When You Lose It All

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The basement in our new home flooded this week.

We had terrible storms on Saturday.  Our power was out for a little over 18 hours…and it created a problem.

Our basement has a pump that automatically kicks on when water levels rise in the ground.  It keeps our home nice and dry…when the electricity is working.

You guessed it.  The power was off and the rainwater slowly seeped into our basement overnight.

We lost everything down there.  Furniture, appliances, carpet and drywall were all casualties.  To make matters worse- we were using the basement as temporary storage as we set up our new home.  We had family photos, files and other precious items stored on the floor.

Now they are all wet.

It was sobering to see what damage the water can do.  Photos and letters from loved ones are gone.  Notes and art projects from the kids were ruined.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. I John 2: 15-17

This was a great reminder for me.  I have taken too much pride in “stuff.”

As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

Material goods bring us comfort, but they don’t last.

The important things are unseen.  It’s all about investment.  Investment in our walk with Jesus.  Investment in our family, friends and neighbors.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 22:37-39

It’s pretty simple:  Love Jesus and love your neighbors.

Everything else will just get wet.

Pray for me as I try to focus less on “stuff”.  And let me know how to pray for you.

God bless.

 

 

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New job and big transitions…

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I’m beginning a new job in January.

Oh, it’s not entirely new.  It’s with the same university I’ve been associated with for the past twenty years.

But it’s a different role in a different city.  It involves a move for my family and a new set of faces and increased responsibilities.

There will be lots to learn…with new names, duties, rituals and events that will occupy my day.  Hollianne and I will have to learn the names of a new set of teachers for our kids- and get them acclimated to a different social and educational environment.

New neighbors.  New house.  New everything.

Change is coming.

We are excited about the opportunity, but even the most adventurous souls get a little anxious when faced with so much uncertainty and change.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

There’s one thing that does not change, however.  Our God is an ever-present comfort to us.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

We have the promise of comfort and stability.  While our lives on this earth will change, the steadfast love and support of Jesus Christ never waivers.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

Please pray for me as I enter this new chapter of my life.  Pray for me to have a servant’s heart, open ears for listening, big shoulders for obstacles and clear eyes for vision.  And pray for my family to have a smooth transition into our new environment.

And as always, please let me know how to pray for you.

God bless.

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Tough love


It’s been a mixed bag of experiences for our family this week.  

On one hand- we’ve been on vacation. It’s been a great trip for us, as my recent work schedule and the kids’ activities have propelled our family in opposite directions.  We’ve had an incredible opportunity to spend lots of time together- making new memories and laughing about old ones. 

Conversely- our trip has come during a time of great sadness across our country. This week’s headlines have been filled with violence and sorrow. Innocent lives have been lost and nerves are frayed. 

It’s hard for me to understand. I can’t imagine how hard it is for my children to process.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭

I guess the best response as parents is to continue to teach love. 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John‬ ‭15:12‬ ‭

Love is the greatest command. Along with this command comes honor and respect for others. 

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”‭‭ Romans‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭

“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,…” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭

So who is our brother?  It’s our neighbor. It’s the person living in a different neighborhood across town. It’s the teller in the supermarket line. It’s the person that doesn’t dress like us or talk like we do. It’s the people in our lives that have hurt us and caused us pain. 

Our neighbors are everywhere. 

Everyone has value. Every person has worth. And just as Jesus loves us, we are called to love others. 

It’s hard sometimes, but it’s our responsibility. And it’s our responsibility to teach love and honor to our children. 

“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭‬‬

Let’s look for ways this week to get to know our neighbors…and engage with different people in new and meaningful ways. 

I need prayers for guidance on how to help my children process these tough events. Please let me know how I may pray for you. 

God bless. 

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