In the gospel of Luke, Jesus asks a question. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?"
Planning is crucial to any endeavor. The old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is true of our finances, our eating, how we use our time, every area of life.
You've likely already seen the images of destruction on the news from tornadoes that ripped through Mayflower and Vilonia here in Arkansas, as well as Quapaw in Oklahoma and Baxter Springs in Kansas. Yesterday, additional storms caused even more widespread damage in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and several other states. Much like you, our hearts here at KLRC are very heavy as we see the loss of lives, property, and possessions that are now being reported.
KLRC listeners have been quick to respond to tornado disasters in Joplin, Missouri as well as Moore, Oklahoma over the past few years. True to form, we have already had many in our community ask us how they might be able to contribute to the victims of this latest round of storms. We're so thankful for the generosity of the KLRC listening family!
Dr. Richard Dobbins has been in counseling for about 40 years. He made this statement: "In all my years at Emerge Ministries, I have never had someone with significant issues who had adequate verbal love expressed by their parents."
That is a huge, time-bomb statement made by an expert.
"Liesel observed her foster Father's eyes. They were made of kindness, and silver. Like soft silver, melting. Liesel, upon seeing those eyes, understood that her father was worth a lot."
A few months ago I read those words in a story by Markus Zusak, The Book Thief.
This week, I sit across from a foster mother named Ann, and I saw it for myself. I see it in her eyes too - the kindness and the shining when she talks about those kids.
If we could have coffee today I'd say, "You've already won!"
You've been fighting a hard battle. Behind closed doors, within the quietness of your heart, in the hours when it seems the rest of the world is sleeping. You are a warrior, my friend. A person of courage. Yes, you. The one who sometimes feels weak. The one who wonders if they will ever prevail. The one whose hand trembles on the sword sometimes.
Husbands and wives may be different in the way they view money. Some like to save, some spend. Some like detail and looking at numbers, while others don’t want to be bothered with the details.
The fact is that God has made us different for a reason. He knows that bringing people together who have different tendencies and priorities helps bring balance to a relationship.
If I could ask you to name one of your biggest highlights from the past month, how would you respond? Was it a Spring break trip with the family? Maybe God taught you something new through your church or small group? Or, maybe you just discovered that you will be getting a refund on your taxes!
For us, the highlight was most definitely watching God work through you during our annual Sharathon, which kicked off three weeks ago today. The days immediately following Sharathon are always a bit of a blur for us as we work almost around the clock to send thank you letters, take care of data entry needs, and verify pledges. Now that a few weeks have passed, I’m getting a chance to go back and soak in all that God did during that very special week.
Most of the women had left the room. I could sense that she wanted to flee, but something kept her feet rooted to the floor.
"I've been told for years that when I forgive myself I'll be free," she said. "But I can't do it. I've tried."
This beautiful mom and wife had been trying for years to do a job that wasn't hers to perform.
What is a "comfort zone?" Comfort zones are invisible barriers of belief, attitude and behavior that make us feel comfortable and secure.
Comfort is good unless it restricts us from needed change.
I put the phone up to my ear, the laughter of my friends echoing in the background over the familiar sounds of the musical White Christmas. It was my mom. She sounded cheerful, but I could tell something wasn't quite right. The rest of the conversation is a bit of a blur. Something about the doctor. Test results. Biopsy. Early stages. Cancer. No matter what qualifying words come before it, that word has a way of making your stomach drop...