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Showing posts from 2017

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.

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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.

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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