A Time to Hate

Lake Balaton w
Lake Balaton in Hungary

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Just like the word “love” we tend to throw around “hate” fairly liberally. I know for me it is more a habit. Instead of saying “I hate that”, I may start saying “That bugs me” or something with a little less intensity. Then people won’t be confused and assume my dislike of something is stronger than it really is.

When we truly hate something, there is intensity in our feelings and it often propels us into action.

  • We fight.
  • We argue.
  • We band together to address the issue.
  • We protest.
  • We focus on “the problem”.

There is a place for all of those things. But let’s not get so wrapped up in our “hatred” with such a focus on the “hated” that we forget to see what is right in this world. Of course, there is pain, disease, death, and injustce, etc. And there are definitely things that are classified as evil and it’s easy to be jaded when evil has touched your life. It might be around you but I encourage you to not let that be the place where your mind dwells.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  [Romans 12:8-10 NIV]

Cling to what is good!

What are you thankful for? What makes you smile? What warms the cockles of your heart? What “good things” have you received from others? What “good news” did you read in God’s Word? What promises has He made to you as His child?

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the ugly stuff, I challenge you to speak about those people and things you are thankful for. You can journal them too. Have you had some great experiences? Shared some wonderful moments with people you treasure? Watched a beautiful sun rise? Enjoyed a spectacular sunset? Let this be the place your mind dwells!


Tell someone what you are grateful for! It might even help them by helping them change their focus.

Hold tight to what is good!

On the way!


A Time to Weep

Sun over Torockow
Sunrise in Transylvania

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Sometimes there are no words that can be said about a particular circumstance.  There is no solution, no possible change or fix.

It is what it is.

Our response may start off with a deep sadness and tears, but when the magnitude of what this means hits us and there is weeping.

The “here I am, facing the biggest heartache of my life” situation is here to stay and there is nothing anyone can do to prevent it from barreling down. The grief comes in waves,  there is a deep sadness over what is or will be lost, and there are many, many tears.

There is a time to weep.

I am so thankful God and His people throughout the generations know these deep emotions. It helps take the edge off the pain a little to know that when we are feeling so deeply, we are not alone — even if we feel that way.

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
    my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
    my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish
    and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
    and my bones grow weak.[Psalm 39:9-10 NIV]

God knows and sees us in our grief and weeps with us. He created us with the capacity for a range of emotions and we are created in His image. And when we think we are facing the circumstance alone, it is important to remember that God can and will carry us through. It doesn’t mean there won’t be sadness or weeping. It means He is alongside us, leading us, carrying us, tending to us, providing for us, and showing His grace upon grace.

The Psalms are filled with believers in distress. There is just a sampling below. I take great comfort in knowing that I am not alone when my grief is profound. I have His Word to remind me of His love and provision from the beginning of time.

Psalm 4:1  Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 18:6  In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

Psalm 20:1  May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

Psalm 31:9  Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.

Psalm 55:17  Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.

Psalm 81:7  In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. 

Psalm 86:7  When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.

Psalm 102:2  Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.

Psalm 102:5  In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones.

Heartache is never fun to walk through. If you are challenged with fresh or long-standing grief, I pray that you find comfort in God’s promises and His Word. Ask a friend to pray with and for you. And please don’t hesitate to find a healthy pastor to visit with.

On the way,


Road Conditions

This was a great road, except for the fog.

Anytime I travel somewhere, I notice whether the roads are new, renewed, or in need of repairing.

If I am in a vehicle that has bad shocks and I am on a bad road, well, it can be an unpleasant experience. But set me on a well-maintained or new road with a well-maintained car and the trip might be pretty smooth. Of course, weather plays a role. On our recent trip we traveled through fog, rain, sleet, snow, and icy conditions. We also watched cars swerve, travel too fast or too slow, and many drivers just not paying attention. I am often doing more than simply driving when I am in the car; sometimes I am snacking or singing or even just thinking. When I think about it, there are so many factors that play into a safe and enjoyable road trip. Some of those factors have little to do with me while others are definitely in my control.

  • Do I do regular maintenance on my vehicle?
  • Do I know where I am headed?
  • Do I have my travel plans mapped out?
  • Am I prepared for weather challenges?
  • Have I factored in other delays?
  • Do I have resources for an emergency?
  • Do I have enough fuel (for both me and the vehicle) for the trip?
  • Am I rested?

I can feel I am as prepared as I can be but there are always outside factors that can make an impact. Put a well-maintained vehicle on a terrible road and in bad weather conditions and it is still going to be an unpleasant trip.

But if I can remain calm and steady, it definitely helps.

Life seems like that too.

The outside conditions can change – and do – frequently. What I have control of is my response and an accurate sense of my own “condition”.

  • Am I rooted in God’s Word?
  • Am I grounded in God’s spiritual truths?
  • Am I aware of His love for me (and others)?
  • Have I watched Him give me His grace and His perspective on difficult things I have experienced previously?
  • Do I adjust my course when I see myself headed down a dangerous path filled with temptations to sin?

As I was reading Ephesians 3 today, this was one of the verses stood out for me:

 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:16-17a

When God’s Spirit is strengthening my inner being, I can deal with quite a bit of junk. How I respond to circumstances can be evidence for His work on my inner being. I can definitely tell where I am rooted by the way I respond to circumstances.

Have you had your own response to a situation that was evidence of God’s work on your inner being?

When I have a response that defies human understanding, I know it is God working on my heart because apart from him, I cannot do it!

On the Road,


Yours, Mine, and Theirs


Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I worry. And sometimes I get anxious!

God’s Word tells us “Do not be anxious…” but there are times I am.

I know the truth of God’s Word but we are sinners living in a sinful world. Your sins, my sins, and their sins all can impact us and cause a lifetime of pain and consequences. Life isn’t all about rainbows and fluffy kittens. Some people are living in very hard situations. There are times I look at what some people are going through day after day and I have no idea how they survive except by putting one foot in front of the other and carrying on and clinging to their faith.

But there is more to this life!

Some people are bogged down in difficult life circumstances and others are caught up in the race of acquiring more and achieving more. Sometimes it is easier to hold onto the depths of God’s truths when we struggle because climbing the ladder of success and notoriety takes a lot of time and effort and often some very important stuff can easily be lost in the ascent. Whatever the circumstance,  it is easy to get distracted and disoriented when ugly things happen in life if not grounded in God’s Word and His gifts of grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love.

God’s words go against what we see in our world today. His promises and provisions don’t follow the ways of the world and I am so very glad! Posted below is the first verse of a sweet hymn. I didn’t grow up hearing this one but it is one I love to hear children sing! It is both simple and complex. As I look back over my life, I can see God’s gentle guidance and provision and I know that He will provide for me as the future unfolds before me!

I am Jesus’ little lamb,

Ever glad at heart I am;

For my shepherd gently guides me,

Knows my needs and well provides me,

Loves me every day the same,

Even calls me by my name!

   by Henritta L. von Hayn, 1724-1782


On the Road,


Old Doors and New Views


olddoorwsSometimes we don’t notice the things around us until we see them in a different context or from a new vantage point. How we see things and what we see are very dependent on where we are at the moment and where we are looking. Knowing that about ourselves is important.

When it comes to matters of life and faith, it is important to have a few solid Christians to talk with and get their perspective on tricky matters. We might not be able to see our options. We might not be able to understand how someone we care about could make such terrible choices. We might be unwilling to consider a different perspective on a matter without the help of someone we trust to show us another way of looking at things. We can benefit from one another’s life experiences and perspective, particularly if we are navigating through a difficult time.

It is even more important to consider God’s perspective through His Word and through a healthy, trained pastor. 

Sometimes the very things that have been around us for many years have been overlooked because they have always just been a part of the picture. As you travel through life, look around. Look up. Look down. Take time to absorb where you are. Be open to seeing situations from a different point of view.

Ask God to give you fresh eyes for your circumstances.

And if you chose a verse to ponder, I would love to see it!

On the Road,


Where are you going?

WHERE are you going?

Where are YOU going?

Where are you GOING?


Emphasis makes a big difference in each of those questions. Sometimes we don’t necessarily have an end goal in mind–we are just out and about. Sometimes it’s ok to not know the destination because, truth be told, we often think we have a place where we will end up and we are really disappointed when we don’t ever get there. Or we don’t get there the way we imagined we would.

Sometimes we strive for a goal and find we never get there because we took the wrong path or we had a misinformed goal. For example, if one grows up in a family with a lot of tension or sadness due to money struggles, one might think that amassing a lot of money will lead us to “happiness”. It rarely works that way.

Where do you hope to be and how do you think you might get there?

It is always good to think about our life’s direction in general, but the Lenten season is a great time to consider if we have strayed off the path of forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, service, prayer, kindness, sacrifice, self-control, or [fill in the blank]. Drifting away a bit may not seem so bad when we can see the road but we can quickly lose sight of the road altogether. Sometimes we need to “reset”, get re-oriented, and start again.

GOD’S WORD informs our LIFE and impacts the decisions we make.

So let’s get informed! What does God have to say? Grab your Bible or download a Bible App on your phone. Look for a verse or two you might want to commit to memory during this Lenten season. Write it out on an index card, in your journal, or make a digital image so you can have it on your phone. I would love to see your verse and if you do anything creative with it. Of course, being creative isn’t the point but pondering it is! When we take the time to read God’s Word, ponder, and pray, He changes us. And, we likely will find a new perspective on our travels–both on  where we are going and where we have been.

So, where ‘ya headed?

~ Liz

Quick note: Don and I will be “on the road” and I will be posting things as we travel. We would appreciate your prayers for a safe journey!




PrayerPoints ~Wednesday, March 16th


Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 49

“Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.” Psalm 49:16-17

People often pursue success relentlessly.  There are many different perspectives on what is considered successful and many of them have to do with money, position, and power. It is very easy to get caught up in the world’s definition of success because we are bombarded with so many messages about what the world considers successful.

Think for a bit about what you consider successful. Then take a few minutes to evaluate the path your are on and how it aligns with what you value. Then take some time to be in prayer and God’s Word to see if there are some adjustments you need to make. For me, it is easy to be swayed to believe what the world says about success because there are so many images and messages that are out there, trying to influence me.

Riches are not the problem….but riches at the expense of others definitely can be.

It is easy to look at others and think about how I would live my life differently if I was in their shoes. It is much more difficult to consider where I am and what I have and how to align my path to the things God considers of value.

I will be praying for God’s wisdom and discernment as I think about how I define success.