Tag Archives: Choices

The one blog post I hope everyone reads


“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lordand who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”  Psalm 1:1-3


Truth be known, I have walked in step with the wicked. I have stood in the path of sinners and sat in the company of scoffers. (What is it that makes us think that belittling and mocking others makes us better people?!)  I’ve been in these places, and likely so have you. Maybe our selfish pride continues to lead us to frequent those dark places. But there’s good news:


We don’t have to stay where we are.


Every single day we are given the opportunity to choose a new path for our lives. Less making fun of people we don’t like, more understanding and compassion. Less apathy and more concern that insists on acting itself out in some small way. Less frugalness and more generosity. Less worry and more faithful prayer. Less criticism and more encouraging words and actions. Less attacks and more embraces. Less jaded outlook and more hope. Less seeing ourselves as hopeless and more seeing ourselves as hope-filled through the grace of God. Less sorrow and more joy, even in the midst of sorrow. Less wasted time in meaningless activity and more time spent intentionally – on purpose and on mission – in keeping with our most dear life dreams. Less dreaming of a good life and more living it fully every single day. Less of nearly everything and more love.


We can bloom where we are planted but we can also plant ourselves where we can bloom. We can choose to be like that tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit and with leaves that do not wither and always prospering even in times of drought. We do this by acting out our beliefs. You believe the bible to be true? Act on it! Consistently and persistently and relentlessly confront fear with assurance, worry and doubt with faith, anxiety with peace, bitterness with forgiveness, apathy with action, judgment with compassion, temper with grace, regret with remembered joy, my way with God’s way, and disdain with love.  If you believe it’s better to take the high road in conflict, take it. Believe and act on that belief. Demonstrate what you believe by the way you live each moment.


“The ONLY thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6


Do you believe it? Be intentional; put it on your agenda. Make it your purpose to share love in your thoughts and actions today.


If life isn’t measured by the number of breaths we take but truly by the number of moments that take our breath away, what can you do today, each day, to create those special moments? They are your life legacy. As I think back on nearly fifty years with my best friend, 43+ years my bride, I think of shared adventures, silly moments, shared tears, encouraging hugs, steadfast devotion and encouragement in difficult times. I think of forgiveness and gentleness, attentiveness, and shared joys shared in a passion for life – both present and everlasting. I think of children we’ve brought into this world and loved and children across the world we’ve come to love. I think of nurtured friendships that have survived the distance of thousands of miles and passing years. I  think of quiet walks through meadows, working the gardens in our life, and quietly soaking in the beauty of nature, God’s creation and the expression of his joy.  


How about you? What will you do today to create the legacy of your life? May it be guided by your faith, expressing itself in love.


Now may the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21




Choose news you need to hear


Your choices make you.

John Stossel recently wrote about the tendency of the media to highlight the news that develops quickly rather than that which grows slowly:  “A car crash that kills a family is terrible news. But gradual improvements in driver behavior, car and road safety, and attitudes about drunk driving should be even bigger news. Driving remains one of the riskiest things we do, but far fewer people die now.”


I wonder if we too are prone to viewing sudden news as more notable than that which takes time to develop. For example, the news of respected person that falls off a moral cliff is quick to stir up all kinds of conversation. But the gradual, steadfast efforts of a tired mother or a faithful dad go unnoticed. Our son or daughter wins a race or some achievement and the accolades are poured on. But do their efforts to stand strong in a tough world reign just as noteworthy?


And how would you report the news of your own efforts to be faithful? I’m guessing you are quick to judge your infrequent momentary failures while forgetting how many times you have said ‘no’ to tempting ways.


Life is a journey that is marked by thousands of seemingly small decisions, tens of thousands of choices to do and think about right things. We make hundreds of choices every day, perhaps without even knowing. Even though it may seem of little consequence at the time, these moments of victory define your life more than any ‘newsworthy’ lifetime achievements; more than your wealth, your career, or your fame. Celebrate the good news in your life!


“Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.” Psalm 25:12



Living the Parable

Jesus taught many parables to help people understand the kingdom of God. Some people think that parables are just stories about good values. More than that they are stories about who we are meant to be and how to experience God’s best for you. One of the parables Jesus taught is that of the widow’s offering. A story about money, yes, but even more, it is a story about how much of US belongs to God.

Mark 12:41-44 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Jesus would rather see us put OURSELVES in the offering plate than money. We sing, “All to Jesus, I surrender,” but it is easier to say than to do this, right?

If we want to get to better physical health we generally start with a Complete Physical Assessment. Steve Canfield shared with us recently that the road to better spiritual health often begins with a Complete Spiritual Assessment. Part of that process is considering our priorities. for example, number the following in relation to which gets the most of your TIME daily (1=most time, 6=least time):
___ Computer/internet
___ Television/Movies
___ Eating
___ Recreation
___ God’s Word (reading, memorizing, meditating)
___ Prayer

Now, in order, number the following in relation to which gets the most of your MONEY monthly (1=most money, 6=least money):
___ Car or pets
___ Sorts or hobbies
___ Dating/socializing
___ Habits
___ God’s work (church, missions, etc)
___ Music and videos (CDs, MP3s, etc)

If we are honest with ourselves these simple exercises will reveal how much (or little) of our time and money are invested in seeking God and His best for us, and how much is frittered away. I remember years ago when we were doing regular missions to storm ravaged New Orleans someone said to me, “I’d like to go, but I just don’t have the money.” and yet, they had fashionable clothes, a big TV, nice car, went out to eat often, etc.

It’s all about choices, isn’t it? As you search your heart, ask yourself, “What changes do I want to make in my daily schedule and monthly budget?” Our answer always depends on how much do we love and trust the One who made us.

Choose God’s best for you today. Give Him all of you. He gives you all of Him.