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The Power of the Positive

Our “Real Happy” sermon series has been focusing on Paul and the example he provided in terms of learning to be content regardless of one’s circumstances.  Paul’s letters to the Philippians were written while he was imprisoned. It is hard to imagine Paul being content while in prison, yet his contentment in Christ is clear as you read the following passage from Philippians 4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about ... Read More »

Practicing Gratitude

I saw the sign as I was leaving my Bible Study. It said something like, “Imagine if you only had today what you thanked God for yesterday”. Needless to say, I was rather convicted. It’s not that I don’t thank God.  I thank God before my meal; that counts, right?  But the voice in my head was pretty clear, “There is so much more for which you should be thankful. Have you really thanked God, lately?” If I were honest with myself I would have to admit that I need ... Read More »

Giving God More Room Through Prayer

I love Lent. Really, I do. I love this season because it is a time of year when we are encouraged—no, challenged—to reflect. I am a girl who loves to think. I am also someone who believes it is my job on Earth to fulfill my potential by helping others to fulfill theirs. So why wouldn’t I welcome a season that calls for us to reflect on what to do more of or less of in order to be ALL of what God intends for us to be? Lent is ... Read More »

The Problem With Advice

Am I the only one who finds it hard to give advice? I can’t be the only one who feels this way but it doesn’t seem that the world is lacking in people offering their unsolicited opinion advice. For the gifted empathetic person I would imagine giving advice is based on truly considering what is best for the person being offered the advice. This might require setting aside some of your own opinions on the matter if they do not apply to the situation. For example, I was married at the ... Read More »

Slow Snow Days

I love snow days. I love the way sunlight reflects on snow. I love the way snow carpets the landscape and changes it into something sort of magical. To be fair, I don’t actually love the snow itself or the cold temperatures that come with it. You can take this California girl out of California, but…well, you know the rest of that phrase. What I love most is the way that a snow day slows down the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life. That shift into a slower pace ... Read More »

Your One Precious 2014

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Excerpt from “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver. ... Read More »

The Mystery of God

Mystery surrounds every deep experience of the human heart. The deeper we go into the heart’s darkness or its light, the closer we get to the ultimate mystery of God.—Parker Palmer It has been said that there are three things that help us to see our lives through a wider lens: great love, great suffering and deep prayer. I grew up in a home where I knew both great love and great pain. My mother suffered from depression her whole life and committed suicide when I was in my early ... Read More »

Giving up, Giving in, and Getting Up Again

“I feel like your identity has become your illness. It’s like you’ve given up and given into it. I married a fighter. Where is she?” Ouch. Nothing like a romantic marathon date at the Melting Pot to give my husband and I the space to speak the hard. Amidst the four courses (of delightful breads dipped in beer infused cheese, yummy salad, steak and lobster soaked in succulence and a chocolate ecstasy that I am sure must have been invented by the angels) we planned, we reminisced, we cried (okay, I cried), we laughed a little, we fought (ahem, ... Read More »

How Are Your Reflexes?

Stimulus–response. An amoeba does it. A Venus fly trap does it.  A snake does it. We do it. A tap on the knee and our leg kicks out, all by itself!  Automatically, without consulting the rest of us. Even our brain is surprised. Reflexes are part of our programming designed to protect, support and allow us to move even without our permission. A sign we’re alive! Some things are just too important for a committee decision. This morning I read, “True worship is a response to God’s glory, the evidence of ... Read More »

Driving Diaries

I call these thoughts my driving diaries. It seems that for some reason my mind contemplates questions of the universe and other such subjects whilst I drive. I’m not one of those people who formulate grocery lists. I don’t like checklists nor do I add completed items to lists just so I can then check them off. But I’m surrounded by folks who do that. I thank God for them because, seriously, somewhere between pondering just how the Holy Spirit manifests itself in my life, recognizing the shape of a ... Read More »

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