Archives

Love in Action

"Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas."Can you believe it? Another Christmas come and (very nearly) gone! Ours ended up being white this year — a surprising and delightful rarity here in Texas.

When you take down your tree and lights and stockings over the next few days, I hope you’ll be mindful not to pack away your Christmas spirit along with the decorations. As noted in the poem “Let Every Day Be Christmas,” that peace-on-earth-good-will-toward-men attitude is something we should carry in our hearts all year through:

Christmas is forever,
not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving,
are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel,
in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others
is good you do yourself.

So I pray that the remainder of your Christmas, plus all the days that follow, will be characterized by love and joy and giving. And may “God bless us, every one!”

They Won’t Know It Till You Show It


Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, from my home to yours…. As you count your blessings today, take time to tell those living, breathing blessings in your life how much you appreciate them!

Our Starting Point

Prayer Works | Loving Life at Home“Prayer works. Prayer is work. Prayer leads to work.” This is a quote I copied, without attribution, into the back of my Bible some thirty-plus years ago.

I know that the operative word here is prayer, but I sometimes act as if the most important word were work.

Have you ever been guilty of that?

When your list of pressing chores is especially long, are you inclined to spend more time on your knees — or less? Do you view prayer as leisurely pastime or a life-preserving necessity?

James 5:16 tells us, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Prayer should be so much more than a brief benediction we utter before setting our shoulder to the wheel.

Prayer works. Prayer itself is work. And prayer has the power to make all the work that follows more focused and productive.

Martin Luther understood this fact, which is why he once wrote, “I have so much to do today, I must spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Whether intuitively or experientially, Luther knew that the longer his “to do” list, the more desperately he needed the wisdom, blessing, and empowering of God.

Shouldn’t prayer be our starting point, as well?

Our Daily Lifeline

"If you only pray when you're in trouble, you're in trouble." | Loving Life at HomeAs fitting and appropriate as it is to call upon God from the foxhole, prayer should really be our first and natural response in all of life’s circumstances.

  • When awed by His works, we should praise Him.
  • When struck by His greatness, we should worship Him.
  • When encumbered by doubts, we should trust in Him.
  • When ensnared by sin, we should confess to Him.
  • When weary and careworn, we should lean on Him.
  • When wisdom is needed, we should ask of Him.
  • When brimming with joy, we should sing to Him.
  • When weighed down with grief, we should cling to Him.
  • When honored, we should magnify Him.
  • When humbled, we should hide in Him.
  • When burdened for the lost — as we all need to be — we should plead for His unfailing mercy.
  • When blessed beyond measure — as each of us are — we should thank Him for His unmerited grace.

An attitude of constant prayer is a distinguishing mark of the mature Christian, which is why we are commanded to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). I don’t know who said it, but it is definitely true: “If you only pray when you’re in trouble, you’re in trouble.”

A Good Reminder

Pray Hardest When It Is Hardest to Pray | Loving Life at HomePray hardest when it’s hardest to pray? I don’t think this means we should pray hardest when we’re in the most trouble.

Most of us find it pretty easy to pray when we need God to get us out of a tight spot.

For me, this quote means that I need to pray hardest when I’m . . .

. . . exhausted
. . . excited
. . . angry
. . . anxious
. . . annoyed
. . . busy
. . . behind
. . . distracted.

When is it hardest for you to pray? Let’s work harder at remembering at that moment to pray for God’s strength, comfort, wisdom, and grace.