Thursday, June 25, 2020

Opportunities to Practice Virtues

Friends, this week is a bit rough for me, with some lower back pain, which is why I'm late on posting this week. However, I'm determined not to completely miss the week, as I've posted something every week for the past six years, so here I am, aches and all.

This will be short and will not contain pictures, because I'm conserving as much energy as possible for my tutoring job these days. I'll try to get at least one graphic done for you next time.

While I've been in pain, I've been reading and listening to music and thinking on verses of Scripture. Because of these things and the blessings of parents who understand back pain and are willing to lend me a helping hand when I need it, my heart has been light, my spirits lifted, and my thoughts mostly positive.

I say mostly because there have been black moments where the pain seemed too big to conquer. But then the Holy Spirit reminds me that Jesus is bigger than all my pain. He has suffered more, so He can take the bulk of the burden from me. It's like He Himself said once: "My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:30 HCSB) That verse has held me steady in the worst of the annoyance that has been this trial.

Monday, June 15, 2020

New Direction, Same Focus {Focus on Jesus}

Hey, friends. How are your memory verses coming along?


I haven't even started my last one. My mind has been in a bit of an allergic fog lately. So I think it's time for a bit of a break so we don't burn out.

In fact, I'm thinking of going a slightly new direction -- or perhaps expanding the idea is a better term -- with the #FocusOnJesus journey.

Focusing on Jesus starts in the Word of God, but it doesn't end there. It ought to encompass everything we think, say, and do, and I think that's one reason why the memory work started feeling restrictive to me in the last couple of weeks.

My faith journey has always included not only Scripture but also songs, books (nonfiction as well as fiction), nature, fellowship, pain, weather, and a whole host of other things. God created so many wonderful things, and He speaks to us through a variety of them that cross our paths in our daily life. Just think of Moses and that burning bush or Balaam and his donkey for two prime examples, but also consider the analogies Jesus used, of seeds and trees and storms and the way a parent treats their children.

Monday, June 8, 2020

The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch {book review}

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and JustRead Tours. These are my honest thoughts.

How do I even begin?

I was a little nervous going in to this one. See, I’d only read a couple of westerns by Mrs. Vetsch. Sometimes the quality of books, the attention to detail, lags a bit in the first book exploring a new genre for an author. Rest assured, my friends, that was not at all the case with this author. This Regency era novel perfectly captured the time period, including the settings, costumes, and the hierarchy of the British nobility.

The people populating this fictional world Mrs. Vetsch created were fantastic, even those I found rightfully abhorrent. From the leads (Diana and Evan) to the supporting characters (Louisa, Shand, Marcus, Cian, and Beth) to the antagonists (who I’ll keep secret for you to discover for yourself), they each brought something important and unique to the story. Because their personalities popped off the page so well, I was completely engrossed in their journeys, good and bad and every twist and turn in between. Of course, the hope for certain somebodies to find their fictional comeuppance kept me flipping those virtual pages quickly. But it was the hope strung throughout that kept my heart so intimately connected to the journey of the leads to the very end.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Trust is a Choice

Trust.

It’s not always easy. Being human, we very often like to have “control” of our lives. Funny thing is that it’s only a fa├žade. True control of circumstances is not ours to have. But something we can control is our perspective during anything we face.

Will we be afraid and angry and aggressive and violent?

Will we choose kindness, encouragement, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and faith?

Will we choose to trust God even when life falls apart around us?