The Great Stumbling Block to Faithful Discipleship


Hardships: Life’s Defining Moments

So this year has been a very hard year for me in a variety of ways, but as you know, hardship is just a part of life in this fallen, sinful world.  How we respond to hardship though tends to define us or direct the course of our lives.  For hardship either creates within our hearts a greater desire for God or a greater rebellion against God.


We either want more of Jesus or want less of Him due to our hearts hardening to His will and ways in our lives.  When hardship hits our happy, independent lifestyles, it is as if we come to a turning point in the road of life where we start seeing our desperate need for help and comfort, and we either start seeking more of God in humility or start running further from Him in anger, thereby, turning to other people and things to help us.

The Stumbling Block: Unmet Expectations

Now I will be the first to admit that Jesus’ ways are not easy, comfortable, or exactly “happy”– although they are blessed which brings joy–because they are not what we as sinful human beings desire or think we need.  Summed up, we have unmet expectations, so we falter and fail at following Jesus faithfully.  If we don’t like something He says, we tend to simply justify our sin or dismiss His word altogether like it’s no big deal.

After all, don’t we all want to be in control and have comfort and ease and do as we please?  But Jesus’ way is the way of the cross which is humbly relinquishing the control of our lives to God, dying to our desires and way of thinking, and relying totally on God’s wisdom, direction, grace, and power because He is our Maker.

Now God has never sugar coated the Christian life because He knows that comfort does not bring about maturity, holiness, or real character in the end, and “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). He openly admits, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are panorama-1861658_1920your ways my ways.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9). And Jesus even said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33).

Back in Jesus’ day, many of His “disciples” stopped following God because Jesus’ teaching was too hard to understand and accept (John 6).  The problem is that God has not called us to understand, like, or even love His teachings before accepting them.  He has just called us to trust and obey Him.  And amazingly, as we do just that, God blesses us with an understanding, desire for, and even a love for His ways.

Faith then in God’s goodness and trustworthiness, demonstrated through our obedience–not our understanding–is what comes first because that is what honors and delights our Father.

  • “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  (Heb. 11:1)
  • “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17)
  • “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6).
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Prov. 3:5-6)

Jesus’ Identity: The Core Issue

So back when a lot of His disciples started leaving Him in John 6, Jesus understandingly turned to and asked His faithful Twelve if they were going to leave Him too. Simon Peter, the ever-outspoken one, replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn. 6:68-69).  Interestingly, whenever Jesus asked His disciples “Who do you say I am?,” Simon Peter seemed to always be the first to answer declaring, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16, Mark 8:29).


“For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (Jn. 6:33)

Peter though spoke right to the core of the issue, Jesus’ identity as our eternal Savior from sin and as the holy Son of God. Having experienced Jesus’ power and wisdom firsthand, he simply believed Jesus’ claim of “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. . . . For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (Jn. 6:35, 40). Obviously, Peter took Jesus’ previous words to heart: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (Jn. 6:29).

I have to say, by God’s grace, that I’m in with Peter on this one.  I believe Jesus alone is my hope and salvation.  So in my hardships this year, as in the past, I’ve been more desperate for and drawn to God, daily crying out for His help and deliverance.

And as I’ve drawn near, I have seen God draw near to me.  Not visibly but supernaturally by giving me great words of encouragement and comfort from His Word or from my devotionals when I needed them most, peace and stability in situations that used to cause panic, the grace to daily push forward in faith in spite of my feelings telling me not to due to discouragement and the seeming magnitude of my problems, and deliverance (albeit imperfect still) from certain struggles and fears.

The Healing: Surrender & Belief

So all of this to say, God does not exist to make our lives easy or happy which many seem to think He does.  What right do we have to think that in the first place?  I mean, . . .

  • He is our All-Powerful, Infinite Creator, and we are just His finite, weak creatures.
  • He is our All-Wise Potter, and we are just the moldable clay in His hands.
  • He is our Great Shepherd, and we are just the senseless sheep under His care.
  • He is our King and Lord, and we are His mere servants.

I think that if we really thought of all of our unspoken or spoken expectations of God, we would realize how absurdly proud and foolish we are, don’t you think?

God does not exist for us, but we exist for Him for we are made in His image to glorify, fear, and obey Him for “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).  And King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived and had all the luxuries of life, declared in the end to “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Eccl. 12:13-14). 

Based on so many different personal experiences of surrendering to and believing cross-1448946_1920and obeying the Lord in the midst of many of my unmet expectations and hardships throughout life, I can confidently and enthusiastically proclaim that the Lord is good!

His ways, often or always, have not made much sense to my feeble, limited thinking, but they have been so much better than mine in the end!  Not only have they enriched me spiritually and built up my faith in the goodness of God, in spite of His hard teachings and ways, but they have also allowed me to experience some amazing things that this life has to offer here on earth.

So go ahead and surrender your life and hardships–whether they are physical, emotional, mental, spiritual–today to the one true Savior and God, Jesus Christ, and believe that He alone is worthy of your sacrifice and worship.  I promise, He won’t disappoint you, and you’ll be much more of a faithful or committed follower to Him to the end.  And who wouldn’t want that for “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 Jn. 2:17).

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

(Jer. 17:5-8)


The Lasting Legacy of a Noble, Godly Woman


A Strong, Courageous Woman

Alice & Harry w John - 1946

My grandparents with my father John, the firstborn of their three children

A week ago this past Thursday my dear grandma, Alice Foote Shelford, the mother of my father, passed from this earth to heavenly glory after 96 long and blessed years of life. Seeing how she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at the age of 12, the majority of her days were spent following and serving Him.  Praise the Lord!

As for her death, Grandma had been having greater breathing problems the last couple of years or so, and on Thursday, August 10, she suffered a major heart attack. The doctors said there was nothing they could do for her, so Grandma wanted to go home as that is where she loved to be.  The day after she got home, on Thursday, August 17, she passed away which was a blessing seeing how she really suffered with pain and breathing the night before.

So the first two words that come to mind when I think of my grandma are strong (determined) and courageous (not afraid).  Not only did she live by herself out in the country in her old farmhouse until the day she died, but she also drove her car and riding lawn mower into her early 90’s.  On top of that, she would even go out on her roof to clean her windows after 90 years!  She was determined to have a clean house, and obviously, she was not afraid to do whatever it took to make it happen.  🙂 Praise the Lord, God blessed her with relatively good health seeing how she did not have many of the aches, pains, and other health problems that a lot of older people have.

An Honorable, Caring Woman

Alice Shelford v1

Grandma in 2011, the year of her 90th birthday.  She was indeed a special lady.  I never remember her wearing pants either. She always wore a skirt and shirt or a dress.

Now I have to confess that I did not think Grandma’s death would hit me very hard seeing how I lived far away from her all my life.  My family would drive up from Michigan to upstate New York to visit her and my grandpa every Christmas for the first 17 years of my life, but after that, every year varied as to when I’d see her again seeing how we moved to Florida my senior year in high school, making the distance even greater and Christmases back at her home even more unlikely.

After my grandpa passed away in 2003, however, Grandma started flying down to Florida with her daughter, my Aunt Bonnie, to spend Christmases at my parents’ home.  That lasted almost 10 years, from 2004 to 2013.  It was a blessing having her, but it was hard to see her miss her home so much while she was with us.

Sadly, the last time I saw Grandma though was almost two years ago in October 2015 when my husband and I traveled to New York for a friend’s wedding.  We had actually planned to visit her this Labor Day weekend so that she could meet our 18-month-old daughter she had yet to meet, but God obviously had other plans.

At Grandma’s funeral last Sunday afternoon at the small, sweet Baptist church she and my grandpa helped start in Dundee back in 1951, I cried the most I had since I heard of her death. I was reminded of her faithfulness to the Lord and her impact on others, even helping lead a woman to the Lord in her later years.  The church was pretty much packed too with around 180 people in attendance, which is quite a testimony for her impact and the honorable woman that she was to both young and old.  I later even heard that her family doctor so sweetly called her “Mom,” stating she was the dearest woman he had ever met!


The awesome view from Grandma’s kitchen window!

At her burial on Monday morning, which was just a private gathering for family, I cried even more knowing she was never coming back, and life would never be the same as her home was the center for our extended family meeting together.  It was also the one place on earth I always felt like was really “home” because of its warm, old-fashioned, country ambience and beautiful setting with some of the most spectacular views of the amazing Finger Lakes countryside.  Her home setting is partly why I increasingly long to move to the peace and natural beauty of the country.

So what I have come to realize is that no matter how big or small a part my grandma played in my life, she still played a significant, precious part.  Not only did she rear up a strong Christian man to be my father, but she also loved me through the years by . . .

  • remembering my birthday every year and sending me a card and gift;
  • making me dresses as a child, cross-stitched Christmas ornaments quite often, a big quilt for my bed, and a hand-knit Christmas stocking for me and then later for my husband and two children in her last years;

    IMG_0001 copy

    Grandma in December 2016 with the stocking she painstakingly made for my daughter. She was very gifted with her hands, even into her old age!

  • sending me and my siblings yummy Valentine cookies when we were kids;
  • writing me letters;
  • traveling to Michigan sometimes during the summers to visit us;
  • making her home a pretty, clean, and comforting place to visit every Christmas and having loads of homemade cookies awaiting for us (I always cherished my visits there!);
  • graciously hosting Christmas holiday family get-togethers which I loved;
  • attending my wedding at the age of 89;
  • standing at her living room window or outdoors and tearfully waving good-bye to us after every visit (this always broke my heart);
  • and more I’m sure!

A Hard-Working, Kind Woman

As you can probably imagine, having lived into her 90’s, she was pretty much the only one of her generation left since all of her friends and family had passed away. My grandpa had even passed away in October 2003, leaving her alone for almost 14 years.  I cannot imagine how lonely she must have felt, but Grandma was not one to sit around and feel sorry for herself as she kept a flower and vegetable garden as long as she could, kept a meticulously clean home, did Soduko puzzles and complex jigsaw puzzles, read an abundance of different magazines, went on different outings with her daughter Bonnie or friends, and even hosted a prayer meeting at her home every Tuesday night up until her death.

Even though Grandma was more of a quiet, reserved woman, I am very blessed to have had her as my grandma as she was a hard-working, kind woman who faithfully served and loved her God, family, and church.  I am sure too she prayed many prayers for me throughout my life, and for that, I am forever grateful. Only eternity will tell how God used them to shape me and pour out His grace on my life.

After all, prayer powerfully changes things, and my grandma’s prayers helped change my mom, who was unsaved when she married my dad, a backslidden Christian at the time.  Seeing how my mom made no pretense of being a Christian when she married my dad, my grandma could have easily been upset and condemned and snubbed her, but instead, Grandma brought her hurting heart for her son and his bride to God.  Miraculously then, within less than a year of their marriage, my dad decided to return to the Lord and a Bible-believing church, and shortly thereafter, my mom received Jesus Christ as her Savior.  Therefore, my mom always sings my grandma praises and says that she is her hero because she prayed for and loved my mom to Jesus. Now for that I am super grateful!! Praise the Lord!

Distant but Close


Grandma and me at her home over the 2006 Thanksgiving holiday. I love her!

As I think back over my relationship with my grandma through the years, one of my big bonds with her, as it was with other distant family members, probably came through my letters that I wrote her since I was a child.

I am very thankful to God for giving me a passion for writing and blessing others through sharing my life with them because I’ve seen God use it in mighty ways to draw me into better relationships with people and sometimes with people I thought a good relationship was not even possible. Opening up your heart after all makes it easier for others to see you have a heart for them.

At Grandma’s funeral and burial last weekend, I am very thankful too for a couple ladies from her church, who spent a lot of time with her in her last years, sharing with me how much my grandma appreciated my letters, cards, and my children’s pictures.  They’d say how she’d proudly show and repeatedly go over them when they’d visit (she was losing her short-term memory).  I was so blessed to hear this as I did not hear back much from Grandma during these years, so it was comforting to know how much she enjoyed them.

Convicting & Comforting Reminders

I love the Bible verse, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart” (Eccl. 7:2).  I love it because it is so true for at funerals we are forced to face death and be reminded of the brevity of life.  Hopefully, we are also convicted by the Holy Spirit and forced to evaluate our lives in light of eternity.  We need to ask ourselves whether we are fully pleasing God and how we should change in order to better glorify Him since we all will one day stand accountable before Him for our lives.  For as Hebrews 9:27 states: “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” 

Alice Shelford v2

My sweet grandma on July 9, 2017.  I think she’d like me to share her life verse with you too.  It is Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

So the first of my two take-away reminders from my grandma’s life and death is that the only lasting, worthwhile thing you can leave when you die is your spiritual legacy of faith in God–your character and your love for and service to God and others.  Summed up, that means your efforts and impact in glorifying God in everything since that is what we were made for.  As the Bible says, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).  These things alone will remain in people’s hearts and make an eternal difference for God in our evil world.

This fact stood out to me because my grandma’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were given the opportunity to take pretty much any of her possessions last weekend as we all gathered together, but honestly, most of her things were old, not our style, or not needed, so most of her stuff will probably be thrown out, sold, or given away to someone else.

It is sad to think about because they were important to her, but what is most important to her and to us though is her noble, godly legacy. And come to think of it, I think Grandma knew in part she left a godly legacy because she commented to her pastor’s wife that her greatest joy was that all of her children and grandchildren were walking with the Lord Jesus. Amen!

Secondly, at her burial on Monday, her pastor shared from Psalm 121 and pointed out verse 8 especially which states: “The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  He stressed that the “forevermore” means God is still watching over Grandma as He did throughout her blessed journey on earth of walking with and trusting and obeying Him.  That is comforting, not only in regards to Grandma, but also in regards to those of us left behind and walking with the Lord still–that in the midst of our crazy, busy lives, we are still under the watchful care of God Himself! Isn’t it so awesome that we have such a sweet, loving, almighty God who cares so much about us personally?!

Something that goes well with this thought of God’s watchful care too is the hymn Heavenly Sunlight, one of the three songs sung at Grandma’s funeral on Sunday.  I love the first stanza, “Walking in sunlight all of my journey, over the mountains, through the deep vale; Jesus has said, ‘I’ll never forsake thee,’ promise divine that never can fail.”  The thought of His tender care that will never leave us truly gives us much hope, peace, and joy (our heaven on earth), and I think my grandma must have known that promise of God well as strong, courageous, and content as she was.

In closing, as you continue your own life journey, may my grandma’s life be an inspiration to you to leave a noble, godly legacy, which never gets old, goes out of style, or fades away.  And lastly, be satisfied with God because He has whole-heartedly promised, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).  God bless you and thank you for letting me share my heart with you today about my grandma, one of God’s precious saints and jewels in heaven today.

Dad's Whole Family

Grandma’s 3 children Dick, Bonnie, and John and their families, including 6 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.  We came from Texas; Florida; Ohio; Washington, DC; and Michigan to remember and honor this precious woman of God.  It was really a bittersweet time, mourning our loss of Grandma but enjoying being together as a family, which does not happen often enough.

P.S. Grandma, I miss you and can’t wait to see you in heaven one day!  Thanks for being the wonderful matriarch of our family that you were.

Toddler Theology 101


Priceless Children

img_20161009_203510Children are truly wonderful gifts from the Lord, aren’t they?!  I have always loved children, but of course, there’s something very special about your own whom God has marvelously created just for you and entrusted to you to love, nurture, and bring up in the fear of the Lord.

With my precious son Evan being two years old now and being able to better express his heart desires, sweet humility, and innocent faith, I really understand in greater measures why Jesus loved and esteemed little children so much while He lived here on earth.

You see, Evan’s favorite children’s songs right now are “God Is So Good” and “Jesus Loves Me” which he calls “Bible So” because the Bible, God’s perfect Word, tells us that it is so, and thereby, it can be completely trusted, right?!  🙂  Evan eagerly insists upon hearing these songs almost every day though, along with a couple other songs recently called “Jesus, Tender Shepherd, Hear Me” and “Living Waters” from the Getty Kids Hymnal album.

His precious little face just lights up with comfort and joy upon hearing them like he really understands, believes, and delights in Jesus.  Just as proof, whenever I ask him in the mornings who loves him, he almost always answers with “Jesus!” first as if saying God’s love is most important even though he knows his daddy and I love him very much.

He blesses and moves my heart so much by these things, and something else that really blesses and convicts me is his favorite book lately being Jesus Is Coming Back! by Debby Anderson. Out of the many books he has, that is the one he has insisted on hearing each night before he goes to bed.  I have no idea why or how he became so attached to this book, but my hope and belief is that he loves hearing its precious promise of Jesus returning to earth to take His people to live with Him forever in the awesome wonders of heaven someday.

This truly makes me want to cry as it is so precious.  I mean, how often do you hear of adults anticipating Christ’s return or wanting to hear about it daily anyways?  Most Christians today seem more attached to their earthly homes than their heavenly homes or seeing their blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

And to be quite honest, I even struggle with this, because as much as I hate the evil in this world, this earth and life are all I physically know. With the increasing darkness and depravity in our world though, God’s righteous beauty and light are drawing me in more and more and giving me a greater longing for Himself and His righteous dwelling. “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:13).  All I can say is AMEN!

The Toddler Teacher

Well, by now you may be thinking, “So how does all of this pertain to us?!”  Evan is just a toddler or little child after all, so how much does he know or have to teach us, right?  Well, I think if Jesus were here, He might just say to listen in and watch Evan closely.  Seeing so much in “the least of these” is the very beauty and wonder of Jesus after all.

You see, even though Jesus is the holy and almighty Son of God who came to earth to save us from our sins, He valued children so much that not only did He invite the children to come to Him in the midst of His busy, crowded life (Matt. 19:14), but He also set them as the standard for entering His kingdom stating: “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).

In fact, Jesus even declared that children were the standard for greatness in His kingdom stating: “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4).  Pretty sobering, huh?!

Gaining a Childlike, Clean Perspective


“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”        (Psalm 51:10)

How on earth then do we do become like little children?  Well, like precious little Evan we need to come innocently before God or get a pure, unblemished, clean heart or perspective of Him.

Granted, Evan has not lived long and seen the evil and hardships of life or experienced disappointments with God, but I think that is why God says we must become like little children to enter His kingdom.

In other words, like little children, we have to humbly and immediately, without arguments or questioning, trust God for who He says He is as our Creator and thereby our heavenly Father, King, Redeemer, and so much more.  Trust also that He is sovereign, good, holy, loving, and kind!  Some practical ways to get this innocent, pure perspective of God include:

  • Get rid of your disappointments or anger about God not giving you the perfect life you think you deserve.  Jesus said,  “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And believe it or not, Jesus even had to learn obedience through His suffering (Heb. 5:8), and we are definitely not above God’s Son!
  • Get rid of  any pre-conceived ideas that He’s bad, deceitful, or out to get you for “this is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).  “No one is good–except God alone” (Mark 10:18).
  • Get rid of any prideful worry, faithless doubt, and critical skepticism about His perfect character, almighty claims, and abundant promises because “’God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’  Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:6-7). “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Cor. 1:20).

The Glorious Beauty of God 

Okay, so now that you have to get rid of all of the negative talk about God that battles around in your heart and mind and mars any innocent view you may hope to have of Him–in order to gain a better, growing relationship with Him–you need to view God and His Son Jesus as Evan does based on the songs and book he loves or longs to hear daily.

1.  A So-Good Father

Song: “God is so good, God is so good, God is so good, He’s so good to me!”  

Backup Truths: 

  • “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your [His] faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)
  • “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5)
  • “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)


2.  A Personal, Loving Savior

Song: “Jesus loves me!  This I know, for the Bible tells me so; little ones to Him belong, they are 0407jesus_children-2weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!  The Bible tells me so.” 

Backup Truths: 

  • “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
  • “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:4-5)
  • “Every word of God is flawless.” (Prov. 30:5)
  • “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD issure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)


3.  A Listening, Providing, Close Shepherd

Song:  “Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me: bless Thy little lamb tonight.  Through the darkness be Thou near me; watch my sleep till morning light.  When I’m troubled and afraid, I will trust in Thee and pray.  Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me: bless Thy little lamb tonight; bless Thy little lamb goodshepherd-4tonight.”

Backup Truths: 

  • “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
  • “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (Isa. 40:11)
  • “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (Psalm 23:1-4)


4.  An All-Sufficient, Satisfying Fountain of Life 

Song: “Are you thirsty?  Are you empty?  Come and drink these living waters. Tired and broken? Peace unspoken?  Rest beside these living waters.  There’s a river that flows with mercy and love, bringing joy to the city of our God. There our hope is secure, do not fear anymore.  Praise the Lord of living waters!” 

Backup Truths: 

  • “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
  • “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:8-9)


5.  A Promise-Keeping, Returning Redeemer & King

Book: “When I look up at the clouds, I remember Jesus’ promise to come back.  I wonder . . . will it be today? . . . Jesus coming back is too exciting to even imagine!  Yet it’s true!  He promised . . . and I know He keeps His promises.”

Backup Truths: 

  • “We wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus

    “For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.” (Psalm 47:7)

    Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:13-14)

  • “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)
  • “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” (Matt. 16:27)


God: A so-good Father!  Jesus: A personal, loving Savior; a listening, providing, close Shepherd; an all-sufficient, satisfying Fountain of Life; and a promise-keeping, returning Redeemer and King!

Can you imagine how our lives might change if we daily heard, meditated on, and humbly and whole-heartedly believed these simple but profound truths or perspectives on God and His Son?  There just might be a revival in the church of Christ! And I don’t know about you, but I want and need revival in my own heart!

Evan’s simple theology, humble faith, and pure delight and satisfaction in God surely are an inspiration to me. In fact, by God’s grace, I’m going to start meditating on his theology and memorizing the backup truth verses. If you’d like to join me in this mission, please let me know as I’d love to journey with a fellow seeker of God wanting to learn from a child and be considered as great as a child in God’s heavenly kingdom someday.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 18:10)


The Awesome Implications of Our Creator


Creator: A Holy & All-Powerful Father

I don’t know about you, but I believe with all my heart that there is a personal God who created me andLostLake-2015 this glorious world–from its amazing starry galaxies and swirling planets down to its majestic mountains and tiniest bugs.

To me, it is honestly more foolish to not believe than to believe there is a God or Master Designer/Creator and Sustainer of life because to deny would be like looking at a masterpiece painting or piece of music and saying they just came into being on their own.

And if we were creators of anything and knew people considered our work or art in such a way, we’d be irate, call them crazy, and deny them all access to it most likely.  God, however, who is continually denied any authorship and appreciation of His world, continually sustains His creation though.  This just goes to show how wonderful, patient, forgiving, and so much better He is than us and gives us all the more reason to trust Him!

The last time I wrote, I talked about the root of our spiritual depravity being that we deny God as our Creator and thereby as our heavenly Father.  Our blindness and hard-heartedness seem so odd considering the incredible order, detail, beauty, and such of the world surrounding us, doesn’t it?!

And why such little faith in a fact that is declared all throughout Scripture?  I believe it is due in large part to our lack of reading and hearing for ourselves the Word of God because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).  God even states: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos, 4:6).

Now for a long time, my favorite passages in Scripture have been those that exclaim God as our Creator.  They have not only increased my faith and confidence in God as our Maker and Father, but they have also given me great joy knowing we are not just evolved creatures of nature but purpose-filled image bearers of Abba God Almighty, put on earth to glorify Him in everything.  What a high and honorable calling!

So will you take a few moments and reflect upon and delight with me in these powerful words of God that resound with the truth of who God is and who we are as His creatures?  After all, your faith may just grow in the process!

  • “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)
  • “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  (Gen. 1:27)
  • “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4)
  • “The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon.  It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.”  (Psa. 74:16-17)

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    “He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’” (Job 37:6)

  • “The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.  You created the north and the south.”  (Psa. 89:11-12)
  • “For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.  In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.  The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” (Psa. 95:3-5)
  • “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psa. 139:13-16)
  • “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.” (Jer. 32:17)
  • “He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth–the LORD Almighty is his name.” (Amos 4:13)
  • He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:15-17)
  • “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Rev. 4:11)

Such knowledge is so wonderful, is it not?  Knowing we have a Creator, and thereby a heavenly Father who so intimately knows us and cares for us, should not only comfort us but give us significant purpose and great joy.  After all, we are  made intentionally by the very mind, will, and hands of Almighty God.  If people would only accept God for who He really is, there would be so much less conflict, emptiness, and sorrow in the world I think.

Sustainer: A Gracious & Ever-Faithful God

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” (Psa. 54:4)

The wonderful thing about our Creator God too is that He doesn’t just make us and leave us alone as the deists would claim (what a great excuse to live independent, self-centered lives though!).

No, every day God goes on sustaining us and the rest of His creatures and the earth with life because of His great love and unending care for us.  While as humbling as that is, aren’t you glad that we don’t have to worry about maintaining our complex, beyond-comprehension, masterpiece bodies and world?!

  • Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  (Lam. 3:22-23)
  • “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”  (Psa. 95:3-7)
  • “How many are your works, O LORD!  In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.  There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number–living things both large and small. . . . These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.  When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.  When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.  When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.” (Psa. 104:24-25, 27-30)
  • “Who appointed him over the earth?  Who put him in charge of the whole world?  If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirt and breath, all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust.” (Job 34:13-15)
  • “The God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.” (Dan. 5:23)
  • “‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things.’  To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Rom. 11:35-36)
"He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." (Psa. 147:4-5)

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” (Psa. 147:4-5)

And the great thing about our daily Sustainer, and thereby our gracious God, is that He is faithful and never will change because “before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psa. 90:2).

And “in the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. . . . But you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Psa. 102:25-27).

Praise the Lord we have a Maker and Sustainer who clearly is the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 22:13)!

Ruler: A Rightful & True Lord

"For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise." (Psa. 47:7)

“For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.” (Psa. 47:7)

Now in light of the fact that God is our everlasting Creator and faithful Sustainer, does He not have the right to be our true and only Ruler or King as well? After all, He is the One who is the very essence of life and knows how it should operate.

If you think otherwise, then you should start considering His claim on your life as it is very sobering.  At the same time, remember that “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8), so we have nothing to fear because He always pursues what is best for us, believe it or not,

  • “Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our Father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.  Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.” (1 Chron. 29:10-12)
  • “But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. . . . But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.  When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.  He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.”  (Jer. 10:11-13)
  • “Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD–that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”  (Psa. 83:18)
  • “For I am God, and not man–the Holy One among you.”  (Hos. 11:9)
  • “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. . . . he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:24-25, 27-28)

Did you get those titles of God–head over all, ruler of all things, the Lord of heaven and earth, the Most High over all the earth, the eternal King–and see how most are linked to God being our Creator?  But since we humans–the fleshly, sight-driven, materialistic creatures that we are–don’t see Him physically in form or action, we struggle to accept and understand.

So as the Bible says, “men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals–these are the very things that destroy them” (Jude 10).  For “they are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Eph. 2:18).

It is so sad but true how often we let our very limited, darkened, and spiritually-ignorant understanding steal our faith or trust in God for who He is and for what He says He can do in our lives.  What’s even sadder is that our lack of faith will (not may) ultimately destroy us because “cursed is the one who trusts in man . . . and whose heart turns away from the LORD” (Jer. 17:5).

But “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes” (Prov. 3:5-7).  All of this just goes to show that we really are NOT as smart as we think we are after all!!


O God of heaven and earth, I just thank and praise You that You have given us Your Word that resounds with truth and righteousness.  Like no other book, it truly delights me–reading of Your holy, unique character and Your awesome, all-powerful deeds on men’s behalf in creation and through faith in Your Son Jesus.

I pray, O God, that You will graciously open the hearts of people everywhere to accept You with faith, joy, and surrender as their Creator Father, Sustainer God, and Ruler Lord so that they will not be destroyed by trusting more in themselves than in You or Your Word.

Help them to see too how much You care for and love them through Your constant, faithful creation of life in them and in this world . . . that You don’t make mistakes and that You have a good and glorious purpose for them to fulfill as long as Your give them breath.

I ask all of these things in Jesus’ name alone, amen!

The Root of Our Depravity


Spiraling into Greater & Greater Darkness & Death


“Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12)

Today we live in a world filled with increasing and overwhelming spiritual darkness and wickedness or human depravity from . . .

  • Our political “leaders” having no courage or voice to stand for or lead our nation in truth and righteousness just so that they can protect their “prestigious” and “powerful” governmental standings to
  • “Religious” men overseas wickedly and mercilessly beheading, killing, and raping innocent, precious men, women, and children in the name of their prophet to
  • “Civilized” Americans mutilating and selling the parts of unborn children for the sake of greed and money to
  • “Equal rights” people, all in the name of “freedom,” suing or hating others who simply don’t agree with or support their lifestyle

The list of sins spiraling out of control in our nation and world could go on and on, but these are horrifying and sickening enough, aren’t they?  But this is where the selfish, sinful nature has the potential of leading each one of us apart from God’s grace “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).

Foolish, Lost Souls

Tragically, these people and so many others are foolishly selling their souls and very lives for ultimately nothing because “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).  And “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).  


“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way.”   (Isa. 53:6)

Not only is it horrifying, sickening, and foolish though, it is also very sorrowful and has made me cry over the deceived hearts and eternally-lost souls of men and women apart from Christ saving them.

To think they are blindly giving up their short, earthly lives and their everlasting souls for power, money, prestige, and reputation is not only very sad but also compelling to us as Christians to share the gospel every day with as many as possible or to at least fervently pray for their salvation.  

And to be quite honest, all of this immorality deeply scares me like never before, for our own lives as followers of Jesus Christ but especially for own precious children’s lives and futures.

Believe me, parenting definitely puts a whole new perspective on life because although this evil world has held less and less appeal to me over the years, now that I have children, everything in me wants to live so that I can care for, protect, and see them grow up and love the Lord.  Sometimes now though I wonder if I’ll live to see them even be five years old the way things are so quickly changing in the world.

No Creator/No God: Increasing Spiritual Depravity


“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”  (Psa. 90:2)

So how did we get to such depravity?  I really believe it is due at its core to people’s rejection of God for who He first and foremost claims to be all throughout Scripture, and that is, our Creator and thereby, our source of life, origin, and being.

Being our Creator makes Him “God” after all!  I mean, if He was not our Creator, He’d have no claim on this world or on us as human beings just as we would not have any claim of ownership on a book we did not write or on a piece of music we did not compose.

But pushing Him aside, we instead make ourselves out to be the “Creator” so we can be gods and goddesses in our own little worlds and not be held accountable to anyone or have anyone telling us how to live.  To prove my point, not along ago I was blown away that some woman actually had the unashamed audacity to have a bumper sticker on her car that read, “Worship me like the goddess I am.”  While that is so sickening, it is proven true even in Romans 1:21-25:

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

So even though people actually know there is a Creator God, consciously or subconsciously, for “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psa. 19:1), they reject Him, and thereby, they become foolish, futile, blinded thinkers.

In such a state, they exchange the wondrous glory and truth of God they see and experience in creation for Satan’s sugar-coated lies to glorify or make much of themselves instead–their thinking, their accomplishments, their standards of right and wrong–and material things.  After all, Satan is all about dethroning God and making much of self because that is how he became the devil in the first place.  And he is the father of lies for “there is no truth in him” (John 8:44).


Looking into the precious face of a baby, how can one possibly deny that child was not created by an all-powerful, wonderful, loving Creator God?!

Since there is no Creator in their eyes then, people are just evolved animals or matters of chance without any real meaning, purpose, or standard of right and wrong.

Most likely in their eyes as well, there is also no spirit, soul, or eternity, so to each his own for “if the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’” (1 Cor. 15:32).


While such a life without any Creator God sounds like an easy, comfortable, and pleasant lifestyle in the here and now, in the end it will reap much heartache, judgment, and destruction for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).

And “a man reaps what he sows” for “whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8).

In light of all this then, how should we as Christians proactively respond?  Are there any times when you doubt God being the Creator of all, and if so, why?  How does it affect your life spiritually, mentally, emotionally?

15 Months & 15 Weeks Equal Big Changes


Our Crazy Crawler

For Evan's first birthday, he went to the zoo for the first time and really enjoyed it. He's definitely our little monkey!

For Evan’s first birthday, he went to the zoo for the first time and really enjoyed it. He’s definitely our little monkey!

It’s hard to believe, but the last update I wrote on Evan was 10 months ago in November when he was a wee five-month-old.  Time goes by so quickly and now he is a big one-year-old who’s a crazy-but-cute crawler (he crawls with one leg out and one tucked under) who gets around quite well.  While some think his crawl is weird, I think it is quite cute, and my brother appropriately called it the “pirate leg crawl” because it looks like he has a short, wooden peg leg like a pirate who walks around with a limp.  🙂

So while I’m glad Evan is at last crawling, it has definitely made life more challenging as he likes to get into everything and be everywhere I am.  Even if I simply start leaving a room, he will start screaming and crawling after me.  It is like his newfound freedom has oddly enough made him more discontent.  And no, we cannot close a door or put up a gate without a major meltdown as he does NOT like being confined or separated from people.

Sometimes it really feels like I have no rest or alone time or time to really concentrate and get things done, especially since he is still terrible at taking naps.  On average, he will nap for one hour a day, maybe two hours if I’m really lucky.  (Do you understand why it’s rare I write on a regular basis now?)  With such a track record, we have definitely been trying to put him to bed at 7 or 7:30 each night, and thankfully, he goes down rather well overall and sleeps through the night until about 7 or so in the morning.

As far as walking, he has not accomplished that feat yet, but he did not even start crawling until the Sunday after his first birthday in June which was quite surprising knowing how active he has always been.  He is so close to walking though as he is always pulling himself up and moving along the edges of things.  I am ready for him to walk in some ways, but I know that he will keep me even busier once he does start.

A Challenging yet Surprising Eater

So how has he changed over the last 10 months other than that he is now crawling and sleeping through the night?  Well, he has 11 teeth now, and he is slowly but surely becoming better at eating foods.  Getting him to eat foods and not formula and now milk all the time has been a challenge.

His favorite food or the easiest one to get him to eat consistently though is BANANAS!  If he sees you just pick them up in the grocery store, his face lights up, or if you just say the word, he looks to where they are kept on the top of the refrigerator and instantly wants them.  It is crazy that even when he is throwing a fit about other foods and you pull out a banana, he’ll immediately calm down and become all smiles.

Evan also surprisingly likes his green vegetables like peas and fried zucchini of all things.  And just this past week Evan started eating and enjoying broccoli, a vegetable you’d think most kids would hate.   I just made it for dinner one night and upon seeing it, he went crazy with delight!  Maybe he has something for the color as green is mine and Micah’s favorite color.  🙂  He also does very well with eating meats including everything from chicken and beef to salmon and tuna.  Even yesterday he had his first gyro (lamb) meat and did not spit it out as he’s known to do when not liking something.

An Energizer Bunny

As you can see, Evan is also quite flexible.  He can even clap his feet together!  He's also quite expressive.  This was in April when he was going through a cute stage of going off into these babbling sermonette discourses.  It was quite entertaining as he'd wave his arms around and everything.  Maybe he will be an evangelist like his name sake!  :)

As you can see, Evan is also quite flexible. He can even clap his feet together! He’s also quite expressive. This was in April when he was going through a cute stage of going off into these babbling sermonette discourses. It was quite entertaining as he’d wave his arms around and everything. Maybe he will be an evangelist someday like his namesake Evan Roberts!

Physically, Evan continues to be a very strong child full of vigorous energy and force.  Since he was a newborn, he was always kicking his legs or moving his arms–never wanting to be still or contained, thereby, earning himself the nickname of “Captain Squirm.”

Well, in February, we discovered one way he could put this energy to use in a way he loved–by kicking or throwing balls!  Not only did we discover that he loved balls but that he also has a really good pitch.  People always comment on it and how maybe he’ll become a baseball pitcher someday.  The hard thing is that he likes throwing everything though–from his food and books to even cans and cars.  So you really have to be careful of what you give him.  🙂

We also have to be careful where his head is in relation to our faces as he has always been a terrible head butter, meaning he likes to forcefully throw his big, hard head back, and when he does, he can really hurt you as it often comes unexpectedly.  Just this summer, he threw his head back into my nose one morning and made it bleed and bruised it.

Micah and I often comment on how there needs to be a Parent Protective Service, not only because of his head butting but also because of a thing he has for biting us since about 11 months old and for pulling our hair, whether on my head or on Micah’s face or arms.  These things have worried me of him being a bad child, but praise the Lord, I think I have noticed some improvement in these areas lately.  🙂

An Interesting Combo

Now you probably don’t remember when I wrote an update on Evan back in November, but even at five months old, I could tell he was a social child who loves being out and about and with people.  Well, to this day, he is like that which is interesting seeing how he also has an affinity for books which you’d think a more quiet or unsocial child would take to.   I think his love for books started when my aunt gave him a bunch of baby books for Christmas, and since then, it has continued to grow.

Evan looking through one of his books

Evan looking through one of his books

Before he started crawling, I’d often find him surrounded by books and quietly, contentedly looking through them in our living room for rather long periods of time which was so cute and precious!  And now Evan will often bring us a book to read . . . sometimes again and again!  🙂

Recently, his favorite two books have been ABC Look at Me, a book on different emotions, and God Loves You, and I Do, Too!, a very sweet book my niece and nephew in Florida recorded themselves reading back in December as a Christmas gift to Evan.   Even though he has always liked this book, lately he LOVES it and wants it read/played almost daily.  It is so sweet.  I am very thankful Evan seemingly has a love for learning, and Lord willingly, it will only continue to grow.

A Cognitive Sponge

I must say it is exciting and awe-inspiring to see your child develop a vocabulary and understand new things.  Evan started off mindlessly babbling “Ga-ga” at nine months; “Bob,” “Bub,” and “Ba” at 10 months; “Da-da” at 11 months, and then “Ma-ma” at last at 12 months.  Since turning one, however, he has been saying words with more purpose or thought.  The first two words I noticed him saying with such intention are “O-kay!” and “A done.”  Now he is also saying “Cole,” the name of his Grandma Patti’s dog whom he loves, and “two,” “Whoa,” “Wow,” and “ball.”

He can also point to things in a book which you ask him to identify, and he can definitely understand commands like “No” and “Don’t touch” even though he does not always heed them like not pulling out cords from an outlet or pinecones from a basket on our kitchen floor.  He also understands concepts like blowing kisses and clapping which he loves to do.  Something very interesting is that even whenever we tell him “Good job!,” without any training, he starts clapping his hands.  That amazes me that a child so young can understand that is a sign of something worth clapping for.

An Easily-Delighted Child

Oh, I will never tire of his smiles and laughter!

Oh, I will never tire of his smiles and laughter!

So I could probably go on and on about Evan, but just on a quick note about this amazing little boy God has given us is that I love his capacity to be easily delighted in simple things.  When he was five months old, it was a ceiling fan or a flying monkey above his play mat, but now it is baths, which he LOVES, or just splashing in the water whether in a tub or the lake.

He also LOVES throwing sand on the beach, playing with a plastic cup, swinging outdoors, tearing up a napkin into little pieces, sitting up front in a grocery cart, being thrown up in the air or onto our bed, going on stroller rides outdoors or around and around the track at the gym, being tickled or chased around on the floor, visiting his grandparents, and just playing with a simple plastic straw or silver spoon.  For example, just in the last few weeks, my mom and I spent an hour or so talking outside a coffee shop one afternoon with Evan on the sidewalk just playing with a napkin, a plastic cup lid, and a straw.  It was amazing but such a blessing, and I pray he is always so easily delighted.

After all, I think that is how God our heavenly Father wants us to be . . . To be easily delighted with the simple things of life and those things given to us right now because that is “pure” or unburdened joy not dependent on having lots of fancy material things, friends, or busy activities to entertain us and quench the loneliness in our hearts.  God just wants us to delight in simply being alive and in being content with what we have knowing He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7), will never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5), and will meet ALL our NEEDS in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Big Life Changes

Now just to let you know for those who are interested and care, while Evan is 15 months old as of last week, today I am 15 weeks pregnant with his new baby brother or sister.  With that being the case, I am due the end of February.  Yes, we are excited about this new baby, and I think and really hope Evan will be too knowing how social he is.  However, he has definitely become more attached and affectionate to me and Micah since he turned one, which is so odd by the way seeing how he was never cuddly with us a baby, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to a sibling.  You can please pray that it will go well!  🙂

Micah, you are our super hero, and Evan will do well to follow in your footsteps!

Micah, you are our super hero, and Evan will do well to follow in your footsteps!

Along with that change, we have another big change coming even sooner.  In just a couple weeks, Micah will be starting a new job at a big company not close but not too far from our home.  This is a big praise as he has really wanted and prayed for a new job the last several years as he has been at his current one for eight years this month.

He has worked from home the last few years, so it will be very different to not have him here all day, and we will really miss him but wish him the best with his new job.  It has truly been such a BIG blessing to have him here to help, encourage, and comfort me with Evan over the last year especially.

Just in general, I appreciate all Micah has done and all he continues to do daily to help me out at home and with Evan.  I do not know what I’d do without him as he’s not only a great father but a great husband as well.  God has truly blessed us!


In conclusion then and in light of sweet Evan helping me to find more joy by partaking of life’s simple pleasures with him, I’d just like to encourage you today to delight more in life’s simple pleasures yourself because life is a “gracious gift” from God (1 Pet. 3:7) and not meant to be a burden.

If you need help in learning how to be easily delighted, go spend a day with a baby or a child.  Tickle them, read to them, chase them around, blow them bubbles, or take them to a zoo, and I’m sure you’ll feel much better by the end of the day as their joy is contagious.  🙂

And in the meantime, may you take great comfort and courage from Jesus who yearningly calls to you, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).  So be blessed today and go be a blessing! 

Even though being a mother is stressful and hard work, it is one of life's greatest joys.  It definitely makes me realize more how much I need the Lord's wisdom, help, and grace to rear a child for His honor and glory.

Motherhood is definitely one of life’s greatest joys yet most sober, difficult callings.  Knowing my responsibility is to raise children who love and serve the Lord, my sense of desperation for God’s wisdom, grace, and help has only increased!

Easter’s Newfound Meaning


Similar & the Same

Easter-Dove-Image-Download-GraphicsFairyI know I’m a little late, but since Jesus’ resurrection, and thereby His conquest over sin and death, is worth celebrating every day and since we are still in the Easter season, happy Easter!

Talking about Easter though, have you ever wondered what that non-descript, vague word “Easter” means or what on earth it has to do with Jesus’ resurrection?

I have, so I did some research and discovered that through its symbolism and place on the calendar, it is actually linked with the Jewish Passover, a week-long, widely-practiced holiday, that was even being observed in Israel during the week of Jesus’ crucifixion.  Not only that, in many languages the word for “Easter” and “Passover” are very similar or even the same.

A Celebration of Life

Now you may be wondering, “What exactly is this Passover holiday then?”  it seems like our curiosity, or perhaps confusion, keeps mounting, doesn’t it?  Well, to begin with, the Passover is the celebration of the Israelites’ freedom from slavery and their exodus from Egypt after 430 years.  They were set free only after God sent 10 awful plagues upon the people, with the last one being the death of the Egyptians’ firstborn sons.

As for the Jews, their firstborn sons were spared only if the parents killed an unblemished, male lamb and put its blood upon their doorposts.  As the Spirit of God then moved throughout the land that dreadful night, He would only “pass over” those homes marked with blood (Ex. 12:13) because “the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:12).

So just as the blood of those innocent lambs “saved” those precious Jewish firstborn sons from physical death, which would bring about separation from their earthly families, so Christ’s blood saves all of us as God’s dearly-loved children from spiritual death, which would bring about separation from our heavenly Father for all of eternity.

The Lamb of God Foretold & Freedom Behold

Lamb-Vintage-Image-GraphicsFairy2In light of all this then, those slain lambs foretold of Jesus who is referred to as none other than the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29).  However, unlike those lambs, Jesus came back to life and continually saves or cleanses us by His shed blood because “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28).  And “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7).

You may wonder though why Jesus, the perfect Son of God, had to die.  Why not more innocent male lambs or another human being?  Well, the Bible states that “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats [and lambs] to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4), and “no one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them” (Ps. 49:7).  Therefore, Jesus alone could save us by purely showing us the Father and His love for us, living perfectly on our behalf, satisfying God’s wrath for our sin, and conquering death for all “because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24).

So what does the Passover, which is basically the meaning of Easter, got to do with Jesus’ resurrection then?  Well, first of all, it foretold of Jesus, long before He came to this world, as being our innocent sacrifice and loving Savior from death–our one and only “pass over” Lamb.  Secondly, as the Passover celebrates freedom from physical slavery and bondage, Easter today celebrates a much greater freedom, our freedom from the spiritual bondage and slavery to sin.  “Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).

A Much Greater Purpose

So as much as the world makes Easter out to be all about cute bunnies, brightly-colored egg hunts, yummy chocolate candy,Victorian-Easter-Bunny-Egg-GraphicsFairy pretty dress-up clothes, and big meals with families, Easter is not really about those things as nice as they are.  Sadly to say, the world has literally sold people a “bag of goods” or turned yet another holiday/”holy day” into a means of mass consumerism for their own profit.

Thankfully, God is not about His own profit but about our profit, and I hope you’ve seen this and believe it, along with the fact that Easter has a much bigger, richer, deeper, holier, happier purpose than those empty things the world sells.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God” (1 Pet. 1:18-21).