Posts

Movement is Evidence of Life | James 2

Image
Welcome to Real Life . Show me your faith! People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day. –A.A. Milne Out hiking, my husband and I spied a momma robin in her nest. She sat so still. We assumed she did so to camouflage her presence. As we approached, however, she never turned, blinked, or even closed her beak. That’s when we realized. She’s dead. Movement is evidence of life. Like that momma bird, unless our faith results in some form of action, it’s dead. Movement is evidence of life. So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:17 NLT By grace we are saved through faith. [1] That faith, however, should move us to pray, give, forgive, help, serve, and more. These good deeds don’t save us. If we could drum up enough goodness to earn heaven, Jesus did not have to shed his blood. But we can’t. We need Jesus! We cannot achieve righteousness. We can only receive it when we kneel at the cross and say, “Lord, I beli

We're Not Home Yet | Hebrews 11

Image
 Welcome to Real Life . Are we there yet? I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. – Mark Twain “Where are we?” I asked my husband as I yawned and rubbed sleep from eyes. We were driving sixteen-hours home from Florida. “We just crossed the Ohio River. So, another two and a half hours,” he replied with a straight face. With my seat fully reclined, only sky and clouds were visible. We could have been driving the Autobahn for all I knew. But when I sat up, I spied a landmark, the KSU College of Podiatric Medicine. It’s less than ten minutes from our door. “Liar!” I laughed and gently punched him. “We’re almost home!” We’re almost home. But we’re not there yet. I need the reminder. Because lately, this world feels as cramped and crabby as a sixteen-hour road trip. No matter which side we're on, we're choosing sides and we're passionate about it. Some of us have lost trust in institutions and

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