Two Words on My Birthday

The next time I blog, I will be a whole year older. It seems to happen in the blink of an eye. One day we’re young and out to change the world, and the next day we turn around and six decades have flown by while we were simply living ‘one day at a time!’ Don’t scoff, my friend. If you haven’t yet experienced this phenomenon, your day will come (barring the undesirable alternative, of…

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“Mama, I Cut Off All My Hair!”

“Mama, I got somethin’ to tell ya…” said four-year-old Maggie as she knocked on my door during naptime.  “What is it hon?” I casually replied as I closed my notebook.           “Mama, I cut off all my hair!”           And she had. Her shoulder-length bob had been turned punk-like with several bangs only 1/8 inch long. For once in my life, I was speechless. But I distinctly heard a voice in…

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Especially for that Mama You Love

This week we especially remember with gratitude our own mothers and we who are mothers and spiritual mothers also thank God for that great privilege and honor.  Isn’t it wonderful that God often used motherhood as a symbol for Himself in scripture? God reminded us that He too is compassionate and comforting like a mother:As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you – Isaiah 66:13. God reminded us that He knows us the…

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Finding Treasure in a Broken Vessel

I always wanted to be a Ming Vase for God. Beautiful. Exotic. Perfect.         Wouldn’t that be a powerful witness to my great God? Think of the people who would flock to faith once they experienced me in all my loveliness — always being, saying and doing the Right Thing!         Alas, it was not to be.          No Ming vases here. I saw in the mirror a clay pot…

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He Did This…for Me

 I still cannot believe what Christ did. For me. This is Holy Week. It began as Christians all around the world celebrated Palm Sunday – a commemoration of that day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers and adulation of crowds waving palm branches and singing “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” In mere days those cheers turned into the jeers of angry crowds shouting “Crucify…

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For Those Who Reach Out to the Forgotten

One by one, each person around the table looked at the guest of honor and told him what they most appreciated about him. Justin usually responded something like, “Yes, I am. Thanks.” He was beaming with delight. Like his mama, encouraging words are his language of love and tonight he was feeling much loved on his birthday. But his life has also held other times when he was overlooked, viewed as less-than, or just plain…

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She Taught Me How to Focus

The day is wide open but I can’t seem to settle — too many distractions. No sooner have I tackled one project than another calls my name and I’m off… What are your greatest distractions? For me, sometimes it’s in the juggling of too many things at one time – which has a 21st century term now. According to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, “continuous partial attention” means that while you are answering your email and…

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Patrick Blessed Me, May I Bless You Today?

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.See, darkness covers the earth    and thick darkness is over the peoples,but the Lord rises upon you    and his glory appears over you.” Isaiah 60.1-2 NIV Blessing to Arise and Conquer Like one of the grand adventure tales, a young boy transforms from slave to saint. Patrick’s 5th century life story included Childhood capture by pagans Divine escape by sea Sacrificial return to Ireland Abandoned and alone, Patrick clung to the Lord:…

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How to Live in Difficult Times

Why are we so surprised to be living in such difficult times? Weren’t Paul’s last words to Timothy a warning of such things? “In the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no…

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Would You Follow Sheep Over a Cliff?

We watched in horror as a herd of 200 sheep threw themselves off the cliff while Farmer Oak looked on helplessly. “Far From the Madding Crowd” — a British romance — had started off with an especially graphic pivotal plot twist. And it most certainly confirmed what I had always heard about sheep. Sheep follow the crowd, no matter what. Jesus says we are like dumb sheep. Troubled and helpless. “Now when Jesus saw the crowds,…

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A Love Feast Just for You

How are you holding up during this month’s emphasis on Valentine’s Day and Love? Whether you have relished every single heart, piece of chocolate, flowers, cards, and mushy love songs… or whether you feel like you will scream if you see another exultation of a love-relationship-you-don’t-have… let me just say that Love (all kinds) is God’s idea. Let us focus on True Love. (yes, I know you are hearing “Princess Bride” here, but bear with…

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Remember When You Survived Feeling Overwhelmed? Yeah, Me Too

Do you remember the summer you were thirty-one years old? Honestly, I don’t. But lately some memories are trickling through… Such as our glorious joyful wedding celebration and then driving together up the Pacific coast from my old home near San Francisco to my new home near Seattle with the Welcome Home sign hanging on our front door. And, did I mention that the day we returned from our honeymoon, my new three kids got…

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