adventure, faith, kingdom living, leadership, sacred romance

What Size is Your Story?

I love movies.  It’s one of my favorite things to do with my family on the weekend.  Many of my children do as well, and since the youngest is heading into his tween years, we’ve been slowly introducing him to some of the great movies we’ve seen over the years.  Last night it was The Matrix.  He loved it.  I loved it for the fourth or fifth time.

We actually watched two movies yesterday, my youngest son and I.  He wanted to see Thor: Ragnarok again. That movie makes me smile because Thor seems much more human in it.

This morning on my facebook timeline, I noticed that someone posted a beautiful sunset/sunrise and then referenced yet another of my favorite movies, The Last of the Mohicans.

I love movies for the same reason I loved books as a child.  I wanted a world bigger than my own. A world that’s not so mundane, where everything is hanging in the balance, and where there is epic love and epic friendship and epic battles.

In our couple’s group tonight, we’re discussing Chapter 4 of The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge.  This chapter is called A Story Big Enough to Live In.  Like my son and me, these two authors love movies.  The authors contend that “if we’re going to find the answer to the riddle of the earth — and of our own existence — we’ll find it in story.” (p. 40) They go on to say that we “create our own storylines to bring some meaning to our experiences,” but they claim that we lose ourselves in the smallest kinds of stories.  You’ll have to pick up the book for more (I promise it’s worth the read).

I am 100% sure that my youngest son would say that his storyline involves some superhuman abilities and epic battles to save the world.

I know I created my own storyline as well as a child, also with superhuman abilities and epic battles.  Unfortunately, my story began to shrink throughout my life.  But I am dreaming again of my childhood storyline and smiling, and as I do, I find it’s getting bigger and bigger.

How about you?  What size is your storyline? Is it epic, or the smallest kind?



A new little tidbit….

One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I adore British mysteries.  In junior high, I   headed down to the Public Library in Kent, Washington often and check out every Agatha Christie novel they had in their collection.

In the last few years, sadly I can’t pinpoint exactly when, I became enamored with Elizabeth George’s writing.  Here’s a link to Elizabeth George’s page.  I love Elizabeth’s writing and have read several of her books multiple times.  Her character development is outstanding.  My favorite of them all is DS Barbara Havers. Can’t tell you my other favorites as it would give things away.  If you choose to start reading Elizabeth George, you need to begin with the very first Inspector Lynley book which is A Great Deliverance. It’s imperative to read them in the proper order to fully understand the development of the characters and what happens in their lives.

I finished  her 17th Inspector Lynley book and while waiting for #18 decided to look at some other authors whose main characters are British detectives. Using Amazon’s recommendation feature, I found another promising series by Emma Jameson, called the Lord and Lady Hetheridge series. Today, I finished the third installment in the series. I have enjoyed the series very much.  Like George, Jameson’s characters are interesting and compelling.  Here’s a link to her page. She’s a newer writer and her first in the series was self-published on Kindle Direct. She’s now working on the fourth installment.

So, since I’m caught up with those two, I decided to let Amazon recommend another and have just downloaded Still Life by Louise Penny.  She’s won numerous awards for her writing and I’m kind of surprised I haven’t run across her sooner.   I’ll let you know what I think!

Does anyone have a recommendation for another writer of British or Canadian detective novels?

Bible Study, faith, kingdom living

I Swear it Was Written Just for Me

Just now, based on a whisper, I picked up my Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young.  If you don’t have this great little devotional, stop by your nearest Christian bookstore, Barnes and Noble or buy it online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or CBD or get the iPhone or Android app. You won’t be sorry.

Here’s today’s entry which was written just for me.

February 29

YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH. Listen more to Me, and less to your doubts. I am leading you along the way I designed just for you. Therefore, it is a lonely way, humanly speaking. But I go before you as well as alongside you, so you are never alone. Do not expect anyone to understand fully My ways with you, any more than you can comprehend My dealings with others. I am revealing to you the path of Life day by day, and moment by moment. As I said to My disciple Peter, so I repeat to you: Follow Me.  Psalm 119:105 and John 21:22

This day’s entry just provides further confirmation that I am following Him. 

I am thankful that because of Jesus, I am able to relate to my God as a daughter does to a loving father and hear Him calling.



What you will find here…

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and the book that has had the most powerful impact on me outside of reading scripture is Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream by David Platt.  I’ve also been doing a lot of journaling lately as I mentioned in a previous post, titled “Go In the Strength That You Have” which can be found here:  Wayne Cordiero’s excellent journal tool, Life Journal, has been an invaluable structure to my daily times with the Lord.

So Platt writes in Chapter 5 of Radical that the central mission Christ gives to his church is to make disciples, and “Yet if you were to ask individual Christians what it means to make disciples, you would likely get jumbled thoughts, ambiguous answers, and probably even some blank stares.”  Jesus gives us the plan in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And sure I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” I’ve read that before as I am sure others have as well, but how?

Platt clarified it for me in this chapter. He breaks down Jesus’s command into the three parts and that’s what I have been thinking and journaling about in the context of being a blogger.

“First, according to Jesus, disciple making involves going.  It involves intentionally taking the gospel to people where they live, work and play….A command for us to be gospel-living, gospel-speaking people at every moment and in every context where we find ourselves.” (pg 93) “In every context and at every moment” includes my online presence – my blog and my facebook profile.

Baptism is the second part of Jesus’s command and Platt paints two pictures of baptism. The first is that of the new life we have in Christ – that we have died to our sin and died to ourselves and that we have been raised to life with him.  The second is that “Baptism pictures our identification with one another in the church… Disciple making involves inviting people into a larger community of faith where they will see the life of Christ in action and experience the love of Christ in person.”

And the third part of Jesus’s command is that we teach others.  I like how Platt puts it on pg 98, “We need to be careful not to immediately jump in our minds to the classroom, lecture-style setting we often associate with teaching the Word. Classrooms and lectures have their place, but this is not the predominant kind of teaching we see in Jesus’s relationship with his disciples. On the contrary, the world was a perpetual classroom for Jesus and his disciples, providing opportunities for instruction at every moment.”  On pg 99 he continues, “It’s not that sitting in lecture-style settings is not beneficial, but what if Christ has actually set us up to be the teachers?……What if we began to think, How can I listen to his Word so that I am equipped to teach this Word to others?

For the last three days in my journal, the verses that I chose helped me to gel the purpose of my blog.

So, if you made it to the end of this post, here it is, the purpose of my blog.  I will be musing on three things on a regular basis.  My faith – You’ll see a lot of what I’m learning daily in my journal and how it applies to me. I’d love to hear how it applies to you too, so my blog posts will always have the daily reading assigned out of the Life Journal.  They will follow Wayne Cordiero’s SOAP principle for journaling.  You can read about the SOAP principle on the Life Journal website. Feel free to share what God has taught you in the comment section on this blog.  We can all be learning from each other.

I’ll also be musing on my family and my life.  As you know, our family has been profoundly impacted by adoption.  So, you’ll see posts about my kids and about adoption and about our life as a family.

I pray that my blog will be to you the aroma of Christ, that it will reflect the Lord’s glory as I am transformed into his likeness by his Spirit, and that through it, others will see Jesus clearly and never distorted.

adoption, faith, leadership

What’s on my nightstand now?

Or more accurately in my Kindle app queue:

Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman – The story of the Chapman family’s adoption and tragic loss.

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt – A thought-provoking and definitely challenging book asking us to follow Jesus the way he told us to – leaving behind security, money, convenience, everything for the gospel.

Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft – Mike Treneer of the Navigators recommends this as “a book for leaders who want to keep growing in their understanding of leadership, finish strongly, and lead with passion.”

Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control by Heather T. Forbes – An outstanding two-volume work on how to effectively parent children with trauma histories.

And yes, I’m reading all four at once.  Three via my Kindle app and one in actual hardcover form.


Who will you be in five years?

Last night in Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey quoted Charlie “Tremendous” Jones as saying, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Since he said that a number of years ago, before the advent of twitter, blogs, RSS feeds and TED talks, I would extrapolate the word “books” to include them.

So, that led me today to muse about the kind of person I will be in five years if I continue to read the books, blogs, and tweets I’m reading.

Books on my bedside table that I’m in the middle of reading:

One Year Bible (NLT)
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Haiti: A Troubled History. From Pearl of the Carribean to Broken Nation by Phillipe Gerard
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor or Yourself by Steve Corbett

Blogs I subscribe to: by Pete Wilson by Jenni Catron – Leading in Shades of Gray by Seth Godin by Carlos Whittaker by various posters by Dan Miller by Dave Ramsey

Who do you intend to be in five years? What books will you intentionally choose to read?