Tag Archives: crown of glory


Today, I am participating in a fun Friday exercise called “Five Minute Friday.”  Every Friday blogger Lisa Jo Baker posts a word and writers are encouraged to spend five minutes writing a short focused post on that word, no worries of perfection or what others think or how it sounds, just what comes to mind. This week’s word was “Mighty.” I hope you are encouraged by my words on the subject.

Did you know the average adult has 60,000 thoughts each day? An even more striking statistic is sunrisethat 85% of those thoughts are negative ones about ourselves! Which means around 50,000 times a day we tell ourselves we’re not good enough, we’re not beautiful enough, we don’t have the talent to compete! And in the process, we get stuck in a cycle of self-deprecation and self-loathing.

The truth is while we are all products of our pasts, we are not prisoners of it. You can choose what you think about each day. You can made good choices. You can become Christ’s light in a fallen world. Since we are made in God’s image, His mighty love means we can move against our fears, be released from our past and do amazing things because of His strength.

You may think you are facing a wall. But on the other side of that wall is your future. And it can be astounding if you place it in the hands of a loving God. Because the most amazing thing you can do is be obedient to God.

God does not define you by your failures. God does not want you stuck in the mire of regret. And His is the only opinion that matters! “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.” Zephaniah 3:17

Challenge yourself each day to know Jesus intimately. He will transform you. He will build a new life with you. Your identity is in God. And there is no limit to what a man or woman can do for the glory of God.


I’ve been struggling this week, struggling for a worthy topic. Somewhere I heard that, as a writer, to keep your creative juices flowing you should pick a topic, any topic, then force yourself to write 500 words on it. Actually something like that sounds thrilling to me, so you can pretty much tell how twisted my mind is. Imagine writing a blog entry on yellow polka dots or string beans or the mating habits of crickets. (Something, by the way, I had to Google up. Did you know that the female cricket deposits her larvae on the male? Imagine having to write 500 words on that!)Quiet_Night_by_vladstudio

So at first, I thought I’d write about courage. The cowardly lion got it right: we all need a little bit more of that in our lives. It would be so easy to write 500 words on courage. Yet the more I thought about it, there was another character trait that needed unpacking. And that word is integrity.

I like the definition offered by Barbara Killinger (PhD and an expert on workaholism): integrity is a personal choice, an uncompromising and predictably consistent commitment to honor moral, ethical, spiritual and artistic values and principles. That about says it all. The word itself comes from the Latin word, integer, which means wholeness.

I used to think that dishonesty was the enemy of integrity. Now I think it is busyness. That seems to be our new drug. “I’m too busy to…” Fill in the blanks. Call a friend, write a letter, bring dinner to a soul in need, visit with someone after church? We all have good intentions, but we’re too busy doing who knows what. We live at a frenetic speed, connected almost constantly to Facebook or Twitter, with a cell phone almost surgically attached to our hand. But for all our improved ways to communicate, why are we so unhappy?

There are layers to that answer, but mostly I believe that in our hurriedness we rush past our life; the one right in front of us. We measure our value by what we do, what we can do instead of who we are or, more importantly, Whose we are. We’re so fast we never get comfortable in our own skin. Because here’s the truth: we can’t know ourselves, our friends or even God when we fragment our lives so we constantly struggle with the clutter in our heart. It is only when we slow down, remove all the distractions and listen quietly that we can become whole.

Then we notice God working. We can see His fingerprints, His provision over our day. In peace, we can alter our self-talk, creating words that encourage us instead of destroying our confidence. Only when we stop rushing can we give ourselves fully to our family and friends. It is only by living in the knowledge of Whose we are that keeps us whole.

By surrendering to the cross, your countenance changes. You want to push out society’s busyness and cling to the One that matters. A sacred, noble life forms through the grace of God planted firmly in your heart. You live well. Your life matters.

At the end of the day, I want to feel special. I want to connect with people who know me and love me in spite of knowing me! I want to listen to stories that are authentic, inspiring and true. I want to touch the hearts of those who touch mine. To become a friend reaching tenderly into the soul of another with powerful, positive results. I can only do that if I am fully known by God.

In order to know God, to see His hand leaving beauty in my life, I must slow down. I must cherish integrity. I must be whole.

Drooping Sails

The doldrums have recently hit me; prevailing winds have calmed my sails. My Aunt Marion passed away at the very end of July and her death, for many reasons, has hit me hard. She was gracious, elegant, a bundle of energetic love with an enthusiasm for life that was contagious. I feel listless, now mourning the loss of her positive, loving influence.Trail in Temperate Rainforest

One day, I wrote an email to a cousin from the opposite side of the family trying to explain my grief. She wrote back: At this stage in your life you realize all the magnificent plans you had to accomplish things in life have not happened and probably will not. On top of that you are sick of your daily “routines” – tired of the same foods, tired of your belongings, upset about getting older, aggravated with family and friends, and wondering what nasty ailment will befall you and lead to your demise. That’s enough to keep anyone from sleeping well and to give each of us a true feeling of the blahs (if not a serious case of depression). Alas the good news is you have a boat load of company.” (Just a quick side note here: If you are trying to cheer someone up, this is not the way to do it.)

But in a way I get what she was trying to say. On some days, life feels like an uphill battle and the climb becomes steeper and steeper as we go along.

Yet, if there is anything I’ve learned throughout my life, it’s that the best is yet to come. There are miracles ahead. And if that means the climb seems impossible for a while, I take heart in knowing I’m on the right path. Doesn’t it feel the same way with you? Do you look for miracles when life smacks you in the face?

Despite the days I want to stay in bed all day, giving up and giving in is not an option. It isn’t for me and it can’t be for you. I’ve learned we all have gifts that if unused dull our world. We all have a community of friends and supporters who are cheering us on, watching us climb that steep hill, defeating our giants and reaching that glorious new vista.

Even if you don’t realize it right now, you are loved. God values your life so much, He sent His Son to give you life. Your heart and your life are exquisitely beautiful. Your soul was designed for His delight. No matter what you are in the midst of, whichever doldrums have taken the wind out of your sails, you can rest assured that every component of your life is tucked inside His care.

Whatever gift God has given you is priceless and His love is so much stronger than whatever you are facing. He continually wraps you in His protection, so you can use your gifts to give Him the glory.

Even on the days when I struggle to see any good in the future; when giving up would be so easy, He gently whispers to me, “Keep going. The best is yet to come.” His words empower my passions. And today, I want to convey the same to you maybe because right now they are the words I most need to hear.

Keep going! Keep fighting to ascend the thorny pathway you are facing. God is a God of love. He loves you enough to have blessed you with more gifts and abilities than you could ever think possible. Hold on tight to Him and keep going. Climb for His glory. Climb to see what miracle the next steps hold. Climb for all those cheering you on who are waiting to see what God will do through you.

You can make it! You will make it! The best is yet to come! Just keep going!