The first time I shared my testimony in the recovery ministry at church, I asked God for a takeaway I could leave people with so it wasn’t just all about me. In His lavish provision, He immediately gave me three – using personally significant art forms, no less. Here is the first:
You could say that photography was my second love (behind Star Wars, of course).
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In principle, all photography is simply “writing” (my third love) with light by permanently capturing it on a photo-sensitive medium such as film and then transferring it to a displayable format.
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Spiritually speaking, God showed me that these . . . READ ON
Last week I had one of those amazing evenings with two of my favorite girlfriends where we opened up about our past experiences and current challenges, provided mutual encouragement, and simply gloried in the strength and solidarity of each other’s sisterly presence.
At one point, specific difficulties faced by one of us were addressed with reassurances she accepted, not quite reluctantly, but with the slightest tinge of skepticism. But later, when she brought up her own encouragement toward another friend, I stopped her and said that she needed to record those words and replay them for herself. They were so applicable to the situation we’d discussed earlier that I was struck anew with how often we tend to believe all the best about others and only the worst about ourselves.
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This was one of my own biggest struggles for the first 19 years of my walk with Christ. Because it didn’t really affect me prior to that, I truly believe this battle came from a place of spiritual attack – which may explain why so many of us are susceptible to this dynamic once we find ourselves in God’s grace.
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[T]he harder we try to compete with the grace we’ve received, the more unworthy we feel . . . and sometimes, as in my case, it takes one or more powerful encounters with the presence of God to forever end . . . READ ON
Going home is always an experience. Now the “home” I just came back to visit is not the city I grew up in, nor the town in which I currently live, but the place of my deepest and most resonant friendships.
A few weeks of hanging out with so many of my very favorite “peeps” has filled my soul like hardly anything else can.
I have laughed, and cried, and laughed until I cried. I have joyfully celebrated great victories and tearfully mourned great struggles – many of which I am, regretfully, just learning about. I have met the children of close friends for the first time and caught up with these amazing parents until my heart overflowed. My peeps have even helped me make a few new friends who are already kindred spirits (apparently the peeps of my peeps are also my peeps, lol).
I don’t know how to express it other than this: I have LIVED . . . outside of my own headspace . . . for the first time in way too long . . .
Funny thing is, all this living I’m suddenly doing has made me look back at the last season of my life and wonder . . . READ ON
I do believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).
That verse was always confusing until I went through an experience that made it come alive for me. I was praying one night and my thoughts wandered to my financial situation – which had improved tremendously over the course of the prior year, but was still somewhat tenuous at the time.
Gradually, I became gripped with fear that I would end up back where I had been and that potential shattered me. I began . . . READ ON
I have killed more fish in my lifetime than most people even realize exist.
Growing up in the family business of commercial fishing and canning every summer in Alaska, I made my way in the world off the guts and gills of several million pounds of Sockeye, Coho, and Chinook salmon. But the one thing I never did in all those years was stop to think about exactly what I’d put them through. Well, God in His infinite . . . humor? . . . Irony? . . . Okay, fine, wisdom . . . showed me first-hand one pivotal night a decade ago.
Now in order to understand the end (of this particular portion) of the story, there are a few not-so-minor and not-so-painless details that must be shared. To start with . . . READ ON