Tag Archives: God’s call

An Esther Moment…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from the book of Esther 4: 13-14

“Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”


I spent last week studying the book of Esther. It’s a fabulous read and I believe it to be meaningful for a variety of reasons. My favorite brunette celebrates the book of Esther just as she enjoys the book of Ruth – She loves that God uses a woman to play a “hero” role in order to fulfill an important purpose.

I love the fact that Esther demonstrates that God moves in quiet ways — not just in boldness. The Bible is full of ways that demonstrate God’s power. He is clearly great. But, I think that Esther demonstrates that greatness can also be subtle. God’s miracles are diverse —  yet they are all meaningful, no matter where they fit on the drama meter.

The above verse occurs at a pivotal time in both Esther’s life and in the history of the Jewish people. On the verge of tragedy – with the threat of mass destruction and assassination – Esther listens to her mentor and packs her faith to step up and use her new position as queen in order to quietly and masterfully allow God to save both herself and her people. She demonstrates that a practiced loyalty to faith allows for a strong and courageous stand during a moment of crisis.


Likely each and every one of us will have an Esther moment or two in our lives — Times when we are called to do something subtle, yet bold as we answer God’s call. It may occur in a moment when we can clearly see the purpose, or it may occur amidst a foggy cloud of uncertainty. I’ve come to realize that the clarity in which we understand the Esther moment is much less important than our ability to respond with a servant heart in order to move forward with courage.

I had an Esther moment in April of 2018. It occurred when a boy that I had been tutoring got into trouble and landed in jail. While the Holy Spirit’s call for me to help him was quiet, it was also firm and clear.

Go and love him.

I ended up bailing him out of jail and bringing him to our home to finish his high school career. 383 days with Joe – a young man with a challenging past whom God decided deserved a second chance. During the time that our lives melded together into a new family, the crystal ball was often fuzzy in terms of detail despite the clearness of the call to be together. Each day, we tried to walk in faith believing that God’s purpose was meaningful even though we couldn’t see the finish line.

Some in our town thought we were crazy to bring a stranger into our home. Some watched from a distance, undecided as to whether we’d made the right decision. And, a few opened their arms in support of our faith journey as a new family. We persevered clinging to the call to love.

Joe’s been gone a month now, and the crystal ball still remains fuzzy. I’ve decided that’s okay. There’s a reason that my view is fuzzy and God’s is clear.  The details of why God chose us and Joe to come together for a time may never be revealed. But, I believe that God is great and God is good. So, I don’t have to fully understand it — I just have to believe in the call and answer it in love.

The part of the journey that is clearest to me is that the time that we spent together deepened our family’s faith as we willingly participated in Jesus’ mission. We answered the call in a moment of crisis — willing to take a stand and own our faith. I learned many things from Joe. Things that I carry with me everyday that offer a new perspective for me as a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a coach.

I am grateful for that.

God works through ordinary people and is present even when His hand may seem invisible. Each individual assignment from God matters. It may seem risky and possibly scary at times, but it is always meaningful and we never walk alone when we answer the call.

To me, living in faith means trusting God, following his call, and stepping up during the Esther moments in life.

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Simple Moments…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from 1 Chronicles 28:9

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him.”


When we get up each day, we don’t know what the hours might bring. But, there are many places in the Bible where we are assured that God will be with us through each moment. If you seek him, you will find him. To me, the beauty of that is found in its simplicity. Each day is filled with many simple moments where God asks us to join him on the journey. It is our job to take hold of that softly spoken call with a whole heart and a willing mind. To patiently trust in God’s plan and to draw peace from his strength.

In some of those moments, God places medals on our hearts as we seek to follow him. In a special few, a medal might also be placed around our neck. One thing is certain, we must respond to God’s ask in order to journey with him. One of my greatest blessings as a parent is to watch my kids learn to lean on their faith to find peace and honor on their journey as Christian Athletes.

My favorite blonde cowgirl defended her title and brought home gold this weekend at the Nebraska State Class B Track and Field Championships. She vaulted with powerful beauty, soaring more than 11 feet 3 inches in the air, with a heart full of the peace and confidence that comes from deep faith. Meg has always felt God’s call to fly with abandon, but this year she led with her heart to find a deeper purpose.

The night before she left with the Haymaker Track Team for Omaha, she told me of her goals and plan. She quietly looked me in the eye and said,

“Mom, I’m going to share Jesus’ love and joy with others in the pole vault pit and on the track. I don’t know how I will vault or run, but I do know that I can take advantage of the opportunity to get to know my competitors and support them on their journey. That way, if I don’t come home with a medal or a personal best, I still know that my trip to the track meet was meaningful.”

Throughout the competition, I watched her share smiles, hugs, and encouragement with others. She stayed true to the bracelet on her wrist which reminded her that Jesus would love first. Over the two day meet, there was only one moment when a state track official placed a medal around her neck, but there were hundreds of moments where God led her heart to share of his love.  It was seeing this shared fellowship with other athletes during competition that filled my heart with gratitude.

Athletes face many pressures on their journey. I’ve watched all of my children and hundreds of others whom I have been blessed to coach, to fight for confidence in the moment of competition when expectations are high and the fear of failure is a reality. The pressure can draw them inward to a place of insecurity that is in direct contrast to what God asks of us. God asks for our hearts – for us to share them – in order to honor the gift that Jesus brought to us on the cross.

Over the past year, I have watched Megan figure out that the overriding call is one of love and fellowship. When we focus on that, then the pressure of competition doesn’t define us and drive our efforts. Instead, it allows Jesus to fill our hearts with the love that carries us to victory. When that happens, fear is replaced with faith as we trust in the simple moments that we share together.

 

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Nothing is insignificant…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from the gospel of Matthew 3: 13-15

Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”

But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” 


After I moved to the farm in 1997, I quickly learned that when you care for farm animals that it is the little things that matter most. Daily chores are a constant, and the quality of life for the animals is directly correlated with the quality of your workmanship. Nothing is insignificant. 

I think that one of the things that allowed me to find success as a cattle caregiver is my dedication to detail. If it affected the welfare of my animals, then I placed a priority on it regardless of whether or not I truly understood it. In the early 2000’s I delved deeply into “prey animal psychology” so that I could learn to think like my cattle. It led to a fascinating journey in mental and emotional health that continues to inspire me daily.

I’ll never forget the looks on my farm crew’s faces when I told them that I was going to start exercising cattle as a way to allow the animals to find a higher level of comfort on our farm. The expressions of bafflement might have been comical if I had not been so passionate on the topic. I knew in my heart that caring for God’s creatures involved a deeper level of commitment. Over time, my guys all became believers as the changes in animal care that I lead them on allowed for improved cattle health and well-being.


As I read Matthew 3, I can picture the look on John’s face as Jesus seeks to be baptized by him. It might just have been similar to the looks of bafflement that I received from my feed yard crew that day that I introduced them to cattle psychology 🙂 A lack of understanding can often lead to a human response of disbelief.

Why would the Son of God need to be baptized?

Because God required it.

Despite the fact that John did not really understand why he was being called to baptize Jesus, he preformed the action because God asked him to. He faltered a bit and needed Jesus to kindly remind him of God’s call, but together they moved in faith. If you read on further in Matthew we are told that “After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water; the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

What happened when God’s call was faithfully answered?

Blessings followed obedience and the act of faith resulted in Jesus becoming fully equipped with the Spirit of God for his earthly journey. Something that seemed unnecessary in human eyes played a critical role in God’s plan for Jesus and ultimately for us.


How many times do we fail to respond to something that God has asked of us because we do not fully understand it?

  • Perhaps it scares us
  • Perhaps it baffles us
  • Perhaps it seems insignificant as a result of our lack of comprehension

I know that this is something that I need to work on daily. For me, the vital part of walking with Jesus to fulfill God’s mission is found in the intentional commitment to answer the call; regardless of whether or not I understand it. It is the belief that nothing that God asks us to do is insignificant.

It’s okay that we can’t see the finish line —

what matters is being faithfully committed to the journey.

 

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