Happy Thanksgiving!

Writing... Apples of Gold


On this day of giving thanks, what if we take up a refreshing challenge to  be a blessing?

Today, I am pondering the grateful hearts of the first settlers celebrating teamwork and mutual respect and adventure of beginning on a wondrous new journey…how they came together in humble and joyful spirit after so much heartache and struggle…

O, how we need to turn our hearts once again to that spirit of giving and receiving blessing!

Have you noticed lately – all the tares among the wheat?  “What is happening to a world where we think nothing of taking disrespect for others to seismic scale?  Hatred and anger and fear and rudeness – even attack — are considered elite, correct stances and no one is more important than number one.   “I don’t care what you are feeling!” one young, otherwise intelligent woman decries, captured as if in tantrum display on…

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Joyful Attachment

You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. Romans 8:9

Who knew that the sweet little Sunday school song I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart was revealing a symbiont relationship. Yes, this feels a bit sci-fi, but it is far from fiction. Before you get visions of Alien, and creep yourself out, let’s look back at the definition. [Woo Hoo! Science and English!]

Symbiosis noun [sim-bee-oh-seez]

  1. the living together of two dissimilar organisms resulting in which both benefit from the association. 2. a relationship between two people in which each person is dependent upon and receives reinforcement.

If you know anything about the Holy Spirit, you know this pretty much describes Him. If we have decided to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit is living with us. He is nothing like us…

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Standing and Waiting with Those Who Suffer

Living Our Days

The words of 17th century poet John Milton from On His Blindness, come to mind with every visit to my mother’s long-term care facility:

 “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

I hope it’s true, and I’d love to report that in the midst of my waiting we have warm and meaningful conversations or that I push her wheelchair outside for sunshine and fresh air, but the truth is that she refuses to leave her room, and that for the duration of my visits, the t.v. is blaring infomercials and game shows.  With every visit, I wonder if her life is enhanced at all by my presence.  Of course, “standing and waiting” on behalf of my mother also includes advocating for her when her crankiness gets in the way of administrators hearing her real needs, calling health care providers, and bringing her treats, but, most of the time, I…

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Five Reasons You Should Study Greek

Living Our Days

There’s a Greek alphabet tucked into my cookbook shelf, and every so often I bump into it in my search for a recipe.  It’s an apt metaphor for the place and prominence that deep study plays in my every day life — tucked somewhere between the soup and the muffins.  The reappearance of that chart never fails to stir up a tiny pang of regret.  Why didn’t I study Greek back in my college days when I had the opportunity — and the time?

Once outside academic life, it’s nearly impossible to invest the years of study that are required for mastery of a language, so naturally I could not resist reading Dr. A. Chadwick Thornhill’s Greek for Everyone, which promises to focus on a working knowledge of biblical Greek with an emphasis on facilitating in-depth study of the New Testament.  My “what have I gotten myself into?” response at…

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The Broken Reaching Out to the Broken

Living Our Days

Six years ago, Ann Voskamp took the dare to dive deep into a lifestyle of gratitude.  Could she record one thousand gifts from God and let her heart be changed by the knowledge of all the ways that God loved her?  She wrote about the dare in her first book, and suddenly the Greek word for thanksgiving, eucharisteo, was on everyone’s lips.

In 2012, I began my own gratitude journal.  By Thanksgiving Day, I will have recorded my five thousandth gift, so the release of Ann’s book about another dare is timely for me, especially since I recently heard Katelyn Beatty’s quip on a CT podcast that writers should “go vulnerable, or go home.”  Without a doubt,  The Broken Way jumps into the deep end with Ann’s memory of cutting her own skin with shards of broken glass as a young woman, her own makeshift release valve for…

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A Prayer for November 9th

Living Our Days

By faith, we have gone behind the curtain.
We have made our voices heard, according to the temperature of our hearts —
Some with a raised fist;
Some with a wavering hope.

We have sifted the relative merits of two deeply flawed and difficult candidates.
We have heard the word “Never” said about the person who lost the election —
and about the person who won.
We have learned that only You are equipped to say that word with absolute certainty.
Thank you that the eye of the storm has passed, and we can now begin to put feet to those whispered prayers:  “Thy will be done.”

In the aftermath of this political hurricane, we ask for grace:
To be charitable;
To pray for the winner;
To honor the brother or sister who voted for our “Never” candidate;
To advance into the culture — knowing full well that politics is…

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Chickens at the Crossroads

Living Our Days

Stop signs and flashing lights preside over busy intersections.  Commas and semi-colons mark the collision of clauses.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if there were some ready marker or built-in gulp of air at the major crossroads of life?

Kelly Chripczuk began living the transition from ten years in full-time mothering mode when her youngest children went off to school.  “Who will I be,” she wondered, “in the face of so much open time and space?”  Chicken Scratch: Stories of Love, Risk & Poultry is a thirty-day record of Kelly’s vital signs in the early days of this transition, because one of the first things Kelly did to mark the beginning of her new listening-to-life is to buy ten laying hens.

She soon realized that chickens (like children) are inconvenient.  They get out when they are supposed to stay in.  They are uninhibited with their bodily functions.  Even so, we welcome…

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