Showing posts from July, 2013

Part 3: In Every Thing Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) 
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

God gives to us so abundantly. All He asks in return is a grateful heart.

I've passed out candy to the kids after church every week for 20 years. They line up and pick their favorites from a bag I proffer. The bag contains a variety of gum, lollipops and chocolate. Sometimes they get one piece, others two, depending on their behavior during worship service. These are good kids; they almost always get at least one piece of candy.

Some of the kids say thank you each time. Others forget. Sometimes a parent brings them back over to thank me. I don't provide candy to receive thanks; I do it for the joy on their sweet faces.

Years ago, there was a very quiet boy that came to church most every week. He sat by himself, or with his little brother. This boy kept his head down; seldom looked up and never looked anyone in the eye. He lined up every Sunday for his …

Pray Without Ceasing

I was blessed to have a whole bunch of people praying for me in the last year and a half. I felt every one. It is an amazing feeling, knowing that you are completely covered in prayers from God's people. Now it is time for me to return the favor. There is someone I love who is suffering. Instead of feeling helpless, I can take action. I can pray.

Praying is something I have developed over the years. When I was a kid, I only prayed if I was in a tight spot or really wanted something badly. After I became a Christian, I spent more and more time in prayer, as I realized it made things happen. Today, I have a near-constant exchange with the Savior.

I know this about prayer:

It is powerful.                              It is intimate.                                      It changes things.

Here's a tip on how to incorporate more prayer into your day. Retrain your brain. When thoughts of a certain person you are concerned about or a specific need or worry spring into your mind, focu…


1 Thessalonians 5:16-23 (KJV)
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I've been studying Paul's letters to the church at Thessalonica. These instructions, posted above, spoke to me, so I'll be sharing my thoughts on them for the next few weeks. Hope you don't mind.

Rejoice evermore.

Jenn on The House FM was talking about contagious joy today. She said we should share the joy that's in our hearts and not be stingy with it.

Some people think I'm a bit of a Pollyanna, always seeing the good side of things. I've been through some hard things in my life, (haven…

Family Reunion

I arrived home this afternoon from a family reunion in Burlington, Iowa. Nestled on a hill overlooking the mighty Mississippi River, this picturesque village was full of historic homes and shady, green parks. We had a blast getting to know each other again after three years apart.

At the picnic held in Dankwardt Park, I presented my cousin, Becca Ballew McDermott, with custody of our family's tangerine talisman, Orange Fuzzy Ballew. He will have fun on her Iowa farm with Becca, her husband and four adorable kids.

We took a historic home tour, golfed, swam, played card games, watched fireworks, ate a bunch and just generally partied for two days straight. It doesn't really matter what we did...we reconnected. And that is what families should.

You can't pick your family, but I sure was blessed with the greatest bunch of folks to love.


Female in Motion Exercise Update: I did three disco aerobic workouts and my family dragged me all over Iowa this week. Ha! Actually, I fe…


Psalm 51:11-12 (KJV) Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Were you ever separated from your parents as a little kid? I don't remember it ever happening to me as a child, but my little brother would sneak off from my mother in a particular store, because the clerks at the customer service booth would give him candy until Mom came to collect him.

What if there was infinite space and darkness between you and your loved one? You are alone and scared, with no hope of salvation.

Before we were born, we were one with God in Heaven. While on earth, we are separated from Him. As the psalmist, we yearn to be reunited with God's presence.

We must be reconciled to become whole again. There is a hope, and a savior. His name is Jesus. Our soul longs to be with Christ. Call upon His name, and you will be joined once again to the eternal joy of Heaven.


Female in Motion E…