April 21, 2018

Do You Matter More Than God?

Do you matter more than God? That's kind of a silly question, isn't it? Any decent Christian is going to respond quickly with a big fat NO. But sometimes our actions disagree with that answer! For instance, when we . . . whine about interruptions or inconveniences. complain about being too busy or stressed. throw self-pity parties and expect everyone else to attend. withdraw rather than share someone else's pain. turn our gaze inward instead of upward. Whenever we do any of that, our attitude starts screaming about our own significance. When we whine or complain, we're saying: "My way is better -- my ideas are smarter -- my plans are more important." When we become [...Read More]

Life Lately – April 2018

Now that it's April, I'm finally setting my New Year's goals. But before you think I'm a horrible procrastinator, let me confess that I did set one goal back in January -- to put off goal-setting until my latest grad class was complete. I knew that planning and dreaming would either distract me from my studies, or cause frustration at not being able to accomplish anything other than school. I missed reading for fun, lettering every day, and pursuing my long-term goals. But my class finished last month, and after a few weeks of relaxing and traveling for deputation meetings, I'm back in the saddle again (metaphorically speaking, of course). Here's Life Lately, now that I'm temporarily [...Read More]

You Are Called to Be Creative

After I was diagnosed with Wegener's, I went through a period where the most I could do during the day was stumble to the couch for a change of scenery. I read light fiction or watched movies, and that was about it. Nothing creative, nothing requiring any sort of energy output. Thankfully, that period didn't last, and I slowly started to look for low-intensity activities to occupy my time. I never considered myself creative in any sense of the word -- so when someone suggested I try scrapbooking, I laughed at them. But the idea took root . . . and while I never did much actual scrapbooking (I only finished about ten pages in my wedding book that I started about ten years ago!), I [...Read More]

12 Great Books Any Valentine Will Love

Does anyone else struggle to know what to give on Valentine's Day? I'm not really a "romantic" sort of person -- I'd rather give (or receive) something nice but useful, like beautiful Scripture art or something for a favorite hobby, than chocolate or a stuffed bear. (Though I admit flowers are always nice, as long as you're not allergic!) I'd rather share a gift that will truly benefit the person than just another dust-collector, something that will bring them pleasure and offer help in some way. Books are always a great gift idea, no matter what the occasion or recipient. They're useful and practical, with a dash of optimism -- offering hope or help, comfort or camaraderie, adventure or [...Read More]

Getting Personal with ‘Life Lately’

"Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal." So says the charming Kathleen Kelly in the well-known film, You've Got Mail. Think what you will about rom-com's (I'm not usually a fan): this particular one is clean and funny, and my husband and I enjoy its reminders of how we started getting to know each other. Unlike Kathleen and Joe, however, we already knew each other when we started IM-ing -- but it's still fun to watch and reminisce over past life events. Anyway, about getting personal . . . How about meeting for a virtual cup of coffee and comparing notes on life lately? I want to start sharing more about life behind the screen -- what I've been doing, [...Read More]

How to Reach Your Goals This Year

Have you decided what you want to accomplish this year? It doesn't have to be anything huge like earning a degree, buying a house, or reaching your goal weight . . . it could be improving a relationship, learning a new skill, sticking with a certain habit, or developing a particular character trait. In fact, sometimes those "lifestyle" goals are more beneficial in the long run. The challenging part is that our progress in these areas is often small and slow. It takes months, if not years, of daily choosing to move in the right direction. It requires the arduous work of building the right habits, staying disciplined, and keeping our eyes on the goal. Make one poor decision, and there's [...Read More]

2017 Recap: A Year for the Books?

This past year was a year for the books, I think. From surviving our first Wyoming winter (which was not as bad we'd expected, although it was longer than we anticipated), to learning new skills and growing in ministry roles, discovering latent talents, exploring the west, and beginning our deputation adventures, 2017 has been full in every sense of the word! I discovered how fun it is to snow-shoe and hike in the Rockies, how enjoyable it can be to teach God's Word to children, and how much I absolutely LOVE doing art. I took another seminary class on my (long, drawn-out) quest to earn an M.A., tried watercolors for the first time (and loved it), practiced lettering on an almost-daily [...Read More]

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