Sinners and Saints—Revisiting a Quote


Oscar-Wilde (2)
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

Book Review, Red Pen Redemption by Lori Roeleveld

Red Pen RedemptionWould 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.

When Making Amends Isn’t Enough

doorI 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.

That’s what I thought. But I was wrong.
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Discovering Freedom in All the Things You’re Not

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.

And check out Lori’s latest book, Jesus and the Beanstalk (Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life) due to release September 20, 2016!

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.

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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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Writer, Know Thyself

Southern Writer’s Magazine contacted me a few months ago and asked if I’d be interested in writing a post in their Southern Writer’s blog, Suite T. Come over and check it out. How do you prepare for a new writing projects?