My One Word for 2014

Last year I died. Every day for 365 days. I woke up and experienced death.

Graveyard

I died to myself. I died to my past. I died to my will. I died to all that I thought that I knew.

Dying was hard, but necessary.

For Christians dying is central to our faith. Dying is life. I forgot that somewhere along the way. Somewhere along the road to hunky-dory everything should be perfect land, I forgot that dying is a good thing.

Good but painful.

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Five Good and Perfect Gifts

This year has been hard. And good. And perfect.

My view in the Jeep

This Christmas season when I have actually had time to reflect, I keep coming back to one of my favorite verses.

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. ~ James 1:17 NLT

I’ve had some good and perfect gifts come down from heaven this year.

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Going Dark to Get to the Light

It has been a while. I know.

I have missed blogging, sort of.

You see I’ve been taking some time for myself.

It has been a difficult couple of months for me personally. Last fall I stumbled into a dark week that lasted a few months. It was major drama.

Gloomy Pikes Peak

And I’m not talking bump in the road drama. I’m talking As the World Turns Level 5 This is Insane drama.

So I went dark. I had to. I was in self-preservation mode for a while. I had to prioritize my relationship with God, myself, family and work. That was it. Nothing else made the cut. And so this blog went lifeless and limp.

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Determined in 2013

Last year was a life changer.

I don’t say that lightly either. So many of you shared the ups and downs with our family as we gave up our horrid eating habits.

My former bread area #jeffscrazyidea

I felt so much love and encouragement when I achieved a 15-year goal of hiking Pikes Peak.

Me beside a cool cairn almost to the top of Pikes Peak

I received prayers from strangers after they read my funny and tough moments through Fridays with Freda.

Grandma Freda and I walking through Garden of the Gods

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What Are You Going to Do About It Today?

Our communities are going through hell.

Being a parent, spouse, employee and citizen has taken on a new demand for our level of engagement.

Watching the news this weekend, I just kept thinking what am I going to do about it?

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One of Those Did That Really Happen? Kind of Weeks

Let all those who fear the LORD repeat: “His faithful love endures forever. In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes the LORD is for me, he will help me. ~Psalm 118:4-7 NLT

I am finding myself crawling out of one of those “did that really happen?” kind of weeks.

You know the kind?

The kind that leaves your head and heart spinning.

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Friday with Freda ~ Role of Responsibility

My grandma is getting old.

I know, you’re shocked. Because for six months now I have been talking on Fridays about the funny things she says and does and how she is in such amazing shape for someone who is eighty nine.

She inspires me.

But the last month it has started to seem like she is getting old.

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Friday with Freda ~ Missing Home

She misses West Virginia.

I sense it. I know it. I catch her trying looking at old photos, gazing out the window, wondering if she will ever see the likes of her home there ever again.

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Rejoice When We Run Into Problems and Trials? Are You Kidding Me?

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. ~Romans 5:3-4 NLT

I was scheduled to read this today. I need to be honest, I sometimes eye roll when I come across this passage. Just like a teenager, I feel a disdain for this passage from almost a primal level. I don’t like them. These verses make me uncomfortable. And, oh yeah, I don’t like it that I don’t like it. You have been warned.

This Scripture confirms in my heart what I already know in my head. God truly does allow me to go through difficulties at times to build my charter and build my endurance. I know I should rejoice in this (it says so in verse 3) but my flesh wants to grumble. My spirit wants to rebel.

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Fridays with Freda ~ Troubles and Peace

Many of you have asked me since the Waldo Canyon Fire broke out how Freda is doing. Constant news of a natural disaster like this can make seniors anxious and I have been worried she would get sick from the smoke. Amazingly, she has been resilient.

Living through The Great Depression, World War II, floods, terrorist attacks, and personal family tragedy in her eighty-nine years of life I’m sure has helped her cope. She knows we will make it through. Watching her through all of the chaos this week I was reminded of what Jesus said…

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