Patience & How the Kayaking Trip Finished

One of my favorite places to kayak, canoe or tube is the Shenandoah River.  The landscape is stunning, and you often come around one of the many turns to see a mountain looking down on you.  This picture (above)  was taken by me (or Susan) on one of our many adventures there.
Yesterday at PCC, I told a story about a kayaking trip we recently went on with four of our closest friends, Jeff & Lanette Boggess and Hank & Donna …

I’m doing well, thanks for asking!

I really appreciate all of the cards, texts, calls, visits, food and other expressions of care.  It’s been very reassuring to have so much support.  Lots of people have asked how I’m doing, so I thought I’d share a little update.
On the Monday after Easter (4/17), I had a 4-level vertebrae fusion (C4 to C7) in my neck. I am one of the fortunate people who inherited degenerative bones in my spine (Thanks Mom!).  In 2013, I had a severe …

Christmas Eve from God’s Perspective

We all know what Christmas Eve is like.  As kids we were bouncing off the walls, trying to go to sleep, but not really wanting to.  As parents, we waited until we heard the snoring to start wrapping and staging Santa’s delivery.  But what was that first Christmas Eve like like for God?
Probably every person has prepared to do something significant at some point in their lives. A new job you were about to start or a trip you were …

Christmas Preparation: Is Jesus Bringing Peace…or NOT?

There is a VERY disturbing text in Matthew 10 where Jesus says something almost unbelievable.  Here it is:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not …

Peace: Pass it, please!

Peace be with you.
 
Many styles of worship services include a type of greeting and hospitality called “passing (of) the peace.” This practice is much more meaningful and grounded that I can give credit to here. For ease of explanation (although admittedly over-simplified) passing of the peace is when you turn around and greet your neighbor. In some traditions, you say, “Peace be with you,” and you’re answered, “And also with you.”
Oh, that it were that simple.
I wish I could hug …

Peace on Earth

I’ve heard it said that a full day is one in which you both laugh and cry. If so, then yesterday was a full day; so was the day before. The fullness of the Christmas season seems also to mean fully experiencing life—the ups and downs and in betweens. We laugh as we watch Buddy the Elf, Ralphie, and Cousin Eddie. Some cry as they watch Hallmark movies (I, for one, can’t quite handle the Hallmark movies. Don’t hate me.) …

Peace: How do I get it? (Part 3)

There are more components of a roadmap for attaining peace in your life than the 3 parts that I conclude today (yesterday was part 2 and Sunday was part 1).  Entire books have been written about peace.  But if you will adopt these 3 strategies, you’ll have a solid start.
Focus (Straining Ahead) and Prayer are critical.  Today is equally important, and it’s called Differentiation.  I’ll define this powerful tool shortly.  First, get your Bible and read Matthew 10:1-14 and …

Peace: How do I get it? (Part 2)

Hopefully, you’ve read the first two posts about Peace, from yesterday and the day before.  If you haven’t, I encourage you to go back so that you can put today’s devotional in context.
Peace is something that God wants  you to have, and the presence of Jesus in our lives is supposed to bring Peace. The truth, however, is often a paradox: a follower of Jesus who is filled with anxiety, not peace.  Those things – anxiety and following Jesus – aren’t …

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