Jan 31, 2013

The Gift of a Handwritten Note

Do you like to get notes, emails, phones calls that are meant to encourage you? How about the ones sent to express gratefulness and appreciation for what you do or who you are? How about the ones sent/given as a simple expression of love?

In our household we frequently leave notes, send emails, and write cards to communicate a message to the person who was not home when we needed to communicate with them. Cathy and I have made it a habit to leave notes or send emails or leave voice messages on the phone to express love. 

Frequently, Cathy and I will come home and discover a note from one of our adult children who had stopped over and wanted to leave a note to let us know that they were there when we were away.

I treasure each of the notes I receive from my family, friends, relatives, and from people who somehow have intersected with me, and they took time to write a handwritten note and send it to me. I usually keep them in a box under my desk.

Recently, I woke up and discovered a note that Cathy wrote for me when she left the house while I was still sleeping. In the note Cathy expressed how grateful she was for me. I put the note in a frame and set it on my desk (because it touched my heart) and because it was a good reminder of her love.

The next day I discovered that one of my daughters had written on a Post-it® Note and stuck it to the note from my wife. It simple said “Like mother like daughter”. I smiled and said a; “Thank you” to God for the gift of this handwritten note.

When was the last time you sent a note, or an email, or made a phone call to someone else? I want to encourage you that it can make all the difference to those in your life, who need a smile, or to laugh, or to simply know that they are loved.

Take some time right now and grab a card or a piece of paper and write a handwritten note and send it to someone and make their day!

Jan 24, 2013

The Spirit of Adventure.

My granddaughter Fallon likes to take walks on her family land, road, woods, and the surrounding farmland. She especially loves to go on “adventures” as she calls them. What she is referring to are some small paths through the woods at the end of the long driveway that goes from the main road to her parents’ house. Whys she calls them “adventures” none of us knows.

A month or so ago on a Saturday, Cathy and I babysat her and her brother Gavin at their house and Fallon wanted to “go on adventures”; and so Fallon and I did. We set out down the long driveway until we came to the spot where adventures start.

As we walked the narrow paths through the trees, we discovered things like an old barrel, a small tractor, an old shed, a pile of junk, and a box full of skateboards. We also followed a small bunny and birds that went from tree to tree.

We looked, pointed, smelled, touched, and named everything that crossed our paths as we took our adventure; well most things, I had also discovered the carcass of a deer but neglected to point it out to her.

We spent about one hour on our walk until she eventually asked me to hold her. I picked her up into my arms; she put her head of my shoulder as she held me tightly, and quickly went to sleep. A fitting end to our adventure which turned out to be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon

Do you like adventures? They can be fun if your mind is set on seeking and discovering new things.

ad·ven·ture means:  An exciting or very unusual experience. Participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises. A bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.  A commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture. Obsolete, peril; danger; risk, chance; fortune; luck to risk or hazard. It means to take the chance of; dare.

How about you; do you like to take risks? They sound good on paper, but when you push off and leave the shore the real fun begins. Adventures don’t always have guarantees or scripts.

What happens when it takes awhile to get “there”; when the dream isn’t fulfilled right away? Do you press on or do you give up?

God told a man named Abram to set out on an adventure, to a place he had not been to, to discover his destiny. Today, we know this man by the new name that God eventually gave him; “Abraham”. Genesis chapter 12 records:

“Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

And do you know what; he did it! He stepped out and did on the grand adventure God set before him. The book of Hebrews tells us:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11: 8-10)
This new year ahead of us can give us ample opportunities to go on adventures; to discover new people, and friends, and places. Let God take you where He wants you to go. He is always thinking from a heart that loves. Let’s set our child-like heart to step out, shove off to face whatever new adventures come our way knowing that His plans are for good; oh how He loves us so!

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."





Jan 17, 2013

When The Thrill is Gone

You know the saying; You don't know what you have until it’s gone"?

It is often stated AFTER people have parted ways because the thrill was (supposedly) gone. This is true for both people and things and we wander with regrets over the loss the rest of our lives.

Well, I want to help you with that today.

Today, take time today to stop and think about just how good you really have it. Think of the people you know. Think about what you DO have.

Today, right now, take time to stop and be grateful that you have a marriage, a job, a house, a vehicle, a refrigerator; no matter how imperfect it or they may be.

As Gordon Mote writes;

“While the world looks upon me, As I struggle along, And they say I have nothing, But they are so wrong, In my heart I'm rejoicing, How I wish they could see, Thank You Lord for Your blessings on me!

There's a roof up above me, and I've a good place to sleep, There's food on my table, and shoes on my feet, You gave me Your Love Lord, And a fine family, Thank You Lord for Your blessings on me!

I know I'm not wealthy, and these clothes are not new, and I don't have much money, But Lord I have You! And to me that’s all that matters, though the world may not see, Thank You Lord for Your blessings on me!

Don’t wait until something is lost or missing or gone to express gratefulness. The saying goes on to state; “The truth is you knew what you had; you just never thought you would lose it”

It’s amazing once it is gone how much we miss things and people and places. Over and over again people at funerals exclaim with tears how much regret they have that they didn’t express or show love to the (now deceased) person lying in the casket. 

Over and over again people express that they miss the days of their youth and their vitality. So why not be grateful TODAY for the health and strength that you do have; tomorrow is coming soon and with it are more that (potentially) you will lose.

This world and the things in it are passing away. Don’t let this day pass you by. You do not know what tomorrow will bring.


Jan 10, 2013


Are you inclined to trust??

Trust means to rely on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a person or thing. It is a confident expectation or hope of something.

Many people have difficulty trusting that things will works as they are suppose to work. We see this when we grab the wheel of our vehicle when we need to make a quick stop; not trusting that the brakes WILL do their job and bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

Many people have difficulty trusting people. We’ve been burned and so we set up our guards and (perhaps) become cynical as to whether or not they will let us down.

Many people have difficulty trusting God. How about God; do you trust Him? Can we trust someone we can’t see when those we can see prove that we shouldn’t trust them… Can we rely on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a God and His Word (the Bible)? Can we be confident of His goodness, and have expectation or hope of Him coming through in our lives?

My friend, my answer is; “Yes, you can trust God” He has proven His faithfulness to me (and so many others) time and time and time and time and time….

So, how do we do this thing called trust? In the old classic book; “SOVEREIGN GRACE” by D. L. Moody, Pastor Moody asks his friend Reverend Marcus Rainford a question: “What is it to trust?"

Reverend Rainford replied: “I take it to mean four things:

1.) believing in CHRIST: That is, taking Him at His Word.

2.) Hoping in CHRIST: That is, expecting help from Him, according to His Word.

3.) Relying on Christ: That is, resting on Him for the times, and ways, and circumstances in which He may be pleased to fulfill His promises according to His Word.

4.) Waiting on Christ: That is, continuing to do so, notwithstanding delay, darkness, barrenness, perplexing experiences, and the sentence of death in myself. He may keep me waiting awhile (I have kept Him a long time waiting); but He will not keep me waiting always. Believing in Him, hoping in Him, relying upon Him, and waiting for Him–I understand to be trusting in Him.

I love how Eugene Peterson writes Proverbs 3:5-6 in his translation of the Bible:

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give Him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline; don't sulk under His loving correction. It's the child He loves that GOD corrects; a Father's delight is behind all this.”  (Proverbs 3:5-12 MSG)

My friend, today you too can put your trust in God; He will come through!

Need help learning how to TRUST God? Call 1-888-NEED-HIM 



The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson



Jan 3, 2013

“Sit Down Next To Me”

…Cathy said as I was pacing the floor in our family room “killing” some time before my next appointment. She patted the couch to communicate; “Sit Down Next To Me.”

Cathy sat on the couch and invited me to sit with her, instead of just walking around. Now, I don’t remember if I had a meeting to get to or a hockey game to play in; because this scene has played out before. What I do know is that she didn’t want me to miss this opportunity to spend some time with her.”.

She continued to pat the couch to communicate her invitation; “Sit Down Next To Me.

I continued to pace not realizing that what I was communicating to her. I was already down the road to my next destination acting as though she wasn’t really in the room.

The sad part of this story is that I have done the same with the Lord sometimes as I “took my prayer time”. I have actually spent time “seeking Him” but not really acknowledging that He was indeed in the room with me.

If I had, I wouldn’t have paced the floor “killing” some time before my next appointment. I would have stopped, and sat down, and spent time; real time with One who longed to be with me.

I would have spent more time actually mediating on what I was reading in the Bible; taking greater time to ponder the application of it to my life.

Misty Edwards has a song that speaks to this called “Dove’s Eyes”. In it she sings;
I don't want to talk about You like You're not in the room
I want to look right at You I want to sing right to You
I believe that You are listening
I believe that You move at the sound of my voice
Give me dove's eyes
Give me undistracted devotion for only You

Oh Father God, help me learn to sit down and really spend time with You EACH and EVERY day; to recognize and acknowledge that YOU are there and want to spend time with me.