Inspirational

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Posted 2/9/17 at 11:38 AM | Karen Kramer

Giving Birth to Love

In a rural Romanian village, baby Anastasia was born. An ocean away in a small Washington town, beautiful Dana cradled newborn Aria.

Amazing joy comes to families as they welcome a child. Aria and Anastasia looked adorable wearing darling bows and the cutest outfits.

Dressing up baby girls is something special no matter what part of the world you live in.

Yet, within months both girls were diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an incurable, terminal disease.

While it would be easy to spiral into despair, Aria’s family bonded even closer, friends surrounded them, and they purposed to make treasured memories.

When Dana reached out to other SMA families she met Dani, Anastasia’s mother. As the disease affecting their precious daughters became more real, they encouraged one another through terribly frightening days. FULL POST

Posted 1/17/17 at 8:44 PM | Karen Kramer

Dear Thief

The muddy footprints you left behind after breaking into my daughter’s home have been cleaned, the broken windows fixed, and the insurance company will replace many of the items you stole.

But the jewelry box you grabbed held a special gold ring—a lovely garnet with two small diamonds on each side.

You may not be interested, but those diamonds have a story to tell.

My great-great grandmother squirreled away the money for them during a severe European depression.

No fickle currency for her; diamonds meant security.

Eventually the family sought a better life in America. The diamonds sailed across the Atlantic in the hem of her skirt.

In time, she gave them to my feisty, hard-working great-grandmother—another woman born of steel.

My grandfather secretly called her The Battleax—but he admired her courage in hard times. FULL POST

Posted 1/13/17 at 8:46 AM | Karen Kramer

The Power of Love.

Dressed in shiny black shoes, a flowered knee-length dress, white gloves, and a small hat worn atop her curly grey hair, she seemed to step right out of a 1950’s church service.

Widowed for over a dozen years, the elderly woman lived a solitary rural life. But despite the dated clothes, she knew exactly what her son was up to and it wasn’t good.

Thus, her reason to visit us.

Her son was our nearby neighbor. His life had been a zig-zagging road of challenges. Let’s just say that law enforcement knew his name and location.

But he had a mama who loved him. She knew we’d helped him out a time or two.

Now, she’d driven 80 country miles to see us. She wasn’t asking that we give him money—but could we somehow encourage him and give him some hope?

I felt sorry for this woman; she was far too old to deal with broken lives. She didn’t have the means to pay her son’s fines and bail—nor was she hinting that we should offer. FULL POST

Posted 1/5/17 at 1:37 AM | Lisa Brooke

Benefits of Snow Goggles in Winter Sports and Adventure Trips

 If you can’t see, how are you going to snowboard of ski? There is no question that finding quality snow goggles is a must if you are planning a winter trip.

Goggles are a crucial part of your entire snowboarding and skiing setup. You may wonder why you can’t wear your regular sunglasses; after all, these work fine the rest of the year. However, the best snowboard goggles offer a number of advantages over traditional sunglasses when you are on the slopes. For example, they help to protect you from extremely bright conditions, as well as snow reflections. They do this much better than sunglasses. This is because the best skiing goggles wrap your entire eye area and field of vision.

They also remain in place. There is no question that it can get pretty bumpy when going down a hill. Sunglasses may easily slip off your face. Goggles also stop the wind that can easily obstruct your vision. It doesn’t matter your skill level. If you are planning any type of winter sport adventure, having the proper goggles is a must. Purchasing this type of gear can help ensure you can ride faster, safer, and harder, regardless of the conditions on the slopes. FULL POST

Posted 12/30/16 at 7:29 AM | Yvonne Perkins

Making the transition

The word transition automatically implies change. Webster defines transition this way: a passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another: b: a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another. It is the act of preparing to do things in a different manner. It is the state of moving from one place to another or from one thing or task to another.

As this year draws to an end we are transitioning into the new year. Naturally, many things are taking place as we prepare for the new year. Some customs include giving your home a thorough cleaning, discarding things we no longer have any use for, perhaps checking the freezer for items that need to be disposed of etc. Businesses take inventory of what products are left, which did well and which did not. Accountants review their financial books to determine where they stand financially.

This year we have a transition of power in the White House. President Obama has extended his hand to assist President-elect Donald Trump in making this transition. President Obama states he is willing to do all that it takes to assist President-elect Trump because it is important for him to do well that our nation made do well. He understands that this transition is more important than his personal beliefs/opinions about the incoming President. FULL POST

Posted 12/15/16 at 3:00 PM | Mark Ellis

Survivor held Bible during Colombian soccer team air crash, had prophetic dream the night before

Helio Neto

By Mark Ellis

One of the few survivors of a crash involving a Brazilian soccer team’s charter flight to Medellin was holding his Bible and reading Psalm 63 at the time of the crash.

Helio Neto, 31, was one of six survivors of the crash, which claimed the lives of 71 people, including many players and staff from the Chapecoense team from southern Brazil, one of Brazil’s top teams.

Neto is a strong Christian who carries his Bible everywhere. “Its the first thing he takes when he travels,” his wife Simone told the Daily Mail. His tattered Bible also survived the crash and was retrieved by Simone.

The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by a charter airline named LaMia, declared an emergency and lost radar contact just before 10pm on November 28th. Authorities discovered the plane had run out of fuel as it approached the outskirts of Medellin. FULL POST

Posted 12/13/16 at 11:18 AM | Karen Kramer

Remembering Christmas

Hannah carefully brought out the boxes that she’d stowed away only eleven months ago. But it seemed much longer.

Gene had slid further into his own world. She had watched it as if little pieces of their lives disappeared a week at a time.

Yes, it had been a very long eleven months.

Gene sat in the recliner staring out the window as he did for hours at a time.

She gingerly unwrapped the decades old glass ornaments and placed them carefully on each branch. All that could be heard was the crinkling of tissue paper. FULL POST

Posted 12/7/16 at 1:16 PM | Karen Kramer

Quiet Miracle Workers

The children’s book was read to me 50 years ago, but the story never gets old.

Long ago, back when Christmas brought wide-eyed wonder, Mom read me a story about Christmas miracles.

Throughout the colorful pages, unexpected goodness came to those who needed it most. The vibrant illustrations showed empty cupboards and lonely faces.

Holiday decorations were absent in the bleak homes.

How could anyone have Christmas like that, my young mind wondered.

But then came the quiet miracle workers—as the pages turned I could see how others prepared good food and made gifts to deliver to unsuspecting people’s homes.

A knock on the door and they quickly ran away.

On the next page, a weary woman opened the door and saw a basket brimming with ham, eggs, bread, cheese, apples, and candy. Next to it a wooden crate held boxes tied with ribbons—gifts for them all.

As the page turned again, another knock on a door and this time an elderly man answered. A group of smiling faces sang a carol. They offered cookies and cheer, and the forlorn man had one less evening to be alone. FULL POST

Posted 12/2/16 at 2:24 PM | Brittney Moses

Comfortable Christianity and Regaining Real Fire for Christ

You reminisce back on the days when you first came to Christ, and you were ready to do anything, anything for Him. You were ready to introduce everyone you encountered to your wonderful Savior King and every word from Him was liquid gold pouring into your soul. You were immersed in His Word. Hungry for Him. You could not get enough of Him. You poured out the incense of your life upon His feet. You spoke about Him all the time- every tweeting chance you got. And you didn’t care what the world thought about it because you were a new creation and there was no going back, ever.

Then time went by and you got used to your faith. Yes, used to it. Life and all its demands bombarded your faith. You became desensitized to the wonder of Christ and going through the motions became a part of you. You’d grasped a general idea of His word and could say all the right “Christian” things in your sleep. If you were to be honest, you had the knowledge of Christ, but you couldn’t feel him anymore. Not like you use to. FULL POST

Posted 12/1/16 at 11:23 AM | Karen Kramer

Listening Heart

When I asked God for better hearing, he gave me someone to listen to.

Until our new septic system is finished, I’ve been making weekly visits to the laundromat.

One afternoon, a former student at the school where I volunteer came in. I recognized him immediately.

His long, somewhat scraggly hair hadn’t changed, nor his grunge-hippie styled clothing.

He carried in baskets of blankets and clothes while his girlfriend quickly loaded several washers.

“Aren’t you from the school?” he asked me.

So, he had recognized me, even after all these years.

We chatted about insignificant stuff, and then quite suddenly he said that he was sorry our mail had been stolen and some of our checks had been forged.

Seeing that I wondered how he knew, he told me he’d been living with the perpetrator at the time.

He moved out after that happened, and has been couch surfing since. But as we talked, it became less about the crime and more about the reality of drugs ruining lives. FULL POST

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