Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Recently at a swim meet, our son was swimming in a race that was new to him..the IM. For those of you not familiar with swim meets, that meant he would swim all four strokes. Since he's only eight, he usually only swims two laps of the pool using the same stroke. This would be four laps and all four strokes in a particular order. A big deal for him. So all day we reminded him how the IM would work and rehearsed the stroke order.

Feeling like he needed some more motivation, I pulled him aside before the meet started. I promised him he would get $10 if he would finish the IM in 2nd place or better. I don't know about you, but money motivates at our house! So he swam his race, jumped out of the pool and said, "I get $10 right!" He had finished in 2nd, so I said, "Great job and yes you do!" The next child to swim overheard this conversation. So he says to his parents, "Can I get $10 if I swim a good race?" I quickly apologized to the parents and we got out of their way. That's when I heard the father say, "No son, you know what your motivation is."

Normally I would have just forgotten this whole thing. I don't really know these folks well, but I do know that they are godly, servant minded people. But I couldn't forget the Dad's statement. God was getting my attention; this was a teachable moment for me. I began to think about this verse:

"Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Colossians 3:23NLT

Too often my motivation is about external things...money, status, chocolate...you get the picture. But God desires that our motivation be purely about Him and that we teach our kids that same lesson. It's difficult sometimes, but this was such a good, visual reminder for me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Father God

Recently as I was praying, it occurred to me that I open my prayer time most often with "Father God". That's how I start talking to Jesus. No one else gets that greeting. No one else can be both Father and God to me.

Don't get me wrong. I have a wonderful earthly Father that I call Daddy. He's great, but he's not Father God and I don't expect him to be. Daddy loves me, cracks me up and most often I'm accused of being just like him.

Father God is both my Daddy and my God. The One that I can run to, sit with and know that I'm loved unconditionally. We can laugh, cry and talk over anything. He's also the One who is all-powerful, all-knowing and is my defender, my advocate. It's an amazing gift to have and I don't ever want it to just roll off my tongue and take it for granted. He is Father God.

How do you greet Him? I'd love to know...

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Trouble is defined as a "condition of distress" or "somebody or something upsetting." That well describes the last couple of days around our house. We came home from a long vacation that included a cruise. Our kids were looking forward to some fun things going on this week wrapping up softball and baseball. Life was good. We could spend the last few weeks of summer doing nothing before school starts again.
However, trouble was brewing just under the surface. A staph infection entered into our lives. On the outside it looks like an angry, red knot. But as the doctor informed us, underneath it's eating away the flesh. The infection must be treated and removed or it can spread and be quite dangerous. So hold all the fun and relaxation and bring on the clorox spray and gloves!
At one point I found myself praying, not just for my family, but for this one specific spot that wouldn't drain. It seemed to just keep growing and was quite painful. It may seem silly to some to be that specific in praying, but I'm into the details. Not to mention that the infection needed to be out before it could do anymore damage. Thankfully, God is into the details even more and took care of it!
I read Psalm 120 this morning; specifically verse 1 and 2.
"I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. Rescue me, O Lord, from liars and from all deceitful people."
As I meditated on those verses this morning, I thought how much the staph infection is like the troubles in our lives. Sometimes we think they're insignificant and harmless; then they fester and grow. Before long they've spread through and infected other areas and other people. We must be diligent to deal with these things specifically. Take them to the Lord as the verse says. He will rescue us and heal us.