Thursday, August 25, 2011


When my son was younger he used to keep discus fish in a large aquarium in his room. These beautiful tropical fish are extremely sensitive, easily flustered, and require meticulous care. They especially need to be kept in clean water and require regular water changes. The trouble was...our fish hated that process. One day, as I drained the old water from the tank and started to move the rocks around, those sensitive fish became so fearful! They scurried around frantically from one side of the tank to the other, so nervous about what was happening. I looked at them through the glass and wished that I could communicate with them. If only I could tell them that I was changing the water for their own good..but of course, that was impossible. They simply needed to trust me.
Do you fear changes in your ministry? Maybe we are like those sensitive discus fish... scurrying around in our own little world, worrying about what's happening, when all along, the changes might be for our good. When all along, all we need to do is simply trust God.
Look at these beautiful discus fish...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Eagle or Hummingbird?

From our vantage point in the boat below, I kept the binoculars steady as the enormous bald eagle came into view. I watched, spellbound, as he soared toward his giant nest where the female and juvenile were waiting. The whole tree shook as he extended his legs and clutched the branch with his talons. It reminded me of the landing gear coming down from an airplane. Unbelievable!  One hour later, we were back in the cottage, watching tiny hummingbirds as they hovered around the feeders. Up, down, forwards, and backwards they flew, their incredible little bills dipping in and out as they came to perch on tiny mounts with their miniature feet. Amazing! Which bird was my favorite? I could not choose. Both were equally beautiful.
God does not have favorites either. Whether we minister to one child, or one hundred; whether we serve in a big church, or small church; eagle, or hummingbird… we are equally beautiful to Him.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Layer Upon Layer

Our newly painted deck
It seemed like such a good idea. The video on YouTube made it look easy....we would strip the paint off our deck and restore the natural beauty of the wood. We got to work with rollers, brushes, rubber gloves, face masks, and one can of industrial paint stripper that boasted 'easily removes multiple layers of paint.' Just what we needed! After coating the entire deck we optimistically turned on the power washer, just like the video had shown us. The result? Nothing. A few flakes lifted here and there, but that was all. Maybe the electric sander would work....but that was ineffective too. We made yet another trip to the store to buy a paint scraper, but that didn't work either. That paint was far too deeply ingrained in the wood. No stripper, power washer or sander would ever be able to remove those layers. We gave in and simply repainted it.
As we teach the Bible to our children, we are creating layer upon layer, truth upon truth that no amount of worldly power can ever strip away. What they learn from God's Word will be sealed and deely ingrained - a firm foundation that can never be removed. 
God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are His." 
2 Timothy 2:19
Day After Day: Kristian Stanfill

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Under The Trees

Our shady home
It was a sweltering 92 degrees outside. No wonder no one else was out walking! Most sane people were safely inside their air conditioned homes. But not my husband and I. We had decided to walk down to the local lake...after all, it was only 20 minutes away. Bad idea!The heat of the noonday sun was relentless. The only thing that saved us was the canopy of the trees along the way. We found ourselves almost sprinting for cover from one shady spot to the next. On our way back, what a relief it was to finally be in sight of our own shady home! On this hot Michigan day, under those trees was the only place I wanted to be.
When the pressure of ministry seems relentless to me, I'm going to seek out the shade that God offers. It is constant, comfortable, and it's the only place I want to be.
The Lord is your shade. Psalm 121:5
You Are My Refuge: Maranatha