We’re Not Too Little to Lead in God’s Eyes

“There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them . . .” Psalm 68:27 NIV

I love the nuggets of encouragement found in the Psalms. I think I could read there every day and never tire of it.

The psalmist David wrote the words above as part of a passage that describes the procession of Israel—God’s people—into the temple. And wow, what a scene of celebration and praise. Singers, musicians, maidens playing tambourines. Dancing surely broke out, too, right?

One tiny detail I don’t want us to miss is who lead the procession. It wasn’t Judah, the greatest tribe of Israel. It was Benjamin. The little tribe.

The tribes of Israel were named after the twelve sons of Jacob. Benjamin was the youngest, the little brother (Genesis 49:1-28). Likewise, and as mentioned in Psalm 68, the tribe of Benjamin was “the little tribe,” the smallest in numbers (Numbers 1:20-43). In the standards of the world, Benjamin—the brother and the tribe—probably didn’t have much clout.

But look who was given the pleasure, the privilege, and the responsibility of leading the procession of God’s people into the temple. That’s right. It was Benjamin. The little tribe.

What an example and what encouragement to us. We don’t have to be the biggest and best to be a leader. We can be the little brother, the little sister. We can be small in size, in renown, or in ability. We just need to be willing to serve, to put ourselves out there like the tribe of Benjamin did.

So, if any of us have been feeling too little to lead or too little to fulfill a task God has given us, let’s be encouraged by the little tribe of Benjamin. We too can lead. We too can serve. We’re not too little in God’s eyes.

“I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,” Ephesians 3:7-8 NIV

*Has God ever used you to be a leader when you felt little?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, comes out today. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free! Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by cbcmemberphotos2477; Creative Commons License

Let: Little Word with Big Impact for Fear and Worry

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

Have you ever noticed how “let” is one of those little words in scripture (or anywhere for that matter) that can have great significance? A couple of years ago I blogged about the giant impact of the word “us” in Hebrews 12:1. Today let’s look at John 14:27 and focus on the little word let.

When Jesus spoke the words above to the disciples, he had just shared the Last Supper with them and told them he would not be with them much longer. He then spent time comforting them and telling them about the Holy Spirit, whom he promised he would send to them.

Jesus’ reassuring words at such a critical time in their lives still hold great comfort for us today, but they hold instruction as well. He told the disciples then and is telling us now not to be afraid, not to let our hearts be troubled.

By using the word let, do you think Jesus might have been showing us that we have some control over our anxieties and fears? He exhorts us not to allow them to overtake our hearts.

Experiencing pangs of worry or fear about life situations is natural and happens to all of us. It’s what we do with those initial feelings that matters in the long run.

Do we dwell on our worries and fears and allow them to grow larger by the minute, or do we honestly acknowledge them and then take them to the Lord in prayer? Do we spend time and precious energy imagining worst-case scenarios and desperately trying to think of fixes, or do we relinquish our burdens into our Father’s capable and faithful hands?

We don’t have to let anyone or anything steal the peace that Jesus promised us. It’s as real and available to us today as it was to the disciples. Let’s listen to Jesus. Let’s not allow our hearts to be troubled. Let’s give our worries and fears to him.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

*Sometimes anxiety can be a symptom of a physical problem. If you suspect that at all, be sure to see your doctor.

*Do you have a favorite scripture about worry or fear that you’d like to share?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

Photo by Molnár Bálint on Unsplash

Grandson Photo Fun Plus July Blogging Break

*Don’t miss a special giveaway going on over on my Mother of the Bride Blog. You don’t have to be a mother of the bride to win!

When the month of July rolls around each year, that means it’s time for some Summer Photo Fun here on the blog. And what better kind of photo fun to feature this year than Grandson Photo Fun, right? How can I not share this kind of sweetness with you!

For those of you who don’t already know, God has blessed us with TWO sets of twin grandsons! Isaiah and James are pictured above on the left (James on left, Isaiah on right) and belong to our daughter Kristin and her husband Shawn. Samuel and Silas are on the right (Silas on left, Samuel on right) and belong to our daughter Kelli and her husband Jake. Isaiah and James are now 2 ½ years old and Samuel and Silas will be 11 months old in a few days. We love these little guys beyond words. And yes, they keep us hopping!

Life is so busy for me right now—and July is always extra busy when my husband is on vacation for a few weeks—so I’m going to take a blogging  break and leave these photos of our sweet boys up here on the blog for the next few weeks. Hope you enjoy seeing these little sweethearts—and I will be back with regular weekly blog posts in a few weeks. Have a great July!

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV

Sweet Samuel

Busy Silas

*I have some family events and travel scheduled for July. Will you be doing anything special this month?

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early August. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 cash (summer mad money!) and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

Wedding Photo Idea: Flower Girl with the Bride’s Shoes

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Mother of the Bride, want some super-cute photos of the flower girl on Wedding Day? Grab the bride’s shoes and ask your photographer to take a couple of fun shot shots like those pictured here.

Not only does the photo above with the shoes standing back to back creatively feature an article of the bride’s attire, but it captures a precious flower girl’s dream of one day being a bride herself. Such a sweet shot.

The shot below shows off every little girl’s love of wearing high heels—and not just any high heels, but the bride’s high heels. Talk about a little girl’s ultimate fantasy!

Waste no time, MOB, in adding this idea of the flower girl with the bride’s shoes to the list of photos you’d like your photographer to take.  Everyone will love it!

*You might also like to read Wedding Photo Idea: The Corner Shot and Wedding Day: Sweet Family Moments in Store.

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

*Flickr photos by 藍川芥 aikawake, Creative Commons License

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Will: Little Word, Big Promise from God

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“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Psalm 46:10 is best known for its first half. Almost all of us who have been exposed to the Bible for very long can recite the phrase “Be still and know that I am God”—and well we should. It’s a powerful reminder of who God is, who we are, and where all power, provision, wisdom, justice, love, and everything else we’ll ever need lies. He is ever worthy of our worship and trust.

Today let’s look at the second half of the verse, though—and in particular, the little word will. Let’s look at the implication and power of this mighty little word.

With this one short word, God tells us that he will be exalted among the nations, that he will be exalted in the earth. No mights, no maybes, no ifs, ands, or buts. It’s going to happen. He will be exalted. He will be lifted high, glorified, and praised in our world. And where it’s not currently happening? It one day will.

The events that have unfolded in Iraq over the past few weeks have left us reeling as terrorists have persecuted and killed Christians and other innocents. Many may wonder where God is when these kinds of things take place, but we can rest assured that God has been and will continue to be exalted and glorified in the midst of these horrific events. He will be praised today by many, and will one day be victorious over every evil force in every corner of the world. He will indeed be exalted throughout the earth.

Let’s not think of the world stage only, though—let’s bring it home. What about our own lives? Are we exalting him in personal worship? Are we exalting him in our churches? Are we glorifying him in our marriages, our parenting, our friendships, our work, our play? Do others glorify and praise God because of us?

Let’s help fulfill the promise of the little word will. May God be able to say that he has been and will continue to be exalted through us and our lives. May we ever be found praising him!

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:3

*How might we lift God high today and in the days to come?

*My photo

*Be sure to enter the “Back At It” Giveaway. See post for details. Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. (CST) this Wednesday.