Inspirational

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Posted 9/1/17 at 9:22 AM | Marvin Thompson

What if You Do Not Get What You Pray For?

If you have ever prayed for something and were disappointed that it did not come when you expected it, or not at all, then you may have pondered through your doubts whether faith in Christ isn’t merely a state of mind with no causal influence, and that we are really at the mercy of a dispassionate fate.

It would seem that whatever concerns us the most, must surely be of concern to God. And if we are overcome with anxiety about our most urgent cares, why wouldn’t God grant our petition? What if our most urgent care is a matter of life and death?

Think, you are the sole breadwinner for your young family including infants; or you are the sole caretaker of your aging and physically challenged parents. Perhaps you are the custodian of a disabled sibling. In any event, there are those who depend totally on you for their care, wellbeing and survival.

Now think, you are staring in the face of a gun being held by someone intent on killing you. Is God obligated to deliver you from death at your request? What would be going through your mind?

We do not often think about our Christian walk in such stark terms. Indeed, it would be an ugly sight if Christians go about weighed down by such thoughts – it would make Christianity truly unattractive, and reflect poorly on our Lord who gives us, not mere hope, but a lively hope at that (1 Pet. 1:3). However, it is necessary at times to recognize that our disappointments are for a purpose – His purpose – and to reflect upon what that means. FULL POST

Posted 8/15/17 at 11:15 AM | Karen Farris

Where Summer Once Belonged

My earliest vacation recollection was the kerosene lantern on a red night stand. My mother sat reading in its glow.

I was bundled on a cot next to my sister. I couldn’t see the lake, but through the screened porch, I could hear the gentle lapping of water along the shoreline.

Every summer thereafter, we traveled back to my grandparent’s cabin in Northern Idaho. No electricity, telephone, or bathroom.

Cooking and heating dishwater were all done on the woodstove. It was the kind of rustic living a kid dreamed about—at least back then.

Life happens and so does progress. First it was a road, making it possible to reach the cabin by car instead of a boat.

Soon power lines crept along, mile by mile, until in the early 1970’s it reached the cabin. The kerosene lanterns retired.

A new water system eliminated the need for the outhouse—the final adios to our summer experience. FULL POST

Posted 8/10/17 at 11:28 AM | Karen Farris

When Darkness Comes

Not until it was so dark I couldn’t see did I find the One who showed me the way.


She unlocked her apartment door after another horrendous day. Weariness combined with utter disappointment.

Sliding onto the couch, emotional darkness settled in. Nothing really mattered at this point.

Then the phone rang. Not wanting to answer, she did anyway. And it was someone who wanted to listen.

In the comforting veil of darkness, her words of sadness flowed. In that dark place, with the bleakest outlook and a listening ear, seeds of hope finally emerged.

With a trail of bad days and hopeless nights behind her, she stood and went to the mirror.

Give up or go on?

In that moment, as she stared at her reflection, her weakness became a strong resolve to change. FULL POST

Posted 7/27/17 at 7:29 PM | Karen Farris

There's a Reason

A few miles from where I went to college, a friend of ours had a plot of land with a creek running through it. He’d timbered a portion of the property and even though the land was a bit scarred up, it was open to the sunshine—with ample fresh water.

Digging out a garden was a tough challenge. Ironically, it was also a difficult season in our lives.

The garden came to represent our hope in a future we couldn’t see. We planted seeds, nurtured them, and waited.

When the earth yielded succulent veggies, it was worth the effort.

In late fall, we moved to my mom’s property and decided to create a new garden—in another area riddled with tree roots and rocks. We cultivated the ground, and the fresh earth was ready for seeds, but it wasn’t planting season. Waiting had never been easy for me.

The garden was teaching me patience. But we moved before we had a chance to plant—our effort would help someone else’s garden.

New gardens were planted every time I moved—mostly small plots, with big hopes. It seemed that however long I stayed, there needed to be the promise of growth.

Life and gardening both have seasons—some easier than others. I’ve learned there’s a reason for every difficult season. FULL POST

Posted 6/29/17 at 11:13 AM | Karen Farris

Half Over

On Tuesday I saw a friend in the grocery aisle and she lamented that life needed to slow down.

Back home while unpacking my groceries, I looked at June 30th on the calendar and realized the year was half over.

Later, I read a pastor’s blog and he said we’re all looking for longevity—to live many years and be remembered well. Sure, while I run around doing errands, let me find time for a legacy.

The following morning while doing my workout, someone on TV was talking about Alfred Nobel.

Wikipedia

The elderly Nobel was perusing his morning newspaper and was shocked to read his own obituary (actually, his brother had died, but the reporter thought it was Alfred).

The writer credited Alfred Nobel as the inventor of dynamite—making it possible for more men than ever before to be killed in war. The obituary said his invention had made him incredibly wealthy. FULL POST

Posted 6/21/17 at 3:10 PM | Karen Farris

For the Love of Atheists

The mid-day crowds at the ferry terminal were sparse because the next boat wouldn’t arrive for a while.

Without anyone to engage, I watched a young woman take her protest sign, prop it up against a bench, and sit down in the shade.

One side of the sign stated in bold letters Seattle Atheists. The flipside read: Religion Causes War.

Since I was waiting for the ferry, I decided to sit in the shade with her and ask what she meant.

She was happy to talk and declared emphatically, “People are brainwashed by religion. Look at how many have been killed because of it.”

“Do you think atheism is the answer?” I asked respectfully.

“Look, people kill those that don’t follow their religion. You see it ALL the time.” She spoke loudly, although no one was close enough to hear. FULL POST

Posted 6/15/17 at 12:31 PM | Karen Farris

The Father You Can Be

The card arrived in the mail the day before Father’s Day.

Hallmark’s eloquent words would have been enough sentiment, but Dad’s handwritten words of encouragement to his son-in-law on his first Father’s Day, made me swallow back my tears.

Without fail, those cards came each year until my Dad passed on.

Being a good father was something my dad learned the hard way. Today, divorce and single-parenting are common, but in 1937, not so much.

As a young boy, Dad moved from everything he knew in sunny Chico, California—with its paved, tree-lined streets to a dusty farm in Eastern Washington.

He wouldn’t see his father again for 15 years. When his mom remarried, his step-father became the only dad he’d have—an honest, hard-working man. FULL POST

Posted 6/8/17 at 11:41 AM | selwyn perry

THE MIND

Like all God's creation the laws of reason and sense are logical and visible. Hence the science of physics and geometry, psychology and mathematics, which could not possibly exist in a random universe. The mind also is not a random, thoughtless self awareness but a creative, powerful intellect that exists like God exists, able to know right from wrong, real from unreal, truth from fiction and love from hate. These are powers of mind that can cross space and time, know the presence of other minds and know God. It makes sense to have faith in God to achieve health and happiness, peace and coexistence, soundness of mind and self understanding. Faith however, is not believing a philosophy or creed but living by faith in God's love, guidance and reality. Faith, in fact, is like learning to ride a bicycle. The only way to learn is to ride it; like swimming, the only way to swim is to swim. Faith is always courageous and takes hold of God's promises to live by faith in his goodness and love. For it is living by faith that changes everything in mind and body. The gift of God's Spirit is life changing, life abundant and life giving. The teaching of Jesus Christ, God's Son, is the faith in God is eternal life which dramatically changes the way we think about death and the future.

Posted 6/7/17 at 11:42 AM | Karen Farris

Three Words I had to Learn

“Why do you think I wasn’t selected?” I had slid into his classroom after school because I knew this teacher was brutally honest.

“Not everyone likes you.” He was referring to the faculty selection committee.

My approval addiction was rearing its ugly head.

He went on, “You know how to succeed, but you haven’t learned about failure. Better learn it now or life will teach you.”

He was right.

Just over a year later, I listened to the keynote speaker at my high school graduation....a prosperous businessman. He congratulated us for our hard work and said we’d be successful if we continued to work hard.

Yes! I knew how to work hard. Success would be mine.

Went to college, worked hard. Found my best friend, Tom.

When I turned 21, I married him. Success assured.

And then my high school teacher’s predictions happened. FULL POST

Posted 6/1/17 at 12:24 PM | Karen Farris

Desperate and Determined

Looking over my shoulder into the shadows I sensed someone was there. There had to be somewhere safe to hide.

Someone was following me; I ran swiftly ahead in the dark.

Coming around the side of a building I saw a couple kids huddled together under an eave. An older woman watched over them—they reminded me of chicks tucked safely next to a mother hen—but the woman glared at me with suspicion.

Who could blame her when it was so dark. I tried to squeeze in next to them. She hissed like a cat. I looked at her and then back towards the unknown assailant lurking out there.

My eyes pleaded with her to let me stay. Her hand moved swiftly, and a knife was thrust close to my face. I jumped back and started running.

Looking back, I saw there wasn’t one assailant, but two. My feet sounded loud on the pavement as I ran. The alley was so dark I thought maybe I could hide. FULL POST

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