I’m excited to introduce a guest writer today. I know you’ll enjoy Lori’s words and heart.
By Lori Roeleveld
No one should have to walk on eggshells around people who can walk on water. That’s what I think.
There are Christians who are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and then there are touchy religious people who take offense at every turn. Which we are, is largely up to us.
I once met with a group of writers who love writing but don’t follow Jesus. I learned from them and we enjoyed one another’s work. One night, we discussed a scene from one of my novels. An older writer asked why I didn’t have the veteran detective swear. I summarized the standards of Christian publishers for fiction. When I concluded, she looked at me with honest concern and asked, “Wow, exactly how fragile are you people?”
I agree with many of the standards we have for Christian writing – not for fear of offending anyone – but because I believe excellent writers can transcend trashy words, gratuitous gore, and blatant sex scenes. Christian writers, made in the image of God who is THE Word, should be the most excellent of all writers. No doubt.
September 29, 2016 at 8:30 am | Uncategorized
I spent the first fifteen years of my life wondering why the world didn’t make sense. So, I wished for fairy tales.
Surely everyone was mistaken. Adults, teachers, and story books—maybe they’re all wrong. Maybe fairy tales do exist. Oh, I wanted it be true.
Looking back, a state of emergency should have been declared on my young soul.
I wrestled with the daunting thought that true love and goodness would never make an appearance except in my dreams. Every fiber in me wanted to believe that one day they would show up and show up big.
But circumstances continued to relay contrary and sobering thoughts. It’s all a myth.
When good memories tear away like pieces plucked from your heart, you’re apprehensive.
I could not open myself up to be let down any longer. So, I constructed towering walls to protect my heart and affections. A fortress no one could penetrate. Committed to never be fooled again by hope in people who don’t deliver.
Dreaming of Fairy Tales
A handsome prince and a princess—a maiden lovely in form and beauty. The knight in shining armor. And a magical kingdom where wishes really do come true.
September 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Uncategorized
Is integrity possible on social media?
I absolutely get the whole First Amendment right to express our thoughts and opinion. And, we all have one—an opinion, that is, about most issues.
Whether you’re looking to put your best foot forward for prospective employers or find quality friends. Or maybe you value true integrity and character in the midst of a culture that’s gone half mad.
Social media is the biggest platform to showcase you.
But for Christ-followers, shouldn’t we make every effort to conduct our lives based on the example of Jesus?
Everything? Every heart motive—the deepest nook and cranny. And every jot and tittle of our written words.
“A jot is the name of the least letter of an alphabet or the smallest part of a piece of writing. A tittle, rather appropriately for a word which sounds like a combination of tiny and little, is smaller still. It refers to a small stroke or point in writing or printing.” (More origin at the Phrase Finder.)
The phrase is found in Scripture.
September 15, 2016 at 10:45 am | Uncategorized
Grief is not a state but a process—like a walk in a winding valley with a new prospect at every bend. ~ C. S. Lewis
I’m not an expert on grief.
Instead, I relay my personal experience in walking through the process of utter sorrow. A path of darkness I have trod. Or maybe it’s more truthful to say I kicked and screamed the whole way.
You see, I never wanted to learn how to deal with sorrow or grief. No one sets out to intentionally sign up for the class.
Still, sooner or later, we’re all enrolled. Sometimes sitting side by side trying to figure out how we go on. Wondering if there’s any hope that lies on the other side of the path. And do we really ever graduate with flying colors?
Today, I had another topic prepared to publish. A lighter and less dark topic. But in the early morning hours, I sensed God’s leading to change my plans.
Grief, a part of life.
A conversation. “But Lord. Just a few weeks ago I wrote about loss in my own life.” (God’s Love and Mercy Will Cease When Pigs Fly.)
He reminded me. That was then, this is now. There are new burdens My children carry.
September 8, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Uncategorized
By Mike and Karen Friday
Is marriage a mystery?
Mike, my husband and pastor, recently taught a series, My Happy Family. It included one of the most powerful messages I’ve ever heard on marriage.
And unless you have the marriage thing totally figured out—which is doubtful. I hope my favorite takeaways from the series and some of my own thoughts provide you with helpful insight.
Takeaway #1. Look for someone who is running to God.
September 1, 2016 at 9:39 am | Uncategorized
Purpose in Our Pain, by Dr. Michelle Bengston
I’m excited to welcome my friend and author, Michelle, as a guest writer today. Giveaway details about her new book will be announced at the end of this post.
Tears of Pain
The auditorium was alive with the worship of thousands of women who had come to receive a fresh encounter with God that weekend. Each hungry and in need of more of Him, but corporately their voices meshed into a beautiful chorus of symphonic praise that must have delighted His heart.
It was dark high up in the balcony where I was seated, save for the lights reflecting from the stage many levels below. I was ready to receive whatever He had for me that weekend at our church’s annual women’s conference. Snuggled in the midst of 5000 of my closest female friends, we were all ready for a fresh encounter with Him.
August 25, 2016 at 9:00 am | Uncategorized
Let the redeemed of God tell their story. (See Psalm 107:2)
As long as I can remember, I’ve been a lover of words. It’s true in speaking. So, I entered my first oratorical contest in the fourth grade. Yes, way back. I went on to thrive in high school speech class.
Then and now, I love moving an audience to emotion. Tears. Laughter. Surprise. Deep reflection. It’s a passion for me. (Check out my blog’s speaking events page.)
During a few college semesters, I did some soul-searching for the right field of study. Still, communications rose to the top and became my major and degree.
The rest is history. “Communicator” is stamped across my forehead. Have you noticed?
Yet, there’s more heart-stirring love for words. In 2014, I embarked on a writing journey. Pen to paper. Keyboard to computer. Words to readers. The power of story.
But when I discovered real love. And when I found my voice to tell my story. Then, words held power. Because they came from a powerful source.
Is God Real? My Story.
August 18, 2016 at 10:41 am | Uncategorized
In an uncertain world, there’s an undeniable hope in God’s love and mercy. An unshakable anchor for your soul.
A frenzy of emotions strangled my spirit. Tears soaked my face. Joining my husband on the screened-in porch, I fell into a chair and conveyed the frustration.
“Mike, I told the Lord to please end the madness. To stop the hard stuff from happening. I can’t handle anything else. I can’t take any more bad news. And if God’s allowing me to go through harsh circumstances for writing material, then I have enough. I’ll gladly write about fluffy things. Fun, happy, and smiley parts of life.”
A pastor, Mike was sensitive to my hurting heart. “Karen, it’s difficult to try to understand why bad things happen. The Lord already knows what you’re thinking and feeling. But He wants you to tell Him. To cry out to Him.”
After I bared the rawness of my soul, the words seemed to hang in the warm summer air as if I could reach up and grab them.
What caused the sense of hopelessness?
August 11, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Uncategorized
Do you believe?
My plans for a blog post today had nothing to do with this topic. But my plans often turn topsy-turvy in the middle of life.
Recently, I’ve seen social media posts and received chain letters. Each written from the premise of a promise. If I believe in karma, then something good will happen today to make me happy. An angel will come to watch over me. The man upstairs will bless me.
The bottom line is based on forwarding the message to ten or fourteen friends including the sender to secure the deal. And posting as your status on social media. If you want the promise to come true, you must act fast—within minutes. And do not, I repeat, do not break the chain.
To set the record straight, I don’t believe these promises hold any power or hope.
I don’t believe in karma. But I do believe…
August 4, 2016 at 10:18 am | Uncategorized
There’s power in story.
“Two babies?” The surprise birth of twin girls. My parents didn’t know. The doctor didn’t know.
But God knew my sister and me from the beginning. As He knit us together in the womb, He began writing our story.
Double bottles, double diapers, double everything, including double trouble.
But one day there would be a double blessing.
Events shape our stories. Words frame our perspective. Yet our hearts reflect.
- Event: Our parents part ways and we stay with our mother. For a few years, my father is absent from my story. Heart Reflection: Am I lovable?
- Words (from a teacher): “That’s not good enough.” Heart Reflection: Am I good enough?
- Event and Words: My father, an atheist, comes back into my life proclaiming, “There’s not a God.” Heart Reflection: Is there a God? Am I good enough for God to love me?
- Words (promising rewards): “If you’re good, then you can….” Heart Reflection: I disappoint her. I let him down.
At sixteen, my sister and I met the one true God—this was the double blessing. God’s real and He loves me. I became acquainted with God as my heavenly Father. In knowing God, I discovered attributes of His character.
God is hope. God is just. God is holy. God is love. God is good.
July 28, 2016 at 8:30 am | Uncategorized