Inspirational

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Posted 4/27/17 at 1:03 PM | Karen Kramer

More Years = More Stories

I loved playing tennis as a teenager. When I was learning how, my dad and I practiced on a dilapidated court next to the town’s nearly abandoned airport. No one was around to watch us and we’d make up games as we played. I think we laughed more than anything.

For my 15th birthday, Mom even created a tennis racket shaped cake. I can’t recall the wishes I made before blowing out the candles, but with all the erratic expectations of youth, anything was possible.

A couple birthdays later, I remember staying after class for help on my English essay. My teacher sat on the edge of her desk, and in a thoughtful way cautioned me that taking school too seriously wouldn’t be good for my health.

Life was more than school. She was right, but I hadn’t experienced enough life to understand what she meant.

Two birthdays after that, when I had discovered that life was indeed much more than school, I went to a college that focused less on grades and more on the love of learning. FULL POST

Posted 4/22/17 at 3:56 AM | Diane Castro

"Come What May, I Will Run"

“Come what may, I will run.”

I picture every runner of the Boston Marathon echoing these words of Ahimaaz, who was determined to run to King David to deliver the news of victory in battle (2 Sam. 18:23). Each one has his or her own reasons and faces unique challenges and hardships, but all are absolutely determined to run the race, despite the obstacles.

In 1966, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb applied to run the Marathon but was denied entry. “Women aren’t allowed, and furthermore are not physiologically able,” wrote the race director. At that time, AAU rules did not allow women to run more than a mile and a half competitively, but Gibb had been training for Boston every day for two years, sometimes running as much as 40 miles in a day. Fired up, she took a four-day trip on a Greyhound bus from her home in San Diego, arriving in Boston the day before the race. On race day, she slipped into the pack with the men and ran the entire route, becoming the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon. FULL POST

Posted 4/13/17 at 9:27 AM | Michael Bresciani

Jesus Resurrection – Proof that Death is a Failure

After centuries, the hordes that sit and swoon to the classicality of Shakespeare are yet unaware that William the bard of bards was woefully mistaken.

Shakespeare proclaimed:

“Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.”

Like everything else in this waning world of woe it is the one event called, the resurrection of Christ, which stops the flywheel of time and sends it in the other direction. Now it is death that is the poor player who struts and frets for his brief hour of time.

Death will be heard no more, the tale told by an enemy of God, a deceiver, an idiot, who thinks that his fury can forever cause men and angels to cower, fear, flee or fall into an unknown dark and foreboding eternal blackness. FULL POST

Posted 4/11/17 at 7:29 PM | Karen Kramer

The Sacred Thin Places

I learned about “thin places” when a pastor explained that it’s where the veil between heaven and earth becomes so thin you can feel God’s closeness in a new way.

The pastor’s thin place was a circle of enormous redwood trees.

I’ve been on mountain tops and in lush valleys. Near quiet lakes and places so pristine that I wondered if anyone had set foot there before.

But I wouldn’t say I experienced being in a thin place. Maybe I’m too earthy to feel much heavenly closeness.

Then I remembered a tiny room in an old trailer home we lived in decades ago. We’d brought our premature daughter home in the middle of a very cold winter.

We had to keep our baby warm and feed her 3 ounces of milk every ninety minutes. After one early morning feeding, I was holding her, rubbing her tiny back as she writhed in pain trying to digest the small amount. Tears slid down my cheeks as I wondered why it had be so hard for her. FULL POST

Posted 3/30/17 at 11:44 AM | Karen Kramer

America’s Pastime

Baseball’s opening day is nearly here, but fewer people care. Will a new generation even give it a chance?


Our son loved baseball. A day at the ballpark brought plenty of excitement. Well, back then it was easier to keep a kid’s attention before the hyper-digital age.

Besides the aura of the stadium and seeing a live game, some of the friendly MLB players would take time to sign autographs beforehand.

Talk about inspiring a young ball player! Recently a sportswriter lamented that baseball has lost its appeal.

We just don’t move at a nine-inning pace anymore. That may be true, but listen to how much we talk baseball:

For the successful sales team: “They hit it out of the park”

How about when we need a rough estimate of a repair: “Can you ballpark it?” FULL POST

Posted 3/22/17 at 4:47 PM | Karen Kramer

Passing the Baton

It’s track season once again. I loved watching my son compete—and his individual events were so exciting.

But there was something special about his relay races. In the dicey “exchange zone” the baton is passed from one runner to the next. They have mere seconds to make a clean exchange in the zone, without dropping the baton or taking precious seconds off their time.

It’s a skill the team routinely practices and in competition; their mission isn’t just passing the baton, but winning the race.

I was wondering how Millennials are feeling as they reach behind to grab the baton from our generation (Boomers)?

Just how are we doing in the exchange zone? This much is certain: we are passing a baton weighted down with national debt. A debt they didn’t create on their own. FULL POST

Posted 3/19/17 at 9:15 PM | Brittney Moses

Finding God’s Purpose Through Depression

“Please don’t let this be another cliché ‘there’s purpose in your pain’ posts” you think, “because I’ve heard it everywhere and it’s becoming white noise. I know scripture. I can quote the usual inspiration in my sleep. But still I am gripped by my pain and this haze won’t go away, things aren’t getting better and this whole ‘having a purpose’ thing seems to be for everyone else but not me. Not like this.”

Between you and me, that’s real.

And this isn’t some 5-part how-to post with magical steps that will remove your experience or guarantee your deliverance by the end of it. That wouldn’t be honest.

But I can be fair enough to say that I get it. You’re not alone in this and you certainly don’t need to shame yourself for where you are. None of us are immune to the tribulations that come with our humanity, even Christians, and it’s time that we start embracing honesty so that we can experience true recovery. And that’s what I hope to offer you- honesty and understanding that will prayerfully lead to a real road of recovery. Because it’s the truth that sets us free. FULL POST

Posted 3/16/17 at 1:23 PM | Karen Kramer

When I Lost One for the Team

I learned the hard way that it’s not always what you say, but how you say it.

I stood before the tribunal of unsmiling judges. Having completed the debate competition was hard enough, to now face their criticism was worse.

My teammate and I had argued our case about America’s broken welfare system against a formidable twosome.

Now the four of us had to stand and listen to why we’d won or lost. To say it was humbling is mild. The judges could tell us we were sloppy in our presentation, or worse, that our arguments were unfounded—a polite way of saying that we were blowing smoke and didn’t know what we were talking about. You couldn’t fool the judges—they could shoot holes in your logic, and would expose any shoddy research.

Sweat was sliding down my back as it became my turn to hear their critique. Later, I would wonder why this was something I enjoyed doing, but for now, I respectfully stood and listened. FULL POST

Posted 3/9/17 at 10:53 AM | Karen Kramer

Deliberate Act of Kindness

In my typical manic effort to get in and get out of the grocery store quickly, I nearly missed something that made my whole day.

While standing two grocery carts behind an elderly woman’s full cart, I mentally calculated the odds of getting faster service at the self-checkout.

But the self-checkout line snaked back into the aisles leading up to it. Who knew how far back it went. I had more than the 15-item maximum for the quick line, so I stayed put.

The elderly woman closely observed every item as it was scanned and the price that it charged. Even though the little payment machine kept beeping at her, she made no attempt to put her card in the chip reader.

The clerk announced the grand total and the woman slowly opened her purse and pulled out a wallet. Focusing her eyes on the bills inside she carefully started counting out the amount owed.

I noticed that all of us behind her were watching those shaky hands methodically lay down dollar bills—one by one. FULL POST

Posted 3/4/17 at 2:22 PM | Donna B. Comeaux

Waiting for the Messiah


WAITING FOR THE MESSIAH

(a fictional short story based on Bible truths and ancient customs)

          "Beulah, I do not understand why Avi does it—sit there day after day weaving away, hardly sleeping."

          "Shh, Ephah, she will hear you. Let her be. Whatever Avi is doing she has her mind fixed on it and there is nothing we can say to change her purpose. Now, come," Beulah said as she tugged on Ephah's arm.

          Ephah pulled away and reached for the long cloth covering Avi's open door. "I think we should go in and sit with her and find out what she is doing, Beulah."

          "No! Ephah, do not."

          "Are you not curious?" FULL POST

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