Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Thought Counts - But the Gifts Matter

In our Journey for Two article in December's Austin Faith & Family magazine we share a few of our successes and failures when it comes to exchanging gifts. Some years we do better than others. If you are wondering what to give your spouse this year, click on the link and turn to Page 6.

So sorry, Blogger is behaving badly today - You'll have to copy this link into your browser:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Need a Jump-start?

We had to jump start my van three times in one week. Grrr. After the third time I knew we had to get it looked at.

So, I was on my way to Autozone and honestly I was thinking, this errand fits under the “things your husband should do” column. I was on the verge of getting grumpy. Thankfully reality kicked in, because - hello - it’s not like I’m the only one cooking and cleaning and doing laundry at our house. I started thinking about all the things my husband does to help run our household and by the time I got to Autozone I was truly grateful.

Come to find out, my battery was still under warranty so they replaced it for free. It was awesome. They took out the old battery and put the new one in while I waited -such great customer service. I always appreciate that.

Thankfulness kept on rolling in my heart and I thought isn’t it great that whoever designed cars did it in a way that allows for a jump start? Seriously, isn’t that a wonderful feature?

How many tow trucks have you avoided because all you needed was a jump start and you had a friend or even a kind stranger who showed up to help?

I think faith can be that way. We get discouraged. We ask questions. We wonder, where is God in this? Then along comes a friend with a just the boost we need.

Fourteen years ago I was in labor with our first son. We were up all night and this baby was stuck. He wasn’t coming out. (There is a reason why they call it LABOR!) After hours of pushing, my doctor decided that he was going to have to be delivered by cesarean. The hospital staff sent my husband downstairs to the OR to get suited up and they were prepping me for the procedure when we lost the baby’s heartbeat. I was exhausted. I’m not even sure I fully realized what was happening but thankfully my friend Christy was with me. She grabbed my hand and began to pray. Christy was full of the Word of God. She said "Thank you Father that this baby will live and declare the works of the Lord, You will satisfy him with LONG life and show him Your salvation, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead will quicken his little body."

A few minutes later our baby boy was born - all 9 lbs of him!

Is there anyone else who knows what I’m talking about? You were feeling tired or worn out and a friend came along with a scripture or a story or song that lifted you & provided a jump start for your faith? Or maybe you are reading this today and your battery is drained. You feel stuck on the side of the road of life and you don’t know how you are going to keep going.

I got my jumper cables right here!

I want you to know God is faithful. He promised to never leave you. He is right in the middle of whatever is draining you. He is strong and He is loving. He is FULL of compassion. He is a Healer, Redeemer, Savior. He is God With Us. You are never alone!

Praying a little boost of His power will jumpstart your faith right now!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Deserve to Suffer

I have no self control when it comes to potato chips. I crave them. Ruffles. Lays. Target brand Archer Farms Maui Onion Kettle Chips...oh my! That being said, I did it....AGAIN. I ate too many chips and now my tummy hurts. Ugh. I knew when I was eating them that I should stop, but I didn't. I just kept munching on those deliciously salty and perfectly crunchy chips.


I deserve to lay here awake all night while my stomach gurgles and cramps in complaint of my weak character. (Click to Tweet)

That's what we tell ourselves, isn't it? We made another mistake and we are just getting what we deserve. We have to face the consequences. Sometimes, there is no way around it. We do suffer for our poor decisions.

Wondrously, our salvation/our redemption stands in stark contrast to the "way things go." Through Christ we don't get what we know we deserve. We get MERCY. But it doesn't stop there, because we also get what we could never deserve. We get GRACE, unmerited favor and blessing.

We deserve to suffer. But today is a new day! We have fresh, new merciful love, and all-sufficient grace that is more than we could ever need.

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:8-12