Happy New Year!
Lew and I have been keeping a Mason Jar of Blessings and Goodness for years. The idea is to write on a piece of paper good things or experiences that happened over the year and collect the slivers of paper in a mason jar. At the end of the year, open the jar and enjoy the reminders of all the goodness we had experienced.
Thanksgiving. The time of the year when we are to count our blessings. Yet so many families are splintered … feelings have been hurt over forgotten issues … that wearing a painted smile and staying close to the liquor cabinet is the best way to deal. There’s more to Thanksgiving than sharing turkey. It’s time to make amends with one another; it’s a time for families to heal.
It wasn’t an accident that you were placed with your family. God’s plan put you there. Yet so many think they can improve that plan by putting walls of unmet expectations and hurt feelings around their hearts.
“I don’t want to be hurt anymore.” “You don’t know what they did to me.” “We have nothing in common; it’s best we just keep our distance and live our lives apart.”
All those sound good, right? But these statements are all self-serving … and wrong!
If you have hurt someone, apologize. If you have been hurt, forgive. It wasn’t suggested by God, it was what he told us to do:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35 (NIV) Continue reading
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 and social banter over the past weeks has been telling. Pointing fingers and one-upping one another takes front and center stage while pressing issues such as safety of our children and the security of our future have been left untouched.
Hearts are breaking while this happens. Children watch and learn that the person who shouts the loudest is right–never mind seeking Truth.
I think the Canary has stopped singing. Please, let’s heed the issues at hand that are killing us. We still have time.
Judges, 21:25, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”
For any of you who knew Bruce Brady, there’s a cloud of sadness over those dealing with his death. His encouragement was without end. And his wisdom and insight were always delivered with love and compassion. Below is a post he wrote for The Write Conversation in 2016. In remembrance of him, Edie Melson, co-director of Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference shared this post again.
Thanks, Bruce. Your life made a difference.
Thanks, Mitch. We all find our own reminders that God is all around. And truly, nothing else matters.
The Final Scar?
To read my previous scar stories, click here.
My two greatest hits are on my neck. Oddly, both remind me of God. I wrote previously about one. The other began with a woman doing her lipstick in her rear view mirror as her car sailed blithely into the back of my tinny Samurai.
Several bulging neck discs made their debut that day. The pain level was acceptable (sort of). However, if more trauma were to occur, I was told, I could end up paralyzed. Not acceptable. So a discectomy was scheduled.
The day before surgery, I was laid on a tiltable table and my spine was injected with glow-in-the-dark goo in order to create a scenic map of My Spine, USA. I was fine with that. Of course, I was on Valium, so I’d have been fine with them cutting my toes off and selling…
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Rest assured, someone does. Michelle Bengston, author of Hope Prevails carries many titles. Besides wife and mother, she’s also a Board Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist and helps people every day.
But she also understands depression from the inside out. She’s dealt with her own depression and found that no matter how dark it gets … hope prevails. She published Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression last year to rave reviews and is now offering her newest book, Hope Prevails Bible Study, being released October 25th.
Watch for it! You can also follow Michelle and learn more about both books, Hope Prevails and Hope Prevails Bible Study at http://drmichellebengtson.com/.