For a Good Time…

Think of the words we use to describe God—holy, omnipotent, faithful, loving, and so forth. We’ve all seen the lists and heard the sermons. The whole business of describing God seems so serious. We should show our respect, after all. But how often do we think of God as having a sense of humor? Does God ever laugh? Is God… fun?

If we’re truly made in the image of God—and the Bible tells us that we are—then our ability to laugh implies that He laughs too. So why don’t we ever talk about this aspect of His personality?

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Something Completely Different…

When the Apostle Paul exhorted us to be hospitable (see 1 Peter 4:9 for example), I doubt he had microbes in mind. But God might have. We’re host to trillions of the little creatures—on our skin, in our gut, flowing through our veins, and in all of those moist and warm cavities our bodies possess. In fact, they’re in every part of us. And that’s a good thing.

The National Institute of Health’s 2014 Human Microbiome Project concluded that “10,000 microbial species occupy the human ecosystem.” That’s species, not individuals. Other estimates put that number much higher, with 40,000 species of bacteria in our gut alone.

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Please Pray For…

We’ve all been asked to pray for various things. Please pray for my sister, she’s going through a hard time. Please pray for me, I have an important decision to make. Please pray, my husband lost his job. And when someone asks us to pray, we feel compelled to say yes. After all, the Bible is full of examples—both exhortations to pray for each other and examples of those prayers. Prayer is an excellent way we can demonstrate our love for people, fulfilling God’s commandment to love one another as ourselves. Jesus clearly tells us to share our prayer requests:

Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.  (Matthew 18:19-20)

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“Empower a Family, Change a Nation”

DRC map

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, formerly known as Zaire) might be the poorest country in the world. It’s a place of both abundant natural resources and abject misery. Located in the heart of Africa, the DRC is surrounded by ten other nations, including Angola, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, and Rwanda. Africa’s second-largest country (by land area), it’s home to 80 million people.

The DRC should be a prosperous nation, with its flowing rivers (and their ability to generate hydroelectric power), fertile soil, and rich mineral resources. It is not.

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In Praise of Mothers

Mother’s Day. It started as an effort to reunite the North and South after the Civil War, led in large part by a woman named Ann Reeves Jarvis. She organized picnics and other opportunities for mothers from both sides of the conflict to come together in friendship and peace.

Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, “never had children of her own, but the 1905 death of her own mother inspired her to organize the first Mother’s Day observances in 1908.” Her focus was on appreciating one’s own mother, not mothers in general (hence the careful placement of the apostrophe).*

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Garden Hacks? Hah!

Pinterest garden hacks

Pinterest is a wonderful source of information. Some of it is even true.

I enjoy browsing Pinterest. I’ve discovered delicious recipes (check out these amazing pork chops with pear chutney!). I’ve gathered ideas that making grandparenting more fun. I love seeing what my adult daughters have pinned recently.

I just don’t believe everything I see there.

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Wasting Your Life…

A good friend sent me this article, and it resonated so strongly with me that I’m sending it on to you. Perhaps that is because Pete and I also attended a well-known university, and what we’re doing now also has little to do with our respective degrees. In any case, I find this post both challenging and liberating. I think you may too.

Go Ahead and Waste Your Life on Missions