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Friday, May 13, 2011

This past week when I asked for the verses that had gotten you through hard times, I didn't really expect the spiritual blessings I would get from reading them.

Why would I be surprised?  God's Word has power!

As I read them, I realized there were some great commonalities.  And so I decided to do an informal review and pick those that have impacted the greatest number of people.  Here's my take on the top verses:

Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Deuteronomy 31:8, The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  
(Similar verses are found in Joshua 1:5 and quoted in Hebrews 13:5)

Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Thank you for sharing your life with me.  After reading all the comments and prayers, I'm convinced more than ever that we need Jesus.  He's the only one who can heal the brokenness of our world.  I'm so glad He loves us.

As promised, I've selected at random (using Random.org) a winner of the Chronological Bible based on all comments that were posted and that came to me using email.  The winner is Vanessa who posted at 8:19 a.m. on Wednesday.  Please email me directly at editor@proverbs31.org.

Also, I was very touched by Sanya's comment.  Sanya, if you read this, please email me too.  I'd like to give you something as well.  Thank you for you honesty in sharing what you did.   The girls and I at P31 have been praying for you.

One more thing, earlier in the week I offered T.D. Jakes new book "64 Lessons for a Life Without Limits."  Using Random.org again, Jill who posted at 4:25 a.m. on Wednesday has won.  I'll email you personally.

May the Lord bless you all,


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Welcome!  Thank you for stopping by today, as we spend some time talking about training ourselves in godliness.  I'm much more equipped to talk about that type of training than athletic training.

I'm thankful my sons got my husband's genes when it comes to athletics.  If they had mine, their athletic experience would have been limited to tetherball on the 4th grade playground.  I've been told I run worse than a girl.  The one time I got bullied talked into trying out for softball, I got hit on the head during tryouts. Yes, it's that bad.

Thankfully you haven't stopped by my blog today to learn about sports ... hopefully I can share a lesson from sports we can learn without breaking a sweat.  So, welcome if you are visiting after reading my devotion about off-season training.  If you haven't read it, hop over to Proverbs 31 Ministries for a peek. 

What I've learned from watching my athletic family, is what you do off-season, significantly affects in-season performance.  If you want to succeed, do your personal best or pin an opponent, your training prepares you for that one moment that makes the difference.

For a Christian, reading God's Word is one of the best ways to train off season.  Here are some of the benefits I've found by training in Scripture:

1)  I recognize the voice of God more readily.  When you read the Bible, you get to know God.  You stop saying things like, "God would never ..."  The only thing I'm convinced of is God would never sin.  Other than that, our God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases.  (Psalm 115:3) So when He speaks to me, I'm better equipped to know it's Him because I've heard His voice recorded for generations.

2) I've gotten answers to questions I haven't asked yet.  Here's an example. One thing I learned by reading the Bible is I can know God's will.  I didn't even think it was possible before I read Romans 12:2. It reads:  "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."  That truth gave me confidence to step out in faith.

3) I've made life-changing decisions based on truth in the Bible.  One huge choice I made was to honor my husband in my heart.  In my flesh, I wanted no part of that.  There was some sense of power I retained by harboring dishonoring thoughts.  But then I put two verses together:  Ephesians 5:33 which teaches a wife to respect her husband and Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5:21-22, which says if you are angry, you will be judged the same as if you had murdered.  I understood through those, and other scriptures, that God was looking at my heart just like He's looking at my actions.  It made me do a heart-check in my marriage, and I wasn't looking too good. 

Last night, my friend Wendy Blight felt compelled to write a prayer for marriages.  She had no idea I would share this on my blog today.  If want to pray for your marriage, and don't have the words, please visit Wendy's site for a prayer God led her to write.

Of course, I've only touched on the powerful impact of training has when a crisis hits.  Training is the difference between standing firm or falling apart. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject.  As I mentioned in the devotion, I'm giving away a copy of the Chronological Bible to someone at random.  All you have to do is identify one truth you’ve learned from the Bible that has helped you stay strong in the tough times.  If you don't have a truth to identify, the just make a comment.  Please leave your email address so I can get in touch with you.  Or check back on Friday when I'll post the winner. 

Thanks so much for joining me today.  May the Lord bless you!

In His Love,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This past weekend, God gave me another chance to do the right thing.  It's a chance I won't mess up. 

You see, this past weekend my youngest son and husband went to Rocky Point, Mexico on a short mission trip.  They went with a team of doctors and nurses to set up a weekend medical clinic.  Since they don't have any medical experience, they played with the children of patients.

They had a great time and got back in time for a Mother's Day celebration with our family.  On Sunday evening, while cleaning the kitchen, Robbie and I were talking about the trip.  My husband had already told me Robbie had a great time, and everyone was impressed with how hard he worked, and how personable he is.  (The proud momma in me loved that!)

Robbie had his back to me, washing a counter, and said quietly, "I think I may have found my calling."

My response Sunday night was VERY different than it would have been seven years ago.  Seven years ago, shamefully, I wouldn't have been very supportive.  ALL I would have thought about is how far away that might take the boy I love desperately.  I would have thrown in a few "motherly" cautions and warnings.  I might have expressed my concern not so much in words, but in held back affirmations.  You see, I've done that. 

Seven years ago, when his oldest brother wanted to go to Honduras at age 12, that's how I responded. He'd already gone to Mexico on a mission trip and it changed him.  He wanted to pursue mission work. I never said no, but he eventually dropped the subject. 

I'm ashamed.  I've repented with many tears for allowing my fears to hold back my son from obeying God's calling. I've lived with the "what ifs" for years.  What if I had done all I could to allow Josh to explore this potential calling?  What would it have done in Josh's heart?

Sunday night, Robbie got a very different response.  This time, I had to restrain my enthusiasm so he didn't feel embarrassed by my emotional response.  A second chance had just been placed in my lap, and I wasn't about to mess it up. 

"That's awesome!" I said, stopping cleaning and turning to face him.  "Have you thought about another trip you'd like to take? The church sponsors lots of trips."  (whoa back, Glynnis ... I could feel myself getting excited)

"I'd like to go back to Mexico."

"What about Uganda or Honduras?"  I suggested. (Hint, hint ... I REALLY wasn't going to mess it up.)

"I think I'd like to try Mexico again before taking a bigger trip".  (Well ... he's still got a bit of me in him)

"Robbie,"  I said, making sure he saw the confidence and pride in my eyes.  "We will do what it takes to allow you to go on any mission trip you want."

"Thanks Mom"

And in my heart I heard Someone say, "Thanks Glynnis"

I smiled. No, thank You Lord for a second chance.

My friend, if you are the mother of younger children, please remember my story.  From one mom to another. We can help each other raise children who will be bold for God, by saying "yes" when God plants something in their hearts, and then turning to each other and expressing our fears.  If you struggle with this, I know your pain.  But I also know that regret and disobedience is worse. 

If you ever need some encouragement to say "yes" to the dreams God places in your child's heart - I'm here.  Drop me a note and I'll pray for you. 

In His Love,

Monday, May 9, 2011

I love the show Fringe.  It's kind of weird, sometimes gross, but always intriguing.  I'm partly drawn to it because of the strong female lead in Olivia, but also the tender father and son relationship in Walter and Peter. 

If you don't watch it, here's a quick summary:  Years ago, Walter (the father) discovered there was a parallel universe to ours ... with the exact same people, just at slightly different levels of technological discovery.  When Walter's son, Peter, died, he discovered the other Walter's son was also sick and dying.  Convinced he could help the other Peter, Walter crossed over and took Peter. 

Because of this one choice, this one action, there was unbalance in the universes.  Now, little by little the fabric between the two universes is tearing.  With each tear, something devastating happens.  The universes are breaking down.  The Fringe Division investigates these odd occurrences. 

BIG NOTE HERE:  I have not watched the last two shows of this season, so please don't give anything away if you've seen them.  :-)

Anyhooo ....

Prepare for a dramatic shift in topic ... but it comes back to Fringe, so keep reading.

This fall, I will have two sons move out of the house.  I'm not sure my heart can take it ...  My oldest will very likely be joining the Marines, and my second oldest will be going to college.  When they leave, they will hold in their hands a booklet that I am writing for each of them called "Driving Tips for the Narrow Road." 

Years ago I tried to get this published, but there wasn't the interest.  Now I'm writing it for my sons.  Each page contains a truth they can hold on to when the road threatens to be so wide they leave the faith of their youth. 

One truth is coming from Fringe (which Dylan and I watch together).  And it has to do with why bad things happen in the world.  Here's a taste of what they will read:

You see, years ago, in our real world, one man made a choice that shook the universe.  Adam chose to disobey God.  It wasn't God's choice for that to happen.  But it happened. 

It happened because God never force Adam to do anything.  Don't we love that part of free will? 

Now, because of that choice, sin has entered the world.  And bit by bit, the fabric of the universe is tearing.  As it tears, horrible things have entered.  Things God never wanted to enter, such as cancer, mental illness, addiction, anger, hate.

Some things happen because of our choices.  War, hunger, poverty, hate, drunk driving.  These are man's choices.
Some things happen because of our broken universe:  Disease, physical handicaps, Alzheimer's. 

None of this is God's choice. He should not be blamed for any of it. 

We should take responsibility for our choices, and make a difference.
We can seek God's healing for what is not our choice.
We can accept God's peace for what doesn't change.
And in it all, choose to trust that God will redeem our brokenness, and not waste any pain.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this today.  Whether or not you have children moving out, what truths would you like to tell your kids that they can hold on to?

I've got a copy of T.D. Jake's newest book called "64 Lessons for a Life Without Limits."  Post a comment and a way to get in touch with you and I'll give it away at random to someone.  I'll announce a winner in a few days.

Grace & Peace,

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Two weeks ago I bought one of my daughters a pair of sandals.  She loved them at first glance, but I could see they were just a bit too big for her.  She tried them on, took a few steps, and insisted they would fit fine.

I had my suspicions, and asked her again if she was sure these were going to fit.  After another round of insisting, I gave in and bought the shoes ... which I haven't seen on her since.

You see, we have a  history, my girl and I, of this happening.  Her insisting she'll wear something, only to get it home and find there's something just not right about it.  It's too tight here, it itches there, and so on. 

This morning she finally admitted they didn't fit right.  So her sister is the proud owner of a new pair of sandals today.

This pattern is frustrating to me.  I never know when she's going to decide she doesn't like today what she loved yesterday.  Honestly, it makes me NOT want to buy her anything expensive so that we don't waste the money.

My mom took the girls to a puppet show this morning, and so I had some time to think after they left.  And I realized that God must think the same thing about me sometimes.  There are times when I'm sure I want something ... I see others having the same thing, and it looks like fun. It almost fits me, and I could wear it, but in reality, there's something that's just not right about it. 

In my past, this has happened more with responsibilities than clothing.  I'm enthusiastic about a lot of things, and often only see the bright shiny surface of the opportunity.  Without taking time to really investigate the reality of that opportunity, I've gotten myself involved with things that really weren't a good fit.

Interestingly, just like I bought my daughter the shoes, even with my suspicions, God has allowed me to "put things on" that He knew all along wouldn't fit.  I had to learn it for myself that what He picks out for me is really the best fit of all.

The challenge is figuring that all out.  It's intentionally going to God and asking Him to confirm my choices and opportunities.  It's not jumping at something because it looks good.  It's wearing something awhile (if I can) before I "buy" it. 

I want to be able to buy my daughter lovely things that I know will fit her well.  But for now, she is still learning to trust my judgment, and not be impulsive. 

Does God want to give me blessings, but withholds them until I trust His judgement completely?  It's an interesting question for a Saturday morning. 

Grace & Peace to you today, my friend.



Congratulations to Ashley for winning the sticky note portfolio I was giving away this past week.  Thanks to everyone who commented as well.  I've got lots more fun things to give away so keep reading.  Ashley - I sent you an email, but if you don't get it, contact me directly at editor@proverbs31.org.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My father passed away a few years ago, and in all my growing up years, I don't remember him ever saying he loved me.  He was physically present in the home, as he was a high school teacher, and home every evening and summers.  But he wasn't very involved in my life.  In fact, I sang from the time I was in third grade until after high school and he never attended any concert.

But, you know what?  I always knew he loved me. 

Perhaps it was a combination of little things, like the way he counted my freckles, or called me "Denny" when I walked in the room.  He took me to Walgreen's and bought me my first "rock and roll" album:  Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat" soundtrack.  (Obviously, neither one of us knew what rock and roll was).  He even tried to buy me "go-go boots" once.  Unfortunately I ended up with white ones that only came halfway up my calf, when I really wanted black ones that came to my knees.  But he tried.

There's someone else who I know loves me.  Even though I've never heard His voice say the words, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, God loves me.  How?  It's the little things:

Today a quail sat on top of my fence and cooed.

My roses are blooming, and the fragrance is better than any perfume.

There is a cool breeze.

I'm enjoying the sweet taste of Starbucks Gingerbread Lattes .... (My husband bought me some syrup so I could make my own)

My dogs are lying at my feet.

I could go on and on. Sometimes, especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed, it's in the little enjoyments of life, the things that make me smile, that I experience God's love. Oh, there's lots of other ways I know God loves me, but today, I'm celebrating the little things. And I'm realizing the importance of surrounding myself with sweet touches that speak of God's love.  And then taking the time to enjoy them.

I'm also celebrating my friend Lynn Cowell, whose first book has just been released.  It's called "His Revolutionary Love" and it's a celebration of God's love for women, especially young women who might search for that love in the wrong places.

In celebration of Lynn's  book,  Proverbs 31 Ministries is partnering with Children's HopeChest to place this wonderful new book into the hands of girls who desperately need to know how truly loved they are. For every copy of this life-changing book purchased May 2-4 on Proverbs 31 Ministries or  Amazon, we will purchase a copy for a girl who likely would not be able to obtain one (up to $10,000)!

I hope you experience God's love today.  Instead of looking for it in the big ways, try looking in the little things.  And stop for a moment and just breathe it in.  It's there.  I promise.

How do you know God loves you today?  Take a moment and post a sweet little thing you enjoy, and I'll select someone at random to win a pretty packet of sticky notes.  Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you, or check back on Thursday when I announce the winner.

Grace & Peace,

Monday, April 25, 2011

Welcome!  I'm so glad you stopped by today.  I've got a devotion running on Proverbs 31 about making Little Decisions.  This is a theme that God has elevated in my life for the past few years.  It hasn't just been about food, although that's an ongoing issue.  It's about all the little details it takes to manage my life so there's some sense of order.  It's also about the little things in relationships.  It's a touch, eye contact, a pause - they all matter to someone who just needs to know I care.

With a husband who works at home, and five teenagers, the details of my life and the many needs threaten to overwhelm me at times.  It's in being consistent with little things that helps me not be drowning in the big things. 

So, as promised, here are my top ten list of little things that make a difference in my life, in random order:

  1. Balance my checkbook
  2. Clean the kitchen before bed.
  3. Look at my children when they talk to me.
  4. Read my Bible before I go to sleep.
  5. Stop what I’m doing and hug my husband when he comes in the house.
  6. Keep my opinions to myself 4 out of 5 times.
  7. Put my pajamas in the drawer.
  8. Create a menu for the week.
  9. Be on time.
  10. Call my mom to say hi (not done enough). 

I'm not sure this is my TOP ten.  There are so many little things that make a difference in life.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  What are some of the little things that make a difference to you.
Grace & Peace,