Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Creative People at The Well

      I recently returned from The Well, a conference for creatives in the gorgeous state of Michigan. 

It featured breakout sessions and keynote messages on writing, speaking, music, art, personal growth, and my favorite topic:  humor

What did I relish most about this conference?  

Getting acquainted with PEOPLE. Listening to PEOPLE. Praying with PEOPLE. Encouraging PEOPLE. Laughing and crying with PEOPLE. 

Actor Dean Cain

I enjoyed the worship music, 

the sessions I taught and attended nourished my soul, 

and the keynotes made me laugh till I cried, but. . . 


Already-beloved friend
Robyn Dykstra
New friend Brooke Stevens
Meeting new friends and
reconnecting with already-loved friends made me happier than a kitten in a barn at milking time! 

Each individual is a reflection of Jesus in a different, creative way. And each one has the potential to influence those around them for good. 

Which leads me to the main question of this post: 


Saturday, March 11, 2023

Why Does God Love Farmers?

Why Does God Love Farmers? 

God is a farmer. 
    He planted the earth with trees and every kind of plant for food. So it makes sense He'd have a special place in His heart for those who work  the soil and raise animals. 

Jesus spoke a lot about farmers. 
    Jesus's sermons included accounts of different types of soil, weeds that an enemy planted to ruin his neighbor's crops, and the mystery of how seeds must die to produce plants. 

We are farmers
    Everyone plants seeds every day. Words that give life or death (Proverbs 18:21), ideas, attitudes. All we do are seeds planted in the lives of those around us. I trust you are planting life-giving seeds. 

This month, you can win a devotional book written by two farm wives (who just happen to be close friends and prayer partners of mine!):

Growing the Fruit of the Spirit: 100 Devotionals for Farm Familes by Beth Gormong and Susan Hayhurst, is a fun, make-you-think volume of short stories with pithy endings. Even if you don't farm, you'll relate to these two former city chicks-turned farm wives who raised their families on farms. All their adventures, between mud, broken machinery, and miracles, will bless  your boots off!

To win an autographed copy, please share this post on one social media site, and then respond to this post telling me you've shared. I will draw a name at random on Saturday, March 25. 

How are you planting seeds?

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Add An Extra Spark to Your Marriage

Our Valentine's Anniversary
     Almost by accident
, my husband and I discovered a fun way to add an extra spark of romance to our marriage. I won’t pretend this little secret has played a major role in keeping us together for 48 years, but it’s made the trip more fun.
     What is it? Our Monthiversary. Every month, we celebrate the day we were married by giving each other a little gift.

  • A candy bar or package of cookies
  • A few postage stamps
  • A DVD from the bargain bin.
  • A new kind of coffee
  • A mystery book from a favorite author

   We mostly concentrate on consumables like food, so we don’t add to our piles of possessions. And we never spend a lot. Sometimes we’ve found treasures at yard or church rummage sales.
Even if your love language isn’t gift giving, you might remember the day with a special meal, a foot rub, or a note on your spouse’s pillow. The main idea is to say, “I love you and I’m thinking of you on this day. You are precious to me.”
   Try the Monthiversary on your day this month and let me know how it goes. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Birthday gift ideas for Jesus

Do you give a birthday gift to Jesus

     Many years ago some friends suggested this to their children, to help their family focus on why we celebrate Christmas. This is how I'm incorporating this excellent idea into our church's celebration:

          We have a fancy purple Christmas gift box that sits on our piano at church. But it's empty. 

     I'm asking each member of our congregation to write--leaving off their name--what they plan to give Jesus for His birthday. And then put those gift promises into the empty purple box. At our Christmas Eve service, I will open the box and read aloud all the ideas people committed to do for Jesus. 

Here are a few things I thought to write on my own paper:

  • Prepare communion elements for the month of December
  • Repent of criticizing anyone for any reason
  • Give $XXX to an orphanage or homeless shelter
  • Invite someone who can't repay us over for dinner 
  • Show more respect to my husband

What will you give Jesus this year for His birthday? 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

photo by Matthew Gilson

In case you don't receive Guideposts magazine, 
here is a link to a recent story I wrote about how writing Thank You notes increases your joy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

In Praise of Praise