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Experiencing the Power of Praise

      “Let us give thanks all the time to God through Jesus Christ. Our gift to Him is to give thanks. Our lips should always give thanks to His name.”  Heb. 13: 15 How can we praise God in the midst of a threatening storm? As I prayed for my mother and the circumstances surrounding her illness, I didn’t always “feel” like praising God. In fact, I wasn’t thankful during this difficult season at all—my family was desperate for a miracle. Lord, please help us! Jesus promised his followers that he would send an advocate to help them: …

Finding Peace

Writing down my faith story changed my life. The application process for seminary required that my husband Dan and I to write down our faith stories. I struggled with that assignment, even though I had attended church all my life. Baptism. I recalled a few details of my baptism experience. I pictured myself as a scrawny, nine-year-old tomboy with a long, brown ponytail, dressed in my Camp Fire uniform, sitting in church with my best friend, Bibbie. Our mothers had lined us up on the second row at church for Camp Fire Recognition Day. At the end of the sermon, Bibbie …

Story Power

  Would you like to read your great-great grandmother’s journal about her immigration to America? What about your father’s love letters to your mother from the trenches of the battlefield? Would you cherish the private diaries that your grandmother kept next to her bed, where she wrote down the intimate details of her life? I would! But often the people that we love the most do not know the stories that matter most to us. Recording history. If I don’t write down my family stories, my grandchildren may never know why we moved our family from Texas in 1980 in response …

I Wish I Could Google God

If only I could “Google” God for answers to life’s problems. Then, I could just type a question and get a straight answer—the Truth. As a writer, I don’t always come up with the best questions to ask to achieve the right solutions. And at times, I don’t know what to pray when burdened by life challenges. So, I wish I could enter a word or phrase into my Internet search engine, trusting that God would provide the exact direction I needed. As I share in my family’s struggles with their painful issues, I don’t pretend to know how to …

WordPower

I noticed a small typo within a comment that I had posted on a friend’s blog. Instead of the word “power,” I had typed “poser.” A minor mistake? Not for a writer! And especially not in this case! My tiny error distorted the entire significance of this scripture: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor. 4:7 NIV). One word shifted my focus and the potential attention of my readers. All I could see was my mistake. I lost sight of the message and …

Listening for God’s Voice

As I listen to the birds singing every morning, I wish I could distinguish one bird from another. I identify the honking geese as they fly over the lake. And I hear the woodpecker, as he raps for his meal. I can see the difference between a robin and a sparrow, but I can’t tell them apart by their songs. My husband Dan recognizes the voices of many birds. He knows the robin’s sweet song, and he is familiar with the squawking blue jay. He even points out the mimicking mockingbird. I’m learning a few tips from him. Recognition. I’ve …

Indecision? Try Grace Talk

“You know what killed that squirrel?” my husband Dan mused as we drove through our Arkansas neighborhood. Duh, I thought, a car ran over him. “Indecision,” he explained. Dan always seems to think in black or white terms – no grey areas. (“If you don’t like carrots, don’t eat them. If you hate working as a secretary, find another job.”) “Indecision?” I exclaimed. “Wait a minute! Are you comparing me to that squirrel?” Dan and I are living proof that opposites attract in relationships, especially in marriage. But after over 40 years of marriage, I think I’m finally learning a few …