Showing posts from November, 2011

Full Stomachs and Lean Souls

Welcome to  Real Life . Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving. Forty-six million turkeys were consumed in feasts across our land. We are a nation blessed with abundance. We have come a long way in four hundred years... In November of 1620 the Mayflower landed in Provincetown Harbor. The Pilgrims faced their first winter with little food and only the ship for shelter. By spring, half (of 150) had died of starvation and disease. However by autumn, they had harvested their first crops. Governor John Carver called for a celebration: The Pilgrims invited Massasoit, who came with 90 of his people and whose hunters contributed five deer to the celebration. The Pilgrims gathered corn, wild turkey, ducks and other fowl, fish, and venison. The first Thanksgiving lasted about a week, with three days straight of feasting with the Wampanoag. The time was filled with prayers, dances, shooting matches, wrestling, and other games. [1] Now that’s a party! They had known hunger. They had seen death

The Uncommon Tree

Welcome to Real Life .  Currently, the weather in Northeast Ohio is transitioning from autumn to winter.  The leaves have fallen from the trees, except for one tree… The Uncommon Tree | Psalm 1:1-3 Just last week, my neighbor’s maple reached her zenith of color in an explosion of crimson leaves. On a sunny day against a deep blue sky, her beauty takes my breath away. She’s a stubborn tree.  She’s always the last one in the neighborhood to shed her leaves.  Even when winter winds blow and snow blankets the ground beneath her branches, this maple clings to life.  She’s an uncommon tree.  I want to be like that maple, Lord.  At times, life’s harsh winds blow turning my world into a cold, dark winter.  Give me a stubborn faith that clings to beauty and truth.  I want to be an uncommon woman.  I want the Real Life you give. Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in

Battling Giants

Welcome to Real Life . God is speaking. When life is hard, am I still listening? God Speaks Series | Battling Giants | Hebrews 3, 4 “Today, if you hear his voice,   do not harden your hearts.” Warning: Don’t be like the Children of Israel.  As slaves in Egypt, t hey cry out to God for deliverance. He sends Moses to Pharaoh to say, “Let my people go.”  Ten plagues later, Pharaoh does. God leads the Israelites across the desert to the Promised Land. But at the border, they refuse to enter. They’re afraid. Giants are in the land. These same Israelites saw God rain plagues on Egypt and drown the Egyptian army in the Red Sea . They experienced God’s miraculous provision and protection in the desert. Yet, on the verge of stepping into their inheritance, they stop trusting God. They harden their hearts. God won’t force Israel to enter. Instead, he allows them to remain in the desert 40 years until that generation dies. Then, he leads their children safely into the Promised La

Thirsting for God

Welcome to Real Life.  Last week, God was pursuing us as the “Hound of Heaven.” This week, he’s water to thirsty souls. God Speaks Series | Thirsting for God | Isaiah 55:1-2 Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters. Not long ago, a friend said, “I’m so thirsty for God.”  It made me wonder why I wasn’t thirsty for God.  I was walking with him.  But, I wasn’t longing for him.  Soon afterwards, my life was thrown into a period of turmoil.  My parents’ health was rapidly declining. One thing after another was going wrong. I could barely catch my breath. By the grace of God, we all survived. Now, my world is beginning to calm. … and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! And I’m flat broke. I’ve spent all my strength. I’m tired and weak. I’m thirsty for God. Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. So, I come, just as I am – poor and broken. A willing heart is all that's needed. God’s Spirit, his fullness, his satisfaction is not