An Unlikely Church

It’s amazing what you can learn when exercising at Curves. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a member of Curves for almost three years now—the first time in my life that I’ve managed to stick with an exercise program that didn’t involve swimming or folk dancing. I just need to be distracted while I wear myself out. Curves is perfect for that. Going from machine to machine occupies the body, but not the mind, so we chat with the other women as we huff and puff. These women are a wellspring of fascinating information. For example…

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With All Your Mind

lennox gunning for godWhen asked (in Matthew 22:36-38) which is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ He was quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, but with a twist—Jesus added the word “mind.”

There’s a reason for this. When Deuteronomy was written, the concept of mind was included in heart and soul. By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, those meanings had diverged. Wanting to be sure that we understood our need to love God with our intellect, Jesus inserted the extra word. (And while Matthew omitted “with all your strength,” Mark and Luke made sure to include it.)

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Being Polite to God

Karin Gwen Willow_BlkForest-CO_LAH_0313-001For the past week we’ve enjoyed the company of our out-of-state daughter and two granddaughters. Gwendolyn is now three months old, Willow recently turned two. I’ve loved every chaotic minute. I’ve spent the week reading cardboard picture books, filling sippy cups, and moving sharp or breakable objects to ever higher shelves.

Like all grandchildren, our grandkids are nearly perfect, but they still need a lot of civilizing. They weren’t born polite, considerate, well-behaved little girls. Our kids are doing a wonderful job of teaching and training, but if you’ve ever wondered about the concept of Original Sin, just spend a day with a toddler!

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What I Wish I Had Known (Before Getting Married)

1978Aug P&L MtRainierOur 35th anniversary is in three days, on July 14. In those 35 years we’ve had long stretches where life seemed to just flow along—work, family time, kids, church—and other times when it felt as if we were wading through muck. But even when life is at its hardest, I love being married to Pete. If I had the choice all over again, I would marry him in a heartbeat. However, there are a few things I wish I had known before I said “I do.”

Lest you think I had some sort of unpleasant surprise once Pete and I moved in together, let me assure you that’s not the case. Oh, he has a few bad habits. He leaves sock lint on the carpet and apple cores in the car. He spends too much time helping other people, and not enough time spoiling me. And he puts ketchup on my homemade macaroni and cheese. But all in all, Pete is one terrific guy, and I’m blessed to have him.

The ugly things I learned as a newlywed weren’t about Pete at all. There were about me. You see, I’m not perfect. Continue reading

Don’t Waste a Moment

This will be my last Tuesday post for a while.

I have lots of reasons:

  • My new job is taking more time than I expected, especially during the growing season.
  • We’re expecting lots of houseguests this summer and I want to focus on them while they’re here.
  • I have less time to simply think about things, and I don’t want to write meaningless posts just to meet a schedule.

Perhaps when the weather turns cold, and all the hikers and gardeners go inside, when our guests go home again, when I have some down time to mull over what God’s teaching me—then I’ll go back to posting twice a week. For now, I need a break! And remember to check for something new every Friday. See you then!

Meanwhile…

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Celebrating Freedom

fireworks_theme_350Today is Independence Day, the day we celebrate the birth of a nation dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I’ve been mulling over just what that means, particularly in an age where our liberties seem to be diminished more and more. We read that we’re under surveillance by our own government, we trade our rights for an illusion of safety, and our elected politicians don’t obey the laws they’re sworn to uphold.

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Temptation

Temptations come in many guises. There are the obvious ones—alcohol to an alcoholic, internet porn, illicit drugs. There are the ones we can rationalize—overeating (I obviously struggle with that one!), irresponsibility, such as watching TV or playing games when you should be doing something else, selfishness, preferring our comfort over the needs of others.

Life is full of temptations to ignore God, disobey His word, put ourselves first. We all are faced with an ongoing stream of ways to get life wrong, but recently I came across an incident in Luke 22 that’s helping me do better.

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