I am afraid to swim in a lake. I’m afraid because I don’t like the feeling I get when my feet dangle below me in deep water. I don’t like knowing my feet can’t touch the bottom. I don’t like that I can’t see the bottom. And my aquarium and zoo visits have revealed to me how big the fresh water fish can get; I don’t like the idea of big fish staring at my feet. But swimming in a lake is fun. I’ve swam in a lake before, and I’ve enjoyed the coolness of the water in its contrast to the warmth of the sun; I’ve loved floating in the wake of a passing boat; I’ve felt pleasure from the sound of laughter echoing across the water from a distance. I’ve been willing to swim in a lake because there are good experiences that come with doing so.
I’m afraid to swim in the ocean. I don’t mind looking at the ocean from the beach or wading in the shallow water at the edge, but I don’t like going in deeper. I don’t like knowing that sharks c...
Many don't seem to notice it, but it's there. I’ve noticed it—most likely because I tend to look at the ground when I walk. I finally stopped to take a picture of it.
Debris has managed to find a way inside, and its shape is a bit jagged around the edges. It's an unattractive heart. It doesn't stand out as something worthy of one’s attention except that it's there embedded within the concrete—a strange place for a heart.
The debris and jagged edges are from the heat and crushing it has endured. I think about the heart, its location, and its condition every time I see it, which is almost every day. I think about what caused it to be where it is. I wonder how long it took for it to form into its current state. I think about how it is still recognizable and in-tact. And I wonder why it hasn't formed into a different shape. The rain, the heat, the pressure from being walked on... none of these have conquered it. It remains solid and sure.
Someone once asked me, "How do you do it?" Our conversation was interrupted before I could respond, so the question was never clarified nor answered. But, because of what had been previously stated, I knew the question was asked in context to my blogs.
How do I do it? How do I write my life out for others to read? It is difficult for me, and I always hesitate before sharing. Once it's in writing I can never take it back. But I don't want to take any of it back. I write in response to God's request of me, so He is how I do it.
Maybe you're wondering why I do it. God is my reason why as well. I remember my first "official" invitation to speak to a group of people. My husband and I were serving on staff as Family Pastor at the church where we attended. During our time in that leadership role my husband taught a marriage class every Sunday morning. He was going to be out of town on one particular Sunday, so he asked me to fill in for him.
My phone rang as I was driving home last night. I had just finished working a little over 13 hours. The call was from my dad. I answered and he asked me if I had time for him to read something to me. I did, of course. I felt good, but I was weary and in need of some encouragement. His timing was perfect. Below is what he read to me. It's a letter he wrote to me in 1987.
December 5, 1987
I felt like writing you this morning. Right now I don’t even know exactly what I should write about. But I am confident that God will help me write something that will help you.
One thing I already know that I want to tell you is that I love you so very much. In fact I love you so much that sometimes it hurts—especially when I know you are hurting. Right now I know you are hurting deeply, and I want to reach out and help.
The fact that you and I are a lot alike has two opposite effects: negatively, we tend to clash; positively, we are able to sensitively sympathize with each other.
Last night my husband and I had a conversation with my brother about trust. As my brother shared his thoughts he quoted this verse from Jeremiah 17:7, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD,” (ESV). I think our conversation set me up for my thoughts this morning.
I've recently walked out of a 5-year struggle. My husband and I were warned before we began this season of our journey that we were entering a challenging time, but we had no idea it would last as long as it did.
I can't describe the moment with specific detail, but there was a moment when I knew the season was over. I felt the shift. But it hasn’t been an overnight transition. Instead, it has been like the transition from winter to spring. Though we have a day we identify as the first day of Spring, we don't go to bed one night while it's still winter then wake up the next morning to spring color and blooms. The movement from dormancy to vibrancy takes time. My changeover has been like that. However...
Many of us Christians make the effort to be like the hands and feet of Jesus. We try to fulfill the call to comfort the hurting, help heal the broken, give relief to the suffering, and lead the captive to liberty just as Jesus did. One can hurt, be broken, suffer loss, and be held captive in multiple areas of life, and no human is immune to any of these plights. So our calling is to reach out to others at every level of suffering, whether the need is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual no matter the social status, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Many of us respond to this call with opened hearts. Sometimes, however, what we offer is rejected.
Consider Jesus' experience. Many received from Him, but many also rejected Him. Though He kept giving to those willing to receive, He responded to those who refused Him by dusting off His feet and moving on.
Interestingly, it was the religious who rejected Jesus the most. We can see, now, how much they needed Him, but those who reject...
It's strange how quickly and drastically wind and water can change our lives. Under normal circumstances, wind and water are a pleasant part of our daily existence. They usually give us refreshment, but they can suddenly and unexpectedly be turned into disaster causing elements. Hurricane Harvey demonstrated that for us.
I've spent the past few days sitting in my home waiting for Harvey to leave. I've spent hours watching the water in the street in front of my house rise inch by inch. I've watched displaced people float their belongings past my house as they evacuated to safety. And as I've watched and waited I've wondered about things.
I've wondered about running out of coffee. I've wondered about running out of toilet paper. I've wondered where the birds I've been feeding are finding food. I've wondered how many more baths I'll get before the water turns bad. And I've wondered about cooking food and washing dishes.
I've spent the past couple of days riding out hurricane Harvey, and it looks like we have a few more days with this guy hanging around. So far, I've been in a safe place, though we've had multiple tornado and flash flood warnings for my area. When it rains hard the exit roads from my neighborhood flood and make it difficult to get out. But when the rain calms down, the water recedes and we can escape for a bit. I haven't yet been overly afraid for myself, but I am concerned for so many who are having to leave their homes because of flooding. Our latest report is there is potential for our house to be impacted from flooding from a nearby reservoir within the next few days. That has created cause for worry.
Hurricane Harvey has been categorized as one of the most catastrophic events in Houston's history. They've estimated it will cost around $40 billion to recoup the losses. He's kind of a big deal.
As I watch the rain pour from the sky and listen to the wind blow I keep thinking abo...
I wanted easy. I even asked for easy. I needed easy, and easy was what I deserved. At least that's what I was thinking.
But it wasn't easy. Instead, it was the opposite, which made me feel more uneasy and made it seem a lot harder. Because it wasn't easy I mentally attached it to my other previous difficulties from which I was trying to disconnect. More struggle upset me and made me feel weak. I was tired of feeling weak.
But I am here, now, on the other side of that which was not so easy and living in the aftermath of the challenge. I understand it isn't over; more difficulty lies in front of me. I see the struggle ahead. Even so, I feel relieved, I feel stronger, and I feel thankful. I am tired—weary tired, but I endured what wasn't easy, yet again, so I realize I'm capable of enduring as many uneasy times as necessary.
If I had been given easy I might have claimed the victory as my own doing. Maybe I would have believed my own strength had car...
Below is my most recent article that has been published in the August 2017 issue of Pentecostal Herald, a religious publication. My copy came in the mail today, and these words I wrote several weeks ago are an encouragement to me this afternoon. I’ve decided to share my article with you as my blog post. Maybe my words will encourage you as well.
By Kerri S. Wilson
The notion of time travel is intriguing to us because it presents us with the potential power to change what we don’t like about our past and control how we want things to be in our future. But no matter how much we would like to do so, we cannot change the past. And even though the decisions we make today will impact our future, we cannot see ahead to know how things will turn out nor leap into the future to set things in motion for how we want things to be.
The preacher in Ecclesiastes explained, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time...