Sunday, March 26, 2017

How to Wait with Expectancy

Is there a blessing you've been waiting for? Is there something God has put on your heart, and there have been several roadblocks and disappointments along the way? Just ask a toddler if waiting is any fun. The frustration and whining of the "terrible two's" really doesn't get any easier; the struggle just becomes more internal as we age.

That's when scripture reminds us of important promises:

"I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" Psalm 27:13-14

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning." Psalm 130:5-6

While we understand the frustration of waiting from an early age, the things we want as we get older usually take a bit more arranging. In other words, a dream come true takes more than a flick of magical wand or a cookie from our parent's hand. It's often a compilation of years of striving, faithfulness, and even heart-break until we taste the sweet fruit of satisfaction. But the Lord promises, someway, somehow, that fruit will come.

The other day I was walking, feeling the weight of unfulfilled promises, and I happened upon a pinecone. That's when the Lord reached into my heart and urged me to pay attention.


Notice that a pinecone is one object, yet it's made up of many "leaves" called scales. Each scale must grow individually to produce the ovular shape we know as the pinecone. In other words, its formation is a multi-step process.

I've often heard the wisdom that to uncover God's faithfulness in big ways, we need to continually be faithful in little ways. We need to allow each scale to form along the path toward the completion of our God-given dream. Every decision matters. Frustration cannot lead to giving in or giving up while our formation is still in process.

Again, scripture concurs:

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act." Psalm 37:4-5

"So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

The faithful have waited throughout the centuries and over the course of each lifetime. The Bible resounds with God's faithfulness all the same. Time and time again, there is witness to prove it. Wherever you are hurting today, wherever you are weary and ready to give up, let this post fill you with the promises of a faithful God. Like the pinecone, you are forming. Commit your ways to the Lord, and stay tuned to witness the full expression of God's artistry...You're going to see something beautiful.

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We hit a milestone on the blog this week, as we reached over 100,000 views! Thank you for your readership. Please continue to help spread the word! Trending lately has been my post, The Power of a Praying Mom. Have you read it yet? 

Luckily, my family recovered from the flu and enjoyed a memorable spring break. Stay tuned for the next episode of Chaos to Calm, coming in April!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

From Frustration to Fulfillment

What does living our purpose look like? The answer runs deeper than just accomplishing our to-do's. It's a question of fulfillment in our everyday life. If we're feeling frustrated, depleted, and unfulfilled, that's a sign we need to explore this principle. In my recent sermons on life purpose, I offered the following metaphor to help us enter into this exploration:

                       
                                   
I like to think that the invitation to find our purpose is like God offering us a hand to pull us out of rough water. Sure, we can keep treading. But the reality is that we’re not really going anywhere, and it takes an awful lot of work to stay where we are. God wants to bring us ashore. We belong on the solid ground of God’s principles. And instead of swimming, we can start running. Running has direction. We can reach somewhere new, somewhere exciting. And just like running releases endorphins, we’ll experience a new kind of fulfillment. We’ll discover the race we were meant to run – and better yet, we’ll come to better know God, who wants to condition us by doing what we love.

                             

The upcoming episode of Chaos to Calm will focus on "The Chaos of Unfulfillment." How can we artfully use our fleeting moments for personal fulfillment? Also, how can we enrich the time we spend with our families for maximum impact? The key is to not only be present with our children and ourselves, but also with God. The God who created us has a plan for our lives that includes parenting yet also stretches beyond it; God wants to orient our entire life so that it's in tune with his purpose.

Tune in next month to discover tips to unlock what God has in store for you! The current air date is April 25th - mark your calendars! (There will not be a March episode due to the chaos of the flu and spring break!) Also, are you local? I'll be preaching the Easter message at Central Presbyterian Church's WAVE service on April 2nd at 5 pm. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Upcoming Services!


Local friends, this post is your you! I'm frequently asked what my service schedule is, and I wanted to make a note of my involvement for the rest of the school year so that busy parents can plan ahead! All opportunities listed below are at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, NJ, where I serve as Parish Associate.

Wednesday, March 1st 
I will be co-officiating an Ash Wednesday service at 9 am tomorrow with the Reverend Deborah Huggins. It is right after the church's preschool drop off. All are welcome at this brief service of introspection and the imposition of ashes. There will be donut holes and coloring sheets for attending children.

Preaching Schedule at WAVE
Children worship alongside parents at these family-friendly services. There are crafts for children and food for all attendees. WAVE services include contemporary music; the music leader, Adam Gilbert, is incredibly talented and has his own Pandora station. These services occur at 5 pm on Sunday evenings. I will be preaching:

This Sunday, March 5th (My sermon is entitled The Gift of Failure)
April 2nd (This will be the WAVE Easter service)
May 21st

I'd love to see you!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Featured Post: The One Journey I Can't Do Without


"I’ve often heard the admonition to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. While this is poignant advice in life and travel, I’m learning it applies to parenthood too." 

How has travel changed for you since having children? I wrote this essay when my children were little and discovered myself marveling despite the mayhem. My essay is now being featured by the TODAY Show Parenting Team...Please click over and VOTE UP! 

Click, read, and VOTE here! (And don't forget your Kleenexes.)

TODAY Video Clip