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Bob Robinson

Visit (re)integrate

False Pro-War Propaganda about Children Being Beheaded Used on Christians

Christians, Muslim Extremists, and Lies in E-Mails Americans are on edge with the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) advancing through Iraq and killing people in mass executions, taking over city after city. This includes two of the country’s very important cities, Mosul and Qaraqosh. Mosul is ancient Nineveh and Iraq’s second largest city. It […]
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Amy Sorrells

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On peace, left with us. An autumn poem.

all around, grace cathedrals the liturgy longed for in the whitewashed clapboard weary world all around, mercy symphonies the dry bones of summer finally finding technicolor hope all around, peace preaches eschatology reserved for rough hewn pews under azure skies … Continue reading →
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Tom Volkar

Visit Delightful Work

Delightful Work Rides Again at a New Location

Copyright © 2014 Tom Volkar. Visit the original article at http://coreu.com/delightful-work-rides-again-at-a-new-location/.This post is for all of you faithful Delightful Work subscribers. I’ve been wrtiing again at Coreu.com. Please join me to subscribe to my blog there.  Here are some recent posts if you want to know what I’ve been up to. How to Live a […]

Duane Scott

Visit Duane Scott ~ Scribing the Journey

lost in love

Someone once said, “Let my heart be broken by the […] The post lost in love appeared first on Scribing the Journey.
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Glynn Young

Visit Faith, Fiction, Friends

Hospitality in a Foreign Land

I’ve been reading Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus, by Christopher Smith, John Pattison and Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove, and highlighting it here for the past several Mondays. The book is important, with an important story to tell.Little did I expect to experience directly the message of the chapter entitled “Hospitality.”We left for a two-week vacation in London on Sept. 28. Travel was uneventful, movement through British Customs at Heathrow uneventful, and soon we found our jetlagged selves at the same hotel we had stayed at last year, 51 Buckingham Gate.Yes, it’s expensive. But it’s also reasonably expensive, and located two block from Buckingham Palace, three blocks from Westminster Abbey and Parliament, a block from a tube station, close to buses and, rather surprisingly, in a quiet courtyard off the street. In fact, when you’re in the courtyard, it’s so quiet that it’s difficult to imagine you’re located in the very center of London; it’s that quiet. Our room was on the seventh floor, and I could look out the window and see the top of the gold-plated memorial to Queen Victoria that sits in front of Buckingham Palace.Our first two days went as planned – recover from jet lag, see a few things, start easing into a new schedule and time zone. On Tuesday I took an early morning walk across St. James Park to St. James Square and Piccadilly, and watched the swans and pelicans in the park lake. On Wednesday morning, I was in the shower, and leaned to wash my foot. I felt my lower left back muscle pull. It had happened before; I know what it means. Take some ibuprofen, and take it easy. I took ibuprofen, and stuck to the original schedule. We had limited our activities for that day because we were meeting friends for dinner. On Thursday, we took a long walk on the South Bank, from London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral to Westminister Bridge, with a few stops along the way. On Friday we hopped a train to Salisbury to see the town and cathedral.Back in London, I went to bed late Friday night. About 2 a.m. Saturday morning, I woke up, any movement causing severe pain in my back. My wife helped me get out of bed (it took several minutes to maneuver this). I finally did what I knew was the most comfortable thing to do – lie flat on my back on the floor, in the living room area next to the coffee table. Any movement created a back spasm that froze the left side of my back in knock-your-breath-away pain. On Saturday morning, I was able to get myself up and stagger to the bathroom. I immediately went back to the living room, and my wife had moved her Pilates mat next to desk and phone. I got myself down on the mat, curled in a fetal position on my right side, while she called the hotel concierge.Severe back pain is no fun. Severe back pain in a foreign country is frightening.I remember snatches of the conversation. The hotel doctor on call was not available. Another doctor, from the National Health Service, was coming, promised with four to six hours. The alternative was an ambulance to a hospital, and the wait there could be as long. Boots on Victoria StreetThe NHS doctor arrived about 11:45 a.m. “You back muscle feels like a brick,” he said, “and any movement creates a back spasm.” He explained what he would do – a pain shot, followed by three prescriptions – one for acute pain, one for longer-term pain, and one like Valium to control the spasms (and keep me calm). He was caring and knowledgeable. He did write the prescriptions on one form – and one was a controlled substance, needing a different form. My wife, after getting the first two prescriptions filled at a nearby Boots pharmacy, got herself on a bus and headed for Soho, to get the form from the National Health Service office near Soho Square. (She can now tell you about Soho; it’s never been on our list of “must-see” tourist attractions.) (If you don’t know about Soho, Google it.) She encountered a problem: the center couldn’t write the prescription.NHS on Soho SquareArriving back at the hotel, and not having the most important prescription, she turned to the hotel staff. Kristina was the receptionist on duty. She calmed my wife down, told her to go upstairs to tend to me, called the hotel doctor (who was at his daughter’s birthday party), had the doctor talk directly to my wife, and arranged to have a bellman pick up an over-the-counter medicine prescribed by the doctor. A few minutes later, I was taking the equivalent of Tylenol in Alka-Selzter form – with codeine (they can sell this over-the-counter in Britain). The hotel staff delivered dinner for my wife, maneuvering around the fetal-like husband on the floor. My wife was able to get a cheese-and-tomato sandwich for me (and I couldn’t eat much more than that).  By midnight, I was finally able to stand and walk around the hotel room. Bus 24 on Charing Cross RoadI still slept on the floor – the hardness stabilized my back. I slept for 11 hours straight. I stayed in the room on Sunday, taking my medicine, with the hotel housekeeping staff working around me.The entire hotel staff knew what had happened. We were tended to and taken care of. I actually left the hotel on Monday morning for a short walk, and Sergio the concierge (who had not been on weekend duty) immediately asked me how I was feeling, and that he was glad to see I was up and about. For the next two days, I received the same question from the entire staff, include the dining and housekeeping staff.“Hospitality connects us to a place,” the authors of Slow Church write, “because while hospitality can happen pretty much anywhere, it has to happen somewhere. Hospitality requires proximity, and by definition, proximity requires nearness in space, time or relationship – all of which assume certain limits.”Hospitality happened to me at 51 Buckingham Gate, some 5,000 miles from home. And yes, it connects me to a place, and the people at the place. We knew where we will stay the next time we go to London.
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Jim Lange

Tip a Canoe and Humility Too

Yesterday around Noon, I had arranged to meet a group of people I did not know to go kayaking. They had formed a kayaking club and I heard about it...

Sheila Lagrand

Visit Godspotting with Sheila

Weekend Reflection: Hungry

Children Have the Advantage of Knowing That They’re Hungry. I, the Lord, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10 (NASB) Shhh. It’s the weekend. Remove your shoes and step into the stillness. Stop by Sandra Heska King’s place for Still Saturday. […]

Michelle DeRusha

Visit Graceful

When You Are Called Beyond Your Comfort Zone

It was Day One. I sat at my desk, a typed list of 50 women at my side, my laptop open in front of me. I was ready, poised to embark on an eight-month research and writing project for a book about women in Christian history. I glanced at the first woman on my list […]You just finished reading When You Are Called Beyond Your Comfort Zone! Consider leaving a comment!
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emily wierenga

Visit in the hush of the moon

An Open Letter to Mothers Who Have Miscarried

Dear Mothers Who Have Miscarried,I've lost two, and it's near torn me apart, this longing to be in heaven with my babies, but I've learned the secret to staying on earth.I learned the secret, just weeks ago, and I want to share it here with you, if I may?It was December, a cold afternoon and I was meeting in a church with a prayer team. They asked me about the babies I'd lost and I wept so hard I couldn't speak because this past spring, God had told me my Madeleine would live. And then she'd died. He'd told me about her personality, and then she'd slid from my body, and I gave birth to Stillborn Faith that day.I've been grieving ever since and sometimes it's just a white lace shoe that undoes me. Or a pink dress.  Or the sight of a woman's rounded womb.And I met with the prayer team and they prayed over me, that the Grief would end. I nodded tearfully.Following the prayer, one of the women pulled me aside and told me she'd heard a pastor speak once, on miscarried and aborted babies, and that this pastor had received a vision of a nursery in heaven. In this vision, the pastor saw a nursery filled with miscarried and aborted babies, angels watching over them, and upon reaching heaven, mothers who'd lost their babies would be given a second chance to raise them.Now, friends, I don't know that there's anything in Scripture that talks about a nursery in heaven but I also know that heaven is mysterious and unfathomable and eternal, and that a nursery is something akin to the loving character of God the Father. He may just give us a second chance to raise our babies.I breathed long and hard and fast after she told me this. Because if this nursery does exist, then suddenly God's words to me in the spring made sense: his words saying that my baby would live (even though on earth, she died); his words describing her personality, as though she were already alive.Because no life is lost to Jesus.The night I lost my first child, I had a dream, even as I slept: a little girl with golden curls sat outside my bedroom door playing with toys, and when she looked at me, she had her father's eyes. And then I looked down at my arms and there was a little boy asleep in them, but I couldn't see his face.If this nursery exists, that dream was of my daughter, playing in heaven (and the baby in my arms? My eldest son, who was conceived months later).And my daughter's waiting for me--even as your children are waiting for you.13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139)Friends?Our God does not lie.If he's told you that your baby lives? She does. Maybe not on earth. But nothing can separate us from the love of God--not even death, Romans 8 tells us.May you be filled with hope. This world is not all there is.Hallelujah.Your sister,e.*** Hey guys--I hate asking this, but I guess it's part of being a "professional" writer; I created an Author page yesterday and am wondering if you'll consider Liking me? Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/emilytwierenga. XOXOSubscribers that had been using the RSS method may have tore-subscribe and choose the non-comments feed. Old (dead) link: http://canvaschild.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/defaultNew (working) link: http://www.emilywierenga.com/feed/

Tod Bolsinger

Visit It Takes a Church

Google and Jesus Agree on At Least One Thing

Google might be on to something. But then again, Jesus had it long before Google did. Earlier this year in a New York Times article, a top Google executive said the company’s hiring had moved from typical resume highlights toward something more abstract. “Intellectual humility,” they called it. Without humility,...

Jeanne Damoff

Visit JeanneDamoff.com

The Lulu Tree

Isn’t this the cutest handmade hat you’ve ever seen? Well, guess what! You can order one. Or twenty. Because today is launch day for The Lulu Tree Boutique. And when you buy this hat (or any of the other wonderful items for sale in the boutique), all the proceeds will go to help mamas and […]
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Susan Jones

Visit Just ... a Moment

Seated ~

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin,  and have it all to myself,  than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”  Henry David Thoreau *  *  *  preparing to rest awhile *  *  * I do appreciate all of you who stop by and the  comments that you share
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Brock Henning

Visit Lifesummit

Paying Yourself Extra for Free

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.comAt 4:30 a.m. on a snowy December morning, all I had on my 13 year-old mind was getting each nearly-frozen newspaper off my sled and onto each customer’s porch. The faster I could unload papers, the sooner I could melt back into a toasty bed. But I stopped after ten houses, glancing back.Four newspapers had missed their targets by a mile, each sticking out halfway in the snow. Hey, I was paid for delivering newspapers to the premise, not customized handling. And besides, my toes were cold.I thought of the elderly couple who lived at one of those homes. The next morning I returned to my usual route. This time every newspaper landed on a porch, and I placed a few, the ones I'd went back to the day before, just inside the storm doors. And for the elderly couple, whose storm door was locked, I deposited a plastic bag-wrapped newspaper in the mailbox adjacent the door, same as I’d done the day before. But when I opened their mailbox this time, I found a small package wrapped in Santa Claus gift wrap, with my name on it. Inside was a pair of wool gloves that fit perfectly, and a note shakily written to match the writer’s voice. Thank you for placing the newspaper in our mailbox. Sometimes it’s hard for us to pick it up.And when I got my first real job on a payroll at 16, at the local hardware store, I pushed the shopping cart for a middle-aged woman and loaded paint cans and houseware items into her car. She couldn’t walk very well.I was paid to work in the store, and to load heavier items like bags of sand and mulch and salt rock, and to only go out to the parking lot to retrieve empty shopping carts. I wasn’t paid to push a customer’s cart, but I did it anyway. She thanked me and offered a five for my trouble. I politely refused.I think of the numerous times during my professional career, when I’ve stepped outside of my hired job role to fix a problem that was not my responsibility to fix, but I took a shot at it anyway, foregoing my own work for another. I didn’t always fix the problem, and I certainly didn’t get paid extra for the effort, but it was a chance to communicate something that always pays off, and in some cases can change another’s life. Somebody cares.When a person says ‘no’ to something they are not paid to do, is that wrong? No, it is not. Then should we only say ‘yes’ to those things we are paid to do? After all, we need to make a living, and we’re all limited by time. We can’t be all things to all people. But didn’t Jesus Himself say “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28 NIV)? How do we know where to draw the line?I think you’ll know.I never hand-delivered every customer’s newspaper to their door or mailbox. I couldn't finish my job if I did. I’d offer that 9 out of 10 newspapers flung 30 feet from the curb to the door every morning, most largely missing the doormat. But that 1 out of 10, the one I knew I should help, I gave extra for free.This post is part of The High Calling's Community Post topic, "Working for Free". Click here to read more insightful posts on this topic!

Heather Holleman

Visit Live with Flair

Now That's Customer Service!

I love nice people. I love helpful people.Today I had to call a publishing company to request permission to quote from the Bible. I was already mad about having to get permission to use God's holy word. Why does it belong to anybody? Why do I have to spend my time figuring out what's "fair use" with this kind of thing?Well, it must be done.I call the 800 number of the publishing company. Someone answers! She is so nice, and she transfers my call to the Legal Department. I leave a message for a kind man named Brett. It's an overly emotional and rather long narrative about my blog and my new book about Living with Flair and how I sometimes quote from the NIV Bible. I clumsily end the call with, "I'm not sure if you actually call people back, but if you do, here's my number, and I sure would like help figuring out how to get permission to quote from the Bible in my book."Brett calls back. He calls back! He's so nice and helpful! I exclaim, "Wow, you called back!"Brett: "Well, you had a question, and I had an answer."Bless you, Brett! He tells me everything I need to know and what I need to state in my book and how it is indeed under Fair Use. That's good news!It reminds me of the shocking phone call I made to my county when I wanted a fence put up on the walk to school. They responded immediately and put up that fence.My reaction to encountering a nice, helpful person reminds me today to be one myself. What stress might I eliminate in another person just by being nice and helpful?

Marilyn Yocum

Visit MarlynYocum.com

Dumping My Blog

I’M THINKING OF DUMPING MY BLOG - been thinking it a while - but is it one more step away from writing? Or toward it? Unsure. I admitted to these very thoughts while riding to church a few weeks ago and wouldn’t you know it? The morning’s passage included “immediately they left their nets.” I […]

Marni Arnold

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The Burdens We Bear

To face the reflection in the mirror…it’s tough. I mean to really face it…not just glance at it. Nor does just looking at the surface do much of anything. There comes a point in all our lives where we become all accountable for what we’ve done in effort to cope with what’s been done to […]