Christmas is…

When  is Christmas? Oh, I know it’s on December 25th. I know it’s soon, but when is it Christmas for you?  I read an article awhile back that started out something like this. “There’s an old saying that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I disagree with that … and then the author goes on to explain her point.”  The truth is, that old saying is a direct quote from Jesus as written in the book of Acts 20:35.  It is more blessed to give than to receive, and deep in our hearts …

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Think it … Act it … Believe it

Have you ever been through a major life change? Well – maybe not even major, but some change that prompt friends to ask, “How did it go?” I’ve been asked that by many of my friends. When a major change takes place in life, friends you’ve confided in want to know “How did it go?” and what else can we say except, “It’s different.” That’s a good place to start. I saw a book once titled, Change is Good.  You Go First. That about describes it.  Sometimes change is forced …

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The Standard for Extraordinary

I regularly receive email messages announcing events designed especially for women. There’s one that catches my attention every time. It isn’t that the organization is authentic and reputable, it’s the label. This label: Extraordinary Women represents ministries to women through conferences and Bible study resources.  The women of this network are extraordinary, gifted speakers, singers, and facilitators. I know a countless number of women whose gifts are in areas unlike those of notoriety, yet are truly extraordinary. I attend a women’s Bible Study with Extraordinary Women from my home church. Together …

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Search for joy, find peace

If we practice it diligently, anxiety can become a habit.  If we practice it diligently, peace can become a habit.  Remember that habits are learned behavior. Anxiety can be unlearned. The best way to learn or unlearn is what? Practice!  The best time to start is when? How about right now? Today is a good day to forge a path toward confidence in the future and away from worry and anxiety. Will it be easy?  Not really.  But it will be worth it.  We’ll need a lot of energy for the …

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What to do when there’s nothing you can do…

One of my closest friends posted this on Facebook, “It’s hard being so far away when things like this happen.” I can relate. Can you? When someone we love is thousands of miles away and we can’t go to them, helplessness is its own form of trauma. Waiting through a medical procedure, wondering but hoping the prognosis isn’t as bad as once thought. Standing by while decisions are made about ‘what happens now’. Fearing the outcome of attempts at reconciliation. I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty powerless …

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But wait! There's more!

OK OK I get it! When we hear those words, don’t we think ‘Please spare me the lame commercial!’? I’m going to take a wild guess here and assume most everyone who reads this is a friend from Michigan, or in a state with similar weather patterns. As I look outside, the sun is frozen on a horizon of slate and crystal. The number 27 glares at me from the thermometer and I think that it’s a nice number for age, but as an outdoor temperature it’s dreadful. Winter comes …

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Let's play a game: Fresh Look Friday

OK! Everybody up! Rise AND Shine!  It’s Friday – Let’s play a game. Come on. You know you want to. We’ll call it Fresh Look Friday. Have you ever heard of Pay-It-Forward? How about Random Acts of Kindness? And here’s one. Have you ever heard someone transform the words of Luke 6:31 which clearly says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” so they become “Do unto others before they do unto you?” I know. Those play on words usually projects a negative connotation, and that’s …

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Running after bread crumbs

Once upon a time . . . and the story began. Does anyone else remember the anticipation of hearing all about the adventures of slaying giants and defeating ugly witches; Snow White fully grown and adoringly tended by 7 tiny gentlemen; Cinderella dressed in rags transforms into a beautiful princess when the glass slipper fits; Hansel and Gretel finding their way back home because of breadcrumbs scattered along the path.   How often do we use breadcrumbs today to find our way back? I’m reminded of this in Psalm 119:55 …

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Learning from highlights of the past

I have a rule which I follow pretty diligently. Protect the first hour and last hour of the day – no televised news shows and no talk shows. They plant seeds of negativity that have to be weeded out before the roots take hold. If you’re into gardening you know how pesky those insidious little strands can be. I don’t advocate cutting off awareness to current events or living without a shred of knowledge about what’s going on in the world, but you can set the tone and make peace …

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Refining Grace