What I learned in April 2015

What I learned in April 2015
Once a month, I join a community led by Emily Freeman as we share what we learned. I usually include books, movies and what made me stop and wonder (#7). I couldn't pick a favorite but #10 made me smile the most. 1. I'm still thinking about Easter and what my wise friend Lynne said about how The Cross is Not a Seasonal Issue (links to her Forgiveness Series). "Jesus is forsaken so that we will never be forsaken. In Hebrews 13:5 (using the strongest language in the whole New Testament) God litera... [More]

An unexpected way to overcome fear

An unexpected way to overcome fear
A few days ago, my chest tightened and a dark cloud pressed down on me till the sun disappeared. I prayed on and off. I breathed in and out. Nothing helped. I persevered and asked God for grace as unexplained fear gripped and wrapped itself around my heart and mind. Desperate, I sent a text to four friends asking for prayer late afternoon. I called another friend, a pastor with counseling gifts. Lynne patiently listened, shared wisdom then prayed for me. About an hour later, my chest felt a li... [More]

Is being "ordinary" a sin?

Is being
In The Year of Magical Thinking*, Joan Didion writes about her grief over her husband's sudden death from cardiac arrest and her daughter's serious health issues (and her eventual death). I sensed from her words what she once deemed ordinary was not after their loss. No more lingering over meals or secrets together. No more shared life in the moments before sleeping and after waking. Yet ads and many voices urge us to "do more," "be more" and "climb the highest mountain." Nothing wrong with hav... [More]

Are you putting on your "socks" properly?

Are you putting on your
Bill Walton shared what celebrated Coach John Wooden taught him during his first days on UCLA's basketball team. These young men probably expected Wooden to immediately have them practice their skills, such as passing, dribbling and shooting. But to Bill's great surprise, Coach Wooden came out on stage with socks, a pair of athletic shoes and a 12 year old boy named Robert. Huh? Photo used with permission of Steve Johnson Coach Wooden proceeded to show the players the correct way (step by step)... [More]

On Peter, process (& giving up perfectionism)

On Peter, process (& giving up perfectionism)
Although I wrote about how it's okay to be in process, I need reminders because of my perfectionist tendencies. Recently, I received an unexpected visual reminder. I watched the TV miniseries A.D. The Bible Continues which runs for several weeks on Sunday evenings. One of the key story lines: Peter models confidence in his own strength before testing reveals failure. Photo of modern day Mount of Olives at night, used with permission of Flickr User: Chad Rosenthal The disciples and Jesus have ... [More]