, and bubble brain to name a few. So, there is no shortage of ways to call a fool a fool and though I spent this time researching it, I could actually be a little less foolish by learning less about fools and more about wisdom, (but I don’t think those words would be nearly as entertaining!)

So, if you ever need to avoid the same “foolish” mistake that I made, feast your eyes on the list below. Choose one and go with it.  Or be prudent and remember that the word wisdom is used in the Bible 181 times.  Maybe I should spend a little more time researching that!!!! disegno-floreale-con-bordi-arricciati_318-45888

idiot, ass, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, imbecile, cretin, dullard, simpleton, moron, clod; nitwit, halfwit, dope, ninny, nincompoop, chump, dimwit, dingbat, dipstick, goober, coot, goon, dumbo, dummy, ditz, dumdum, fathead, butthead, numbskull, numbnuts, dunderhead, thickhead, airhead, flake, lamebrain, mouth-breather, zombie, nerd, peabrain, birdbrain, scissorbill, jughead, jerk, donkey, twit, goat, dork, twerp, lamer, schmuck, bozo, boob, turkey, schlep, chowderhead, dumbhead, goofball, goof, goofus, doofus, hoser, galoot, lummox, knuckle-dragger, klutz, putz, schlemiel, sap, meatball, dumb cluck, mook;


Proverbs 26:1-12 (NIV)

1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,

    honor is not fitting for a fool.

2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,

    an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,

    and a rod for the backs of fools!

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,

    or you yourself will be just like him.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly,

    or he will be wise in his own eyes.

6 Sending a message by the hands of a fool

    is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.

7 Like the useless legs of one who is lame

    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

8 Like tying a stone in a sling

    is the giving of honor to a fool.

9 Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand

    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.

10 Like an archer who wounds at random

    is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit,

    so fools repeat their folly.

12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?

    There is more hope for a fool than for them.


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It starts as almost a butterfly in your stomach and unless you acknowledge it and deal with it, it will overtake you. Sometimes you think it is just a bit of anxiety or nervousness but then you realize the beast that it is.  FEAR!

Every day he starts with a little disobedience, a little lie, a bit of a bad attitude.  No biggy, but compounded over time you realize that your annoyance turns into something much greater.  You stop being concerned about being disrespected.  You stop worrying that you haven’t taught him enough. You have moved way beyond trying to discipline, you’ve been at that for years.  You realize that you have done your part and now you live in a constant state of fear.  OR, you could if you allowed yourself.

Every now and then, you will be tempted to allow yourself to feel the full weight of the real fear that is there.  You project what the future may look like.  He will start stealing from others and not just from family. He will start lying to authorities and not just his parents. He will misplace his trust in someone who doesn’t love him as he disregards the wisdom of those who do. He may join a gang, experiment with drugs, dabble in pornography. Oh, given his history, any of these may be his reality.  BUT WAIT!  You’ve done all you can.  You can’t allow yourself to go there!

You truly may have done all you can, but what you can’t do, God can. You are not limited by your own abilities, you have a creator and he knows your child intimately.  He already knows the plans he has for her and for you. You are not to fear. I have heard that the Bible says “Fear Not” 365 times, one for each day of the year.  I have found that that isn’t entirely accurate, but how many times should He tell us to “fear not?”  He’s God.  We should listen the first time.

So, dear friend, listen when someone tells you to “fear not.” It really is a waste of an emotion. It accomplishes nothing and it hurts you even more than it hurts your child. Remember, you’ve been afraid before and you will probably be afraid again in the future.  There’s no sense staying there now.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,

but of power and of love and of a sound mind.           

                   2 Timothy 1:7 

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“Be A Finisher!”


It is so frustrating for me when I ask the kids to clean the kitchen and I return to find that they put most of the dishes in the dishwasher or that they did everything but wipe off the crumbs from the table. I often find clothes folded, but not put away, rooms vacuumed but the vacuum remaining in the center of the room, an envelope addressed with the recipient’s name, but the address is pending.  Wait!  Are we still talking about my kids?  Probably not!  Some of the above happen to be my doing….or more correctly my un-doing or perhaps, my “not quite done”s.

A friend and I were talking a while ago about our jobs and tasks around the home and she reminded me that another friend of ours says, “Be A Finisher.”  Finish a task completely. I started to see that this was a message that my kids needed to hear and understand months ago, but only recently have I noticed how much I need to implement this practice.

I am not a finisher.  I’m one heck of a starter, but I am not a finisher.  I find this in projects like crafts and home improvements, but also with my day to day life. I brush my teeth but set the toothbrush on the sink instead of putting it in the cupboard. I make my toast, but don’t put the toaster away. I butter my bread, put the knife in the sink, but not in the dishwasher. “What is so hard about completing these tasks?” I ask my children daily. This morning, after coaching myself to be a finisher, I found out where the difficulty lies. The task never finishes.

Today, I wrote a letter.  I know for some of you this would be the hard part, but for me, brightly colored envelopes and stationery are right in front of me and I’m ready to begin! I wrote the letter and put it in the envelope. I put the recipient’s name on it and set it on the counter. (Be a finisher!) I got out the address book, wrote the address, left the address book on the counter. (Be a finisher!) I put the address book back in the basket where it belongs, but the basket was on the table and not on the shelf where it belongs. (Be a finisher!) I put the basket on the shelf where I saw that some books were on the floor that should’ve been on the shelf. (Be a finisher!) I put the books away and the task was completed or so I thought. The drawer where I got the stamp was open. (Be a finisher!) I shut the drawer. The scissors that belong in the drawer are on the counter. (Be a finisher!) I put the scissors in the drawer and the address labels in that junk drawer got all jumbled up and the drawer wouldn’t close. (Be a finisher!) I straightened the labels and thought, “I should write a blog post about this.” (Be a finisher!) I wrote a blog post. (Be a finisher!)



3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.     –Phil 1:3-6

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A Simple “Good Morning”

bell_ringerWe woke and headed out to the frigid temperatures to man the kettle and ring the bells for the Salvation Army.  An annual event for our family continues to bless us with good cheer.  We intentionally greet each person entering the store and we smile and say “Good Morning” and “Merry Christmas.”  Everyone returns a cordial nod and most put donations in our kettle.

Today I “trained” some 11-year-old girls on the importance of greeting each individual and offering them a Hershey’s kiss whether they donated or not.  I explained to them that our purpose for being there was two-fold.  One, to collect donations for our community and two, to share the joy and spread the love by simply speaking, greeting and smiling.  We definitely accomplished both.

How we treat people in our lives is very important.  God loves us and he wants us to love each other.  This morning our group of bell-ringers served God by loving his children. It is my hope that people felt a little better after sharing a smile. I encourage you all to make eye contact and greet those people outside of stores whether you choose to donate or not, just as I encouraged the girls today to greet each person respectfully whether they gave or not.  The gift may not be monetary, it may be the gift of a smile or just a few moments of kindness.  Today individuals shared smiles, jokes, and cash and all were much appreciated.

Then, when you enter the store, share the smile with the clerks and fellow customers, go home and share the kindness with your family and continue to do so with everyone you meet.


If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

— 1 Corinthians 13:2New International Version (NIV)


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Notes on A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller

23ba83cec5ba8af3a75ea77ea1e4a4c2If you are like me, you have stacks and stacks of books in your house.  I have books in every room and many I haven’t read and those that I have, I probably will not read again.  However, there are pencil underlines, notes in the margins, lessons attempted to be learned in their pages.  I’ve decided in an attempt to get the books off my shelves and into the hands of others who may benefit from them that I will make notes in my blog and maybe some of them will touch you….then, the book moves on!

Notes on A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller

  • Prayer is meant to be the conversation where your life and your God meet.
  • When we slow down to pray, we are immediately confronted with how unspiritual we are, with how difficult it is to concentrate on God. We don’t know how bad we are until we try to be good. Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual powerlessness like prayer.
  • Jesus opens his arms to his needy children and says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy.
  • Instead of fighting anxiety, we can use it as a springboard to bending our hearts to God.
  • At some point, each of us comes face to face with the valley of the shadow of death. We can’t ignore it. We can’t remain neutral with evil. We either give up and distance ourselves, or we learn to walk with the Shepherd. There is no middle ground.
  • Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life.
  • If you are going to enter this divine dance we call prayer, you have to surrender your desire to be in control, to figure out how prayer works.
  • Don’t just ask for spiritual things or “good” things. Tell God what you want. Before you can abide, the real you has to meet the real God. Ask anything.
  • Why do we have to spend our lives striving to be something that we would never want to be if we only knew what we wanted? Why do we waste our time doing things which…are just the opposite of what we were made for?” — Thomas Merton
  • Guidance means I’m driving the car and asking God which way to go. Wisdom is richer, more personal. I don’t just need help with my plans; I need help with my questions and even my own heart.
  • Until you are convinced that you can’t change your child’s heart, you will not take prayer seriously.
  • I prayed because I was weak. I wasn’t trying to control God. I certainly wasn’t in control of (my child). I was simply praying God’s own heart back to him. I couldn’t imagine him not answering such a prayer.
  • If the miracle comes too quickly, there is no room for discovery, for a relationship.
  • When we suffer, we long for God to speak clearly, to tell us the end of the story and, most of all, to show himself. But if he showed himself fully and immediately if he answered all the questions, we’d never grow; we’d never emerge from our chrysalis because we’d be forever dependent.
  • Living in our Father’s Story: To live in our Father’s story, remember these three things;
  1. Don’t demand that the story go your way. (In other words, surrender completely.)
  2. Look for the Storyteller. Look for his hand, and then pray in light of what you are seeing. (In other words, develop an eye for Jesus.)
  3. Stay in the story. Don’t shut down when it goes the wrong way.
  • I want success, he wants authenticity.
  • If we pursue joy directly, it slips from our grasp. But if we begin with Jesus and learn to love, we end up with joy.
  • When we understand the story, it quiets our souls. It’s okay to have a busy life. It’s crazy to have a busy soul.
  • Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don’t matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

May God bless the author and the reader of this book and may God bless you, the reader of this blog!





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