5

Choosing the Pause Over the Tug by Cathy Baker

Pause, Adobe SparkDo you enjoy having to pause? Not me.

But I am excited to welcome back my friend, Cathy Baker, with thoughts on pauses good for our soul. Cathy is the author of sensory-based devotionals and wrote a guest blog for this community about her first e-book in the series for the beach. Read her post here, The Vacationing Soul: A Beach Devotional by Cathy Baker. And her second book, a devotional guide for the mountains, released last week.

By Cathy Baker

In the mornings, a small 1940’s ice cream parlor table greets me at the window that faces the mountains. In the foreground, a bluebird house is perched as pretty as you please on the trunk of a pear tree. With my Bible open, I read and then rest⏤both mind and soul.

The bluebird, without fail, catches my eye as I marvel at God’s artistic touch. His peacock-blue body boasts a flush of pink covering its breast. My flesh, it tugs like a 2-year-old clinging to the leg for ice cream, “Come on, let’s get the day started!” but my spirit, it wants to pause.

The struggle comes as no surprise. The pace of life desires to swallow us whole. But thanks be to God, we have the opportunity⏤the privilege⏤to pause, ponder nature’s beauty, and praise the Creator.

Pause

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September 28, 2017 at 12:00 am | Uncategorized


20

What If God Never Meant for Love to be Fair?

Fair, image design by Adobe SparkWe’ve heard it said that all is fair in love.

But what does God say?

Is real love about fairness?

We often want our way in relationships and expect everything on equal ground. Yet what if true and unconditional love was never meant to be this way?

Even the term “unconditional” conveys no conditions or rules are attached. Google lists these synonyms: “wholehearted, unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, unrestricted, unmitigated, unquestioning.”

Since unconditional love does not keep score, then we can’t play the fairness card.

The truth? All is not fair in love, not in unconditional love.

When we demand fairness in #relationships, we put conditions on #love. Click To Tweet

Extending unconditional love covers every kind of relationship: marriage, dating, children, siblings, extended family, fellow Christians, the unsaved, our neighbors and friends. Jesus also included our enemies.

We can love others even when we don’t like what they do or how they hurt us. But sometimes it needs to be from a distance and through prayers spoken over them. And the world says this kind of love is not fair or right.

Still not convinced?

Perhaps we need to revisit the greatest words ever written about love.

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September 21, 2017 at 10:00 am | Uncategorized


16

God’s Classroom in the Great Smoky Mountains

Classroom, image mine, design by Adobe SparkA classroom comes in many forms.

I see myself as a life-long student. Training classes, the learning curve for a new job, ministry and leadership seminars, writing conferences, spiritual retreats, and Bible studies include some of my favorite ways to learn…to take in new knowledge.

God’s Classroom 

But, how do you imagine God’s classroom? Is there a white board? What about globes, pictures of the world or His students? Does He give hall passes and wait on tardy students for important lessons?

I’ve written about the mountains before. Yet, if you follow this blog, you know I give student reports from the mountains, the beach, an amusement park, or life events and experiences.

Each a classroom where God taught me valuable lessons.

So this week I traveled with two friends from high school to the Great Smoky Mountains (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) for our annual girls trip. Four nights provided the perfect getaway for fun, shopping, and good food and conversation.

But the trip also supplied time to rest from the daily grind and hear from God on matters of the heart. And, of course, I came back with a student report.

Classroom Lessons

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September 14, 2017 at 10:29 am | Uncategorized


19

I’m not Johnny Cash—But I Walk the Line

Line, image by Adobe SparkI desire to walk the line.

And, of course, you know I’m not the late Johnny Cash.

But I read the back story behind Johnny’s musical hit, I Walk the Line. As a newlywed, Cash wrote the lyrics as a promise of devotion to his wife. (Wikipedia.)

So what does walking the line have to do with you and me?

Walk the Line in Devotion

Mike, my husband, performs marriage ceremonies as an ordained minister. He even officiated our daughter Megan’s wedding.

During the vows, Mike mentioned our son-in-law’s favorite movie, I walk the Line, the life story of Johnny Cash. After a slight pause, my husband said these words to the groom, Tyler. “And that’s what I expect you to do—walk the line.”

You see, we invested years in our daughter’s life, devoted parents who wanted God’s best for her. So, now, we wanted the same devotion and sentiments from Tyler to Megan.

In the same way, God wants my total devotion and allegiance.

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September 7, 2017 at 10:14 am | Uncategorized


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