We have them all around us–the lonely, the mentally ill, the disenfranchised, the bullied and the bullies. Sometimes they are almost invisible. Teachers see them every day at their schools, but there is not enough time nor enough resources to reach each one individually.
We see the patterns of individuals who isolate themselves from others, who have obsessions with violent video games, who have not been taught positive ways to deal with anger, grief, pain, and loneliness. And yet, we still do not recognize the signs until it is too late to save them and others from their own poor judgments. Continue reading
For our recent annual writer’s retreat we rented a lovely, large home that had enough space for us to spread out and write. One of the first things I noticed when I arrived was a large mirror hanging on the wall at the foot of the staircase.
Now there are things in my life I seriously have love/hate relationships with–my computer, my car, and food, for example. But my relationship with mirrors? There is no doubt; I absolutely have a hate relationship with them! Can you imagine that?
Mirrors simply reflect the image in front of them (unless they are magic like in Snow White). When I look in the mirror, I see an aging overweight body, a graying head of hair and a double chin. The mirror reflects the reality of my aging self. And mirrors with a magnifying glass? Who needs that?
The tricky thing about mirrors is what you see is based on your perspective. Continue reading
Recently I was having a discussion with a friend regarding the current #metoo movement. From my perspective, I think it is healthy to be having a discussion regarding the rampant culture that allows sexual harassment to remain unchecked for generations. It is easy for us to point the finger at Hollywood and the rampant immorality that has existed. It is easy for us to condemn the abusers, and yes, even those who are abused. The fact that people seeking to become actors and writers and directors allowed the abuse to happen, and even participate in it, does not mitigate the responsibility all around. While there are many complex issues involved in the why and how of the abuse, the fact remains that finally we are having a discussion and people are being held accountable for the abuses.
The issue is far more pervasive than just in Hollywood. Continue reading
This morning as I was pondering so many of the difficulties my friend’s are having, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness as I realized all of the needs out there. The diagnosis of breast cancer, the possibility of losing a spouse, the challenges of being a parent, the ravages of grief, the unanswered questions of why God does not answer prayers the way we think should happen–all of these issues came at me like a starship in hyper drive. Life can become overwhelming at times, and even as Christians who know we should put our trust in God, we sometimes become shaky in our faith.
Life is frequently hard–even for those who put their faith and trust in God. I love Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 and often cling to them when my life seems to be in chaos (which is more frequently than I like to admit!). Continue reading
I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband came in from the garage and told me that a hummingbird had flown into the garage and he was trying to get it out. The problem was that every time he tried to catch the hummingbird to help it out of the garage, it would flee from him. Deciding that he would just leave the garage with the doors wide open, he came in the house so the hummingbird would not feel threatened.
As we periodically checked on the hummingbird, we found that he was flying up high and would not fly lower to where the open door was. We watched as he flew into the walls over and over again in trying to fly away. This went on all day and we decided to just leave the garage door open overnight in the hope that the bird would eventually find his way out.
This morning I was very tempted just to stay home in anticipation of bad weather. Instead, I braved the gloomy skies and headed out to church. I was so blessed to participate in praise and worship and be reminded of how great and good our God really is! There is something refreshing about praising God and taking the focus off of myself and putting it on my Creator instead.
I want to start off this year by talking about why praise and worship is so important to me. Continue reading
Forgetfulness seems to be an unremitting part of my life. I wish I could claim it is just because I am growing old, but unfortunately, forgetfulness has been a constant companion throughout my life.
As a young child and teen, I would forget to do chores my mother asked of me, I would forget answers for tests I studied so hard for, and even forget to come to a complete stop at the stop signs. As a young woman I forgot to turn my clock, thus being an hour late for my own bridal shower, forgot to pick up my son from daycare, and forgot dentist appointments. Even now my children and friends remind me that I shouldn’t forget . . . well, whatever it is I should remember. Continue reading
Today I was contemplating what makes a person truly successful. How do we measure it? How do we know when someone achieves it? How do we even define it?
For some individuals success is defined by reaching the pinnacle of power, for others it is defined in hearing applause for a job well done, for the career person it may be defined by successfully climbing the corporate ladder. Each person identifies their own interpretation of success, and it is based on their cultural values, moral values, and personal goals. Continue reading
In China being a Christian can bring many repercussions. While technically, being a Christian is allowed, it is only under very strict guidelines and you must register with the government. Only one version of the Bible is sanctioned and it has been highly edited. Continue reading