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When the Plan Changes

Posted by on Aug 26, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

Lean in close, I have a secret to tell. “I am a recovering control freak.” Seriously. Life is good when things go according to plan, when nothing too crazy happens, and when people behave themselves. But if things start to veer too far off course, I get anxious. God has grown me a lot in this area over the last few years, though. I’m learning to raise the white flag, to trust Him and listen to His voice when things seem out of control. I had an opportunity to practice this recently. My child was very loudly and quite passionately objecting to the word no. I knew I couldn’t give in to the tantrum. Such behavior was unacceptable. I needed to make the child stop. But all my efforts were in vain. Every discipline or redirection seemed to make things...

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The Triumph of Christ

Posted by on Jul 29, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

My wife, Nancy, and I worked our way down the narrow, noisy, twisting, congested street in Jerusalem known as the Via Dolorosa, or “The Way of Sorrows.” This is the route that tradition says Jesus followed, carrying His cross through the streets of Jerusalem and eventually winding up at the “place of the skull”—Golgotha. Looking at it today, however, the route looks more like the Way of the Moneychangers. Instead of the jeering and weeping crowds that Jesus would’ve seen on either side of the Way, we saw lots and lots of vendors hawking their wares—everything from Chicago Cubs T-shirts to all kinds of artwork, including the sketch of four rabbi’s crossing a street like the Beatles on Abbey Road. It’s as if all of the moneychangers that Jesus drove out the Temple decided to set up shop on...

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Twenty Things I’m Thankful For

Posted by on Jul 20, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Mama, what are twenty things you’re thankful for?” My seven-year-old snuggled up next to me and waited expectantly for my response. I listed twenty things, then watched as she used her little fingers to count off her own list of twenty blessings. I’m glad she helped me give thanks. Because it’s easy to forget. To lose sight of God’s goodness as bad news fills our newsfeeds and lands in our inboxes. Yet even now – especially now – our hearts need to be reminded that God is still good. He’s filled our lives with tokens of His grace. He’s still in control and is actively bringing good out of evil – on a worldwide scale, as well as a personal one. Nothing can restrict the peace He offers us, for He’s present in every storm. Recently, after spending the...

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Let’s Do It Together

Posted by on Jul 1, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 2 comments

“I get to see a real person?” I’d just gotten off the phone with my friend and the kids’ beloved babysitter. She’d called to say she was on her way over to pick something up. Our seven-year-old daughter heard my side of the conversation and couldn’t contain her excitement over seeing an actual person somewhere other than a computer screen. When our friend arrived, the kids rushed onto the front porch to say hello. Though we maintained a six-foot distance and chatted in the front yard, it felt good to enjoy a face-to-face conversation. Months of social distancing have taken their toll. But they’ve also taught us the value of human connection. Of sharing life with the people who live in our spaces. It’s easy to take for granted those we love the most. Even in our families, we...

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Pilate Stones and Jesus Rocks

Posted by on Apr 29, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

I can’t read Latin, and many of the letters had crumbled away, but the name etched into thelimestone was still obvious to me. The second line on the stone clearly said, “Pilatus,” as in Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judea. Outside of the Bible and other writings that mention Pilate, this stone provided the first concrete evidence (or “limestone evidence”) that Pontius Pilate, the man who condemned Jesus to death, walked this earth. My wife and I saw a replica of this “Pilate Stone” when we came to what remains of Caesarea Maritima, perched on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It was our first day in Israel, and the jet-lag had yet to strike as we picked our way across the archaeological site beneath a sky as blue as the water. The remains of the city shone a brilliant...

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Camouflaged Blessings

Posted by on Apr 22, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

My son loves to wear camouflage. He’s never been hunting a day in his life, but he dreams that someday he will go. Recently, he told his daddy he wishes they could go moose hunting in Alaska. (I mean, why not start big?) We’re city people so when my boy wears his camo, it’s more for fashion that functionality. He loves the style, and I love him for it. For many people, though, camouflage has very practical purposes, providing the element of disguise and preventing the person from being seen. As I type these words, we’re several weeks into a statewide lockdown due to the spread of the Coronavirus. My husband is off work for who knows how long. And as a family, we’re each dealing with various emotions and grieving significant disappointments. For us, this is a time...

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