Category Archives: Uncategorized

In Which We Are Not Alone

My dear friend, Michelle, is in Guatemala serving our glorious God! Please peek at her blog entry! It’s a fast, but FABULOUS, read!

ordinary miracles

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“You are not alone,” he said. “Do you know that?” 

I scoffed. Of course I am not alone. I live with thirteen other people.

I continued folding clothes.

“You are not alone,” he said again. “Do you know that?”

I sighed and went downstairs.

Later that evening, Robin tells me there is a song she thinks I would really love.

What’s it called? I ask, leaning against the doorframe.

“It’s called ‘You Are Not Alone’ by Kate Hurley.”

She plays another chord on her guitar.

Ah. I raise my eyebrows slowly. I’ll have to check it out.


I find the song and I play it.

As I listen, I wear goosebumps like a sweater,

the words echoing through the hallways of this dusty heart.

Because the truth is this: I came here in pieces.

I arrived in this city with much more than just two pieces of…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Asheville, NC proved to be a hidden gem that we stumbled upon in our travels. This charming hamlet, nestled at the foot of the amazing Appalachian Mountain Range, offers many tantalizing restaurants, bountiful boutiques, eye-candy art showrooms, and a liveily night life … all set a midst resplendent views! Additionally, Asheville is home to UNCA, a liberal arts college that boasts of small class size and low tuition (approx. $7K for in-state and $14K for out-of-state). We are seriously thinking of moving to the Asheville area!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette


This picture was taken at Franconia Sculpture Garden in Franconia, MN. I’m a martial arts junkie so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’d strike a pose from Jin Do Hyung!  Soo Bahk!

When the Written Word is Clearer


We’ve all said it …

“E-mail is a tough way to communicate since we can’t read tone or intent.”

That’s true – in some cases.  However, in other instances, the written word stands in stark contrast to that statement. Given the time that an e-mail affords when responding to a discussion can often save us from the potential of arguments, embarrassment and frustration due to a quick and thoughtless response such as that required in an actual conversation. Additionally, the written word becomes both necessary and effective in areas such as the transfer of title when purchasing a car, writing statutes governing a locality, state, or nation, and recording historically significant events.

Of greatest importance, however, is THE Written Word. The Bible, one of the top selling books of all time, was written that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 20:30), that our joy might be complete (1 John 1:4), and that we might KNOW that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13). The Bible is clear in tone, intent, and transmission of the message of Good News of Christ.

God could have chosen to hand these significant events down to us orally, from generation to generation, but in His infinite wisdom, He chose to write it down, that we might carry it with us not only in our arms but in our hearts as well. It’s His very effective conversation with us, His love letter to us. He promises us that we will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart (Jer 29:13).

We all have the Written Word readily available to us. Are you reading it? Are you seeking Him?  If not, what stops you? Great rewards await you within the pages of the Greatest Book!

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fishing on WordPress (or Why I Love

I’m hooked.

While blogging became popular quite some time ago, I have only recently taken the bait and can readily admit that it’s gotten a hold of me – hook, line and proverbial sinker. Why?  Read on, please!

  1. Creative Expression – Sharing opinions, values, and beliefs have always come easy to me. WordPress allows for an expressive outlet where one can do just that, as a fisherman chooses where to fish, the type of boat, the lure, and the direction in which to cast the bait.
  2. Leisurely Preparation – Writing is a form of communication that does not require a prompt reply or a quick wit, affording the writer time in preparing a new blog entry. As with reeling in that big fish, time and patience  can often be advantageous.
  3. Publishing Aspiration – Me? Published? It’s a dream I’ve had. WordPress provides both practice and potential. And any skilled fisherman will explain that both are necessary for success.
  4. Subject Inspiration – The sea holds over two million species of fish! WordPress emulates that with the numerous and diversified challenges made available to their bloggers. Coming up with an empty net as one sits down to blog is nearly impossible.
  5. Pleasant Conversation – Encouragement abounds at WordPress! There is value to both readers and their friendly discourse, just as there is value in securing enjoyable fishing companions.
  6. Daily Anticipation – I admit it … I’m a stats-junkie! I check my stats daily and love seeing them go up as new entries are published, but there aren’t any fabricated BIG FISH stories when I report back to my family and friends.
  7. Knowledge Acquisition – Try catching a Lanternfish in a small, shallow lake. Without the knowledge that they don’t exist there, the experience will be disappointing. Just as an experienced fisherman would instruct you to pursue perch in a lake, WordPress provides the knowledge you need to launch a great blog site!
  8. Ongoing Transformation – Like having a chef prepare a fresh catch, meeting other aspiring writers on WordPress is conducive to transforming blog entries into something more pleasing and  palatable on the plate.
  9. Friendly Opposition – Respectful dialogue takes place even when obvious opposition occurs,  mimicking a taut line going momentarily slack only to be pulled taut again as both the fish and fisherman tug to determining the outcome.
  10. Faithful Devotion – There’s no question … I love my Great Big God and WordPress gives me an awesome avenue to proclaim Him to others! He tells us to be Fishers of men, so here I am fishing on WordPress.  Have I caught you yet, Dear Reader?  If you’ve at least considered the bait, please let me know! After all, I’d hate to leave you floundering.

Originally posted on Two Minutes of Grace:
We recognize that the nature of God is love. He is guided by His affections and thoroughly resolved to pursue relationship with us. The relationship He desires is one of love, not of…

Cognitive Recalibration

[In the recent blockbuster hit, Avengers, Clint Barton found himself strapped down after Natasha Romanoff had won a fight with him so he could shake off Loki’s mind control.]


Romanoff: Clint, You’re gonna be alright.
Barton: You know that? Is that what you know? I got…I gotta go in though. I gotta flush him out.
Romanoff: We don’t have that long, it’s gonna take time.
Barton: I don’t understand. Have you ever had someone take your brain and play? Pull you out and send something else in? Do you know what it’s like to be unmade?
Romanoff: You know that I do.
Barton: Why am I back? How did you get him out?
Romanoff: Cognitive recalibration.  (pause on Barton’s part)  I hit you really hard in the head.

Cognitive Recalibration. Lofty words for a simple concept.

For nearly 10 years now, I’ve been studying the martial arts so it comes as no surprise to those that know me that an action-packed movie where the good guys win would draw my interest … repeatedly.

Hwang Kee, the founder of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan, stated that a martial artist is also a scholar, so while I train in the physical aspects of the art, I train in the mental aspects of the art also. including the related history, tradition, and philosophy of Soo Bahk Do.  One component to my training includes the Korean terminology for both the techniques and concepts.

It isn’t unusual to hear my instructor, Sa Bom Nim Dan Ellenbecker, call out the Korean words Shi Sun as I train in the dojang with the rest of the class. The words carry the meaning of focus or line of sight.  It’s an important concept and serves as a precept for all we do prior to executing a technique. Why? Simply because our intent will follow our line of sight. Looking left before striking left will very likely be helpful! This is common sense and while I’m very aware of the emphasis in the dojang, I sometimes find I haven’t engaged my Shi Sun in other areas of my life.

It wasn’t long ago that I found myself experiencing some difficulties in life. My struggle ensued for many months before I finally found the strength and courage to reach out to a few trusted friend to help me navigate the turbulent waters. The guidance I was given was varied, yet consistent; loving, yet firm; understanding, yet uncompromising.  One conversation stood out and continues to come to mind when I’m confronted with challenging situations.

Friend: You’re allowing your negative thoughts to determine your emotion. Change your thinking.

Me: I’m really down today. I feel broken.

Friend: I know … but if you continue to think that way, you’ll have a tough time changing your emotion.

Me: Where do I begin?

Friend: Don’t dwell on your issues. Watch a movie. Cook dinner. Take your kids to the beach. Think of anything other than your temporary troubles, even if only for 15 minutes. The more often you do that, the easier it becomes.

I took that advice. It helped, even if only for 15 minutes at a shot. Eventually I was able to sustain that for longer time periods as minutes grew to hours, and hours to days. In the end, however, it came down to my personal Shi Sun, my line of sight, as I determined the difficulty of walking one way while looking the other – or in doing one thing while thinking another. While he was stating it in simpler terms, my friend was instructing me to do mentally what Romanoff had done for her friend physically. Change your thinking. Cognitive recalibration.