some thoughts on faith

What a total honor to share with my church family – can I just say that we have some of the coolest people in the world at our church?  Its rewarding to serve Jesus with them!  So on Sun, we talked about faith & I thought I’d share a few things you might want to consider in relation to faith:

Faith certainly tells us what the senses do not, but not the contrary of what they see; it is above, not against them.                        Blaise Pascal


Rom 5:1,  “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  NKJV


Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.  ~J.R.R. Tolkien


Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.  ~Ramona C. Carroll


Rom 4:19-21,  “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.    NKJV


In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.  ~Blaise Pascal

Faith enables persons to be persons because it lets God be God.  ~Carter Lindberg


Rom 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.         NKJV


Faith can move mountains, but don’t be surprised if God hands you a shovel.  Unk author


Heb 4:2,  “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.                     NKJV


Faith makes the discords of the present the harmonies of the future.  ~Robert Collyer


James 2:16-18,  “If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.        NIV


May your faith in God grow every day!




power tool follow up

As a quickie side note to the earlier forgiveness power tool blog – here’s a bit more food for thought.  My personal experience with this forgiveness stuff is that I usually sense God leading me to speak on this topic & then often a day or two before I’m going to speak on forgiveness, I have the opportunity to really practice what I’m planning to share related to forgiveness.  Often someone says or does something that really gets to me a day or so before I get to speak about forgiveness, thereby accomplishing a few things:  practice what I’m going to be speaking on, helps keep the message real & gritty on a personal level, etc.

skill_drillI’m saying all of this because I’m planning to share about forgiveness this upcoming Wed & as I’ve been thinking of it & my previous experiences, gees, this makes me jittery.  Unlike you, generally I don’t get really excited about the opportunity to work on forgiveness – wink.  So, I’m taking a deep breath & getting myself in the forgiveness mindset, rather than slipping into turtle mode & pulling into my protective shell. 

As for how this could relate to you, consider those occassions, situations, various people with whom you may interface that have a high potential forgiveness quotient & get yourself ready so that when the occassion comes up to forgive, you’re ready & not shocked & then having to make a sudden choice.

skil – more than a powertool

I talked w one of my friends recently & she had just finished putting in a doggie door, using power tools & feeling very empowered.  You could hear in her voice that she felt very fulfilled by this accomplishment – power to the people!  😉

Here’s a useful power tool for the holidays (family occassions, work parties, etc) – forgiveness & yes, this takes skill.  I say this because it takes work to get skilled in forgiveness & most of the time, we’d prefer to avoid this kind of work or skill development.  In Greek, the word for forgiveness also means to leave (or we would say, “drop it”), with the idea of not returning to whatever has been left behind.  Its easy, but not always constructive, to revisit past hurts (or to be reminded of them over the holidays).  Please be careful that such visits don’t trap you in the quagmire of unforgiveness.  The walls close in really fast when we make the quick & easy decision to not forgive.  This path is suffocating.  Make the choice to forgive & grow this skill.  Forgiveness is an essential powertool for life – may you have the power & wisdom to forgive through Jesus’ death & resurrection!

marching toward thanksgiving

Thankfully, this year, I’m not making a turkey & everyone says, “whew!”  So in all of my free time, here are a few things floating around – my food for thought:

  • listening to Reece discuss potential ski purchases
  • snuggling w Benji
  • passed my greek quiz tonight
  • some of my friends are really hurting – I feel this very deeply
  • looking forward to riding this week
  • I want to dream about Jesus tonight
  • computer frustrations I think I finally solved
  • began working on beatitudes book – takes me to great depths. 

Here’s a closing thought – be God’s child by imitating Him. 🙂

live beyond average

gmortensonI just finished a very powerful book – Three Cups of Tea  (Jolene loaned it to me).  Gees, what a read.  I’m still reeling from it & I’ve kind of dreamt about it over the last few nights.  This is a true life story about a guy who builds schools in VERY rural areas of Pakistan & Afghanistan, over the last 15 or so years.  His goal is to promote peace through building schools.  Some of the things that keep knocking me sideways are his findings about the importance of educating girls – lowering infant mortality rates, improving clean water usage & overall hygiene improvements, thereby improving quality of life, among many other things. 

The guy who does this, Greg Mortenson, isn’t some high power, sophisticated, ultra shiney & socially connected guy.  From the book, it sounds like he’s more comfy chillin in a rural Pakistani village than snuggling up w American comforts & social imperatives.  He’s made a MASSIVE difference – what a motivator.  Reading this book really pushes my heart into God to follow His lead in this life to make a difference. 

Have you read anything lately that calls you to greatness beyond yourself?  🙂

God applause

applauseIn an effort to help us give God some applause & to get in the thankful mode, let me give you a few things for which I’m thankful & then give you the opportunity to leave a comment with some things you’re thankful for.  I’m thankful for:

  • God’s love for me – this year has been thoroughly mind blowing in experiencing His love
  • getting to go to Ethiopia – a long-time dream come true;  this was a real honor for me
  • family – always keeping you on your toes or knees depending on what’s happening
  • encouragement & support – lots of folk saying & doing cool things
  • friends – this year has been somewhat of a long-needed breakthrough for me in this area
  • greek – how cool that I’ve had the opportunity to grow & learn in studying the Bible!
  • health – can I just tell you that I have biceps?  I couldn’t tell I had these until this year!  Health is also useful for:  snowboarding, travelling, keeping up w the kids, thinking & much more
  • prayer – what a majestic adventure

That’s a start for me.  What are some things you’re thankful for?  Maybe the rest of us could get some ideas from you! 🙂

could use a little prayer

Happy day to you!  Hope life is groovy & grand for you in this 24 hour gift.  🙂

Mom & I have tv taping today & it has the potential to be somewhat intense.  We’ll be talking about the end times, a topic mom is quite good at & I’m still in the “learning to bake chicken” phase of this topic (see the back in the kitchen post from last week).  So if that didn’t make any sense to you, let’s simplify & suffice it to say “please pray for us today for TV taping to go smoothly & have Jesus’ presence on it.” 

Gracias, vielen dank, spaceba, xie xie, merci, . . . .!

some thoughts to digest

Here’s some things I’ve been thinking of lately:

  • I want to start writing books again – this has been on pause since I jumped into Greek
  • uncertainty can be debilitating or exciting (fear would be the debilitating slant, trusting God would be the exciting version)
  • I had a bad pho experience – my 1st one
  • temptation could be a God desire filtered through a fleshy prism
  • I can make a really tastey homemade pumpkin pie that’s not too hard!
  • different people affect me different ways – this realization is very healthy for me as I used to be a really detached person
  • I’m ongoingly amazed by the goodness of God, including His patience
  • I’ve got Greek tomorrow night & need to make a decision about what to do next semester
  • I’ve been sensing God around me more – this is great because it raises my awareness of my need for Him more blatantly

May God speak to you today such that you hear & understand Him well.  🙂

a day

I like Saturdays because they are often good fam times.  This morning, everyone kind of slept in, praise Jesus.  We had a low key breakfast for the kids because they just wanted cereal – yea!  For me, I made chiliqueles (its like nachos w fried eggs) – absolutely one of my TOTAL favorites & it was fantastic!!  The kids chilled out in their rooms & I started a study on forgiveness – there are like 3 different words (sin, transgression, debt) that Jesus discusses the need for forgiveness.  I’m interested to see where this goes. 

I also got to work out for the 1st time in like 2 weeks, came home, watched man vs wild w the fam & I’m now planning to go make dinner for our fam & the Picones.  The dinner will be:  ribeyes, salad, grilled veggies & homemade pumpkin pie & homemade butterscotch pie – yum!!  So that’s it!  Come on over, we’ll have fun! 😉

what I liked about this day

From time to time, I think its a healthy exercise to think about all the good things in a day – keeps me thankful, hopeful & positive (all good things to have / be).  So here are some things:

  • coming in to wake up Isabell & seeing her sprawled like she used to sleep as a baby
  • Reece making the kids’ breakfast & lunch (he does this almost everyday and its wonderful!)
  • getting to do traffic today at the kids’ school (aka crossing guard).  I did the cross walk so I get to say “hi” to lots of friends and people.  🙂
  • thinking about Jesus’ words about forgiveness after the Lord’s Prayer in Matt 6 – He’s a big forgiveness promoter.  Gee, I wonder why?!?!?
  • a GREAT parent / teacher conference w 1 of Benji’s teachers – he’s brilliant and she thinks so too.  Its so pleasant when we all agree  😉
  • reading the Cat in the Hat to Benji
  • having pho, eggrolls & avacadoe boba for lunch w a friend (how do you spell avacadoe?)
  • having some solitude & quiet to myself this afternoon at the house – an extremely RARE treat!
  • walking to pick up and walk home w David & Bell – great conversations & hang out time together
  • making a healthy dinner for my family & having a great family time together
  • bedtimes – see nice to read, snuggle, cuddle and be
  • Reece is going skiing tomorrow.  He bought a helmet & he keeps asking me these questions about how its supposed to fit – my clueless answers are only seeming to make him ask more questions to which I know not the answers.  I’m very HAPPY he’s wearing a helmet now.  No details necessary.  🙂