Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What Message are You Sending?

My friend Scott just called to tell me about a bumper sticker in front of him. It said, "Too God be the Glory."

Scott knew I would get a kick out of it since I teach business writing, and I'm always encouraging people to brush up their grammar, spelling and punctuation. (You're free to let me know when I have a typo!)

But Scott, my radio co-host, always has a deep spiritual outlook. Regarding the misuse of "Too," he asked, "Can God be glorified when we have a glaring mistake?"

What do you think?

I think we probably have so many faults that God overlooks, that when we're trying to glorify Him, an extra "o" doesn't matter.

Monday, June 18, 2007


It's flooding again in North Texas. My friend Curt moved to Fort Worth in 1959 from Michigan. He says people in his new hometown told him weather would either be drought or floods. So maybe we're just in flood phase.

Texans learn early not to complain about rain. Just a few months ago, the lake beds were cracked, the grass was dead, and we were rationing water.

But today, two people have died in the floods. One was a four-year-old girl who was swept out of her mother's arms as the family evacuated. Let's pray for that mom and her family. The local TV news channels have been showing people sitting on their roofs, reminiscent of New Orleans residents after Katrina. Even though my husband and I have had only a tiny flooding problem compared to theirs, my heart goes out to them. And I'm reminded that self-pity does no good--the situation could always be worse.

I'm thankful for the rain and for the beautiful green grass, flowers, and filling resevoirs. I'm thankful God promised never to destroy the Earth with another flood. I'm thankful that when life sends literal and figurative storms, we have a Rescuer who will never fail nor flee.

And it may be in eternity, but the situation will always get better.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Den, the Dog and the Computer

I just read the last post and realized while I had mentioned the den flooding, I hadn't written in this forum how tough a month May was. Well, hey--this blog is supposed to encourage you, not drag you down with my problems! But even the encouragers get discouraged from time to time. And sometimes it takes the valleys for us to savor the mountain tops.

In hindsight, the trials were minor inconveniences compared to the tribulations others face. At the time, though, they were traumatic for me. In the space of three days, the den flooded, the dog had a stroke and the computer died. The good news (and there's always a silver lining; it just takes a while to find it in some cases) is that the flooding inspired a home improvement project that will make us like our den so much more. Daisy, my precious 16-year-old dog, is doing so much better. And the computer had no recoverable files, but much had been saved on my laptop. So life goes on.
(Here is Daisy shortly after her surgery for an abscessed tooth. We think the surgery caused the stroke.)

What I learned is that just because I am in ministry does not make me immune from troubles. God is not going to make life easier just because I talk about Him for an hour on the radio everyday. Ha! Look what Jesus did--and it didn't make His life on earth any easier.

Another lesson--I know I will be more compassionate when someone tells me about their house flooding or their pet ailing. And I will have lots of advice about computers and backing up!

The biggest loss was losing many, many e-mail addresses. So if you happen to read this and were on any of my e-newsletter lists, you may not be on the new list. Please send an email to Lorri ("at" sign) Lorri dot com if you want to subscribe again.

Now you know why the letter I got in the mail today was such a spirit-lifter.

God Sends a Surprise

I am in tears as I write this--happy tears, because God's showed his goodness and love in a sneaky way today.

In the mailbox was a letter from a friend. A special friend whom I love, but have only seen in person three brief times, and one of those times, I was speaking and he was in the audience! But this gentleman is a person of immense faith, a speaker, and he displays a terrific sense of humor. So it would be hard for anyone not to like him.

Back to the story--out of the blue, he sent me a check for $92.00. Like the gift of God's grace, I did nothing to deserve this, but am happy to have it! (If you know about the den, the dog and the computer, you know cash has been flowing the wrong way around the Allen household this month). But the check could have been for two dollars, and I would feel just as special. God knew a surprise like that would really cheer me up!

Curiosity hit me, though--why a strange number like "92"? Maybe my friend will let me in on his thoughts later. His note just said that the gift was from God. When I looked up Psalm 9:2, a big smile emerged on my face and in my heart.

“I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High."

God is good... and sneaky.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Effortless Encouragement

My friend Linda is a great encourager. She makes it look easy and natural. For instance, just the way she says, "Wow!" can make you feel like you just gave her a priceless painting.

She helped put herself through college and law school by doing everything from selling makeup to waiting tables. So she always notices people who work in service jobs and talks to them. Last Friday, we were having lunch, and she told our waitperson, "You have the most beautiful green eyes I have ever seen!" The young woman did have beautiful eyes. And hearing that from Linda made those eyes dance. She came back to our table later, wearing a big smile, "Someone else noticed my eyes!"

Encouraging others costs nothing but a few seconds of our time. The goodwill we generate may last for days. That's a great return on investment.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Gratitude is Good

Have you ever noticed how many scriptures in the book of Colossians talk about being thankful? When you single them out, you know that gratitude will please the Lord. Take a look. The version is New American Standard Bible, and I've added the italics.

Colossians 1:12: "Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light."

Colossians 2:6-7: "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

Colossians 3:15: "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

Colossians 3:16: "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

Colossians 3:17: "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."

Colossians 4:2: "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving."

What are you thankful for today? Think about it, sing about it, write about it, pray about it!