Showing posts from 2018

A Thanksgiving Prayer...

Heavenly Father, I am in the daily habit of counting my many blessings, naming them one by one. It reminds me of how truly fortunate I am - how rich I am in all the ways that matter. I remember, of course, to express gratitude for an amazing family and a bounty of good friends; for a safe and lovely home, surrounded by neighbors who care for one another; for reliable transportation; for resources with which I'm able to enjoy good food and entertainment, and also access the medical professionals who help me to manage my health; for a faith community that challenges and inspires me in my spiritual walk; and, most importantly, for the gift of Your love and Your Son. During this week of Thanksgiving, however, it occurs to me that I often forget to thank You for some of the most incredible blessings You've given me: five senses with which I'm able to experience and enjoy the beauty of Your creation. Help me to remember that these senses are meant to be employed not only for my

He Buys Ugly Houses!

I am blessed to live in a beautiful master-planned community, nestled in a suburb of Houston, TX called Sugar Land. Shaded by clusters of towering pecan, oak and elm trees, residences in our subdivision are reminiscent of those charming cottages and farmhouses of old, their facades adorned with a patchwork of brick, stone and wood. Structures sit atop perfectly manicured yards, where grasses enjoy weekly military cuts and stand ever-proudly at attention. Garden beds, bursting forth with colorfully blooming bushes and flowers, hug home exteriors and their precious porches. Lovely and welcoming, houses here beckon visitors to “Come in and stay awhile!” It’s all very Southern, really. It’s been said that there are exceptions to every rule, and one of those is located just down the street from me. Some would term it a “fixer-upper.” The house appears to be unoccupied, once again, for the garage door never rises, the driveway is unpopulated, and lights remain in the “off” position. The gras

Lessons Learned from "The Fall"

Last week, I decided to spend some time in the great outdoors with my faithful friend, Mack the dog. Because I’d not been feeling well, I attempted to keep our adventure low-key with a stroll along the pathway that meanders through the flowerbeds in our backyard, moving toward a glider that sits under the branches of a lovely shade tree. Unfortunately, Mack is not really a stroller, and he soon left my side for greener pastures in the form of a squirrel perched atop the fence behind me. Near path’s end and with my eyes fixed on a wildly barking Mack rather than my destination, I tripped and, in an instant, found myself falling forward, arms flailing. With eyes tightly shut, I executed a not-so-graceful face plant into the bark mulch, landing rather unceremoniously at the base of a rose bush. After breath returned to my body, I cautiously opened my eyes and found myself staring directly at the bush’s thorns. I am happy to report that the limp has almost left me by now, and I can reflect

He Is Not Here!

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." ~Matthew 28:6 Each spring, I'm reminded of my amazing friend Kate, who has sadly left Texas and is now living in Arizona. I recall her once telling me that Easter is, in her estimation, the most blessed and meaningful occasion of the year. It is a time for fresh starts, new beginnings, and a chance to celebrate the wonder of the resurrection, or what Henry Morris calls "the crowning p

Regarding Spiritual Gifts...

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. ~Romans 12:6-8 My dream of becoming a published author was born when my parents invested in a set of World Book encyclopedias in the summer of my tenth year. While other kids were outside playing Capture the Flag in the parking lot of our apartment complex, I was seated at the dining room table, poring over the contents of those forest green- and cream-colored volumes. The amazing articles and color photos found on their pages would transport me to faraway destinations, help me to better understand a