Better Is The End

“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8   I started laboriously paying off my student loans over a year ago. I took a good, hard look at how much interest I would pay over ten years and that made me cringe to the point  I became aggressive in paying off my massive debt. The end of paying off my student loans was infinitely better than the day I sent the first payment. Better is the end of a thing that its beginning.   It’s one thing to enroll in college, it’s another feat to dedicate four years to earning a degree. The extended nights studying, the countless papers written, and the numerous hours spent in the classroom. Adrenaline rushes through us at the beginning of a new adventure, but that fire fades as we settle into the mundane activities it takes to patiently endure to the end. Adrenaline can cause acceleration, but doesn’t always give you an advantage over adversity. “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10. Better is the end of a thing that its […]

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The Untold Christmas Story

Christmas Story Jesus Savior Lord Baby in Manger

When the Christmas story is told, we mainly hear about Mary and baby Jesus born in a manger. Now, don’t get me wrong, nothing means more to me than the birth of my Lord and Savior, but as people across the world flock to churches to hear the story of Jesus’ birth and celebrate his coming to earth I want to talk about another person tucked away in the crevices of the Christmas story. You see there’s another “J” man who may have been overlooked as the wise men were onlookers at the nativity scene. That man is Joseph. I understand Jesus is the focus and Mary is magnificent for offering her life to carry the one who would bring eternal life to the world, but Joseph’s character deserves some credit in the story. Joseph lives more by faith and less by logic Mary was legally pledged to marry Joseph, but they hadn’t done the thing husband and wife do. Apparently, there was a child (the Savior of the world to be exact) growing inside Mary that Joseph played no role in creating. Let’s say I was engaged and then said, “Hey, Honey-Darling-Love-Of-My-Life I am pregnant. I can explain though. […]

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Hand Me Downs

Christian Mothers

I am the youngest of three girls in a family that usually housed seven people. My mom worked part-time as a secretary at a church and my step-dad worked full-time to provide for his growing family. As you can imagine, we didn’t have extra cash to spend on frivolous items or impulse purchases. I grew up with a mom who cut coupons and knew how to stretch a penny until it screamed. As a kid, I found myself wanting to spend the night with my best friend, an only child, and never wanting to be in my crowded, generic-brand buying house. I didn’t understand why my friend Brittany got $5 dollars from the tooth fairy and I only got one dollar. I didn’t understand how she could have sodas on any day and I could only have soda on Saturday night when we ate pizza. I didn’t understand fully why her family could always eat out and we had to always eat in. I didn’t understand why she had cable and could watch Cartoon Network and Disney Channel while I settled for Saturday morning cartoons on regular TV. It makes me laugh now, but one time I got the nerve […]

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Are You Called To Be A Catalyst?

Catalyst: A person or event that quickly causes change or action   Billy Graham is known as an evangelistic preacher that has shared the gospel with millions of people in over 185 countries. When I see a man that has been exalted by the Lord I often ask, “How did he get his start?” After doing some research, I found out two catalytic events in Billy Graham’s life:   1) A person’s pivotal prayer 2) A man’s faithfulness to respond to God’s call   Vernon’s Pivotal Prayer   Billy Graham was a small-town farm boy. According to the Billy Graham website, one day there was a prayer meeting being held in the pasture of his family’s farm. Little did Billy know that day a man named Vernon Patterson prayed that God would raise up someone from Charlotte to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. An earnest prayer preceded Billy Graham’s encounter with Jesus.   Mordecai’s Call To Be a Catalyst   A few months later Mordecai Ham, a traveling evangelist, preached an 11-week revival where Billy, on a whim, attended. Not many people know Mordecai Ham’s name, but many are familiar with Billy Graham’s legacy. Mordecai was […]

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Why I Never Want To Fall In Love

It’s apparently all the rage to fall in love.  I hear a range of people claiming they’ve fallen in love, from close friends to celebrities prancing around on the red carpet. But when I look at that phrase “falling in love” it doesn’t sound remotely like it would climb to the top of my to-do list. Falling in love sounds disorienting and debilitating. Falling in love reminds me of falling as a kid and the height of the fall correlated with the extent of the damage. I would fall while walking and scrape my knees on the gravel road, which still stung from the rocks piercing my delicate skin, but the damage was relatively manageable with peroxide (which I’m convinced Satan created himself), Neosporin and a Band-Aid. My sister however, was standing on a chair when she fell and ended up breaking her arm. We both fell, but one resulted in more severe damage. If falling regularly relates to detrimental experiences is there even a sliver of hope for our infatuated, fantasy-land-living generation? In the Bible, references to “fallen” are rarely good things. For starters, in Luke it says, “I saw satan fall from Heaven like lightening from Heaven.” We have the […]

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What the Dentist Taught Me About Mercy and Grace

Twice a year I get a text message reminder, or what I like to refer to as a text message warning, that says, “Tiffany you have a dentist appointment next week. Please reply YES to confirm.” Fortunately, I love my dentist, but unfortunately my freak out starts to flare up realizing I have spent 6 months absolutely averse to flossing and now have to condense 6 months of negligence into one week of nurturing every nook and cranny between my teeth. More often than not, I realize it’s a waste of my effort and I just brush my teeth four times the day of my appointment unequivocally convinced that will erase any signs of neglect over the past six months of forgetting to floss. I cram my dental hygiene routine into my one-day remedy hoping to compensate for what should have been maintained daily. I saunter up to the dental chair, lay down under the fluorescent light that doubles as an interrogation lamp and confess, “I have braced myself for a lecture. I know my teeth are going to fall out, and I will end up looking like my grandpa Bingo who is only capable of eating soft, cod with […]

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DIY: Flush Your Fears. Post Your Prayers.

I am an avid Pinterest peruser. It’s one of my favorite social channels mainly because creativity overflows and negativity is absent. If you want to remind yourself there’s a sliver of hope for humanity, look at Pinterest. The gifts people possess are given away to the world. I mean it amazes me that someone used their creative juices to conjure up Unicorn Poop Slime. I can’t even make this stuff up. If that’s not creativity at its finest, I don’t know what is. The DIY I have in mind, isn’t as mystical or magical, but it proved helpful for me and is just the right mix of silly and serious. Have you ever had worry wash up in your heart, felt frozen by fear, or constantly focused on “flaws?” Me too! In fact, a severe feeling of inadequacy for ministry, marriage and motherhood swept over be again recently. In the past few months, these feelings of inadequacy have bubbled up, but now it’s an equivalent of a 8 on the Richter scale of emotional earthquakes.  In similar meltdowns,  I’ve heard a popular saying that exclaims, “Get your act together,” but what I want to say is, “Get your faith together, sister. It’s […]

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8 Simple Life Lessons I Learned From My Mom

As children, our parents become one of the biggest influences in our lives, for better or worse. We inherit their mannerisms, thought-patterns and their beliefs often become intricately woven into us. Although, according to health care laws, I am officially an “adult” I still call my mom to ask her what aisle to find pesto on at the grocery store. I frantically call her for the Netflix password or I find myself relying on her for severe weather updates. Bottom line? This girl still needs her mommy. And I hope I always do. Over the years, my mom has taught me simple life lessons that I continue to carry with me. 1. Unleash  Creativity From handmade halloween costumes to song writing my mom could give you a run for your money in the creative department. But her creative juices don’t stop flowing there. For example, let’s take the least fun thing you can possibly do as a kid – CHORES –  but not just chores, chores on a Saturday. She would create a melting pot of necessary chores like ‘clean the bathtub’ and ‘vacuum the living room’ and mix them with exciting items like ‘let’s see how many marshmallows you can […]

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What Easter means to me: A tale of two Tiffanys

It hurts me even to look at the picture on the left. It’s one of those sharp-inhale-hold-my-breath kind of hurts.  I close my eyes and cry for that lost girl, but my tears also flow from a place of fervent gratefulness that the lost girl can triumphantly say, “ I WAS lost, but NOW I’ve been found. Who I was is not who I am in Christ today.” The girl on the left was completely intoxicated. The girl on the left had just offered lap dances in exchange for dollar bills. The girl on the left was groped to the point her dress is practically falling off her. The girl on the left used alcohol to attempt to poison the pain inside of her. Yet the girl on the left is smiling. That’s the most agonizing part of the picture is the sorrow that can often remain a secret behind a smile. The happiness we can project even when we are up to our eyeballs in hurt and havoc. I often think of Saul/Paul, the man who wrote the majority of the New Testament and endured jail, multiple beatings and shipwrecks for Christ. Before Paul’s conversion he was killing christians. He […]

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Yielding To You

Yield.  This was my lesson in Leviticus. No, there’s not some big message on yielding in Leviticus the passage simply mentions the land yielding a harvest (25:6 and 25:21). But I hear, “Yield, Tiffany. Yield.” And it’s been resonating with my spirit ever since. Leviticus’ message of the land yielding a harvest spoke to me in two different ways.  The harvest that’s yielded in life hinges on yielding to the Holy Spirit in your life. What does it mean to yield? Well, I begin to think in terms of traffic signs which I know well. When I see a “Yield” sign while driving that means I look towards oncoming traffic and pause to allow the oncoming traffic to pass BEFORE I proceed on my route. Yielding means I give the person with the right away the actual RIGHT AWAY. We have a problem here. If God is telling me to yield that most likely means I am currently NOT yielding. That means I am not following His leading. That means I am not following Him. That means somehow I’ve gotten a head of myself and if you don’t yield to oncoming traffic that can cause quite a collision, frantic honking, or […]

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