Family Blessings

Being able to spend time with all our family some part of the last two months blessed me tremendously. With children and grown grandchildren spread around Texas, Georgia and California, getting to see them for several days only happens occasionally. At Thanksgiving or Christmas we all try to get together somewhere, but then only get about two days by the time we travel. Having a little more time means we are more relaxed and enjoy being together and talking about more than we do when crowded into the rush of Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner and presents. Continue reading

What Is Shalom?

The Jewish people treasure the word “Shalom,” greeting each other with it when they first meet and again on leaving. Shalom implies peace, as we commonly think of it, but very much more than that. Shalom suggests wholeness, completeness, health, security, prosperity, fulfillment, contentment, restoration, unbrokenness, joy,  peace between you and God as well as between you and other people – in other words, we might say it hints at heaven on earth. Continue reading

Men and Women of God or Small Children of God?

When we first become believers in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we’re like small children: dearly loved and taken care of, but we’re dependent. As we mature in our Christian life, we should become like men and women of God, still his dearly-loved children but with a much different relationship. If we have children and they’re adults, we can see the way our connection with them has changed. Instead of us taking care of them, they take care of themselves and may eventually help take care of us. While we enjoyed playing with our children while they were little, now we’re able to respond to each other as adults, whether we’re working together, doing something more entertaining, or simply talking. That’s what God desires from us. Continue reading

Going Deeper in the River

If you had grown up in Galveston on the Gulf Coast like I did, you would have gone to the beach often as a child. We still live near Galveston and our grandchildren have enjoyed going to the beach and playing in the water. Often my husband and I simply drive there and watch families take their small children wading so that the water comes up only a little ways. Older children go in deeper, of course, and surfers like to go still further out to ride the waves into shore. Shrimp boats certainly aren’t within swimming distance but are easily visible, while the oil tankers and container ships are out very deep so they are barely seen on the horizon. I thought of this last week while I was reading in the book of Ezekiel. Continue reading

Positive Thoughts for Hard Times

 

Thinking positively isn’t simply trying to fool yourself into believing good is coming instead of evil. Rather, it is a strategy for defeating Satan, who tries to get us to think the worst in every situation. He is the enemy of our souls – our minds, wills and emotions. The Bible tells us the devil comes only to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Yet, so often we listen to his lies instead of believing the truth of God’s Word, which says our Father gives us good gifts (Matthew 7:11). James 1:17 even goes so far as to say that “every good and perfect gift” comes from Him. Continue reading

Words Kill! Words Give Life!

Strange things can happen when we don’t even plan them or want them to happen. For instance, a few mornings ago my husband said something to me that was totally unnecessary and not horrible but definitely didn’t need to be said. Instead of being Christ-like and ignoring the statement, I responded in kind. Neither of us really wanted to fuss or meant to start an argument. Fortunately, we left it there and nothing more was said about either statement, both of which should never have been made. Continue reading