Tag Archive: Religion and Spirituality

This is a great song as we remember the last twelve months and prepare to move into the next year.  Look at some of the lyrics:

Standing on this mountain top looking just how far we’ve come knowing that for every step You were with us.  Kneeling on this battleground seeing just how much You’ve done knowing every victory was Your power in us.  Scars and struggles on the way, but with joy our hearts can say, yes, our hearts can say:  Never once did we ever walk alone.  Never once did You leave us on our own.  You are faithful, God, You are faithful.  Every step we are breathing in Your grace and evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise.  You are faithful, God, You are faithful.

Listen here to “Never Once” by One Sonic Society.


A Christmas Poem

Candy Cane icon

My son wrote this Christmas poem when he was six years old.  I think you will enjoy it!

Look at the candy cane

What do you see?

Stripes that are red

Like His blood shed for me.

White is for my Savior

Who’s sinless and pure!

“J” is for Jesus my Lord,

That’s for sure!

Turn it around

And a staff you will see

Jesus my shepherd

Was born for me!

By Nathan Schulz

Being Thankful

Fans &  Giant Thank You Sign

November is a great time to think about being thankful.

A friend of mine recently shared this quote that she heard:  “What if all that you had today was what you thanked God for yesterday.  What would you have?”

Something to think about, huh?

I recently had the opportunity to teach at an elementary school chapel and encourage the children there to be thankful.  We learned 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (NIV).  We’re to be thankful all the time because that’s what God wants us to do.

So, thinking about God’s Word and that quote above, does anyone else besides me have some thanking to do?

Have a happy Thanksgiving holiday as you choose to be thankful!

You’re Valuable

Drawing Marathon

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them,” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).

The original Greek word used for workmanship here is poiema.  It means creation, what is made, masterpiece or work of art.  We get our word for poem from it.  Think about that.  If you were to write a poem, you would have a purpose in mind and use specific words to write something very meaningful.  You are God’s poem.

What about this?  Have you ever made a work of art?  Something that you made and enjoyed so much?  Or maybe your kids have made a work of art and they were so happy and proud to show you what they made.  And maybe you even displayed it on the refrigerator or on a shelf for everyone to see because it was so wonderful.  You are God’s work of art.

You are God’s creation.  Did you know that God made you?  He calls you a work of art, a masterpiece, His workmanship.  Wow!  And even if you don’t know it or don’t feel like it today, you are – yes, are – God’s workmanship.  He created you with value and a purpose and to know Him.  You can know that you are valuable today simply because God made you.

The band “mikeschair” says that you’re so valuable that you’re “Someone Worth Dying For.”  You can listen to their song here:

Unsafe Spider

English: Spider

He had it coming.  First he came into my house.  Then he went walking on my carpet.

You see, I was vacuuming and then I saw him.  A spider in the corner of our hallway.  A corner is usually a safe place for a spider from a vacuum.  A vacuum is too big to get into the corner.  So I turned off the vacuum to go get a tissue because spiders are not allowed to live in my house.  Sorry, spiders, but you belong outside.  Then, before I went to get the tissue, the spider crawled out onto the carpet.  Bad choice for the spider.  I turned my vacuum back on and that spider quickly disappeared.

It was a reminder of how we can remain safe, like under God’s umbrella, but when we reject God and disobey Him, we take ourselves outside of that safe zone, like the spider walking away from the corner and out onto the carpet.  Where Satan would like us to be.  And then we’re easy prey.

All over the Bible we’re told to love God with all our heart, with all our mind and with all our strength.  And we’re encouraged to stay close to Jesus.  Psalm 5:11-12 says this, “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield,” (NIV).

As we take refuge in our God, He will spread His protection over us – even when we have to venture out to places that may not seem so safe.  Like when God sent the angel army to protect Elisha in 2 Kings 6.  Psalm 91:9-11 says this, “If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways, (NIV).

So, are you staying close to Jesus today?  Or are you like that unsafe spider in my hallway?

Just call me “helper.”

husbandandwifedrawingA friend of mine and I recently started a ladies’ Bible study about marriage.  One of the first things that we are going to talk about is our role as women in marriage.  I’m so excited about sharing something that I have learned about Genesis 2:18, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him,'” (NASB).

Right in the very beginning of the Bible we learn that Eve was created to be a helper for Adam.  Yep, a helper.  Does that sound like a good role to you?

You might be thinking of your little child helping you sweep the floor or helping you fold towels and you call that precious little one “Mommy’s little helper” and you thank them, but all the time you’re thinking about how you could have swept the floor or folded the towels in half the time that you did with your helper.  It’s no wonder that the word helper doesn’t seem so significant these days.  Even in my children’s ministry I am careful to call those on my team “my team” and not “my helpers” because the word helper sounds so unimportant and I want my team to know that they are very important.  In fact, there is no way that I could do the things that I do without them.

So what does the word helper mean anyway?  Webster defines help as “to make things easier or better for; aid; assist.”  The word helper didn’t get a written definition, except for the part of speech.  It is a noun.  But as I was looking for that word, I saw the word helpmeet, which some versions of Genesis 2:18 use, and this word means “helpmate,” which means “a helpful companion.

So now we know how we define helper, but how does God define the word?  Can one who “makes things easier or better for” or is a “helpful companion” really be important?

The Hebrew word used for helper in Genesis 2:18 is actually quite a significant word.  You see, most of the times that this same word is used in the Old Testament, it refers to God.  This is one of my favorite verses, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” (Psalm 121:1-2).  (Sorry about the “whence,” but I’m using my NASB version today.)  Here’s another good verse, “You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord, He is their help and their shield,” (Psalm 115:11).  We read in these verses and many others that God is our helper and I am very thankful for that.  I know you are, too.  So right away we see that our role as a wife as being a helper for our husband is very important.  I mean, we all want God to be our helper, right?  And we definitely need Him to be.  God is not insignificant in our lives.  He is very essential and important.  Our husbands need us to be their helper, too.  And it’s a very important role.

But that’s not all there is about this Hebrew word.  This same word is also used in a military way.  Before Moses died we read this Hebrew word three times in Deuteronomy 33 as he is blessing the people of Israel and encouraging them as they are about to go to the Promised Land.  Look at these verses.  “And this regarding Judah; so he said, ‘Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him to his people.  With his hands he contended for them; and mayest Thou be a help against his adversaries.'” (verse 7), “There is none like the God of Jeshurun.  Who rides the heavens to your help, and through the skies in His majesty.” (verse 26), and “Blessed are you, O Israel; who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, who is the shield of your help.  And the sword of your majesty!  So your enemies shall cringe before you, and you shall tread upon their high places.” (verse 29).  Moses uses this same Hebrew word for help knowing that the Israelites are about to go over to Jericho and face battles.  As we read these verses we learn that our role of helper becomes even more significant.

Being a helper has way more meaning than we might think when we simply read that passage in Genesis 2:18 and start to feel rather unimportant.  When you go back to Genesis 2 and read in verses 21-22 about how God took the rib out of Adam’s side to create Eve, we understand even more.  You see, God took a rib out of Adam’s side.  Not his head.  Not his foot.  Eve was not created to be superior to Adam and she was not created to be inferior to Adam.  She was created from Adam’s side.  They were equals.  Adam was made first so he was to be the leader and Eve was to be the follower, but they were to be equals.

Did you know that being a helper could be so important?  Now we know that the wife’s role as a helper is very significant.  In fact, I can’t think of a higher calling for us as wives.  We are to be our husband’s companions.  We are to stand together as one and face the battles of life together, with God.  Can you imagine what our world – or even just our own families – would be like today if we did stand together as one – as best friends – as equals, but allowing our husbands to lead – as we help them – as we face all those battles of life?

Here’s another thing that I like about the way that God made Eve to be Adam’s helper.  God knew that it was not good for Adam to be alone.  If you’re a teacher, then you know that guiding your students to discover what you want them to learn is a very effective way of teaching them.  Being the amazing teacher that He is, God brings the animals to Adam and has Adam name them.  Can you imagine Adam naming all those animals?  Rooster and hen.  Bull and cow.  Buck and doe.  Lion and lioness.  You get the picture.  Finally Adam is done and he looks around and discovers that there is no one for him.  He is alone.  So God steps in and creates exactly what Adam needs.  Eve.  His helper.

And you are exactly what your husband needs.  His helper.  And just like my ministry team and I can do things together – with God – that I could never do alone, you and your husband, together with God, will be able to stand together and do things that you could never do alone.

Do you think your husband feels alone today?  Are you being his companion?  Are you allowing him to be the leader in your home?  How do you feel about your role as your husband’s helper?  How can you make things easier or better for your husband today?  Will you stand as one with your husband as equals and best friends as you face the battles of life together with the God who made you?

I want to be who God created me to be  in my marriage so I feel very important when I say – just call me “helper.”

Unknown Treasure

Treasure Chest

What unknown treasures are in your home?

I heard an interesting news story today.  Apparently someone had a certain very special Japanese chest in their home – one that was worth millions of dollars.  But they must have not known the value of that chest because they had used it for a TV stand.  Yes, a TV stand.  Then, after this person died, this special Japanese chest was discovered and sold for (if I remember correctly) 9.7 million dollars.  Wow!  Makes me wonder if I have anything like that.

I don’t think I do, but as I considered the possibility I thought of all those giant coffee table Bibles that people have in their homes.  The words contained within them are very valuable, but the people who own them may not even know it.  Psalm 19:10 says that God’s laws “are more precious than gold, than much pure gold,” (NIV).

And then, what about the people in our homes?  Our relationships are also very valuable.  I have a wonderful husband and great kids.  Jesus told us how much God loves and cares for His people and said, “Consider the ravens:  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!” (NIV).  The people in my home are very valuable to God, and to me!

I may not have a million dollar Japanese chest in my home, but I have do God’s Word, which is always true and tells me about my amazing God who loves me, cares for me and gave me my wonderful family.  And that is the most valuable thing I know.

A true, known treasure.

Know Where You’re Going?

Car on the Road

The other day I went out to run some errands and also bring a book to a friend and stop in to chat for a while.  So I ran my first errand and then started on my way to my friend’s home.  A home, by the way, that I had not been to yet.  Then I realized something.  I didn’t have her address.  I called her, but reached her answering machine.  I knew that she was home and I had an idea of where she lived so I continued, hoping that she would call me soon and tell me her address.

Later I realized how much like following God that is.  We don’t always know exactly where we’re going, but as we spend time with God we will be able to follow His leading and have some idea of where He wants us to go or what He wants us to do.  So we keep moving.

When I was near my friend’s home the call came.  And I’m very thankful for having the hands-free cell phone capability in my car!  My friend gave me directions while I drove right to her driveway.  And there she was waiting for me.

My friend showed up at just the right time.  Just like God does.  At just the right moment,  God shows us exactly where we’re going.

I guess the only difference is that my directions from my friend came within a matter of minutes, but with God it can take days, months or even years.  But one thing is for sure.  God knows exactly where He wants us to go or what He wants us to do and as we follow Him, He will show us.

Jesus spoke the parable of the Good Shepherd in John 10:1-5:  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the gatekeeper opens.  The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers,” (ESV).

If you have believed in Jesus as your Savior, then you can listen to His voice as He leads you.  Let’s keep following Him – even when we don’t know where we’re going!

I like music so here’s the song “Help Me Find It” by Sidewalk Prophets.

You Could Be A Hero!

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 2.11.09 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 2.10.38 PMDid you know that you could be someone’s hero and you don’t even know it?

Recently I found out that two of my Good News Club children wrote about me for their hero assignment in school.  If you’re a Bible teacher, than you understand how fun this is.  We don’t teach in order to get things like recognition, money or our pictures on Wheaties boxes.  In fact, it costs money to lead a Good News Club and to do many things in ministry and often in ministry no one says, “Thank you.”  It doesn’t matter though, because we teach because we feel called by God.  And we get to teach from God’s Word.  What could be more exciting than that?  However, when parents and children let us know that what we are doing is making a difference in the lives of those that we teach, that is such a blessing!

So this winter I was excited to find out that two of my kids in club wrote about me for their hero assignment at school.  They had to draw a picture of their hero and put that on the cover of a Wheaties box of cereal and then put their story on the back of the cereal box.  I’ve never had my picture on a Wheaties box before and now it is on two!  (Haha.  Don’t go looking for them in your store.  They’re not real Wheaties boxes.)  The really neat thing about this is not that they wrote about me, but that these boxes were displayed in the school where people could find out about Good News Club and our amazing God.  Now that is very cool!

So are you wondering what makes a hero to children?  Want to know what is important in children’s ministry?  Here are some of the things that they wrote:

“Mrs. Lori has a kind heart.  When we come into Good News Club we get a tasty snack.  When we are stuck on something or don’t know what the answer is she will help us.  After Good News Club is over Mrs. Lori lets us pick from a million books.  And she is kinder than my brother and sister and trust me they are kind.”

“We do athletic stuff like parachute and Duck, Duck, Goose.  If you searched up most athletic person there would be a picture of Mrs. Lori on there.”

“She knows everyone’s name every day.”

“She is smarter than Albert Einstein.  She knows every word in the book that we read.  Mrs. Lori knows what to say when she is up to talk.  If she wasn’t smart we would be dumb when it comes to God.”  (My note:  That book that we read is the Bible.  Both of the children drew it on their Wheaties boxes!)

“Mrs. Lori is friendly.  She is always fair and doesn’t leave anybody out.  When hurt she will always help you.”

“She helps kids when they don’t know what to do.”

“She’s nice to the other people on the Good News Club Team.”

“She’s intelligent.  She knows every word in the stories.  She can say every kid’s name and tell every kid about God.”

“She always puts God first.”

I think it’s fun to see what is important to the children that we minister to.  It seems that things like knowing their names, being kind and friendly, knowing the Bible lessons well, playing fun games and having tasty snacks are important to these kids.  With God’s help, I can keep doing that.

I’m still amazed that God has called me to be a part of teaching children and leading them to know Him.  What a fun task!  And who knows?  You may be a hero today and you don’t even know it.

The thing that I’m really excited about is that what these kids really see in me is Jesus, and He is the real hero!

He is Risen!

“…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3b-4 ESV).

Happy Easter to you all!  Chris Tomlin’s song, “Jesus, Son of God,” is a perfect song for Easter so here it is: