Wise Choices: You Choose!

Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

Luke 6:46, ESV  

In the 70’s and 80’s there were two popular comedic expressions: “The devil made me do it,” and “Could it be Satan?” It’s our nature to want to shift blame, but it’s no laughing matter. When God questioned Adam and Eve regarding their sin, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. Satan’s influence in our lives is immense, but we alone are responsible for the choices we make.


You Choose!

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” 

Joshua 24:15, NIV

Day_1,_Angel_and_DemonYears ago, I walked past the room of my special-needs daughter and overheard her talking to a make-believe friend.

“Leave my ear alone,” she said. “Quit trying to get the Lord out. I want Him in there.”

I’ll never know the scenario being painted in her head, but her words went straight to my heart. Her conversation speaks of our relentless struggle with good and evil as we live out our days on the earth. At times, it’s as if we have an angel on one shoulder pleading with us and a demon on the other taunting us while we wrestle with which voice to obey.

At a specific point in time, believers make a conscious decision to follow Christ. But, choosing to follow Christ is not only a one-time decree; it’s a daily resolve―a moment by moment determination to invite Christ into every aspect of our lives. The choices we make are crucial. Satan unremittingly says “Get the Lord out,” but he doesn’t make us “do it.” That decision is uniquely ours.

I pray we will all choose, as my daughter did. Choose to “want Him in there.” Choose Christ daily.

Choose wisely,


The Remaining Gift

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 
2 Corinthians 9:15, NIV

The Remaining Gift


409585_10150450806694952_759081474_nAn unassuming red box with a stick-on silver bow maintains its lonely vigil beneath our Christmas tree. The box is a gift our eldest daughter brought to us several years ago on Thanksgiving Day. Oddly enough, it was empty then and is empty now. Its significant place beneath our tree has since become a holiday tradition.

On Christmas Day as family members gather, each of us will place a small object of remembrance and thanksgiving into the box. Later, after an extraordinary dinner, we will sit around a beautifully lit tree, open the box one by one, take out the article we’ve put in, and share our thoughts concerning it. What follows is not only remarkable―it’s priceless.

Cherished memories spill forth, accompanied by gratitude, laughter, and an occasional tear while the spirit of Christmases past and present wondrously fill the room, our hearts, and our lives. Those who have passed on take their rightful place within our family circle once again in almost tangible presence, reminding us that they live on beneath everything we do and all that we are.

Today, the red box, opened numerous times at several Christmas family gatherings, appears no worse for wear, and its profound impact on our family lingers. The God-given gift of family is a circle that can never be broken—a gift that will always remain. And just as the impact of the little red box will maintain a prominent place within our lives long after the sparkle of Christmas has passed, so the spirits of those we love will continue to flicker forever within our hearts.

Perhaps this Christmas, you too will choose to place an ordinary, empty box beneath your tree. You’ll be astonished at how full it can be when the true Spirit of Christmas fills it with His love and pours its contents upon your hearts and lives.

His outpouring is truly an indescribable gift―one that will always remain.

Merry Christmas!


When God Speaks: When Words Don’t Come

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
―Isaiah 55:11, NIV 

In the Scriptures, God expressed the fountain of His heart through prophetic scribes. Their writings continue to stand as a witness of His everlasting love and promises to humanity. Due to the faithful diligence of a few, the written Word of God speaks to and transforms the hearts of humankind to this day. This week, we’ll talk about hearing the voice of God through His Word and through the practice of journaling.


When Words Don’t Come


I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me.” Habakkuk 2:1, NIV 

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAStaying in tune with God can be difficult. Especially when we don’t hear anything.

As I drove my daughter, who has Down syndrome, to an appointment, she listened to her favorite station through her headphones like she normally did. Before long, she huffed and began thumping on her radio.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

She gave no reply as she continued to thump her radio in frustration.

“What’s wrong? Isn’t your radio working?”


“How long has it not been working?”

No answer.

“Did it work yesterday?”


“Did it work the day before?”


“Did you wear your headphones at work anyway?”


My heart broke.

After my daughter’s appointment, I stopped at the store for batteries, replaced the old ones in her radio, and drove her back to work. When I left, she was wearing her headset and was working to the beat of the music once more.

As I took my seat behind the wheel of my car, God whispered: “She didn’t hear anything, but she kept on listening. You should too.”

Once again, my daughter was the teacher; I was the student.

Day_5,_Photo_2,_Girl_in_PinkSometimes, God is silent. During those times, the temptation to change the channel is great. We want to remedy the situation ourselves: search in other directions, fill the dead air with the sound of our own voice or the voices of others, or simply “thump” in frustration.

Although the words of today’s text may not be the words we want to hear, they do give us some much-needed insight: Listen. Keep watch. Remain steadfast. Live in expectancy.

God will speak. He won’t remain silent forever. Although He may not rush in with His answer as quickly as I supplied the batteries for my daughter’s radio, His timing will be perfect.

So don’t grow weary and lose heart, my friend.  Keep. On. Listening. God’s words will come, and you’ll be dancing to the rhythm of their beat once more.

“If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, 
for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” 
Habakkuk 2:3, NLT  

In His Love,