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Showing posts from January, 2021

The Many Faces of Facebook

Facebook is an invention. And like all inventions—such as the microscope, car or gun—it is not innately evil. It is the people that misuse Facebook who seem to make the invention evil. Sinners twist good things to make them serve themselves in ways they weren't meant to be used. This twisting can deform an invention so badly that some people feel they must stop using it altogether because it has become a vehicle for hurt or fear or anger. However, even if Facebook is predominately used by sinners, it can still be a great blessing to others. Here are some ways it can be used well.  Announcements : We just had a baby! We are grieved to say that my grandma passed away. We have moved. We are back from India! I will be off Facebook for a bit. I lost my cell phone; P.M. me your number. We're having a drive-by party tonight. Chickens for sale.  Proud Moments : Look how cute my baby is! I just won an award! My son is going to college! I just painted this room! Shared Delights:  Doesn&#

Are All Gifts Good?

About a year ago, I wanted to write a blog about how to give good gifts. It was going to explain how gift giving takes time and consideration. It probably would've been true, but the heart behind it was not right. The heart behind it was resentment at others for not giving me exactly what I wanted. I was convinced that gift giving was about considering the other person, namely, me!  I don't agree with myself anymore. Gift giving, just like communicating with words, spoken or written, is a two part interaction. There's the speaker and the listener. There's the writer and the reader. There's the giver and the receiver. Giving is equally about both parties. The giver gives to communicate delight in some form. People might give to bring another person delight. People might give because they're delighted in the abundance that they have. They might delight in the sheer act of giving or in a particular item. I've felt this way after reading a great book. I just hav

Sacrificing for Others

"Collie Knox (a British author during WWII) tells how once a well-loved chaplain said to him, 'Young Knox, don't make an agony of your religion.' It was said of Burns (Robert Burns, I assume) that he was haunted rather than helped by his religion. The Orthodox Jews had an idea—not altogether dead—that a man was not being religious unless he was being uncomfortable." (William Barclay,  The Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Luke. ) Do you ever feel like you're not suffering enough to be considered a good Christian? Every once in awhile I start feeling guilty about having so many modern conveniences or being able to stay home with my children while Philip, my husband, works or for writing my fictitious novel instead of cleaning the house or for being too relaxed about COVID regulations or for not doing more things for/with my children. In response to the guilt, I often resolve to make more sacrifices to compensate for my "good times." It's a ridiculo

Words of Comfort For When I Get COVID or Am Afraid

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."  (Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV) “Be not afraid: for I have redeemed you; Be not afraid: I have called you by name. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; when you walk through the floods; they will not sweep o'er you; when you pass through the fire, you'll not be consumed; You are mine, you are precious in my sight."  (Craig Courtney  Be Not Afraid ) "Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life."  (Isaiah 43:4 ESV) "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Can Something be Finished Already?

Can something please be finished? Like the painting on my house? Or the 5 freeway? Or the reminders to hang up wet towels after baths? Hang up the dang towels! Why are we still having to review this? We've been here before, people. And, Lord, can people just stop doing the same stupid things? I feel like I'm on a nauseating merry-go-round. And while you're at it, can you be done with me too? Why do we have to keep visiting these places? More upsetting things! More offensive people!  More circumstances not quite in line with my ideals! More, more, more . . .  How about just completing one fruit of the Spirit in me? That'd be nice. And why does the style of pants have to change again? And my computer's operating system? And COVID regulations? And people's boundaries? And my children's needs? Can something please be unchangeable So I may rely on it for good? Don't say anything, Lord. I know what you're going to say. But why do you do this to us? Are you

Day of Solitude Testimony GHFC

I got out last January’s journal to see what I’d written for the day of solitude last year and found that all I wrote was “At home the noise in my head quiets in 5 minutes. Today at the day of solitude, it didn’t. Why?” Having a noisy mind is part of how I see sin’s curse played out in me. I mentally take apart and analyze everything into manageable bite-sized pieces so that I can safely decide how to act next. This comes from believing I’m solely responsible for protecting myself and understanding the world. And it makes for a lot of mental chatter. At the Day of Solitude I recall reporting this to, I think it was Anita Finely. And Anita replied that she thought this had happened because I wasn’t desperate for peace here like I usually am at home. At the day of Solitude I had 8 or so hours of uninterrupted time. At home I have 15 minutes, maybe an hour and a half of probably-interrupted alone time. At home I’m desperate for it. But coming to the Day of Solitude desperate for some ment