blessings

On the Inside; On the Outside


 

What a Surprise!

Posted by | Everyday Life | No Comments

My wife and I spent this past weekend with 13 teenagers on a Peer Ministry Retreat at a camp in East Troy, Wisconsin. This was our 8th year doing this retreat and we really enjoy watching the teens as they learn important leadership skills and deepen their relationship with God. We always stress to them the importance of making time for prayer in their busy lives, and I always share this story with them.

surpriseA few years back while on this same retreat, I decided to do my Sunday morning prayers down by the lake. It was a misty, calm morning as I sat myself down on the little wooden pier. I pulled out my Liturgy of the Hours and began praying out loud. At a certain point, I began freely talking with God about some things that were going on in my life at the time. I verbally placed my intentions before the Lord hoping for some direction and guidance. Suddenly, I noticed movement from deep beneath the murky waters, and slowly emerged a very large turtle. His head peered out of the water and it was looking directly at me. I was completely caught by surprise. It felt like God appeared before me right when I needed him during my prayer. After a brief moment of eye contact between each other, the turtle returned to the depths of the lake.

Our God surprises us so many times during our lives, but we’re often so preoccupied with life that we often miss it. Sometimes we’re asked to put out our boat one more time, to try again, to go outside our comfort zone and take a chance. But how often do we react like Simon Peter and say that we’re not worthy of such blessings, that we’re not worthy of such love? We need to trust in the Lord and not be afraid, for he made us out of love and wants what’s best for us. And if we do, the rewards will be amazing.

May the Lord bless and fill your life with his mercy, his unending love, and with many surprises.

Our God is Amazing!

Posted by | Everyday Life | No Comments

20150915_105137About three weeks ago, Stephanie and I returned from a well-needed (and deserved) vacation in the Canadian Rockies. We spent about 10 days hiking, sightseeing, and taking in the beautiful scenery. Some people say that’s it’s the most beautiful place in the world. I can’t really speak to that, but I will say that it felt like I was standing in a painting that was created by God’s fingertips. It was truly amazing, and I couldn’t stop thinking the entire time we were there of how great and glorious our God is. Read More

We Need A Little Advent Now!

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I was running errands the other day, and when I walked into one of our local stores, I heard these familiar words of this Christmas song:

“Haul out the holly; put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stockings, I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute. We need a little Christmas now.” Read More

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by | Prayer | No Comments

thanksgiving4Many Americans think of Thanksgiving as a wonderful time to celebrate getting out of school for a long weekend, and eating a great dinner. Or, maybe they think it is the start of the Christmas holiday season. What is the real meaning behind Thanksgiving? 

We can trace this historic American Christian tradition to the year 1623. After the harvest crops were gathered in November 1623, Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony, “Plymouth Plantation” in Plymouth, Massachusetts proclaimed:

“All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones, do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings.” Read More

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Posted by | Hodgepodge | No Comments

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come around, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
~Charles Dickens Read More

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