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Showing posts from July, 2018

No Admittance Without…

Have you ever stood outside of a restaurant or store, with your hand already on the handle, just to realize that you aren’t welcome to enter? Oh no! What are we going to do? It is not a comfortable situation to be in and your mind either starts whirling with possible solutions or succumbs to angry words about the establishment.
The times I’ve faced this dilemma are few, but they are definitely moments I remember. Here’s a couple from my history.
- On a beach getaway, we realized once we got to the door of our favorite restaurant, that a couple of family members didn’t meet the requirements. It is a pretty casual place, so we never even thought about changing clothes until after we arrived and faced the Dress Code boldly posted on the door. Thankfully, a souvenir store was next door where inexpensive substitutes were quickly purchased.
- When rushing somewhere, in a nice dress, I realized that I didn’t bring my shoes. (May be hard to believe, but I’m barefoot quite a bit and learned to dr…

Are You A Good Listener?

Webster defines a listener as “one who listens to someone…who listens attentively and sympathetically.” So, a listener listens, right? That is logical, but let’s take it a step further. The word, listen, means “to hear something with thoughtful attention; to give consideration.” Therefore, the definition of a Good Listener could be stated as “One who intentionally and compassionately gives their full attention to another who is speaking.”
That is easier said than done - with or without any distractions or noises nearby. IntentionalCompassionateAttentive
Fulfilling those qualities takes focused energy and a lot of self-control no matter who is doing the speaking. Human nature is constantly at war with us. It is hard to slow down at a moment's notice so that we can truly listen to another. Proverbs 18:13 says “He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame.” We’re all guilty. Even if we have the self-control not to interrupt the speaker, we have often figured out our…

Lessons Learned in the Berry Bush

When our kids were small a church member gave us an open invitation to pick berries from their bushes. But, they gave us one warning to heed. Watch out for snakes!
As you can imagine, I wasn’t overly enthused about the idea of taking our kids berry picking anytime soon. What was my take away from that invitation? Blackberry picking equals snakes. In the years since, I have been more than content to enjoy fresh blackberries purchased from a local market – until just recently!
We have a piece of property located a few hours away from our home. On one of our visits, we discovered that we had some beautiful berries growing on a couple of the hillsides. My husband was confident that the berries were edible, but neither of us were completely sure of which kind of berry we had found. One thing we were certain of - they were delicious!
A friend later pointed out to me that we had both raspberry bushes and blackberry vines on the property. I was thrilled! Once she pointed out the differences to …

To Bless with Encouragement

‘Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone. Take time to care. Let your words heal and not wound.’ (author unknown)
We all love receiving words of encouragement. A text with a simple quote can instantly challenge – and change - our whole perspective on life. A humorous picture posted on social media can bring smiles and laughter. An unexpected note that pops up in our inbox or lands in our mailbox can often make the burdens of the day fade away.
It feels good to live the reality of Paul’s instructions in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to ‘Encourage one another and build each other up.’
The speed and way in which we are able to connect with and encourage others has exploded in just my lifetime. I remember when my father broke down and installed a new phone jack allowing us to use a ‘touch tone’ phone that had a clip-ended wire jack. We were going from ‘hard wired’ dial to ‘mobile’ tone. Pretty fancy! Soon cordless phones were the new thing. No more tangled cords, a…

God’s So Much Bigger Than A Coincidence!

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” Matthew 6:25-27
Worry. I’m not a big worrier, but when a time crunch looms overhead and no apparent solution to the situation has been made evident, I am tempted to worry. The goal is to turn any anxiety into a prayer. “God, you and I have a problem.” Some days I do better than others.
Our Heavenly Father is so gracious and takes care of each one of us – above and beyond what we deserve or can imagine. Even when I haven’t given all the necessary attention needed to fulfil a commitment, He still provides. The result - I am humbled and ecstatic all at the same time!
I don’t believe in coincidence, but I do believe in prayer.
Recently, we had some missionaries coming to st…