Who is the offender?

order up

order up (Photo credit: circulating)

A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11

My husband and I were dining with another couple at a nice restaurant. When our food was brought out, my entrée was cold and the meat somewhat raw. I called the server over and explained the problem, but was polite and understanding. The couple with us was amazed that I didn’t get all upset and demand satisfaction. I wish I could say that I was always this understanding, but the truth is … sometimes my impatience shows through.

Allowing God’s Spirit to guide us in words and actions will be noticed. It is almost considered normal to demand our rights in this country with no consideration for anyone else. Revenge is on our hearts when we have been offended. We forget for that time span how we have been offensive. The grace of God shown through us says that we know who died for our sin and who put him on the cross. While yet offensive, Christ died for us.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times that I forget what you have done for me. There is no offense against me that measures up to the offense I had against you. You have taken the sting of death away by your grace and mercy. Amen

Faith Tip: If you have been offended or are offended today, look upon the offender as Christ looked at us from the cross.


English: This is an example of the angst cause...

English: This is an example of the angst caused by the use of a telephone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Among my people are the wicked 
    who lie in wait like men who snare birds
    and like those who set traps to catch people. – Jeremiah 5:26

I really get annoyed when I get numerous phone calls from scammers. The latest one had my name and bank name and almost sounded authentic. I’m glad I didn’t give them any account information because I did call the bank afterwards and found out it was fraudulent. I don’t understand how people can do this to others, but obviously it is a reflection of their lack of relationship with God. If they realized how much God hates this and loves them, I think it would stop.

As Christians we do need to be wise in our interactions with people. God has plenty of wisdom to share among us, all we need to do is ask for it. He gives generously from his stock. King Solomon asked for wisdom and he was considered the wisest man on earth. Whose knowledge should we depend on … our own or Gods?

Prayer: You are the creator of wisdom, Lord, and I pray that I can wise in all I do today. Guide and direct me to the plans set forth for me. Amen

Faith Tip: Begin the day asking for wisdom before anything happens. If things happen, ask for more wisdom to maneuver through it.

Only one can be last

Planning Meeting

Planning Meeting (Photo credit: Digitalnative)

Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.” – Luke 13:30

I met with a writer friend last night to discuss a workshop we will be giving at Maranatha Christian Writers Conference. We both feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to share what we’ve learned with others. We know that it’s not about us at that conference, but about what God is doing.

In being a servant, there are occasions where we strive to be last and help others, and then God will turn that around and put us at the front of the line, but it is for his glory and purpose that we obediently go there. It is always a benefit to help others … not only does it feel good, but there is a purpose in it. The cycle of serving needs to be modeled to reproduce.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the times you allow me to serve. They are rich moments in my life. Your purpose shines through as I join you in what you are doing. Amen

Faith Tip: Race to be last. Consider first how you can serve rather than be served.

High beam life

 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another… – 1 John 1:7

There is a special connection for me when I gather with a group of folks that are like-minded in Christ. They are on a Jesus journey like I am. That bonding comes to life every time we gather. I make an intentional choice to be with these people for they bless me as I hope I bless them. I recently made a 2 ½ hour trip to attend the funeral of a friend’s husband. I had never met the husband, but the connection of the friend made it a choice I really didn’t have to think about. I was not the only one who thought like this. Many from that same group traveled just as far if not further to attend. That’s the family of Christ in action.

Walking in the light of Christ doesn’t mean just wearing a Christian nametag. It means being active in your relationship with Christ. This naturally spills over to those who walk in the same light. Whenever those who walk in light gather, the high beams are on for Jesus. Those not walking in the light take notice. They desire something like that for themselves. They are being drawn to Jesus with the light.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the people of light that I walk with in this journey. I pray that the light you show through me will draw others closer to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Live life with the high beams on.

Hang on to the rope

Climber repelling Rooster Rock in the Menageri...

Climber repelling Rooster Rock in the Menagerie Wilderness, Willamette National Forest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

It always amazes me when I speak to someone who has been through so many trials, and yet has a beautiful disposition. The people I interview many times have a story to tell, but usually it is on the other side of a challenging time in their life. Whether it is the death of someone close, substance abuse, physical abuse, health issues or other, the journey is the story. 

It would be easy to succumb to the trials and become weary and bitter if we lean on our own strength. This is not to say that Christians do not struggle or are lost at parts of their journey, but I do think that God continually reaches out to impart his strength in those who are hurting. It’s grabbing on to the rope God tosses us and pulls us out of the pit. This takes a step of faith … especially at those times when nothing makes sense. To God, it makes perfect sense and the work he is doing in each one of us is producing a beautiful and strong servant of the Lord who looks a bit like Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the work you do in my heart. I pray that I will not succumb to what the world brings, but to rely on my faith in you for getting me through the challenges in life stronger and better than before. Amen

Faith Tip: Are you struggling today? If not, you most likely will be soon. Look to God for direction. Stand on the foundation of faith to help you persevere.  

Acting foolish

The Court Jester Oil on panel, signed with mon...

The Court Jester Oil on panel, signed with monogram, bears inscribed label for the Dundee Fine Art Exhibition, 1877, attached opt the reverse, 23.7x15.5cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18

As I watch a squirrel bringing food and other treasures to a secret hiding place (by our garden) and bury it, I wonder how foolish this storage place is that he has chosen. Everyone can see it. All the animals can watch where he is storing his meals. Why would he choose such a place? It seems foolish to me. I then remember that the squirrels are always back each year surviving the cold winter weather. They must have survived on the food they stored away, and perhaps have carried it to their nest high in the tree when I wasn’t watching.

In preparing for heaven, Christians are often thought of being foolish in obeying Christ. They are known for helping people who many think don’t deserve it, giving away food, money and other necessities, and going out of their way to share the gospel truth … sometimes to other countries.

Like the squirrel knew what he was doing, we also know that the goal we work towards is a heavenly one that we already have. Why do we need to do these things if we already have salvation? It seems foolish, but it is our response to the love God has shown us. We know we are growing and maturing in our faith through the power of God as it is manifested in us. God knows what he is doing.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for the power of the cross. I pray that your power will be displayed through me today to those who think it foolish. Amen

Faith Tip: Be “foolish” for Jesus today. Follow and obey.

All together now

West Michigan Word Weavers Writers Retreat

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God‘s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. – 1 John 3:18-20 The Message

Writers know and understand the hopes and fears of other writers. That’s why it is great to be part of a writer’s group. We can share our struggles in the craft and know others have experienced the same thing. Writers can share their hopes and dreams and together, we can work towards those goals. Traveling the journey together is the important part. If we are alone in the journey, the focus becomes us. In a group, even though we may fall short in the business one way or another, we don’t need to only focus on that. We can help and encourage others, which in turn, helps ourselves.

The Christian journey is the same in that although we fall short of God’s glory, we don’t need to focus on that and become locked up in moving forward. In walking together and sharing our lives with one another, truly living in community, we can focus on the love of God given to us in abundance and experienced through his people. This is truly living.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the community you have put me in. I pray that I show them love and help them to your glory and honor. Amen

Faith Tip: Who is in your community? Share in the blessings of traveling the journey of life together. It may start with a cup of coffee.