New Arrival!

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In the past few days, I have had the privilege of welcoming Addison Ann Wright into our family. She is our third grandchild! With the birth of each child, I am amazed by the wonder of creation. I can’t help but see the handiwork of our glorious Designer as I look at Addison’s precious fingers, toes and facial features. Even her sweet eye lashes and fingernails make me realize how God cares for the minutest details. I relish the thought that God has a unique plan and a purpose for Addison, just as He does for each one of us.

It’s interesting to think that God compares the birth of a newborn baby, with the spiritual birth of believers into His family. In His dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “ Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!.”

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God does a new work in us when we place our faith in Christ. We are no longer the same. He births in us a heart that has the potential to truly love and forgive. He transforms our old self, which was a slave to sin, into a new creation that has the power to overcome sin. He replaces our despair with hope, our worry with peace and our sorrow with joy. He gives us a rebirth from within – a spiritual transformation!

Thank you, Lord for new life – both physically and spiritually. Thank you that every time we see a newborn baby, we can praise You for your handiwork and be reminded of the new work you have done in our lives. Thank you for caring for us and for being our wonderful and loving Heavenly Father. May we continue to grow and mature in godly wisdom.

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If you have a heart that values life, please join us for Council for Life’s north Dallas coffee – April 10 from 10 – 12 at the home of Carla Zeller. For more information email her at: zeller.carla@gmail.com

Daily Hope

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This morning as I reflected on the celebration of Easter, I thought about the hope Christ brings to our lives personally. Certainly His resurrection brings us the hope of heaven – and what a joyful hope that is! But Christ’s resurrection also means hope for us in our day to day existence, right here, right now. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead is at work in our lives. What joy and victory we have as believers in Christ!

As I continued to ponder the power of the resurrection, I began thinking about all the ways that I so desperately want to see the transforming power of Christ at work in this world. I wrote out a few thoughts that were heavy on my heart.

  • I want to see broken families made whole again.
  • I want children to grow up in healthy, happy and safe environments
  • I want moms to know that they are valuable and loved by God.
  • I want dads to recognize their important role in the family and look to God for strength.
  • I want our youth to recognize that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives, and that they are equipped with unique gifts and talents to make a positive difference in this world.
  • I want revival to breakout across our land, so that families find their foundation and strength in the transforming power of Christ.
  • I want all people to know the love and forgiveness Christ brings, and I want all of us to reflect that love and forgiveness toward others.

So that’s my heart’s cry. That’s where my heart aches. What about you? Where does your heart ache? Perhaps  a more positive way to say it is, where do you want to see the transforming power of Christ at work in this world? Will you join me in praying today and everyday for His resurrection power to bring hope to this nation and to our world?

 

”Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20,21

If you want to know more about how to make a positive difference in the lives of families, please check out my parenting initiative at www.EngageParenting.com

 

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

Passion

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This is considered “Passion Week” as we reflect on the days Jesus moved from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem toward the cross where He paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. Often, we think of passion as a deep feeling of love and concern, but the word itself means so much more. Passion comes from the Latin word passio which means to endure or suffer. Because of His deep love for us, Christ chose to endure the suffering on the cross on our behalf. So “Passion Week” is actually “Suffering Week” – a week when we look with gratitude on what Jesus did for us. But the story doesn’t end there, we also rejoice this week for Easter Sunday, celebrating the victory of Christ’s resurrection.

In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul encouraged believers to not only know Christ in the power of His resurrection, but also to experience the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings. Our faith in Christ not only calls us to live a life of victory and power, but it also calls us to die to self and serve others with humility and love. Christ did not cling to His Heavenly rights (Philippians 2:6), but humbled Himself as a servant and became obedient even to the cross.

This week (and every week), let’s turn our eyes toward Jesus in joy and gratitude for His sacrificial love for us. May we be inspired by His example to live in loving and grace-filled service toward others. Perhaps we need to consider some of the rights we tend to hold onto in our lives or perhaps areas where we feel we are above serving or caring. Let’s open our hands to Him and ask Him to guide us and flow through us as we reflect His love to the world.

Point to Ponder: The word Compassion means to join into someone else’s suffering. Where is God calling you to serve, to love and to show mercy?

This week on my facebook page I am looking at what the Bible has to say about Jesus. Join me each day for a new reflection. Click Here.

Finding Your Direction

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Where are you headed in life? When navigating a boat in open waters, a captain must continually consider his direction. Getting slightly off course can send his ship into a dangerous situation or to an unintended destination. When navigating the waters of life, we want to stay on course toward our desired destination as well. How do we find our direction and continue on a positive trajectory in life?

Consider your Purpose – If we plan to go nowhere, we will get there every time. But if we have hopes and dreams and a purpose in life, we can set our path in that direction. Certainly goals change and life takes twists and turns, but when we keep our ultimate purpose in mind we can correct the course and continue moving toward the target. Let’s take some time to be still and ponder some of life’s bigger questions as we think about where we are headed. We can ask ourselves:

  • What is most important to me in life?
  • What am I put on this earth to do?
  • What legacy do I want to leave in life?

We may not have all the clear answers to these questions, but simply thinking about them helps us begin to determine where we are headed and where we eventually want to land.

Chart the Course – What is our plan of action as we head toward our destination? A wise navigator considers the possible storms, the length of the voyage, the necessary crew and the provisions needed for the journey. First, we must surround ourselves with positive and wise people who believe in our vision and can encourage  and advise us along the way. What are the other provisions necessary? It’s possible we may need further education, or we may need to develop a particular skill. Creating a one-year plan, a five-year plan and perhaps a ten-year plan can help us get a vision of what is needed down the road. Breaking down the one-year plan into quarters and writing out specific action steps for each quarter can also help us move forward in manageable steps.

Look Up.  Ancient mariners used the stars to guide their paths, and we can look to our Heavenly Father to guide our way. We can best navigate the waters of life as we seek our Creator’s wisdom and direction. It is good to know that we do not travel alone. He who sees all, promises to guide us along the way. Here’s His message to His people:

This is what the Lord says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.”

Isaiah 48:17

This week, let’s look to Him to direct our paths and light the way in front of us.

 

Looking for positive answers. Check out Karol’s book, Positive Life Principles for Women.

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Regaining Strength

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It’s easy to feel down or frustrated after experiencing a failure or loss or setback of some sort. Our immediate reaction may be fear or despair, while hope and strength feel beyond our reach. Helplessness and hopefulness are at two opposite ends of the emotional spectrum, and yet there are always small steps we can take to climb out of our feelings of failure and move forward in life.

How do you regain your strength in order to keep going? Here are some principles that will help the process:

  • Grieve the loss, don’t ignore the pain. Allow yourself to feel sad when disappointment happens.
  • Find a healthy way to express your feelings – journaling, walking, talking to a friend, painting, gardening, etc.
  • Seek God’s comfort and ask Him for strength to move forward.
  • Choose to look for glimmers of hope. Find something for which you can give thanks each day.
  • Take a step forward in a positive direction, even if it is simply meeting a colleague or friend.
  • Step out and help someone else. Make a plan for how you can use your experience to strengthen another person.

In my own life, when I have faced hurt or disappointment I have found that God gives me an inner strength beyond what I could produce on my own. The Bible reminds us that He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of need.  This week focus on the strength He gives. And always remember, where we are weak, He is strong.

Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash