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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

Those of you who know me well will think aliens have taken over my body. The weather report says we're going to get around 6 inches of snow. It's already starting to come down.

Tonight, at Words for the Journey, Michele read a devotional about enjoying snow. Generally, I'd scoff at such things. I do not like snow. It's wet. It's cold. And driving in it stinks. But as I thought about her words and

But here's the thing... I don't have to drive in it.

I'm not teaching any more. I don't have to go anywhere if I don't want to. I can sit in my house by the fire and watch those big flakes come down. And, because I'm mean this way, I can watch my kiddos walk to school, all from the security of my warm home. For the first time in a long time, I can enjoy the beauty without all the stress of dealing with it. I can just enjoy.

Snow is beautiful. And there's a special peace that comes with being able to simply enjoy it.

Tonight, as I watch the snow fall, the usual snow anxiety is gone. Instead, I am filled with gratitude. I'm grateful that I don't have to drive to a job several nights a week. I'm grateful that I can spend my evenings at home with my hubby and my little girls. I'm grateful that my other job allows me to make a decent income while sitting in my pjs. I'm grateful that even though our income isn't what I'd like it to be, God still takes care of us financially. I'm grateful that we have a nice home to live in. I'm grateful that we're warm. I'm grateful that my children are healthy. I'm grateful that I have the ability to actually enjoy the snow.

So I can sit back and enjoy the weather with absolute peace and gratitude.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

What a great, great story. I love WWII, and I'm a big fan of espionage, so between the two, I was hooked. And, to be honest, I really enjoy reading about the resistance movements that were trying to fight against Hitler, especially in terms of Christians working against him. We so often hear the stories of what went wrong, what could have been done, what should have been done, etc, that I always appreciate the perspective of the courageous few who stood to make a difference. I'm so glad this story of courage and honor was told. Okay, so it's fiction, but I'd like to believe that somewhere in this story rings the truth of some unsung heroes.

Buy on Christianbook / Buy on Amazon

Read an Excerpt

Download the Discussion Guide

Watch the Trailer

Working as a Swiss transcriptionist for the Americans during WWII, Gabi Mueller's life changes overnight when she's recruited as a spy for the precursor of the CIA.

Asked to safely courier a German physicist working on the budding Nazi atomic bomb project to the Swiss border, Gabi feels the weight of the war on her shoulders. But who can she trust?

CONTEST (and this includes CHOCOLATE!)
Pst...pass it on! Help Spread the word about #SwissCourier on Twitter and enter to win a signed copy & Swiss Chocolate!

Just tweet this: The Swiss Courier by @triciagoyer fast paced and suspenseful! Don't miss out! http://tr.im/Ahjs RT #swisscourier

and we'll enter you into a drawing for 1 of 5 SIGNED copies of The Swiss Courier!

***Special thanks to Amy Lathrop of LitFuse for sending me a review copy.***

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How much is too much?

In my last post, I talked about my inability to reconcile wealthy TV preachers asking for people to give money to worthy causes. But here's part two of my debate with myself.

On one hand, I believe in getting paid for a job well done. And I have to admit, I have certain financial goals and dreams. Someday, I'd like to be able to afford some of those things.

But at what level is that okay? At what point should I put on the brakes and say, "whoa?" Not that I'm nearly there yet... we're still working hard to make ends meet. Though even with that, I wonder if we could do with less.

No, I don't have any great answers to this one. Still tossing around thoughts and trying to make sure that whatever I'm doing, I'm honoring God with it.


I'm going to make a confession... I love watching some of the TV preachers. Not all of them. I'm not into the hellfire and damnation stuff, but other teachers have a lot of great wisdom I enjoy. However... I'm not so sure about their pleas for financial help. Even the teachers I think are good have segments with tugs at the heartstring appeals for money.

There's a part of me that wants to give them money. I believe in the causes. And yet, there's a part of me that wonders why they aren't funding these causes themselves. Yes, I'm sure they give some of their own personal money. But do any of them believe in their cause enough to sell their million dollar mansions and give the money to the cause?

Don't get me wrong. I believe they're doing a lot of good. But I'm hesitant to put my money in the pockets of folks who aren't willing to do the same. Am I paying for their mansion, or am I paying to give real aid to people who need it?

But as my heartstrings are tugged over and over, I have to wonder if I'm doing the right thing in questioning. Should I just go ahead and give, and let God work it out? Or do I sit and let suffering continue?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sugar and Sin

Detox is going much much better. Thanks to everyone for all of your support.

On Sunday, we had our church home group, and they celebrated birthdays. It had been so long since they'd done it, they included my birthday. Including a SUPER chocolate cake. I decided that since Becky had gone to all that trouble, I would have a bite. My doctor didn't say NO sugar, she just said cut WAY back. Because I knew temptation would be too high otherwise, I went no sugar. So I felt okay with taking ONE BITE of chocolate cake.

It was about the nastiest thing I've ever had. I got that cake in my mouth after a week and a half of no sugar at all, and I wanted to throw up. My body screamed at me like I was abusing it. I realized then that I do not need sugar any more.

Sugar is a funny thing. The stuff made from sugar looks so good. That chocolate cake was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. But it was just... fluff. Sugar has no real nutrients. It does nothing good for your body. Yet it tempts us. And with each bite, we want more. Worse, to keep us wanting more, the rest of the world puts sugar in everything. Foods that are delicious on their own get added sugar. Until we think we can't live without.

Sin is a lot like that. So easy to get hooked. Some of it appears beautiful. In the moment, it feels good. The more we do it, the better it seems to taste. The less we think about the dangers. We eat more and more until we're toxic beings who think we need it because if we don't, we're going to feel really bad.

I felt awful the first week or so of my sugar detox. Nothing in my body felt right. But once I got it out of my system, sugar no longer held the attraction. It suddenly tasted funny. This week, I feel great. Today was the first morning for as long as I can remember that I've woken up feeling good. I didn't even get as much sleep as I'd planned. I'm amazed at how much more my body can do without all the toxins.

What would life be like if we made the same choices about sin? Knowing that initial withdrawal is going to be tough, but as we continue shedding our dependence on it, feeling stronger and healthier.

What sins have control over you? Are you willing to take the painful steps to detox from your sin?