Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chanel No. 6

I have been reading through the Gospel according to John for the past couple of weeks, just taking one chapter at a time.  This morning I came to Chapter 12 which contains one of my favorite stories.  Jesus was dining with Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  Martha was busy serving while Mary took a pint of expensive perfume, poured in on Jesus' feet and then wiped his feet with her hair.  Judas, the betrayer, objects and explains that the money spent on the perfume could have been given to the poor.  His words are full of hypocrisy,  as he was not only a betrayer, but a thief, stealing from the disciple's money bag.  Jesus rebuked Judas and saw Mary's actions as an act of love, preceding his death and resurrection.

I am a creature of habit.  I get caught up in checking off a list of items that I think will please God.  God endures my frail efforts, but what He really wants is my unrelenting, extravagant love.  I want to figure out how to give that to Him.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sick People

Here we are again dealing with the deaths of innocent people at the hands of a sick person.  I have written in the past about how I feel about sick people killing innocent people.  I continue to struggle with that.  This article by Ed Stetzer helped me some.  People struggling with mental illness are often either embarrassed to ask for help or don't know how to ask for help.  Churches do not do enough to let those who are struggling know how to get help.  I think a big part of the problem is that mental illness can sometimes start with minor depression.   At what point does minor depression escalate to mental illness that needs to be treated medically?   When I was 35, things weren't going great at work.  I didn't feel good physically, and I didn't want to get out of bed to go to work.  I went to a doc-in-the-box, described my symptoms, took a 3 minute survey and left with Prozac.  I never took it at the recommendation of my sister-in-law who is a nurse.  Things eventually got better for me (weeks), and I don't feel like I struggle with depression now.  What are the things that could have happened that would have caused that depression to worsen?  I can imagine some things, but I don't know.  I think one of the best things that can happen is that family and friends can notice small changes in people, and take those changes seriously.  I would guess that many times, a person struggling may just need some encouragement, but there could be other times that the situation is more serious requiring medical treatment.  Being observant, attentive and proactive might keep someone from making a huge mistake down the road, and if not, maybe we will just know them a little better after taking some time to listen.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The beauty of Azur

No, I wasn't trying to spell the color Azure.  Azur is a name in the Bible which means helper.  Our connect group from church is studying how to make our marriages better.  This week we are looking at the roles of the wife.  Our video leader explained that God made woman as a helper (azur) for man.   While some could read that as the wife being subservient to her husband, it is actually the same role that the Holy Spirit is to Jesus.  The Holy Spirit is also called Azur.  The roles that wives play in their marriage include: companion, comforter, counselor, convictor and connector.  The wife is not subservient as helper, but complimentary, in that her strengths are essential for the health of the marriage.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


It is been many years since we took our school age kids to Disney.  Michael and Lizzy are married now and have blessed us with 4 grandchildren.  Caroline planned a trip for us to all to go to Disney this week.  We have visited Epcot and Disney Studios so far with Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom still to come.  Getting everyone from place to place is not always easy, but I have to say the smiles on the kids faces are worth every minute.  I am so thankful to have Caroline to take the lead on getting this trip planned and so thankful to have kids and grandkids that I love spending time with.