No More Baggage

When you walk through an airport, you see many people with a lot of baggage. Some have so much they are forced to push it on a cart. Each of those individuals, whether they have so much they use a cart or so little they carry it themselves, have items of clothing and care products that are currently in use. You will never find old clothing that is no longer wearable or empty makeup jars in these bags, because there is no purpose for carrying such items.

My question this morning is, “Why do we weigh down our lives by carrying excess baggage?” For example, why do we burden our daily walk with the weight of bitterness due to a raw deal we endured years ago, or carry hatred for wrong done to us or a loved one, or dwell on unfair treatment by a classmate, family member, or boss? These are all excess baggage. Yes, these past events should have taught us something, but they should not be allowed to be a stumbling block in our lives.

As children of God, we need to learn to turn loose of past injuries before they become weights that hinder our lives, keeping us from being all that God wants us to be. Leave your baggage behind. Don’t let your past regrets, bitterness, or hatred control your life. Live for the future. Let your life be filled with God’s joy and blessing.

Romans 12:12 teaches us to, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

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Isn’t Pink a Color?

…and it’s still happening today

It's Hard to Drain the Swamp When Yer up to Yer Ears in Alligators!

Pink! Pink! Pink!” he screamed as he sat on the stairs leading to the old church basement. I froze, stuck on the stairs above him as a set of foul words flew from his mouth. This was my introduction to Tony. I had taught Good News Clubs and children’s church for years, but this experience was certainly a first. I stopped and prayed, “Lord, show me how to handle this.” I immediately thought of an experience the minister David Wilkerson shared in one of his books.

While working with inner city youth, David had been threatened by Nicky Cruz—leader of the New York City Mau-Mau gang. David was preaching in Nicky’s neighborhood when he encountered the gang leader. Nicky slapped him, and then threatened to kill him with a knife. David responded by saying, “Yes, you could; and you could cut me into a thousand little pieces and spread me…

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Throw it Away

Beauty and the Beast.jpgI stumbled over those VCR tapes for years, not wanting to throw them away because they brought back such good memories of when my children were young. “They are worthless,” I kept telling myself. “Throw them away.” But this morning I discovered that one of them was currently selling online for anywhere between $900.00 to $10,000.00. Now I’m frantically trying to remember if I finally did throw them away, or if I stored the black garbage bag they called home somewhere up in the attic. (I’ll be checking in a few minutes.)

As I sat there thinking about how funny it was that something I considered of no value others consider of great value, I thought about God’s opinion of man. He considered Adam “very good” before Adam was able to do anything good or bad. He dubbed Adam good because He dubbed Adam good. It was His opinion alone that gave Adam his value.

Today, it is God’s opinion that gives us value. He loves us because He loves us, not because of who we are or what we have accomplished. We are His creation and therefore we are of value. The weak, the strong, the wealthy, the down-trodden, the beautiful, the not so beautiful, the talented, the not so talented—we are all of value to Him because of His love for us.

I thank God that what some people call worthless, He calls of great value—great enough that He gave His life to rescue that “worthless” being from an eternity of separation from Him.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

The Warmth of a Fireplace

I love the atmosphere of a warm fireplace on a cold and snowy night, but I also love working in my garden and walking in the warmth of the sunshine. I often hear people complain about cold weather, after all, it’s not pleasant to freeze your tail off. But consider this, we lived in Florida for several years early in our marriage. Florida never has really cold weather, and the result is the bugs don’t die out like they do in other areas of the country.
Just as God uses the cold weather to assist in keeping insects under control, He uses trials in our lives to keep us under control…meaning humble and dependent upon Him. So today, be thankful for cold weather, and be thankful for the benefits and lessons learned through the trails of life.fireplacethe

Comedy Ideas Needed


Photo credit: State Library of New South Wales collection via Foter.com / No known copyright restrictions
So . . . I’m writing my 3rd comedy romance of the “The Love From Above” series and would love some of your comical ideas. It is an adult series, but the ideas must be clean. If you have any you would like to share with me (even if I don’t use your idea it might give me another one), I would love to hear here. Tks.

Memorial Day to Me


Photo credit: milomingo via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

My Memorial Day: I woke up about 5 this morning, had coffee and a few muffins, than went outside and spent the next 4 hours digging up “Christmas tree cactus” as I call them. My hands were blistered , my shovel foot hurt, and my face was beat red before I finished. I went inside, showered, then went to town to purchase some flowers for my “log” flowerbed, along with a few more supplies. In the afternoon, I planted some of the flowers and began digging up grass and weeds that were smothering a small bush. Before going inside, I backed the 4-wheeler into the side of the garage leaving a small dent. Next, it was time to fix supper. I’m tired, my hands and feet hurt, I’m frustrated at damaging the garage door, and I have so much more work before I’m finished, but all in all it was a good day. I am so thankful that men and women from all decades were willing to fight and die for my freedom so I could enjoy a busy, hard-working day on the land and in the house that I own. How many millions of people in the world don’t have this freedom. They live in socialist countries, or where dictators rule, and they beg to have the freedoms that so many of us take for granted. I thank God that He has allowed this experiment, the United States of American, a country where you can be who you want to be, build the kind of life you desire based on the amount of work you are willing to do, a country so great that tens of thousands risk their lives every day to reach so they too can have the freedoms we so enjoy. Thank you men and women of the armed forces who have so bravely served to give us this freedom.

Given To Road Rage!


Photo credit: PDXdj via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

I had a pretty intense bout of road rage last night. I’m not usually given to such childishness, but I was tired, really didn’t feel well, was already mad about something else, and I felt justified. Poor Scott was in the car with me holding on for dear life while my Mustang was fighting with another. I felt justified in the heat of the moment. (If I’m going 85 in a 70 and you ride my bumper so close I can’t see your headlights, you’re liable to get brake-checked too.)

There I was, minding my own business, breaking the law peacefully, when out of the shadows behind me came someone else breaking it way worse! In my high and mighty mind, the little blonde in the cliche red sports car behind me needed a lesson not to ride so close to me! After all, if I had to slam on my brakes, she would hit me! So, what did I do? Slammed on my brakes (just a little). After which there was a game of tag. I won’t give you the blow-by-blow, but let’s just say that I broke a few more laws. Not the least of which was the speeding law that I broke to a very much larger extent. It looked like a football game.

Why am I giving this confession? Well, because we play this game a lot. (At least I do.) I feel justified in my own sins because someone else is sinning way worse. It’s embarrassing to admit this all because I know better. I’ve been taught better. My father, especially, taught me to “heap burning coals on their heads.” He also would hold up one hand and count out five words to me: what – is – that – to – me? And of course, he would remind me that I had a gigantic plank protruding from my own eye…

It is easy as a Christian to get settled into the notion that we are “living right.” After all, we have read our Bibles, we give of our time, talents, and money, we go to church, we pray for others, we are kind and loving, and we follow the Ten Commandments along with a few other tenets of our faith (somewhat). It’s easy to forget that we are also huge sinners. We look all pretty on the outside because we want people to have the “right” idea of a Christian. But the truth is, we know better. We’ve been taught better. We also judge, gossip, lie, cheat, break laws, and a myriad of other things.

Jesus taught us to mind our own business and not try to “teach someone else a lesson.” He warned us of this self-righteousness. He lived it out when He told the woman at the well to simply, “Go, and sin no more.” Could He have made a spectacle of her and “taught her a lesson?” Sure. And HE would have had the right because He didn’t have His own sins to deal with, plus, He is God.

Ouch. There goes the pride I shouldn’t have being hurt. I have a lot to be sorry for. Looking back on any given day leads me to a lengthy list of wrong-doing. Back to the drawing board…

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”
Matthew 7:4

Guest Author: Rebecka Michael