In April, I returned to one of my favorite places to retreat–Mount Hermon Christian Camp, nestled in the California redwoods. Home of the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference held annually the weekend before Easter. I was there this year as a mentor for children’s writers.
Early Palm Sunday morning, I walked to one of my go-to sites for retreat on the Mount Hermon grounds. Victory Circle. (more…)
Your friend is hurting, and you feel helpless. If you’ve passed your eighth birthday, you likely know what that feels like. And it seems that I daily find myself looking for ways to best serve a hurting friend.
One friend recently returned to the ring fighting cancer in a third round of chemo. Another friend navigates a new normal after burying her husband last year. Yet another writes her son in prison. One friend battles betrayal. Another takes it one day at a time in a rehab center. Yet another wrestles with crippling anxiety. And the list goes on.
We can’t fix their hurting or erase their heartache. But that doesn’t excuse us from doing what we can to ease the pain. Some. Even if it’s only for a fleeting moment.
In an upcoming post, I’ll talk about a variety of things we can do to reach out to the broken, but today let’s zoom in on prayer.
Oswald Chambers says, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” (more…)
I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Sharon Jaynes. I’ve asked my sister from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) to share truths with us regarding the disparity between how we see ourselves and owning our true value, our identity in Christ.
Don’t miss the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Do you remember the day you came to saving faith?
Perhaps you’re still considering a relationship with Jesus.
Or perhaps you can’t even remember a time when you didn’t know Him.
For me, it was on a summer night when I was fourteen years old.
When I think about how God brought me out of a home filled with alcohol, rage, and hostility into this wonderful relationship with Jesus, I’m amazed. The sheer wonder of it stokes my passion for Jesus and gratitude to God every time I tell it.
But here’s what you need to know. Just because I became a Christian when I was fourteen, does not mean that my feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy went away. I was still a girl who felt worthlessness. When I made the decision to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, those feelings did not dissolve like springtime snow. (more…)
Bad days happen. To all of us.
Days that show up as magnets for mishaps and misunderstandings. The kind of days that can launch us into emotional ups and downs.
You might be smack dab in the middle of that kind of day.
You are not alone. David and the others who wrote psalms knew days like that and recorded their emotional roller coaster rides in the Bible. From pouring out their hearts to God to pondering His ways. From petition and pleading to praising God.
The book of Psalms is a go-to for me when I’m battling a bad day, a day of emotional ups and downs. Here are nine Psalms and truths that help bolster me on those kinds of days. I’m hoping these truth encourage you, too. (more…)
I’m excited to introduce you to my hope building friend, Michelle.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson, a board certified clinical neuropsychologist, is also a wife, mother and friend. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them.
In today’s post, Michelle talks about looking back versus forward looking.
By Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Have you ever done something that made you feel bad about yourself and kept you trapped in the mistakes of your past?
Have you ever been criticized by someone, and felt guilty, ashamed, or inferior?
Words of another can sting. So can the words of our enemy who seeks only to steal, kill, and destroy us (John 10:10).
Often, we don’t recognize Satan’s taunts for what they are: lies. (more…)
I struggle with wanting to give in to our society’s endorsement of individualism. My natural tendency is to make life about me and my tidy comfort zone. Maybe you do too.
Expressing love from a distance is oodles easier and less awkward than responding to up-close and personal opportunities to reach out to others. You with me?
Let me introduce you to my friend, Loree Johns.
Loree, a Write Brilliant buddy and one of my iron sharpeners, is an interior designer who offers inspiration for your heart and your home, earning her the title Decorating Devotional Gal. Loree and I met in person in Park City, Utah, last summer at the Write Brilliant live event for online academy participants.
I opted out of the bobsled ride, but not Loree. And I couldn’t think of a better time to share her story than the week the 2018 Winter Olympics kick off.
by Loree Johns
How bad could the bobsled ride be?
If the Utah Olympic Park let the public sign up it must be safe, though the list of health warnings on the ticketing site hung half a page long. When anxiety threatened to tangle with my peace, I stuffed anxiety into my back pocket.
At our Park City, Utah, writer’s conference, the Write Brilliant mantra was, “The answer is always YES!”
The Write Brilliant team encouraged us to step away from our norm during the afternoon breaks and seek adventure.
The adventure that kept jumping out at me was the Olympic bobsled. (more…)
On the last day of 2017, my twenty-something girlfriend leaned toward me. “Do you have your one word for 2018?”
I gulped. “Not yet.”
“Well,”–Kara’s brown eyes still glimmered with anticipation–“when you do, I want to hear about it.”
“Uh. Sure,” I sputtered. “We’ll get together.”
In the freshness of 2017, Kara and I had huddled at the island in my kitchen eating chicken salad. Our conversation centered around the concept of prayerfully considering one word or phrase that sums up a spiritual practice or posture for intentional focus.
I’d shared my 2017 word and related Bible verses, and talked about the applications stirring in my heart. Next, Kara asked about a focus word for her. When one word raced into her mind, the excitement nearly toppled the kitchen stool supporting her.
That was then.
Not yet, my answer for 2018, stood out as a stark understatement. The idea of one year ending and a new one starting the next day hadn’t sunk in. Until Kara posed her question.
December 31st marked the absence of any real reflection on 2017 or goal setting for 2018. (more…)
I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Robin.
Robin Jones Gunn is an award-winning storyteller, the much loved author of the popular Christy Miller series for teens and Sisterchicks® novels as well as non-fiction favorites such as Victim of Grace: When God’s Goodness Prevails. Robin and her hubby live in Hawaii where she writes from her lanai, sipping iced tea with a fresh slice of pineapple. What? Me? Jealous?
Follow Robin on Facebook or Twitter.
I asked Robin if she’d share an excerpt from her book, Victim of Grace. She said “Yes.” Thanks, Robin!
Happy New Year, friends!
December 31, 2017 snuck up on me, but I wasn’t sad to see the old year end. The New Year will bring one of our two daughters and her family back from Africa for a visit. We have much to look forward to in 2018.
Whether you’re cheering on the New Year or not, let’s you and I press pause for a few moments to begin 2018 with ready hearts, resting in the light.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
Psalm 119:105, NIV (more…)