Monthly Archives: June 2015

Lessons from a spending fast


You probably know what it’s like to spend money fast. It goes out much more quickly than it comes in! But have you ever considered a “spending fast?” Putting your discretionary spending on a diet? Some people do this to save money for a vacation or to get out of debt. Others realize that curbing excessive spending habits can make a significant difference in changing the world for someone else. Like a spiritual fast where one refrains from eating for a period of time, a spending fast can likewise heighten our sensitivity to greater truths.


We decided to go on a discretionary spending fast for a year. We had to redefine the word “need.” We thought we needed newer kitchenware but ours still functioned fine. We wanted newer technology because ours ran slow, but we we didn’t need it. Something broke, but we could fix it.


But it wasn’t just about giving up. There were things (besides saved money) that we gained. We found that cooking together at home brought us closer together. (And generally the meals were healthier.) We found watching a $1 rental DVD on the love seat was more enjoyable than $20 at the movies. We found that going for walks hand in hand beat about any other money spending activity.


Our spending fast was not rigidly set. We splurged with the occasional $1 ice cream or a date night at a restaurant. We used saved money to visit with friends on a vacation. But the spending fast taught us (and continues to teach) important lessons:


1. Buying new stuff doesn’t make us feel better. We think it does, but it’s almost always a temporary and empty illusion. We’re happier when we are the people we were created to be. God called us to be good stewards not consumers.


2. Entitlement is a trap. We say, “I deserve this. I need that.” But often it’s a lie. If we’re honest with ourselves, it comes down to our own desire for “more and better.”  It leads us down the path of ignorance and insensitivity to our real needs and the blessings we already have.


3.  “Thou shall not covet” is a lot easier to keep with a clear conscience when you decide to put the spending beast on a diet. Life is more satisfying when you learn to find joy and contentment in “what is” and not concerned about “what others have.”


4. Self-control (one of the fruits of the Spirit) is not a gift; it’s grown and nurtured. When impulses are repeatedly ignored, they lose their power over us. This is true for other aspects of life beyond spending, like feeling you always have to be right.


5. Spending less grows a thankful heart. There is a certain richness in enjoying a simple meal when you realize it would be considered a feast in many parts of the world. It gives new meaning to the prayer, “Give us today our daily bread” (even if it’s not Ciabatta, Focaccia, or Asiago Cheese).


6.  A thankful heart leads to generosity. We’re called to invest in others. We’re blessed when we “pour ourselves out on behalf of others.” You can buy a family’s food for an entire day with one trip to the specialty coffee shop. A month’s worth of trinkets could pay for a semester of school for a poor child. Living simply provides resources so others can simply live.


7. You find what you’re looking for. If you measure your life by the things you buy you will find the small measure of fulfillment they offer. Measuring your life by how fully you live gives you joy no money could buy.


Maybe you’ll take up the spending fast challenge for a week – or two. Limit it to one type of spending if you want. Remember, it’s not about living with less. It’s about living with more. More contentment. More fulfillment. More meaning. More accountability.


They cracked the code to being happy


They cracked the code to being happy.


Or so say the researchers at Mayo Clinic. Evidently, amongst the myriad of diseases and conditions they’ve examined, they’ve also been studying happiness. Why? According to their findings, happy people tend to be healthier people. Researchers there observe that the pursuit of jobs, money, houses, and love is really about finding happiness. The problem, they conclude, is that we’re looking for it in all the wrong places. Psychiatrist John Tamerin observes, “If you lead your life always waiting for a great thing to happen, you probably will be unhappy.”


What’s the secret code to being happy?


1. Take control of your thoughts.
Focusing on what is right in life instead of what is going wrong increases the sense of happiness. It shifts our tendency to let our thoughts wander into sadness, fear, and dissatisfaction. Learning to control our thoughts shifts our perspective from sad to thankful, from fear to acceptance and confidence. We embrace happiness as a choice.


2. Be flexible.
“Resiliency has everything to do with happiness,” Dr. Sood said. The clinic’s research concludes that people who are flexible and able to adapt to life’s unexpected turns are happier. They learn to limit the affect of sadness so that circumstances in one area of life don’t overwhelm their whole life. (As Marcia and I vowed early on to not let cancer define who we were.) Creating space helps. For example, create space between a negative experience and the treasured people you’re about to meet. Don’t let unhappiness poison your whole day.


3. Help others.
Thinking too highly or too often of ourselves is a barrier to happiness. As one of the researchers said, “Complainers are never going to be happy. Happiness is a decision.” The more we focus on others the less unhappy we are with our own lot in life and the more meaning and satisfaction we find in living.


It’s always encouraging when science catches up to God’s Word.
God reminds us to “take captive every thought and make it obedient,” to renew our minds, to put off hindering ways and put on goodness, faithfulness and self-control. We’re encouraged to remember the good that can come out of suffering. It builds our character and faith. It helps us persevere with renewed perspective. And it helps us minister to others who are suffering. “Consider others’ interests more than your own” is a biblical key to happiness.


So do you want to be happy and healthy? Do you want to find happiness even when you aren’t healthy? Focus on God’s Word. Seek him first. Put others ahead of yourself. Is it really that easy? Perhaps more than you might think. In any case, the choice is yours.


Be as happy as you choose today.


Don’t let go


There’s a subtitled Chinese short film1 of a man who asks his wife for a divorce. Tearfully she agrees on the condition he would do one thing:


“Hold me every day for one month.”


On day one she asks to meet at the place where he proposed to her, giving her a ring and saying “It’s for life.” Before leaving she says, “Please hold me.” Another day, she meets him where he first said, “I love you.” Another day, they meet where they shared their first kiss. And so it goes, each day offering a meeting, a memory, and a moment to be held and cherished. On the last day, she greets him saying, “I’ve signed.” Handing him the divorce papers, she leaves without being held. Visibly shaken by the realization of what he is about to lose, the man runs after her calling, “Can I hold you tomorrow?” The film ends, leaving us with the impression that the marriage will endure after all and the lesson that there are some things worth holding onto at all costs.


You’ll encounter some things today that you’re best to let go: bitterness, regret, false guilt, negative thoughts, frustration over small things, anger, dishonesty . . . the list goes on. Bad things happen and we have to make choices to either hold on to them or let them go. These choices set a course for the happiness – or grief – we experience each day.


Sometimes we let go of even “good” things for something better. . . better habits, healthier thinking, better ways to relate to difficult people. We might come to a point of letting go of chasing after false dreams and empty ambitions. It’s a sad conclusion to climb a ladder only to realize that it’s leaning against the wrong wall! Maybe some things come to mind even as you read this. (Don’t close this blog post without pondering what choices you will make about this.)


Sometimes we need reminded that there are some things we shouldn’t let go. We need to cling to them as if to lose them would be to lose the meaning for living. The long list of these things are topped by faith, hope, and love. Things happen in life that lead us to think they don’t matter, or that there is something better we could “trade up” as if they were an upgrade in our life. We could trade faith for our own way of thinking; hope for our self-made goals and strategies; committed love for something that seems easier and more fun.


But we need to be careful of what we put down and what we pick up. The trade may cost us more than we bargained for and give us less than we expected.


Faith. Hope. Love. “Simple” words, but not always easy to hold onto. But there is a way. We are able to hold onto these when we surrender our own ambitions and strategies every morning and let God fully hold onto us and our lives. It might not make sense to our way of thinking because we don’t see things as clearly as they really are.  We have an illusion of control. But when we keep holding on and refuse to let go of life’s most precious gifts, their importance becomes more fully known – and life itself is filled with meaning and blessing.


Give love a fighting chance. Don’t let go.


“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13


1 View the short film here.

The illusions we believe


Who do you see when you look at this photo? Albert Einstein or Marilyn Monroe? According to scientists, it depends on your vision. If you have normal or corrected vision, you probably see Einstein. If you are near-sighted, you probably see Marilyn Monroe. If you see Einstein, step back a number of feet and you likely will see the image of Marilyn Monroe. The illusion is actually a composite of both Einstein and Monroe created by Dr. Aude Oliva from MIT.


Things aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes illusions delight us, like when a skilled illusionist makes something seem to disappear or reappear before our very eyes. Other times, illusions deceive us, leading us to follow a lie we thought to be true.


Like the Einstein-Monroe illusion, we see things differently when we step back and change our point of view. From the perspective of a young child, we see a marvelous tooth fairy who leaves us money when we lose a tooth. From the adult perspective we see the folly of an illusion, even if it is meant for good. You might easily spot a deal that is “too good to be true.” Sadly, we’ve all fallen for illusions we followed to our detriment. Sometimes we believe the illusion of satisfaction gained from feeding guilty pleasures, only to later experience the emptiness they offered us.


“Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion;
wise realists plant their feet on the ground.”
Proverbs 14:18 (The Message)


Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to see truth from our own perspective. We don’t want to live in a world of illusion. But the enemy works through fears and lies and sometimes we fall prey to them. The daily battle is for control of our mind.


“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

….. But our God is able to bind the mind-blinder and give us new sight that sees as things really are. He alone can correct our vision.


“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” (Ephesians 4:18)

…..But the Light of the World, Jesus, disperses darkness from our understanding. His light shines truth and exposes illusions.


I need God to correct my vision so I’m not fooled by the illusions of life. How about you? If you want to see things as they really are, not just as they seem, ask God to let you see the world around you through his eyes. Invite him to reveal the illusions in your life. He reveals a new vision through his Word, through others, and through his Spirit.


Here’s to having clear vision.


Simple Gifts


There are moments in life that snap you from your drowsy sleep and suddenly wake you up. It might be the unexpected loss of a job, being presented with divorce papers, a life-threatening diagnosis, or the loss of loved one. It could be a news story covering some tragic life situation that speaks to your heart or the gentle experience of restored hope. When we free ourselves from the pressures of a constantly busy life that is wrapped up in our self-pursuits, our hearts are touched both by the experience of despair and those of hope and courage. They remind us to turn our focus from the complexities of life to the “simple” lessons life teaches us.


It seems we are always seeking to discover these lessons, even when we don’t consciously pursue them. We ask such important questions at both ends of our life:

Who am I?
How did I get here?
Where am I going?
What is my purpose in life?


We busy ourselves with studies and jobs and the pursuit of so many ambitions. We think they’ll offer the fulfillment we desire. But sometimes in the end we find they were meaningless and empty. In the grand pursuit of happiness we try to learn how to deal with our fears and insecurities, our sense of loss over people, things, and missed opportunities, and our guilt and regret over mistakes we make. We turn to accomplishments, money, education, status, service, relationships, and faith in our quest of finding what makes us happy. Our pursuit of happiness puzzles and confounds us. But as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross points out:


“We are not unhappy because of the complexities of life. We are unhappy because we miss its underlying simplicities.”


“Simple” lessons are not always easily attained but they are presented to us in the daily course of our lives however complex we make them. They are revealed joys even in the midst of great suffering and pain. These are the lessons of learning to love when we feel unloving, to be strong when we are weak, trust when we feel betrayed, hope in the face of despair, forgive when we have been so hurt. They are the lessons of discovering who we are, not only in success but in failure, not only in health but in disease, not only in riches but in poverty.


“Simple” lessons teach us our lives are intricately and purposefully intertwined with one anther. We are connected in ways that both frustrate and bless us. They remind us that great complexities of life and theology can be summarized in living simply just as Jesus taught us:


Love God and love others as he loved us.


Focusing on the “simple” things of life frees us to be who we were meant to be. We don’t learn these lessons automatically, but we might learn them when we turn our attention away from our busy day and invite God to rewrite our daily to-do list and to reveal miracles in the simple opportunities he gives us.


Living simply means involves resisting the temptation to fill our lives with more of everything to more of the ONE thing that really fills our life abundantly to the full and overflowing with happiness and peace. Don’t live simply for the sake of simplicity. Live simply to find the freedom and delight that God offers us every day. As the old Shaker hymn reminds us:

“‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.”


How should I pray?


You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “What Would Jesus Do?,” The WWJD movement  was spurred by the fictional story, “In His Steps.” It tells of people who loved Jesus enough to invite him into their daily decision making, asking, “What would Jesus do in this situation?” If in fact we want to follow Jesus, we need to respond to that question ourselves. We might not intuitively know how Jesus would respond to a current dilemma we face, but scripture reveals his nature to us, and that shines a light on the path we should take.


There’s another question we should ask that maybe you’ve never heard asked before:

“How would Jesus pray?”


Marcia and I were discussing this during a recent devotion time: What does it actually mean to pray . . . “in the name of Jesus?” More than an automatic “goodbye” signal at the end of a conversation, praying in the name of Jesus means to pray as he would pray.  We’re praying that my immune system will fully recover so I can get travel vaccinations needed to pursue our call to the Bolivian mission field. We all pray for what we want and what we think best from our perspective. But is that how Jesus prayed?


Jesus did pray for specific results as he healed the sick, gave sight to the blind and raised Lazarus from the grave. But in all these he sought his Father’s will. Submitting to God’s will is dramatically illustrated in “The Lord’s Prayer” and as Jesus later prayed specifically, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)


Isn’t this the model for all our prayers? Father, if you are willing, if it pleases you, if it advances your gospel (let *this* be done). Nevertheless not my will but yours be done. If you are willing, bring healing. If it pleases you most, let me delivered from this trial. Nevertheless, if suffering draws me closer to you, if my loss is used for your gain, let your will be done. Because your will is best.


Some of our toughest prayers have been for our children, praying *whatever* it takes to draw them closer to God. Even if it means earthly calamity…keep them faithful. It’s a hard prayer, isn’t it? Jesus agonized over such a prayer to the point of sweating blood.


From our human perspective it seems unbearable to consider an answer to prayer that includes pain or sorrow. I think about how most of the apostles died and how they prayed in their time of suffering and dying. And praying in Jesus’ name doesn’t seem to get easier over time. I think about an older friend who spoke to me when I visited him in the hospital, telling me he is “learning how to die” in a manner that honors God.


Praying God’s will is hard. It flies against our nature to pray what doesn’t *seem* best for us. Yet our only real hope is to come to Jesus, day by day and moment by moment, seeking his will, not ours.


Charles Stanley reminds us, “Praying in the name of Jesus signifies agreement with His will. You are asking the Father to grant your need or desire as Jesus would, were He in your position. When you pray with this attitude, God is going to reveal His will because you want nothing less than what He wants. This is the kind of prayer that changes the world.


Lord, guide me and strengthen me in your power to stand firm in the battle and remain faithful, in the name of Jesus.


Do not be afraid or discouraged. The battle is not yours, but God’s.
2 Chronicles 20:15


Doing the Hokey Pokey


I saw a sign that read:

“I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey…
But I turned myself around.”

Someone else added, “That’s what it’s all about!”


The witty play on words brought a grin to my face. Then it occurred to me that there’s something important in this little child’s action song.

Turning ourself around IS what it’s all about.


As if to demonstrate that you can discover life lessons in just about anything, Marsha Johnson Evans, National Executive Director of Girls Scouts of the USA, actually suggested three pretty good lessons to be drawn from the silly song:

1. Maintain a Circle of friends.

The game song starts and ends in a circle. We all need to surround ourselves with a circle of friends, teachers, mentors, and encouragers, including those who are different from us. And we need to be part of that circle, supporting others. Our circle may also include those who who influenced our life but are now gone.


2. Shake things up.

To be successful, sometimes we need to question the status quo and dare to shake things up. Sometimes we need to shake ourselves up!


3. Put your whole self in.

As followers and as leaders, we are called to be fully persuaded and fully committed to our life mission. You can’t be partially involved in living fully.


Evans concludes that it might seem easy to do these things — build a circle of support around us, be willing to shake things up, and willing to commit oneself – but it is something too few people do. Instead people often complain about how “the system” or “others” keeps them down. Evans writes,”It takes courage; it takes strength; it takes vision; and most importantly it takes you taking charge of you.”


Beyond this trilogy of motivational lessons, there is another lesson to remember: We need to turn ourselves around when we’ve gone the wrong way. We all do it. We go astray. We wander from our values and our intended purpose. We neglect what’s really important in life for the sake of what’s entertaining. Like making a wrong turn on a trip, we need to turn around and get back on track. We can’t change our past mistakes but we can all start to change from where we are right now.


Much may come from self effort and determination to turn around to a new focused way of living. But we face so many limitations when we attempt to change ourselves within our own power. We need more. Paul encourages us to be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Filled and Full. Not Empty or half full. Fully committed. Being all in and shaken by God.


In the end (and in the beginning) we need the power of God who promises:

In the end I will turn things around for the people. I’ll give them a language undistorted, unpolluted, Words to address God in worship and, united, to serve me with their shoulders to the wheel.” Zephaniah 3:9 (The Message)


He is the one who ultimately will circle us with his grace and shake us up with his truth. He is the one who put his whole self in us to lead us from our shame, arrogance, fear, despair, sorrows, and burdens, to right living, peace, joy, happiness, and ultimately our home with him (verses 10-20).


Be filled to the measure of the fullness of God.

Because THAT’S what it’s all about!


Preparing for the wedding


Just as lovers celebrate a time of engagement betrothal before their wedding, we the church of believers are in a betrothal period in this present age. Jesus is described as the bridegroom of the church who waits for him with joyful anticipation of his coming (John 3:29). As the ones promised to him, we wait make ourselves ready for the special “wedding day” when we will be finally united with our groom, the King of Kings. (Revelation 19:7-9) We’re called to prepare by keeping ourselves pure, unstained by the world, and clothed with love, respect, submission, and devotion (Ephesians 5:24-27, Revelation 21:1-2). We keep the lamp burning (Matthew 22:1-14) as we wait by keeping his Word close to our hearts and applying it to our daily lives.


If Jesus is our bridegroom and we are the bride, the question is, “Am I being faithful in my spiritual marriage?” Am I keeping myself pure and untainted by the ways of the world? Am I preparing myself in great and joyful anticipation of being fully united with him?


We can’t run with the world, participating in all it’s tempting and distracting ways, and also walk with our betrothed, Jesus. How we interact in this world marks us. One of the enemy’s great lies is, “It doesn’t matter.” But it does matter! Imagine a bride going to a mud fight in her wedding dress just before her wedding. It’s not unlike trying to be “clothed in Christ” while watching movies or reading books that are stain our souls. We could say the same thing of the conversations we participate in and the worthless ambitions that pull at our hearts. The same goes for the lavish and extravagant lifestyles we live without thought of the needs of others. Imagine spending a dowry on do-dads and trinkets rather than preparing to set up a home marked by faithfulness and love. We grow hungry for so many things. We long for peace, comfort, happiness, hope, wealth, success, and fulfillment. But we won’t be satisfied sitting at the world’s banquet table. The blessing we seek will not be found in the business or busyness of life ambitions. Our focus today is to remember that we are the bride of Christ, called to:

  • Be spotless and pure, uncorrupted by the world
  • Submit and be fully devoted to our betrothed
  • Wait  with joyful anticipation
  • Keep our lamps full and our light burning


If you were preparing for your own wedding, it would be on your mind day and night. Our challenge today is to set our minds and hearts on the most special of all weddings and prepare ourselves for the wedding by keeping ourselves faithful as we wait.


Being faithful today impacts tomorrow!


Are you coming to the wedding banquet?


There’s another wedding coming up in our extended family.  As we sent our RSVP to reserve our place at the event, I was reminded of a song we used to sing in the seventies, called The Wedding Banquet. It quotes the pleas of those who were too busy to attend a special wedding banquet:

“I cannot come to the banquet, don’t trouble me now.
I have married a wife; I have bought me a cow.
I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum.
Pray, hold me excused, I cannot come.”


The song is a representation of the parable Jesus shared when he said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.  He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.” (Matthew 22:1-14) The parable goes on to describe how the king sent more servants to tell the invited guests how extravagant the banquet would be. Still they refused to come as they were too busy with the business (and busyness) of life. Some of the invitees even mistreated and killed those bringing the wedding invitations! So the king punished those who refused to come and sent more servants to the streets to invite anyone who would come, the “the bad as well as the good” and the wedding hall was filled. 


The story reminds us that many are invited but few will come because they will be too busy. It seems that “keeping busy” is not only one of the biggest threats to our spiritual health but also is held up to be one of our greatest virtues.  We value busyness, perhaps because it seems to be a mark of productivity. Like the vacation driver who told his family, “We can’t stop now. We’re making good time,” we might tend to think that our journey is all about keeping busy. And compared to idleness and laziness, busyness seems to be a good thing. But there’s a ditch on both sides of the road we travel. Veer to one side and we fall into laziness; veer to the other and we fall into the trap of busyness. The story Jesus told warns us that we should not be too busy to celebrate the greatest blessings of life.


Busyness keeps some of us from accepting God’s great invitation to join him at the wedding banquet. For others, being too busy keeps us from attending the banquet he has prepared for us right now. We get so tied up with the worries and success of life – even with good things we do – that we miss today’s blessings and opportunities.


God’s invitation is not just to come to the wedding banquet but to enjoy the celebration he has given for us to enjoy today. What celebration is that? It is the celebration of being truly united with him, of experiencing victory over circumstances, of being free from sin and worry. It is the celebration of being fully alive today while living in joyful anticipation of the real event yet to come!  Don’t let busyness keep you from the great celebration – the one yet to come and the one before you today!


Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9




Painting your day


Investment advisor John Shubert compares making wise investment decisions to his wife’s paintings. He says she starts with an image of the end result she wants to create. It might be a photograph or an image in her mind with just the right lighting and composition. She often makes a sketch of what she wants to create. Then before beginning her work, she pretreats her canvas and selects the paints she wants to use from her palette, layering them in one at a time. Shubert says it doesn’t always turn out the way she intends, but the vast majority of her paintings turn out quite beautifully. They aren’t a random outcome but rather are the result of a comprehensive and systematic approach his wife takes to creating her masterpieces.


You could say each of us starts each day with a blank canvas, ready for us to paint with whatever colors we’re given. For sure, we could close our eyes and toss random bits of paint on the canvas.  Or we could just wait for our circumstances and others to paint our canvas for us. Que será, será, whatever will be will be.


But a more promising approach would be to start each day with a plan to succeed regardless of what comes our way. Imagine your day in your mind as you wish to see it. Imagine you responding according to what is most important to you. See yourself living as the “more than a conqueror” God created you to be.


You can pretreat our daily canvas by beginning with asking God to fill you with his Spirit, inviting him to actually interrupt and redirect your agenda according to his purpose. One of the keys to a God-led day is being flexible to observe and respond to the opportunities he wants to give to you.


Starting each day by focusing on scripture is another way of “preparing your canvas.” I’m not talking about reading a brief passage so you can quickly check it off your list, but spending some quiet time reflecting on what it means to you and how you should respond to it today.


Frustrating situations and interruptions will occur during the most days. What techniques have you learned to color these? Many of our palettes include too much anger, bitterness, impatience, regret, and disdain. We’re better off to choose the colors of patience, kindness, goodness, thankfulness, celebration, and humility. Only with disciplined experience will we be able to apply these colors skillfully to our canvas. Throughout the day we need to make a number of corrections to what we’ve painted. Some days, we need to set the project aside and come back with a fresh approach later.


I often find it rewarding at the end of a day to look back and reflect on  what I’ve created. If I’m disappointed in how the day went, I find encouragement in taking stock in realizing that I did my best (if I did), and in knowing that tomorrow is a new day, complete with new opportunities.


Maybe each day won’t be a masterpiece. Perhaps many will be marked by choosing the wrong colors and techniques or we find that life tosses its own paint onto our canvas. But don’t forget – it is your canvas to paint. How you choose to paint it is an investment that will either pay rich rewards – or be squandered.


Life is like a painting. And it will be as beautiful as you determine to see it.


This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24