Like a Rolling Stone

Upper Peninsula of Michigan (July 1998)

Upper Peninsula of Michigan (July 1998)

I remember one of our favorite family vacations to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We stopped near Munising and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We waded into Lake Superior and jumped the waves. As we walked along the lakeshore (and dodged the blackflies), we picked up rocks as our take-home souvenir. My oldest son exclaimed that the pebbles looked like, “Pulled-off lollipops.” They truly did. The edges were worn smooth through constant tumbling in the waves and the water made the rocks shiny with color.

Like that pebble, God intends the storms and the waves of our lives to soften our rough edges. In the tumbler of life, God shows us that by submitting to him, he can use our struggles for his purpose. The result is a refined beauty that is genuine and not only eye-catching, but heart-catching. Do we continue to resist? Or do we allow all of God to wash over us in anticipation of who we will become in him?


James 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


James 5:11

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.  The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.



Puffy Pink Parka


PPP Pix No 1

Brrr… this winter has actually felt like, well… winter. For the record, I am so ready for spring. In the meantime, I am thankful for my P.P.P., short for puffy pink parka. First, you can’t miss the color: the stand out in a crowd (i.e., never get hidden from view in a snow storm), but hopefully not too obnoxious, pink. It is down-filled which cushions me in a layer of warmth. Let the storms rage. I can grab my P.P.P. and venture outside, knowing that I will be safe, warm and comfortable.

Do you have a P.P.P. for the storms of your life?  The elements of this world can be harsh.  Can we venture out, fully prepared to handle what comes our way?  This is my spiritual P.P.P.: People, Power and Praises. Surround ourselves with people that keep us accountable and cheer us on. Power: not the expendable type subject to reliability issues.Instead, the inner strength from the supernatural and the divine. And praises. If we can praise God in the blinding storms, then our eyes are on our future with God and our hearts are filled with joy to carry us through those storms.

Right now, are you thinking I missed a really significant “P?” That would be prayer, of course. Why didn’t I make it P.P.P.P.? I like word plays, but pretty, puffy, pink parka is too much of a mouthful.  More importantly, prayer is the common thread weaving people, power and praises together to make it work in our lives. People to pray on our behalf. Power in answer to prayers. Praise in our prayer time with God.

Be careful out there and stay warm!

Ephesians 6:10-11

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.



Verses with a pattern of three:

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.