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Showing posts from 2017

From the Cradle to the Cross

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Psalm 22:16-18 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 

Look closely at the scripture above. "They pierced my hands and my feet" and "they part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." Sound familiar? Yes, those words are about Christ's crucifixion. But wait...this reference is from the Psalms! From the foundation of the world, God knew He would have to send His son to die on the cross for our sins.

As we approach Christmas this year, I have been thinking more about why Christ came earth and the parallels between the birth of Jesus and His death. You can't have one without the other. In order to have the cradle, you must also have the cross.

Christ was born to die. He put on human flesh in order to become our Lamb of sacrifice. The price for our sins was paid…

The Olive Tree

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God Shut the Door

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Genesis 7:13-16 (KJV) In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

While teaching Sunday School yesterday, my lesson plan called for the story of Noah and the ark. The two five-year-olds in my class were happily working on their coloring pages as I began to read from the Bible story book.

It was a dark time on Earth, and people did not follow God. Only Noah and his family were righteous in His eyes. God spoke to Noah and instructed him to build a large boat, becau…

Thankful Thoughts

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Psalm 100:4 (KJV) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.



What am I thankful for?

My darling Hubster.
My sweet Mom.
Two lovely daughters.
A great church family.
An old, warm sweatshirt.
A full fridge.
Warm home on a cold night.
A good job that I love.
Wonderful friends and family.
Fat-free chocolate pudding.
Get well cards from people who don't send cards.
A cop who was just doing his job.
A butcher who was just doing his job.
A shy little boy to do puzzles with.
Holding a sleeping baby.
Hershey's Mint Truffle Kisses.
Reconnecting with cousins.
A place and time to write.
A personal friendship with a living Savior.

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Notable Quote:

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude."--E.P. Powell

From the Heart

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Ephesians 6:5-7 (KJV) Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Every Sunday morning before we head off to church, the Hubster and I watch CBS Sunday Morning. It's the best thing on TV all week long. They feature positive news, with an emphasis on the arts.

Yesterday, Sunday Morning did a story on Rooster Soup Company, a popular restaurant in Philadelphia. Food & Wine magazine just named it on their list of Top 10 New Restaurants in America. Their chef is a James Beard award winner.

And they donate 100 percent of their profits to a soup kitchen. 

The mission of Broad Street Ministry is to practice "radical hospitality." Run like a full-service, four-star restaurant, complete with table linens and dot…

Take A Seat

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Hebrews 10:11-12 (KJV) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Once a year, about this time, I volunteer to greet guests at Rainbows United's largest fundraiser of the year, Fashion Passion. It's a huge event with a buffet dinner, live and silent auctions, runway fashion show and over 650 guests dressed in their finest attire.

After arriving between four and five in the afternoon, I grab a quick sandwich, change into my uniform, give final instructions to my team and prepare to say hello to our patrons. Throughout the evening, I help people find their seats, escort them to the check-in desk and make sure they have everything they need. The last guest usually leaves around 10-10:30 p.m., and then I help clean up and leave an hour or so later. Never once, during that evening, do I sit down.

Before…

Why Did You Leave Your First Love?

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Revelation 2:2-4 (KJV) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

In the book of the Revelation is a letter from the Apostle John to the church at Ephesus. He warned the members that they were headed down the wrong path. "Thy first love" to John is the gospel message that is contained in the Bible. Sometimes members and even whole congregations get so involved with programs, ministries, services and outings (that are all good things), that they lose sight of the most important role of the church, to educate the members on the Word, and share the saving knowledge of Christ.

So, what are churches for? And why should we attend one?

The church is labe…

The Hired Hand

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John 10:11-13 (KJV) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.


Our new pastor, Mike Truman, has been preaching a series on the Good Shepherd. Yesterday, he mentioned the "hireling." This term refers to an employee, or in this case, someone hired to tend the sheep.

In this Bible passage, the hired hand runs away and leaves the sheep unguarded during a wolf attack. Not every employee is disloyal, but this one folded like origami.

Just like first responders race towards the scene of an emergency, so does the Good Shepherd. He is as ferocious as a protective mama bear when it comes to His sheep.

We belong to Him, and He loves us as His own.

***

Female in Motion Health Update: I will be…

Bold

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Romans 15:15 (KJV)Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God.

The book of Romans was written by Paul to the church in Rome. Although he had never visited this church, Paul wrote seriously and passionately about the faith. The apostle also taught that the free gift of grace is a product of the love of God toward humans.

Paul was an effective speaker and writer, because of his all-consuming faith. He spoke and wrote without fear.

We must speak boldly, write boldly, go boldly. In order to please God and fulfill our mission here on Earth, we must be bold as lions.

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Notable Quotes:


"Put a grain of boldness into everything you do."--Baltasar Gracian, Spanish philosopher

"Freedom lies in being bold."--Robert Frost, American poet

"Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold."--Edmund Spenser

Strange Fire

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Leviticus 10:1-2 (KJV) And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. 


Nadab and Abihu were sons of the high priest, Aaron. Their job was to assist their father in the temple. God gave strict and exacting instructions on how to carry out the ordinances of offerings. One day, Nadab and Abihu decided to get "creative" with the incense. The consequences were lethal.

I made a big mistake years ago, and it still bothers me now and then. I told myself I was doing this wrong thing for the right reasons. But it was still a sin.

Same thing with strange fire. There are consequences for sin. Good motivation aside, the wrong thing is always the wrong thing.

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Notable Quote:

"Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence."--Lemuel K. Washburn, aut…

Troubling Times

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Judges 21:25 (KJV) In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Our church has spent the last year searching for a new pastor. It's been a difficult season. There has been discord, discouragement and plain, old exhaustion.

Discouragement is inevitable when there is a lack of leadership--vision--planning. You are more likely to stay on a straight path when you have superior direction.

Remember these things:

God is above our circumstances.

Trust God to take charge of our situation, and our lives.

Be completely willing to allow God to change us, as He sees fit.

On Sunday, we received word that our church has a new pastor. Now comes the hard part. We're not in this alone--the battle is God's. We must persevere.

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Notable Quote:

"Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the antidote for our discouragement."--Alistair Begg

Barefoot Worship

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Joshua 5:13-15 (KJV) And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

One of the first things I do when I arrive home after work is kick off my shoes. The feeling of soft carpet, cool tile and smooth wood on my feet reminds me of childhood.

When I was a kid, I spent the whole summer barefooted--indoors and out. All the kids in our neighborhood did the same. We were a crazy, barefooted, suntanned tribe.

A theophany is a face-to-face meeting betwe…

Rest Assured

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Mark 6:30-31 (KJV) And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.


Every weekday, as I leave my office, I watch parents pick up their children from our daycare and hurry out to their cars in the parking lot. If you've never attempted to put a toddler in a car, it's a long, involved process.

While most families are in a hurry to leave our building and get home, there are a few who linger behind. They stroll along the sidewalk, stopping to notice flowers, bugs, or the Canada geese who feed in our front yard. One father and son often play catch with a small football. While mothers make plans for play dates, their children follow butterflies in the garden.

When I find myself overbooked, overworked and overwrought, a time for leisu…

Fighting For Faith

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Jude 1:3 (KJV) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.


When I was younger, I avoided conflict at all costs. I once slipped a letter of resignation under the office door of my former boss to dodge an uncomfortable conversation. This may be difficult to believe, because I'm so sociable now.

In the passage from Jude, the apostle encourages us to "contend for the faith."

Some days, faith comes pretty easy. Those valley days, though. They make me have to fight every step of the way. When faith is an uphill battle, I try to remember that God is enough. He's stronger and more powerful than any foe.

I just need to remember to put my faith in the Savior's capable hands.

***

Notable Quote:

"Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer."--Author unknown

Rain Down Love

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1 John 4:17-19 (KJV) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.


I've been thinking about love lately, and everything that goes with it. Love can wipe out pain, guilt, sorrow--among others. However, all of these things are a by-product of love. It's a paradigm.

My precious daughter is going through a season of pain.
A friend, a gifted artist, is slowly losing her eyesight.
Our tiny church has been without a pastor for a year.
The people of Texas are struggling to recover from an epic storm.

Although love spawns heartache, it also brings reward. We must not ever fear to love. Love is from our Father, and He will not allow fear to deprive us of love's joys.

I know God is still in the miracle business. My prayer is that He …

Bad Moves

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2 Samuel 6:7 (KJV) And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.


One of the Bible's hardest lessons is found in 2nd Samuel 6. In this account, King David had ordered a new cart to be built to carry the Ark of the Covenant to its new home. While it was being moved, the cart jostled and a servant of David named Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the load. He was instantly struck dead by God.

When I was a young Christian, this story was a tough one. I couldn't understand why God would be so harsh. Uzzah was only trying to help. His motives were right--but his moves were wrong.

Doing the wrong thing is never a good idea. This makes me think of the times I have done something "for God" or "for the Church," when really it was to make myself look or feel better. How would I feel if I realized that our Father was trying to make a miracle and I got in the way?!

Uzzah got between G…

Ten Years of Female in Motion

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Today is the tenth anniversary of the birth of this blog, Female in Motion. Every year on my birthday, my mom calls and tells me about the day I was born. So today, I will tell you about how I gave birth to this baby--my blog.

I had been a client at Curves for several years. Remember the circuit training exercise franchises for women? Anyway, my location closed down, but another gym took its place. They purchased all the old equipment from Curves and hired the employees.

When I went in to the grand opening, I was introduced to the owner. He mentioned that he was looking to build a social media presence and perhaps, a blog. One of the former Curves employees told him that I was a computer-savvy writer. He asked me to work out for a week at the new gym and write two sample blog posts. I did, and also set up a Facebook fan page for the business. He liked the writing and asked me to start a blog with the name of the gym: Female in Motion.

The business didn't last long, but here is th…

A Walk to Remember

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Last Saturday, my mother, aunt and uncle came to my little hometown for a brief visit. We had a wonderful time, touring the town, lunching in a local restaurant and talking. One of the most memorable parts was when my aunt and I had a chance to walk along downtown by ourselves. As I showed her our beautiful wall murals, we talked about our darling husbands and close bond.

I have always been told that I take after my aunt. She is super fun, smart, quick-witted and friendly. If I do resemble her, I am honored. When we get together, we enjoy laughing, joking and generally cutting up. But every once in a while, we get serious. Those are precious times.

A close, intimate relationship with the Savior is something to savor, too. If you feel like you can share anything with Him, then you are truly blessed. In Genesis, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with God in the "cool of the day." The Bible speaks of a number of men who walked with the Lord.

The easiest way to get next to the F…

Anticipation

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1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Recently, I had lunch with a friend. We've known each other a very long time, since early childhood. I love that we were able to reconnect. The visit got me thinking about some of our adventures.

On the night before we started our senior year in high school, my friend called and invited me to go to a movie. On a school night. In Wichita. I can't imagine why, but my parents allowed me to go. We were practically giddy, on the eve before our last year of school. The movie was awful (Corvette Summer), but that didn't matter. We laughed and shared popcorn and anticipated the possibilities.

Have you ever wondered what Heaven will be like? I admit, the older I get, the more I look forward to it. John 14:2 promises there will be a place for each of us. It might be a Beverly Hills-esque solid gold mansion, …

The Battlefield

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Deuteronomy 20:4 For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

He will fight for us.

When I'm feeling like I need to right all the wrongs of the world, I try to remember this verse, and take the fury down a few notches.

Take a deep breath, collect yourself, and let God take control. It's what He does best. The Creator of the universe wants to protect and defend you against all comers.

Next time the Nasty Scaries are at the door, let your Savior save you.

***

Notable Quote:

"He who angers you conquers you."--Elizabeth Kenny

A Refuge in the Time of Storm

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Psalm 27:5 (KJV) For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

When I was a kid, I was the smallest in the family. Even my little brother was bigger than me. He called me runt.

Because of my size, I was afraid of a lot of stuff, i.e. large animals and people.  But mostly--the dark. One of my daily chores was to take my dirty clothes downstairs to the very dark laundry room, in the farthest corner of the basement. Most of the time, I opened the door, flung the clothes and ran back to the relative safety of the upstairs.

In the Psalms, God promises us a refuge with Him. He hides us, and we are perfectly safe. Nothing evil can harm us there.

There will always be storms in our life. Make God your safe haven, and you'll never have to be afraid again.

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Notable Quote:

"It's the prayer of the wandering, storm-tossed soul...when we go home again!"--Esther M. Clark Hill

Rest in Hope

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This silly Post-It quote was something I wrote back in 2013, right after finishing treatment for breast cancer. It helps me remember to do something vital--hold onto hope.

There was a point during my cancer journey, where the doctors became concerned. They found out through testing that my tumor was growing rapidly and developing "feelers". I needed more surgery and chemo--fast. Up to that point, I remained positive. Afterward, my hope faltered--at least temporarily.

I had a decision to make: Rebuild my hope, or fold up shop. I chose the former.

Journaling, deep Bible study and loads of prayer time helped. Plus, I found a new calling--encouragement. Recognizing hurting people and loving on them provided me with something constructive to do.

Making a difference in someone's life brings me hope.

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Notable Quote:

Psalm 16:1-11 (KJV)Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;

Why I Throw Parties

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One of my favorite parts of working at an office full of fun, lively people, is the opportunity I have to host parties. Birthday parties happen monthly, but I also love to throw unexpected, quirky events. Have you ever heard of National Hummus Day?

Deciding on a cool theme, secret meetings with co-conspirators, planning the menu and ordering supplies are all things I enjoy. I get a kick out of being creative with very little money. For my supervisor's Hawaiian luau birthday party last month, I "borrowed" the pink stuffed pig from the children's library and placed it on a platter with an apple in its mouth.

Working at a non-profit, none of us have a lot of extra cash, so I keep things simple, with fun and easy touches. Pinterest and Oriental Trading Post have lots of unique ideas. And Amazon is a great place to buy party supplies, quick and cheap.

Planning a birthday party for a co-worker allows me to show them how much I care, and that they are valued. The look of …

Was God a Lousy Parent?

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Genesis 3:9-13 (KJV) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.


Did God flunk parenting, because Adam and Eve messed up?

Think about this...if God is perfect (yes, He is!), then how did His kids make a big mistake?

Not-so-big secret: God is perfect, but His kids aren't. They have free will.

As a result of my way too young and imperfect parenting, I carry a great deal of guilt. Don't get me wrong--my kids are smart and successful and terrific. They turned out great. The big thing I struggle w…

In My Father's House

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Fathers Day was yesterday. In our house, it passes quietly; just the way The Hubster likes it. We went to church. Had some lunch and a nap. Our daughter called and they had a nice conversation. It was a nice day--just hanging around the house.

My Sunday School class discussed the 23rd Psalm. I love the imagery the Word proclaims, but more than that, I love the promise of what lies in store for us in our Father's House. The Bible contains many assertions of what is in store for us in Heaven. Here are a few.

In my Father's House:

1. There are many mansions (John 14:2)
2. There is bread enough, and to spare (Luke 15:17)
3. I am protected (Psalm 23:4)
4. There is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)
5. There is music (I Chronicles 6:31)
6. God has prepared it (Genesis 24:31)
7.  We are blessed there (Genesis 39:5)
8. We will eat the first fruits (Numbers 18:13)
9. There are treasures (I Kings 7:51)
10: I will live there forever (Psalms 23:6)

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Notable Quote:

"We talk about Heaven …

Behind Enemy Lines

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Satan lies. He tells us we are weak and powerless. There is no place to hide. We are all alone in this world. Nothing will ever change.

It’s simply not true.
Our Father promises that we are kings and priests.
Revelation 1:6 (KJV) And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. He says we have a hiding place. Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. We will never be alone, according to His Word.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, heit is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Jesus vowed to set us in heavenly places.
Ephesians 2:6-7 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
We should act like who we are. And to whom we belong.
*…

Progress

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Jeremiah 18:3-4 (KJV) Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

A friend shared her candy with me recently. It was something I hadn't tasted since I was a child. After quickly popping the treat in my mouth, I realized that although this was a childhood favorite, it didn't carry over into adulthood. Bleh.

Just as our palate matures, our faith should do the same. Brand-new Christians don't have the same development as 30-year believers. We all need to be making slow and steady progress forward, though.

It is natural to fight against big, glaring sins that are evident to all. They are hard work to leave behind, but well worth the battle. Only after this is accomplished, will it be time to really do some deep cleaning in our souls; that internal struggle you face with your own sho…

Big, Bold and Beautiful

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Have you ever seen a deflated hot air balloon? It doesn't look like much, all folded up in a small bag. Easy to be overlooked, when you can't see the inflated grandeur. Only when it is opened, and the balloon shows its full effect--can you see that it is big, bold and beautiful.

My dear friend has a new blog. She has been contemplating writing for a couple of years, but always came up with an excuse. Recently, she took the plunge, and I couldn't be more proud.

You must be brave, to divulge your life and thoughts on such a public scale. My friend has a unique voice; and with that gift comes a serious responsibility.

What makes us unique needs to be shared and seen. We have a "high calling" from God. Each of us are capable of making a significant mark on the world. Others will be drawn to our motivation and inspiration. Our insights can bring clarity and new thinking.

If what we are waiting for is perfect timing or personal feelings, that may not happen. What …

Female in Motion's Got a Brand New Look!

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I've got a brand new look. Not me--the blog!

Every once in a while, I feel the need to make changes. Last Saturday, I cleaned out my closet. It was long overdue. By the time I was done, there were piles to keep, put away for the summer, donate and throw out.

When I sat down with my laptop tonight, I cast a critical eye on my blog site, and felt the same stirrings for change. It's part of my DNA, I suppose. Got to keep moving forward.

Let me know what you think of the new look and check out the tag line. It's new, too!

Me and Bob Marley

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He was a legendary reggae singer and political activist. I am a Midwestern small-town blogger chick and church lady. What could we possibly have in common?
Skin cancer.
Melanoma took Bob Marley's life when he was just 36 years old.
I was diagnosed with melanoma at age 25, a mere week after I gave birth to my second child. People who are fair-skinned and freckled are most likely to get skin cancer, but everyone is at risk. Although there are really no symptoms, melanoma presents as a mole that changes color, shape or size.
According to skincancer.org, "One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 54 minutes). An estimated 87,110 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017. An estimated 9,730 people will die of melanoma in 2017. Melanoma accounts for less than one percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths."

Celebrities who have battled melanoma are: President Jimmy Carter, Senator John McCain,  actor Burgess Meredi…

Known For This

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I attended a book signing Sunday for my dear friend, H.B. Berlow's latest novel, Ark City Confidential. (That's right, it's based in my hometown!)

The Tikiman is one of my favorite authors--and people. He's jovial and gracious, multi-talented and sensitive. One of his most charismatic attributes is his Hawaiian shirts. I've never seen him without one.

As Christ followers, we have traits we are known for: hospitality, generosity, teaching, prayer and service, just to name a few. These gifts make us recognizable and significant. While we develop them over our lifetime, talents are given to us by God, to be used in His service.

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Notable Quote:

"Each one of us should lead a life stirring enough to start a movement."--Max Lucado

Mental Tug of War

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One of the major issues I struggle with is worry. It's pretty common today, especially for women. We worry and stew and let it affect our sleep, relationships and faith walk.

Let's face it...it's sin.

When we don't trust God enough to do His job, or when we take His job away and try to do it ourselves, it is a recipe for disaster.

I have found four steps that help me break the cycle. Now if I can just use them consistently.

1. Recognize the thought--If it is negative and against Scripture, it must be from the devil. And he's a big, fat liar.

2. Rebuke the sin--Just because it flits through our brain, we don't have to accept and absorb it as truth. Tell that sucker to take a hike!

3. Request forgiveness from God--A simple prayer of true repentence will bring peace to your heart.

4. Resolve to be vigilant against repeats--Build in positive thoughts, encouraging verse and phrases. Leave no room for the bad stuff.

Allow God to do His best--in His own good time.

*…

Broken and Spilled Out

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John 12:1-3Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

Full of meaty meaning, this portion of Scripture has been discussed and debated since it was originally written. I love to read it over again, and consider all the facets of this jewel.

The alabaster box was costly, and likewise the spikenard it contained. This was an extravagance, unheard of in this situation. Similar gifts would likely be offered to kings or other dignitaries, never an ordinary man, a carpenter.

Mary anointed Jesus as her king, the King. 

I think all of us are like that alabaster box. We are merely a shell, a vessel for the priceless object …

Resurrection Day

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Regeneration

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You can tell spring has sprung in rural Kansas when the farmers and ranchers start their spring burning. As I drive back and forth to work on weekdays, I see smoke plumes dotting the horizon, and scorched earth along the roadways. Fields must be cleared for new growth.

After the fires have died down, the remains are black and charred. No life to be found.

And then, merely a few days later, tiny green shoots spring forth from the blackened pastures. Death into life. Within a month, there is a verdant prairie where once a burned plot laid. This is regeneration.

After Jesus' crucifixion, when Joseph of Arimathea placed the body of Christ in the tomb, there was no doubt that He was dead. Otherwise, what would be the point of it all? Our Savior gave up His life here on earth, so that we might have eternal life in Heaven.

On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. Death into life. The empty tomb was proof.

We are all assured new life in Christ. Regeneration--it's our choice.

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No…

The Colors of Salvation

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I teach third through fifth grade Sunday School at my church. And I love it. They are bright and fun and inquisitive and challenging. I have to make sure to prepare and study to stay ahead of them. They are little sponges, at this age.

Yesterday, we started reviewing the colors of salvation. This is a simple teaching tool.

Gold is for the kingdom of Heaven, and Revelation 21:18 says, "And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass."

Black represents our sin, and the corresponding Bible verse is Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."


Red stands for the blood Jesus shed on the cross. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."


White is for the pure gift of salvation, and Romans 10:9 assures us, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath…

To Be Understood

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Proverbs 2:6 (KJV) For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

English is the second language for my new co-worker. She speaks it well and more importantly, she speaks the universal language of math. American culture and narrative are more of a challenge, however. She wants to be clearly understood.

As humans, we want God to understand us. We ache to be comprehended and validated and loved. An intimate friendship between two souls is what we crave.

In our mortal state, however, we have no tools to achieve this lofty goal.

Similarly, God wants us to understand Him. He aches to be comprehended and validated and loved. The kind of relationship we desire from Him, is exactly what He wants from us.

Our Heavenly Father created a bridge to cross the divide between our hearts. It is His Son, Jesus.

He's your new Best Friend.

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Notable Quote:

"If you're not daring to believe God for the impossible, you're sleeping through some of the best …

To Forgive is Divine

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Proverbs 10:12 (KJV) Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

There are Christ-like qualities that, as Christ Followers, we aspire to achieve or perfect during our lifetime, such as selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, love and hospitality, to name a few.

One of the ones I struggle with the very most is forgiveness. It seems to be most counter-intuitive to humanity. We simply don't get it.

Here's the interesting part, when people hurt me--it stings---but I get over it. My ego has been bruised enough in my 55 years, that I can take it. Even with the worst offenses, it takes me but a few months to completely turn it over to the Throne and let it go. (I'm not perfect; it takes a lot of work!) However, if they hurt someone I love--the mama bear in me comes out and I see red.

Christ commands us to forgive in obedience to Him. When we show grace to those who cause us pain, we are modeling Christ. He was quick to forgive.

Mark 11:25 promises that if we forgive o…

Let the Tears Fall

Anyone who has suffered loss, knows the pain it causes. Your heart feels shattered...unmendable. As grief takes its toll, we begin to ask tough questions:
Why them? Why me? Does God really care? Why would God let something like this happen?
Here's some better questions:
Who do we know God to be?  Is He a just and loving and good God? Tell yourself some truths: We never grieve alone. He is beside us.
When God does what only He can do, things can change. When we open our heart and will to Him, healing happens. Dare to follow Him, even when times are hard. Don’t hide the tears…let them fall. Cleanse your soul. 
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Notable Quote:
"Even hundredfold grief is divisible by love."--Terri Guillemets

Grief

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This poem is dedicated to two of my dear friends, who lost loved ones last weekend. My heart hurts for them, and I pray God surrounds them with His unspeakable comfort.

Live With Joy

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Psalm 32:11 (KJV) Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.


"You don't mind looking silly, do you?" a co-worker asked me today.

I smiled and said, "No, actually I prefer it." (I was wearing a jaunty chapeau for Hat Day.)

She chuckled. "I like that about you."

Last week, I turned 55. And it was the fifth anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. I'm still here. I'm still living and working and loving my life.

Joy is something I strive for every day. Usually, I achieve the goal. But there's always room for improvement. Stress, fear, doubt and worry have no place in our lives. We need to cling to His power, not cobble together our own "good enough" plan.

Follow Him.
Listen to Him.
Live with joy.

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Notable Quote:

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, J…

Shameless

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John 8:41b (KJV) ...Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 

Since birth, Christ was accused of being a "son of fornication," by the ultra-religious (and legalistic) sect, the Pharisees. They claimed that his mother and father had sex before their marriage, at best, and that his mother was a harlot, at worst. Jesus, and his family, lived with this stigma all their lives.

The Savior did not carry any shame, however. He was shameless. And He was thus because He was sinless. Christ didn't allow taunts to absorb into His psyche. God was His father. Nothing any man could say would harm Him.

Matthew 1:18-21 (KJV)Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.But while he thought on these th…

Perfectly Loved

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Sharp and Ready

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2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.



The surgery was a success. The patient had been wheeled into the recovery room, and the last surgical team member turned off the lights as she exited the room. The suite stood in disarray, soiled linens and used instruments littered the floor and tables. The weary surgeon headed home from the hospital.

***

There was a tragic car accident. A young man is badly injured. He will need immediate surgery. The orderlies rush him through the doors of the operating suite, only to find that it is still dirty from the last surgery. None of the team is dressed or ready to operate. There are no clean instruments to use. The surgeon sees that nothing is ready, so he turns and exits the room. There will be no surgery today.


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Unprepared. There are days when I've got it all together, and others that it all falls apart. When I pray, read and study the Bibl…

Christian Characteristics: Love

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"Love means loving the unlovable, or it is no virtue at all."--G.K. Chesterton

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John 13:35 (KJV) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 


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Matthew 22:36-40 (KJV)Master, which is the great commandment in the law?Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 


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Our love for God can only be measured by our love for others.--Female in Motion

Christian Characteristics: Gentleness

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"The person who bears and suffers evils with meekness and silence, is the sum of a Christian man."--John Wesley

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Titus 3:2 (KJV) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

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"Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you--not because they are nice, but because you are."--author unknown

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Matthew 10:16 (KJV) Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Christian Characteristics: Generosity

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"Never be afraid of giving up your best, and God will give you His better."--James Hinton, Leaves of Gold

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"Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle or Einstein's Theory of Relativity or the Second Theory of Thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."--Martin Luther King, Jr.

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1 Timothy 6:17-19 (KJV) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Christian Characteristics: Honesty

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Honest and courageous people have very little to say about either their courage or their honesty.--Hosea Ballou

Proverbs 3:3 (KJV) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Christian Characteristics: Courage

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Psalm 31:24 
Be of good courage,  and he shall strengthen your heart,                                                           all ye that hope in the LORD.




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Notable Quote:



"It is curious--curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare."--Mark Twain