Archives for September 2011

Making Our Lives Count

3152672560_c3dbb19282_zThis past week as the tenth anniversary of 9/11 drew near, we’ve heard, seen, and read many reminders of that horrific time. I came across one that I think bears repeating here. I hope you will agree.

Woman’s Day Editor-In-Chief Elizabeth Mayhew introduced their September issue with a quote from an essay former First Lady Laura Bush wrote for their magazine on the first anniversary of the attacks. I love what Mrs. Bush had to say:

“You don’t have to walk into a burning building or wear a badge to rescue someone. You don’t have to go to medical school to help a person feel better, or walk on the moon to change this earth. You simply have to care about what happens in our country. To me, we can all honor the lives lost on September 11 by making our lives count even more.”

What great perspective Mrs. Bush offered back in 2002—and it’s still true today. Instead of feeling hopeless and helpless in the face of overwhelming times, we can make a difference. We can make our lives count. Sometimes we just need to think about it a bit and then become more intentional in our efforts.

So, what can we do to make things better for our nation? We can vote regularly in elections and volunteer through our churches and civic organizations when crises come or to help with ongoing projects. We can support our military and their families and volunteer at our communities’ schools. We can also recycle and try to incorporate other earth friendly practices in our lives. The possibilities abound.

On another note, we as Christians should be making our lives count for the Lord as well. We can grow closer to Him each day, becoming a beacon of hope and good news for those around us. We can live our faith in front of our families and friends in good times and bad, setting an example for our children. We can pray for and encourage others. We can get involved in mission projects and actively support missionaries. We can be ready to share the good news of a Savior as the Lord gives opportunity. Yes, we can make a difference eternally.

Let’s heed the wisdom Mrs. Bush offered on that first anniversary of 9/11. Let’s make our lives count even more.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42

*I’d love to hear more ideas about making our lives count. What else can we do to make a difference in our nation or for Christ?

*Flickr photo by włodi, Creative Commons License

Whatever Happens, Walk Worthy

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27a

A friend’s quick status update on Facebook not long ago reminded me of her family’s need for prayer that morning. They were dealing with some folks who have not only waged a legal war against them but are lying about them as well. As I began praying for my friends, the Lord brought the above verse to mind, and I immediately prayed it for them.

“Lord, no matter what happens, no matter what they face, help my friends conduct themselves in a manner worthy of You. Help them to react to all that happens with calmness and grace.”

As I continued to pray, I felt led to share this wisdom from the Word with them. I went back to the status update and left a comment, assuring them of my prayers and then shared the scripture with them. A few minutes later, I saw their reply—they were trying their best to do the very thing the verse exhorts us all to do.

And yes, this verse is for all of us. Whatever happens, we are to walk worthy. Worthy of our Lord and Savior.

When times are good and we are rejoicing, we need to walk worthy. In other words, when good things happen or we succeed, who gets the praise? And are we careful not to lose our heads and do something unwise in the thrill of an exciting moment? Do we follow the admonition in 2 Timothy 4:5a — “But you, keep your head in all situations . . .”

Of course, the more difficult times to walk worthy are when times are bad. When a friend or loved one betrays us . . . when someone hurts our kids . . . when our husbands or wives lose their tempers with us . . . when someone gossips about us . . . and yes, even when a devastating crisis knocks us to our knees. What do we do then? Do we walk worthy?

How are we able to do this? How can we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel no matter what happens? Only by His grace. Only by His power…

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

*Flickr photo by peasap, Creative Commons License

Celebrate With Me!

Since we are busy visiting with Kristin and Shawn and since it’s Labor Day weekend, how about a quick post sharing a little fruit of my labor with you? I ran across the exciting “fruit” above while we were in Estes Park in July. My poem “For My Amazing Mother” is the featured piece for the month of October in this 2012 Blue Mountain Arts calendar. The title piece! Cool, huh? :)

Many of you already know that Blue Mountain Arts uses my work from time to time on their greeting cards and in their gift book anthologies, and the poem they are using for this calendar has, in fact, already been used on at least a couple of their greeting cards.

What a thrill it was to discover some of my work while we were out and about shopping in Estes. As I showed my family and asked Kristin to take a picture, I explained to the shop clerks what was going on. Just so happens they LOVE Blue Mountain Arts products — as do their customers — and they promptly started treating me like a celebrity. What fun! :)

So if you’re looking for a 2012 mini wall calendar for your mom, you might keep an eye out for this one. You can find Blue Mountain Arts products in gift shops, sometimes Hobby Lobby, travel centers, and Cracker Barrel restaurants. You can also find the calendar on this BMA page as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (And fyi — I don’t earn money on each sale. I’m paid flat fees by BMA when I sell them all rights to a piece.)

Anyway, just thought I’d share so you can celebrate with me. Woohoo!!! :)

“. . . And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD . . .” Ezra 3:11