Mission Trip: Faceplant

God wove a common thread through all of my mission trips: I had a spiritual faceplant in every one. Mission trip leaders counseled me regarding how the enemy attacks when people step out into God’s purpose for their lives. Being the hands and feet of Jesus on a mission trip comes at a cost. Satan... Continue Reading →

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Approaching Scripture – Part Tre: After You Read

Hey blog family, This is the final installment of a three-part blog series designed to develop a proactive way of approaching Scripture. The Bible can seem daunting with a multitude of characters and places, but understanding God’s Word can provide wisdom and guidance. Is there a concrete way to approach a Bible passage? When studying the... Continue Reading →

Approaching Scripture – Part Deux: While You Read

Hey Blogettes, This is the second installment of a three-part blog series designed to develop a proactive way of approaching Scripture. The Bible can seem convoluted with references to long lost places and names with difficult pronunciations, but understanding God’s Word can help clarify your purpose as well as provide strength and wisdom when the going... Continue Reading →

How to Stay in Shape

Our culture is pounded daily with advertisements, pictures, and slogans to “stay in shape.” The goal of these ads is to get society to feel inadequate about some aspect of their lives and to purchase products that will remedy the problem. Is this the true meaning of being “in shape?” In Western culture, we compartmentalize... Continue Reading →

3 Prayers for Tough Times

Enduring difficulty is an arduous challenge. All of us can easily get bogged down, be discouraged, and want to quit. James 1:12 encourages us to press on because persevering through afflictions and persecution will be rewarded. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of... Continue Reading →

Jesus High-Five

You’ve likely seen celebrities point upward when praising God for His blessings. After a race or a big workout (or sometimes any workout), I reach my hands up for what I call a Jesus high-five. I’d be kidding myself to believe what I’ve accomplished is all from my own steam. God blessed me with abilities... Continue Reading →

Balancing Act

Balance is key to well-being and happiness. Everything in moderation, including moderation. - Oscar Wilde What does a balanced life look like? When one area of life increases in demand, energy must be pulled from other parts. Our focus hones in on the influenced aspect of our being, and other arenas suffer from lack of... Continue Reading →

Growing Like a Weed

“What does your perfect life look like?” All answers shine brightly in their own way. However, surprise grips me when people respond, “I don’t know.” How can growth occur if people lack awareness of their current direction? Personally, I prefer existing in a constant state of development. I loathe stagnancy. To pursue challenges makes me... Continue Reading →

The Deep End

Have you ever known someone with whom you never scratched below the surface? All across our lives people roam without any real investment. We relegate coworkers, neighbors, and even people we consider friends to a superficial plane where we can be safe without any real skin in the game. It would be easy to blame... Continue Reading →

We are Living in a Material World, and I am a Material Girl

A little-known fact: the joy of having nice possessions blossoms when we share with others. Hebrews 13:16 reads, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (NIV). However, culture preaches the opposite: bigger is better and more ensures happiness. How have we gone so astray? I... Continue Reading →

Measuring Up? Effectiveness Contributes to Contentment

Hey blog family, Several weeks ago I discussed how to live your best life, and seven components made the list. Effectiveness ranked as one of them, which surprised me at the time. I expected love and friendship but not efficacy. However, at second glance, achieving goals can bring fulfillment, purpose, and satisfaction contributing to the... Continue Reading →

Peep Love

Friends, song by Luscious Jackson Where would we be without friendship? In a day and age where social media rules the roost, culture changed the meaning of “friend.”  Whereas in past years, a buddy meant someone with whom you shared time, we reduced our definition of “friend” to someone who likes our photos on Facebook.... Continue Reading →

How Embracing Your Unique Qualities Builds a Full Life

Hey, blogalicious! Have you ever wanted to change certain parts of yourself? Maybe fit in better? Last week, I mentioned the importance of self-love, which segues wonderfully into the next component of a full life: celebrating one’s uniqueness. Mastery of this vital idea should rank highly on everyone’s self-awareness To Do list for several reasons.... Continue Reading →

Your Best Life

Hey blog family, I felt the need to streamline my message as my writing volume increases. However, determining my exact “statement” proved more difficult than I originally thought. My result? “Living your best life, reaching your big dream.” So what does the statement mean? John 10:10 reads: The thief comes only to steal and kill... Continue Reading →

No Shame in My Game

I eradicated the words “shame” and “guilt” from my life. I truly believe that they endure as two of the most pessimistic, negative, and shackling words in existence. Merriam-Webster defines them as: Shame- a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety; a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute. Guilt- the fact of... Continue Reading →

Drop the Rope

Someone who I consider to be a trustworthy, Christian guide gave me some advice recently. Drop the rope. The counsel came after I told my story of a particular tug of war relationship. Most friendships or acquaintances can “ebb and flow,” and some people float into our lives for only a season. This occurred differently.... Continue Reading →

Recipe for Life

The Bible contains universal applications for everyone, not only Christians. I try to read it every day, not out of obligation, but because I have witnessed the transformation of my own heart over the years. Growing up my family didn’t have a lot or at least not as much as my friends seemed to have.... Continue Reading →

Empty Tree

Looking out the window while driving to the airport after a wonderful holiday time with family revealed a world of dead leaves and bare trees. Mile after mile, the landscape repeated the picture of winter barrenness and death. Every year, in the colder parts of the world, outdoor life succumbs to Mother Nature and withdraws... Continue Reading →

Test Me?

People are going to be the death of me yet. I wronged plenty of people in my life, but sometimes, watching the things other humans due to one another astounds me. Considering that we all come from a God of love, the volume of harm we cause each other, both deliberately and inadvertently, amazes me.... Continue Reading →

The Perfect Jeans

Body image issues plague American women regardless of size. Statisticsbrain.com states that 91% of US women, “are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting” (dated February 19, 2017). Some women may have achieved immunity from an overly critical culture, but I don't know of any. Last weekend I had to buy new jeans. With... Continue Reading →

A Matter of Excellence

I had the unfortunate experience last week of watching someone display a complete lack of basic regard. While this phenomenon happens not infrequently, this particular incident weighed heavily upon me. A trainee at work was reading a book and playing on his phone during an opportunity for learning involving other people, including a patient. I... Continue Reading →

I Must Decrease?

Humility arises from the Latin word, “humilis.” The Google dictionary defines humility as: a low view of one’s own importance; humbleness. One of my Christian spiritual pillars and friends pointed out the following verse to me many years ago. For a while, I used this as a mantra, which I repeated to myself whenever I... Continue Reading →

New York

Living in New York City was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The hustle, energy, color, incessant movement, and cacophony of sounds envelope you, creating an alternate universe unlike any other. New York City. The Big Apple. I’ve been thinking about planning a visit to New York soon, and that brought to mind... Continue Reading →

50K Race Report

My last marathon time was 4:55 or thereabouts, so I figured the 50K would take me about 6 hours as it’s only 5 miles farther than a marathon.  However, that wasn’t quite the case. The 50K was a trail run and the marathon had been a road race…very different with unique strategies and challenges. I... Continue Reading →

Numbers 6:24-26

Whenever I picture Jesus, it’s never raining. It may be strange that I’m aware of that, but when I visualize Jesus, it’s always sunny, underscored by a clear blue sky and dotted with a few scattered, small cumulus clouds. And the sunniest of God-moments is when I think of the Numbers benediction. “The Lord bless you and... Continue Reading →

2 Chronicles 7:14

The world has periods of crazy: World War I and II, the Cold War, the War on Terror, etc. However, it seems earth keeps moving toward a precipice, becoming more insane as the years roll by. More pointless violence and personal attacks centered on elitism and self-righteousness occur. But, there is hope. People, there is... Continue Reading →

Micah 6:8

Micah was a prophet in Judah during 742–687 b.c, who prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (which is probably his biggest claim to fame). After defending God’s actions towards the Israelites in Chapter six, one of the best Old Testament gems radiates forth. He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.... Continue Reading →

Ezekiel 36:26

Ezekiel is one of the prophets of the Old Testament, and, as someone whose spiritual gifting includes prophecy and exhortation, let me tell you that it must have been a lonely road for Mr. Ezekiel. Nobody likes the guy with the bad news, the guy that tells everyone to, “Check yourself.” However, we are who... Continue Reading →

In the Pool

Last week, events in Charlottesville cornered the media as images of white supremacists and protesters littered social channels. Confederate statues vanished in multiple cities, crying out in support of equality and denouncing racism. And, rightfully so. They were only statues; people are worth far more. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any... Continue Reading →

Will the Letdown Let Up?

Disappointment popped up everywhere during the last few weeks. How I attracted these letdowns into my life as of late mystifies me, but my quota stands full. A friend spoke some words of wisdom to my weary heart, “You have high expectations for yourself and hold yourself to a high standard. Other people aren’t like... Continue Reading →

Pet Peeves

I don’t usually rant, at least not on paper. I’m a big believer in saying difficult things in person, so that there is no physical record. This is how I think, people. I’m always looking for the gaps, the cracks, the holes and the ways to block them. So, this is a new forum of... Continue Reading →

Turn Up the BOOM

Music. The creative rhythm and emittance of the soul.  A plethora of genres exist to soothe the variety of human personalities as well as the same person at different times.  And certain music is appropriate for certain occasions: a slow song during a love scene or a fast beat for dancing around the bedroom. And,... Continue Reading →

Peacemaker

I feel like God has given me a voice and a will to be heard, but I don’t really use this gift appropriately. While I do stand up for those persecuted and unable to speak for themselves on occasion, the majority of the time I stand up for myself against those who perpetuate poor customer... Continue Reading →

Checklist

I workout on a regular basis and, while I’m exercising, I have a physical checklist that my mind runs through automatically every few minutes. Are my shoulders back and relaxed? Are my face and upper extremities relaxed? Is my core engaged? Big inhale, big exhale. Over and over and over this routine runs on quick... Continue Reading →

Meekness

When I studied the beatitudes, and what stood out for me was meekness. Meekness. Such an interesting word. Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” I’ve shunned meekness for the majority of my life thinking it synonymous with weakness. Only lately, I realized it is a form of strength. My... Continue Reading →

Hey, Baby

Do catcalls ever turn into relationships? If not, I’m confused as to why this behavior continues despite its fruitlessness. Consider these examples. While running my 10-mile route, a man leans out of the passenger window while the driver honks the horn. The passenger smiles and yells something that I cannot hear secondary to my iPod... Continue Reading →

No Gauge

I recently instituted a day of rest in my schedule. I didn’t do it for religious reasons, per se, but rather felt a strong need for some scheduled rest. I operate on a vigorous schedule, typically on very little sleep. Last week, I survived two work days on a total of five combined hours of... Continue Reading →

The Same Green

Once when I was spending a week at the ocean, I was strolling along the beach at dusk, relaxing in the cool evening surrounded by the sound of the emerging and retreating surf. I paused to watch some surfers in the black water under the ever darkening sky and began to reflect. I never settled... Continue Reading →

Redraw Your Limits

I was thinking about personal limitations today on my 15 mile long run.  I’ve come to the conclusion that limits are primarily mental.  Today, I heard my internal voice saying, “one hundred miles is really far; are you sure you can do it?” In 2010 I volunteered at Ironman Louisville as a “Finish Line Catcher.”... Continue Reading →

The Tape Box

At work, we had some down time after the bulk of the day’s surgeries ended. Five of us sat around chit chatting, pursuing a lively conversation regarding the LifeVac, a real life plunger with a face mask used in place of the Heimlich maneuver.  The talk shifted to cats gravitating into tape boxes on the... Continue Reading →

My Greatest Fear

As a very capable and solid student, my ego and sense of self were fortified by my scholastic accomplishments. However, due to my achievements in school, I was ostracized, or at least that was my perception, by some of my classmates. As I moved forward in life, those moments of rejection erroneously became cemented as... Continue Reading →

Life can be a struggle, and people can be challenging. Granted, the good majority of people are like lovely flowers in our lives, who add beauty in all sorts of ways, but, let’s be honest here, some people are thorns who have the ability to pierce and drain the life right out of us. I... Continue Reading →

THEN you will…

Jeremiah 29:11-12 (ESV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. Jeremiah 29:11 is a well-known verse, frequently spoken in declaration over the lives... Continue Reading →

I’m taught lessons on a frequent basis in my job, both through my coworkers and through my patients. I’m not referring to teachings on medical care but life lessons. Perspective changing  lessons. I am consistently amazed how easy it is in our world to lose focus of what’s important and to create and sustain falsehoods... Continue Reading →

At the start of my Christian life in 2008, my weekly worship experience at service would include a shedding of tears secondary to the unconditional love I felt from God. I had been exposed to the Gospel as a Catholic, but a great chasm existed between being shown the truth of the Gospel and incorporating... Continue Reading →

Time Marches

Michigan vs. Michigan State, facing off for yet another year.  Who would prevail?  Evenly skirmishing to defend the line of scrimmage. Until. It happened. Unfathomable. Irreversible. Hideous. The botched punt touchdown. So diabolically memorable that I have no recollection of any other play in that game. The Wolverines, with their comeback season, were ahead and... Continue Reading →

Guest Relations

At times I am plagued by such ridiculous circumstances that I’m flabbergasted. Maybe ludicrous stuff happens to other people, too, however such stories are not routinely disclosed to me. Here is one of my classics… I endured a terrible day in December 1015, having put my loving cat, Graham, to sleep that morning. He had... Continue Reading →

On the Road Again

If I were an advertisement, my slogan would be, “I get it done.”  I’m a worker, an ox, a lifter, a carrier with a quintessential American Go-Go-Go attitude.  On the athletic front, I have participated in endurance events, completing three stand-alone marathons and three ironman triathlons, which is pretty solid. God has taught me a... Continue Reading →

GAME OVER

People state that I’m too sensitive at work, that I need a thicker skin.  I know it’s true but yet undue as I carry a lot with me in my proverbial, emotional shoulder bag. Maybe I should empty the handbag but somehow I cannot disregard its contents; I cannot discount those moments. I cannot brush... Continue Reading →

Titled

Entitlement. Such a big issue in today’s culture. Kids today (I can’t believe I’m old enough to use that phrase!) harbor a strong sense of entitlement. Everybody gets a trophy. We are all equally successful. Toddler utopia. However good the intentions of this philosophy, it’s simply not true in the real world. Entitlement is not... Continue Reading →

The Show

Big and small Short and tall Things said Promises made Hope constructed Easy out Words sprout No remorse No recourse Excuses overflow Hurts bleed Doubts seed Silence hurled Commitments unfurled Selfishness prevails So tough So rough Too fickle Too flimsy Wounding no show

Happenstance?

Wikipedia remarks: Middle child syndrome is the feeling of exclusion by middle children (those with one younger and one older sibling). This effect occurs because the first child is more prone to receive privileges and responsibilities (by virtue of being the oldest), while the youngest in the family is generally considered the "baby". The second (or middle child) no longer... Continue Reading →

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