Change of plans

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Are you a planer? I am, I plan everything. I have my whole day mapped out in my head within five minutes of waking up. I’m in the right turning lane 3 miles before my turn. I’m scanning out the best exit to the parking lot as I’m pulling into it. I’ve got my stuff in my truck the night before I’ve got to be somewhere the next day. Should I point out that I don’t do spontaneity very well? It irks me to have things crop up that I didn’t plan. Makes me downright annoyed. The problem with my plan loving self…life just doesn’t stick with the plan most of the time. Have you noticed?? That means one of two things. It means I’m going to spend most of my life in a bad mood, because stuff happened that was not in my self-engineered plan. Or it means, at some … Continue reading

Christmas Changes Everything

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This little child’s chorus has been stuck in my head for the last few days. Such a simple concept. Christ is all I need. Such a contradiction to the voices clamoring all around us, shouting to us that we need a fatter paycheck, better stuff, higher social status, sleeker physique, a more stylish wardrobe, perfect family life, exceptional talents, and enviable achievements…all just to be happy and fulfilled. Unfortunately most of those things come with undesirable side affects that contribute little in the way of happiness. There is a hungry spot in every heart that only Christ can fill. Stuff can’t comfort a heavy heart, money can’t buy peace. Achievements won’t bring lasting happiness, someone much better than me will be along shortly. Christmas really did change everything for the world, God’s great love for us provides us a way to find all we’ll ever need…in Him. Christ is All … Continue reading

Thankful Much? Thankful for what exactly?

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You know, there’s this little verse in the Bible that goes something like this, “In everything give thanks.” That’s sound just so nice, doesn’t it? It’s nice to be thankful for my food, and my house, and my health, and my family, and my…. you get the point. But that whole “everything” part…that can get kind of tricky when you really stop to think about it. Thankful for everything? You mean the “everything” that includes toddlers that throw tantrums in the middle of grocery stores…and the dirty foot prints all over the freshly mopped floor…and that extra bill I wasn’t expecting in the mail…and that snooty person who just made me feel really bad….you mean that “everything”??? I’m afraid I don’t much care for that idea myself. Ask me how I feel after I’ve had a day of the sky opening up and raining mud and frogs on my entire … Continue reading

Home Maintenance vs House Maintenance

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I spend a good deal of my time working on this old house of mine. The reason it needs so much attention is pretty simple…lack of upkeep. I’ve walked through probably a hundred or more houses combining all the times we’ve house shopped…and I have never once walked into a well kept house and thought, “Hmmm, this house could do with a little more neglect. It smells a little too fresh and it’s a tad too tidy.” I’ve walked through plenty that I couldn’t get out of fast enough! Plain and simple, you just don’t get rotted out walls, cockroaches littering the floor, and busted pipes, because you’ve taken good care of things. Most of us see our houses and our cars as things of value…we take care of them, because they cost a lot of money to replace. They are our status symbols, they represent us, and much thought … Continue reading

Greenhouses and Holidays

I grew up living fifty feet away from a cactus nursery that my family owned. My childhood memories all revolve around cacti, greenhouses, and lots of hard work. We lived down a long dirt road in a double wide trailer across from a cow field. Not 100 yards from our back door was little lake with our green canoe slid up on the shore. On a hot summer day you could usually see an alligator snout drifting by, and hear the soft swoosh of the cattails rustling in the breeze. A weathered old wood fence separated our house from the business with a gate that creaked lazily when you opened it and slammed shut behind you. Neat rows of fiberglass and glass greenhouses stretched out from the fence, filled to brim with every sort of cactus you can imagine. Those greenhouses are where I learned all about work, every Saturday, … Continue reading

6 Reasons to pick up a book and read it

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In a world of a thousand and one distractions, from cell phones to tablets, why should I hit the “off” button every now and then and read a book? Why should I bother making my kids sit down for 30 minutes and look a book? Why invest the time when there is so many other things to do? What good is a book anyway? Before we banish books off to the land of the archaic, let’s consider what good might be done if we actually read one. Reading a book teaches me to apply myself mentally to one task for a specific period of time. It requires self discipline to focus on one thing for a set time. There is no commercial break every 30 seconds in a book to relieve my attention. I must concentrate and focus, one chapter at a time. “But I just don’t have time to … Continue reading

Do you understand it?

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Understanding that God chooses to love me, on purpose, without any requirements, without any limits, is truly life changing.  I can always have joy, because God loves me. My future is secure, because God loves me. I will always have a purpose for today, because God loves me. Do you know how much God loves you? The love of God is greater far Than tongue or pen can ever tell; It goes beyond the highest star, And reaches to the lowest hell; The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win; His erring child He reconciled, And pardoned from his sin. O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure The saints’ and angels’ song. When years of time shall pass away, And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall, When men, who here refuse to pray, On rocks and hills … Continue reading

Giving my kids the good life, or is it so good?

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We all want our kids to have a better life than we had growing up. Even if you had a great child hood, I think it’s an idea that just comes naturally to everyone. I wonder though, if that goal is really doing more to harm our kids than help them. Take birthday’s for an example. When I was a child, we didn’t have Pinterest perfect birthday parties with cupcakes flawlessly matching the hand constructed pendent banner complete with a table creaking under the weight of gifts…a scene which seems to be the norm for children now. Did I suffer from it? Did I feel deprived as a child? Not exactly, I adored my birthday! I had a homemade cake, and usually one gift from each member of my immediate family. If I was especially lucky, Grandma and Grandpa would send me a few dollars. Birthday’s were looked forward to … Continue reading

10 Practical Ways to Show Love to a Perfect Stranger

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Why should I want to bother with showing love to a stranger anyway? Two very simple reasons come to mind immediately. First, my little girls are watching me, they will learn how to treat other people by how I treat other people. Second, my main purpose in life is to honor God and point people to Him….the best way to do that is to show His love to them. So, I guess I should hand out sloppy hugs to everyone I see then? Uh no, not exactly. That wouldn’t be awkward at all. Very practically speaking, here are ten ways I can very easily show love to another human being whom I have never met and probably will never see again….but who may be forever touched by a stranger’s momentary gesture. Use people’s names. People love to hear their own name, it’s the highest form of flattery. It shows you care … Continue reading

The Little Red Hen – the modern way

In light of the recent events in our national news, I’ve been contemplating more than ever what effects selfish behavior and the lack of moral responsibility can have on a nation. Most of us will never have a very large voice in affecting society, however, most of us can directly speak for the choices our own families make. There are two major concepts I want my girls to learn. If they never learn anything else from me, I hope they learn this…You are directly accountable to God for the choices you make, and you are personally responsible for your own choices. I do not ever wish to debase them into being my parrot, or enable them to flounder through life by allowing them to cling to excuses. I came across this little children’s story, re-written to highlight the importance of individual responsibility. I hope you will enjoy it, and be … Continue reading