Been There, Done That, Let Me Help

The other day we were going somewhere new.  The address did not sound familiar and the GPS often is unreliable.  “Turn left” it tells me when there is no stree! My parents had been to our destination and offered for us to ride with them or follow behind.  It was so much easier going with someone who had already been there.

Having made the trip before us, my parents knew what to look for and what might go wrong.  They also knew where to turn to make the journey easier.  Traveling together allowed quality time to chat and catch up.  The drive which I was dreading turned out to be lovely and extremely enjoyable.


The journey of life is exactly like that.  People who have travelled the same path can help us.  By giving us direction, tips from their journey or just going with us, others can chase anxiety away.  They can take our hand and walk beside us to let us know we have a traveling companion, a seasoned on.  Not only are they assisting us, but they are serving God.  Scripture says in Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”



Do you ever look to someone for counsel?  Someone who has gone through a tough situation and made it through with flying colors?  We need people to encourage us.  My sweet grandson Isaac is special needs and my daughter Vanessa is always offering support to other parents of special needs children.  Isaac is now seven so it is routine now, but she will never forget the trying first months.


Sometimes I forget that I am serving God by helping others.  Do you?  We need to make it such second nature that we just do helpful things.  Chatting with someone on the phone recently we were able to offer encouragement to each other.  Taking a meal to a new set of parents brought tears to their eyes.  Offering to pray with someone immediately stunned them speechless, but they were very appreciative.


We have all “been there, done that” so let’s take those experiences to serve Abba and someone here in need. It makes a great Lenten project for however often you decide.  Even if it isn’t for Lent, don’t ever give up doing good for others.


Do You Remember?

What were you doing on that Tuesday morning September 11, 2001 when America was under attack by terrorists?  Ninety percent of adult Americans will remember the nightly news reported.  Honestly, I think even that percentage is low.  I remember being in my kitchen alone that day mixing up banana bread.  The television on the counter was turned down low.  I glanced and saw chaos on the screen.  As I watched in horror a second plane hit and the news reporters were frantic.  The bowl of batter dropped from my hands as I fell to my knees in prayer.


My phone rang nonstop.  Friends and family called in disbelief.  My daughter was in college and I just wanted her home.  Same thing with my working husband.  He is ever the voice of reason and I needed him.  My son wasn’t home either.  He had his own house.  I wanted them all here so our family was together and safe.  The sky was eerily quiet without a single aircraft.


Church was more emotional than ever before on Sunday.  Attendance was extremely high. In crisis we turn to God, don’t we. Isn’t it a shame we all don’t stay that close after it is over?  It looks like our country could use His protection, guidance, and healing again.  The death total was just under 3,000 while the injured was twice that.  The terrorists coordinated four airplane attacks to kill Americans.  Innocent people in what they deemed a Holy War.  I cannot imagine how saddened God was by this. We all were, and we don’t even begin to love like Him.


America pulled together then, and we turned to God.  What changed that made some of us turn our backs on Him and His commands?  Why have we turned on each other?  Where did our love, compassion, and kindness go?  63E3C1DD-A4D7-4786-B618-FDD05785A2CFWe need to take back our patriotism and faith.  Give up this name calling and bickering.  Kneel and pray for each other.  As the Bible says “humble ourselves”.  If we do, then we will start to see more unity.



If you can remember where you were, you will remember the horrible feeling of terrorism, and the wonderful feeling of unity in America.  Our nation was one.  Let’s stand together again in memory of those that lost their lives that day.  Remember, except for the grace of God, it could have been us dying in an attack.  God didn’t save us to bicker, insult, and fight.


Kindness…..Let’s Start a Campaign!

Thanks for joining me today.  There is something I’d like to ask you.  Would you join me in something else?  I am wanting to start a kindness campaign.  What do you think?  There is absolutely no money involved unless you are moved in that direction for some reason.  Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful project?  Thanks!  I think so, too.

First, we sorely need this now because electronic devices have taken personal interaction and emotion out of our conversations and day to day dealings with each other.  Isn’t it quicker to send a text than call?  However, many times words written are more harsh than those spoken.  In fact, the same holds true with telephone calls versus face to face conversations.  Right?  It is a bit harder to be mean and cold when looking someone in the eyes and being able to see the hurt you inflict.
What would this kindness campaign be?  I suppose we need to get to read the definition of kindness first.  The dictionary says kindness is the quality of being friendly, considerate and generous.  Kind is an adjective meaning having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.  Well, that sounds familiar.  Synonyms for kind are good-natured, caring, selfless, compassionate, understanding, friendly, thoughtful, loving, good, attentive, and hospitable.  Antonyms are mean, selfish, and inconsiderate.  Sounds reasonable to me.  What do you think?  Which would you rather be?
Does the Bible say much about kindness and being kind?  Yes, it does.  Our instruction book for life is filled with verses about it.  Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  Who wants to wear kindness?  I bet that looks beautiful on everyone.  Another one in Ephesians 4:31-32 “All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”  Now that is very clear.  A simple be kind to one another.
It is my true desire for us to show kindness to others.  Yes, some do mean to harm us, but there is an internal war going on here.  Friends and family are saying many hateful, absurd things that are fueled by mobs of people they have never met.  We need to step back, regroup, and be kind.  None of us are perfect.  We all mess up and sin.  Everyone needs grace, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness.
Join me in being kind.  This movement needs to start some place, why not with us?  At least try it for the remainder of July.  Refrain from the negative political and newsy posts.  Stop demeaning and attacking people that have not personally interacted in a hurtful way with you.  Be part of the solution and stop fueling the fire.  Spread kindness, joy, and smiles.  Take a break from stress, meanness and finger pointing.  Recruit others to our Kindness Campaign.  Spread kind words and deeds.  Who knows, by August we all might feel so wonderful that we continue.  Most of all, please pray.  Pray for kindness in others and yourself.  Then just like the old song says….”and the world will be a better place for you and for me, just wait and see!”
I Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant”
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Proverbs 16:23-24 From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive. Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

Read a Book Monday: “My Heart Belongs in Glenview Springs, Colorado…Millie’s Resolve”

Do you like to read?  Obviously I do.  There is something relaxing for me to get lost inside a book.  I love traveling to places and making friends between the covers of a new novel.  Don’t you.  Well, today I have a really good one.  “My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado…Millie’s Resolve” is a 256 page Historical Christian Romance written by Author Rebecca Jepson.  Published by Barbour it was the first book I have read 2B48CB54-1270-4592-9F12-99CB0D84D629by that author, but it definitely will not be the last.  This is a fresh delightful, emotionally packed historical Christian romantic fiction.  I enjoyed it so much I did not want to do anything else except read that book!
Glenwood Springs, Colorado is a town with a healing spa.  The story is set there in 1888 and is the tale of Millie Cooper.  She is a caring young woman running from her past.  Millie grew up in Nantucket as the daughter of a poor fisherman.  One summer she fell in love with the son of a wealthy family on vacation.  The results were heartbreaking for Millie and the book opens with her now in Glenwood Springs working beside dear Dr. Murphy.   Everything is going wonderfully until the brother of the man she fell in love with came into town and turned Millie’s world upside down.  He needs a nurse for his family and Millie seems to be the one.  This man prevented her from marrying his brother and now wants her to care for his mother and brother’s pregnant wife.  Oh my!
Author Jepson presents a fresh new story that I have not ever read.  It deals with forgiveness, regret, mercy, love, grudges, social classes, faith, illness, and trust.  The author tackles issues in 1888 that we can relate to now.  Her writing style is lovely.  The words just lowly effortlessly making the story easy to read and book hard to put down.  Twist and turns are added to keep readers on our toes. 9B1B3DF4-9C70-4265-A04E-C5EEE3D32768I was emotionally invested within a few pages. The descriptions were so good felt like a fly on the wall watching things happen.
The characters are so well rounded and defined that I felt like I knew them.  Not only did I become friends with the main characters but secondary ones, too.  I loved Dr. Murphy!  Some characters I scolded, others I had empathy for, and the majority I wanted to stay my friends.  I could travel to healing Glenview Springs and have coffee or tea with my new buddies.  The novel gave me the feeling we were that close.
“Millie’s Resolve” is a touching historical, Christian romance.  The lesson to trust God is prevalent throughout it.  I loved on page 192 the lines “The Master of the crashing sea was with her.  He was Lord…even of this storm.”  This beautiful message of faith is woven in the story so well.  Anyone will benefit from reading it and feel inspired.  Nonbelievers shouldn’t find it off putting or preachy.  This is just a great story.
I highly recommend this.  It is one of those books I wanted to finish reading, couldn’t put down, but did not ever want to be over.  What a dilemma!  It is a complete story, no cliffhanger.  I just loved it.  Any reading group would love discussing this delightful tale.  There are no discussion questions but just asking “what did you think” will start words flowing.  This gets a big 5 out of 5 star rating from me.  Loved it!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.41D8B9AB-D3BF-4C95-94F5-249C5BCB2C25

Watch Out Where You Get Advice

For a parent, grandparent, aunt, or anyone that has a younger person in his/her life, there is seldom any feeling that competes with the joy felt watching them make good, Christian decisions. Right?  We pray for their success, salvation, and decision making..  It isn’t often we are fortunate enough to witness it in action.  Recently I was and it touched me so deeply I cried happy tears.

We have a beloved family member that is truly ill and frankly just not himself.  It is an ongoing issue that has lasted three years.  Talk about a test of faith!  Well, that’s an entirely different blog.  In this situation advice is overflowing on what others would do.  We are never at a loss for unsolicited, well meaning counsel. AB1DE8CF-BDD4-4FE3-8861-552A9E0B6EF2Much of the advice is tough love and some not even Biblically based.  Discussions with this sweet family member and others border on disrespectful.  It all breaks my heart.  How is that going to help?  Being disrespectful will never aid in any circumstance.
Last week I sought advise from my adult son.  He was raised in our Christian home so I decided it was time to trust my work and him.  Wow.  I was not disappointed and can honestly say I was overcome with joy.  His response to me was “My thoughts are to try to treat him like Jesus would.  You know, the whole What Would Jesus Do.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?”  I was speechless as I nodded.
Leave it to my adult son to remind me of what I already knew.  There is no secret fix or magic involved to help a loved one.  Lift him up to God and love him.  Treat him tenderly.  Isn’t that what Jesus would do?  Didn’t he teach us by example that we are to love others more than ourselves?  Jesus did not teach disrespect, yelling, fighting, and leaving.  No, 0FBBC620-EBD2-4133-9665-C1E38AE7174CHe taught compassion, love, and caring. Any and all I needed can be found in my life manual, the Bible.  I just needed to think about what would Jesus do, and then do it.
I realized then that I had known all along what to do.  Like Jesus I needed to listen to God and obey Him.  I needed to be sweet, tender, caring and giving.  There is no place for disrespect in this situation.  Just respect and kindness.  Often when we are sick, we aren’t ourselves.  Having someone talk sharply can only make things worse.  Ignoring the sick person or withholding care is a horrible idea.  Leaving is definitely not the answer.  I can never go wrong with loving and praying.  Bet you won’t either if you ever need my two cents.
Try a little tenderness and honey instead of harshness and vinegar in your words.  My sweet Mammaw would say “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”  How true.  We need to try some love and Jesus.  I know I will.  Thank you, oh wise son, for the reminder.  Out of all the advice, yours was right on the money.  Your advice is the one to follow.  In fact, I am going to look for my WWJD bracelet, too.
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Proverb 16:24 KJV