Be Alert–the Caged Canary Stopped Singing

caged-birdCoal 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.

What Fills Your Cup?

Olivia - spaghettiWe 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.

 

Courage to be Perfectly Imperfect You

Courage is not the absence of fear … it’s the presence of hope. Check out Shelly Beach’s latest blog. You’ll be blessed by it.

Sandscribblings

Photo credit: jacobabshire.com Photo credit: jacobabshire.com

What does being courageous look like to you? Enduring a painful divorce? Walking through a frightening diagnosis and illness? Facing the death of a loved one? Finally walking through the pain of your abusive past?

We all can claim our personal fears and imperfections. Finding a voice was one of my greatest struggles. As a child, I wasn’t given the opportunity to freely express my opinions, to disagree, or to ask questions. I was often told what I was supposed to think and given no opportunity to state my fears or defend myself against accusations.

Like many people, I learned to protect myself by pleasing others.

So as I moved through my adult years, one aspect of courage for me has been to learn to be comfortable being the perfectly imperfect me. What does this mean? First and foremost, I’m a child of God. Everything about me…

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Humility in action

Psalms 51-10

Psalms 51:10-13 NIV

Last Saturday I spoke to several groups of inner city women on the subject of forgiveness. Days before the event, I began spending time in prayer asking God to push me out of the way so His words could be heard. I thanked Him for such a great opportunity given to me.

When Saturday came, I was pleased to see the groups of ladies signed up for our session were small enough to allow the women to feel safe in sharing their stories. We visited subjects from drug abuse to children in prison. Our conversations went from dealing with abusers to moving on from self-loathing. All subjects were cloaked in the purpose of forgiveness.
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Even If I Don’t Survive

Lew & Robin 2015Friday and Saturday were glorious this past week. The sun was bright, yet the air had a cool bite to it in the early hours. Lew and I celebrated our anniversary by peddling different rail trails in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Not only celebrate the day but to look back over the years of our marriage to see remember how we’d been blessed.

And blessings surrounded our lives.

Meeting on-line and living so far apart—while it seemed a challenge—had been a great blessing. We used the time to get to know each other slowly, with purpose in mind. Many times we’d tell friends, “If we wanted to take someone to dinner and a movie, we’d stay closer to home. Instead, we want to see what God has in store for us.”

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Facing the Truth from Obituaries

siloetted coupleI follow obituaries. That’s what older people do.

Ah, I remember her, what a shame, or He lived a good life, bless him.

But today I read the obit of a fellow who had a crush on me in high school. He was sweet and kind, and I broke his heart as young and foolish high school girls sometimes do. Continue reading

Christians are Messed Up People AND They are Perfect People

Caroline understands what it is to be a Christian and explains it very well in her latest post. I hope you enjoy it.

Beautiful Life with Cancer

In an incredible oversimplication, I am going to make a statement, “There are two types of nonchristians.” They are:

1. Those that believe that christians are really screwed up. They are wrong.

2. Those that believe that christians are perfect people. They are wrong.

They are both wrong, but they can not both be right. (This sounds a little like “who is on first” if you know that joke).

Ok. First, those that believe Christians are really screwed up. Yes! Christians are so messed up, they realize that they need Jesus. That is the definition of a Christian: A sinner that seeks Jesus for forgiveness. I, myself, claim how messed up Christians are constantly in my writings. But these are the people that conclude: christianity is not true because Christians sin. They walk away from the church because they are a bunch of hypocrites or because their christian uncle was…

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