New Seasons, Real Life, and Plans Revisited

July is a great month! I hate to see it end!

In North America Everyone is in the depths of their summer.

I love July.
I love summer.
I love  family and fireworks.
I love warm weather.

Enjoying the warm outdoors, warms my soul!
This summer I hosted a neighborhood Kelly Minter bible study on the book of Nehemiah (highly recommend it and will write a review soon). As I prepared for the last meeting I was struggling, and it seemed like there was nothing that could lift my heavy heart.

Oddly, the homework for the last chapters of Nehemiah included a discussion on how life tends to make full circles and often brings us back to similar places and different circumstances. We are given second chances, and boy do we need them.

As August begins, I continue to have a slight funk about me and need a second chance. I want to make the rest of this year count. I want to treat August like it is January. A fresh start.  Why not review my goals and consider new goals to add or old ones to change?  As I complete one season and prepare for another, my heart is committed to make this fall and winter special. It is all too easy to lack focus and exuberance as I approach the end of the year.

Scripture memorization is one of my 2012 goals.  My memorization goal through the month of July is complete. Hooray! Let’s celebrate!  Uh… Not so fast….The problem is that I don’t have another plan. Sure, one can just take a favorite scripture here or there and work on it, but I want a new focused plan. Since my 2012 one word is ‘decide‘, I am on the verge of making a decision. Remember the old Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

I’d love to hear how you handle this time of year as school starts, seasons change and holidays rapidly approach. Do you lose sight of goals you made back in January? Do you renew and review?

Here’s my suggestion for a great verse to memorize.

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers victory it’s sure. Prov. 15.22

Love to you… and success with your plans…


Wise or Careful?

It is amazing how one verse can change the way we look at things! Recently, while reading and memorizing in Colossians I was struck:

Be wise in the way you act… Make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone“. Col. 4:5 NIV

This one little verse adjusted my thinking in a couple areas.

1. First, when I thought through the words, I mistakenly said, “Be careful in the way you act….” instead of “Be wise in the way you act…” I like careful – sometimes better than wise.

I’m tired of myself when it comes to this careful trait. I don’t want to be “careful”. I want to be “wise”. Careful has a sense of fear driven motivation. When wisdom calls for careful or cautious I will be all for it, but because my tendency is toward the side of caution I hereby commit to take appropriate wise risks.

2. Second, the verse says “so that you may know how to answer everyone” – I wanted to say “so that you may have an answer for everyone“. There is a big difference between these two phrases. We don’t need to have an answer, we just need to know how to answer. Maybe this tidbit sounds obvious, but I needed a reminder, and it sounds gracious and peaceful…and wise in my world.

Hope you are moving forward with your scripture memorization. It has the power to change the way we look at life!

Prayers that we favor wisdom over caution today…


It’s So Hot! We Need Refreshing – and Friends!

As the second half of 2012 begins with a sizzle, we reflect on our country’s heritage and our freedom. It makes me ponder with gratitude the freedom and friendship we have in Christ.  The value of friendship is a theme that strikes a chord in my soul these days as I frequently think of its blessings and challenges. This year is chocked full of so many fresh and new jewels – one of those cherished jewels is deeper and more precious friendships.

Some with relatively new people in my life and others with those who, for years, have walked near…but now we ‘decide‘ to devote more intention to cultivate our friendships toward a new depth.

In light of the extreme heat we have experienced for the last week – with the 105° weather, even I, the heat lover, require a little water action for coolness and comfort outside…and of course, so does Tahoe.



Below are a couple refreshing verses to consider….

Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat – refreshing!
Proverbs 25: 13 The Message

Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
Proverbs 27:9 The Message

Stay cool and refreshed as you celebrate with gratitude – your freedom, family and friends...


Courageous Fathers = Courageous Families

The men 18 years old and over stood in unison reciting the ‘I Wills’. Indeed they were words read from a piece of paper, “The Resolution”, but they have the power, the potential, to impact generations.

We need our men.
We need our fathers.

The blessing of a father committed and engaged with his family is unmatched.

This weekend our churchcelebrates our fathers with a special ceremony of commitment in all seven services. Amongst the casual attire most often worn by many in our Friday night service was a smattering of coats and suits, as proud men from all walks of life stood with their families reciting their pledge.

With today’s family unit commonly shattered and fatherhood devalued, the release of the movie, Courageous, last fall, was an inspiring must see and prompted our Fathers Day focus. It is a family drama where four men come to grips with a common calling: to serve and protect their families. On this, the eve of Father’s Day, it seems fitting that we revisit our values, honor our fathers and resolve to fight courageously for our families.

Below is the resolution the men proudly recited:

I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.

I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.

I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.

I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. —Joshua 24:15

I was intrigued when Brent chose to participate in the ceremony since we don’t have children…he realizes we DO have a family unit, a church family, an extended family and a community in need of courageous men. I am proud to have a husband willing to fight for future generations and to courageously be a father to the fatherless.

Memory verse: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. —Joshua 24:15

You can find more information and additional resources here

It is never too late for a man – a father – to become a “dad”.

Special honor to all courageous men this Father’s Day…