Tuesday, April 28, 2015



"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19


Yesterday, I finally had a chance to read the farewell letter written by Wildcats freshman Karl Anthony Towns. It almost brought me to tears because it was so heartfelt and sweet. Just a few weeks ago, our house was abuzz with the anticipation of the Wildcats playing with a perfect record of 38 - 0. Which all UK fans waited expectantly for a win and trip to the NCAA Finals in pursuit of a 9th Championship Title.

After the disappointing loss, I like all of Big Blue Nation considered that we were in a state of grief and mourning. When I processed it a bit more on that Sunday, which was Easter Sunday, the writer in me stirred with observations about winning and losing. But my son cautioned me that it was too soon after the loss to try to expound on any words of wisdom that might have been gleaned from the experience.

But now, with some time removed, when I think back over that time I know that what I would have penned had I sat down and wrote what was on my heart that day, is completely different from my perspective today.

Since it was the Easter season, I had gladly reposted many themed quotes over Facebook in the days prior. One that stands out said, "A lot can happen in three days." Of course, the quote referred to the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus. Yes, that was the main reason I had reposted it, but I was also wrestling with some personal decisions, and it was an encouragement to myself NOT to look at the present situation, but trust in God for the fulfillment of His Will at the appointed time.

Little did I know how it fact things could change so much in a few short days. Sunday morning I felt that I was at an extreme low point. I cannot fully describe how overcome with a feeling of loss I was over Kentucky's elimination from the NCAA Tournament. I can accurately say that I have never been so vested in a sports team in my life as I was this year in following the Wildcats. I cheered for this young men as if they were my own sons, and hoped for them and their families, as well as for us as fans that they would in fact make history in their Pursuit of Perfection!

I had to continually remind myself on Sunday morning that it was Easter, it was the day I needed to keep my focus on Jesus, and keep a proper perspective of this whole "sports thing."

But then came Monday, when learned that a mother of four, that I knew, had died of pancreatic cancer. On Tuesday or Wednesday, I learned that a young man around the ages of my own boys, so about 14 or so, had tried to commit suicide. I had just recently seen him at a church function and he did not seem despondent or in any way different than his usual bubbly, and funny self. Thursday, we ran into some issues with our finances. I found myself in my kitchen crying out to God literally and figuratively, that I was spent. I had nothing left. I could only put myself on the alter before Him asking for an extra measure of grace and provision. Then on Friday, while at the bank to resolve the financial issue, I was told that my friend Kim Merritt had died, and that her baby was fighting for his life at the hospital. I could not really process what I had heard. I had just texted Kim two days before to inquire how she was doing, knowing that her due date was quickly approaching.

So yes, April has been one of those kinds of months. But in the middle of all that, God has repeatedly reassured me in my spirit to TRUST HIM. I so I do. I heard the song that I mentioned in my last post and I have not been able to get it out of my head. When I think of God as the "Good, Good Father" I imagine a throng of people on a railroad platform, and I am somewhere in the midst of the crowd. God sees me and presses in to get to me with outstretched hands, with a desperate kind of love, He is reaching for me.

And in all the craziness that would summarize April, it has been the love of God that has sustained me. He is a good father. The song says, "You're a Good, Good Father, that's Who You are. And I'm loved by you. That's who I am." I feel that.

I still don't understand everything that happened that week, the deaths, the suicide attempt. But even with UK, the loss was real, and it hurt, even though in some ways it is quite trivial. But it wasn't just the loss of the game, it was seeing the hopes of those young men to achieve a dream dashed. And that is why I could not wish that either Duke or Wisconsin would lose. I know how it felt and to see tears on their faces. I could not wish it for those fans, or athletes, or coaches, or parents. I did not watch the game. UK wasn't in it, and I had no care as to which of the others went home in victory.

A lot can happen in three days...or even three hours...or even three minutes. Keep the right perspective.


God meets us every day and shows us His unending love, if we would see from His perspective. How has God shown you the depth of His love? Share your story by posting a comment below. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Seeing and Recognizing

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” I John 5:14-15

“For my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
I must say that if you know me, then you know there are few times that I would consider myself rendered speechless, in a place where I could not find the words to describe an experience.

But that is what happened when I attended the celebration of life service for my friend Kimberly Merritt. I expected to be overcome with grief because I was in shock when I heard the news that Kim had died. If you didn’t know Kim then you wouldn’t really get it how the person that I knew who was so full of life and joy, expecting her first child could be gone from this world. So shock was the word.

Then for me, it took me back to that time 16 years ago, when I also sat in a hospital NICU being told by a doctor that they had done all they could but my one month old son had died, already having been preceded earlier by the death of his twin brother.

But what I experienced on Thursday was nothing short of supernatural. Because instead of everyone weeping in grief, it was a total Spirit-led, get-your-praise-on worship service. I was surprised when I saw that Kim’s husband would not only do the eulogy, but would also sing. And now that I think about it, those of us who know Harold, should have known, he would do nothing less than give God the glory even in the midst of profound grief.

But here is what struck me. As I visited Facebook since Kim’s death, there has been an outpouring of prayers for Harold that God would give him strength, and grace, all that he needs to bear up under this loss. There were people at my church praying for Harold who didn’t know him, but had heard the story. And many others, friends and family alike, that petitioned God on his behalf.

But when we saw it, we were amazed. We marveled at how it was possible. We saw, but we didn’t recognize. We were witnessing the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit in Harold. It was supernatural. I think we got that part.

But I suspect that what most of us failed to see in the moment was that God allowed us to see the expression of His faithfulness. God heard our prayers and He answered. And He allowed us to witness His power at work. It was a reminder that we can trust God.

I heard a song this week that has stayed with me. It summed up all the emotional turmoil I felt these past few days, and the answer….God is a Good Father. He takes care of His own, up in heaven and here on earth. No matter what we face in life, may we love God enough to know that He doesn’t do anything to harm us, but all He does is motivated out of love, because He is LOVE.

Draw closer to Him and He will show you more of Himself.

I hope this song blesses you as it has me. Good, Good Father by HouseFires II.

Look for God this week in the way He has answered your prayers. Worship Him for who He is even in the middle of difficult circumstances. I would love to hear about your experience. Post your comment below or leave your thoughts at www.facebook.com/10thingsaboutGod.