Saturday, November 28, 2009

Week #48:1 Peter 3:15

Week of November 29-December 5

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." [1 Peter 3:15]

NOTE: The word "reason" (also translated as "answer" in some versions) means "a ready defense." The Greek word apologia (from "apo" = "from" and "logos" = "word") is a legal term from the Greek court system referring to an attorney who defends his client's case. The discipline of "apologetics" refers to careful arguments in defense of the Christian faith. In short, Peter is telling his audience to know what they believe and be able to defend what they believe. This is an important charge to contemporary Christians who might be simply riding the coattails of their parent's, church's, or denominational faith.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pillows and Blankets

I have had the same throw pillows on my couch for about 8 years. Lately I've been thinking it would really be nice to get some new pillows just to change things up a bit. I'm rethinking that now....

Yesterday, a friend and I took some coats and winter clothes to a family of African refugees. It took us close to an hour to find their new home in Fort Worth. As the family of nine opened bags of jackets, sweaters, caps, etc., their faces lit up like it was Christmas morning. As we got ready to leave, I asked the mother "is there anything else you need right now?" She immediately motioned with her arms (she doesn't speak English) that her family needed blankets and pillows. "And socks!" one of the children spoke out.

When David got home last evening, but I told him of the need that my friends had...and that I couldn't go to bed tonight knowing that this precious family needed blankets. We ate a quick frozen pizza and headed to WalMart to get blankets and pillows and a some more warm coats.

I will never forget the squeals of glee as we handed each child a warm blanket to sleep with last night. And pillows! They were thrilled to have their own pillow! We sat in their small living room and sang African songs and I taught them an American game. Life is really so simple.

I take so much for granted....I think I will wait on those decorative pillows.

Monday, November 23, 2009


As Thanksgiving approaches, the typical "stresses" seem to take front and center in my life: (and I have heard some of you wrestle with this, too! ) clean the house for out-of-town company, prepare lots of food, provide entertainment for the family, and the list goes on....

Let's take a different approach this week, OK? Let me tell you what I am striving to do. For each significant work I do for my own family, I want to do something equally as labor intensive and intentional for someone else. Let me share how that plays out in my life.

Our family will go to Mission Arlington on Thanksgiving morning to serve the needy. A friend's child will have surgery tomorrow and I will pray for and visit this family. Several of my friends answered the call to purge their closets of unused winter coats/clothes and we will share them with those who are lacking warm clothes.

Please understand me, I am not trying to "toot my own horn", but to challenge you, my sweet friends, to stop and think about what is really important this holiday season. Be intentional! Don't stress! Be"doers"of the Word.

How will you apply James 1:22 to your life this week?

Press on friends!

This summer, I read one of the best books I have read in a long time: The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, the CEO of World Vision. It changed my life.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week #47: James 1:22

Week of November 22-28

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." [James 1:22]

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Week #46: Hebrews 12:1

Week of November 15-21

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. " [Hebrews 12:1]

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." [Hebrews 12:2]

NOTE: This is a classic verse worth recalling and holding close to our heart. Take time to look at and meditate on words like "hinders" and "entangles" and "perfecter". Remember that every word is inspired by God to teach us and instruct us.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Marathon

I just finished my first marathon yesterday. It has been a great journey! David has been reflecting on the spiritual lessons learned along the way. I hope you'll read his blog today and the next few posts coming later this week:

Press on friends!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Week #45: Titus 2:11-12

Week of November 8-14

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" [Titus 2:11-12]


"..while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." [Titus 2:13-14]

NOTE: I encourage you to grab a commentary this week and to study the content and context of this whole chapter. Press on!