Choose Steadfast

As this unusual and unexpected year draws to a close — and as my “One Daily Choice” blog series ends — I pray you and I will remain steadfast.  Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. —1 Corinthians 15:58 This one verse contains at least three mandates for the lives of believers: Be Steadfast: Feet…

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Choose to Believe

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” —A. W. Tozer       Life really is all about what you believe.       We are in a holiday (Holy Days) season rooted in the Christian faith while simultaneously hijacked by culture. As you celebrate Christmas, are you living out what you believe? If so, what does that look like? Peter reminds us that “If someone asks about your…

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Choose Grace

In 1995 the world held its collective breath, awaiting the results of the O. J. Simpson trial for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend—often called the most publicized criminal trial in history.       I was in a staff meeting when the results were reported to us: acquitted.       I sadly confess my immediate thought was, “That man will not get what he deserves.”       And then, to my shock, I clearly heard the…

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Choose to Sing

The Lord… helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. – Psalm 28:7 With a terrible voice and an impossible dream, Florence Foster Jenkins achieved her impossible when she sang to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall in 1944. Reportedly, one month later before her death, she said, “People may say I couldn’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”       Do you sing?…

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Choose With

“She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel which means God is with us,” — Isaiah 7:14 How many moments of your life today can you fill with a conscious awareness of and surrender to God’s presence? We can go through every minute of the day with God or without Him. We can continue being stressed, pressured, angry, impatient, and irritating to those around us. Or we can choose to be…

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Choose Gratitude

Australian novelist Morris West suggests that at a certain age our lives simplify, and we need have only three phrases left in our spiritual vocabulary: “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”       English minister John Henry Jowett once observed, “Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.” What better cure for what ails society today—choosing to have a grateful heart!       Who knew? For a long time, gratitude wasn’t even listed in the Encyclopedia…

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Choose Celebration

When we received two “You Are Special Today” Red Plates for wedding gifts, I always intended to return one of them. At the time it never occurred to me how I would use one, much less two.       Thirty-seven years later those Red Plates have prompted countless celebrations in our home and often for two people at a time! There’s just something truly, well, special about a table set with flowers, candles, cloth napkins, teacups,…

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Choose Hope

With all the discord in the world today there are many skeptics who feel we have no obvious reason to be people of hope. But I love how God’s Word defines hope as reaching “past all appearances”—it is unseen but very present. “Grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God.” Hebrews 6:18–19 MSG Do you need…

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Choose Fearless

This week I’m excited to be part of leading 50 amazing writers through a day of exploring how to “reNEW Your Courage.” It not only takes courage to daily live in freedom and faith, but to be willing to share our hard stories through writing and speaking.       Some of the fears people share with me concern random violence, failing health, financial needs, environmental instability, and their children’s futures.       Fear is a healthy emotion…

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Choose Surrender

This week our family recognized a significant milestone – 40 years since the death of Inka van Seventer McDowell. Though I never knew her, I look forward to meeting this sister in heaven one day. I know she both suffered and surrendered for all the people that we both love. Three decades ago, I sat on the floor in our Seattle attic after uncovering a little ceramic plaque. I wept in realizing how letting go…

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Choose Joy

      “Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian.” —G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy       Been joyful lately? I’ve decided to intentionally look for the joy – and make it my own “gigantic secret” for getting through tough times.       Does that mean I plan to be happy all the time? Not exactly. Happiness is dependent upon circumstances—our emotional response to experiencing something good. But circumstances change often.…

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Choose Patience

      Four days a week I have the privilege of entering a world that is, well, slower. As I have spent the last pandemic year working in a senior assisted living community, God has given me many opportunities to alter my hurried life.                   When tempted to rush, I take a deep breath, and silently pray for that elusive fruit of the Spirit: “Lord, give me patience, and give it to me now!”…

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