I don't really remember learning to read; I only remember loving it. I devoured the Elsie Dinsmore books and the Nancy Drew series and as for Anne of Green Gables, oh, how she spoke to my soul. Books old and new, fiction and non-fiction, fantasy, mystery, Christian fiction, poetry—I read them all. Eventually, I became an English major and read still more and still more widely. However, my discernment lagged behind. As I learned to treasure excellent writing, it became my main criteria in choosing a book. I reveled in all the new reading possibilities open to me without thinking much about controlling my thoughts or how those books might be influencing me. I looked down on those who consumed only ‘mediocre Christian fiction’ and thought they were better for it.
In the second half of this two-part series, Dorcas guides women to the root of the issue of control. Where does it come from? How does it manifest in our lives? Sharing her own experiences and wisdom from years of seeking the Lord, Dorcas identifies the matriarchal spirit that is devastating the lives of so many women and their families, and provides answers for healing through Jesus Christ.
Years ago in a distant land lived a young family. This family was probably very similar in many ways to my family or yours, just a husband and a wife and several children living together in a cozy house. One day a visitor came to see them and shared with them the beautiful plan of salvation. Although it was the first time they had ever heard this message, both the husband and the wife received it and invited Christ into their hearts and lives.
I approached a tall metal gate with my sister, who showed her ID to a guard. Dust swirled around us.
“Can my sister come in with me?” she asked him. “Just for 10 minutes?”
“Just for 2 minutes?” I tried to make it easier for him to say yes.
“No. No ID, no entry.”
I Kings 19 tells the incredible story of a man who did amazing things for God. Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal, proving to everyone watching who the True God is. As a result of that victory, Jezebel vowed to kill him. All of that part of the story is familiar to me, told to me often in my childhood. Look at the awesome power of God shown through a Godly man! But there is more to the story, a part often left out. After Jezebel threatened him, Elijah fled. He ran to mountains, and then he prayed to die. This holy man of God, used to show God’s power, was so full of despair he asked God to take his life. This is the part of the story I was so rarely told, but has become vitally important to me.
“It’s cancer.” Those awful words that no one ever wants to hear. My mom’s voice came through my phone as she spoke of the diagnosis the doctor had just given my dad. My dad. He was my strong rock, my hero, my protector. I could not begin to imagine life without him. My world rocked and tilted and was forever changed from that moment on.
When the Romans in the first century were trying to figure out magnification through glass, they probably had no idea how popular that concept would eventually become. But they should have figured it would become popular because we, as humans, are born with the desire to magnify something.
The must-do’s, should-do’s, try-to-do’s, and can’t-do’s crowd our lives. I feel the push and pull every day. From the tug of little ones on my arms and sweet voices that beckon me to sit with them, to the nagging feelings that I should leave the house and help the least of these.
You hear it every time you hear about child training: “You need to be consistent”. The reason you hear it so often is because it really is important! The Bible says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. . . Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. (Pr. 29:15; 17)
After days spent outside in the warm summer sunshine, the cold days of winter make it a challenge to keep our little kiddos entertained indoors. These are the days when energy is overflowing and if your kids are anything like mine, that means that things can get crazy really fast! Here are a few ideas that I hope will help cure those winter blues!
So tomorrow night I have plans.
Mom told me that I didn’t have to tell her what my plans were as long as it didn’t involve a
It involves a bunch of girls, but no boys. Which is absolutely fine.
Lately I've been overwhelmed by the things I have going on at work and in my personal life. Almost every morning last week, I woke up with either a tension headache or a sinus headache. It got bad enough that I couldn't sleep soundly at night and had to take melatonin to retain my sanity (did I ever have it?).
I received the best birthday present of my childhood when I turned two—a baby doll with a laughing face, blinking eyes, and soft body. I named her Cindy and bonded with her like a mother with her newborn daughter. Cindy went everywhere with me, slept every night with me, and was my most treasured possession. Growing up, my sister and I thrived on protecting flightless baby birds, sightless kittens, and lifeless dolls. We knew when we were needed, and we rose to the challenge—rigging up a nest for the hatchling and hanging it close to the mother bird’s nest, returning kittens to their mother, and making sure the dolly had everything she needed for an outing to the farmers’ market. We were learning to offer shelter to those who depended on us.
You can know about God or you can know God. How can you know God? How can you know God’s heart? How can you know the Spirit of God? It is not so complicated.
CS Lewis said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” In other words, life without friendship is reduced to mere survival. We can function, we can make do, we can go through the motions yet we are alone without friends. This is simply not part of the design for mankind.
Sit and take a moment to ponder. You may be thinking “Oh, if you only knew, I would simply love to just sit down, but I can’t. I have such and such to do, and so and so places to go. Yes, I’d certainly love to sit, but I just don’t have time.” You don’t have time? Hmmmm.... Don’t they say we make time for the things that are most important to us? I wonder if it’s not so much the not-enough-time factor as the fact that we don’t know where we would sit if we should want to and plus, sitting is so impractical. There are lots of good things to be doing. Yes, we’d much rather be walking...or maybe even running.
Are you still preparing and decorating for Christmas? Looking for a simple wall hanging for your home or front door? Look no further then this non-traditional rustic piece that anyone can put together in just a few minutes.
"He goeth before!" There is music in that line. To the redeemed, this is a song of praise and triumph for in it lies a definition of our relationship with Jesus. He, like an older sibling showing a younger one how to succeed in the middle of adversity, has gone before us to show it is possible to live a life of fulfillment in difficult circumstances. It is Jesus, the Firstborn, who has gone before us. We need only to follow in His steps. That is all.
Christmas is almost here and the season of holiday shopping is upon us. Some of you may be looking forward to this with gleeful anticipation and others are probably wishing the gifts are already purchased and wrapped. We all know that one person who is difficult to shop for because he (or she) probably already has everything. We've compiled a list of holiday gifts to help you with your Christmas shopping. Many of these are handcrafted by small businesses and the best part? They’re all under $25.00!
“Corinne, don’t touch that! A dog probably peed there,” I reprimanded my six year old daughter as we walked down a dirty sidewalk in our neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. “My eyes watch for beauty!” she exclaimed to me. She would spot a tiny patch of green grass and stop to literally stroke it, while I usually saw concrete, garbage, or dog litter. How can two people in the same surroundings see two completely different things? It is all in what you purpose to look for. And this, my friend, is a glimpse into the core of what we call gratitude. No matter what the circumstance you or I face, we are given a choice to be grateful or to be stressed. Whatever we are up against, we can choose to thank God for it.