As a newly married woman, one of my first opportunities to be the hostess of my home led to an embarrassing situation with my next-door neighbor. Attempting to welcome me to the area, she dropped in for a visit. I hadn’t been expecting anyone, my husband was gone, my house was messy, and I had no idea what to do or say.
by Mandy SaelerHeather CoferJess WhiteJasmin HowellSarah Guthrie
And whatever you do,Do it heartily, as to the Lord...Colossians 3:23Dear reader,Have you ever wondered how to escape the frivolous undertow of the 21st-century lifestyle? Have you ever had the longing to live for “something more” than the trending tides of our here-today, gone-tomorrow world?
If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it's not so bad. Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison.
I sat in a wing-back chair by the blazing fireplace, surrounded by friends on a Wednesday night; our weekly life-group meeting was underway. As I read aloud from Acts 2, I caught myself pausing when I came to verse 42: “...and they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, NIV).
My afternoon nap ended abruptly as I awoke to a constriction in my chest, difficulty breathing, and a general sense of panic flooding through my body. “Something’s wrong…” was all I could say to my husband before I began to weep uncontrollably.
...Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus...Hebrews 12:1-2 NIVExcitement kindled in my heart as I walked up to my front door and saw the much-anticipated package leaning against the frame.
I couldn’t focus. My thoughts were zoned in on how much prettier she was than me. So much taller, more put together, her hair more perfect, her clothes more elegant, her manner reserved and poised. I momentarily took an inventory of myself. Bouncy, out-of-control curls, old comfy jeans, layered sweaters, and chunky handmade hemp jewelry.
I leaned against the railing of the deck and looked out at the treetops waving gently in the late evening breeze. I could feel my shoulders relax as the thoughts that had been worrying the corners of my mind began to ebb away. Birds were singing, and the sun was setting.
Going Through the Bargain BinWhen I was in my teens, a good friend with a knack for thrift store shopping introduced me to the local Value Village and Goodwill stores, with their tantalizing sale racks and bulging bargain bins. And as the old saying goes, it was love at first sight.
by Mandy SaelerHeather Coferthe setapartgirl TeamJess WhiteJasmin HowellSarah Guthrie
Romance novels, chick-flicks, sensual magazines, and more — everywhere we look there are land mines of relational compromise awaiting us. As Christians, it’s easy to turn to the “tamer” versions of these things to fulfill our desire to fantasize about our own personal fairy tale and imagine the charming prince
CLEANSE ME FROM SECRET FAULTS.Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
A Fearful YesI recently had a very busy week full of coffee dates, client meetings, meals with lovely people in our church community, family get-togethers, our Wednesday night Life Group, and what felt like a whole bunch of other appointments and errands.