Category Archives: Inspiration

Wear the Cross for the 21 Martyrs

It’s nearly unbelievable to think what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ is the Middle East. I am calling all brothers and sisters to stand in solidarity with our martyred brothers and sisters in Egypt.
We are the nation of the cross. Wear your cross as a sign of unity of faith. Wear and share. Blessings.

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January Tweaks

I read this great article today and thought it worth passing on.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3040340/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/17-small-and-totally-doable-tweaks-that-will-change-your-y

All 17 of the tweaks make a lot of sense. I’m off right now to set my clock and make a morning list.

Here’s to a productive year!

Faithpondering

Red Lodge, MTOk, so it’s been way too long since we have posted. Maybe we (I) haven’t been
doing what our blog name implies, pondering faith.

Got too busy, too distracted, to take time to ponder.

Today is a good day to begin again.
It’s so good that God doesn’t condemn when we take those ‘sabbaticals’ .  He
patiently waits until we tune into Him again. Oh, I’ve come to Him since
February, that’s for sure, but more with my agenda than spending quiet time,
silent time to hear what He would say to me.

Imagine if I hiked a tall mountain to speak to a wise person and when I got there all I did was talk, then left to make my descent.  I didn’t spend any time sitting and listening or
asking questions and waiting for an answer or enter conversation? That would be
a waste of time and energy…

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Seasons

autumn
Beautiful, crisp Fall mornings. Daylight peaking it’s head up later and leaving sooner each evening. Trees changing color. All are evidence that the season is changing.

I think I love living in the North so much because I can so visually see change through the seasons. It causes gladness and sometimes a sense of loss as the trees take on their brilliant hues. On one hand they are the most beautiful, but on the other I know what lies ahead– change. The beauty falling and the foundation remaining preparing for elements that will require a stripped down model, but thenthe hope of something new come Spring.

I think God loves visuals, and that He gave us this visual to help us see what He put in motion that most evidently translates through His creation. Not only physical creation, as our bodies go through seasons of life, but organizational bodies, relationships, and activities. A wise king, King Solomon, observed this. He said, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Eccl. 3:1. It’s a well-quoted verse, but today in nature’s season of change I’m finding it especially meaningful.

There’s a season for every activity- maybe it’s a job, maybe it’s who I work for, maybe it’s a position held in a group or church, maybe it’s a leisure activity, maybe it’s a relationship or a combination of several. There are seasons to everything.

It gives me comfort to know that God created everything for change, so the uneasiness felt in any area of life, or in an organization could possibly be a sign of a seasonal change. Something good and right and needed for this season of life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a reply above.

Rolling stones

Rolling stones is a really interesting thought. Stones in and of themselves normally stay put , are used for bases for roads, foundations for homes, fireplaces and so much more. But when a stone starts rolling it takes on a life of it’s own.  Did you ever kick a stone down the road? I like to walk and take turns kicking a stone just to see which path it takes, each time it hits the ground it bounces in a different direction, sometimes straight, sometimes really a skewed. It depends on the angle it’s kicked, what it hits when it landed, what side of it hit the ground, and other variables.  

We can choose a life of a foundation stone, laid where it’s not going to be moved, strong and sturdy whether in a job, in a hometown, or relationship. Or we can be a rolling stone allowing ourselves to go where the wind or circumstances take us.

Sometimes it’s not by choice, storms come and wash us down stream to a different spot than we normally would be.  Or our personality or life circumstances pry us from sedentary ways or cause us to stay put.

It’s good to ponder what kind of stone we are, it helps us understand ourselves, how God made us and maybe even how we got where we are.

The Gift of Pondering

Red Lodge, MTOk, so it’s been way too long since we have posted. Maybe we (I) haven’t been
doing what our blog name implies, pondering faith.

Got too busy, too distracted, to take time to ponder.

Today is a good day to begin again.
It’s so good that God doesn’t condemn when we take those ‘sabbaticals’ .  He
patiently waits until we tune into Him again. Oh, I’ve come to Him since
February, that’s for sure, but more with my agenda than spending quiet time,
silent time to hear what He would say to me.

Imagine if I hiked a tall mountain to speak to a wise person and when I got there all I did was talk, then left to make my descent.  I didn’t spend any time sitting and listening or
asking questions and waiting for an answer or enter conversation? That would be
a waste of time and energy, wouldn’t it.

I feel like I do that a lot. Spend all my time asking God for this and that, but no time actually allowing Him to communicate with me.

On this long holiday weekend, maybe it’s a good time to sit and listen to the wind blow, the birds sing, ponder God’s written Word (the Bible) and allow God to speak.

Preferring the rich

rich and poorWant to be hit right to the core?  Read James 2: 1-7 in the Bible.

What happens when someone comes to your meeting who is dressed fancily, in the latest styles, and someone else comes in not quite so put together? It doesnt even need to be a stark contrast. Maybe one is overweight, or plain-looking, or has a physical ailment or deformity. Who do we gravitate towards? The one who socially sticks out? What do we miss, what do we overlook? Who do we give attention to in the meetings? Who gets to speak and is given more respect? The wealthier, oh they must be more knowledgable.

Not so, the Bible says God chooses the foolish things to confound the wise. The weak to shame the strong. The poor to be rich in faith if they love him.

Oh, we are pitiful. We run after Hollywood stars who dress so fine and outlandish and deck themselves out with gold and silver. We look for any word from them on matters they know nothing about.

People in power are looked upon as great and wonderful and the little guy is silenced. Disgusting and so twisted.  

Oh God, change my disgusting and twisted thoughts and prejudices. I can’t change the world, but I can change myself. Help me to see and appreciate the poor in riches, but great in faith. Help me show no favoritism nor put any weight to words or appearance of those who would seek it for their own mis-guided gain or notoriety.

Ode to Potatoes (A Poem for Lent)

English: Potatoes lyonnaiseOh potato I love you
No matter how you look

You can be baked
You can be loaded
You can be scalloped or mashed

Oh potato I love you
No matter how you look

You can be french fried
You can be hashed
You can even be chipped

But today dear potato
I’m laying you aside
For something more dear
Calls me to draw near

You are gone from my life
For the next 40 days
May each thought of you
Cause me to focus on Jesus’s ways

Happy Fastnacht (aka Fasnacht) Day!

Sugar doughnuts</p><p>639057When we moved to Lancaster County, PA six years ago, we were welcomed with some interesting local sayings from the heavy PA Dutch influence here, and a whole new day of celebration we had never heard of – Fastnacht Day!

My husband works for a large farm equipment dealer in the area, so he really does rub shoulders with the people who have lived in this region all their lives, some families living and farming on homesteads dating back to revolutionary times.  He came home our first year here with hole-less donuts and explained the tradition to me.

For those never hearing of the term, it’s actually Donut Day!  Well, donut day with a purpose.  Fastnacht Day occurs the day before Lent begins.  In order to prepare for the beginning of Lent and so as not to waste anything, the day before Lent women would make hole-less donuts called fastnachts to use all the lard, shortening, etc. that they would be ‘giving up’ for Lent.

So, I am sitting here today eating my fastnacht, not because I’m giving up lard or shortening for Lent, but because it’s tradition.  But it does get me to thinking what I might give up in this 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday.  Some say it’s not a necessary thing to give anything up, that it’s all tradition, but I think it’s a good spiritual discipline to observe.  We live in a culture where we have everything we need or want and then some.  It seems good to deny ourselves of a few things or one big thing that we really like in order to draw our minds to Jesus and what He denied himself of for us.

Happy Fastnacht Day and why not take a few moments today and do a little soul-searching.  Make a plan to give something up for Lent this year.  Then let whatever you give up be a reminder to pray or read the Bible or a devotional.  It might just draw you closer to Jesus and prepare you for a great Easter celebration.

And the Winner Is…..

I’m a foodie and I can attribute my borderline obsession with food to my husband.  He comes from a long line of amazing home cooks and has picked up all the ‘tricks of the trade’ by observing his mother and memere (grandmother) in the kitchen.  Out of hundreds of meals produced by his hands, I can only count on one hand the number of meals that I haven’t liked.  Some of my favorites are his chicken saltimbocca, ‘milkshake’ chili (and no, there’s not actually milk in it), asparagus and shrimp risotto, and Texas burger (with fried egg on top).

It only makes sense that one of our favorite tv shows to watch together would be food-related.  We enjoy watching Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives, Good Eats, Kitchen Nightmare, Lidia’s Italy, but our all-time favorite show would have to be Chopped.  If you’re not familiar with the show, let me take a minute and explain.  Four professional chefs are each given a basket of the same 4 very random mystery ingredients and have a set amount of time to create a course of a meal incorporating all of the given ingredients.  Three judges decide the chefs’ fate and after each course is tasted and critiqued, a contestant is chopped and sent home.  After the appetizer round, it’s down to three contestants, after the entree round, two, and finally, the dessert round determines the winner.  The winner receives $10,000 and the coveted title of Chopped Champion.

Last week, I was watching an episode where it came down to two very competent chefs.  One was a French woman who so badly wanted to use her prize money to visit her grandmother who raised her who still lived in Europe.  She was super driven and relentless, to the point where she decided to stay in the competition after suffering serious burns on her legs as a result of accidentally spilling a pot of boiling water after falling in the kitchen.   The other contestant was a man who didn’t really give details as to how he would spend his money and he made it quite clear that he really wasn’t expecting to win.  He was an outspoken Christian and during his interview clips which were woven sporadically through the program, he made it clear how accepting Christ into his life had really changed him for the good.  He viewed cooking not only as his occupation, but as a way to serve and minister to people.  Anyway, before the winner was announced, it showed the two talking in the back room.  He told her how great she did and stated that she deserved to win.  To his surprise, he was the one chosen as the winner!  The French chef was chopped and was on her way out when he yelled ‘Wait!’  She turned around with a bewildered expression on her face.  He told her that he didn’t expect to win and wanted to buy her ticket to go see her grandmother.  She broke down in tears and threw her arms around him, so grateful for the selfless gift.  I sat there watching with tears in my eyes…even the judges had tears in their eyes!  It was such a beautiful expression of love and service!  This man not only preached about his faith, but he lived it out with such grace and humility.

http://youtu.be/X6d-XvOxq54