23

This is us on our Honeymoon in Lake Tahoe. We got married 23 years ago today. We were tiny babies. Everyone who met us that week thought we were teenagers that eloped. He was 25 and I was 20. All perfectly legal. 🥰 Sometimes people who know us tell us how cute we are together […]

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Paper Trails

Sailing ships and fairy wings, dragons’ hoards and precious rings, lands, languages, philosophies, broken hearts, and fantasies flit like feathers on a breeze, like ashes floating out to sea. Salt drops fall to ocean leagues like single sheets to libraries for lovers lost and battles won, for softened hearts and souls undone, for wolves that […]

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Not My Home

This world, this earth is not my home. (Oh blessed hope, oh hiraeth that quickens now my breath.)Her much hailed princes and her thrones are void of any power to change the heart or bring about shalom. The haughty eyes of man so full of plans they’re bulging out of place, cannot contain the fullness […]

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Tentacles

Trauma has no expiration date, no “use by” stamp, no certificate of death. Just when you thought, “Well, I’m glad that’s through,” its fungal rot wraps silent slithering tendrils ‘round your ankles, neck, and arms. Loose at first. Invisible at first. Like a mosquito on your neck, too small to tip a tiny scale or […]

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Portfolio

I have been unsure of where to go with my photography website for the past year or so. I am not currently pursuing photography full time as I am working full time at Samaritan Ministries. However, I did not like the idea of zapping all of my images off of the internet forever. I also […]

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Under The Dirt

This song was our comfort on one of the hardest days we have endured together. We held onto each other and cried our eyes out as this song beat its rhythm on our eardrums and hearts. It will never not make me cry because that day ripped us wide open, but it was in that […]

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No Going Back

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.” – Frodo Baggins Frodo was right. There is […]

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Cloud of Witnesses

The worst text I’ve ever received. The words that pull the air right out of your lungs without your permission. A year ago at almost just this time. The moment you know is guaranteed to come but you are nonetheless completely unprepared for when it does. When I think about it, I still can’t help […]

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The Countdown is On

I could never have planned how Burke’s first year out of high school would be. In a million years I would have never imagined we’d get to spend so much “bonus” time together. Never could have imagined we’d be co-workers or that he would be going to University of Kentucky or joining the Air Force. […]

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Echo His Beauty

A friend posted this passage tonight, I’m sure for much different reasons than me. It ministered to my soul though as I lay here, awakened by my dreams and kept awake by thoughts that so easily wander and wonder if God can truly be trusted over the fears and anxieties that clamor for mental center-stage. […]

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The Undertow

My heart aches this morning as I think about all that is so broken about our world, nation, cities, churches, families, and hearts. As I read the thoughts of people who think the way to prevent children from being unwanted is to violently kill them before they can realize they are unwanted. As I read […]

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Peace in the Storms

Tonight I’m struggling to hold onto this truth as I awoke suddenly from a bad dream that brought up flashes of time against my will, things I must daily bury deep at the foot of the cross. Tonight I must hold fast to the truth that peace is something that Jesus brings where there was […]

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I Got Nothin’

9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to […]

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Adoption

Adoption is a beautiful thing. It changes each life touched by it, whether by sheer beauty or by the washing of constant waves of trauma. Not every adoption story involves the same level or variations of difficulties. But it is a double edged sword, for it always involves grief, and often compounded grief. It might […]

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Strong Spotless Lamb

Exodus 12:5-6 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. How many times have I […]

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Breaking Yokes

Isaiah 58 3‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a […]

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Jesus Math

We cannot know salvation until we know that the life we need is found only in a dying savior. Our salvation is in the confounding mathematics of Christ that to decrease is to increase, to lose is to gain, to die is to live. Minus equals plus. It goes against everything rational within us. We […]

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His Eye is On the Cardinal

And I know he watches me… This morning I watched this beautiful, cheerful little friend of ours take his last breath. We saw his lovely lifelong friend fly away after he hit the window with a loud bang and fell to the ground. We heard her calling him from a nearby perch near their nesting […]

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Counselor Cred

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. – Psalm 118:8 Put not your trust in mere people. This includes those whom you are naturally inclined to trust. Jesus is infinitely more trustworthy than any one person or entity to which you have given too much power in your […]

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Benefit of the Doubt

Do not believe everything you hear about people. Especially if it doesn’t jive with what you know from actually knowing them. We owe one another a debt of love. That debt being paid is sometimes going to be in the form of the benefit of the doubt. Owe no one anything, except to love each […]

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A Winter Prayer

A Winter Prayer Good Maker, I stare at my bare branches and feel naked AshamedDid I not sign up to be Always Spring, Always Green?As I look down I can’t even see my roots All I see is leaf litter, the waste product of my past beauty – which may never come again. But as I think […]

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Master Craftsmen

This may come as a terrible shock but people are still going to die in 2017. It is right, of course, to be angry that death plays such a relentless role. And yet we are perennially shocked at its audacity. It’s like an endless game of whack-a-mole. And we hate it for its persistence in […]

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Promises, Promises

God makes promises to His people. Can you imagine, as a child perhaps, being promised something and never paying attention to what the promise is? Most kids will pretty much never let their dad forget the ice cream he promised, or the puppy, or the special time together. And they will never ever forget what […]

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Thanks

I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness through the hardest year of my life thus far. I’m thankful for my job and for the opportunity to work with people who love Jesus so much. I am thankful that I get to pray with and minister to hearts that are afraid, in shock, grieving, tremblingly trusting as part […]

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WTNFTT

The last few weeks on social media has had me going:  WT #&%*@! The sadness, fear, and rage that it stirred in me was ugly.  This media may be social, but, in many hearts, has only led to forming more polarized tribes.  (This point has been made very forcefully and eloquently by Senator Ben Sasse […]

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Sans Dad

Apartment ownership/management is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard work. I’m so proud of my mom, sister, brother in law, and nieces in their first “sans Dad” apartment turn-over. My mom found out this was going to be vacated just a few days after Dad died. I was so worried this notification was […]

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Learn to Love Like Jesus

We must learn to love as Christ loves us. Giving love. Being present for people in their hardest times. Being living sacrifices. And we must do it all without any expectation that they will be around for us in our loneliest or most painful experiences. None of Jesus’s best friends stood by him or cried […]

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Art Therapy

It’s good, in the midst of a year of deep losses, to find a thing to do that feeds your soul. I just began painting last year. I have done a few acrylic pieces. The other day I decided I wanted to learn to watercolor so I bought some supplies. I painted an apple and […]

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Trusted Sender

In Sunday School, our teachers have been leading us through the key doctrines that anchor our understanding of the Church and Discipleship. This past Sunday we were discussing the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. The main points emphasized were the Authority and Clarity of Scripture. Scripture is authoritative, not because it is a magic book […]

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Love is Risky

There is no love existent in the light of glory that has not the shadow of sorrow moving around it. Friends, love is inherently risky. It’s dangerous even, because we know some days it will be painful. Some days it will require more than we want to relinquish. When we choose to love another with […]

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All will look

I love it that people gathered and gazed in awe at the beauty and wonder at God’s amazingly synchronized heavenly light show today. The sense of anticipation. The shouts of wonder. The laughter. Now imagine the Son of God in all of his glory… Revelation 1 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, […]

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Sanger’s Many Ironies

I’ve been reading some of Margaret Sanger’s writings lately to catch the many obvious flaws but also the many ironies in her thought processes in order to elucidate the trajectory of ideas that led to Planned Parenthood in its current diabolical iteration. Ironically she nailed some real societal ills. She effectively calls out Christians for […]

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Trembling Gates

“Beloved, if it had been possible to destroy the church of God on earth, it would have been destroyed long ago.” -Spurgeon And the gates of hell quiver at her love and submission to His call. For they know she will prevail because every footstep in her humble sojourn on this ball through stormy gale […]

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It’s Dark

Zeph. 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Friends, if you are suffering or fearful or afraid that the trials you are facing mean He’s […]

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Christmas Fractals

During some of our recent Advent readings I’ve had some great reminders of how God shows HImself in fractals. You know what fractals are, right? Fractals are essentially self-similar repeating patterns whether you view them from far off or extremely close-up. They are all over the place in nature. They are where math and art meet. As […]

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Walk with me

(For my friends who grieve.) Walk with me or I walk alone. I cannot talk; There are no words. Nothing helps or heals this broken open gaping wide jagged edges bleeding on the inside. I’m like a vapor. Barely here and still I Walk walk walk. Walk with me as my covering in the black […]

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Walking through God's open doors

This morning I read this post by Alece at Grit and Glory. Basically she argues against the common Christian sentiment, “If God wants us there, then everything will work out. The doors will keep opening for us, and everything will just come together.” I must say that I agree with her. Of course most people probably […]

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Making the Best of the Distance (AKA Why I love Skype)

My hunkahunkaburninlove comes home from Staff Orientation in Arizona at Food for the Hungry tomorrow. Oh, I’m so happy. I’m so happy he’s coming home but I’m so so happy he loves his job. I’m so excited about this organization. I’m very thankful. But I’m still really happy he’s coming home tomorrow. It’s not quite the […]

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Be Weak

Jesus loves me, this I know For the Bible tells me so Little ones to Him belong, They are weak but HE is strong WE are weak. We are cast down. We are burdened. We are mournful, weary, empty, shaking and crumpled at our savior’s feet. We cannot even lift our heads. What becomes of […]

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Joys and Sorrows

Joys and sorrows crows and sparrows droughts and downpours hearts and arrows Is life ever and forever all a mix of pain and pleasure Blood and water ice and fire grace and graveyards doom and shire hopes and fears crowns and crosses cribs and caskets gains and losses Will the always be a never this […]

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Christ Entered In

Oh, there is a day, and it hurts like hell, when it seems like the sun has gone away, soul sorrow so deep that no mouth can tell, but Jesus has felt it on the world’s darkest day. Sleep will not come and tears will not end, the sorrow so great it’s just under your […]

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Come untrue…

Sam’s question is the cry of our hearts today. But Sam lay back, and started with open mouth, and for a moment, between bewilderment and great joy, he could not answer. At last has gasped: ‘Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s […]

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Thoughts on Christmas Sunday

I recently read this post by Ed Stetzer along with other articles on the same subject several weeks back. I must humbly say that I am both truly sad and disappointed about this 6%. Our lives are not our own, our time is not our own, our money is not our own, The Lord’s Day […]

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I don't have a title.

I’m tired. Too tired to come up with a fetching title. Physically, emotionally, spiritually and in every other way. Tired. I’m tired of the daily grind, the trials and responsibilities of parenting, homeschooling, cooking, working, looking for work for my husband. Tired of moving and tired of thinking of moving. Tired of messes, stresses, laundry, […]

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Bring on the Rain?

Someone this morning posited the question; “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”.  Anyone else think this applies to home educating? How? The rainbow… A sign of God’s promise not to destroy us all…. yes, I need that regularly.  We are a testy bunch.  The rain of trials and testing […]

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Praying to Facebook

Recently, in the heat of my 1st world miserable annoyance with FB as fellow human beings around the world go hungry and without the knowledge of a savior, I was pondering the role of FB in my life.  I was pondering, “hmm… what did we do with all of our unexpressed thoughts before FB (and […]

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Beautiful

God is teaching me so much about His grace and infinite mercy and kindness lately.  Circumstances are not ideal and they rarely are for our own liking.  As humans we always can think of something, diminutive or grandiose, worth tweaking that would presumably make circumstances just *that* much more pleasant for us, one way or […]

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Living Water

Last night I was awakened at 3 a.m. by someone who didn’t feel well. Unfortunately for me that meant that I could not fall back asleep until about 6 a.m. because I was decorating our new place (that we move into in about 3-4 weeks) in my head and the decorator in my brain would […]

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Gentle Shepherd

Gentle Shepherd, fierce protector bind my wounds, my soul inspector. Table turner, Humble servant break my heart, and crush the serpent. Sea Commander, water walker calm my spirit as I falter. Gracious Savior, sin’s contender grant my heart a calm surrender. King anointed, older brother let me never serve another. World creator, people buyer, wash […]

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Word Clouds

Words are like clouds that float out of reach, hovering vapors, looking solid to touch, they come in as thoughts that drift into speech, like sprinkles or showers, too little or much. Some words like cirrus are high wisps of cloud if the pressure agrees and conditions are nice, but many will make their way […]

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Imago Dei Coram Deo

You fashioned us in Imago Dei, soft moons to the sun’s bright glorious ray. We see through a glass though dimly light, a pallid opaque between morning and night. We are but mirrors all broken and cracked, your light, we, in imperfect prisms refract. Coram Deo, we live under your gaze, though your face yet […]

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How beautiful…

Everyone needs to see this. As English speaking Christians we have completely lost the wonder and amazement of being able to read God’s word in our own language. We have copies of it everywhere… Lord, that I might treasure your word as these people do. My husband and I wept as we watched this and […]

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A Labor of Love

Tonight during our advent reading we read about Mary. The reading pointed out that she was really the very first Christian. Kiss the Son She was the first one that believed, the first to call Him Savior, her savior Jesus, she received, was Emmanuel inside her. The Holy Spirit wrought in Mary salvation’s only hope […]

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Barren One, Rejoice!

You were cast off and deserted like a wife, in your spirit you were grieved for the innocence of youth you lost. Your spirit was ravaged and bereaved. You were afraid and shaken like a widow, confounded at your sure disgrace. But you shall not feel your loss forever, the memory of reproach shall be […]

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The True Son

Jesus, the true Adam Jesus, the true Joshua Jesus, the true Moses Jesus, the true Israel Jesus, our Immanuel Israel once fled to Egypt’s gleams during famine in their own lands. God ordained it through Joseph’s dreams and Israel’s sons’ corrupted hands. Jesus was ushered to Egypt too. Corruption of Israel’s “sons,” it  would seem, […]

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The Conquering King

Oh Christian, take heart, no need for despair for hope is the thing that is filling the air! No fear for tomorrow or what is to come for Christ is the King and earth his Kingdom! At Christmas we hear the songs of the king the babe in the manger who changed everything. We hear […]

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Repentance

How can I answer the Lord of Hosts? Behold, I am of lowly account. I can do nothing but cover my mouth. Before God to what do I amount? I’ve spoken once, which was one too much I will not attempt to answer the Lord. Should I proceed and answer twice, the aftermath I could […]

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When God Answers

A whirlwind thundered and God spoke aloud demanding, “Who dares question God? You speak as if you know my ways, as if you hold my measuring rod! Tell, me if you understand it all! Where were you when I laid out the earth, when the sea was established in form? Where were you on the […]

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Testing Testing 1-2-3

Recently I heard some arguments from Christians that God doesn’t test us. A look through scripture will clearly reveal the opposite though. God most definitely tests us. Clearly we don’t like the idea of tests. They make us squirm. They might make us feel sick. We are typically afraid of failure. As I thought about […]

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My Redeemer

Who is righteous before our God? Who can contend with his might? One could give a thousand answers, but not a one would be right. Wise in heart and mighty in strength, He seals up the stars and rules the sun. In his anger the mountains he uproots, for who can ask, “God, what have […]

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The King

Hallelujah! Salvation and glory belong to Him Each one of His judgments is true and just. For He has crushed underfoot the whoring one who corrupted the earth with her craven lust. For all of the righteous who e’er have been slain He’s avenged upon her that blemished His name. The blood of His prophets […]

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Thought

All things seem very large to us as children because we are so small. People seem big, cars seem big, buildings seem big… everything. Big, big, big. And as we grow those things seem to shrink somehow, sometimes to disappointing proportions because we are bigger, we’ve seen more, we know more. We’re not looking up […]

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The Word

In the beginning was the Word, the Word by which the world was given birth, the only Word that holds all things together and brought salvation to the earth. This Word is with and is our God, that Word which is the light of all mankind. This Word which is a lamp unto our footsteps, […]

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The Vine

I have learned a new song this past week and I am rather ODing on it at this point.  I really like ODing on songs of praise to our God.  I don’t think I can quite do it often enough.  Something tells me I won’t get bored at all with all the constant praise going […]

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Not Forsaken

Common Grief by Edith Hays Mulligan (my Great Grandmother) We are all crushed in the winepress of a common grief, squeezed by death one way or another, yielding a drink sweet as wine or bitter as vinegar, a thank offering to God or a sour sponge to the parched lips of a crucified Christ. The […]

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The Hot Pastor: Episode 1,393,211

Okay, so I don’t think I’ve posted quite 1,393,211 times about The Hot Pastor that I am allowed to spend the night with.  Every.  Single.  Night.  But a picture is worth a thousand words, right?   Today, however, couldn’t go by without me mentioning just how hot I find The Pastor to be.  Don’t get you’re […]

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Old Hymns

I love them. Okay… not all of them, but so many. They are so deep and rich and relevant for today. I like my share of modern worship music as well but the songs that bring the most comfort to my soul in just about any kind of hardship are old theologically robust hymns. I […]

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Two Books

I’m just about to delve into these two books, one that we picked up several weeks ago and one that we just got earlier today. The Reason for God This one is by Dr. Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He was invited to Google Headquarters a while back for […]

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Will you pray?

I have to step out of my normal, light hearted way of writing to ask you all to pray for my Mother in Law. She has battled cancer off and on for the last 28 years. She had her first battle with breast cancer 28 years ago, had a single mastectomy and chemotherapy. Then just […]

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Randomocity

This evening I was repeatedly  told I was the best Mom ever and that I was like Mr. Magorium because I “made” some new bath toys.  All of the kids old bath toys had gotten disgustingly corroded.  I never did find a good bath toy storage solution.  Plus I’m just lazy about bath toys.  So […]

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My song for the day…

I love this song. And I have always loved this particular version of this wonderful hymn, performed on At The Foot of the Cross; Clouds, Rain, Fire by the late Mark Heard. I looked for this all over the internet but I couldn’t find it anywhere so the only way I could figure out doing […]

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Prayers

So we’ve had a few discussions about human reproduction lately with the older two boys using science books from the library. We’ve had some really great conversations. Not at all “scary.” In fact we take joy in teaching them about these things, knowing that we are teaching them that sex is not only a really […]

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The Pastor

I like him. He’s my pastor. He’s my friend. He’s my man. He’s a good Dad. Did I mention that he looks incredibly hot when he wears all black. After watching Walk the Line and being on a Johnny Cash kick, I insisted that he buy a nice black shirt. Boy, am I glad I […]

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The way to a man's heart…

I am having problems viewing this post in Firefox. You may want to just click on over to my food blog to read it. I don’t think it’s having the same issues. You all know the rest of the saying. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Yeah, my husband thinks I’m […]

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Men in Gowns

There is something terribly and inexplicably cute about a man in a hospital gown. I don’t know what it is but there is just something about it that makes me want to kiss him and touch his cheek and feel his forehead and take his temperature and hold his water cup for him and tenderly […]

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My husband

Not only does he have clean ears, he is an effective communicator of the gospel of grace. We are hoping to have more up soon but I’ve been looking forward to being able to link you to his sermon audio. Currently there is only one up and online but I’ll be the first to tell […]

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What's so good about Good Friday?

Why is it called “good” when it seems like such a depressing day? I really hate it that Good Friday has somehow become such a solemn and somber affair. Was it sad that Christ died for our sins? Why can we not go into a Good Friday service with shouts of glory and triumphant joy? […]

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Paige Benton Brown

Wow. Just. Wow. Ladies, if you ever want a spiritual kick in the pants. If you want to hear a woman speak specifically to women about what ought to be our focus in all of life, about “What’s my point?”, about the glory and majesty of Jesus. Go. Buy. This. DVD. Now! It might seem […]

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In Other Words…

I never participate in these, but this one caught my eye. “Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before…either into a creature that is in harmony with God,…or into one that is in […]

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Hymn for the day…

As I think about a fellow Pastor’s Wife, Leigh Anne Salter, who recently lost to God’s loving embrace her dear husband and family shepherd who preached this sermon three days before his accident… and as I think about their young children that will grow up without their daddy, my heart aches. I only met Dustin […]

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Money Moments

This post has nothing to do with money actually. Have you heard the phrase, “That’s money!” My husband uses this phrase a lot now for some reason. It pretty much can be used interchangeably to mean, “That’s awesome” or “That’s priceless.” Two nights ago I sent my oldest son downstairs after he had gotten ready […]

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Church Art Display

It is becoming a yearly tradition that our church holds an art display around easter time where entrants submit a piece of work that reflects a certain theme. Last year’s theme was “Jesus is King of the whole world.” I entered a poem. Here it is: On Earth By Nancy Doud If the whole world […]

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Hmmm… Interesting…

This is what I would classify as interesting. The Modesty Survey While I believe in modesty in dress and I believe that we ought to be thinking about how our dress will affect the men around us when we choose our clothing, I also think that people can focus a little too much attention on […]

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Loss

What can we gain from hearing about the loss of other peoples’ loved ones or from other peoples’ sufferings? And when we each have to face our own losses, struggles and hardships, how we will learn and grow from those as God sees fit even if that eventual growth comes through despair? What wisdom can […]

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Christmas pet peeves

Linus Van Pelt: Oh Charlie Brown, of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you are the Charlie Browniest. Everyone has them right? Please tell me I’m not alone in having a few pet peeves with regards to the holidays!? Some things just really get to me I guess. (Please note: If satire irks you, […]

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O Come and Mourn With Me Awhile

My beautiful truth blaring song for the day. Glorify Him and Enjoy. O Come & Mourn With Me Awhile Words by Frederick W. Faber Music by Eric Ashley O Come and Mourn with me awhileO come near to the Savior’s sideO come together, let us mournJesus our lord is crucified Seven times he spokeSeven words […]

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Downcast souls…

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:5 “But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,my glory, and the lifter of my head.” – Psalm 3:3 “Whom have I in heaven […]

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Songs for the day

Tonight two songs have grabbed me anew. They are not new songs to me and one indeed is a very old song (though the tune that I know it to is new). The words are precious and true. In Christ Alonewords: Stuart Townend and Keith Getty In Christ alone my hope is foundHe is my […]

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Prayer thoughts

A fellow blogger was rolling some important questions around regarding prayer. Here are some of them: So when do we quit praying for what we want? Is there a point when we should realize that what we are praying for is not going to happen after many years? Or do we keep praying for it […]

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