Attractive San Antonio

What a beautiful city! The area around the San Antonio River that flows through the historic district is a goldmine. Known as the River Walk, it is a huge tourist draw, and contains restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. Originally constructed by the WPA in the late 1930s, it has served as a way to minimize…

Seeking God’s Presence at ACFW

Last week I wrote about many of the fantastic authors and friends I met or reconnected with at this year’s annual ACFW Conference. That part of the conference is truly a blessing, but I failed to capture the true essence of the gathering. We all came essentially to connect with Jesus. To ask his blessings…

American Christian Fiction Writers – 2019 – San Antonio

ACFW’s annual conference was: informative, exciting, renewing, brilliant, star-studded, amazing! I departed Indianapolis bound for Atlanta at 7 am Thursday, September 26th full of anticipation and excitement. And a few nerves. The trip to Atlanta was pleasant. I totally recommend Delta Airlines. The crews and flights were fantastic! One thing I love about ACFW is…

Concrete Reminders in a Spiritual Fight

Ephesians 6 reminds us that there are spiritual forces at work that we cannot see. They are real. They are powerful. They are malignant. They are dark. And they exist, albeit in an invisible state, alongside the humans on planet Earth. These are the forces with which we are at war. They are our true…

The Prodigal Daughter: A recommendation

A new book released on September 24th and written by father/daughter duo Rob and Danielle Koke promises to raise the veil on addiction and provide insights into the mind and heart of an addicted person. Check out the book trailer here. My own story contains brushes with addiction and with many other addicted persons. The…

Movie Recommendation: Overcomer

This new category of mine will most likely be underused. I rarely watch, let alone, go to the theater to watch, movies. But recently, my husband and I took a little time off to see Overcomer. I had several friends recommend seeing it. As a track coach, I identified with the difficulties presented with teams…

Lives for Sale

I accompanied my husband to a livestock auction today. Each year we sell about half of the calves our herd of nineteen cows produces. Today was the day of the sale. We sorted and loaded nine calves into the trailer and set off. Once the calves were unloaded and the trailer parked, we entered the…

Are you hiding your talent?

Matthew 25:14-30 are the verses that share Jesus’ parable of the talents. I’m told that in Biblical times a talent was a monetary unit worth approximately a year’s wages for a servant. (I’m not a Biblical expert, so don’t ask me what kind of servant, or in which country or any of the other technical…

What season are you in?

The past two Sundays Wes Raley gave the sermon at our church. His latest message resonated with my place in life at this moment. He spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven existing now. Right now, not at some point in the chronological future. We are called to be in tune to the indwelling Spirit’s urgings…

School is Starting: My goals for the new year

Tomorrow (August 8th) begins my nineteenth year working in secondary education. That is hard for me to believe! I began as a substitute teacher and bus driver the first year and was asked to accept a permanent position as an Enrichment Aide the next year. I taught Spanish to sixth and eighth graders and Math…

Book Review: My Unexpected Hope by Tammy L. Gray

This is not a new story. It was published in 2017, but it is new to me. I’m not sure how I found it. Some recommendation from somewhere, but however it ended up in my library, I’m super glad it did! This is the story of Laila and Chad Richardson. Divorced because of Chad’s chronic…

The Liebster Award Challenge

My friend Allison Grace posted this on her blog recently and it looked fun, so I thought I would try it. Thanks Allison. Read her blog here. The rules: #1: Acknowledge the blogger who gave it to you and display the award. #2: Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you. #3: Give 11 random…

Travelogue: Europe 2019 – Part 4

Switzerland I hope you’ve been enjoying the blog account of our student group travel with EF Tours this June. If you’ve missed Parts 1, 2, or 3, I encourage you to check them out. The highlight our our tour was our visit to Lucerne, Switzerland. We loved everything about the area. It was gorgeous with…

Travelogue: Europe 2019 Part 3

Innsbruck, Austria, Venice and Verona, Italy Welcome to part three of this summer’s travel adventure. For those who missed the previous posts, access them here. Part 1 and Part 2. Two of the pleasant surprises of this journey were our lunch stops in Innsbruck and Verona. While neither of these were highly lauded destinations, our…

Travelogue – Europe 2019 part 2

Germany : Munich and Dachau Concentration Camp If you missed Part 1, I’ll restate, that I believe in experiential education. And to put my belief into practice, every three years, I organize a journey travel through a company called EF Tours for students and adults. You can check them out here. My experiences with them…

Travelogue: Europe 2019 – Part 1

Germany : Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria, Munich Travel is an important part of experiential education. I fully support this educational philosophy. Of course, I believe in reading and listening and watching, but there is nothing like doing or seeing first hand to drive home a lesson. This is, after all, where the dreaded practice…

Tangible Reminders of our Well of Joy

The best way to maintain our attitude of joy is to remain close to Jesus, through prayer, scripture, and fellowship, but sometimes, because we are human and have human failings, we need tangible reminders of the well of joy we have access to at all times. Each person reacts to different stimuli. Lee in my…

Writing to Break Chains (and to bring joy)

In many ways, the story of Strength to Stand‘s heroine, Lee Russell, mirrors my own. I began my Christian walk filled with love and joy, but over time, the troubles and contradictory messages of this world siphoned my joy away. I went through life living for myself. I had no higher purpose and therefore little…

More than Meets the Eye – A Book Review

More than Meets the Eye tells the story of Evangeline Pearson Hamilton and Logan Fowler, two young people with tragic pasts. Each has chosen a very different way in which to deal with the past, and that is where they meet. Evie has managed to turn her losses into strengths. She has chosen to live…

Paving the Path of Life with Joy Part 4

So what can we do to ensure we don’t get caught in the traps life sets for us? #1. Pray  maintaining a close relationship with our Lord Jesus is the best defense against Satan’s pitfalls. Pray specifically the armor of God on yourself. He gave us these things to defend against the devil’s schemes. We…

Paving the Path of Life with Joy Part 3

Jesus felt joy. He received it from the Holy Spirit and praised God with it. In John 15, Jesus entreats us to remain in his love, follow his commands and receive his joy in ourselves that by doing these things, our joy may be complete. He wants us to have joy, but how can we…

Paving the Path of Life with Joy, Part 2

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV Peter quoted these verses of David in Acts 2:28 on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to the apostles. From them we glean…

Paving the Path of Life with Joy

4 Show me your ways, Lord,    teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,    for you are God my Savior,    and my hope is in you all day long. Psalms 25:4-5 NIV All of us have a life paved with circumstances, decisions and choices . Paved with our experiences. Each…

Chosen Pain

Today I participated in a 3K Color run/walk the high school Student Council organized to raise funds for Riley Children’s Hospital. As I contemplated what to wear at a too early 7:30 am, I mulled over the reasons why I had volunteered to participate in this activity. As a former patient at Riley, I relished…

Nailed to the Cross, Resurrection Day by Rend Collective

Here they are again––my favorite Irish band. Rend Collective’s latest album, Good News, is my favorite thus far. Their distinctive folk sound is as appealing as ever with the eclectic mix of instruments–Jingling Johnny, anyone–and the unique blend of their voices, but the lyrics have always been what drew me to this group. From their…

Winter Jam 2019

I attended my first Winter Jam two Fridays ago in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. My friend suggested we take three of the teen girls from our Wednesday night outreach group. It was a good decision. The experience was an incredible outpouring of love and worship to Jesus Christ. It was also a call to experience…

The Unlimited Plan

I remember my first cell phone. As a matter of fact, I use it in my classroom for “phone” conversations in Spanish. The kids hoot when I show it to them. It was a Nokia bar phone. The numbers are so tiny and the display about an inch square. Not nearly enough by today’s standards….

What the Wind Knows: A Book Review

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon is a book I am excited to review and recommend . I listened to the audiobook version and was entranced, both by the amazingly intricate storytelling and by the voice of the narrator. It was a perfect combination. But you don’t need the narrator for this to be…

Hiding from God?

Spring has officially begun, but winter is having a hard time giving way to the new season. Here in Indiana there have been many frosty mornings. The frost is beautiful, all furry-white on last fall’s blades of grass, the trees and buildings. When the sun comes up, the frost’s time is limited. The warmth of…

The Power of the Wind

In Indiana the spring is traditionally windy, but the past few weeks have been exceptionally so. A recent bought of wind blew an entire patch of shingles right off our house. It organized them into a fairly neat pile in our back yard, which was generous, but prevented the shingles from doing their jobs. What…

No One Ever Asked – A Book Recommendation

Wow! I can’t say enough about the depth of this book. Katie Ganshert said in an interview that she felt compelled to write it. I’m so glad she did. No One Ever Asked is a contemporary fiction account of the transfer of students from a primarily black, lower income school district to a predominately white,…

Most Impactful Books of 2018 (In my opinion-for me)

I know it’s past January and most articles, blogs, news stories and other media forms generally do their review of “The Best” or “The Most” from 2018 earlier than the middle of February. Oh well. I’m a bit slow. The reason I thought of this topic now is that my local library did a 100…

Spiritual Superbowl

Are you an armchair Christian, or do you answer the call to develop your talents and join the game? Read this post on the Spiritual Superbowl.

Growth as a Priority

I posted that my word for 2019 is growth. I’ve also recently written a post about priorities. In this blog, I want to combine these two concepts and let you know how they’re connected in my life, and how I’m doing. Maybe I can be an encouragement to you. When I chose growth for my…

Priorities–What are yours?

You may have heard the admonition, “You need to work on your priorities.” Or, “Your priorities are messed up. You need to decide what is more important.” But what does it mean to prioritize? Why should we? The dictionary definition of prioritize is: to designate or treat something as more important than other things. Another…

What Gets Our Attention

Who or what get your attention? How do they get it? Is God seeking more of your attention? How does he tell you?

Lost Your Umph

Jesus takes our pre-Christian selves, pulls us out of the world, forgives our sins, cleans us up, teaches us to love, then sends us back to be salt, light, yeast, and seed for those left in the darkness.

Growth for the New Year

So I think I told someone that I found out about the One Word idea last year, but I realize that’s incorrect. This is my fourth year using My One Word instead of New Year’s Resolutions. First of all, if you’ve never heard of My One Word, it’s an idea that began in the church…

New Year of JOY

Happy New Year! That’s the traditional wish at midnight when New Year’s Eve turns into New Year’s Day. For some, that’s a tall order. Happiness, after all, can be difficult to find. And once found, hard to maintain. It’s slippery. It tends to slide through our fingers. The harder we try to hang on, the…

How Long Do We Wait?

I’ve written about waiting before. Waiting is something most of us do not do well. During this Christmas season, let’s revisit the topic. Waiting has been part of Christmas before the word “Christmas” was coined.  The Israelites waited hundreds of years for the Messiah. During this time of profound silence, God gave hope to an…

To Herd or Not to Herd

From the beginning of human history as much as archaeologists and anthropologists can surmise from artifacts and other evidence, humans, like many animals, had preferred herds. What I mean by that is, excluding the occasional hermit or mountain man type, humans tend to settle near each other. Whether it be in a cave, a tent,…

Acceptance: So that or Because

My Sunday School class is going through Louie Giglio’s study Goliath Must Fall. We are on Session 3 which deals with the Giant of Rejection. Now, if you know me, you’d probably say that I’ve never dealt too much with the problem of rejection. All through my childhood, adolescence, and high school years, anyone looking…

All my Hope

I love Crowder. I love how he displays humility, brokenness, joy, and hope, all while pointing to Jesus Christ – his (and my, and I hope, your) Savior. I was first introduced to Crowder at Passion (find out more about Passion here)when I served there as a Doorholder. He had no inhibitions as he interacted…