Category Archives: Uncategorized

Leading With Purpose

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“Leadership is about encouraging people.  It’s about stimulating them.  It’s about enabling them to achieve what they can achieve—and to do that with purpose.”  —Christine Lagarde

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How we win. How we fight.

“We have to remember the real enemy…”

Anna Spindler Writes

This week has been heavy, friends. It started with my NPR app sending me horrifying texts in the middle of the night Sunday and grew as the death toll rose and our sense of safety was again rocked.

It continued with immediate culture wars. Fingers pointing. Angry words. Emotions preyed upon for political gains (all parties).

Guys. People have lost their lives.

I’ll never forget September 15, 1999. It was the night a crazed gun man waltzed into my friends’ church and killed 7 people, injuring 7 more. It was before we all had the internet or cell phones. I didn’t even have cable. I raced home to call my parents, “are they ok?” frantic into the phone.

“I saw Walter on tv, he’s ok.”

Even though my friends were ok, I spent the next few days walking around my Northern Iowa college campus in a haze that no…

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When and How to Help a Woman

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“It shouldn’t be about societal rules, but about love,” my daughter remarked during a recent discussion. She had just spent a week overseas and was talking about how the young men treated her as compared to how some American guys have treated her and other girls especially within church and homeschool circles. In social groups that put a lot of emphasis on living according to rules, many boys and men seem to insist on taking on a task or helping a girl because it’s what they were taught about being a man or a gentleman. It’s not so much about loving or caring about the person as it is about “doing what’s right” and feeling like a man.

There’s a quote or meme going around that says, “A real woman can do it all by herself, but a real man won’t let her.”

What?! Seriously?

I was recently talking with a couple of friends who are having trouble in their marriages. Although younger than I, one man had an older generation mentality of men being in control and making all the decisions. He had been taught that having wide shoulders and handling everything was the way to love his wife. I admire him for wanting to take care of her, but I tried to help him realize that although we women do want someone who will take care of us, we also want a life partner and to be valued as a partner. There was more, but that’s for a different blog post.

After yesterday’s practical fire class on ventilation and skills training, I thought more about what my daughter had said. Because I am small at only 5’1” tall, I have quite a few limitations when it comes to being a firefighter, but there are things I must try to do as part of the class, and some of those things I have to do by myself. During those times, I am grateful for my classmates’ and instructors’ encouragement and cheering me on. I am also grateful for their help when we work together as a crew, as well as when they ask if I’ve “got it” before they rush in to help.

A real woman can do it by herself, and a real man will let her if she wants to.

So when do you help a woman?

When she asks.

When she’s in danger.

When she’s tired or not feeling well.

When she doesn’t ask, but you know her well enough to know she needs and wants help.

How should you help a woman?

That depends. That, too, is for another blog post, but the bottom line is to do it out of a heart that loves and cares, and know her well enough to know how she wants to be helped.

(Shout out to my friend and firefighter brother, Nick, who helped me with setting up and shooting the photo. I was going to try to do it alone, but I’m so glad I asked for help, because trying to execute a self-portrait using the camera’s timer was really unrealistic, and although I probably could’ve gotten the 24’ ladder off of Engine 2, it would have been really difficult and potentially dangerous. Thank you, Nick!)

 

If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: When It’s Never Enough

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“Lo, hearkening than sacrifice is better; to give attention than fat of rams.” —1 Samuel 15:22b YLT


Surrounded by God’s Abiding Love ~ Snippets of Rain

Heavenly Raindrops

Surrounded by raindrops Surrounded by raindrops

Surrounded by God’s Abiding Love

I love you
With an abiding love.
It is not altered
By the certainty
Of your inadequacies.
It does not change
With the rippling tide
Of your shortcomings.
It does not fade
With the fluctuations
Of your loyalty.

It is constant,
Surrounding,
Abiding,
And everlasting.

****

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
ESV

For similar posts, seeSnippets of Rain

Snippets of Rain

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He Unfold the Rose

A beautiful, heartwarming post revealing that some things take time and cannot be forced.

Karina's Thought

HE UNFOLD THE ROSE -Karina's Thought- Paul Militaru

I am very happy in the midst of my busyness take care my baby boy and did the company tasks, this weekend I could back to gardening. With my husband I walked around the garden and enjoying each flower there. In the rose section, I found a beautiful red rosebud. I am so excited and amazed then I touched it softly and said to my husband, “I cannot wait to see this beautiful rose blooming. What happens if with my hand I open its petals so the rose will be unfolded?” “I don’t think so my dear princess. You cannot unfold the rosebud “My husband replied gently.”There is a time to the rose will unfold beautifully. If we force it the rose will be dead. My dear, Let God unfold this rosebud according His time. Not our time. When? We even do not know. So just be patient to wait…

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Child-like Faith

Excellent blog post for anyone who is struggling with trying to figure out why something is happening and what they must have done wrong to deserve it… OR for those who immediately think a person is struggling because of some sin in their life that needs to be confessed and repented of.

Unshakable Hope

As I’ve said in other posts, I do not believe that God causes trials. But He clearly does allow difficult times to come upon even those that are closest to Christ. (If you don’t believe this, please study the life of the Apostle Paul).

When you read the Old Testament, especially the book of Job, you’ll find that people of those times believed trials and tribulations only came upon the ungodly. Most of the book of Job is his so-called “friends” trying to figure out what Job did or didn’t do to deserve these horrible trials. Poor Job sits at their feet scraping his boils trying to defend himself against their baseless accusations.

Trials humble us and expose self-righteousness in others and in ourselves.

I’m thankful that I don’t have friends like Job. Today, when looking upon those going through difficult trials, the humbled believer will likely think,

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I Can’t Resist A Good Challenge!

My blogging friend, Bill, who has had ALS for almost 18 years, did the ice bucket challenge. Way to go, Bill!

Unshakable Hope

Ice Bucket Challenge Donations Top $100 Million in 30 Days compared to $2.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 29).

Mary looked at me like I was crazy when I told her that I wanted her to dump a bucket of icy water over my head.
“You might gasp and breathe in water and choke,” she warned. But after a few days of prodding she finally agreed to play her roll in the Ice Bucket Challenge. I was hoping that the ice cold water being poured over my head would cause me to jump out of my chair and run, like my Australian friend, Phil, but (SPOILER ALERT) unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Seventeen years ago, almost a year after being diagnosed with this horrible disease known as ALS, I was asked by MDA to participate in the local portion of the Labor Day…

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How to Get Attention

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I learned something this weekend— how to get and redirect attention.

While helping a local volunteer fire department with its car wash fundraising event, I agreed to put on a firefighter’s turnout gear to attract the attention of passersby.  I prefer helping by washing cars or being behind a camera rather than drawing attention to myself, but it was for a good cause.  Since the station had a sandwich board with neon green posters announcing its car wash, I thought it would be a good idea to stand across the street.

Wrong.

I realized that by drawing attention to the opposite side, I was drawing attention to myself instead of to the station and the car wash.  Hey, I had very little experience doing that kind of thing, but now I know.  I did eventually stand by the neon green signs, which was much more effective.

I hate writing this next part, but I can’t leave it out and still get the complete point across.  And by the way, I am not fishing for compliments, ok?  So don’t embarrass me… please?  That reminds me of a quote.

“You better be very careful fishing for those compliments.  You might not like what you catch.”  —Steve Cobb, pastor in “The Deacon”

Ok, so years and years ago when I was 20-something, an out-of-state visitor to the church I was attending, asked me out on a date.  I accepted even though he was quite a bit older than I.  While strolling along a sidewalk after dinner, we talked about our faith in Jesus and future plans.  He turned to me and told me that God had given me the gift of beauty.  Although I feel pretty some days, I don’t think of myself as being beautiful or having a gift of beauty.  Anyway, he said that God could use it to help point people to Him.

Although outer beauty can capture attention, it can also keep it for itself.  Although I, like any woman, long to be considered beautiful in someone’s eyes, what I desire most is an inner beauty that reflects the love of God, because that is true beauty.  He’s still working on me.

One of the things I have learned in life and the blogging world is people are drawn to images more than just words, and through the stock photography business, I have learned that people are drawn to faces more than to mere objects.  Photos with people are much more profitable, because companies know that customers are drawn to faces, especially happy ones.  So even though the fire station had signs posted, and even though they were neon green, having a person either holding a sign or drawing attention to the signs and event is much more effective.  In the same way, although billboards, funny church signs, and religious tracts may draw some attention, what is much more effective is love… personal interaction that draws attention in His direction and not just to ourselves. After all, Jesus has so much more to offer.


Let There Be Light

I love when God expresses His love to us in unexpected ways! Check out Gen’s image of a heart shape in the midst of storm clouds.


John 10:17-18 (The Trade)

A fantastic analogy! Thank you, Jesus!

THE RIVER WALK

The Trade Edit

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” (John 10:17-18)

Read: 2 Kings 20:1-19, 2 Chronicles 32:24-31, Isaiah 38:1 – 39:8, 

Relate: A team of eight men, Army Rangers, are sent out on what basically amounts to a suicide mission to rescue one soldier. Captain Miller and his team are some of the army’s best. The one soldier they are sent to retrieve hasn’t really done anything. His only value is in the fact that his three brothers all died on the same day and the army wanted to be able send at least one child back to mommy. Seriously. That’s it…

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