Bragging

 I’ve been making my way through the gospels as a way for me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. It’s been good, really good. I find myself consistently drawn to Jesus’ compassion, gentleness, wisdom, and peace.

Of course, that’s not all you get from gazing at Jesus in the first few books of the New Testament, but I believe those qualities jump out at me because they are the ones that are often times missing from my life.

This morning, as I continue through the first chapter of Luke, I’m struck by what the angel is saying to Mary. The dialogue between the two begins in similar fashion to other angel encounters where the Angel gives a greeting and then has to calm her down due to the shock of an angel appearing and talking with her.

The Angel proceeds to tell her God’s plan for her to give birth to the Son of God and they go back and forth regarding the details and then the Angel does something fun-he begins to brag on God!

In verse 36 the Angel gives a specific example of God’s miraculous power at work in the life of Mary’s relative, Elizabeth. And then in verse 37 the Angel makes an amazing claim about God that should not only stop us all in out tracks, but give us hope and encouragement with every step that we take.

Luke 1:37 – “For there is nothing that God cannot do.”

Today is one of those days that I need to be reminded that with God, nothing is ever impossible. When I feel like gentleness and compassion have vanished, I realize that perhaps I haven’t looked to God to see them reborn in me.

As much as I needed to hear this today, I’m sure that you did too. And perhaps there are others that could benefit from hearing this good news as well. Take advantage of every opportunity to brag on God!

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Time To Celebrate!

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Today our family celebrates the one year anniversary of Joseph and Luis coming home. In many ways, it’s hard to believe it’s already been one year. As I reflect back I am amazed at all that God has done.

It is very clear that both of the boys have grown. They’ve grown physically taller. They’ve grown tremendously in their language skills. Their vocabulary has multiplied and they’re in the process of catching up on their learning as they make their way through their first year of kindergarten. The boys are growing J and Lin their relationships. This hasn’t always been easy, for any of us, but God is on the move and working mightily.

For me, lately I’ve realized the miracles that God is working in my own heart. The attachment process has been more difficult than I would have expected, but God has proven to be so very faithful in the midst of it all.

Lately God has been asking me a very simple question:

Danny, are you willing to give the boys what they need?

Sounds super simple, doesn’t it? And it is, it really is. However, I’ve figured out a way to make this tougher than it should be. I’ve allowed my own needs and my selfish desire to get in the way and cloud my decisions. I’m so grateful that God continues to offer His mercy and grace to me so that I, in turn, can offer it to my boys. The Holy Spirit is coming alive in me more and more and that is what allows me to give the boys what they need…love, laughter, grace, direction, second chances…

We are a family of seven…and we choose to celebrate today!

Empowered To Connect

My wife and I have had the incredible privilege of attending the ETC Conference this past weekend. God has met us in miraculous ways to encourage and inspire us to lay a foundation of connecting with our children for the purpose of empowering them to walk in healing and wholeness.

T.G.I.F.

 Most people are grateful when Friday rolls around. It’s not only the last day of the work week for many, but it’s also the first day of the weekend festivities. We love Fridays!

T.G.I.F. has typically meant Thank God It’s Friday. For others, T.G.I.F. is a reminder that Today, and everyday, God Is First. 

So, how do we move beyond this being a clever saying to living in such a way that our thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes reflect that following Jesus changes everything?

There are a number of good ideas for us to consider. But for the sake of keeping things simple, may I suggest the following:

Immersing ourselves in the story of Jesus found in the gospel accounts and focusing on the things that he said, did, and the way in which he did them will always prove to be fruitful.

How have you been able to live in such a way that keeps God first each day?

Which is more difficult…?

Last evening I had the opportunity to gather with some other folks in workers’ compensation industry in the Baltimore area to help raise funds for a charity. One of the conversations I was a part of revolved around the question: which is more difficult, being a parent or being a spouse?

Although this discussion didn’t have longevity due to a natural interruption, I was glad for the small interaction around a very interesting question. There is no right or wrong answer, only honesty.

The general consensus was that parenting was much more difficult than working through the ins and outs of being married.

What’s your opinion and why?

Opportunity

This morning at our home church gathering we had an opportunity to continue sharing faith & life as we updated each other on what’s going on in our homes and the places we live, work, learn and play.

There is great peace and increased trust as we invite each other to pray with us about the deep things going on insude of us and all around us. I’m so grateful to see how God is forming us into a community of faith.

As we shifted from sharing and praying to a time of discovering together, we began to focus on Scripture and other quotes related to the topic of dying to self and coming alive in God through Jesus. As we considered these things individually for about 15 minutes we chose to be aware of hearing God’s voice and paid attention to the ways that he was inviting us to respond.

Following this time alone we gathered to share about the experience. For some this was a very new opportunity that was extremely beneficial. For all of us, this gave us a chance to slow down and just be present with God.

When was the last time that you slowed down to simply be present with God? What would that opportunity do for you today?