Monthly Archives: October 2012

How Do I Begin Again?

How do I begin again or start over?  Yesterday I quoted Romans 10:9   What does it mean to confess, “Jesus is Lord,” with my mouth and believe in my heart that he is alive and reigns as King?  Does it mean I will have to admit that I have gone my own way and not his?  Does it mean I will need to change directions?  Does it mean I will need to listen to what he says – that I will accept his counsel and follow his directions?  I answer yes to all those questions, and then, as I confess and believe, I find he gives me grace and power to admit my sin and to follow him.  I begin and live a life in his kingdom under his banner of love.  This is Good News.  I live to share it.  I invite you to get acquainted with Jesus and to find out for yourself that he is The Way of New Beginnings.  Begin by reading the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

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Starting Over

The difficulty in starting over in restoring broken relationships or recovering from addictions is power.   The cliche, just do it, sounds good but denies the truth that we humans often find ourselves powerless to accomplish what we believe is best for ourselves.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, said,  “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”  (Romans 1:16)  In Romans 10:9 he explained, “”If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.””

God doesn’t just forgive us, when we believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus on our behalf, he gives us the same power that raised Christ back to life – the power that saves, the power to change, the power to make new.  As I reflect on that good news this morning, I rejoice that Christ Followers are blessed with glorious hope for the here and now, as well as, the certainty of a home in heaven.

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An Intimacy Tip

I remember when I first fell in love with my husband.   I hung on his every word.  I paid close attention to everything he thought and did.  I wanted to know everything about him.  He offered information about himself and answered my questions.  As we became better acquainted, we learned to trust each other.   As our trust grew,  we revealed more of our inner lives with one another.  In time,  no one knew him, as well as I did.  No one knew me, as well as he did.

Human beings are dynamic creatures.   We are always being shaped and changed by our ongoing circumstances and environment.   It seems to me, that one intimacy tip in marriage is an ongoing commitment to the same kind of focused attention, inquiry, and observation we gave our partners when we were first learning to love them.   I am afraid I have become complacent and lazy in my relationship.   Perhaps I need to ask myself whether I really know who my husband has become, who he is becoming.   How do you keep getting reacquainted with who your spouse is becoming as life passes by?

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True Love

While sorting through treasures stored in the shed this week, I discovered the scrapbook we gave my husband’s parents on their 60th anniversary.   At that time,  Mom had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for 7 years.  Dad remained her devoted caregiver until her death 4 and a half years later.   Dad went home to be with The Lord two years ago.

As I browsed through the scrapbook pages of pictures, cards, and letters, I realized that Dad had added the card he sent Mom on their 6th wedding anniversary from Germany where he was stationed at the end of World War II.  He and Mom conceived their first born, my husband, before Dad left the States.  Howard was born before his daddy returned home.  As I turned more pages,  I saw the note from our first born, Jonathan.  Here is what he shared with them.

“Grandma and Grandpa, Thank you for your wonderful example of togetherness.  Showing us that true love is about devotion.  That true love is about commitment and friendship.  That true love lasts.  That true love contains Jesus.  May Sarah and I and our children follow in your footsteps.  Happy 60 Years of Marriage.”

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Laurie’s Overcomer Rewards

“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”  (Revelation 2:7)  Laurie is walking, running, and dancing in his glorious light, as he smiles at her in his paradise.

“To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  (Revelation 2:17)  Laurie has a new pet name given by her beloved.   She carries that name written on a white rock in the pocket of her brilliant white wedding gown.  That name is a secret that only she and her bridegroom share.

“To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations…I will also give him the morning star.”  (Revelation 2: 26 & 28)  Laurie graciously exercises her authority.   She glows as she holds the morning star.

“To him who overcomes, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.  Never again will he leave it.  I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God;  and I will also write on him my new name.”  (Revelation 3:12)  Laurie lives forever in the temple of God.  Her presence there is a supporting pillar.  She is wearing the name of God, the name of the new Jerusalem, and the new name of the Lamb of God.

“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne.”  (Revelation 3:21)   Laurie sits with the King of Kings on a throne encircled by a rainbow like an emerald in a city of unimaginable beauty.

Father God,  give us grace to follow Laurie’s example –  to believe in Jesus Christ, to overcome our trials, and to glorify you.  In the name of Jesus.  Amen.


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Remembering An Overcomer

Laurie had a type of muscular dystrophy.   She entered our lives when she was a teenager with mobility challenges.   My husband was her pastor, and she attended the youth group we held in our home.  I can’t recall her ever asking us why a loving God allowed her to have a debilitating disease.  She asked me to study the book of Revelation with her.  I felt intimidated and inadequate for the task.  I knew nothing about that mysterious book of prophecy.  As we read it together, accepting what we didn’t understand, we found much we did understand – much that inspired us.  There were promises made to the saints who would overcome trials and sufferings.    We were told that patient endurance, faithfulness and wisdom on the part of the saints was called for.

Our paths separated as Laurie entered adulthood.  Life would challenge each of us in the years ahead, especially Laurie, as her illness left her needing a motorized scooter to remain mobile.   She overcame the temptations to bitterness, to despair, to self- pity.  She kept the faith.  She fought the good fight. The muscular dystrophy took her life when she was only 50.  She has received her reward.


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The Reconnection

My hydrangea speak to me when they need water.   Their leaves become droopy.   I water them, and a few hours afterward, their leaves are uplifted to give me a thumbs up.

My marriage is a living organism.  It needs water, but I don’t pay attention to the signs, as well as I do to the ones my flowers give me.   We get busy, and before we realize it, days or weeks have past without our having done anything to nurture  our relationship.   This current dry patch is due to neglect.   The reconnection needs to be intentional.   I am wondering how to creatively apply some dew or rain to our relationship.   How do you monitor the needs of your marriage?   How do you refresh your connection?

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