Something deep within me goes bazerk when relationships are not at peace in my life. Any relational discord will spill into every other avenue of my life. My entire demeanor will be effected. According to one of my favorite author's, Kevin Leman, this is highly explained by my birth-order. I'm a middle child and they are typically peace-keepers. Ah, yes, blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9). This is a good quality, however, it's easy for me to overlook a detail: My need for peace (as a middle) is only genuinely met by Christ.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
My concocted peace is worldly. His is eternal, true and real!
He keeps me in perfect peace, when my mind is fixed on Him because I trust in Him. Isaiah 26:3
Join me today, fixing your eyes on Him and increasing your trust in Him in this day.


I keep seeing the wedding picture God's painted in my mind. He the bridegroom, the engineer and golden heads the precious bride, and me as Christ's equally treasured best man. Christ completes my joy and He has strategically placed me beside Him in this marriage. Christ must become greater, and I must become less, (John 3:30).
Christ must become greater because He is perfect and I am not. For God's Spirit is constantly in Christ. Yet, because I have chosen to believe in Christ, I was given a seal of truth (John 3:33).
In this instance, seal means to set a mark upon a thing as a token of its authenticity or approvedness that God is true; He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. It reminds me of the Dairy REAL seal marked on packages (authentic milk) versus the package of cheese puffs claiming, "made with with real cheese." It's easy to spot a phony and even the calculating one reading this raised her eyebrows in questioning unbelief, really?
When placing my belief in Christ, I got the real seal (or the True seal). And my charge is filter everything through that true seal as well as to echo all I know to be true. Another way of understanding is that when we choose to believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).The Holy Spirit directs me and teaches me what is true. Just as Christ was controlled by the Spirit, I too can be controlled by the Spirit. However, Christ was CONSTANTLY led by the Spirit, but I must choose to invite or ask the Spirit to rule and influence my life. The same power is available to me if I do invite Him. And it can speak words of life and truth to my beloved family.
My ministry as a mom and wife is to tell them what God teaches me and by God's design, Christ will increase in their lives and I will decrease.
The influence of this encourager, the best man, is undeniable. And I've experienced it first hand. Driving to meet grandma, I was listening to lies: I really am a horrible mother. I don't think the engineer likes me. I'm not a leader. I can't do anything well…. Ready to cry, in the pit of despair, something within tells me these are lies. And then we arrive. I have envisioned seeing her, crying, venting, complaining. And there she is, this special woman, this fellow "best man" to her family's wedding and she smiles while she embraces me. And that is enough. This woman, whose joy is complete in Christ, controlled by the Spirit helps me overcome the lies and spiritual battle in my mind simply through her presence.
Do I do that for my family? A convicting question. An iCal fanatic, I arrange my calendar to reflect that I cherish the bride, my family, but that my joy is completed by the groom, Christ. Now, I must follow the plan.
You make know to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
What wedding picture is set in your mind when you read John 3:29-30? 
According to the gift of God's grace, I was given a ministry achievable only by the working of His power in me. Though I am the very least of all the saints, this ministry was given to tell my family the unsearchable riches of Christ and to bring to light for them what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things….For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant my family to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in their inner beings, so that Christ (not me) may dwell in their hearts through faith--that the engineer and golden heads, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breath and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that they may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:7-9,14-19, my paraphrase
What is your ministry? In that ministry, will you become less so Christ can become greater?

Best man

"Never love family more than you love Jesus. Our priorities should be Christ, spouse, family…" I thought I was doing well. Then in disappointment, I realized I had elevated my family. They did not meet my "need." Since Christ meets all my needs, expecting my family to meet my needs makes them essentially an idol. I took Christ off the throne of my life and put these four wonderful, yet imperfect beings, on the throne. My eyes were on my family, not on Christ.
Then God revealed to me a beautiful picture of a wedding. The bride is beautifully adorned spoken for by the groom. The groom has eyes fixed on and passion for his bride. And then, as a supporting witness to this marriage is the best man. He stands beside the groom and listens to the groom; he is loyal to the groom. Yes, he values the bride, but his first priority is the groom. Christ is the groom. Christ, not the bride, completes the best man's joy. My family is the bride. I am the best man. When I value and cherish the bride more than the groom, the bride (my family) becomes my focus, my influence, and I depend on them to meet my needs. Needs only Christ (the groom) is meant to fulfill. (See John 3:29-30.)
Family is a blessing, not a provision. When I feel frustrated and let down by my family (I'm sure the feeling is mutual), I need to reaffirm in my mind that Christ meets all my needs.
…since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. Acts 17:25
'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.' John 14:27
You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19
I am inspired by Paul's example. Paul loved the church (Ephesians 3:14-19) and he prayed for the church but he loved Christ more!
I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8 
Do you trust God to meet all your needs or like me, do you expect others to meet some of these needs? (For example: security, your value and purpose, physical needs--affection, possessions, quality time, etc--, peacefulness, strength, etc…) Could it be these amazing people in your life have been elevated beyond the bridegroom, Christ? Consider a prayer like this and reestablish Christ as your focus.
I repent of making the golden heads and engineer my focus, my idol. I turn to you. Holy Spirit, rule, reign and influence my life. And may, you, the bridegroom be the apple of my eye forever! Amen.


"It's my birthday, I'm not doing chores!" she announced repeatedly on the day of her birth. She trusted in me to make her day a special, care-free and fun. Sorry sister, you got the wrong momma this year! We can put our trust in anyone, but it doesn't mean that person is worthy of our trust. And where does this sense of entItlement come from? I can't claim to be any different, I expect (and have but once in memory received) pomp and circumstance on my special day too. We middles, and many more put our trust in the wrong person.
This idea of entitlement gnaws at me. It seems there is a big "I" in entItlement. As a whole, our nation feels entItled to the "good  and easy" life. I feel entItled to a great marriage and family. Then I consider what I deserve: alienation, hostility, evil deeds (Colossians 1:21). "Yet, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach," (v. 22). Because Jesus took my sins on Himself to the cross, I am above reproach. The greek word is used two times in a row here (it screams, "pay attention" when anything is repeated) and implies not only merely acquittal from my wrong doing but the absence of even a charge or accusation against my wrong doing and sin. And then the condition in verse 23: "if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast…" This white board erasing of my sin demands I have faith in His process and plan. To think, "I'm entItled to ____" is slapping Jesus in the face, saying I don't trust you and the plan you have for me because it's not my way or plan. I used to laugh when my dad told the engineer, "There's a right way, a wrong way and Becky's way." Now I see what I need is repentance and seeking God's way.
And without faith it impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
But it seems there is more to this unsightly entItlement issue than weak faith and misplaced trust. This must be a three-headed arrow. The "I" jumps out at me: pride and building up of self. As believers, we're to be built up in Him, not self.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
It seems commonality to puff up ourselves instead of following John the Baptist's example, "He must increase, but I must decrease," (John 3:30). The opposite of pride or this puffing up is humility. The greek word tapeinophrosyne is used eight times in the New Testament and the Vine's Expository Dictionary defines it as "an inside-out virtue produced by comparing ourselves to the Lord rather than others. This brings behavior into alignment with inner revelation to keep one from being self-exalting. It means complete dependence on the Lord and no reliance on self." (I'd like to add, no reliance on others.) This is realizing what we deserve (alienation, hostility and evil) and being thankful for what we have. If we practiced this, we wouldn't act entItled but humble and thankful. Colossians 2:6-7…walk in Him, grounded in Him…abounding in thanksgiving. What if instead of thinking, I deserve a better marriage, I realized Christ's will for me in all things and thanked Him for my husband and opportunities my marriage affords me to become who Christ designed me to be? Or instead of thinking I deserve my parent's attention and access to all their assets, money and possessions, I thanked them for shaping me and blessing me, expecting nothing and giving out of what Christ gives to me? This would be realizing I am less and Christ is greater. This is depending on Christ and not on others. This is being rooted and built up in Him.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience… Colossians 3:12
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud (and entItled) but gives grace to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5
When have you last had your own attitude of ent-I-tlement? Take time to repent of the I, trust in the Lord (not men), have faith in His plan and way and choose to be thankful!