Posts

God Wants Us to Know Him | Hebrews 8

Image
Welcome to Real Life . Relationships matter! It’s not what you know that will get you places. It's who you know. –Proverb I work for an international firm with thousands of employees. I know the name of our CEO. But I don’t know him personally. We’ve never met. He works out of our office in Athens, Greece (which is a bit of a drive from Cleveland). If perchance we passed in an airport, I might recognize him from photos. But he wouldn’t recognize me. He doesn’t know me. I simultaneously work for a massive corporation with offices in every city around the globe. When I joined the firm, I met our CEO. Though he runs a universal network of millions, he always takes my calls. In fact, he encourages me to reach out to him often throughout the day. He knows my name. He also knows my husband and kids, my favorite ice cream, my allergies, and the deepest secrets of my soul. Whether you’ve met him or not, God knows you, too. The God of the Universe knows you. Let that sink in a minute. What

Why? | Hebrews 4

Image
Welcome to Real Life . Why do we do what we do? Praca nie je zajac. Neutekuje. Work is not a rabbit. It will not run away! –Slovak Proverb I am always busy. There is much I want to do and feel I need to do. “Why?” I sensed God’s Spirit whisper when I finally slowed down to spend time in his Word today. I try to seek God early. Because once I get moving, it’s hard to stop and quiet my heart before him. That is exactly what happened today. I did a hundred little things before I finally sat down and opened my Bible at noon. When I did, I read this. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12–13 NIV) It’s no accident that on the day I delayed opening God’s Word, he reminded me of its im

The Call to Mentor | Titus 1

Image
Welcome to Real Life . Some things must be taught. “My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’” –Jim Rohn I was so fresh. At age nineteen, I landed a receptionist position at National Engineering and Contracting Company. It was my first experience in a corporate culture. Muriel (Wilson) Dean, the office manager and my supervisor, patiently schooled me in office etiquette, administrative, and relational skills. Muriel led by example. It was the early 1980’s. I watched her become the first black female stockholder at our heavy-highway construction company. [1] Under her mentorship, I was soon promoted as Executive Assistant to the Chief Engineer. Muriel joined the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Cleveland Chapter, and rose to the office of President. She not only sponsored me to join NAWIC, she inspired me to hold offices as well. Muriel graciously let me tag along to NAWIC regional forums and conferences. I stil

Compassionate Rescue | John 8

Image
Welcome to Real Life . Black and white rarely is. Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty And the pig likes it.  –George Bernard Shaw Disheveled, the woman is dragged into the temple courts. Shame, embarrassment, and fear surround her. The punishment for adultery is stoning—to death. Clearly, she is guilty. Caught in the very act. “Now what do you say, Teacher?” the religious authorities ask.  What can he say? The law is black and white. But this accusation is a dirty grey. Because these leaders care little for this woman or her transgression. If they sincerely sought justice, where is the man? Adultery requires two. They hunger not for justice, but blood—Jesus’ blood. They were seeking to trap Jesus into saying something, anything they could use to arrest him. In upholding the letter of the law, these teachers of the law miss the heart of the law—God’s heart. Sin is wrong because it destroys us. That's why he wants us to stay far from it. Adultery rips apart lives, marriages,

God With Us | John 1

Image
Welcome to Real Life . Before he laid the foundations of the earth, God had you in mind! The beauty of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence! We usually start a story at the beginning. For this reason, John doesn’t begin his Christmas story in Bethlehem. Instead, he takes us back to the very beginning, even before the dawn of creation.  In the beginning was the Word,  and the Word was with God,  and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  (John 1:1,14 NIV Emphasis mine)  Jesus Christ is God! If we miss this, we will never fully embrace the miracle of Emmanuel. Our all-powerful God chose to inhabit the least powerful human form—a newborn babe. [1]  An infant is completely dependent on others for survival. He or she cannot speak, eat, or move without assistance. But does an infant have no power?  Does a baby do nothing? . . . Is it nothing that the baby opens such fountains of love in almost all the hearts around? Was not Jesus going to es

Why I Love to Decorate Our Christmas Tree!

Image
 Welcome to Real Life . O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree. How lovely are thy branches. He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.   – Roy L. Smith Our Christmas tree isn't elegant or themed to match our d├ęcor. Rather, it's a cozy mix of eclectic ornaments spanning a lifetime. Many tell a story. This is a sampling. Our holiday season begins at Fred's Tree Farm. [1]  Our first time there, we left our infant son Denny with my parents to meet Terry's family at Fred's. Denny is now thirty-three. We've cut our fresh tree at Fred's Tree Farm every year since.  My brother Joe, a retired 82nd Airborne Army Sergeant, served in the first Gulf War—Operation Desert Storm. He bought me this Arabian Oil Lamp ornament as a souvenir. Each time I hang it, my heart swells with pride over my brother's military service. I thank God for protecting him in dangerous places! As a young mom, I served as a Care Group Leader in our church's MOPs (M

999: Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz

Image
Welcome to Real Life . Some stories, though horrendous, must be told.  People are still writing about the Holocaust? That was my first thought when my friend Michelle texted me this image of the book she was reading. Two previously unknown facts about the Holocaust piqued my interest. First, the transport was from Slovakia. As a daughter of Slovak immigrants, everything about Slovakia interests me. And second, the transport contained women, 999 of them, ages 16–36. As a woman, I was curious about their experiences.  The edict was announced February 28, 1942. In select Slovak cities, single Jewish females ages 16-36 were to report for three months of government work. Though disconcerting to Jewish parents, remember, this was new. There had been no transports to concentration camps. It was rumored the girls would work at a Slovak shoe factory. As anti-Semitism increased, some Jewish families considered this an opportunity to prove their patriotism and support their government. Few of the