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Shirley Desmond Jackson

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Refined by Fire

Real gold fears no fire. -Randy Alcorn In my area of the country, fall appeared almost overnight. As the temperature dropped, we caught ourselves ditching sandals and donning sweaters.  Chilly weather invites the warmth of a cozy fire. Reading as I sit by the fireplace will always top my list of favorite things. But not…

Boundaries

In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.-Arnold H. Glasow Without a doubt, football reigns supreme during the autumn months.  I admit. No one will ever call me a football fanatic. But I believe the game can teach us some important life lessons.  For example, I recently…

Pressing Pause (Again)

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana My heart plummeted as I read the freshly printed agenda. With heightened hindsight, I suddenly remembered my responsibility as a presenter at the meeting.  I glanced at the clock. 9:00 PM.  The meeting would begin in just ten hours. Not only was…

Sincerity or Hypocrisy?

Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite. –Charles Spurgeon I confess. Growing up as an unbeliever, I classified most Christians as hypocrites. My judgement extended even to my believing friends.  To be honest, I often felt judged by them because my family did not go to…

The Power of Yet

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. –Confucius   Standing in the parking lot of the grocery store, I fumbled with my phone as I attempted to place a mobile order using my Starbucks app.  “This should be easier,” I kept thinking as I backed out of…

Transparency

 Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.– Mother Teresa Recent events led me to recall one of my heroes in the Bible. Known simply as a man with a shriveled hand, his story appears in three of the gospels. When Jesus met this man in the synagogue on the Sabbath, critical…

Productive Struggle

The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.-Pierre de Coubertin. I wanted to be a better person. A bigger person. A more spiritual person. A person who didn’t struggle. Recently I fell victim to chance and circumstance. An admittedly unfair situation forced itself upon me. I was simply in the wrong…

Triggers

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle “I’m actually a very shy person.” We all gaped at our friend in complete disbelief. Michelle, with her warmth and great conversational skills, befriended everyone she met. Her quick wit animated all of our gatherings and kept us in…

Rest

Slow down, you move too fast- Paul Simon Not quite two minutes long, this song, Feelin’ Groovy, resides permanently in my “Favorites” playlist on my iPhone. By nature, I attack life at full throttle. This simple song reminds me to slow down. Only then can I rest, reflect, and refresh my soul. This need for…

Personalities

I’m a big personality. I walk into a room, big and tall and loud. – Adele Sometimes I long for a different personality. People like Adele intrigue me. Larger than life, we all notice them. Their bold and outspoken natures instinctively equip them for leadership.  Naturally quiet and reflective, my personality paints a completely different…