Today’s Bread ~ Challenge Flag

13 Jan

Isaiah 43:25 – “I – yes, I alone – am the one who blots out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.  Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case if you have one.”

Aside from his God and his family, my husband lives for one thing and one thing alone.  Football season.

From February to August, Mike tracks scouting and recruiting.  He eagerly anticipates training camp, and he counts down the days to the first preseason game.  While everyone else watches dismissively, Mike is eyeing and evaluating the new players and the play calling.  The first home game of the season is treated with the same reverence as Christmas and Easter.

To avoid a widow-like state during these months, I have allowed my husband to educate me on the finer points of  football, and even found myself becoming a bona fide fan.

One thing that delights me beyond measure is the theology that I’ve discovered along the way.  Football provides some marvelous Biblical analogies.  Allow me to present one now.

Consider the challenge flag. (more…)

Today’s Bread ~ The Chain Reaction

22 Dec

Hosea 6:6 – I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.  I want you to know God; that’s more important than burn offerings.

I am so selfish.

Really, I am.  And don’t try to convince me I’m not.  I know my heart, and it’s selfish.

Allow me to explain.

My Sunday school class has adopted a family from Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church in south Dallas.  Sunlight is a small but Spirit filled building, complete with bars on the windows and doors.  Visit on a summer day and you’ll notice the absence of an air conditioner.  But every Sunday morning the congregation faithfully gathers to hear the hope and encouragement of Christ given by Pastor Ed.

As a Christmas mission, my class gathered funds and donations to bring the faithful patrons bags full of gifts and necessities.  Last Saturday, several of them (not me) caravanned south to deliver presents and packages to families in need.  Unfortunately, one little boy was left out.

Moved with compassion, my dear friend Starla led the charge to put together a goody-bag for the devastated child.

Yesterday, I, along with my children and two members of the class (we’ll call them Mike and Kathy), delivered the gifts.

I almost didn’t go.

Hosea 6:3 – “Oh, that we might know the LORD!  Let us press on to know Him!  Then He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

An e-mail went out a few days ago calling all-hands-on-deck to help pass out gifts.  I’m working this week at 90.9 KCBI, filling in for morning show co-host Terri Barrett.  But In spite of my schedule, I was available to go.  I knew I should go.  I knew it would be good to take my kids.  I just didn’t want to go. (more…)

Today’s Bread ~ Waterskiing

15 Dec

Isaiah 64:4 – For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for Him!

My big, crazy family takes a vacation together every summer, and it’s something that I look forward to all year. Mike and I, along with Caitlyn and Nick, my parents, my two sisters, their two husbands and their collective five children rent a house that sits on picturesque Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees in Jay, Oklahoma. My sweet grandmother has joined us twice, putting the total number of bodies in the house at one time at seventeen.

The house is a stone’s throw from the marina, so at our disposal are jet skis, paddle boats, pontoons, tubes, and a speed boat. This morning, as I was trying to patiently wait on the Lord, I was reminded of the speed boat.

I first learned to waterski in college. I’ve only done it a handful of times since then, but it’s like riding a bike. Once you get the feel for it, you have it.

As I was trying to teach some family members the sport last summer, I realized how counter-intuitive waterskiing really is. Everything in you wants to pull yourself up, but in order to skip along the surface of the lake you have to let the boat pull you. You are an active participant in the activity, but it’s not your strength that you are skiing in, it’s the boat’s.

(more…)

Today’s Bread ~ Gas Station

1 Dec

James 4:7-8a – So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.  Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.

I had a powerful experience this morning.  After two nights of going to bed at 8pm, my eyes popped wide open at 4:27.  After debating for a moment as to whether or not to leave the comfort of my bed, I carefully extracted myself and went downstairs.

Candles lit, Bible in hand, journal open and pen at the ready, I was eager to spend some quality time with the Lord when He stopped me in my tracks.

Indulge me to back up a bit, if I may.

To my delight, I’ve had several projects fall in my lap at the same time.  I’m leading a women’s retreat next month, and for the first time, teaching a Bible study authored by yours truly at a church other than my own.  After that, several speaking engagements, along with a semi-local conference tour and two more retreats.

I’ve been researching material around the clock and writing anytime I can squeeze a moment in between wife and mom priorities.  As a result, strangely, I’ve found myself drifting from God.

It’s interesting the way you can study God.  I believe we see evidence of Him everywhere – in nature and in others. You can read about Him, ponder Him, analyze Him, write about Him, and talk about Him.  But unless I am coming to Him on a daily, sometimes hourly basis for guidance, comfort, and companionship, I am not filled by Him.

Here in the Bible belt, it’s a popular prayer to be “filled by the Holy Spirit.”  “Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, O God.”  I hear it every Sunday in church, and I pray it every time I bend the knee to my Father. This morning, God showed me that I am going about it the wrong way.

Luke 6:46 – Afterward He went up into the hills by Himself to pray.

Imagine you are on a road trip, and the needle on your gas gauge is resting in the red.  You know you have but a mile or two before running out of fuel.  Meanwhile, every exit has a gas station.  “Fill me, O Lord,” you cry out, zipping along at 70 miles per hour.  (more…)

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