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    Living in God’s Presence Part 2

    I have a confession—and I do appreciate the ridiculous paradox of what I’m about to say—but I didn’t have high expectations for my blog post Living in God’s Presence. Up to the point that I hit send on the email to my pastor, and later when I pressed publish on my website, I wondered—in contrast to the message of the entire post—if maybe I was confusing obsessive tendencies for Godly zeal. Then I started reading feedback and realized something—this questioning… this uncertainty… hit home with other Christians. This quiet doubt that was snaking its way into my head and heart was also at work worming its way into the heads…

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    Sunshine Blogger Award

    I’ve had the honor of being nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award—not once but twice in the last couple months. My first nomination for this peer-recognition award came from Gia at giaknows.com. Gia is a passionate Christian and raw vegan minimalist who invites others to walk with her towards better health through the powerhouse of info she provides on her blog. Check it out and follow her social media profiles: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. My second nomination came from a fellow faith blogger, Stephen De La Vega. Stephen faithfully and fearlessly blogs about his pursuit of God. He shines a love of Biblical understanding and invites us to…

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    For the Joy

    A couple years ago, I realized that I can tell how much my brain needs a break by the size of the DIY project I’m working on. No project = I’m doing great. Medium project = I need to unwind. This week, I decided to build myself a writing cabin. By myself. I’m not sure why making something calms my mind and slows me down but, needless to say, I don’t have a lot to share in the form of devotional or teaching this week. Which is why I’ve decided to share a testimony instead. This past week as I dragged lumber through the forest, one thing became very clear—wood…

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    Growth through Hardship

    Our gift from God. Have you ever faced an unanswered prayer? Challenging relationships? Difficult circumstances? Trick question. Of course the answer is yes if you’ve lived long in this world. I’ve been thinking a lot about learning lessons in life. Spiritual lessons. Slowly, I’m realizing that no matter how desperate I am for answered prayer—as I interpret “answered”—getting what I want may not be the best thing for my growth. Why? Because when I get what I want, I don’t grow. Despite the present-day gospel presentation, Jesus never promised an easy life post-personal redemption. In fact what he promised was the exact opposite. In John 16:33, Jesus told us, “In…

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    Juxtaposition

    Juxtaposition: the act or instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or contrast or to create an interesting effect. A couple months ago, I explored the idea of treating others according to their potential, not their past—which I wholeheartedly believe. But what happens when treating others according to their potential, not their past, puts us in hazardous emotional/spiritual/physical situations? How do we guard our hearts while still believing the best? I’m not even going to pretend to understand all that this means. It’s a deep question to answer and one of the many juxtapositions of our faith. But as I reflected on this idea,…

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    Ask for Wisdom

      One night recently, I told God that I had no idea how to respond to a touchy situation. I wasn’t smart enough. I wasn’t wise enough. I just didn’t have the EQ to handle it. So, I turned off the lights and went to bed, totally in the dark—in every sense of the word. The next morning, I woke up and browsed Instagram. I know…I should have opened my Bible first. Busted and guilty. God still got to me. One author I follow had uploaded James 1:5 that morning. Superimposed across a beautiful background were these words: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives…

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    Yes, No, Maybe So

    The last place I expected to learn a spiritual truth about myself was in a book about criminal behavior. But truth is truth whether it’s in a church, a university, or a library. And this one hit me hard. Reading through a chapter on predatory behavior, I came across this sentence. “No, is a word that must never be negotiated, because the person who chooses not to hear it is trying to control you.” Now—everything we could say about children’s manipulative ways aside—I immediately heard, “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” Obviously not in a criminal way (at least you…

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    Potential. Not Past.

    Jesus treats me as he knows I can be, not as I’ve proven to be in the past. He doesn’t operate under fear that I’ll let him down…again.   He says he doesn’t even remember what happened last time I hurt him. He sees my potential. Not my past. It’s a real innocent until proven guilty attitude. Only I know I’ll never be proven guilty. He already stepped in and covered me while my verdict was read. What could be more freeing? So why is it so hard to take that freedom and release it outwards? Why is it a struggle to adopt Jesus’ attitude and focus on people’s potential—not…

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    My Writing Oasis

    When you work from home you MUST have a great working atmosphere. And while I made sure that our blueprints included a small ‘office’ area for me, I’m a traveling worker and I have no less than 3 favorite working areas around my house.      Like my 8-year old cousin recently reminded me, I have the best job in the world because I can work from my bed in my pajamas. Truth, little cousin! Truth. So my pillow fortress must be comfortable. When it came to a new headboard, I knew exactly what I wanted. But I couldn’t find any store that sold it. (I wasn’t too sad that I…

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    Refinished Antique Tables

    Attics have always held a special allure for me. Now that I’m a writer, I understand it’s because I’ve always wanted to discover the story not told. Uncover a mystery or get a glimpse into someone’s romance. Attics hold those little links to past stories the present has forgotten. And I’ve found some amazing treasures in my parent’s attic. Among those treasures were two banged up end tables. They didn’t match and they were horribly scarred from use and time but I jumped on the chance to bring them home and breathe new life into them. (All the while wondering who was the last person to use them. What was…