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

Challenged to Do What’s Right on Mother’s Day

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.

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Surviving the Unknown World

August 1983
The cool air and the long rays of morning sun greeted the three of us as we traveled the long driveway. It took everything in me not to start crying.

“Today’s a great day!” I said, with too much pep in my voice. I wanted to make sure I told him all he needed to know for this special day. “You’ll meet new people and it’ll be terrific!”

We continued to walk, hand in hand as we always had in the past. He stopped, looked up into my eye, and with a sober voice, “It is a great day, right, Mommy?”

Little Sis skipped along singing Great day, It’s gonna be a great day … She had no idea the somberness of this moment. But how could she? How could she know what it felt like to lose a baby into an Unknown World?

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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.

Memories of Treasures Long Ago

Dad_Robin Lk Lavine (2)

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.

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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!

How long is a piece of string?

Here’s an honest and inside look at healing from a brain injury. It can happen to anyone. It can take longer to heal for some than others. The question is a good one: how long is a piece of string. LizMollyOldershaw shares some of her experiences. Check it out. Thanks, Liz, for sharing in such a transparent way.

Your rock!

Problems Still Happen

Mother’s day is over. Back to reality. What do you do when the trials come? Dr. Michelle Bengston addresses dealing with how to deal and view trials that come into our lives. I hope you find this as encouraging as I did.  http://drmichellebengtson.com/what-do-you-do-when-the-trials-come/

I Just Want to be With Him

A great question for all Christians … why did you choose to be a Christian? A great post.

Separated by 12 hours, my entire mind and body ached for James. Newly engaged, I felt only half of a person waiting for my wedding day to be complete. My life was one thing:  waiting.  I …

Source: I Just Want to be With Him

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.