You’re Soaking In It!


If you grew up in the seventies or eighties like me, you probably remember Madge, the pitch woman for Palmolive dishwashing liquid for over twenty years.  Every commercial went pretty much the same way.

A lady would walk in to get a manicure from Madge, who would immediately make a crack about her dry skin.  Then she would soak the woman’s fingers in a bowl of a mysterious beauty product while they chatted.  I don’t know how manicures work, but I’m assuming this is business as usual.   At some point the woman would break down and confess her terrible skin condition was the result of washing dishes.

That’s when Madge would tell the woman she should switch to Palmolive, a dishwashing liquid that actually softened your hands while you used it.  The woman would act surprised, then Marge would reveal the big twist.  Palmolive?  You’re soaking in it!  Mic drop!

I don’t know how good Palmolive dishwashing liquid really is at softening skin, but I was thinking about that commercial this morning when I was reflecting back on the past week.  Lately I’ve noticed my mood is drastically affected by whatever I happen to be soaking my mind in each day.

When I saturate my brain with news and entertainment, anxiety, irritability and melancholy bubble to the surface.  However, when I immerse myself in the Bible and books and music that point me back to God, I can feel my heart soften and my spirit soar.

God reminded me this morning that what I’m soaking my brain in really matters, especially at a time like this.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (NIV).

I first read that verse over 25 years ago, but I’m still learning the truth of it today.  My focus determines my future.  My head shapes my heart.  My obsessions affect my outcomes.

This isn’t new information, but during a season of social distancing and doing so much of our living and relating online, the effect of where I point my brain is more obvious and immediate than ever before.

Is it okay to check the news and watch my favorite shows online?  Sometimes.  Believe me, after a stressful day I’m as big a fan of mindless entertainment as the next person, and I like to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the world.

But I can’t soak in it.  I can’t overdo it, because if I do, I’ll see it play out in my thoughts, my attitude and ultimately in who I’m becoming during the Coronavirus crisis and beyond.

The more I bend my brain toward heaven by reading, watching and listening to things that encourage my heart, the more helpful I am to everyone around me and the more I experience peace even in the midst of chaos.





Family Devotion: Turkey Busters 2

TB2This is Part Two of a seven-part series leading up to Thanksgiving.  Here’s Part One if you need to catch up.  Sign up to receive Turkey Busters sent straight to your inbox.

Verse to Remember:  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. – Psalm 100:4 (NIrV)

Big Idea: I need to take time to thank God.

Have you ever forgotten to do something important? Was it something for school or a chore around the house? Maybe you owed someone money and forgot to pay them back.

It’s easy to forget things that matter when we’re busy or distracted. That’s what happened to a group of men who met Jesus.
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Holiday Road Episode 6: True Colors


One of my favorite parts about autumn is the changing colors of the trees.   If you take a closer look at this process, you’ll see that God has hard-wired into creation a beautiful picture of the spiritual life.

In today’s episode we’ll take a look at how and why the leaves change color and what the Bible has to say about how God works through the hard stuff in life.

Listen on iTunes.

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! – 2 Cor 4:17 (NLT)

If you want to learn more about the science behind the changing fall colors, you can read more about that here and here.

For more fall-themed devotions, check out my book, Tales from the Leaf Pile, available on Amazon in paperback or ebook.