Does Your Present (or Future) Life-Assignment Make You Feel Weak in the Knees?

elephant and kids

Does Your Present (or Future) Life-Assignment Make You Feel Weak in the Knees?

1 Chronicles 28:20 (NIV) 20  David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

Do you have an assignment in your life that makes you feel weak in the knees at times? I think there are probably few of us who do not have a challenge like that right now. If we don’t…we will. Not just once but again and again throughout our lives.

Maybe we feel inadequate. Maybe we know in the depths of our soul that God will equip us and yet…there are those times…maybe many times a day, that we feel unequipped. It helps to recognize that we most certainly are unequipped.

By facing that fact, we are more likely to cry out to God for His wisdom and strength instead of trying to do (whatever it is) with our own wisdom and in our own strength.

His way is much better, friends. Ours is a constant shot in the dark. Even if you are  trained for something specific, without seeking God’s wisdom and strength for each decision, you will spend a crucial lifetime shooting in the dark.

God desires to guide us, strengthen us, in order that we can help strengthen each other. He has put us here on this earth with a purpose in mind. What true purpose is there, except to touch the lives of those around us?

Whether raising your own kids, encouraging new parents as they raise theirs, taking on a new career or training someone else to take your place…you are affecting the lives of those around you. You are influencing everyone within your sphere…even when you are unaware.

We live a very generational life. I affect the people younger and older than I am. They affect people younger and older than they are. God intended that it would “take a village”. Not just to raise children but to encourage and strengthen each and every person around you toward a stronger faith through Jesus Christ. Not merely speaking words of faith, though that is needed and very good. But living the life…loving, caring and asking God for wisdom as to when (if) to speak and what it is He wants your friend or loved one to hear from you in this moment…and then in the next and…the next.

It is either that…or wake up years later realizing you have been winging it…shooting in the dark…and you have missed so many moments or misfired waaay too many shots and done some damage.

Still…it is never too late to draw your strength and wisdom from Him. It is never too late to take on life His way. He is love. He is mercy. He is wisdom. He is strength. He doesn’t just have love, mercy, wisdom and strength. He is love, mercy, wisdom and strength…and so much more!

He offers us the immense benefits of His character. He has created us to join Him in the work He is doing for our good and the good of those around us and for the glory of His Name!

Not being raised Presbyterian, I had never heard this until I was an adult. But, oh, how I love these words. They are from the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Somehow, our amazing God has wired us up to hunger for Him and His ways and then…as we seek and walk with Him, our sense of His presence enhances our purpose. In the process, we encourage others to do the same. Our lives make a difference in their lives and in the process our God is shown for who He really is.

None of this is complex. We do, however, have an enemy who prowls about seeking whoever he can devour. If he can devour our understanding, if he can devour our desire and our hope to do life well…to seek the wisdom of God and His ways…if he can get us to believe the lies…we will see God’s ways as complex, unattainable and even foolish.

I hope you will pray this prayer with me:

Psalm 86:11-12 (NIV) 11  Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. 12  I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.


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Tickled Ears or The Truth…


Through the years, when I have heard sermons about how we want our “ears tickled” I didn’t feel it applied to me. I interpreted it as people who don’t want to hear the truth and I want to hear the truth.

But in A. W. Tozer’s “Attributes of God”, he said this about a deeply spiritual song called, Te Deum: “We’ve forgotten it now because we are not spiritually capable of understanding it. We want to hear what will tickle our ears. ‘Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?’ Job 26:14”

In the margin, next to the part that says, “We want to hear what will tickle our ears” I have written a note: “Oh dear…it’s true! I want to hear sermons preached in a style that fits my personality…my exhaustion level on any given day. Truth…yes…but how complacent have I become about Holy God?

We start our kids on cartoons that help them “understand” about God. What happened to the days when we started them out with Pilgrim’s Progress in order that they might absorb a picture of the true character of Holy God?

We start with the bar ever so low…they end their growing up years spiritually low (immature…often not hungry) and we wonder why.

For ourselves, we expect to be somewhat entertained from the pulpit. We don’t think we do…but what is our conversation as we walk away from Sunday service? Is it about the pastor’s presentation or Holy God?

What are our evening hours spent doing when we are home? Are we crashing with a book of substance or have we become accustomed to doing something “mindless” almost every night because we are exhausted and claim that right?

Have we trained ourselves to believe that reading deeper things about God will only exhaust us more? “We can’t think when we are tired”…so we let the television or the apps/games do the thinking for us, instead of developing our endurance.

We spend time looking at our faux friends, as they display their faux lives on FB and we get discouraged because our lives are not nearly as fun or charming as what is being portrayed in front of us.

We choose to torture ourselves with discontentment based on lies. Not that people on FB are necessarily lying to us. They are simply posting their happy moments. It is half the story. It is less than half the picture.

So…we teach our children about God through (sometimes less than honoring) cartoons and wonder why they don’t revere God and those He has created, including themselves. We model that the Word of God is not worthy of our cherished “down time”. Perhaps we choose Christian books that are more about us than they are about our God. We demonstrate that we value FB (or some other form of relaxation) more than time in the presence of Almighty God, because let’s face it…we do!

No matter your age or stage, you are developing or stunting your view of The Truth. We are being watched and at some point (often unconsciously) emulated. We are changing the generations.

Are we guilty of wanting our ears tickled? Are we teaching our kids to follow suit? Maybe not as much as “the guy next door”…but how much damage are we doing? How much have we done? How much reexamination and “rebehaving” is called for in order to know The Truth and fulfill our calling?

I wonder….

2 Timothy 4:2-5 (ESV) 2  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.




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Is It Well…With Your Soul? Or…Like Job…Are You Demanding Answers From a Holy God…

Shed bluebonnets

Is It Well…With Your Soul? Or…Like Job…Are You Demanding Answers From a Holy God…

It’s Sunday in church service. My heart is breaking for those I love who are feeling tortured. In the harder moments, I ask why it had to be this way. Yet, at the same time that I cannot stop the tears, I can sing the words to this song and mean them. They are the truth! Underneath it all…IT IS well with my soul. God is at work. I know it. I trust His hand and yes…even though I do not and likely never will understand His plan…I trust His heart (His character and His love) and therefore His plan.

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul. It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blessed assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

He is faithful. His word says He is faithful. I have found Him to be faithful. He has no obligation to explain to me the blows that come my way…or into the lives of those I love.

Just as He did with Job, He will make a way. If I respond to the pain and pressure in the way He intends me to respond… if my loved ones respond the way He intends…His purposes will be brought about. On the other side of this very long journey, our lives will be forever changed. Actually, if we don’t respond…our lives will be forever changed.

Either way, change is coming. Will we cooperate and allow God to add more faith and more purpose and peace and joy to our lives? Or will we be willful and foolish and angry and become more broken, misdirected and useless?

His intent is to continue forming us in His likeness while we are on this earth. It isn’t His job to explain the way He is forming our character. We get it backwards and think He owes us an explanation. He owes us nothing. He has paid the ultimate price for our salvation…for our good and His glory.

What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

In today’s culture, we have become entitled. We think God is here to serve us…to make us happy. After all, as the old McDonald’s commercial and so many other not-so-subtle messages have taught us: “We deserve a break today!” We deserve…I deserve…I deserve…

God owes us nothing. Nothing! The chasm between who He is…His holiness and our depravity is so great that we all deserve to fall into that chasm and be completely and wholly separated from Him for eternity. We deserve to be separated from Him and anything holy and good. Yet…because He loves us with an unfathomable love…Jesus bridged that gap on the cross. He paid the price, he suffered the unspeakable agony for you…for me.

When we get it straight…when we spend the time and thought and prayer to take this in…our view of His place in our lives and our place in this life will drastically change.

We are each worth gold to Him…worth His life. How then, can we accuse Him of handling our lives, our hope, our reality carelessly, cruelly and without purpose? How then, can we angrily hang on to the questions about what He allows to come into our lives?

Not that we don’t have questions. Not that we aren’t allowed to ask the questions. But just as His ways are not our ways…His answers are not always going to be satisfying or available to our finite minds.

We walk by faith. When we know something of the character of our loving God…our questions won’t become demands and they are less likely to be fueled with anger.

Job 38:1-5 (ESV) 1  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2  “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3  Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5  Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?

There is so much more to this than just those verses! Read Chapters 38-41 and beyond!




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Is Your World Exploding?


Is Your World Exploding?

I find it stunning how God strengthens us through the most painful times of our lives. I don’t always feel that way…some days it just hurts. It doesn’t make sense to me, I am exhausted with it and…it just hurts.

When my world feels like it is exploding, or one of my family members is in pain, I wish I could tell you that I stand right up and say… “It is the Lord! I trust Him do what seems right to Him!”

Even though I don’t always feel strong like that…in my heart I know this to be true: Even if we who are being crushed don’t see the evidence that God is at work…He is, nevertheless, at work. There is eventual rest in that knowledge. Maybe it takes minutes to come to that faith-rest. Maybe hours, days or weeks. But our God…offers rest.

Like the Israelites, we can stubbornly look at things our own way. We can disobediently handle the fallout our own way and stay caught up in the sadness and continual (often false) drama of what has happened or what “probably will” happen.

Matthew 23:37-39 (ESV) 37  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38  See, your house is left to you desolate. 39  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

When the breath gets knocked out of us, when the unthinkable happens… we are going to “feel it”. We are created to feel. We may even feel a (temporary) sense of hopelessness. We most assuredly have some questions and confusion.

But isn’t it stunning that when we call out to God, He gives us what it takes to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward with the assurance (the faith) that He knew this was coming. He is ever before us, beside us, behind us, under us, above us. He was and is and will be with us!

If we choose to call on Him…obediently walk in His steps…not only does He give what it takes to move forward, He builds  in us a faith that is permanent and strong. We gain strength and courage, which takes us through the next blow and the next. We now have a certain amount of confidence that we are going to be okay. Not just okay…but stronger, more full of faith. We somehow sense that we have more to offer those in our sphere.

We live in a broken world. The enemy of our soul is constantly prowling around looking for someone to devour. But…He can’t devour us, unless we choose to believe his lies and buy into them…live them out.

God is sustaining us. He is with us. He wants to give us wisdom and has a better a plan. He has in mind a future and a hope. Most likely not the future and hope we had in mind. But The Future He has had for us all along. He knit us together. He knows what we need in order to have a sense of joy and purpose. He knows what rings our chimes.

Sadly…we have it so completely backwards. He isn’t here first snd foremost to ring our chimes.

He hasn’t held back His hand of destruction because He is here to serve us.

He has held back His hand of destruction because He loves us and all of those in our sphere. We have all sinned against God. We deserve destruction. The chasm between His holiness and our terrible awful sinful choices should be fathomless.

Yet…in His mercy, He has redeemed us. Then, amazingly, He has made us a part of His purposeful plan to redeem those around us from an empty, feckless life here on earth and an eternity of complete separation from anything that resembles love, peace and joy.

Where He is absent …only emptiness can reign. Whether right here on earth or once we no longer have life in our bodies and have gone on to eternity, it is the same: Where He is absent…fear, confusion, hate and terror reign.

Yet…His love can reign in us because of the cross. When we choose to walk repentantly, honestly, closely with Him…faith, hope, love, purpose and strength will ultimately reign!

Then, when your heart is imploding and nothing seems to make sense…you can honestly say, “It is the Lord!…I can trust Him do with this what seems right to Him!”

1 Peter 5:6-11 (ESV) 6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11  To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 John 4:15-21 (ESV) 15  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17  By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19  We love because he first loved us. 20  If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21  And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.




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The Presence of God…The Selfishness of Man and…Is A. W. Tozer a Busy Body?

Blue bird with mannasplace

The Presence of God…The Selfishness of Man and…Is A. W. Tozer a Busy Body?

Do you long for the presence of God…the feeling…the sensing of His presence and yet cannot seem to experience that kind of closeness with Him very often? Why is the manifestation of His presence so elusive?

In his book “The Attributes of God”, A. W. Tozer (often quoted and certainly revered) writes of how God consumes the earth…is everywhere. He gives a wonderful example of God being everywhere. Picture a bucket that is in the ocean…of course it is full of ocean water. But picture how the water is in it, under it and around it. The water is completely and fully present…in every single space. That is a picture of God’s omnipresence. Yet…as believers we so often feel God is remote.

Tozer reminds us how in Song of Solomon, the bridegroom (Christ) has given the bride (us) beautiful gifts of perfume and jewelry. He talks about how the bridegroom came back to her house (where she was enjoying the tantalizing aroma of her perfume and admiring her beautiful jewels) and asked her to come with him. She told him she couldn’t. (She was too busy basking in the gifts he had given her).

Then Tozer says, “He wanted her, but she wanted his jewelry and his perfumes. Of course, there could be no fellowship while he’s out there doing one thing and she’s selfishly staying in the house doing another.”

He further says, “The love of the Lord Jesus Christ was a great, passionate, outpoured thing that caused Him to give Himself completely. ‘Christ pleased not himself’ (Romans 15:3). Even our Lord pleased not Himself. But do you know what is wrong with us? We are self-pleasers. We live for ourselves.

There are people who would buy a new car even if it meant their church went broke and had to close its doors. There are women who would dress in the latest style even if the mission cause died and every missionary had to be sent home. Yet we’re saints, we’re born -again, we’re believers-we have our marked New Testament!

We may be Christians but the love we have is a calculating and narrow love, a love that doesn’t give itself.”

Tozer went on to quote Dr. Scofield, “Sin has almost deprived us of the ability to kneel before that burning bush.”

How convicting

It can be easy to dismiss Tozer’s words regarding funding the church and missions if we are faithful in giving. But are we sacrificial?

If we spend a little time mentoring or loving on those who are hurting…we can sooth ourselves with the kind things we are doing. But are we giving of our time and love sacrificially? Does our sacrificial love start at home, or are we willing to give sacrificially outside our home but at home…not so much?

I don’t know…this Tozer guy…he might be kind of a busy body. 😊

But then…perhaps not! The Word of our God is the source of his wisdom…so Tozer’s thoughts ought to be considered…a gift…a wonderful reminder of how we can truly experience the Presence of God!

Romans 12:9-21 (NIV) 9  Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


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The Loving Pressure of the Loving Potter…


The Loving Pressure of the Loving Potter…

“Jeremiah experienced his life as a created work of God. He was not a random accumulation of cells; he was formed by loving, skilled hands. He wasn’t a potentiality of material just waiting for the lucky time when he could, by asserting his will, make something of his life; he was already made something by God, formed for his purposes.

The life of faith is very physical. Being a Christian is very much a matter of the flesh – of space and time and things. It means being thrown on the potter’s wheel and shaped, our entire selves, into something useful and beautiful. And when we are not useful or beautiful we are reshaped. Painful, but worth it.

Jeremiah’s potter shows me what I become as I submit my life to the creative and merciful God. Our lives become the pottery that makes possible the emergence of civilization – what Jeremiah called the ‘people of God,’ what Jesus called the ‘kingdom of God,’ what Augustine called the ‘city of God.’ It is no longer every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. We are containers, ‘regions of being’ in Heidegger’s words, in which love and salvation and mercy are conserved and shared. Everything is connected and makes sense now – the shape of creation and the shape of salvation, God’s shaping hand and the shape of my life.” Run with the Horses, by Eugene H Peterson

There is a DVD I love, called, “The Potter…Reflections of a Master Artisan”. It is simple and beautiful. The artist (potter) Dave Blakeslee, works in his pottery studio in beautiful Colorado and visits about how God forms us. It is a peaceful and simple story…yet beautifully deep as he talks about the gentle pressure he puts on his pottery pieces to form them and correlates that to the way God continually forms us.

Through Jeremiah, God is showing us the same story.

How thankful I am for God’s word and those in our world who remind us…who show us the gentleness of God’s love…even as we force Him to put immense pressure on our lives in order to teach us to finally seek Him and yield.

All of this…for our ultimate good and His amazing glory!

Jeremiah 18:1-12 (ESV) 1  The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2  “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3  So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4  And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. 5  Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6  “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7  If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8  and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. 9  And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10  and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. 11  Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the LORD, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’ 12  “But they say, ‘That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

Psalm 139:1-24 (ESV) 1

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 5  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7  Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8  If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9  If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11  If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12  even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 13  For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 17  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18  If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. 19  Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20  They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 21  Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22  I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 23  Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!



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Photographs and…Family!

Cheryl Lindsey and her mom

Photographs and Family…

Though I did not take this photograph, it is one of my all-time favorite pictures and I have probably more than a thousand.

Why is this a favorite? Because I know the hearts of the characters and because I love mother-daughter (and family) relationships…what a gift from our God.

These two have strong personalities. I say that because I know the youngest of the two and from the snippets of stories and…since she carries the genes of her mother…I would say her mother is also one determined lady.

So how do mom’s and daughters with two strong personalities enjoy one another this much?!

Well…I think by working through their own “stuff” through the years…by continuing to reach out to each other when sometimes we would just…rather not. By trying to understand…even when we don’t want to because differences are hard to understand!

By seeking our God through the years so that we don’t let the distance between Him and us or the distance between us and our moms or daughters (or other family members) become set in stone.

By keeping our sense of humor and even…cultivating it.

God has given us specific family relationships, whether it is mother and daughter or son and father…brothers or sisters. We tend to push each other away when things get hard. Whether with family or friendships, what we should be doing is working so very hard to draw each other in.

One time, when I was a young girl, I said to my mom in my most frustrated tone, “All of the weird people like you!” She said, “Judy…some day you will realize that some of those ‘weird people’ will become the very best friends you will ever have. Mother was right. But then, she almost always was!

Well then…if your family members are sometimes hard to cope with…if they think you are hard to cope with…perhaps God wants you to cultivate those relationships and see if one day…your family might become some of the very best friends you will ever have.

What healing that would bring…what joy to us and to the heart of God and…since family members share genes, there would be a history to share and often, the same “weird” sense of humor…

How much fun would that be?

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)
22  A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 15:13-23 (ESV)
13  A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
14  The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15  All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
16  Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.
17  Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
18  A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
19  The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.
20  A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.
21  Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
22  Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
23  To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!

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