Coal mining in the 20th century many times included taking a caged canary into the depths underground. These birds were sensitive to carbon monoxide, a potentially deadly gas devoid of color, taste or smell, that often formed in the mines. A dead bird in the cage meant the miners needed to be alert–deadly conditions were at hand.
Watching the political banter over the past months has been telling. Pointing fingers and one-upping from both sides of the aisle took front and center stage while pressing issues were left untouched.
I think the Canary has stopped singing. Please, let’s heed the issues at hand that can be deadly. We still have time.
Would you be bold enough to challenge God with your life? Helen Bancroft did in Lori Roeleveld’s, Red Pen Redemption.
It’s a story of Helen’s self-justification and self-indulgence. She is both hero and villain. I loved her and hated her. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her by her shoulders, then I wanted to hug her close to protect her. Ironically, it wasn’t until I was closing into the end of the story that I realized I had seen myself—my own life—reflected in parts of this story.
Roeleveld’s use of scripture soothed, guided, and enticed me as a reader. She also expertly offered example after example how Helen tried to look God in the proverbial face, only to blink and turn away. Just as I had tried in the past, and if you dare to read this, you may see yourself, too.
I rarely give five stars ratings. I think five-stars are reserved for mothers to give their children. But this book has what it takes to change lives. A tall order for a piece of fiction. Lori Roeleveld’s, Red Pen Redemption is slated to be a beloved Christmas Season staple for years to come.
J. G. Gilbert & Robin Gilbert Luftig at Lake Lavine, MI, Summer 1958
Even though my family of origin was pretty dysfunctional, one of my favorite pastimes when I’m feeling a bit low is to remember stories about my dad and how he honored my feelings and held them close to his heart.
I always jumped at the chance to be with Dad in his room—the Gun Room. It was a treat to steal away with him when he went upstairs to his room. He kept guns, cameras, family photos and film equipment, and special sentimental pieces from his childhood there. I am certain he kept us out for our own protection when it came to the guns. We were all told the only time we were allowed to go in there by ourselves was if the house was on fire and we could safely get the family’s 8mm films out and save them from being destroyed. Other than that, the Gun Room was strictly off limits. Whenever I saw him in there, I would beg to join him. And he always obliged. While he worked away on whatever project he was concentrating on, I looked around his private sanctuary with marvel. I would fold my arms behind my back holding tightly on to my wrists, just to make sure I did not touch anything. I did not want to run the risk of inadvertently grabbing for something and causing harm.
I felt the clamminess of my palms as I rang her doorbell. She and I had been friends years ago, but the choices I had made now separated us. Would she entertain rekindling a relationship with me again?
I went to her house to tell her I was sorry for doing the things I had done—that I hoped she could forgive me for all my foolishness and sinful behavior. I wanted to tell her I realized I hadn’t taken into consideration how others would be affected by my actions. That I had made a real mess of things—my life. I wanted to say I was sorry.
I wanted to tell her there was good news! I had learned from my mistakes. I had turned the corner. I was on the way to becoming the person God intended me to be. I had hoped she’d be happy for me. I thought she’d celebrate a Prodigal Daughter finding her way back home.
Having trouble wearing all the hats you own? Lori Roelveld’s blog hit me right between the eyes. She offered that maybe I should sell some of those hats at the next neighborhood garage sale, because maybe they’re not meant for me to wear.
Ever feel like you’re not enough? Consider this, even Jesus wasn’t enough for some people. Check out Lori’s post as she offers insight on discovering freedom … in all the things we’re not.
We are what we eat and drink. Maybe not spaghetti or iced tea, but we are what we take in. What do you hunger for, or put another way, what is important to you? And what does that have to do with having a blessed home?
All Christ-centered homes have at least one thing in common: Christ comes first. It isn’t the rules found in Scripture that makes a home Christ-centered. It’s the hearts of the people living in it. Reducing Christ to a list of rules leads to legalistic Christianity.
Help your family see God as loving, approachable and involved. Include God in your daily conversations in your home. Make attending church non-negotiable. And show how seeking and serving God can be fun. Remember, the only way to show it is to do it.
Try to put Psalms 63:1 into practice, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” You and your family will benefit when a heart—your heart—hungers and thirsts after God.