Archives for April 2014

Thirsty For the Word


“I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.” Psalm 119:130

Remember the last time you were desperate for a drink of water? Maybe you were so busy you had forgotten to hydrate or couldn’t grab an opportunity for a good, long drink. Or maybe you had been working or exercising outside when the need for a drink could no longer be ignored. For whatever reason, you got dehydrated and your mouth turned to cotton. All of a sudden, you couldn’t think of anything besides quenching your thirst.

We can get dehydrated spiritually as well, and while water quenches our physical thirst, our souls and spirits need to drink from God’s Word to stay alive and thrive. God has the words of life we need. In speaking of God’s words, Moses said to the Israelites, “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.” (Deuteronomy 32:27a)

The Psalmist said, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2) Friends, we can meet with God anytime. And one of the places we can meet him is in his Word. Yes, his word can quench our thirst.

So the question is do we long for the Word of God? As daily demands and trials of life come our way and sap our strength, do we turn to God and his Word to be refreshed and rejuvenated? Where do we go when we find ourselves spiritually dehydrated? Do we pant for the Word and set others things aside so we can go and drink from it?  

Unfortunately, we sometimes neglect God’s Word. We allow the daily demands of life—as well as our desires—to squeeze out the time desperately needed to refresh our spirits and nourish our souls in the Word of God. Other times we neglect turning to the Bible because it might shine a light on the sin we don’t want to forsake. We stay away from the conviction and correction God might speak to our hearts through it.

Also, because God’s Word is so readily available to us here in our nation, we may even take it for granted. We don’t realize the awesome privilege we have of freely drinking from it whenever we want to.

Eventually, if we neglect the Word long enough, we may lose our thirst for it as we allow other things to become substitutes that ease our thirst temporarily but never really satisfy our souls and spirits completely the way God’s Word does.

There is hope, though, if we find we’ve let our thirst and longing for the Word wane. We need only open its pages again and begin drinking. As the Word of God touches those dry and needy places in us again, our thirst for more of it will grow. We will find ourselves panting for the Word of God each day. We will eagerly drink and quench our thirst with God’s words—the words that are life to us.

So how about it? Let’s thrive with the Word of God. Let’s live!

“ . . . ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68

*How thirsty are you for God’s Word today?

*Flickr photo by Vicki Francis/Department for International Development, Creative Commons License

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Midweek Morsel: Christmas for Easter


*Hope you enjoy this encore presentation this holiday weekend!

Easter is fast approaching — the time to celebrate our risen Lord and our hope of heaven in Him. My heart cries out, “Joy to the World!”, and my voice soon follows. That’s right. A little Christmas for Easter fits right in.

After all, “the Lord is come”, “the Savior reigns”,  and “He rules the world with truth and grace”! Why shouldn’t we sing and pray “Let earth receive her King”, “every heart prepare Him room”, and “heav’n and nature sing”? If our hearts want to carol when we remember His resurrection, let’s add a little Christmas to our Easter worship. “O come let us adore Him” in every way!

Just think about it. We wouldn’t be celebrating Easter if Christmas hadn’t come first. On the other hand, the birth of Christ would be nothing to celebrate if He had not become our Savior, if He had not paid for our sins with His very life and gained victory over death by His resurrection. The fact is when we worship our Lord, we celebrate both holidays.

So as you celebrate our risen Lord over the next few days, I encourage you to add a little Christmas to your Easter worship. “Repeat the sounding joy”!

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14 KJV

Happy Easter to you and yours!

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Flickr photo by jurvetson, Creative Commons License
“Joy to the World!” lyrics by Isaac Watts

Wedding Photo Idea: A Shared Faith

so happy

Mother of the Bride, want to suggest a photo idea for the big day that speaks volumes without saying a word? Show your daughter and her beloved the photo above that features the shared faith and firm foundation my daughter Kristin and son-in-law Shawn shared in their marriage from day one.

For couples who share a common faith and desire to build their marriage on their mutual faith and trust in God, a photo that captures that desire in all its beauty is a must-have. Be sure to ask your photographer to add such a shot to his list of photos to take.

Whether the shot features the couple with a cross, a stained glass window, the unity candle, a kneeling bench, or their hands clasped on an open Bible, the message will be the same. Our faith is important to us. Be sure that photo—and message—is captured on Wedding Day, MOB. What a treasure it will be!

*You might also like to take a peek at this fun wedding photo idea—The Corner Shot

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Photo by Chris Humphrey

Learning About Grief

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As most of you know, I lost my mom unexpectedly last October. I don’t know if I’ve gone through all the “official” stages of grief, but I’ve learned a bit about grief since that day my family had to say our unexpected goodbyes. I won’t try to speak for everyone who’s ever experienced grief. I’ll just share what I’ve learned after a period of a few months now.

I’ve learned that grief lingers. Yes, life does indeed go on, and I slipped back into my normal routines fairly quickly. But those normal routines felt anything but normal at first. In the beginning my sisters and I asked each other if we’d ever feel normal again. Like so many others who’ve gone through grief, we’ve had to adjust to a new normal. The one without Mom.

Even now, almost six months later, grief lingers. All it takes is one thought of Mom, one remembrance, one glance at a photo, and my heart aches with loss. Granted, the pain is not as sharp as it was in those first weeks, but the ache is still there. Always just below the surface.

I’ve also learned that grief longs. When those thoughts of Mom come, not only does my heart ache, it also longs to see her again. To hear her voice. To talk things over with her. To show her how much she was—and is—loved. I long for the day I’ll see her again in heaven, along with other loved ones who’ve already left us.

Grief also longs to turn back time, to do some things differently. I wish I’d said I love you more. And even though I got to see and talk to Mom fairly regularly, I wish I’d done it even more.

I’ve also learned that grief leans. In the aftermath of our great loss, my dad and sisters and I have leaned on one another as never before. We feel a kinship in our loss and can offer comfort to one another because we understand like no one else just exactly what we lost when we lost Mom.

And above all—for believers—grief leans on the Lord. The comfort found in him and in knowing that Mom is in his presence can’t be matched. To be able to say to him, Please tell Mom I love her, please tell her I miss her helps so much. Just knowing that the Lord walks with me each day as my ever-present Companion and Help brings peace and comfort for every situation, grief-related or not.

These are just a few of the things I’ve learned about grief as the months have passed. Much more could be said. But my prayer is that something mentioned here today will help a hurting heart somewhere. Will help someone to feel understood. Or help others understand what grieving friends are going through. After all, we’re all learners in this life of ours.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

*What have you learned about grief?

*My photo

Time-Saving Tip: Insider Info from Vendors


No matter who does it, selecting vendors for the various aspects of a wedding is a huge job. Whether the bride and groom make the decisions or it’s a joint effort including you, Mother of the Bride, hours and hours of work can go into narrowing down the best choices.

Try this time-saving tip, MOB: Once you get one or two vendors secured, ask them for their recommendations in other areas. For example, if you’re sure you’ve found the perfect florist, ask which caterer he would recommend or vice versa. The vendors in any given region work the same weddings at some point or another and become very familiar with each other’s work. They know who excels—and more importantly, who doesn’t. Ask them to give you their best recommendation.

Asking vendors for insider info can come in especially handy if you’re planning an out-of-town wedding. When you’re unfamiliar with the vendors you need to book, you feel like you’re starting from scratch, and asking reliable vendors for their advice can save you tons of time. Both of our daughters had out-of-town weddings, and I wish I had learned this tip early-on.

One word of caution, though, MOB. Make sure the vendor you ask is not getting any kind of kick-back from the recommendations he makes. How do you do this? Come right out and ask—but instead of using the term kick-back, ask “Do you receive any commission from services you recommend?” You employ tact, MOB, but you also get the info you need, right?!

*You might also like to read “Time Management: Give Yourself a Break, MOB”.

*Flickr photo by abnormalbeauty, Creative Commons License