My wish for Mother’s Day

  
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. My wish for this Mother’s Day is that all mothers know how special they are, no matter their circumstances.

There are so many types of moms out there. Working moms, home school moms, dance moms, and soccer moms. There are the perfectionist moms with spotless houses and the moms who have messed up and live behind bars. There are mothers to be and there are mothers who want to be. There are foster moms, adoptive moms and No matter what kind of mom you may be, you are special because you are a mom.

Children may sometimes declare that they hate their mothers, but even if children are mad right now they will, in time, come to appreciate all that their mothers have done or sacrificed for them.

Mothers are special because they always love their children, even when their children aren’t always lovable, in the same way that God loves us, even in our sin.

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Perfect Love for a Broken World

Easter is always a time to reflect upon love. For it was a perfect love that compelled one who lived a perfect life to be sacrificed for all of us to inherit eternal life.

This is a broken and cursed world and we are all sinners. Even so, Christ Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us. He didn’t wait for us to come to Him or to get our act together. He takes us all as we are and, through His love, we are changed and renewed.

As I reflect upon everything that goes on in this broken world, I am thankful for the perfect love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Cross on Stage

Longing for Silence

I am deprived of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is. -Lamentations 3:17

Right now life is always busy. Keeping track of the families activities, appointments, and commitments leaves me running all the time. I long for moments of silence; moments where I’m free to think about random things, no things, or God things.

I latch onto the rare moments of silence like a hungry babe. My mind cherishes the silence as it sorts out all the flotsam contained in its darkest recesses. The silence is where my prayers find their way to the surface and flow freely towards God.

Let a person sit alone in silence, when the Lord is disciplining him. -Lamentations 3:28

It’s in the silence that I can begin to appreciate the noise of my life. The noise that reminds me I’m alive and I have people in my life whom I love and who love me (on most days).

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage. -John 14:27

It’s in the silence that my spirit is recharged and I feel some level of control over the noise. I can contemplate life’s events and discern if I’m following on the path God has set for me.

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world.” -John 16:33

Though I will always have to live in the noise, I will always long for the silence.

Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen. -Romans 15:33

(All verses from the New English Translation)

Random Ornaments

I find it ironic that I’m posting about Christmas ornaments on Thanksgiving day (ok, ok, I didn’t actually get this up until Friday). As I watched my daughter decorate our tree yesterday, I kept thinking about the displays you see in stores or at homes fit for magazines. The ornaments all match a specific theme and are neatly placed on the tree. Our tree, however, is filled with random ornaments.
Some ornaments were purchased, some gifts, others are collectibles from past years. A few are from nicer stores, some from dollar stores, and then there’s the hand-made ones from the kids. They all make up a tree that can tell a story about our lives and our family.
I was thinking about how all those random ornaments mirror real life. We are all from different backgrounds and yet we can still come together to make something beautiful. I think about how Jesus called people from random backgrounds into His ministry to redeem the world. How tax collectors, fishermen, and other sinners helped to lead the way for the rest of us. I’m thankful for the random people God chose to speak into my life and show my His way.

Some of my random ornaments:

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Saying Goodbye to a Dead Dream

As I prepared my old Casio keyboard for sale, I felt the agony of a dead dream that I still continue to chase, in some way or another. I will never be the musician I wanted to be and though I will still write song lyrics and poems occasionally, it’s time to stop chasing that dream. I can’t play piano well enough to get the music from my head onto the keys and I will never hear any of my songs played as I imagined them. Though it’s a painful and empty feeling I’m left with, I know I need to let go and get my head out of the clouds.

Selling the keyboard and giving away a guitar I thought I’d learn to play is, in a sense, a finalization , a closing of a disappointing chapter of my life. I know I should have some kind of a God-given dream, but I have no idea what it is. I hope that with letting go of such a frivolous dream, I’ve made room for God to reveal His plan for me.

Lord, I’m ready for a new chapter, a You chapter, in my life. Please reveal Your plans for me. Amen.

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day, for me, is bittersweet. While my father is still alive, we have not spoken for years for reasons I won’t get into here. I’m joyful that my children have the benefit of a good and loving father to grow up with. I pray today for children whose fathers are absent, no matter what the reason, and that they have others in their lives to show them the love and care of a father. I also pray for the day that everyone will know their Heavenly Father and love he has for all his “children.”

Two of my favorite Father’s Day songs come from episodes of “Jem and the Holograms” and, for the fun of it, I’ve posted the lyrics below, courtesy of Jem Wiki.

A Father Should Be:
A father should be a good man
A father should be wise
A father should be tall and strong
With laughter in his eyes

A father should be behind you
A father should be there
A father should be someone
Who always treats you fair.

I know the kind of man
A father ought to be
A shining knight, who fights the good fight
And wins it just for me.

A father should be a hero
A father should come through
A father should be someone
Someone just like you.

 

You’re Always There in My Heart:
Seasons come, seasons go
But you’re always there in my heart
Raindrops fall, breezes blow
But you’re always there in my heart

Photos fade, youth has gone
But you’re always there in my heart
Time goes by, life goes on
But you’re always there in my heart

You’re a part of me, as I am of you
I can’t leave you behind
You’re a part of me, and whatever I do
You’re always on my mind

Through the years, joy and tears
You’re always there in my heart
Always near, ever dear
You’re always there in my heart

Always there in my heart.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there and may you be blessed as you continue to nurture and protect your children.

How I Pick a “Winner”

Ballot

I just spent the better part of the morning pouring over the voter information guide, the sample ballot, and various web sites for the June Primary Election. I have made my choices and will be mailing out my ballot this afternoon. One of the things I started doing over the years is to first look at which candidates have accepted voluntary spending limits for their campaigns. To me, those who can stay within a specified spending limit show an ability to budget the resources available to them. With so much government spending out-of-control, I think it is important to note who can stay within a specified limit, which hopefully translates to an ability to help manage the spending they are responsible for once they take office.

Beyond spending limits, I look at candidates’ statements both in the voter guides and on their web sites to see if they are coherent and reasonable. Candidates will make many promises, but are those promises achievable or are they just political gibberish? For example, a statement saying that the candidate would abolish all gun control laws would be gibberish and likely impossible to achieve. Whereas as statement discussing the reforms needed for our schools to bring education to the 21st century and to continue to give parents a choice in what educational avenue will work best for their children is achievable and reasonable, provided there are concrete suggestions and that it is not just a blanket statement. Party affiliations have very little to do with my actual choices because I look for those who share similar beliefs to mine, regardless of party affiliation.

Hopefully, I have made good choices and if those candidates eventually get elected, I pray that they prove to be who they say they are and that they do what they promise, to the best of their ability.

What about you? How do you decide which candidates to vote for?