Tag Archives: Faith

Things I Don’t Regret


Recently, I noticed a trending hashtag on Twitter: #ThingsIDontRegret. Some of the posts were funny, like not regretting eating a whole pizza at 3am. Others were more serious, such as the woman who didn’t regret keeping her baby when she got pregnant as a teenager. But other posts were more sarcastic, even defensive, such as the woman who didn’t regret being promiscuous.

Looking back on my own life, there are things I wish I had done differently. God had a Plan A for me, but I was rebellious and self-righteous. Thankfully, God didn’t give up on me, and He brought me to where I am now. Still, I often wish that I had learned the easy way, that God hadn’t had to draft Plan B for me.

Still, I don’t think “regret” is the right word. As believers, should we even have regrets?

Without Regret

Fortunately, Paul gives us the answer in 2 Corinthians 7:10: “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

It is the Holy Spirit who convicts our hearts of sin. If that conviction leads us to repentance and salvation, then we have no cause for regrets. Our sins have been washed clean. We are made new. How can we regret actions that have led us to the cross and our salvation?

Once we accept Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside us. This makes it possible for us to know right from wrong and to choose right, even if that choice costs us dearly. However, Christians do sin. We succumb to temptation, fall back on bad habits, or rebel against the will of God. We’re human; it happens.

Thankfully, we can repent of our sins and accept God’s forgiveness. But this ability to receive forgiveness should never lead us to sin in the first place. We should never say, “Well, it’s okay this time. God will forgive me.” Instead, our thought should be, “God loved me so much that He let Jesus die so I could be reconciled to Him. I don’t want to do anything to hurt the heart of my Savior!” (See Romans 6.)

Thanks to Jesus

Unbelievers don’t have the benefit of the Holy Spirit inside them. They have to use their own conscience to decide what is right and wrong…or if that even matters at all. It is a sad and unenviable state, to wander in the darkness. It is the very reason Jesus died on the cross so long ago.

As you prepare for Easter, remember all the things you don’t have to regret—all because of what Jesus did at the cross for you. Then remember all those who have yet to accept the salvation that Jesus offers. You can pray something simple like this:

“Lord, thank you for your sacrifice. Not only did you die and rise again, but you took my sins with you to the grave, and you left them there. I know I am a new person in you. Please help me to act like it, to avoid sinful actions that hurt your heart. Please also be with those who do not yet know you. Let the purifying conviction of the Holy Spirit rest on them and draw them into your arms. Use me to share the good news of your saving grace, this season and every season. In the name of Jesus, ‘the Lord saves.’ Amen.”


[Click to Tweet: The conviction of the Holy Spirit produces repentance without regret, leading to salvation. 2 Cor 7:10 #bigsisterknows #faithlife]


Building on a Firm Foundation


(The historical trail in Boston.)

In late February, I spent several days at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. Although the conference included familiar talks, workshops, and dinners, it felt different than the three I had previously attended.

In my first conference, I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into! Everything about the writing industry was new to me, and I felt overwhelmed by all of it. I knew that I was obeying God’s will, though, so I resolved to learn everything I could about the craft and the industry.

My first writing award!

Three years later, I finally started to see results. The industry lingo was no longer foreign but commonplace. Meeting with editors was fun and exciting, instead of scary and worrisome. I even skipped the basic classes I had taken previously and enjoyed more advanced material.

And—the cherry on top—I won my first two writing awards! One was for my children’s book Who is God?, and the second was for my article A Godly Response to the Sins of our Fathers. That article was also selected to be included in an anthology, which will make it my first article in print!

As I think about my writing ministry, I see an image of a tower with a large, firm foundation. I’ve spent three years working on that foundation, and now I’m ready to add the next level. Yes, there are writers who write better or have more of a presence on social media, but I have a solid foundation, and I’m making real progress.

What about you?

Think about where you are in your career, ministry, and relationships. Are you stressed because you don’t know everything there is to know about your job? Are you concerned that you aren’t the perfect mom you always wanted to be?

Don’t worry! No one expects you to be an expert from the start. But you can make progress.

Here are four steps to help you build a firm foundation:

A couple years ago, Robby and I visited the Constitution Museum in Boston, which celebrates the foundation of our country.

1 – Choose the right cornerstone.

Jesus is the load-bearing cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without Him, nothing can stand. Whether you’re building your career or your family, make sure Jesus is the cornerstone of your foundation. (See Isaiah 28:16.)

2 – Don’t despise small beginnings.

We serve an extravagant God, and yet He often starts small. The earth was created from a thought, the first man from grains of sand, and the Church from a handful of men who followed Jesus. No matter how small your first step is, rejoice in where it can lead you. (See Zechariah 4:10.)

3 – Learn the basics.

Too often, we want to jump ahead, to claim the prize without investing the effort required. Not only is this prideful, it sets us up to fail, because we are reaching for something we have not earned and for which are ill-prepared. Instead, invest your time and energy in learning the basics.

As Grandma used to say, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

4 – Persevere.

Perseverance means “a patient enduring.” It assumes that there will be difficulties, but it calls us to endure them, to “keep on keepin’ on.” When the grades aren’t as high as you’d like, when you can’t get your little one to fall asleep, when you’re passed over for the promotion…persevere. Then persevere some more. (See 1 Timothy 6:11.)

One day, after you’ve spent months or even years focusing on God, learning the basics, and persevering through hardships, you’ll find that your foundation is built—and it’s time to start adding to it.


[Click to Tweet: Make sure you’re building on a firm foundation.]


I’d love to hear from you! What foundations are you building in your life? Have you begun to take the next step, to build on top of that foundation?


To Romance Your Wife, Consider Her Love Language


The following post was first published on OneChristianVoice.com. Check out their site for news, entertainment, events, and inspiration.

I don’t like roses. I never read romance books. And under no uncertain terms do I want anyone reading poetry to me!

According to the media and most romance movies, I am not a “romantic person.” But that’s not really true at all.

You see, my primary Love Language is Quality Time. A romantic evening to me involves hanging out with my hubby on a Friday night. I don’t need gifts or flowery speeches, just the sacrifice of his time.

In other words, my Romance Language coincides with my Love Language—and I bet the same holds true for your wife!

According to Gary Chapman, author of the hugely successful series The 5 Love Languages, all of us have a primary Love Language. When our spouses and families speak to us in this language, we hear them loud and clear, and we feel truly loved.

So if you want to introduce a little romance this Valentine’s Day (or any day for that matter), stop and consider your wife’s Love Language. Here are some suggestions.


Words of Affirmation –

  • Tell her you love her. If you miss this one, you’ll miss the boat entirely.
  • Tell her why you love her—and be specific.
  • Write a love letter. It doesn’t have to be long or filled with quotes or poetry. She’ll love the fact that you made the effort, no matter what you write.
  • Write a bunch of little notes (e.g. “Be Mine” and “I’m lucky to have you,”) and scatter them throughout the house. This is a great option if you’re uncomfortable writing an actual letter.
  • If her secondary Love Language is Receiving Gifts, then memorialize your love by giving her a necklace, bracelet, or wall art that tells her what she means to you. (You can find homemade, personalized gifts on Etsy.com.)


Acts of Service –

  • You know that honey-do list? She wrote it down for a reason. Start there.
  • Write her a coupon that entitles her to a “day off.” When she redeems it, let her put her feet up while you do all the things she would have done, from cooking dinner to doing the dishes. (Make sure you put in the same amount of work she would have. Avoid Chinese takeout and paper plates.)
  • If her secondary language is Physical Touch, then incorporate it by giving her a foot rub or a back rub…after you do the dishes.


Receiving Gifts –

  • Has she been dropping hints about something she wants? If it’s within reason, get it for her.
  • See if she has a “Wish List” on Amazon. You can find what she wants and order it as a surprise. She’ll think you read her mind!
  • If she mentions items she wants, write them down. She’s telling you for a reason.
  • Give her something that fits her secondary Love Language. If it’s Physical Touch, get her a spa certificate. For Quality Time, buy tickets for the two of you to see a play, watch a special movie, or see her favorite band.


Quality Time –

  • Dedicate a day to spend time with her. Let her pick the activity or destination. If she likes surprises, plan the whole day and let each event be a little surprise.
  • Don’t assume your time together has to be fancy to be considered “quality time.” If she’s more of a home body, or you can’t find a babysitter, order takeout from her favorite restaurant and enjoy it together while watching her favorite movie.
  • If her secondary Love Language is Physical Touch, hold her hand while you’re spending time together. If it’s Acts of Service, then spend the day helping her with whatever activity is on her to-do list, from cleaning out the garage to shopping for groceries.


Physical Touch –

  • Be physically affectionate. Even something as small as holding her hand can go a long way to filling her love cup.
  • Think outside the box. Consider activities that involve touching, such as going dancing. She may also appreciate different physical sensations, such as a late-night swim in the pool.
  • If her secondary Love Language is Receiving Gifts, then give her a gift certificate for a couple’s massage. If it’s Acts of Service, give her a foot rub and then paint her nails (which you’ll both find hilarious).

Being romantic with your wife is easy when you know her Love Language and you’re willing to make the effort to make her feel loved.

If you don’t know your wife’s primary Love Language, then have her take the quiz at www.5lovelanguages.com. She’ll appreciate that you want to know more about her, and you can take the quiz, as well. You can also research the latest books in the 5 Love Languages series.

You only have one wife; make sure you’re speaking her Love Language!

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Does it fit her Love Language? I’d love to hear from you!

[Click to Tweet: This Valentine’s Day, I’m considering my wife’s love language!]

[Click to Tweet: My romance language is my love language.]