My Favorite Photo from Solar Eclipse 2017

Of all the amazing photos from yesterday’s #SolarEclipse2017, my favorite is not of the sun – but one of a little boy gazing up at it. His Mom, Mary, shared that her sweet son, Israel, had been in tears when he was told he couldn’t watch the eclipse (or, actually, the partial eclipse viewable from here in TX) because they didn’t have the special glasses to protect their eyes. But then as they were out running errands – the moment Mary captured with this photo happened. 


And I can’t help but wonder…. if thousands of people from all different backgrounds can gather and be so quick to help each other experience a natural phenomenon that lasted a couple minutes, what would it look like if the same efforts ensued to help people make eternal connections with the #MAKER of that phenomenon and His #MostLovedCreation, other humans?

MADE TO WORSHIP

We were MADE to worship. But sometimes we inadvertently direct our worship to things so unworthy of it… anything from a new pair of shoes to a shiny Jeep with really big tires! Let’s be clear here – you can appreciate something (especially a sharp Jeep) without worshipping it. But a complete focused-obsession, can’t-live-without, completely-dependent-worship?? That belongs always and only to our God!

Worth the Risk!

‪I am learning that being transparent with your weaknesses and struggles comes with risk. For example, when you share truth with someone they may write off that truth about them as coming from a broken place in you rather than considering the possibility that this could be God-given insight that can heal broken places in them (a.k.a “iron sharpening iron” – see Proverbs 27:17). But living and speaking authentically is still worth the risk.‬

A Couple Freedom Reminders

Just in case you’re anything like me and need occasional reminders to give God His job back….


“As for God, His way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.” -‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:30‬ ‭NIV‬‬ (New International Version)


“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” -‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NIV

(Simply click the Bible reference links if you would like to study that passage further in the YouVersion Bible app or at Bible.com)

Please‬‬ feel free to click the “follow” link on this site to subscribe to this blog! And I would love to hear what you think…. So add your comments and insights as we become who we already are… together!

PS: If what I have shared here resonates with you, you may want to listen to this! Click here to watch an awesome worship set by Bethel Music. It is 16 minutes well spent to worship along or great background music for your day or drive-time! 

Help Me Bless a #StrongMom!

I am blessed with incredible friends. And one of my friends is such an example to me of strength and indepence that she doesn’t like to ask for help herself – which is why I am not naming her here. 

She’s selfless (when I asked if she had requested assistance from her local church – she said she would save that as a last resort because she wants them to be able to help others who may have more needs than she does). She’s a smart, compassionate, hardworking single mom of kids ranging from school age to college age including an incredible special-needs child. 

She has experienced some recent financial hardship and I would love to be able to help. I don’t have the ability to give the whole amount on my heart – but I bet if a bunch of us gave a few bucks we could really help lighten her load right now – just as she has helped lighten the load of others. 

Simply click here to to check out the GoFundMe page I created for her so you can share her story on your own social media, pray, and/or give.

Thank you, in advance, for your support, prayers, and anything you can contribute financially! And remember, “Don’t do life alone!”…. EVER!

True Worship

These thoughts began early on a Sunday morning:

So many religions, churches, denominations…

Perhaps in the end, the truest and purest worship (and life, love, and everything else) is simply about connecting to our Maker…

TOGETHER.

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“In HIM we live and move and have our being….” – Acts 14:28

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – ‭John‬ ‭4:24‬

20638757_10155754074493291_5271412271555592015_n“Your prayers and gifts of charity have ascended as a memorial offering before God [an offering made in remembrance of His past blessings].” –Acts 10:4b AMP (Amplified Version)

Do You Know How to Fall Forward? by Leslie Vernick

Original Source: Leslie Vernick: Enriching Relationships that Matter Most – email Newsletter, August 2017Subscription information and  more available at www.LeslieVernick.com

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Last year I had a bad fall. A corner of my kitchen floor was covered with large boxes that were delivered but unopened. I was standing in front of the boxes when the doorbell rang. My dog, Gracie, was anxious to protect me and raced to the front door, knocking me over in the process. I lost my balance and fell backwards over the boxes hitting my head on our basement doorknob. Ouch! I was sore and bruised for days. Falling backwards is more dangerous than falling forwards. I hurt my back, tailbone and my head because my arms and knees were unable to cushion my fall. Many years ago when I learned to ice skate the teacher knew falling was inevitable, especially when we tried a new skill like skating on one foot or skating backwards.

Part of our lesson involved learning to fall forward. She said falling forward is much easier on the body and less likely to cause serious injury.

I thought about that idea of falling forward in other areas of life. For example, I have just started to learn to play pickleball, a wildly popular racket sport here at my new home in Arizona. I still hit the ball into the net too often. I often lose my focus, take my eye off the ball and miss my shot.

Pickleball is always played with a partner, which compounds my misery when I fail. I feel embarrassed. I’m tempted to blame myself for losing the game. Sometimes I want to go home because I’m not as good as everyone else I play with. My mindset is like falling backwards. I create more problems for myself by the way I handle my failures. I’m negative. I’m critical of myself and I’m tempted to give up. All of these attitudes will hurt my ability to succeed at learning to play pickleball better.

Recently I attended a professional seminar on a new writing style. All I turned out was junk. I felt discouraged. I told myself I can’t do it this way and was tempted to quit. My mindset is like falling backwards.

Much of life involves learning and trying new things. And new growth always involves some failure. If you don’t learn how to fall forward when you fail, you will short circuit God’s work in your life and rob your own self of your greatest potential.

So here is what changes when you learn to fall forward.

1. When you mess up, which you will, instead of seeing it as a failure, now you see it as an opportunity for growth. “Sure I failed to write well in that moment, but I am learning to write better. Sure I missed a shot in pickleball, but I am learning how to play better and I can’t learn to do that when I’m caught in my fear of failure.”

Falling forward means you will change the way you talk to yourself when you mess up. Instead of negative words, use encouraging words.

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2. Falling forward means you do not quit. Falling hurts, whether you fall forwards or backwards. But falling forwards means you get up, brush yourself, tend to any injuries, and keep going. You don’t stop and you don’t give up because giving up is the ultimate failure. Quitting means failing to learn what you needed to learn from this experience. Persistence doesn’t guarantee you will be the best at what you attempt to do, but you will definitely learn to do it better if you don’t give up and quit.

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3. Falling forward means you stop seeing failure as a statement about who you are. Instead, you see failure as simply what happened in the moment. For example, I missed my serve. I hit into the net. My writing wasn’t clean enough. Not, “I can’t do it.”

Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed.”

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In the same way we know that falling forward is better for your physical body, falling forward when you fail or experience a personal setback makes a huge difference on how quickly you recover from your failure.

When you know how to fall forward you start to realize that success is born in the land of failure.