Solving Problems Saving Hope

Don’t give up! Have you ever listened to someone’s story and heard these words, “Fine for you to say, but you don’t know what I’m going through here.” When we listen at heart level, we become aware of problems people are going through and they are traveling the path right beside you. We can relate to being thrown into the spin cycle of problems that never dry out. How many times have you thought, “If I had a towel, I’d throw it in?” There are many reasons not to throw …

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From Crisis to Calling: Finding Your Moral Center in the Toughest Decisions – Book Summary

As I sat down to write about this book, From Crisis to Calling: Finding your Moral Center in the Toughest Decisions by Sasha Chanoff and David Chanoff, an online article in the Huff Post grabbed my attention proclaiming Afghan Refugee Crisis Worsens. It seems the news is dominated by more and more crises related to refugees who are suffering greatly in violence–torn regions. This book would have been much more uncomfortable to read had it not been for the authors’ presentation of the storyline through the moral compass of each person …

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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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It all happens between the bookends

Are you a peace seeker? I already know you said yes. We want peace in the world, peace in our communities, peace in our relationships and peace for our own hearts. But when we’re suffocating under anxiety, there is no peace. Where can we find peace? Here’s a clue. It doesn’t come from within when we are overwhelmed by “What-if” producing anxiety. There’s this verse in Proverbs 12:25  that spells it out pretty clearly: “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” Not …

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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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Happy Valentine’s Day! Uh-oh! Did you forget?

Happy Valentine’s Day! Uh-oh! Did you forget? According to history.com “Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.”  If you forgot to get a card for that special loved one, no problem.  You can do something else – even more meaningful and memorable.  Act it out. 1 John 3:18 “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” What starts with a thought, travels to your heart, and comes out as the act.   …

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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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Wake up! You need this relationship.

How do you wake up in the morning? OK. OK. I get that. You wake up breathing. That’s good. Keep doing that. But really how do you wake up? To an alarm? To music? To someone shaking you back to consciousness? Does a song ever wake you up? This morning I heard someone singing, “I miss my time with you. Those moments together. I need to be with you each day.” Now that was a blast from the past! It’s been years since I’ve heard Larnelle Harris sing. Hearing that …

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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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Refining Grace