Saturday, August 30, 2008

Home away from home

Here's Lane the day we moved him into his dorm room at York College. His roommate never showed up so he has a room all to himself!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Marathon Mentality

The 2008 Olympic women’s marathon was won by Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania. To win her gold medal, she ran for a total of 26 miles and 365 yards. She ran, non-stop, for 2 hours, 26 minutes and 44 seconds. And, to put an exclamation point on the feat, she did it at 38 years of age! As I watched the television coverage of the race, I was reminded of what it takes to win a marathon.

First, it takes stamina. As the race progressed, pain and exhaustion became more and more evident on Tomescu-Dita’s face. Her lungs and muscles had to be crying out for her to stop the torture. And yet, her training and determination enabled her to push through the pain and on to victory.

Second, it takes concentration. At about the half-way point of the race, Tomescu-Dita began to put some distance between herself and the rest of the front-runners. She increased her lead until, at one point, she was at least a full minute ahead of her competitors. But I never saw her look back over her shoulder until near the end of the race. Marathons are won by concentrating on the goal ahead of you and not by worrying about what is behind you.

Third it takes encouragement. The Beijing marathon course was arranged in such a way that the stadium which was home to the finish line came into the runner’s view when they were still over a mile away. Commentators spoke of the boost of adrenaline that sight would provide to Tomescu-Dita when she could finally see that her goal was within reach.

The Christian life is much like a marathon race. If we hope to be victorious, we will also need stamina, concentration and encouragement (Hebrews 12:1-3). When Tomescu-Dita entered the stadium for her final lap before the finish line, the entire crowd rose from their seats and cheered her on. Faithful saints of all the ages are cheering you on to spiritual victory. Are you determined to finish the race (2 Timothy 4:7-8)?

God loves you!

Listen To The Coach

The American Olympic boxing team suffered a bitter defeat this past Tuesday (8\12\08) in Beijing. Greg Beacham, an AP sports writer, shares his perspective on the bout with us: “While Lee Ok-sung got his glove fixed with 35 seconds left, Rau’shee Warren turned in his neutral corner and searched for a clear voice in the cacophony of shouted advice. Warren swore he heard somebody in the stands yelling “Move! Move!”, meaning the world champion flyweight had the lead and should simply avoid getting punched to win. His coaches were screaming the opposite message from their ringside seats, because Warren actually trailed 9-8 and needed to attack. In a painfully perfect illustration of what might be the U.S boxing team’s biggest problem, Warren listened to what he thought his friends, family or teammates were telling him. It cost him a chance at the medal he waited four years to hand around his mother’s neck” (

We live in a world that competes for our attention. Our family says one thing. A friend says something else. A co-worker offers a totally different perspective. And like a confused boxer in the final seconds of a crucial bout, we struggle to sort out all of the various messages we hear shouted at us. But what is the best advice in times like that? Listen to your coach! In Proverbs, Solomon warns his son against heeding the call of the adulteress (7:6-23). Instead, he coaches him to listen to wise counsel: “Now, therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths” (7:24-25).

With his Olympic dreams lying shattered at his feet, I’m sure Rau’shee Warren wishes now he had paid attention to his coach instead of the crowd. But sadly for him, it is a lesson learned too late. May God help us to listen to Him as we seek to win the spiritual battles in our own lives.

God loves you!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Time marches on

When I was in my 20's and early 30's there were days when I thought I would be a mom to young children eternally. Now I am a few short weeks of being a grandmother for the second time and my 4th child is off to college this week! What happened? In my mind I am still 25, but one look in the mirror dispels that notion. It's a reflective time where I have spent a lot of time in prayer and thinking about or dialogging with friends of mine who have walked where I am walking. Saturday Lane and I went shopping for the entire day. It was good day and I told him there is something very satisfying about successfully raising a child. Don't get me wrong though, he is not gone and my heart misses him already.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good Words

“The old man had died. A wonderful funeral was in progress and the country preacher talked at length of the good traits of the deceased -- what an honest man he was, what a loving husband and kind father he had been. The widow, meanwhile, was ever so slightly shaking her head as she intently listened to the preacher's words. Finally, the widow leaned over and whispered to one of her children . . . "Erica, honey, go on up there and take a look in the coffin and see if that's your pa in there”” (

Oh, if we could all live up to the good words that will be said about us after we are gone! The word “eulogy” literally means “good word.” When we gather to pay our last respects to a departed loved one, it is to be expected that we would focus on the positive instead of the negative. After all, who would want to focus on the bad at a time like that?

As much as we might value the good words that will likely be spoken by our family and friends following our passing from this life, there is another assessment that is even more important. That appraisal will be made by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ It is his perspective that will determine our eternity. After considering our lives, will He speak good words, such as: “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Mt. 2523)? Or will he have no choice but to utter far more chilling words, like: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Mt. 7:23)?

The child of God who is living by faith, regardless of any stumblings and imperfections, doesn’t have to fear hearing such words of disapproval from the Lord. The faithful disciple has every reason to confidently expect only good words when the time comes to stand before the Master.

God loves you!