Choose Kindness

Choose Kindness

The world doesn’t feel very kind these days. As we read social media posts, we see so much anger and dissension rising up. The sad thing is, we say things online that we would never say to a person’s face. We argue about everything under the sun, and it feels at times that people have forgotten one of the basic rules we learned in kindergarten, to be kind to one another.

In a recent Choose Chat, Laura Pedersen and I discussed how we can make kindness a choice. We can choose to be the hands and feet of Christ by sharing the kindness that Christ modeled for us. Kindness is love in action, and we are called above all else to love.

Yet how do we make that choice come to life? How can we truly be kind in our every day, hectic, jam-packed lives? It’s one thing to say we are going to choose kindness, but how do we practically live that choice out?

I’ve been wrestling with that for a couple of days now. When I read these words in Proverbs, I felt very...

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Holy Spirit in Real Time

Holy Spirit in Real Time

I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. I received a phone call
from a woman from my church who was in extreme crisis. As she shared her
story with me, I could hear the depth of her pain. She relayed in detail the
suicidal thoughts she was having as a result of the years of sexual abuse she
had suffered as a child, and her despair was deep and real and frightening.
My heart broke as I listened to her, but I immediately felt overwhelmed and
unqualified.
 
This conversation occurred over 20 years ago, but I vividly remember the
initial panic that overcame me. How could I possibly help her? Why was she
calling me? Why wasn’t she going to our pastor or a trained counselor? What
could I say to keep her from harming herself?
I remember immediately saying a prayer in my head and asking the Holy
Spirit to guide my words. I had not experienced the things she was going
through, but I knew clearly that God wanted me to be there for her in this
...
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Healthy Longing

Healthy Longing

God has been teaching me a very valuable lesson this past year. There’s a good side and a bad side, a healthy side and an unhealthy side, to most everything in life. Longing can be our worst enemy when we long for the wrong things in life. When we yearn for more money, a better job, more stuff, or think more friends will make us happy, it’s an unhealthy longing that will lead to constant feelings of discontent.

But if our hearts ache with a deep longing to know Jesus better, that’s a healthy longing that will deepen our faith and help us find contentment, no matter what is happening around us.

This past year has been a long season of longing and waiting for me. And to be honest, waiting is something I don’t always do very well. I am a “get-it-done” kind of gal, and I live most of my life in race mode.

I’m also a huge dreamer, which is a good thing in many ways, but sometimes us dreamers get lost in the dreaming and forget to...

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Be Yourself!

I remember a poster I saw a long time ago. It was a picture of an adorable red-headed little boy blowing a big, huge bubble, and the caption read, “Be Yourself– Who else is better qualified.” This isn’t the picture, but there’s something about the little boy in this picture I adore!

As I’ve grown in life and in my walk with Jesus, the truth in this saying has become more and more real and more and more important. It has taken me a very long time to accept the fact that I’m a quirky, weird, artsy-fartsy creative person. I don’t like living in a box and will fight anyone who tries to put me in one. I guess I’m just wired to be weird!

As I let God be my mirror and not the world, I see the beauty of His workmanship in my life. Every experience, every victory, every defeat, every piece of me and my quirky personality He intends to use for His good. He created me on purpose for a purpose, and He empowers me to fulfill the purpose that...

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Word to the Wise - The Power of the Tongue

The tongue has power! The Bible tells us that God spoke the world into being. It doesn’t say he performed an awesome magic trick or started a huge chemical reaction that lead to the formation of the world. It says simply, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.’” (Genesis 1:3.) God formed the earth, the sky, the water, the animals and us with the power of His tongue.

Our tongue has power as well. We all realize the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a complete and utter lie. Words hurt. Words scar. Words can kill and destroy.

Solomon wrote a great deal about the tongue in the book of Proverbs. He actually mentions the word “tongue” 21 times and the word “words” 33 times, so in one book he writes about it in 54 different places. It’s obviously something we need to pay attention to.

Solomon warned about the power of words when he wrote in ...

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New Wine

New Wine

The Law of Process says that leadership develops daily, not in a day. This truth is sometimes hard for us to swallow because we are accustomed to instant gratification in our everyday lives. We eat fast food, we have instant answers to questions with our friend Siri, and we can shop at the click of a button. Bottom line, our modern-day culture has made us expect instant results and a quick, easy fix to our problems.

Most of us assume growth will happen that way as well, instantly. But, unfortunately, that isn’t how life works. True, lasting, kingdom change happens over time. It’s a process, a process that involves patience, as well as a willingness to let go of the old so we can embrace the new.

Jesus taught on this idea in Luke 5:37: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins.”

If you’re familiar with making wine, when the grapes go through the chemical...

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Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

All of us love hearing stories of miraculous healings. Our hearts are stirred when we hear about impossible situations being beautifully restored. We get inspired by people exhibiting supernatural strength and endurance when pushed to their absolute limits.
 
Truthfully, I’m a junkie for these kinds of things. Being a writer, I’m always on the lookout for powerful, moving stories for inspiration and ideas.
 
When we read about the miracles Jesus performed while He walked among us, they fuel our faith and give us hope when things seem hopeless. 
 
But we have to remember that not every miracle was accepted or celebrated. Remember when Jesus healed on the sabbath and got the religious leaders all riled up. And when the disciples carried on His healing ministry, sometimes those miracles got them into trouble as well. 
 
Today I read the story in Acts 14 where Paul and Barnabas healed a man in Lystra who had...

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