Erasing God by Peggy

As we come upon the holiday season, it seems to me that most people get very contemplative about God. That’s a good thing—most of the time.

We also seem to become very conscious and aware of the political climate of our towns, schools, nation and even the world. We see more and more incidents of things like Nativity scenes being removed from the town square, store clerks told they are not to say “Merry Christmas”, etc.…

I see a lot of reactions and responses to society’s attempt for an androgynous holiday season. We all see them: the posts on social media that declare stuff like: “Like this post if you say Merry Christmas”; and of course, the ubiquitous “Jesus is the reason for the season” signs, pins, banners and stickers.

But then there are the folks that are, in my opinion, a little, um.. “Overzealous”. Well-meaning Christians who appear to be so offended by the government’s removal of God that they get downright militant in their response and reactions. Have you ever seen a social media post that says something like: “Like this post if you believe in the constitution and say Merry Christmas to every store clerk, or just keep scrolling if you are happy to be going to hell in a handbasket”. Or, my all-time favorites that conveys the message: “Kids are bullying other kids into a suicidal mindset because we removed God from schools. Like if you want prayer back in schools”.

I usually just keep on scrolling and take my chances that I won’t really go to hell in that handbasket. But I want to take this opportunity to say my piece. You see, I do say Merry Christmas to everyone I see, and once I say it, most store clerks say it right back to me. I also love the season and the Santa Claus, decorations and hustle and bustle—all while KNOWING that Jesus is indeed the reason for the season.

I am not at all worried that we are erasing God by not allowing a Nativity scene on government property. We do not live in a theocratic society, but live in what is probably as close to a democracy as it gets in this crazy world. It is my right to put a Nativity scene on my lawn, and I will defend my right (or yours) to do so always. We are all guaranteed freedom of religion. We can worship as we want and the government cannot stop us. Not any of us.  We ALL have freedom of religion.

So, while I am saddened by it, I’m not upset that Nativity sets and Ten Commandment plaques are removed from government property. As long as they are not allowing any symbolic representation of any religion.

I believe that when someone challenged the courts to remove prayer from public schools (in those days prayer was a normal part of the school day and led by the teachers), that God allowed it to come to pass in order to preserve the children of God from being subjected to prayer led by teachers of other faiths. You see, if teachers are permitted to lead prayer in public schools, then they would be able to lead ANY prayer that they see fit according to their beliefs. No, thank you! I will teach my children about Jesus and teach them to pray. I am not interested in anyone teaching them to pray to the air or wind or anything or one that suits the fancy of the teacher!

I am not concerned that God is being erased by society and/or the government. I am more concerned that He is being hidden, and the only ones that can do that are those that believe in Him and are supposed to be His light in this world. God has not been removed from the schools or from our society.  If you are raising your children to know Him and serve Him, then when they go to school, He is there.  His Word says that He is with us always.  We abide in Him, and He with us.  We are the carriers of His glory in this world.

What does the glory of God look like? It looks like the one who buys an extra cup of coffee and a meal for someone who is hungry. It looks like the nurse who sits in the emergency room with a woman who just found out she is now a widow, and holds her hand until her family arrives. It looks like the one who takes off their own coat to give it to a homeless person on the street, the one opens their home to someone who needs a place to stay. It looks like the changes seen in society not by posting things on social media, but by those prayer warriors who take up the cause on their knees, knowing that God hears them. And yes, it looks like a Nativity scene on the lawn, and the signs reminding us that Jesus really is the reason for the season. It sounds like a choir singing Silent Night and the greeting of Merry Christmas.

No, society cannot erase God—not if we don’t let it.  Reach out to the un-lovely among us; get involved and volunteer somewhere. Run for office and be an honest, forthright, praying politician! Most of all, be obedient to the Word that says in 2Chr. 7:14:

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

This season I challenge you not to just think about what to give thanks for, but who you give thanks to. Declare “Merry Christmas” to everyone you can, and while you’re at it, add “and may God bless you!”

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, and may the Lord abundantly bless you and keep you. May He bless you with a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Identity by Peggy

Who Am I?  What is my identity? Why am I here? An existential question I think mankind has always asked itself. A struggle we all face at various times, as our life situations change (going from high school to college or working world, becoming a parent, losing a close loved one, etc…) For some, the struggle is acute; tortuous, even.

There are many ways in our society by which we are identified: our names, of course, gender, Social Security number, our career/job, our station in life. Some identify themselves as a husband, wife, mother, or father. You get the idea.

Since technology has opened the entire world to us, we now even have to take precautions to protect ourselves against those who would steal our identities. It is a real fear for some, and a harsh reality to others. Who would have very thought such a thing? Geez, louise, It’s all so exhausting!

I have found that identity without God is such a burden! At its root, identity is really no more than others’ perception of a person—how do others see me? Always concerned that we won’t measure up, we try to conform to the opinions of others, rather than allow ourselves to develop and grow into the fullness of our potential. It’s an oppressive yoke.

As a Christian woman, I find that my identity lies squarely with who I am in Christ. I could list every Scripture in the Bible about who God says we are, and it will greatly bless you—the Word of God speaks to us deep in our spirit. But rather than that, let me share a personal experience.

I remember one time while praying, the Scripture verse Isa. 43:1 came to me: “…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” I thought how nice and comforting it is, to know I am His. Then I thought again, and just saw a picture of God sitting there looking at me, saying “and why would you settle for that?”   whoa. What?!?

It was one of those “aha” moments, realizing that Christianity means one is in a relationship. And relationships take effort. Yes, it is comforting and awesome to now that I am His, but what about Him? Why would I settle for half of a relationship, and why would I ever want God to settle for half of a relationship with me? Do also respond to that verse with “And You are mine”?

He has already invested all of Himself into a relationship with me, but do I always invest all of myself back into that relationship? I’m working on it! Oh, yes, there are many times that I just need to know that He is there and He’s got the day, and I don’t put much into it myself. Thankfully, He is there, He is listening (even when I’m acting like a brat), and He loves me unconditionally.

I have found that my identity in Christ is empowering. I don’t need to worry about how others’ see me, but I can ask God “How do You see me”, and grow into that. God sees me as His child, His joint heir, His beloved. How could I not want to develop that?? There is great freedom in this identity.

C.S. Lewis says: “God doesn’t want something from us. He simply wants us”. The key to our identity in Christ is developing our relationship with Him.

One of my favorite books in the Bible is the Song of Solomon. In chapter 2, it says “I am my beloved’s, and He is mine”. How simple is that?

Seasons by Peggy

Many years ago, while talking to a friend, she said that our lives are made of many seasons. It changed my perspective on how to view my life. If going through hard times, I would remember those words, and know that every season is only for a certain period of time, and would come to an end. I knew a good season was on the horizon, and it helped.

As I am now a woman “of a certain age” (ahem), with many seasons on which to look back, and fewer on which to look forward. I find that a little disconcerting. I can hardly believe that the seasons to come are dwindling, and as I look at some people who are older yet than I, I must say I don’t like what I see.

I see people who are full of life’s wisdom, who have many experiences to share, yet they are not respected or esteemed. That breaks my heart, and I want to hear their stories, and know what they know. Yet the glimpse

I see others who have become curmudgeons: cranky, restless and hard to be around. That scares me, because I don’t want to become like them, yet I’m not sure I would recognize the circumstances that made them that way. I still want to know their stories—even if I am afraid to approach them and ask. I mean, seriously, who wants to be yelled at by someone sporting a walker and an oxygen tank?

My husband recently preached a message about moving from one season to another. The premise of the message is to move on with thanksgiving for the last season. Giving thanks for where you have been closes the door to having the circumstances of that season follow and haunt you and stifle you in the new season, and opens the door of the new season allowing you to take only the good from the last season. I like that; it makes sense.

I’ve seen things on the facebook that say “your past doesn’t define you”. I get what they are trying to say, although I disagree with the statement. In my opinion, your past most certainly does define you—it becomes part of who you are; a piece of the definition that is you. I think embracing that statement is negating all that you have learned from that season, no matter if it was horrific or marvelous. I know people will say that I’m not getting the meaning of the statement. I know it is supposed to mean that if you were in a bad situation in the past, if you made poor choices to put you in a bad place, or if you got there by no fault of your own, you shouldn’t all it to be a major influence of who you are meant to be. I do get it.

But, I also think the statement is too broad. In my past, I raised a family. To think that those years don’t “define” me is ludicrous. Of course they do! I am a mother and a grandmother. I am enormously proud of every one of my children and grands, and even of some others who we influenced along the way. I learned as much from the experiences of those years than I taught. Yes, I am defined by that. The same way I am defined by my years of city living and Catholic school, suburban living and public school, every job I’ve ever had, every choice, good or bad that I’ve ever made, every friendship, every family event, every experience. It all defines me.

I look at each person’s life as a giant jigsaw puzzle. Thousands of pieces, all somehow fit together. As the puzzle of our lives is built as we go from season to season, the image starts to emerge of who we are. The image is dark in some places, light and beautiful in others. Changing textures in a kaleidoscope view; every turn reveals another aspect of the prism that is who we are.

It does seem to make it all easier if we move from one season to the other with thanksgiving, taking the good and learning from the bad. Burn the bridge, but not the town, so to speak. And tell the stories. People need to hear where you have been and what you have learned along the way.

As I start to slide into the latter part of life I choose not to become a curmudgeon—I’m cranky enough without embracing a mean spirit! I just don’t have the energy to be mean. Who could be bothered? If, over the years the young’uns don’t want to hear my stories, I will tell them anyway. One day they will be glad I did.

I recognize that my life is now and has always been in God’s hands, not mine. I won’t become a reclusive old lady, but I will become a grand old dame! That is my choice. I will embrace the future seasons, thanking God for every past one. I will allow the puzzle pieces to fall into place. One day, the entire prism will come into focus, and the full picture of me will be revealed. On that day, I pray to hear God say “well done, good and faithful servant”.

#Searching by Peggy

That’s not a typo in the title, it really is a #. It was always called a pound sign, or number sign. Now it is commonly known as a hashtag. I’m always fascinated by the way meanings of things change over time.

Put a hashtag in front of every random thought that comes into your head (as long as it’s not more than 140 characters), and post it on twitter, the facebook and every other social media tool at your fingertips. And people will “follow” you. They may respond back with their own 140 character #thought. It’s quick. It’s fast. It’s downright viral. #instantgratification.

But what are we looking for?  Is there a thirst for knowledge anymore?

Our school systems are inundated with common core, and PARCC testing. Little kids are being taught to the test, rather than having their minds expanded as thinkers. All they can think about is how they will do on the test, how to take the test. Little kids put in front of computers to bang out answers like robots that will help the school get better grades.  Are they being taught the treasure of a good book? Are they given the time to delve into a book to get lost in the story and the wonder of the written word so their imaginations take flight? Someone recently told me her granddaughter always loved to read. Loved a good book. Until “ #teachtothetest” education was mandated. Now she hates to read. It has become a chore. See how quickly you can read and spit out an answer if asked a question. No time to linger. No time to appreciate the enormity of talent that writer may have. Just #learnit. #dummyingdownouroffspring. God have mercy!

Some of the times of greatest learning in my life have been the times that I actually stopped to linger awhile. Taking the time to read a good book. Or a newspaper. Taking the time to linger over a cup of coffee with a friend. Taking the time to question something, then seek and search for the answer. No hashtag, no urgency. Just search until finding what I am looking for.

About eleven years ago, a young girl came to me with some problems she was having in her life. She suffered through the abomination of years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and her brother. She was convinced she was worthless and was put on earth for no other reason than to be used and abused. As she grew older, she became a very promiscuous teenager, a drug addict and a prostitute. She told me she sought out men and sold herself because that was the only way she knew how to get approval of any kind. She came to hate men so much that she then turned to women.  This poor girl really had no idea who she was or why she was ever born. She had a breakdown and crashed hard. She came to me to ask me about God.

This  girl was in such a state that she couldn’t even function and carry out the basics of daily living, like getting up and brushing her teeth. I didn’t know how to help her. There was no hashtag thought to fix it. I prayed with her. I told her about Jesus. I answered her questions about God. I told her to seek God, and she would find Him. But I knew that she, in this fragile state, would never be able to throw herself into a Bible study or church.  She literally spent days not even getting out of bed. So I gave her a “God’s Promises” booklet that I had.

She later told me that every day she would read a sentence or two from that book. It was not a Bible, but had Bible verses all listed under categories. Every day she told me she would just lay on her couch, and read at least one sentence from that book. That was the biggest goal she could set for herself: just read one sentence, one verse a day. Over time, she got better. She became functional again. And she said she found God. She found that when she asked Him a question, she would pick up that book and read one sentence, and she found Him. Through all of her suffering during that time, at her lowest point, the point of suicide, she found her answers, one verse at a time.

That, my friends, is searching. It took time. There were no facebook and twitter in 2004. # was still a number or pound sign. But that little book of verses, that was the hashtag tool of the day. One little verse at a time. For her, reading that one verse a day allowed her to understand what I tried to tell her when she asked me about Jesus. The living Word, the healing Word.

This is what I say to you this Easter: Seek for truth, seek God. Linger and search, or #search, one verse at a time, but do it. You will see, you will know. “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”   Jer. 33:2, 3

After I gave the other authors of this blog the topic for this month, I came across a poem I wrote on 3/17/2004. I wrote it after that girl told me how she had found God to be the answer to her questions. It tells her story.   My prayer for you is that you are blessed and refreshed in His awesome presence!

There on My Face

There on my face I was broken,

Felt my heart had been flayed open

To be cleaned by the Hand of the Lord.

Such ugliness was inconceivable;

Such pain unimaginable.

Being cleaned by the Hand of the Lord.

There on my face I saw Him

His eyes of mercy and love fell on me

My heart is healed by the Hand of the Lord.

There on my face I was raised up

To the place of intimate surrender

To know Him, to love Him, to serve Him.

Lifted by the Hand of the Lord.

Selah by Peggy

Selah. An interesting word, but what the heck does it mean?? Many people who read this blog have probably never even heard the word.

We see the word over 70 times in the Psalms, and 3 times in Habakkuk. Now, I don’t always do really deep theological studies. Mostly I am a talker, a sharer of thoughts. So, let’s just talk about this word. From my research, I conclude that no one is really quite sure what it means. It’s definitely used at a time of pause in the songs of Psalms and Habakkuk. Some say it means to rise and look up. That fits as an instruction to the worshipers singing the song. Some say it means bow down; humble yourself. That also is a fitting meaning at certain spots. Then some say it means pause a minute: a musical interlude, or a pause to reflect, to think about it. Again, a fitting meaning. But what does that have to do with us? Why include a technical instruction to musicians as part of the Scriptures? It must mean something to us, to our lives.

I’ve had lots of things happen this past year in my life to give me pause. At the beginning of last year, I lost my job. I was caught in a net-sweep lay-off in a company that was losing money. This was a first for me; I’ve never lost a job in my life. I felt lost. It was a time to stop and think. What do I do now?

I looked up, and I prayed. In my prayers, I asked God, (very tongue in cheek): “You know what I want, God? I want a part time job with a full time pay check. Do you think you can make that happen for me?” That really was what I prayed. Honestly, sometimes I wonder why God doesn’t just smite me –it’s a good thing He’s patient J But literally, the next day, a head-hunter called me and told me of a need for a Project Manager with my skill-set, but they only wanted someone for between 20 and 24 hours per week. Of course, I went on the interview. The offer made to me the same day was for full-time. I thought about it for a minute, then remembered what I prayed for. I said no. I was only interested in a part-time job. The head hunter went into negotiation. The executive management of this company wanted me. They said ok to the part time, and then said for me to “name my price”. I did, and they accepted. I went to work exactly two weeks after I got laid off from the other company, with a part time job, and a full time income! This caused me to pause again, and bow down in humble adoration of God, who heard my prayer and answered, in spite of me.  Selah.

Later in the year, our world was rocked when two close friends suddenly died, days apart. It was unbelievable, really, and no one saw it coming. One was the best man in our wedding. I was the matron of honor in the other’s wedding. Years ago I learned to never ask “why” when death happens, but to just ask “God, what do you want me to learn from that life, and from the experience of this death?”

I was asked to speak at my girlfriend’s funeral. I reflected on her life, amazed at how much we shared in our years of friendship. I was struck at what a good person she was, and how many lives she touched with her kindness. I am better for having known her. As I looked up I thanked God for her, and I was grateful that she was not going to have to live a life in sickness. I was humbled to know that she was actually in the eternal presence of God. I can’t even imagine it. Selah.

I couldn’t find any commentaries where the authors were really certain for the instruction to selah. What does one do to selah? Look up? Bow down? Pause? I think it’s all three, but it’s in the pause that we grow and learn. I think to selah is “to faith”. Yes, it’s the action of faith. Faith is the substance of thing hoped for—it is an action: to wait, believing. Think about pregnancy: When we are pregnant, we wait for birth, as the baby grows. We have faith that the baby will be born in it’s due time, and, as the child grows and is formed in the womb, we mothers get to know her/him. Then this little person is born, and we are awestruck and humbled. To be pregnant pregnancy is to be in a state of selah.

Think of Mary: believing that the child she gave birth to is the promised Redeemer, not knowing every day how that was going to play out–how it was going to end.  How could this child, this normal little boy, be the Redeemer? Waiting, praying, believing.  Selah.

We are not born to figure it all out.  We are born to learn and to grow, to know that God is who He says He is. All of life, every circumstance, every day, is to selah. No matter what the situation, we wait in faith, believing. We are given wisdom and instruction.  We do our best as children, siblings, parents, spouses.  We do our best at our jobs, we do our best at life. And during that time, we look up, we reflect, and we bow down. It’s not just what we do, it is who we are. Selah.

 

Unlovely by Peggy

Every day that I go to work, I have to drive to what I call the “badlands” of the city. I start out in Old City, which is quite lovely. I could live there, I really could. But I must wind through the city streets, maneuvering my way through several neighborhoods, each showing worse signs of years of poverty.

My office is in one of the worst, crime-ridden sections of the city. Trash is everywhere, graffiti covers crumbling buildings, all of which housed factories and jobs a few generations ago. There are shootings nightly in this area of the city I must travel, and, as I navigate my way to other offices for meetings, I am amazed at the drug deals & prostitution deals that are going down on almost every corner in broad day light.

I’m getting used to it. I pray each day for divine protection, and believe God will provide it. It is what it is. But, there is one thing I have not been able to get used to.

As soon as I cross the bridge into the city, I come face-to-face with a side of life that most here where I live in suburbia choose not to acknowledge: the street-livers. Yes, those that live on the streets, literally. As I sit at a red light each morning, I am only feet away from a man who lives under a bridge. He is there in all weather. He has his clothes, his boxes, his blankets, all in a neat pile, and that is his home. He wears multiple layers of tattered clothing, no matter what the temperature. I noticed when the weather turned cold that he had more blankets, and more layers. He’s usually still huddled under his blankets when I stop there in the mornings—it is early, before 7:00 a.m. Sometimes he is awake, strolling down the middle of the street between the cars, holding up a tattered cardboard sign asking for money. Directly across the street is a shelter: a place where he can go and have a meal and a warm bed. He doesn’t go there. Instead, he stays on the street. He is unlovely: not one that we would run up to and throw our arms around and invite him to come and sup with us.

Every day I see people who are intellectually and developmentally challenged. They have various physical problems as well. Some act-out violently, with no one really understanding why.

I see alcoholics and drug addicts who have lost everything to their addictions: their families, their friends, their jobs, their homes. Still, they find a way to feed the very thing that has caused ruin to them and all around them.

I see people who are annoying, and dirty and crass.

I see teenagers who are so morbidly obese they can barely breathe. I see other teens and young people who are not “pretty”, suffering from acne, suffering even more from poverty that most of us can’t even imagine. They walk with their heads down, hoping no one will notice them. They know that if they are noticed, they will hear the snickers, the insults. The sneers that don’t sting like fiery darts. Fiery darts will eventually snuff out. No, these taunts will land like a branding iron, to leave a mark that will never, ever go away.

We call that “bullying” now, and noble efforts are being made to educate our young people so they will no longer do it. Putting a label on it doesn’t make the pain any less searing for the one who has become the object of others’ taunts. It will probably take at least a generation before we can see the impact of that teaching; it takes time to “un-condition” ourselves, our children. It takes time. And the un-lovely ones hurt, trying to become invisible.

I am so glad there are programs and ministries that reach out to help in any way they can. Social programs arise from the inherent goodness of mankind to help those that need a hand. Ministries arise from our call from God to do our reasonable service to show the love of God to all. Our school administrators, teachers and counselors have risen to the challenge to put an end to it. The desire and call to educate ourselves and our children about how NOT to act is overwhelming, and every sector of society that I know of is actively working on it and implementing their plans.

Yet, everyday, we hear of bullying in schools, cheerleading camps, youth groups. Every day and every night there are shootings in the “badlands” of our cities and communities, and there are young people committing suicide because they just can’t get away from the resounding echo in their heads of the taunts thrown at them daily. The taunts that are becoming meaner and more threatening than ever. Every day. Every night. The evil seems to be rising faster than the good.

At this point the regular readers of this blog are expecting me to give a sermonette on what a good Christian should be doing, citing all of the applicable Bible verses. But I’m not going to this time. This time I am addressing society at large: what can we do about this?

I don’t presume to be an expert. I am just stating my opinions and observations. Yes, we absolutely need to keep the programs going. Accept the un-lovelies into our churches and groups. And then, we need to love them. That, in my opinion, is what seems to be the missing link in all of the educational programs: love. While the people designing and running the programs and the preachers and social workers and analysts try to figure out why everyone is so darn mean to the un-lovelies, the rest of us should just be showing them some love.

I have been making a conscious effort to say something encouraging to the unlovely one that comes into my path, to let them know in some way that they are a person of value. I am trying to look beyond what everyone (including myself) sees as their problem, and just treat them with dignity and respect. There is a guy who comes into our office about once a week. He has a lot of challenges, physical and behavioral, and he is always dirty and smelly and unkempt. He talks to everyone, and everyone is very polite and greets him, but one day I noticed that no one really takes the time to engage him in conversation. So, when he came to greet me, I asked him his name and asked him what he was doing that day. I told him that his blue shirt looked nice on him. He was so excited that someone was actually speaking to him, that it was palpable. Now when he comes into the office, he still greets everyone he sees, but when he stops at my desk, he is always anxious to tell me what he is going to do that day. I am trying to always call him by name and listen to what he is trying to tell me, even if he isn’t making any sense. It seems to make his day.

I wonder if, when the pan-handlers approach cars stopped at a red light, the drivers no longer look straight ahead and ignore them. Instead I wonder how things might change if the drivers roll down their windows and give them a buck and say something like “looking good today” or “I hope you’re staying warm”.

I decided today to buy some gloves and hats at the dollar store and keep them in my car, so when I come across someone on the streets I can give them a dollar and maybe something else they may need. When I encounter the bridge-liver, I want to give him a hat and gloves and say to him: “I thought of you when I saw these gloves and picked them up for you”. I wonder if anyone has ever told that man that they thought of him and acted on the thought. I wonder if it has ever occurred to anyone who gives him something to also dish up a little respect with it and make him feel that someone thinks of him and notices his need.

I guess this is my challenge in this blog entry: instead of just telling people what not to do, why don’t we tell them what to do instead? Why don’t we focus on the ones who aren’t being mean, and tell them to tell the girl who isn’t pretty that she looks good today—and mean it. Wouldn’t it be great of the un-lovelies among us started to hear so many encouraging greetings, that the jeers and taunts no longer resound in their mind, hearts and spirits. Wouldn’t it be great if the encouraging voice is the one that begins to stand out, and changes the un-pretty one’s thoughts from suicide to hope? Maybe the man who lives under the bridge will stay there forever. But maybe, just maybe, if he knows that he is looked upon as a human being of worth, he will walk across the street and into the shelter. One step at a time.

Love. Isn’t that what we have been called to do? It’s time that every person knows, there is no such thing as “un-lovely”.

 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1John 4:7-8 (NIV)

Something Different

It’s been a while since we’ve posted to our blog.  We all took a much needed sabbatical through the Christmas season to relax and enjoy family and friends.  But, we are back!

For this month of January, 2015, we are not all blogging on the same subject.  We are all writing what we feel we would like to convey to you, our readers. I will not know what anyone’s topic is until they submit it.  I always post them as soon as I can after they are submitted, so you will know when I do what everyone is working on.

The first to submit is Ronda, and I can tell you it is well worth the read!  Once again, she articulates what many of us already know, but somehow feel disconnected to the thought.  I am always edified by her writings, and encourage you to not only read her here, but also on her own sight, the Kelbey Chronicles.

I will be posting my blog soon;  my topic is “Unlovely”.  I don’t know what Barb and Andrea are doing, but I know the will be good!  Please take the time to read us–we appreciate your feedback and thank you for taking the time!

Our prayer for all is that 2015 bring you a year filled with all of God’s blessings!