Posted 6/8/16 at 12:24 PM | Karen Woodall
This week’s news has been dotted with stories covering the life and career of former Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali who passed away last Friday from protracted health issues. Arguably the first of a vanguard of flamboyant ‘trash talking’ athletes, Ali was known for taunting his opponents openly both inside and outside the ring, boldly declaring himself to be “the Greatest of All Time.” And, you know, he was right… for a while.
But that was a long time ago, and as he learned, (and the rest of us will learn if we live long enough,) time has a way of stealing away things in which we once took great pride and satisfaction. Oh, these things don’t have to be limited to athletics. They can be beauty, intellect, dexterity, imagination, creativity, or a host of other things. Even for those who are skilled and fortunate enough to somehow against all odds reach the pinnacle of their career, and to ride the fading wave of fame and fortune while garnering the admiration of millions, they all soon find out that being “the greatest” just isn’t that great anymore. FULL POST
Posted 6/5/16 at 8:04 PM | Brittney Moses
I’d like to think I have a pretty wholesome attitude and state of mind in general. However, I am in no way immune to breaking down.
I’m not perfect (surprise).
I get stuck in my fears and my doubts.
I’ve felt hopeless.
I've hit my ultimate low on many days.
I’ve been trapped by the expectation to set an example.
I've depended far too much on myself to get this thing right.
I have handled my flaws legalistically rather than with grace.
(And trust me, my flaws are many.)
I learned to be resilient and strong in the Lord, but I had lost the beauty of being broken.
We tell people to come to Christ as they are but the image we present doesn’t match our words. In perfectly groomed clothes, photo shopped images and the lack of sharing our present day struggles, we subconsciously make ourselves the standard. We praise the good but when the bad and the ugly actually come out we’re quick to shame and judge another's walk with Christ. Since when did imperfection and human flaws become such a shocker among the body? Everyone is going through something behind closed doors, including those we admire the most. FULL POST
Posted 6/2/16 at 7:42 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
John Robertson McQuilkin, the college president who stepped down to care for his wife stricken with Alzheimer’s, passed into the arms of Jesus on June 2nd. He was 88.
McQuilkin had served as president of Columbia Bible College and Seminary for 22 years (now Columbia International University) when he resigned in 1990 to care fulltime for his wife, Muriel, who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.
He met Muriel at the school when they were students. When they first met, he discovered she was “delightful, smart, and gifted, and just a great lover of people and more fun than you can imagine.”
He proposed on Valentine’s Day in 1948 and over the next 30 years, they raised six children and served God in many ways, including 12 years as missionaries in Japan.
In 1968 they returned to the U.S. and Robertson became president of the college. Muriel also taught there, spoke at women’s conferences, and on TV and radio programs. FULL POST
Posted 6/2/16 at 8:18 AM | Chris Fedorcek
Life has a funny way of throwing things at us when we least expect it. Maybe it’s a blown engine, the loss of a job, a death of someone close to us or a diagnosis that wasn’t expected. For many, especially men, our first response is, “What do I need to do to fix it?” There’s an obvious problem so therefore there must be a solution, something that I can do, to overcome whatever has been put in front of our path.
Too often we try to lean on our own strength or head knowledge to overcome something or provide a need that only a loving Father in heaven can provide. I love 2 Chronicles 20:15 when the Lord tells Jehoshaphat, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” He continues in verse 17 to say, “You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out and face them, for the Lord is with you.”
You see, regardless of the fight that is ahead of you, the posture of our heart must remain focused on and confident in the Lord that his provision will come through and that it will sustain us. One of the struggle points to remember is that His answer, His provision, may not always look like what we imagine in our mind, but His response is the perfect response based upon His will, not ours. FULL POST
Posted 5/19/16 at 3:49 PM | Karen Kramer
I love beach walks; the salt air clears my mind. It’s also my go-to place when I’m thinking about those who are struggling. I have a friend whose journey is filled with anguish. Her future could get better, but she can’t seem to move forward. I can relate.
Some people get frozen in bitterness, others are weighed down with regrets. For me it was self-loathing. For her, it’s debilitating sadness.
For some, moving forward into the unknown seems worse than staying someplace unhealthy. But for things to get better, change has to happen, even when it’s hard and a bit scary.
They say that the things that break us can make us better people. But who wants to be broken?
Well, at the beach we can take a lesson from the crab.
As a crab grows it must periodically shed its hard shell. Keeping the old one isn’t an option. Shed it or die. FULL POST
Posted 5/16/16 at 9:59 PM | Chris Fedorcek
"Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7 HCSB)
Let's be honest and take down the facade for just a few moments today...some days are hard! There are days that I don't feel like putting my best foot forward and days I wonder why God called me in to ministry. There are days I sincerely question if I am accurately reflecting the peace, love, grace and joy of Christ within me. I often feel as though for many followers of Christ we tend to run our "me and Jesus" relationship at about a 60/40 ratio, with the majority being a self-centered, convenient form of what we justify as the Christian life.I would say, for many, that on a good day we run about 90/10, which in theory sounds good right? I mean, that 90%, that's passing...that's an A!
Here's the thing, I don't recall reading anywhere in scripture that we are called to submit part of our life to Christ. Christ didn't give bits and pieces of Himself for us when it was convenient for Him. Christ fully submitted all of Himself to the Father so that we may walk in freedom and be covered by His grace. Just as Christ was called to be all in, we are called to be all in, one-hundred percent, one-hundred percent of the time. Living a life for Christ isn't a 50/50 relationship that involves mutual submission. Living for Christ is submitting all of you for all of Him. It's giving up complete control; our thoughts, our actions and our words and allowing the Spirit of God to reflect out of our hearts to the atmosphere and people around us. FULL POST
Posted 5/3/16 at 8:17 PM | Greg Holt
Lord Lead Us
Where does your heart live – do you live for now, or the future? Or are you caught up in yesterday? Where we live is not so important as how we live – where our hearts reside.
It is so easy in this fast paced world to get caught up the rush of life losing what the reality of our lives should be.
Lord lead us back to You.
The day starts with good intentions and becomes over-whelmed with busy. Work intrudes its ugly head with that ‘gotta get it done’ problem. The car broke down – our child is in trouble – the furnace just died.
Lord lead us back to You.
We mean to read the Bible but just don’t get to it. We mean to pray – pray for that one person that really needs it – for our country, but prayer gets forgotten in the ‘to do list’.
Lord lead us back to You.
Let us resolve to make today different – today let us take that time – time to read the Word of God. Let us take the time to pray, not only for others, as we should – but to thank the Lord for His goodness towards us. FULL POST
Posted 4/29/16 at 4:11 PM | Mark Ellis
By Mark Ellis
A four-year-old Golden Labrador Retriever that helped save earthquake victims trapped under rubble died from heatstroke while performing his duties.
Dayko, a valuable member of the fire department’s K9 unit, was part of a search-and-rescue team searching for survivors following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit coastal Ecuador, about 100 miles from Quito, according to the Washington Post.
Dayko was invaluable crawling through the debris and rubble, sniffing out survivors. Amazingly, he was able to save seven people before his own death.
The Ibarra fire department said Friday that Dayko died from heatstroke after local veterinarians desperately tried to save the animal, according to the Washington Post.
The department said an autopsy showed he died after suffering a massive heart attack and acute respiratory failure. FULL POST
Posted 4/28/16 at 4:06 PM | Karen Kramer
Mount Storm King in the Olympics is a quick but intense climb since it’s 1200 feet of elevation per mile. But the last 500 feet truly test your limits.
It was Christmas Day, and as a gift to myself, I wanted to hike to the top.
The Very Top.
Beyond the end-of-trail warning sign, ropes are securely (?) tied to outcroppings enabling the fearless to climb to the summit.
From there one can see the entire glacier-fed Lake Crescent and beyond to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the watery dividing line between the United States and Canada.
A bonus on this Christmas Day climb, was fresh snow on the rugged summit. So, Tommy, my son and official Storm King guide, and I laid fresh boot tracks through a couple feet of snow. FULL POST
Posted 4/7/16 at 1:33 PM | Karen Kramer
Of course I didn’t realize it at the time. Things were too chaotic. In the long chapter titled, “mothering a young child”, time is elusive. Up hours before dawn to get some work done, then a rush to get work done during naptime.
Then it’s playtime, dinner time, story time before bedtime, and prized moments of my-time before it begins again.
For a break, we’d taken a weekend to visit my mom—which meant an interminably long drive with a squirming child.
Mom’s rustic cabin seemed timeless nestled in its wooded acres—and it was a child’s paradise with new things to see and touch. Including a beach with waves, shells, seagulls and miles of shoreline.
It was cold and wet—but that didn’t matter when the beach was waiting to be explored. Soon our pockets were laden with the rock and shell treasures our little girl found. I didn’t stop to wonder if she’d would remember this day. Would I even remember it? FULL POST