Down, but NOT Out (at least not yet)


After the Pittsburgh Steelers experienced a winless month of September, I highly doubted that they would still be in the playoff hunt when they took the field for their final game of the regular season in December.  But, lo and behold, that’s exactly where they find themselves heading into their finale tomorrow against the Cleveland Browns. Granted, the chances of the Steelers making the playoffs are slim to none, but they are still mathematically alive so there is still hope.  They not only need to beat the Browns, but they also need a ton of help.  The Chargers, Ravens AND Dolphins must also lose.

Can you relate to the Steelers’ current predicament? Have you been in that place where it seems you are hanging on by a thread?  I have.  Are you there now? Has life knocked you down repeatedly to the point you aren’t sure you can make it back to your feet?  If so, I know just the One who can help!

I am here to tell you that as long as we are living and breathing there is hope because there is One who is bigger than any problem we could ever have—the all-powerful God of the universe. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NLT) Though He may not choose to calm our storm, He promises to walk through it with us. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)  If you are reading this, you are still mathematically alive, just like the Steelers.  There is still hope!

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23 NLT)

Go Steelers…and Jets…and Bengals…and Chiefs!!


Decisions, Decisions

Knowing the baby wasn’t his, Joseph had made the decision to break his engagement with his pregnant fiancé, Mary.  As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:20 NLT)

The angel caused Joseph to rethink his decision to walk away from Mary. This decision would alter his life in a big way. Each of us is faced with numerous decisions each day, some bigger than others.  Maybe not quite as big as the one Joseph had to make, but big nonetheless.

What decisions are you faced with today? Maybe they are relatively minor choices like what to have for dinner or what to wear.  Or maybe they are decisions that are life-altering, like the one Joseph had to make.  What treatment should I pursue? Is he/she “the one” for me? Is this job a good fit? Can we afford this house? I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t possibly count the little decisions that I make each day because they don’t require much, if any, thought.  They almost seem too easy to even consider them a decision. The bigger ones certainly grab my attention though.

My daughter is a high school senior and happens to be facing some particularly large ones as she looks to her future.  College?  If so, where?  Major? If not college, then what?  The unknown can be scary territory for all of us, but the good news is that God doesn’t just leave us there to go it alone.

When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:24 NLT) As a result, Joseph was privileged to serve as the earthly father of Jesus, the Messiah and Savior of the world.  I bet that looked good on his resumé!

Just as in the days of Joseph, our tomorrows are impacted by the decisions we make today.  We must choose wisely!  Joseph had an angel assist him. Believers today have the Holy Spirit, a resident 24/7 guidance counselor. Jesus said, “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:26-27 NLT)

May you receive and savor the gift of peace that Jesus came to give…

Merry Christmas




Only One Thing

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”                                                                                                                                                    —Luke 10: 38-42 (NLT)

As I prepare for the coming of the Christ Child this Advent season, I find it easy to lose my focus. How about you? I even vowed to not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season this year and to put the emphasis on preparing my heart rather than my home.  I broke that vow yesterday when I came a bit unglued.  It wasn’t so much due to Christmas preparations, but I believe they were certainly part of the equation. There were other stressors on my plate that were keeping me from those preparations.

The Lord brought the story of Martha and Mary to mind in the midst of it. Are you a Martha or Mary? I’d say I am about 99% Martha and 1% Mary. That could be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea. I am all about getting my ducks lined up! The problem is I don’t handle it very well when they fall out of alignment. And they do.  Often. Can you relate?

My favorite doctor has me monitoring my pH level these past few weeks. If it is out of balance it can wreak havoc on a person’s health. Stress is one thing that can throw it out of balance and appears to be the major player in my case. Each time my pH reading indicates a lack of balance I can hear Jesus whispering, “Remember, there is only one thing worth being concerned about, Polly.” That reminder doesn’t just apply to these busy days of December, but each and every day.

Because God’s mercies are new each day (Lamentations 3:23) I have the opportunity to renew my vow and be more like Mary today. If you have also lost your focus amidst the busyness of the season, I would like to invite you to join me. Let’s vow to keep our focus and prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of our Savior!

My pH reading after writing this—a perfect 7.0.  Balance is good!