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Facing Our Shadows

Each year when Groundhog Day arrives I am inevitably reminded of the Bill Murray classic of the same name in which a disgruntled and unhappy man is faced with the question, “what would happen if we were forced to repeat the same day over again until we got it right”? Murray’s character, Phil, is cursed to repeat a celebrated holiday in which humanity anxiously awaits the response of a groundhog required to face the fear of its own shadow. Should the groundhog see its shadow and retreat back to safety, ... Read More »

Taking a Step of Faith

Mary and Joseph bring their baby boy to the temple in Jerusalem eight days after his birth- around New Years Day on our calendar. This is an expected rite required by the law of Moses. It is at this ceremony that the newborn is given his name. The gospel of Luke tells us,“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.” (Luke 2:21 NIV). Names are pretty important. They are usually selected ... Read More »

This is Me

Today, I did things a little differently.  There was no sudden urge to wake up and try to do ten thousand more things that I could not accomplish but would make me anxious anyway.  There was no mad dash to put in my contact lenses that give the false perception of perfect sight.  I was not rushing past the mirror after my shower; fearfully dreading the steam evaporating too quickly and forcing me to take in the visage of my less than perfect physicality.  The frantic search for my body ... Read More »

Overcoming Baby Dragons

Yesterday, I did battle with our coat closet and I won! Only two of us live in our home right now and yet, for some reason, our reasonably large coat closet was full to overflowing, junk strewn all over the floor. If a guest arrived at our home last week and handed me their coat to hang up, I would have strategically thrown it over the back of a sofa in our living room. But not anymore! I have conquered the dragon! I am a Shield Maiden of Rohan, Ruler ... Read More »

The Body of Christ is Everyone, Including Middle Schoolers!

The first email arrived in my inbox on June 20, 2017, from Floris’ worship leader, Megan Gumabay as a general distribution email and read in part as follows: “We have some exciting opportunities for volunteering with our student ministry.  Ashley is currently seeking adult leaders for upcoming student mission trips, and she felt praise team members would be great in this role…. Please contact Ashley or me if you want to discuss this in further detail with her.” I thought, hey I am pretty busy with my praise team and ... Read More »

God’s Work is Done by Many Different Hands

Not only was this my first trip to Haiti, it was also my first mission trip of any kind.  I couldn’t help but feel the power of God once I set foot on the work site.  The site was set adjacent to the school and we were immediately welcomed by the school children, the school staff, and the local workers who had already assembled at the site and had already broken ground on the project. It was easy to understand the importance of our mission when we looked into the ... Read More »

Becoming More Like Children

Our trip to Haiti was filled with new experiences, insights, and lessons of all types, but I found the children we met to have the strongest influence on me, and to be the most inspirational.  I trust that God used us as a blessing to the kids who attend the Methodist School in Leon, but know with certainty that they were a blessing to me.  We provided three-afternoon sessions modeled on VBS for the younger students.  This included time for crafts, snacks, and Bible story readings and singing.  We also ... Read More »

No Signature Necessary

“I hope the sights and sounds of Haiti will long linger in my heart and mind:  early morning roosters crowing, late-night drums beating, dogs barking, men, women and children chattering, motorcycles revving, cars, trucks and Tap-Taps beeping, marketeers calling, goats bleating, children laughing, singing, jumping, running, men embracing, joking, back-slapping, melodic greetings of ‘Bonjour,’ ‘Bonswa,’  ‘Kijan ou rele?’  These are beautiful memories of a beautiful place and people to not be forgotten. The return home demands attention to different sights and sounds so that over time, the fresh memories made ... Read More »

Why I Go Pink

As I write this, I am sitting in a salon chair with pink dye drizzling down my neck. Once a year, my typically blonde hair is transformed to a new hue of bubble gum, and it tends to lead to raised eyebrows. Because of this, I thought it might be helpful to explain myself. It started six years ago. A meeting ended and a fellow teacher turned to me and said, “By the way, I have cancer.” Some might balk at the bluntness of this delivery, particularly considering the fact ... Read More »

Find Your Beauty

I was in second grade when the Disney version of “Beauty and the Beast” debuted in theaters. It was also shortly after this time when a girl in gymnastics class told me I was ugly. A more self-esteemed girl might have coughed up a nasty comeback, but I found myself paralyzed with this new truth. Up until then, I was fairly oblivious, but it was at this time that I realized that there was an appropriate way to look, and I was not it. A slew of Disney films in ... Read More »

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