Attitudes

Three Questions to Ask When Your Spiritual Appetite Has Disappeared

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Apparently over a quarter of the students at my kids’ school are absent this week due to the invasion of influenza. We, too, have succumbed. And along with it our appetites have disappeared. Sometimes our spiritual appetite disappears too. Praying, reading the Bible, going to church feels like eating dry crackers without water. Guilt sets in, further alienating us from living water. Like when we are physically sick, we’d rather go lie on the couch watching TV. What do you do when your appetite for God is near-gone? First, stop trying to evade it or to increase your efforts to feign hunger. Accept it, face […]

Encouragement

A Perfectionist’s Story Discerning the Voices of Fear and Love

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“Perfect love drives out fear, for fear has to do with punishment.” 1 Jn. 4:18 NIV The type of fear John speaks of is the paralyzing, cowering kind that all people feel in the face of threats, violence, abuse and other evils. It is an oppressive, jailing kind that arises from the deceitful one, Satan. But Jesus came to free the captive (Isaiah 61:1). The deceiver tailors his language of fear to his listener. To some he speaks in soft tongues, to others in sharp. The point of anything fear says is to control and bully, to keep the hearer from knowing freedom and love. […]

Attitudes

Series for 2018 : 10 Heart Attitudes to Cultivate for a “Mary” Life

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I am excited to announce the inaugural series for my blog “Living a Mary Life in a Martha World”! Over the next 10 months (starting in February) I will be featuring an attitude needed in order to live as a “Mary” in a “Martha” world. If you desire to be more attentive to Jesus and live your life from this center, not being pushed around by the world, then join me in this investigation. I would love to have you be encouraged and challenged by what I write, and to hear what works for you to be like Mary. Here is the monthly schedule:   […]

Spiritual Formation

What are you going to do when your goals get interrupted this year?

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With a vicious flourish I slammed the comforter off and stomp-tiptoed rapidly down the stairs to the kitchen, an earplug in hand, everything fuzzy, like looking through a camera with snowflakes covering the lens, for I hadn’t put on my glasses. One thing was flashing in my mind – Stop that incessant banging! My sleep-in morning had been cut short and my overly tired kids’ sleep-in morning was being threatened by the culprit. My poor husband was standing at the sink making coffee, as quietly as he could I’m sure, while our exuberant puppy was whomping his new hard plastic blue bone underneath the table. […]

Spiritual Formation

Where was God in 2017?

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Without reflection we could see nothing. Our world would be void of colour and shape.  We depend on the reflection of light off of objects to bring them into our awareness, granting them their hue and bend. All things of substance remain hidden. This necessary property of reflection that brings substance into life and contours our world physically, can be applied to the spirit as well. Our spirits need reflection to bring into view the substance that lies there. Light shines on the world of our spirits but without reflection we shall never see it. It is imperative to reflect in order to bring into […]

Encouragement

Learning to Host by Being a Guest

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Who would have thought that from a deeply shaded house, quiet and reserved in the center of the neighborhood, would come a quiet girl to set the table for so many? My childhood was wrapped comfortably around the dinner table, and dearest memories of deep conversation with Mom, Dad and Brother hold me grounded even today. My introverted family loved to be hospitable to each other where all thoughts, wonderings, jokes and ideas were lingered over in the settled peace of acceptance. From this deep, delightful beginning God has taken me to tables far and wide. Before I learned to host, I learned to be […]

Spiritual Formation

Tis the Season of Preparation

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During 2016 Jesus graciously led me to focus on receiving from Him, resting, and pursuing joy. It was a year like no other before it. It was a year of surrendering my striving and discovering He is my friend, not just my teacher. Like a paint-by-number, He walked me dot-to-dot until I saw that the destination of this life I walk is JOY. It is his JOY to be with us! What says “I love you” more than wanting to be with someone? Jesus, Emmanuel, God-With-Us, came to earth for a short time and suffered death for the JOY of having us be with him. […]

Spiritual Formation

Prep Work Season

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Autumn gardens are not pretty. They are all mold and cold, dark and decay, mess and muck. But if autumn death is not plied into the ground, no spring is nourished. Spent and anemic, the soil will respond to the force of spring with random, unintentional growth of opportunistic, oppressive weeds. Spring will draw great jungles from them, jungles we did not want when we plotted the plot. But autumn is hopeful preparation. Why else would any gardener go out in almost freezing temperatures to fork another layer of compost into the dark ground under gray skies? A week or so ago, I spent the majority […]