Category Archives: Christian Growth

Single Life

This is a talk that I will be sharing with a group of female residents at the Sumter County Correctional Intitute in June of this year.  I had some fellow attendees ask me to post it here.  It is long, the talk is supposed to last from 15 to 20 minutes. 

10th Talk – Residents Encounter Christ #14

Good morning, Ladies.  I’m going to talk to you this morning about a lifestyle that can be both the most frustrating and the most rewarding that you’ll ever know.  My talk is about the single life and I promise that you can be single, but never be alone.  Hi.  My name is Karen, and I am living that life.

From the time that we are born, little girls are conditioned to long for love.  We are told fairy tales with damsels and princesses who wait to be rescued by heroes and handsome princes.  We dream of weddings and dresses…of ceremonies and happily ever afters.  But the single life of reality doesn’t usually turn out that way, does it? Continue reading Single Life

A Shark, a Surfer and a Story of Survival

This is the real surfboard Bethany was riding when she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. Photo by

From the time we are old enough to speak in sentences, everyone asks us the one pivotal question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Bethany Hamilton’s answer came quickly and definitively.  She wanted to be a professional surfer.  That was her dream.  So she set about doing what she could to make her dreams come true.  She trained.  She competed.  She won.  It looked like her dreams were becoming reality.

Then the nightmare began.  Continue reading A Shark, a Surfer and a Story of Survival

3 Things to Do to Honor Your Parents

Even if your parents don’t know the Bible, odds are they have quoted it in the course of their parenting:  “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long…”  At least that was the case when I was growing up.  I had a real problem with that when I was a child.  To say I was stubborn would be like saying the Titanic was a boat!  I resisted authority…still struggle with that one.  I questioned every decision – and I mean EVERY decision…especially those made by my mom.  Why is that?  Well, because she was the most present parent.  She dealt with all the details of raising the four of us.  In the course of the every-day, I learned just how far I could push an issue and I determined to push as much as possible.  I wasn’t a bad kid.  On the contrary, she was often complimented on our excellent behavior and manners, but that didn’t change the fact that I challenged her. Continue reading 3 Things to Do to Honor Your Parents

10 Ways to Overcome Temptations

As human beings, we like to think we are strong, but the truth is we struggle in many areas.

 We tend to give into temptations. We try our level best to control ourselves, but there are those times that we let temptation get the best of us, and then we do things we don’t want to do.   Like the apostle, Paul – we know what is right, but we do the very thing we hate.  There must be a way out. Well, I did a little research and this is what I came up with.

1.  Learn from Your Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes, but they must not rule us. Nobody expects you to be perfect, but we also need to be able to learn from the mistakes we make.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Weakness becomes a problem when we refuse to grow and learn from our past slip ups.  When you are able to learn from your mistakes, you are better equipped to resist your areas of temptation. Continue reading 10 Ways to Overcome Temptations

The Best Question Ever

The Best Question Ever
You are about to be introduced to a single question that will revolutionize the way you make decisions.

I was recently reminded of a sermon I heard by Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Atlanta.  I thought I might share my recollections…

Every one of us have done some things in the course of our life that we look back on and say, “What was I thinking?” We look back and we wish that we could rewrite the story. We look back now and we see clearly that we were headed down the wrong path, but in the midst of it we were “following our heart.” The passage of time allows us to see things a little more clearly, but wouldn’t it be great if we could have avoided those bad decisions in the first place? What if you could foolproof your marriage, your finances, your relationships, your life? Is there something that can help us to weigh every decision, or invitation, or business opportunity that will protect us from disaster and poor choices? YES. The human condition is such that we are always pushing the boundaries…how close can I go without breaking the rules? Is it legal? If it’s not illegal, it must be ok. Is it acceptable? There’s no law against it, so it must be acceptable. Is it immoral? Is it right? These are great questions, but they are not what we really need to know. Each of these questions can be easily justified and bent to our will at the moment. What we need to ask is “What is the wise thing to do?” Wisdom is the knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment which leads to action; discernment, or insight. So now that we have the question, there are three levels through which you should filter your decision. Each one of us has a unique past. Nobody has your history, but you. These are the experiences that make us who we are . . . The good choices, the not so good choices that mix together to make us into the person that we are today. And our past history predisposed us to certain things. So, when you are faced with a decision, the first thing you should consider is your past. “In light of your past experience, what is the wise thing to do?” If we have struggled with internet pornography should we not have internet access at home? If we struggle with debt in the past should we get rid of our credit cards? Is it wrong to have a credit card? No. Is it wrong to have internet access? No, but if these things are in your past then it potentially is not wise for you. So be courageous and ask that question first. In light of my past experience, what is the wise thing for me to do? The second level is this, “In light of my current circumstances, what is the wise thing to do?” In light of what has just happened in your life. In light of where you are emotionally, financially, relationally. There are decisions that you could make five years down the road that will be just fine, but for right now… it would not be good. When we fail to assess our current situation in our decision making, we can very easily fall into regret later on. So consider your current circumstances when you are making your decisions. The last level or filter in our decision making is our future. Like our past, the future is unique to us. We may have specific goals in mind that we want to achieve – or avoid. So when you are faced with a choice, you should ask, “In light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do.” Decisions you make today will affect your future…and you need to make that decision in light of that reality. What may be wise for someone else, and perfectly acceptable, may be catastrophic in light of YOUR future. Think of what you want your marriage to be in the future, what’s the wise thing to do now? In light of where you want to be in the future financially, what’s the wise choice now? What about your relationships with your children, and your children with you? Our unwise decisions in our past have robbed us of a portion of our future. Where you are today is a direct result of decisions you made in the past. So the next decision you make, ask this question. What is the wise thing to do. In light of your past experience, your current circumstances and your future hopes and dreams. This question works with every situation. No one ever plans to make bad decisions. No one plans to mess up their life. But we don’t plan no to, either. So, the way you plan not to fail is to ask yourself today – What is the wise thing to do? It is the single, best question ever.