Category Archives: religion

Near the place of offerings

I realized something today about location. That’s the mantra of real estate, right? Location, location, location. Reading in John 8, where Jesus is speaking about the validity of his testimony and the pharisees are challenging his authority to appear as … Continue reading

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In Fields of Grace

Jeté, échappé, a stag leap and a pirouette — I’m not a dancer but there was this moment of freedom and I danced a dance of worship. Being home alone without the cacophony of kids and their chatter and no … Continue reading

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The First in 1000 Years

Imagine being the first person in your family tree in 1,000 years to do something radically different? I was reading about Christian missions in France and read this story which completely arrested me: Between the Children’s hour and the Ladies … Continue reading

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Waiting for the Moving of the Waters

It was this phrase I read in John 5 this morning, all those sick people waiting for the moving of the waters at Bethesda, when the phone rang. The words still turning in my head, the meaning still emerging, and … Continue reading

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Moon glory

Oh glory, who turned on all the lights?! Ah, it’s just the moon, so bright it’s casting sun-like shadows off the junipers, and the long slants of silhouette stretching far off the posts of the lamb pen belong to the … Continue reading

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It’s Lent and I’m Tired

Lent is here. I will wake up at 5 a.m. for the next 40 days and that, my friends, may create some cranky mornings. Continue reading

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The Staggering Relevance of Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer’s been dogging me for decades and sometimes I do wish he’d back off, because he’s always reminding me that anything of value has a high price. I’m a tight-wad, I don’t like to pay high prices. Continue reading

Posted in features, germany, history, persecuted church, politics/world news, religion | 9 Comments

The Year She Knew She Was Loved

When I am completely at rest in the solid, unmovable fact that God loves me, I am willing to take risks, to be utterly vulnerable, to throw myself with abandon into all of Him. Continue reading

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Blogging to Bethlehem: Feeling Nauseous

I want to be hungry all the time as Advent proceeds down this crowded, bustling road to Bethlehem. Hungry to feel His presence, to simply anticipate. For now, I just feel nausea at my dispassion, but it’s a start. Continue reading

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The Brothers Karamozov and Me

A review of Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky’s crowning literary masterpiece, thoughts on God and the search for Truth, and my reaction to one of the greatest novels I’ve ever read. Continue reading

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Mommy, do I have Catholic or Jews in me?

Her question made me laugh out loud, and my heart warmed at the wondering, because don’t we all long to know where we come from and don’t we desire to be distinct and remarkable? Mommy, do I have Catholic or … Continue reading

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All Things Bright and Beautiful

Out my wintry window today, I think of Mrs. Cecil Alexander, who penned in 1848, “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful; The Lord God made them all.” My older son says … Continue reading

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Thanking God for Mrs. Young

The wooden bench in the hallway, between the pot-bellied stove and the hanging ivy in a macramé plant holder, that was where I learned to love. Continue reading

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The House of the Lord on the Ocean

The house of the Lord is all around and they entered it there in the surf.
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Two-Hundred-Proof Grace

The discovery in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellarful of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred-proof grace—of bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture…
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Many Members, One Body

Paul’s introduction to the Romans 12 listing of the seven motivational gifts contains some key concepts to understand before assessing your giftings. Continue reading

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Beware the secondhand stress!

I grew up inhaling secondhand smoke… maybe secondhand stress is just as deadly for children? Continue reading

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For by the grace given me

I’ve always hastened over this verse that begins the introduction to the gifts, but I’d like to take a closer look. Continue reading

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Hope Renewed

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31). “Your pace will change from a sprint … Continue reading

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Beauty: Five Minute Friday

The deep burnt red coffee mug I sipped from just now, a swallow of hot, smooth brew, is my favorite. It’s beautiful; a thank-you gift from a friend, it held a bag of quality chocolates on the day it was … Continue reading

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Stormy, Yellow Thoughts of Thunder and Puddles

The potbellied raindrops came thundering down, the cat hid under the bed, the dog barked at the booms, the kids danced all silly out there under umbrellas, and I was in awe.
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Sister Love, Brother Bear

How stitch by stitch, their souls were being connected in gracious love.
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The Miracle and Gift of Brotherhood

The brothers ran together, again together. These grown men with children of their own who now run together, up at the crack of dawn to reconnect the joy of boyhood that’s always down in the heart somewhere. We had watched … Continue reading

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My Reflection part 2

Part two of My Reflection in the Pane Glass~more truth about beauty, fear, and freedom revealed in a dream.
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My Reflection in the Dirty Pane Glass

From a child looking wistful into the hazy window frame desperate to see beauty to a woman still seeking but closer to fulfillment: part of my journey.
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Hario, et cetera.

Ethiopia Sidamo prepared Hario style by Sisters Coffee Company made my morning, the best coffee I’ve had. Ever. I loved that Winfield (owner) made it special for me, and with each slow drip I loved seeing him greet everyone that … Continue reading

Posted in family life, health/cooking/food, religion | 8 Comments

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Maybe the most breath-taking chapter of children’s literature, I respond to the surprise and joy I found in this piece of Wind in the Willows.
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Posted in book reviews, features, religion | 15 Comments

Sandwiched

Life with four kids under the age of 11, a husband, and my 82 year old mother.
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Giving to Japan: Please consider my friends the Millards

Do you wonder how to give responsibly and directly to the Japanese relief effort in the wake of the March 10, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster? I remember after Katrina, Haiti, and other colossal calamities, there was much waste … Continue reading

Posted in persecuted church, politics/world news, religion | 4 Comments

The Human Condition

A friend loses her job, a mother loses her mind. A child falls and scrapes her knee, a man falls off the wagon. I witnessed such struggles this week, and paused to note the challenge of being human. In this … Continue reading

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One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp: A Review

I am working through eucharisteo thanks to Ann and her beautiful little book of grace, thanksgiving, joy. And a list of my own.
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Peace Defined

Can there be peace in the midst of trial? If you adjust your definition of peace: “It may be a certain grit and courage I have to bring to the situation to navigate the delusions and anxiety of the trial.”
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Suite Française and Irene’s Story

A review of Irene Némirovsky’s stunning novel of humanity in chaos; her book remained undiscovered for 64 years after her death at Auschwitz.
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Posted in features, france/french, history, persecuted church, politics/world news, religion | 2 Comments

The holocaust of time

As I resolved to waste less time this year, I had the chilling thought that modern life is fracturing our souls with its pulls and lures in every direction, so much so that we are barely left human.
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Revisiting the Magic Window

I wrote about my Magic Window last December, and guess what? I found it! Actually, one of my kids found it in a box of my scant childhood mementos. I wrote last December: What was so magical about this double-paned … Continue reading

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When you feel like giving up

Storm on Sea by Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky, 1899 Remember Winston Churchill’s words to Harrow School on a visit in October of 1941: Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give … Continue reading

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Faith Like Potatoes

“The condition for a miracle is difficulty, however the condition for a great miracle is not difficulty, but impossibility.” My husband and I watched the movie Faith Like Potatoes last night. Great movie for this season of our life especially. … Continue reading

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PAX

I fly out of PDX (Portland International Airport) soon, not to be confused with PAX (Latin for peace). It’s PAX that’s on my mind, even as I prepare to board that flight out of PDX to attend a memorial service … Continue reading

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A bowling lesson

How gracious of the Lord to keep inviting us back into His “game” and His calling and kingdom work, even though we throw gutter balls now and again.
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Be blessed as you serve

God is meeting you and has a blessing for you even as you are ministering to and serving others.
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But God Is

Hello, friends. I’ve been learning lately about this mysterious property of the God-human relationship: in our weakness, He is strong. I think this concept must be outside of the laws of physics. Shouldn’t a weak link break the chain? Here … Continue reading

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Reflections on the Resurrection

The Resurrection was a one-time big event, but spring is a great time to focus anew on the Resurrection power of the living Christ at work in me.
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Finding My Inner Amish

It all started with the Amish friendship bread starter. Now spring has me searching for simplicity.
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It is for freedom we’ve been set free

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galations 5:1 This is a verse that came my way today from two different sources. I … Continue reading

Posted in family life, religion, the ranch | 11 Comments

Parakeet Morality

How parakeet breeding led me to thoughts on a great moral issue: I stopped in the pet store yesterday to get some grit for the birds, to aid their digestion. While there, the kids reminded me of one of their … Continue reading

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Aunt Beth~in spring

My Aunt Beth died yesterday. There is something about death that leaves one so introspective. I wanted to immediately fly back to Michigan and be with family, but Aunt Beth had requested a spring memorial. She apparently didn’t want people … Continue reading

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Richard Wurmbrand Movie

I saw this over at Challies, and love this kind of feature. It’s the story of Richard Wurmbrand, and is the latest in the Torchlighters Heroes of the Faith series (perfect for ages 8-12). Torchlighters are action-packed, award-winning animated videos, … Continue reading

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John Sanford: retired Cornell professor shows up Darwinism

Dr. John Sanford’s research on the human genome gives compelling theoretical evidence that life cannot possibly be the result of mutations and natural selection.
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Benjamin Carson: star neurosurgeon sees God in science

Professor and chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Medical School. One of the top scientists in the world, he takes a risk by being very open about his Christian beliefs and support of creation theology.
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Posted in education, features, religion, science | 22 Comments

Zakaria Botros, unafraid to defy Islam

(1933 – present). A Coptic priest from Egypt, this evangelizer to the Muslim world preaches the gospel despite jailings, death threats and fatwahs.
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Overlooking the Valley

Out hiking a few weeks ago. Near the east edge of our property is a stunning view of the valley below. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly … Continue reading

Posted in family life, religion, science, the ranch | 9 Comments

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: literary giant, light of truth

(1918-2008). Russian novelist and historian, imprisoned and exiled by the Stalin regime for writing about the crushing afflictions of Soviet Communism.
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Call to Prayer for the DRC

A map of the northeastern DR Congo, Uganda and Sudan, showing attacks attributed to the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army. Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebels killed more than 400 people in Christmas massacres in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Caritas … Continue reading

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I think he’s in love with me!

I sat holding my four year old son last night, cherishing the moments that are so fleeting. He began a long and lovely conversation with me that went something like this: Mommy, you are beautiful! Your hair is beautiful, your … Continue reading

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Christmas Music: Annie Moses Band!

Do you have a favorite Christmas song or album? I discovered my latest rave last Christmas, as I heard a completely unique rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” come over the airwaves.See what I mean? I’m talking an amazing … Continue reading

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My Star of Bethlehem

I felt like a modern-day shepherd, or maybe a wiseman, as I drove home last night, the brilliance of the convergence of Venus and Jupiter juxtaposed next to the crescent moon causing me to breathe deeply at the magnificent sight. … Continue reading

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When Trials Come

When Trials Come, sung by Margaret Becker (a long time favorite artist of mine), words and music by Keith Getty. You’ll love this Celtic-style song and the images of Ireland on this video. The album it’s from is full of … Continue reading

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Looking up the Exhaust Pipe

What does one do when her life feels like she’s looking right into the exhaust pipe, ingesting toxic fumes? When I took this cute picture of our cat a few days ago, these reflections were far from my mind. I … Continue reading

Posted in family life, religion | 7 Comments

The Home Fire’s A-Going

“There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireplace.” Marcus Tullius Cicero, Ancient Roman Writer and Statesman, 106 BC – 43 BC. I’m totally delighting in this lovely fire my husband built tonight. The woodbox is full and the … Continue reading

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Don’t Get Mad!

Following up on my last post about teaching patience to children, here is another great resource I discovered on overcoming anger. I’ll be going through this short worksheet with my own children as well as my students. If you are … Continue reading

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A Simple Woman – September 1

Hosted by Peggy at The Simple Woman For Today… Outside my Window…is a pale blue September sky, a hint of chill in the air. The day is warming up after a *freeze* last night! I am thinking…about God, His plans … Continue reading

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Back to the Classroom

Hello friends, You can hold the Homeschool Blog Awards, I won’t be qualified. I’m headed back to the classroom and all my kids are going with me. I’ll be teaching at a private school somewhere in Oregon, and that’s all … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, religion | 14 Comments

Peace Like a River

Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday – a place for sharing a photo and a Bible verse. Here are two of my children getting refreshed on a hot day last week. This is peace, two siblings drinking out of the same hose … Continue reading

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WFW: He grants sleep to those he loves.

Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday – a place for sharing a photo and a Bible verse. I’ll give you a peek at our new kitty today, who just perfectly exemplifies the verse I’m choosing to share with you. In vain you … Continue reading

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Free Speech

Another First Amendment right fundamental to a democracy, and why Hate Crimes legislation is eroding this right.
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Christian Carnival CCXXXIII: The Hilarious Edition

We don’t have to look far for bad news these days. I thought we could all use a dose of humor and fun, so welcome to the 233rd Christian Carnival: the Hilarious Edition! This is not to downplay the seriousness … Continue reading

Posted in blog stuff, carnivals, humor, religion | 13 Comments

Love Means

Have you ever thought about the silliness of the saying “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”? This line from the novel and 1970 film Love Story is baffling, and I pondered this as I contemplated my relationships today. … Continue reading

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Religious Freedom

One of the most fundamental human rights that exists; a history of its inclusion in the First Amendment and why this right is under fire today.
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Don’t ask for just a few.

I just read an encouraging story of miraculous provision from the hand of God. It’s from my daily Bible reading, and is found in 2 Kings 4:1-7. There is a widow – her husband was a prophet under Elisha. She … Continue reading

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Revisiting Father’s Day

I was commenting today over at Tipper’s blog, Blind Pig & the Acorn, on her Father’s Day post, and I’m reposting my comment right here, because it’s a good follow up to my previous post. Tipper blogs about her Appalachian … Continue reading

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For the Fatherless on Father’s Day

I am fatherless. On Father’s Day, I celebrate my husband as father of our children. But I’m still reminded that I am fatherless. You say God is my father. I’ve heard many, many sermons about how even if you don’t … Continue reading

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Giving Thanks…for bread and beans…

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 Giving thanks today. Iris at Sting My Heart hosts the Thankful Thursday meme, and … Continue reading

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The Intelligent Lizard

Hmmm, I say, what is this slick, button-y surface and colorful pixeled screen? Oh, I see, if I grip the keys just so, and push…. Now, that was pretty simple, and it only took me about 4 billion years to … Continue reading

Posted in humor, religion, science | 12 Comments

Religious Rights of Students in Public Education

A commenter made a good observation on my previous post about the case of the Wisconsin high school art student receiving a Zero and subsequent detentions for including in his landscape drawing a cross and the lettering “John 3:16.” The … Continue reading

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It’s a good thing Raphael didn’t attend public school in modern day Wisconsin

The Tomah Area School District in Wisconsin has a policy that bans Christian symbols in students’ artwork, leading to a high school student receiving a Zero on his illustration depicting a landscape with a cross and the lettering “John 3:16.” … Continue reading

Posted in arts & crafts, education, history, religion | 14 Comments

Be Thou My Vision

Do you have a favorite hymn? Linnet’s Nest asked this question, and shared hers. Thank you, Linnet, that was beautiful. I think Linnet should do a podcast sometime so we can all hear the lovely British accent that I know … Continue reading

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Are you happy or are you holy?

Marriage: For Happiness or Holiness? This is the topic for the Marriage Monday group writing project over at Chrysalis. I admit I really didn’t know where to begin on this topic because I was a little confused; I had never … Continue reading

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Five Year Old’s Solution to Hell

Aloha, it’s Friday! My fun question for you today is this: Has your child – or do you remember your own from childhood – ever come up with any funny conceptions of God, Heaven, or Hell? Here is my answer, … Continue reading

Posted in family life, parenting, religion | 22 Comments

Christian Carnival CCXVII: Attributes of God Edition

Welcome to the Christian Carnival CCXVII: Attributes of God Edition! I am honored to present such an expansive and quality array of posts this week. I’ve arranged the posts around several attributes of God, using the wonderful little book Praying … Continue reading

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Christ is Risen, Happy Easter!

Easter blessings to you all! Today I celebrate the reason I can live. Here is some wonderful news out of Italy, a Muslim converts to Christianity. Italy’s most prominent Muslim commentator, a journalist with iconoclastic views such as support for … Continue reading

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Good Friday and Call for Submissions

I trust your Good Friday was good. This year, my little JoJo had her birthday on Good Friday. She enjoyed a happy celebration with many friends. As for me, I just loved all the moms who came and I basked … Continue reading

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A Fast from Asking

I told my kids that we are going on a two day fast from asking for things. I saw over at Heather’s that her family was fasting from complaining, and I knew I needed to steal her idea. I am … Continue reading

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A Three Year Old and a Fish

The crime scene, exactly as I found it. The three-year-old coveted his six- year-old sister’s fish. He knows he is too little to feed the fish. We’ve warned him about putting foreign objects in the fish tank. And never is … Continue reading

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Is this a Christian song or a coffee commercial?

This is a poignant song by some very talented ladies, but darn it, I mistake it for a Folger’s commercial every time. I thought it was just me. But I confessed to my husband this evening that Point of Grace … Continue reading

Posted in music, religion | 4 Comments

My Testimony

Can I get a witness? I’ve created my own little “meme” and it’s about the most important subject to me, my faith in God and life in Christ. More than anything, I like to hear people’s stories of their faith … Continue reading

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A Habit of Peace

I’ve decided I must pursue peace as a habit of life. I’m calling it a habit because I have some control over this attitude of the heart and mind; peace is a practice and pattern I can cultivate no matter … Continue reading

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The Sun Broke Through

The Sun Broke Through by me, with apologies to the real poets out there The sun broke through, we must find a trail, Explore the woods, the creatures, the mountains. Creator God, how do You know Just when I need … Continue reading

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Grapes of Abundance: 13 Thoughts

I had another striking dream last night. It was a very short segment. I seemed to be in a vineyard, watching. I saw in front of me my husband’s large hand, holding a great cluster of grapes, of such mass … Continue reading

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Works For Me: Faith

Welcome to another edition of Works For Me Wednesday – see the complete list of entries HERE. What works for me is Faith. Have you tried it? It moves mountains, heals sickness, and changes lives. Sounds too good to be … Continue reading

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Disturbing images to stop the whining?

Am I just a twisted mother to do such a thing? My son had been whiiinnnning all morning about doing his math. With no apologies, I told him he simply must learn how to do subtraction with renaming. It’s an … Continue reading

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Christian Carnival: Renaissance Edition

Welcome to the 207th Christian Carnival, the Renaissance Edition! Renaissance comes from the French, meaning “rebirth.” What a fitting word for a Christian! This period of European history spanned roughly from the 14th-17th centuries, but the 15th and 16th centuries … Continue reading

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I Really Like Homeschooling, I Just Want Someone Else to Do It For Me

There are days, there are seasons to be sure, when a homeschooling parent has a tough spell. After spending a week investigating a local fine arts charter school, a private Christian school, and homeschool co-op options, I’m back to where … Continue reading

Posted in education, family life, parenting, religion, the office | 10 Comments

No guns, oh, and no free speech on public transit

The Texas woman who was kicked off the Forth Worth, Texas public transportation system “T” bus this past Saturday – was she concealing a weapon, endangering passengers with violent behavior, or selling drugs? No, she was reading her Bible to … Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

Since I missed wishing you all a Merry Christmas, here’s a Happy New Year wish! My family and I have returned from being out of town for five days, celebrating Christmas with family. I wish for you a new year … Continue reading

Posted in family life, holidays, religion | 2 Comments

My Homecoming Dream

In my dream, I was walking down the familiar dirt road with my sister. We’re not twins, but being just 13 months apart, we were often mistaken for such. Nearly always together as children, it was natural to have her … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Heavenly Man

The Heavenly Man: the remarkable true story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun by Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway reviewed by Jen, Diary of 1 The story of Brother Yun is inspiring, painful, seemingly incredulous, and certainly in season. The Heavenly … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, china, persecuted church, religion | 6 Comments

Weighed in the Balance and Found Wanting

Johnny Cash sings it best, but the original words and fascinating story can be found in Daniel chapter 5 . If you haven’t heard Cash sing “Belshazzar,” you won’t want to miss the the song above.Tekel is one of the … Continue reading

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Heart and Home of Simplicity

I’ve been furiously cleaning and decluttering my home over the past week. I’ve been yearning for simplicity, but the clutter around me has been just sucking the life out of me. Do you see the irony of the two pictures … Continue reading

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In the Spirit of Rich Mullins

September 19, 2007 marks the 10 year anniversary of the death of Rich Mullins. As you can see, the only other music review I’ve done is on Mullins, in my first month of blogging. You can read more about his … Continue reading

Posted in music, religion | 14 Comments

Christian Carnival 189: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Edition

I am so pleased to present the 189th Christian Carnival, which I have labeled The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Edition. I wrote about Bonhoeffer back in April, on the anniversary of his death. I couldn’t resist returning to this compelling character, most … Continue reading

Posted in carnivals, religion | 20 Comments