Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Screaming in the Parking Lot


            As I’ve written about before, we have become a single car family; which for us it means that when I pick my kids up from school we have to hang out where my husband works for an hour.  It’s really not that big of a deal.  His work has a small pond and a couple picnic tables set up.  The girls do their homework, and Mojo (my dog) gets to spend some time outside. 

Yesterday my youngest was on a toot.  She was procrastinating on doing her homework. “Mommy, I forgot my sweater in the car.  Mommy, I don’t have a pencil.  Mommy, I need to get another piece of paper.”  I was getting frustrated, and sent her back to the car to get what she needed.  In order for her to do that, she has to cross a parking lot. I tell her every time to be careful in the parking lot. I had Mojo’s leash in one hand, and my tablet in another.  Suddenly I heard a scream.  It was the alarm button for mother’s everywhere.  Mojo started to take off running after her.  He was stopped abruptly by the end of his leash.  He was fighting me to get to her.  When I finally made it to her, she was now crying on the ground, I saw that she’d tripped and fallen.  Mojo jumped into her lap and started to kiss her face.  When all was said and done she wasn’t any more hurt than a bruised knee.  Here's my picture of Super Mojo!

Mojo’s reaction is what surprised me.  He was ready to take off to get to her with or without me.  I get my dog is only a small 12 lb. dog, but his protectiveness kicked in overdrive and was getting to my daughter.

If you think about it, we’re supposed to act like this to those around us in life.

1 Corinthians 12:26 (ESV) If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

          It’s amazing to me that in the animal kingdom my dog instinctively understood my people are hurting and I’m going to go to her.  His understanding is what many Christians forget.  How is it that what is innate and natural for a dog, we tend to ignore and desensitize out of ourselves?
          In the story of Cain and Abel when Cain kills Abel and then says to God when questioned about his whereabouts, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God is using this story to say, ‘Yes, yes you are.”  If you see someone fall in front of you and you can help, yes, you are supposed to take the blinders off your eyes and help the person.  But what happens in life and in church that we get so caught up in our own worlds that we don’t even see when a person is hurting.  We wouldn’t take off running for them even if they fell in front of us.  We’d walk past them and pretend for our own conscious that we’d pray for them.  When really we just said that we would to make our own minds feel better, but in truth we barely do that.
           As I mentioned in the last blog, and I’ll mention again, I don’t pretend to be any better than many in this regard.  But I’m trying.  I’m trying to make an effort that when I see someone in need in front of me instead of ignoring them because it’s easier, trying to help the person up.  All Mojo was giving to my youngest was some moral support.  It’s not like he could have physically picked her up and carried her to the car.  But he was there to say, ‘I care about you.’  He was there to say, ‘I saw that, are you okay?’  We have to learn to see a world around us, before Jesus can use us to minister to it.  So I want to give a big shout out to my dog for caring so much about my daughter, and for teaching me that there are hurting people that may need an encouragement that only God through me can give.
        Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Lay Hands On The Sick!


So it’s Monday morning, and I have some confessions to make.  Sometimes, I’m not as bold with my faith as I’d like to be.  Sometimes I am so caught up in my own stuff that I avoid contact with people I don’t know especially in public places.  Sometimes I can fit the stereotype of a writer/hermit.  Sometimes while I think people who are bold with their faith are awesome secretly I would rather hide.  Don’t get me wrong, when I’m behind a pulpit I am a bold person.  I would pray with anyone, and declare Jesus in their lives and their 2nd cousins named Bob…grin…  However, when I’m in Wal-Mart and God gives me a prophetic word for a complete stranger, my reaction can be a bit different.  Sometimes I’ve been known to be disobedient, and sometime I have stepped out in faith. 

I have an old friend who used to joke with me that for every convert people bring in they get a set of steak knives.  It’s a joke, but it is the way non-Christians can sometime view Christians who are always trying to evangelize wherever they go.  Its fear of not wanting to look like ‘that guy’ that stops me sometime from ministering to ones that God really urges me to.

I think many Christians fall in two extremes in this category.  There are the ones who will tell everyone about Jesus (which is awesome, but can come across as a bit of a salesman), or the ones who never say anything (and that’s not doing what God wants us to do.  He wants to go and preach the gospel to all nations which includes people outside a church Matt 24:14)

You find the balance here by being led by Jesus in these situations.  When you stay open to be used by God wherever you go, He will use you and send you to those who are open.  It may be a subtle urging, but you’ll know that God wants you to talk to this person or that one.

In Acts 3 when Peter and John healed a man sitting at the Gate Beautiful, they’d passed that man dozens of times before that day, but as he called out for help they knew God was leading them to pray for his healing. That was the day of that man’s healing.  He did recover and it was one of those public miracle scenes that brought many into the Kingdom. 

While I was in Canada a few weeks back, my family had new pictures taken, and the photographer started to complain about her ear.  While I typically don’t go looking for situations to pray for, in this situation she was complaining. I have started to try to make it a habit when someone mentions sickness or pain, then I offer to pray for them.   Before I talked myself out of it, there in the middle of the store, I asked her if I could pray for her.  She said yes.  Honestly I think she thought I meant at home later, but instead I laid hands on her ear and declared the power of Jesus in her hearing.  While I don’t know if she experienced any miracle or not, and may never know on this side of heaven, I do know I felt the power of God on the situation.  I do know that while I’m not perfect at doing these kinds of things out in the marketplace this time I did before I could talk myself out of it.  I do know at least I was obedient. 

Mark 16:17-18 (ESV)
And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

            Christians, me included have spent too long being afraid of being ‘that guy’ instead of seeing that there is a lost and dying world that is desperate for a supernatural touch from God.  If we as believers refuse to take it to them, then how will they ever know?

            I am making it a new commitment.  While I’m not turning into ‘that guy’ I do want to learn to stay more open when I’m in public.  If God tells me to pray for someone, I do it. Maybe I start a conversation with them on a plane, or just give them a smile then I’m going to endeavor to do it before I can talk myself out of it.  I’m going to see the world in front of me, and dare to open my mouth.  I encourage all of you to do the same.  It’s not about earning a set of ‘steak knives’ but it’s about souls that desperately need Jesus.  If we are to be Jesus on the earth, than isn’t it time we act like it?

            God has awesome plans for your life, and the world around you.  Get excited!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

But It's Easier!

My youngest daughter has wanted to be a paleontologist for several years.  At only age 7 I expect that she’ll change her mind several times over and that’s fine.  We want to give her the freedom to choose and be whatever she feels God is leading her in life.  We’ve tried to encourage her love of dinosaurs through various ways; even by last years ‘Dinosaur Dig Birthday Party.’  So when she came home several months ago suddenly declaring she wanted to be a ‘Jewelry Designer’, I was a little bit sad that the paleontology phase of her life had ended.  I didn’t question it much, but tried to think of ways I could encourage her in this.

It’s amazing what parents can learn about their children in long car rides.  On our way up to Windsor Canada from Central Ohio a few weeks ago, somehow the conversation got shifted to my daughter and this sudden shift to ‘Jewelry Designer’.

“Mom, it’s my choice.”

“Sweetie, I’m not saying you can’t do this.   I’m just curious why you decided you’d rather be a jewelry designer versus a paleontologist?”

“Well, I have to go to school a long time to be a paleontologist.  I don’t want to be in school that long.”  We were the one that told her she’d have to get her PhD to go into paleontology.  I guess she had been listening.  “It’s my choice mom!”  She started to get really defensive.

“It is your choice,” I was trying not to laugh from the front seat as I yelled to the back, “However, don’t ever make a choice in life over what you want to do based on ease.  If something is important to you, then it’s worth taking the effort.”  I wasn’t sure she’d really heard me.  She was so quick to defend herself.  I ended it with a quick, “As long as you’re doing what you feel God has for you, then go for it, no matter what it is.”  The conversation continued onto something else.  However I noticed in the next few days, she suddenly swayed back to paleontology.  Though I figure it’ll probably change again, I hope she doesn’t make any major life choices based on ease.

Many people do this in their own life.  They think they know what God has called them to do, suddenly start doing it and realize that it may be too hard.  They start compromising, justifying to themselves that it’s their choice, and before they know it they are far from where they knew they were supposed to be life.  They are miserable and upset at God, when really it was the choices they made.

Proverbs 12:27 (MSG) A lazy life is an empty life, but “early to rise” gets the job done.

            Never be afraid to put in some good hard work in life.  Lazy people aren’t ones that create legacies.  They aren’t ones that reach their destiny.  Putting hard work into something on faith is hard.   I know.  I am the girl that is working on my 19th book, and 18 of those are unpublished.  I get it’s a challenge to constantly put in hard work and not know when the payout is coming.  But you can’t quit because you’d rather take the easy way.  You can’t stop just because you’re lazy.  You have to dig deep and push harder.  There is still value in hard work and the payout will be greater than you can imagine.  I would rather get to heaven one day and be able to say to God, “I did everything I knew to do.” rather than get there and say, “Yea, I just didn’t want to put for the effort.”

            What are you avoiding starting to work towards today?  Are you in the midst of the battle and wanting to quit?  Are you tired of not seeing the pay out that you have believed would be there one day and it hasn’t happened yet?

Galatians 6:9 (ESV) “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

            Reach for your destiny, work hard, and refuse to quit! 

            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Don't Fight God's Dream, Learning from Dr. King


Yesterday after church my girls, Dan and I sat around the table eating chili and talking with my oldest daughter about her future.  She was telling us about some dreams she’d had, and we were trying to instruct her as best any parents could. 

Without thinking much about what I was saying I responded to her, “Let me give you a piece of advice that I wish someone would have told me regarding the destiny on your life.  Don’t fight it.  The earlier you accept what God is doing, hook into it, the more He can do through you and the less you’ll be miserable in the process.”  I remember that while I probably fought the call of God on my life less than most, I had some moments that I really wasted time fighting.  People may want to argue this point with me.  Didn’t God give us free will?  What are we just pawns on his big game board? 

My answer to that is both yes and no.  God did give us free will but he created us for purpose.  If we’re not hooked into that purpose it affects our life and those around us.  Fight against what God has already given us the grace and ability to do get frustrating.  It’s like you’re a puzzle piece constantly trying to fit where you just were never meant to fit.  (Jer 29:11)

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Honestly he is one of my hero’s in both faith and in life.  This morning I realized that he was only 39 when he was killed.  For a man who was only 39, what an amazing legacy he left.  His dream continues to echo for generations.  I believe that His dream was God’s dream.  As a minister on the earth, he did so much more than just preaching from a pulpit, but he stood up for righteousness.  That pebble dropped in the water continues to ripple around the globe.  Truthfully I’m sure he fought the call of God at moments in his life.  I think we all have.  But for accomplishing what he did in 39 short years, he couldn’t have fought long.  He hooked up with God’s plan, and made history.

Wrestling with God will just cause long sleepless nights.  Jacob tried to do this, and he walked with a limp the rest of his life.  Grin.  (Please no emails or comments arguing this point.  I get it; you can look at this account in Genesis various ways.)

Whatever God has called you to do, might I give you the same advice I just gave to my daughter?  Don’t fight it, embrace it.  Don’t be stupid, get godly counsel and wisdom.  Don’t run from it, but run to it.  There just isn’t time for wasted time.  Your life is a vapor. While it’s up to you how you use it, submit to God’s plans and use it wisely.

Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

15 Years later, Am I happy?


This weekend marks a milestone anniversary date in my life.  I met Dan 15 years ago this Friday.  I’d traveled 3 hours in  the snow to spend a weekend with a different guy that I was dating.  As shocking as the story is, many of you have heard it.  I met Dan because he was my ex-boyfriends roommate, and that ex at the time was debatable.  It was a real life version of Rick Springfield’s song, “I wish I had Jesse’s girl.” I suppose.  The how’s all that came about is kind of a long story that if you haven’t heard, either ask me, or I’ll save it for another time.  It’s one of those divinely orchestrated “How they met” stories that seems like something straight out of a sitcom.  The picture attached was taken about a month after we met.

Earlier this week I was thinking about this pseudo anniversary date, and a conversation I’d had with my ex before we ended, was brought to my memory.  He’d asked me once if I was happy and my response then was something that startled him. I pray wherever he is in his life he’s come to understand it.

“Yes, I am.  I may be frustrated at circumstances in my life.  But I am happy because Jesus makes me happy.”  I realize that this may sound simplistic to some.  We were just na├»ve college kids filled with hopes and dreams.  We’d been discussing the frustrations of life.  Responding to that question had really made me think at the time.  Circumstances do not dictate my happiness. 

As I was reflecting on this conversation, I’d had with him all those years ago I got to thinking how I would respond to that today.  While some circumstances have changed in my life, others I am still pushing through.  15 years later: I have a husband God designed for me and I love incredibly, 2 gorgeous daughters who we are endeavoring to raise in the Lord, and a few people have read my books so that’s awesome.  However similarly to where I was 15 years ago, I can still find myself frustrated that I’m not further professionally, I still get those turndowns, and I’m still endeavoring to do what I feel God has placed me to do.    I can remember my grandmother telling me that with life, “Ann it’s always something.”  The older I’m getting the more I realize she was right.  No matter how good my life seems to be there will always be circumstances or something that I may not be thrilled with.  However to answer the question am I still happy 15 years later. . .yes, I am because Jesus makes me happy.

Too many people live their lives allowing situations and circumstances to dictate to them their level of happiness, yet they wonder why they are always so miserable.  While yes situations can affect happiness if you let it, deep down you have to realize that your happiness is with God.  You’re success in life is not an outward appearance but an internal thing with God.

Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.

Paul learned that no matter what happened in his life that God would be with him.  He learned that He could do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  It didn’t matter if he was going through a trial.  He just knew that He was in Christ and that was someway going to make him the victor in any situation.  No matter what you are going through today, you have a choice.  Choose life.  Choose Happiness.  The pursuit of happiness is already found through Jesus, you just need to live it. 

So as Dan and I giggle at the orchestration of our 15th year together (our 14th wedding anniversary isn’t until March) I’ll remind myself of all blessings God has given me in life.  While my life may not be perfect, I can without a doubt say, “Yes, I am happy.”

Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mojo vs. Rat Poison

Last week while we were in the North, we took our dog Mojo with us.  However when we headed for Canada, for a whole list of reasons, we left our little mini doxie with my parents in Ohio.  My parents love dogs and leaving him with them is a no brainer.  Mojo has fun with them, and I think they enjoy him too.

My parents usually have bigger dogs and haven’t had a puppy or a small dog in their house in years (unless you count the week Mojo stayed there in the summer).  My mom totally forgot that she had rat poisoning behind the bed.  It had been sitting there for years.  In her defense what animal other than a rat would seriously fit or go back there.  I would have forgotten about it too (Mojo only weights 12 lbs).

Mojo found the rat poisoning.  It was an innocent dog thing that could have easily killed him.   I am so grateful that my mom heard him chewing on it.  I am so grateful that she thought of getting him to puke right away, and I am so grateful that though she ended up in a pet ER at midnight 45 minutes away from their house it seems that all was caught early enough that he will be okay.  We have to give him Vitamin K for the rest of the month as a precaution.  He’s doing well.

After I learned of this I couldn’t help fighting with a bit of sadness.  I’m glad he’s okay, but Mojo has become a member of our family.  We looked so hard to find the right dog for us, that I can’t imagine anything happening to him.  When we got him it felt as if he was a divine gift to all of us.  Call me a sappy pet parent, but he’s our buddy.

As I contemplated all of this I began to think about how many of us have things in our lives, “our homes per se” that we forget about, and has the potential to poison and kill the gifts or plans God has given us.  Think about it for a moment, and it’s not even a stretch.  How many of us have past hurts and regrets and we won’t do the things God told us to do because of the old voices echoing in our minds.  How many of us have poisoned our own destinies with our own fears and doubts. 

In the Jewish tradition they have a day were they go throughout the house cleaning it and searching for anything with yeast in it.  This is part of Passover. 

I believe we need to do this in our own lives regularly.  I’m not talking about cleaning out your house (I mean yes, do that too) but I’m talking about your house.  Your body is a temple of the Lord’s.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  Don’t let anything that could poison what God wants to bless you with to stay.  Don’t let anything poison your destiny.  Seek out those things and deal with them before they cause harm to your future.  What past baggage you have in your past doesn’t have to come with you for your future.

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Driving Through Snowmaggedon


The last few weeks my family and I spent traveling.  We were in Marion, OH for a week and Windsor Canada for a week.  Last Thursday, though we’d tried to make this appointment for my husband in Columbus, OH while we were staying in Marion, Dan had a meeting in Columbus.  The original plan was to get up early on Thursday, cross the border and drive the 4 hours, have the meeting and drive back.  We knew that would be stretching it, and in perfect driving conditions it would have worked. 

However the weather had different plans.  My parents heard that the weather was supposed to be bad, so Dan and I left the girls in Canada on Wednesday, spent the night in Marion and drove to Columbus the next morning.  Driving to Columbus that morning was okay until we got into the city.  The snow had already started and there was too much traffic.  I was the one driving and I was already close to tears by the time we got to our destination. 

We weren’t sure if we were going to stay in Marion that night or make the drive back to Canada.  Though it was snowing it didn’t seem too bad.  We’d be on the highways. . . how bad could it get….Really?  We could just drive back to Canada that night.  All would be well.

I am not a screaming-freaking-out-squealing-girlie-girl.  If I see a bug it won’t make me cry.  Honestly, I consider myself having very few fears in life.  However, if there would have been an alligator in the back seat of my mom and dad’s Crossover that night, I can honestly say I would have faced every fear I have in life. 

It wasn’t that bad until we were about 30 miles south of Toledo.  I was driving, and suddenly the traffic stopped.  We waited for miles in a slow crawl of traffic only to begin seeing cars that had slid off the road. 

The radio announcer boomed through the sound system, “We want to alert all of you drivers that unless someone is hurt in your vehicle, no one will come for you in your car.  Emergency crews are spread too thin at the moment due to the weather.” 

Even then I’m not sure it occurred to me how bad the weather was the further we inched north, until I tried to stop and the antilock brakes started to vibrate like the tune of a South African drum.  When the traffic allowed for people to drive faster, I saw them try to do so.  Then I’d see them in the ditch up the road.  I clutched to the steering wheel in raw white fear, praying to God.  Every time I thought we could go slightly faster the black ice would fishtail the car.  I suppose at this point I should have let Dan drive.  I honestly didn’t believe he would keep going slowly enough because the black ice was deceiving.  We have friends that live in Toledo.  I almost called them and told them that I was sleeping on their floor, or considered springing for a hotel.  However when I looked at the exits they were filled with snow, and it seemed that we’d get stuck there too.  The most logical choice to me was to keep moving forward.  I have a very big fear of semi-trucks, highway medians, and sliding.  I was facing it all trying to pray and knowing this was not the way I was going to enter into glory.  My children would not be left orphans.

As we left the Toledo area and entered Michigan the roads did get slightly better, but then we had the option do we take the Tunnel to Canada or the bridge.  We’ve usually opted for the bridge but on a perfect day it kind of scares me because it moves while you’re so highly suspended from the water.  It is easier to get off the highway onto it, but I kept thinking that’ll be iced over and there was no where we could go but the Detroit River.  I insisted we go for the Tunnel.  We had a GPS all should be fine.  However, I got off on the wrong turn.  As I almost got stuck in the snow in downtown Detroit as Dan loudly declared, “Don’t stop!” (Downtown Detroit isn’t the safest area after dark, and I was in a luxury crossover in back alleyways, although according to our friend there isn’t nearly as many murders in Detroit in severe cold, so I guess if we’d gotten stuck in the huge snow drift we’d have been okay.)

When we crossed the border into Canada that night, I was on the verge of tears.  It took us about an hour and a half longer to get there than it should.  I know both sets of families were worried.  We should have just stayed in Ohio for the day.  I’m not sure I realized how upset I was until my father-in-law graciously made me a cup of tea, and I sat in my in-law’s kitchen holding back tears. 

I realize that we probably made a stupid mistake by opting to drive.  But I was so grateful that even in our stupid choice God was still with us. 

Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Isn’t it beautiful to know that God’s protection, guidance, and omnipotence are not based on us?  We are graced for His race.  God is with us even in the midst of our bad choices, fearful moments.  Yes, we do have free will, and His will is always better. . .God was with us despite our poor choice.  He is the peace in the storm. 

I believe God was with us that night as we plowed ahead through snow, black ice, and the inner city of Downtown Detroit.    We found out later that I’d made the right call about the bridge.  A friend of a friend had been on that bridge that night and was talking about trucks sliding all over it, and it was the worst sight he’s seen on it. 

God’s hand was on us that night, and it’s on you.  Be still and at peace knowing He sees where you are, loves you in the storm, and is guiding you to His ways.

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Missing Bag That Never Was


 My family got into the airport in Orlando late last night.  In a perfect world it was a good time to arrive and get everyone to bed.  However Snowmaggedeon was supposed to be happening in Ohio, so we weren’t sure if we’d be one of the many travelers stuck in the airport.  We rushed to the airport so my mother could drop us off and wouldn’t be stuck in the snow.  We got delayed (not by much) and through the rush of running, getting two kids and a dog all packed and ready to return south we all made a boo boo. 

When my family and I arrived at the house in FL, we realized we were missing a suitcase.  The only thing we could think of is that it must have gotten left at the airport.  We checked on six bags and left with six, but there was a seventh.  My oldest daughter was missing her suitcase;  filled with her Christmas presents and a load of new clothes that she’d just bought in Canada, the bag was missing.

I rushed back to the airport on my own, only to realize my car was low on gas.  The only place I could have stopped to get gas I’d passed, I took to praying we’d find the suitcase and I’d have enough gas to not be stranded on the side of the road.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to find your suitcase in a sea of other suitcases at midnight.  I don’t recommend it.  Lesson well learned, I think I need to opt for some crazy ribbons on our bags next time.  Bags were skewed in attempted rows, and travelers were searching desperately were everywhere.  The buzz of the airport hung in the air like bees, and a nervous knot hung in by belly like day old bread.  I thought our suitcase would never be found. 

I tried to explain to the airline lady about how we weren’t sure if the bag was ever tagged.  It was late, I was frantic, and though losing it wasn’t the end of the world, I didn’t want to have to come home without it.  Feeling defeated I left the airport with the hopes that someone would turn it in.  I wasn’t very optimistic.  My car got to the gas station on fumes, and I made my way home to a crying 12 year old. 

My daughter is so sweet.  She kept praying that we’d find it.  I’m a woman of faith, but honestly I had more doubt than anything here.  I thought it was gone.  My sweet daughter kept praying, and I kept thinking “God please don’t disappoint her.” But in my head, I wasn’t holding my breath. After calling the baggage people in Columbus, and my midnight swim through the seas of unclaimed in Orlando, I thought it was gone.

This morning my parents called me.  They’d looked through their car not finding the bag too, and I know they thought it was gone.  However when my mom went to her desk, she almost tripped over it.  The bag was never brought to the airport.  It was still there and it has been found.  Thank you God! It will be making its journey down to us later this week, after Snowmaggedeon passes.

It is so easy to get so rushed that you make silly mistakes like this.  When chaos swirls we all forget things, overlook them, and lose sight of our focus.  We have to keep our vision and focus despite crazy circumstances.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)

12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!


I could also easily write this blog about having faith like a child.  My oldest daughter certainly showed her mother up this time. It’s amazing how as adults we can get so jaded, and don’t always believe God or question more than kids do.

Luke 18:17 (ESV)

17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

            Our take home lessons here are to label our suitcases a little better and perhaps not to get so frazzled at the airport.  I’m just glad the bag has been found.  I guess we’ve all lived these kinds of stories.  I hope you can learn and laugh from mine.

            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.