Years ago I used a quote from Oscar Wilde’s, every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. While I’ve long ago forgotten the blog post, the quote stayed with me.
I remember how my interests drove me to look into Wilde’s life. After my research, I understood how these words came from the depths of his being. Both of Wilde’s parents had been successful. But the examples his parents offered him were filled with selfishness and narcissism. Reality had little importance; perception counted for more than anything. Following their example, he learned how to deal with living a double life—one presented to the public and the other that fed his desires.
His life knew no bounds until he was arrested and went to court to save his reputation. He lost soundly and his fall was precipitous, instantaneous, and very frightening.
Wilde had become a literary success. His matchless writing ability astounded his peers. But in truth, his life was tortured. Not because his lifestyle landed him in prison, but because he sought beauty first and then morality. He hid his true identity from others so he could seek pleasure. Continue reading →
Autumn is my favorite season for several reasons. Mostly because it was my dad’s favorite, too. Not only was his birthday in September, but Hunting Season started then. He said he never remembered the correct date for his birthday because it always came in the middle of hunting season, and he was more excited about that.
So I became excited about hunting, too.
On those magical autumn mornings, we’d get up early and enter the woods before the squirrels started looking for their breakfast. We’d walk as quietly as we could, though acorns continually crunched under our feet. Twigs snagged our pants. Trouncing through the ground cover, the crisp morning air would wrap around my face. My boots would get soaked from the dew. Dad would lead us to a spot—a perfect spot—where we would wait for the squirrels.
That’s how it went—every time. Every magical and perfect time.
No talking. Hunters don’t talk. Instead, we bonded over milk-coffee (mostly milk in my case) and snack crackers or the occasional piece of candy. After all, hunters needed to keep up their strength up as they watched and waited for a good shot. Continue reading →
Picking the perfect Mother’s Day card has always been a challenge for me. I can spend hours at the card shop reading sentiments like You’ve been the best influence ever or You’re my best friend. These thoughts are beautiful and touch my heart, but don’t come close to the relationship I have with my mother.
Every day counts and I’ve never felt that as poignantly as I did this past week.
I found out about the death of my cousin, Pastor Les Green of Nebo Crossing Church in Nebo, NC, on July 2 through social media. Les and I had drifted apart over the years. I can’t speak for Les, but I know I had become more involved with my life than the world I had left behind. Once I finally reconnected with Christ, too many bridges had been burned and it seemed almost impossible to reconnect with everyone from my past. Unfortunately, some of those bridges were with family. And one of the relationship casualties was with Les and Debbie.
The last time I saw Les and Debbie was briefly over thirty years ago at our Grandpa and Grandma Green’s house. I was coming in and they were leaving. A quick hello was all we shared. Then they were gone. Little did I know I’d miss out on some incredible life experiences.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
For those of you that read Michelle Count’s post, Nothing to do with Baseball from May 19, 2015, you will remember she survived the brain surgery. Here’s a followup on her story.
Funny, even my own neurosurgeon said it would take a miracle to bring me through my surgery. But if you’re like me, it is sometimes through our greatest struggles that we feel Christ the most. I think this experience has left me with a gratefulness I will never be able to repay. It has been three years since my surgery and with every passing month I feel stronger. As I reflect on this experience I realize how important my faith is to me.
Recently my husband was reading from one of our bibles. He asked me, “Do you remember the date July 14th in the early 1980’s?” Continue reading →
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.
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.