Showing posts from 2016

Hele on to Hawaii

This post is primarily intended for our extended family to enjoy a few glimpses from our recent trip to Oahu, Hawaii as a family.  I spent four formative years of my life growing up there.  Tony and I had had the privilege to visit a couple occasions years ago before children.  With my 40th birthday around the corner, we saved up frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and the like in order to afford the opportunity to share this place with them.  What a gift.  We are grateful.  Hope you enjoy.

Breakthrough: Dealing with Guilt and Shame

The other evening an opportunity presented itself for an uninterrupted discussion with one of my children.  What began with one objective in mind, which was to debrief a new movie they had gotten to go see with grandma who was in town, turned into a tearful conversation of their personal dealing with guilt and shame.  The Lord in his kindness gave much grace to navigate what was in many ways, a heart breaking exchange... (Where does the time go? They have all grown so much since this picture was taken?!.) A Time for Everything3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3  a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4  a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

Thoughts from a Recent Talk (Part 3)

"You are no longer strangers and aliens,  but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God..." Ephesians 2:19
It is hard to believe that a little over seven years ago we became the legal parents of our four Ukrainian born children.  It is most certainly a day we will never forget!  Tony and I were questioned before the court both individually and together.  There were questions like, "Why do you want to adopt?" or "Don't you know your quiet life is about to change?" Upon the completion of the interrogation the judge exited for deliberations with his fellow court officials to his office chambers.  Meanwhile, we sat praying for favor as our nerves continued to settle.  To our great joy, the judge returned, called us to rise, and then stated in his native language something to the effect, "It is the judgement of this court that these two adults be granted parental rights to these four children and have their names chang…

'Oh, the ebb and flow of joy and sorrow' - [A Repost]

A couple weeks ago, I was contacted by one of the editors of The Baptist Press requesting permission to publish an article I wrote last year for the Biblical Recorder.  For the record, this is not a common occurrence in my life!  I do not consider myself a writer, but the Lord has presented a few opportunities to both write and speak in which I have tried to faithfully steward.  I consider it a great privilege to share some of the things God has and continues to work into my heart.  May He have his way in my heart and mind.  Here's the link to the version of the article below here.
(Above: Scripture artwork my girls painted and gifted to one of their teachers; one of my favorite and personally experienced life verses!  What a good, good Father we have!  He is faithful, sovereign, and good.)
I've added some pictures for you below and hope it will encourage you today.  Additionally, I want to share another article my friend, Laura, wrote regarding further thoughts on Mother's…

Turn Your Eyes

Every once in awhile, I wipe the literal dust off of my guitar and attempt to play a little.  Today was one of those days.  I pulled an old hymnal out and played a simple arrangement I had made a couple months ago. Here's the rough recording.  Hope you enjoy.

Thoughts from a Recent Talk continued... (Part 2)

As I shared in my last post, identity matters.  Identity is foundational to understanding purpose. Every day we should remind ourselves of who we are.  Every day we should preach the gospel to ourselves.  Every day we should ask for God's help to remember our identity.

A year or so ago, I decided to stamp a daily reminder of this reality on my wrist in the form of a tattoo.  Confession: getting a tattoo was never on my bucket list.  Perhaps midlife crisis has played a role?  Regardless, I thought to myself that if you're going to get a tattoo, it should be purposeful.  Therefore, in addition to the Micah 6:8 passage written on my foot, I added a Hebrew word on my arm to match the one Tony has on his.  The word: gaal.  One of the meanings of the Hebrew word gaal is redeemed as seen when God promised his people deliverance from bondage under the Egyptians, 
"I will redeem you with an outstretched arm" (Exodus 6:6)...

Recall Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus in …