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.

Read More…

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


16

Can I Send a Text Message to God?

Text, Adobe Spark

Sending text messages to God.

It sounds ludicrous but not that far-fetched in the digital habits and minds of today’s young people and adults.

Sure, it seems like a reasonable question in a culture where personal communication is going out of style. No one wants to look us in the eye and tell us how they feel about themselves or about us. Or communicate face-to-face to resolve a conflict.

So it’s not surprising as I sat in a meeting a few weeks ago and learned of high school students who admitted they don’t know how to pray. But the same students know how to text and spend hours each day talking to others this way.

Isn’t prayer simply talking to our heavenly Father? Communicating with God on a deep-soul level.

A Do-not List for Sending Text Messages

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August 31, 2017 at 11:01 am | Uncategorized


20

How to Turn Down the Volume in a Noisy World

Volume, image mine, layout by Adobe SparkIs there a volume button for our noisy world?

Because the noise drowns out my favorite parts of life:

1) Peace and quiet for my spirit.

2) Deep-rooted solitude in my soul.

3) The ability to reflect without distraction.

4) In-person intimacy and heart-felt conversation among my closest friends and family.

I wear a title in my family, AKA “noise manager.” So I send out memos, audible and text, to my people requesting they make adjustments to the loudness.

Turn down the television.

Please lower your voice.

Your music’s too loud.

But sometimes I misplace my own remote control in life. When I find myself smack dab in the middle of the world’s noise—among the clamor and racket—I search for an escape. I even want to run away. But where do I go? How can I rise above the noise…the roar?

Restless in a Noisy World

There’s so much noise tugging at my heart these days. Twirling in my head. The loudness of it all suffocates the quiet.

A gazillion shouting voices. And the words spill out on social media. Rhetoric screams on every street corner.

Read More…

August 24, 2017 at 10:21 am | Uncategorized


19

Do Picture-Perfect Couples Exist in Real Life?

Picture-perfect, courtesy of Adobe Spark“They’re splitting up.” A picture-perfect couple. The news sent shock waves.

Nobody—for one nanosecond—thought it would happen.

A romantic storybook flashed through my mind. A fairy-tale slide show portrayed on timelines, rolled through the news feed on social media.

Starry-eyed followers viewed a plethora of images labeled “in a relationship with” and “date night.” To keep the pot boiling, engagement pictures topped any Hallmark movie we’d ever seen.

A Picture-perfect Union

Enduring wedding pictures captured marital bliss—the tagline for each anniversary to come. Would this honeymoon never be over? The attractive couple knew what they wanted. A match made in heaven.

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August 17, 2017 at 9:30 am | Uncategorized


7

Expectant Hope—Guest Post by Nan Jones

Expectant, Adobe SparkToday I welcome a guest author and my sweet friend, Nan Jones. A kindred spirit, Nan often writes with a message of hope. Not just any kind of hope, expectant hope. Let her words reach deep into your heart.

By Nan Jones

Three years ago, life as I knew it fell apart. 

Jeremiah understood the feeling. Most of Jerusalem lay in ruins, the temple set ablaze, the people carried captive into exile. God’s chosen people lost everything and found themselves in a hopeless situation. Life as they knew it fell apart.

Even the prophet Jeremiah struggled to hang onto hope.

But then he remembered something.

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August 10, 2017 at 10:04 am | Uncategorized


16

21 Life Changing Quotes from She Speaks Conference

Quotes, Design by Adobe Spark

800 WOMEN WORSHIPPING

Do you enjoy soul-stirring quotes?

Recently, I attended my third Proverb’s 31 Ministries speaker and writer conference, She Speaks. I met women with kindred spirits, heard inspirational talks, and held compelling conversations about ministry, writing, speaking, and Jesus.

But quotes I gleaned from the conference changed my life.

And since so much of the content blessed me, I highlight 21 of my favorite quotes in this post. l pray the Lord uses the words to speak to you.

Quotes from Chris Hodges

(Keynote message. Chris is the founding and senior pastor at Church of the Highlands. His son is married to the daughter of Lysa Terkeurst. Lysa is founder and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries.)

(1.) “Lower your expectations of people, raise your expectations of God.”

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August 3, 2017 at 9:38 am | Uncategorized


15

Only in the Movies—and the Sovereignty of God (Part 2)

Movies, by Adobe SparkI love all the ways God speaks to us through His Word, a message, a song, or perhaps in the movies.

Next week I’m sharing highlights from She Speaks, Proverbs 31 Ministries conference for writers and speakers. Because the ways God spoke to me resonated deep in my spirit. And words sure to touch your heart.

But today we go back to the movies.

Read part 1 here, Only in the Movies—and the Sovereignty of God (Part 1).

Part 2  By Dianne Barker

Are you grieving over sidetracked dreams? Has reality stolen your hope? Then read on to discover the rest of Joseph’s story and learn four ways to wait on God.

Recap: Joseph was seventeen when his jealous older brothers sold him to an Ishmaelite caravan headed to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of the king, bought Joseph to work in his house. Yet, noticing the Lord gave the young servant success in everything, he placed Joseph in charge of his household.

Just Like in the Movies

But Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph.

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July 27, 2017 at 9:43 am | Uncategorized


1

Only in the Movies—and the Sovereignty of God (Part 1)

Sovereignty, Adobe SparkToday’s post comes from a longtime friend, mentor, and author. Please welcome, Dianne Barker.


Have you ever felt as if you’ve been cast in an old James Bond movie, caught in a midnight car chase speeding toward infinite blackness?

You’re wondering…who wrote this plot and how did I get in it?

Only in the Movies

Joseph, one of my favorite Bible friends, found himself in a circumstance he didn’t see coming. His life wasn’t moving at breakneck speed—but by camel crawl. I wonder what he was thinking as the Ishmaelite caravan carried him away from home and family to a bleak unknown. Let’s review his story in Genesis 37-50.

Read More…

July 20, 2017 at 10:00 am | Uncategorized


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