Love in Unexpected Places

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What is the most powerful force in the universe?

Not hate, not fear (even though those feel powerful sometimes); not even faith or hope, although those two come close.

It’s love.

Love is the force that created the universe, raised Jesus from the dead, heals our lives, dissolves hate between enemies, calms our hearts of fear and anxiety, and gives us hope and confidence.

It’s the force that we now have inside of us, a well of strength, healing, and power that is able and waiting to do more than we even realize.

I understand this now more than I ever have in my life. If you’ve read my earlier post on legalism, you know that I grew up in a more strict environment of rules and restrictions, and I consequently adopted a mindset and lifestyle of judging and criticizing others rather than simply loving them for who they are.

Continue reading

My Fellow White People — Perpetually Past Due

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I hope you’ll take time to read this thought-provoking post by Perpetually Past Due. It brings up issues and problems that are crucial for us to address in these chaotic times.

I’ve been guilty myself of ignoring the reality of racial injustice, or justifying my own inaction over it, but I don’t want to live in a bubble anymore or bury my head under the sand. Just because I may not be personally affected by this does not mean that I don’t have a responsibility to do something about it.

It’s time to do more than say we care; we have to show that we care.

“We can no longer afford to turn our backs on our fellow Americans. Change is necessary, empathy is our duty, and it is no longer enough to say we support diversity; we need to show that we support diversity.” –Perpetually Past Due

Keep reading at the link below:

My fellow white people, let’s perform a thought experiment, shall we? Imagine: A video is released of an unarmed white man taken into custody for a non-violent crime who is lying on the ground, subdued by a black police officer who is placing his knee into the white man’s neck. We hear the subdued, unarmed white […]

via My Fellow White People — Perpetually Past Due

Safe in the Shadow of the Almighty

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boy sitting on the wall

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I’m sure most of you are overwhelmed or just plain sick of hearing about the coronavirus and COVID-19 and what you should and shouldn’t do, and you”re probably tired of reading everyone and their dog’s responses to the pandemic.

Apparently, though, it’s the thing to do right now…?

So anyway, here are my apologies for making you read one more blog post about it. But I do promise you that I’m not going to go overboard on it. This is just a super quick post that I hope will be a little bit of light and encouragement in your day.

***

This is a topsy-turvy world right now, and people are trying to cope in the best way they know how. For some, it’s megadosing on Vitamin C and other immune-boosting supplements, for others it’s stocking up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer like they’re going out of stock (Oh, wait, they are).

Some of these responses are effective and based in common sense, but they will eventually come up against some sort of limit or deficiency.

Beyond the whole stocking-up-for-survival thing are the deeper issues that come with the social distancing taking place in our world, the isolation and lack of human interaction that is vital to our existence. And I’m not even going to touch on the countless individuals who have been directly impacted by the virus.

The human race is struggling in more ways than one. Some of us more than others, but everyone is feeling the effects of this global crisis.

So what’s the ultimate answer to the uncertainty and fear clouding our world and culture these days? Believe me, it’s not to be found in collecting the ultimate doomsday hoard or even keeping a close connection with friends and family while maintaining that six feet of distance. It has to come from something more deep-rooted and permanent. From something and someone that transcends what we can see and sense in the present physical world.

I’ve been thinking about Psalm 91 a lot lately. It seems to address many of the exact issues and problems affecting the world right now and it offers hope, peace, and security through it all. Isn’t that really what we all need?

No amount of toilet paper or social distancing can circumvent the fears and worries that will arise from our circumstances, but guess what? God is bigger than a warehouse of toilet paper or even 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. God is bigger than this virus and all its accompanying challenges.

I’m posting the entire psalm below in the hopes that it will provide you some inspiration and encouragement just as it has for me.

Stay safe and healthy, and remember you are blessed.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

(NIV)

Leap Day and the Reality of Time

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Four years ago today, it was February 29th on Leap Year. It’s hard to believe that much time has passed already.

I thought I’d repost this article I wrote for last leap day just for old time’s sake…and because it had some good points to consider too.

Hope you are enjoying your once-in-a-blue-moon leap day, because it won’t happen again for four more years.

Make every day count.

A Writer's Reflections

Leap Day and the Reality of Time | A Writer's Reflections Photo Credit: Bing Image of the Day

I thought that today, being Leap Day, was just too good of an opportunity not to post something interesting. It’s a rare, once-in-a-blue-moon happening, although I sort of feel bad for the thousands of babies that will be born today, as well as the many unsuspecting guys who will be proposed to by their girlfriends.

Leap Year has always been sort of fascinating to me. I mean, we can actually give ourselves 24 extra hours than we normally would have in a year?? How cool is that!? Why don’t we do that more often? I know there is a specific reason for it, but it’s still interesting to me.

You know, if you really think about it, we aren’t actually getting any “extra” time. Pretty much all we’re doing is just switching the labels on the days. It’s a nice illusion, though.

However…

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Thoughts on Hope and New Year’s Resolutions

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The shoreline of Cahuita National Park in Costa Rica

The shoreline of Cahuita National Park in Costa Rica

Happy New Year!

2019 was a momentous year for me. It was stimulating, challenging, and transformative for many reasons. I’m usually a sentimental person when it comes to change and turning new leaves and looking toward the future, but this year, despite the life lessons and great memories of the previous twelve months, I am so ready to move forward. I wouldn’t choose to relive 2019 for anything.

I am ready to let 2019 fade into the past and look ahead to the hopeful potentialities of 2020. I’m excited to see what this new year, and new decade, will bring. (Even though change and the future still scare me–gotta be honest here.)

I was reading in my journal from the past year, and I found something that I feel is relevant here. This is what I wrote on January 1st of 2019. It’s about hope and new year’s resolutions. Continue reading

Merry Christmas! | One Simple Way to Potentially Transform Someone’s Day

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Merry Christmas, bloggers and readers!

Today has been a wonderfully relaxing, special day with my family. We had pancakes and opened gifts from each other, then had dessert and more food while watching one of our favorite movies. Now I’m just drinking tea and enjoying some quiet time with Christmas music playing in the background. (And writing this blog post.)

While thinking about what to write for Christmas, this post from last year came to my mind.

Something very similar to the story I share in this post happened to me again recently, and it made me realize once again the importance and transforming power of a smile and a loving, kind attitude toward everyone we meet.

I hope you enjoy this post from last year and that you will have a chance to transform someone else’s day during this Christmas season.

A Writer's Reflections

candy cane heart
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas! How’s your gift shopping going? I finished all of my immediate family Christmas shopping several weeks ago and I’m so proud of myself. I think that’s pretty good for a master procrastinator like me.

Moving on . . . would you like to know a simple way to help make someone’s day so much brighter and more positive? It’s simpler than you think and often overlooked.

If you don’t already know, I’ve been working as a library aide with my county library for the past year and a half. My job primarily involves covering the customer service desk, so I’ve seen quite a few unique and interesting people come through the library.


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Why Writer’s Block Can Always Be Conquered

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black and red typewriter

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I’ve read so many articles and blog posts about writer’s block and how to overcome it. And they all seem to boil down to just a couple of key things:

  • Writer’s block is a uniquely personal thing — every writer’s path to climbing out of the deep dark pit will be different from the next person’s.
  • Writer’s block is less an actual lack of ability or inspiration and more about your mindset — which means three things: 1) that this sort of block can be found in all areas of life, not just writing; 2) writer’s block can always be conquered; and 3) you have to stop using “writer’s block” as an excuse to not write.

Writer’s block is a mindset.

Oh, don’t get me wrong — writer’s block is still a real thing. Painfully, panic-attack real.

But here’s the catch: It’s only as real as you believe it to be. Continue reading

Dear Blog, It’s Not You, It’s Me

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blank paper with pen and coffee cup on wood table

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Don’t worry, this isn’t a breakup letter.

Either with you, my esteemed reader, or with you, my valued but under prioritized blog.

Rather, this is my attempt at picking up my poor neglected blog and blowing some life back into it.

But really, at the risk of being cliche, it’s not any fault of my blog that I haven’t posted in so long. It’s me. No, seriously.

And it isn’t even that I haven’t had any motivation to write lately or been stuck in a massive case of writer’s block to rival all writer’s blocks. It’s more to do with the kind of writing I’ve been doing.

Because I’ve actually been writing. A lot.

~~~ Continue reading

Five Simple Everyday Ways to Be Intentional (Part 2)

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Last time I talked about the importance of being intentional and the benefits that come with that particular lifestyle change.

Today I want to talk about some (hopefully) practical, simple ways you can make that change and implement a sense of intentionality into your life.

First of all, I believe you are the best person to analyze and change your own life. You are the best person to look at your life and routine and know what needs to change.

But I’m going to list a just a few things that come to my mind, some of which I personally need to work on, that are probably universal enough to be adapted to your own life as well. I’ve listed five points here, but there are countless other ways to be intentional in our lives that I’m sure we can come up with as we go about our daily lives. Continue reading

Being Intentional – A Lifestyle Change (Part 1)

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architectural design asphalt buildings city

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What does it mean to be intentional?

The Oxford Dictionaries gives the definition of intentional as “done on purpose; deliberate.”

It’s about making conscious, purposeful decisions and actions.

Being intentional may be simple in definition, but it’s harder to carry out.

Can you think of any ways you are intentional in your everyday life? To be perfectly honest, if you’re anything like me it might be easier to think of all the ways you aren’t intentional. Continue reading