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June 25 2020

When A Heart Rejects The Gospel Message

When I became a Christian thirty-eight years ago, I couldn’t stop talking about Jesus. My life reflected the Apostle Paul’s words found in his letter to the Romans: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then…

June 18 2020

When You Feel Like A Skeptic

Has anyone ever called you a skeptic? When anything sounds too good to be true, I tend to build a wall of skepticism around my heart. I instinctively seek to protect myself from the inevitable hurt caused by believing a lie. Since God’s ways and thoughts are not like mine (Isaiah 55:8-9), many of His…

June 11 2020

Changing the World One Heart at a Time

I love inspirational stories. Especially those tied to the gospel. Because by changing the hearts of individuals, the gospel powerfully changes the world. The lives of both Peter and Paul testify to the transformative power of the gospel. Two brothers, James and John, also experienced gospel-inspired heart changes. In Mark’s list of the twelve disciples,…

June 4 2020

Building Bridges Instead of Walls

Our world is hurting. The words of James have guided me as I grappled with the recent events plaguing our country:  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.…

May 28 2020

When His Blessings Don’t Meet My Expectations

Not every act of obedience brings the expected reward. Although true, this statement creates some dissonance with my soul. I always believed if I did A, B and C, then D, E, and F would logically follow. I know better. I can point to times I did everything right, but… the relationship failed. the job…

May 14 2020

When We Face Ourselves

Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward — get real with yourself.– Bryant McGill A recurring dream haunts me. A nightmare, really. The setting of the dream varies, but the theme remains the same. Sometimes in these dreams I see myself as a confident college student. Suddenly, another student reminds me…

May 7 2020

Facing Our Fears

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.– Eleanor Roosevelt Teacher Appreciation Week officially began on Monday. When asked to share about my favorite teacher, I immediately thought of Mr. Blubaugh who…

April 30 2020

When Your Attitude Stinks

Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, it means your heart’s not right. – Alex Kendrick Recently, I found myself struggling against a bad attitude. After months of praying over a certain situation, I still had no clear answer from the Lord. Frustration seeped into my soul and a…

April 23 2020

When Believers Doubt

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. –Saint Augustine Years ago, my doctor advised me to take vitamins for some specific health concerns. Unfortunately, the vitamin bottle collects dust as it sits on the shelf.  The other day my husband asked me…

April 16 2020

Planning in a Season of Uncertainty

The longing for certainty … is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion.– Oliver Wendell Holmes Lord, please just show me the plan, so I can get behind it. I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed these words. I truly believe I can deal with anything, except the unknown. And…

April 9 2020

Celebrating Easter in the Midst of the Coronavirus

As I write these words, my country prepares to face the peak of the Coronavirus Crisis, even as we make plans to celebrate Easter. I can’t help but marvel at the paradox. One event stirs fear in our hearts as we watch the number of deaths grow. The other, because it holds the only solution…

April 2 2020

Finding Peace in the Midst of Evil

Only when we stand in awe of God will we find it unnecessary to be in awe of Satan.- Erwin W. Lutzer As I write this blog post, the world battles against what many call “the invisible enemy”. Although unseeable by the human eye, no one questions the reality of its existence. Across the globe,…

March 26 2020

When We Feel Shaken

The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up. – Robert Tew Anyone feeling a bit shaken up right now? The phrase “shake up” can mean to drastically rearrange or reorganize something. I believe all of us can relate to the “shaking up” of our lives due to…

March 19 2020

He Still Calls Us By Name

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.-Dale Carnegie When my husband and I became pregnant with each of our children, we agonized over selecting names. We searched for names which would set our children apart, yet would be appropriate for each season of their…

March 12 2020

Making Time for What Matters Most

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau When I announced my plans to retire this year, one response stood out against the others.  Why are you retiring now? At first this question surprised me, because my decision to retire didn’t seem unusual.  However, a recent…

February 29 2020

Turning Enemies Into Friends

The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend. -Abraham Lincoln Recently, I experienced a phenomenon called earworm, or involuntary musical imagery. The lyrics to a certain song continuously played in my mind: A wise man once told me Give a little thanks to enemies They teach me How to let…

February 20 2020

What Can Dolphins Teach Us About Jesus?

Among the sea-fishes many stories are told about the dolphin, indicative of his gentle and kindly nature…. It appears to be the fleetest of all animals, marine and terrestrial, and it can leap over the masts of large vessels. –Aristotle If you have read my “About Me” page, you know I love dolphins. My fascination…

February 13 2020

Responding with Righteousness to Unmet Expectations

Recently, my husband asked me to clarify my expectations for Valentine’s Day.  Expectations can be tricky. We learned early in our marriage how unmet expectations lead to frustration. Every. Single. Time.  Married couples do not corner the market on unmet expectations. These types of frustration play out in a myriad of scenarios across a variety…

January 30 2020

New Day, New Mercies, New Hope

Imagine if we treated each new dawn of each new day with the same reverence and joy as we do each new year.– Angie Lynn When I taught in an elementary classroom, I used a Clip Chart (created by Rick Morris) as an integral part of our classroom management. Every morning, I clipped each student’s…

January 16 2020

New Wine, New Wineskins

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. –Sydney J. Harris Sighing, I bit back a heated response. Glancing around the room, I saw my own frustration mirrored in the faces of my colleagues. Our…

January 9 2020

New Year, New Beginnings

The best time for new beginnings is now. – Unknown The beginning of a new year always creates the perfect backdrop for new beginnings. During the first few days of 2020, posts depicting new year resolutions or single-word targets flooded social media. I joined in the flurry when I published my last blog post.  But…

January 2 2020

Every Road Leads Somewhere

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. -Lewis Carroll This quote, taken from Alice in Wonderland, illustrates the importance of focus. If we don’t have a goal, it doesn’t matter what direction we take. By contrast, we have all heard “all roads lead to Rome”. This medieval saying…

December 26 2019

Jesus: Eloquent Translator of Truth

Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.- Ralph Waldo Emerson Unlike many Christians I know, I did not grow up hearing the words of Jesus. My glimpses of Him came during my final year of college as I studied the gospel of John.…

December 19 2019

Jesus: Empathetic Friend

I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.– Walt Whitman Last week, my family and I attended the memorial service of a dear friend. When we first moved to Nevada, she welcomed me into our new church family. We lived in the same neighborhood and watched our…

December 12 2019

Jesus: Discerning Arbitrator

Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right. -Charles Spurgeon. Recently a colleague pulled me into a sticky situation. Claiming she needed to “clarify a misconception”, she asked me to explain a policy to other coworkers. Wanting to be helpful, I did as…

December 5 2019

Jesus: Loving Savior

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”- Lao Tzu   Even though I did not grow up in the church, I often heard Jesus referred to as the Savior of the World. The title meant very little to me then. But as I continued to read through…

November 30 2019

Jesus: Celebrator of Life

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. – Oprah Winfrey     ‘Tis the season to celebrate. Cookie and Ornament Exchanges, Ugly Sweater Soirees, Secret Santa Gifts, Office Potlucks, Caroling Outings, Tree-trimming Parties, Family Get-Togethers, Christmas Movie Marathons… the list goes on and on…   Personally, I love all…

November 24 2019

Jesus: Rabbi (Teacher)

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.- Henry B. Adams Before truly studying the Bible, I believed Jesus to be one of those enviable people who possess charisma in abundance. He just had to say the words “Follow me” and the disciples did so, leaving behind their careers and families. …

November 14 2019

Jesus: Sovereign Creator

I love Christmas. I love it because somewhere someone will ask the Christmas questions: What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me?-Max Lucado Recently, I began studying Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado with Proverbs 31 Ministries. The words quoted above…

November 7 2019

Second Chances

Every moment of your life is a second chance.– Rick Price Years ago I heard a story about a young pastor. As he geared up to preach his first sermon, nervous excitement coursed through his veins. Finally, the moment arrived. Facing his audience, he suddenly froze. His carefully crafted sermon faded into the recesses of…

October 25 2019

Moments

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.- Rose Kennedy Everywhere I look, I see autumn in full force. As the year winds down, the air cools and the days grow shorter. Time seems to pass even more quickly now. Sooner than I care to admit, we will be celebrating the holidays and ringing…

October 17 2019

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…

October 3 2019

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…

September 26 2019

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…

September 19 2019

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…

September 5 2019

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…

August 31 2019

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…

August 24 2019

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…

August 9 2019

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…

August 1 2019

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…

July 11 2019

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…

June 27 2019

Lists

“We are what we think about all day long.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson While not necessarily a neat freak, I am an order freak. I like for things to be in their proper place. I need order to function, to be productive and to think clearly. So, I love lists. They help me to remember, to…

June 13 2019

Constant Change

“Change is the only constant in life.” Heraclitus “I just wish we would hear something, “ my husband muttered as he peered over my shoulder at my computer. Checking my email for the last time that day, we hoped to learn the status of my job. A few months ago, I received “the letter”. A…

May 9 2019

Ordinary People

God uses ordinary people like you and me to star in extraordinary “God stories”-real-life narratives of purpose and influence.- Pam Tebow Vividly I remember the day she walked into our office. Clear blue eyes and auburn hair created a beautiful backdrop for her dazzling smile. Everything about her exuded warmth and friendliness. I felt sure…

April 25 2019

French Connection

How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way. – Mark Twain Leaving my children to finish their tour of the Eiffel Tower, I stepped inside the enclosed observatory to sit and rest my throbbing knee. Less than one week prior we had embarked on this trip to…

April 25 2019

Translation of Mohamed Sebouai’s Testimony

Mohamed speaks of growing up in a Muslim family in the region of Kabylie in Algeria. Because his father worked in France, he was raised by his mother. She taught him: God is good, God is love and to be respectful. He attended a Koranic school until the age of 14. Even though he had…

April 11 2019

Clutter

  Clutter is anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living. -Peter Walsh Recently my son announced his friend gave him a cooking lesson. Completely on board, I shared his excitement, until I realized one important fact. The cooking took place at my house. In my completely cluttered, unkempt kitchen.…

March 21 2019

Pause

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau I confess: I like being busy. Productivity boosts my spirit. I find it hard to sit still. Fishing with my husband never quite makes my “Must Do” list. How can anyone sit still…

February 12 2019

Progress

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Frederick Douglass Groundhog’s Day in the desert was unusually stormy and gloomy. Normally I enjoy the rare change in our rather monotonous weather. But on this day, the battleship gray sky mirrored the internal struggle raging in my heart. The cause of my angst? A house…

December 13 2018

A Hallmark Christmas

Just before the holiday season began, my daughter tagged me in a FB meme. In essence, the meme posed two questions: Does every Hallmark Christmas movie have the same plot? Yes                      Will I watch them anyway? Yes OK. Guilty as charged. I cannot deny my love…

November 14 2018

Positively Joyful

“We just need to get you Tiggerized.” -Tigger (speaking to Eeyore) From childhood, I identify with the character Eeyore. I love and admire Tigger, with his positive spirit and boundless energy. But I get Eeyore. By nature, my attention is immediately drawn to problems and potential pitfalls. So imagine my surprise when my supervisor recently…

September 27 2018

Laugh or Cry?

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. -Victor Hugo “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!” How many of us can relate to this statement? I’m betting most of us have found ourselves in these situations more than once. In fact, this experience is so common our language turned this phrase…

September 13 2018

Defining Moments

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. -Aristotle Ever have a defining moment? A moment where a pivotal decision will dictate the next direction of your life? Eight weeks after my foot surgery, the doctors removed my cast, moved me into a boot, and gave me the green…

August 30 2018

Blink!

“In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance-when you least expect it-sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never imagined.” Nicholas Sparks With prayer and purpose I stitched together a sweet design for my summer: • Serving as host and tour guide for the young daughter of…

August 9 2018

Balanced Equations

In 1557, Robert Recorde, a Welsh physician and mathematician, invented the equals sign, written with two parallel lines (=), because “noe 2 thynges, can be moare equalle”. I confess. A math nerd at heart, I actually enjoy solving a complex algebraic equation. I take comfort in knowing everything on the left side of the equal…

July 10 2018

God-Driven Decisions

I am often asked, “How do you know if you are following God’s will?” But the truer question is the one not vocalized: What happens if the decision I make is not in line with God’s will for me? Early in my twenties, I wrestled with a decision to move to Paris, France. I definitely…

April 26 2018

Walking with Weakness: The Devotion

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV) “Walk across if you have ever been a bully.” As I reflected on these words, I hesitated. My colleagues and I were participating in…

April 26 2018

Walking with Weakness: Back Story

Today, a devotional I wrote for a contest was published on the Proverbs 31 website. Winning that contest was another important step on my journey. The contest was sponsored by the writing training group, COMPEL (https://compeltraining.com). After subscribing to the group for a year and a half, I was on the verge of canceling my…

February 16 2018

Pressing On Toward The Goal

Have you ever whole-heartedly committed to a project, only to later wonder, “What was I thinking?” For me it can feel like I am at the top of a roller coaster ride, all strapped in, and suddenly I want to change my mind. But by then, it is too late. New Year’s Resolutions can feel…

January 3 2018

Contagious Connections

My last post was all about my love of Christmas. And every word in that post is true. This Christmas has been filled with all the things I love, ushering in the joy characteristic of the holiday. But this season also brought moments of great sadness. The daughter of a colleague was critically injured in…

January 3 2018

I Am A Rock

Paul Simon A winter’s day In a deep and dark December I am alone Gazing from my window To the streets below On a freshly fallen, silent shroud of snow I am a rock I am an island I’ve built walls A fortress, steep and mighty That none may penetrate I have no need of…

January 3 2018

No Man Is An Island

  John Donne No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of…

December 3 2017

Candy Canes and Gingerbread Men

‘Tis the season once again. I love Christmas and I always have. Honestly there is just so much to love: Christmas carols playing 24/7 Snuggling with my puppy Noëlle (yes, her name means Christmas in French) Home-baked goodies anonymously appearing in our teacher staff room Endearing Christmas concerts performed by all our young students New…

December 3 2017

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963 Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And…

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