Showing posts from April, 2011

Silver Lining Success -- Coming Soon

On Pam Kruger's website, I clicked on the link "Silver Lining Success," fully expecting stories of people who have battled through troubles and discovered unexpected gifts and treasures.

Instead I found a brief message, "Turing adversity into opportunity: COMING SOON," and a photo of sunlight transforming the edges of dark clouds into shining strips.

Even so the simple words "Coming Soon" ministered hope.

"Coming Soon" is a hope-filled message for the journey. When we're going through the storms of life, we need this hope. When we're still living the story and haven't yet reached a resolution stage, we need to remember God is at work. God is faithful. God gives good gifts to his children. When God allows dark clouds to obscure the sun for a time, we can be sure there are blessings to come.

Dark clouds cannot completely hide the shining light of God's love at work in our lives. If we haven't seen them yet, God's shinin…

Easter forgiveness

Easter. A day filled with so much more than bright outfits, chocolate eggs and marshmallow bunnies, as good as all those are now and then.

Easter. A day like none other.

Easter. The day Jesus broke barriers of death and darkness that keep God from his beloved children. Jesus opened the way of  forgiveness, abundant life, and a way of love that never ends.

Happy Easter to all who love God's ways.

Love smiles in ways it could not before the first Easter.

A gift beyond ordinary

Letters in our mailbox usually come in plain envelopes. But, last week, an online stamp buddy in San Diego sent me a hand-painted cover.

I'm not the only lucky recipient of Kristine's gift for creating unexpected beauty. Kristine regularly decorates envelopes she mails to friends and stamp collectors around the world. You can see more of her creative work on this stamp collecting website.

When I opened our mailbox last week and saw the extraordinary cover Kristine painted, I heard sea gulls and felt a hint of salt spray. Maybe it was my imagination. At any rate, the sweet-faced otter Kristine painted brought back memories of Marineland visits and days spent on the California shores of my childhood, of foaming waves, barking seals, delicate shells and hot sands.

Most mail we receive doesn't remind me of seashells, water critters and coastal shores. Kristine's remarkable cover shared beauty that transformed something ordinary into something beautiful. So, I wanted to sh…

Writing opportunity: 2012 MOPS Devotional

2012 MOPS Devotional Seeks Submissions

Never Alone is a devotional for mothers underscoring God's promise of His presence in her life - all the time. Scheduled for publication by Revell for a Summer release in 2012, Never Alone will be a companion to the 2012 theme book for Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International.

You are invited to audition devotionals for this special book by sharing your own moments and memories of how God's presence -- or your yearning for it -- impacted or is impacting your days of parenting preschoolers. As we know, motherhood can be an isolating exercise. But God is there in the loneliness and most clueless moments, as well as those joyful instances we want to freeze for all eternity. Please consider sharing a part of your faith journey with today's 100,000 MOPS moms and others who can be encouraged by your experiences. Feel free to share this call for submissions with others who might have a heart for this project and a compellin…

A winning strategy to keep from quitting

Someone has said, "The difference between failure and success is picking yourself off the ground one more time."

Like many of us, Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, battles the desire to quit. He has learned not to let feelings dictate the outcome for his dreams.

Michael Hyatt shares his strategy for endurance in his blog post "What Keeps You Going When You Feel Like Quitting?"

For every important area of his life, Hyatt has created a list to remind him why he is doing what he is doing. So, when he is tempted to quit, he has reminders of the dream. Hyatt has written these lists for his marriage, his career in publishing, his writing project, his running, you name it. These lists help him keep going when he feels like quitting.

Hyatt does more than discuss the topic abstractly. He gets down to specifics by sharing his marriage list.

Hyatt's article is practical and useful. Sometimes I feel like quitting. Hyatt's article gives me a tool to use today. So, I…

Canorus blossoms de-hacked

Spring. Once again cherry blossoms perch on dark limbs outside my office window. Delicate pink hues brighten areas that have endured winter storms and turbulent winds. Songbirds broadcast joy.

Through the years our cherry tree has survived those forces and my best intentions.

Years ago, when the limbs of our cherry tree were infested with bag worms, I cut off the diseased limbs. Then the tree was so odd looking, I chopped down the rest. Why let George Washington have all the fun?

As you may expect we missed the cherry tree, especially in April. Overgrown azalea bushes at its base hid its resurrection for a time. Now the cherry tree is more beautiful than ever.

Last fall, I noticed bag worms had occupied several branches high in the tree. This year we'll hire a tree specialist instead of trying to fix the problem ourselves.

Our backyard cherry tree reminds me of relationships worth keeping. We all like it when plants and relationships go well with little effort. But what happens wh…