An Anniversary Reflection

On Saturday, my husband and I celebrated 23 years of marriage. That means, as of next year, I will have been married for half my life. My wedding day feels like yesterday AND a lifetime ago. It wasn’t fancy–shoot, it was in the (literally) one-room country church I grew up attending. And if you want to know about the, ahem, […]

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Show Don’t Tell (a new take)

It’s a common refrain among writers. Don’t tell readers what’s happening–show them. Imagine the difference between watching a movie and having someone tell you about it. The telling can get tedious fast, but watching it . . . And so, when writing a story, the trick is to pull readers into the action so that they’re seeing it unfold in their imaginations. I try to keep that in mind as I’m writing my stories. But what about when I’m living my life? Last week I read I Peter 2:11-12 – Dear friends, I urge you . . . to abstain from sinful desires . . . Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. And it occurred to me that this is the biblical version of “show, don’t tell.” Sure, it’s important to share the gospel. To tell people the good news. But it’s even more important to live it in such a way that people SEE the gospel. I can tell people all day long what God says about love, but how much more will they understand it if I, in fact, reflect his love through my treatment of them? We live in a world where people are eager to tell each other how to live. Everyone has an opinion and altogether too many platforms for sharing […]

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Live Like You’re Dying

You’ve probably heard the advice to live like you’re dying . . . because you are. And it’s true, so far as it goes. We’re all going to die one day. One day. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Or do we? I have a friend who has a fatal illness. She’s already lived longer than the doctors thought she would. She IS living like she’s dying. And it isn’t necessarily what I imagine when I think about living as though my time here were short. I visited her recently and she made an observation that really stuck with me. It  was about how we say we’ll do things, “for the rest of our lives.” As in, “You’ll need to take this medicine for the rest of your life.” Or, “I’m going to wear this ring for the rest of my life.” Or, “I’m going to live here for the rest of my life.” Well sure. But that assumes the medicine will be helpful right up until the moment you take your last breath. Unfortunately, medicines stop working. It assumes that the ring will always fit and you’ll always want to wear it. Grandma gave me her engagement ring when she could no longer slide it over her arthritic knuckle. It assumes you’ll be able to live in the same place until the end. Which would put a lot of assisted living and nursing homes out of […]

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The Church in the World

This year, our church opted to do something a bit different in place of our usual homecoming. We hosted a party for the community. Instead of focusing on our history, reminiscing, and then feasting in the fellowship hall, we invited the neighborhood to come out for free BBQ. And it was great! This wasn’t about getting people to come to […]

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Why is Asking for Prayer Hard?

Pride. That’s the short answer. Last week I asked a group of friends to pray for me as a sort of last resort. Why in the world would that be my last resort?? I tried all sorts of things to resolve my challenge on my own. When nothing worked and I began to feel desperate, I asked for prayer. Why did it take me so long? Basically, because I’m too proud to air my weakness. And I don’t want anyone to think I’m being all dramatic. Now, I’ll be honest, I like attention. But I like positive attention. You know, the kind where people look at me with admiration rather than pity. I’ve confessed before to my praise addiction. Asking for prayer does NOT feed it. As a matter of fact, it does just the opposite. Having a challenge I’m unable to overcome on my own does not make me feel competent or admirable. I could flip this and say it takes courage to ask for prayer–and that’s admirable. Except . . . it shouldn’t take courage to ask for prayer. Asking for prayer should be our go-to, gut reaction to problems. In our ladies’ Bible study we share prayer requests and have a sort of “rule” that you can’t pass and say all is well, you don’t need prayer. Because we ALL need prayer pretty much ALL the time. Big issues, little conflicts, medium-sized problems–we’re never without at least a few. And […]

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