A New and Revised Edition

It is Five Minute Friday—the day that we take five minutes to write on the prompt that Kate Motaung gives us. If you would like to join this group of writers click here for Kate’s information.  Today’s prompt is: WHY

When the first edition of Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free was published in 2001, I read it. Some of the women in my church also read it, and the book opened discussion on sensitive topics.

A new and revised edition will be available on February 19th. I have been privileged to receive an advance copy as a member of the launch team.

Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free

Why is there a new edition? Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth explains in the preface:

Our world has been shaken by seismic cultural shifts since Lies was first released in 2001. For example, social media as we know it today did not exist back then. And certain sexual issues and themes that were peripheral twenty years ago now touch most of our lives in personal ways. I’ve added an entire chapter on lies about sexuality and made some other needed updates.

She mentions the letters, e-mails and conversations that she received in response to the first book. She has listened and clarified her message.

Seventeen years have gone by and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has  been  married for three years now. She writes: At selected points in this book, I’ve added thoughts or illustrations from my older/married vantage point.

Next week I will post a review of the book. Hope you will come back!

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Musing About Family and Privilege

The snow has come as forecasted and the world outside my door is cold and white. It is a good day to stay inside. It is Five Minute Friday—the day that we take five minutes, or just a little more—to write on the prompt that Kate Motaung gives us. Today’s prompt is: PRIVILEGE

There is a great benefit to growing up in a family with both mother and father. When the family reads Bible together and prays, there is additional blessing. This is God’s design. An intact family is not meant to be a privilege, but we live in a broken world.

My daughter and son-in-law have taken in two children through foster care. They have had some contact with the biological parents and are deeply saddened by the brokenness that has led to the child entering foster care. My daughter has shared with me her gratitude for our family, her growing up years.

Sometimes we don’t recognize the privilege we have experienced until we move outside of our comfort zone. Sometimes we need a new perspective. //

Family - Bouquet

As a nurse I had a dramatic change in perspective when I left the hospital labor and delivery unit to attend home births. For years I had taught Lamaze classes, giving instruction on how to stay relaxed, how to breathe, comfort measures for labor. When my clients gave me feedback, they told me about the hospital procedures they encountered. The breathing techniques and relaxation did not always help.

For home birth, the laboring mother is in her home. I was the guest giving her guidance and support. She was able to work with her labor in a way that I hadn’t seen in the hospital.

I am now an advocate of homebirth—with a clear plan for hospital transport when labor is prolonged or complicated. My hope is that hospital staff and homebirth attendants can have increased communication and understanding. All can benefit from a new perspective.

It is a challenge to step outside of our comfort zone. As Christians we have been given a great gift and the ability to reach out to others with love.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And it is not your own doing; it is the gift of God . . .

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the common wealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2: 8, 12-13

 

Book Review: Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia

The progressive loss of brain  function  in  Alzhiemer’s  disease  and     dementia is difficult to observe in a loved one.    My  mother’s  loss  of memory and physical skills has been gradually progressing. It would be wonderful to have a knowledgeable and experienced Christian doctor give guidance for both victim and the family.

Dr. John Dunlop does that in his book,  Finding Grace in the  Face  of  Dementia. He explains the disease in terms that non-medical people can understand.

As I read the book, pausing to take in the information in each chapter, I developed a better understanding of what is happening to my mother. (I wish that this book had been available four years ago; it is so helpful.)

Dr. Dunlop explains the progression of the disease along with suggestions for relating with the person with dementia. When the disease is well progressed an individual may not remember the past and have little interest in the future. But they can still enjoy moments in the present. He writes:

Dementia does not alter a person’s ability to experience pleasure. Victims of dementia may enjoy pleasing aromas and be put off by offensive ones. They may like good music and admire pretty scenes or pictures . . . They will often enjoy human touch. They may want their loved ones to hold their hands or put an arm around them . . .

He encourages both the victim and family members to turn to their faith in God. Prayer, Bible verses and hymns can all bring comfort. Being involved in the care of someone experiencing dementia can deepen our understanding of self-sacrificing love. Dr. Dunlop gives reference to Bible verses throughout the book.

In the last chapter of the book Dr. Dunlop discusses end of life issues. I greatly appreciate the explanation of decisions that may need to be made. He offers wise counsel and demonstrates his faith in God’s eternal plan.

I enjoy sharing books that have been a blessing to me. If you found this post helpful you might enjoy  my Facebook page  where I post articles  related to family and health.

Sharing this post with Faith on Fire,  Booknificent Thursday and Literacy Musing Monday

Live in Harmony

It’s Friday and the prompt for Five Minute Friday is: AGREE. We write for five minutes on the prompt that Kate Motaung gives. Sometimes I go over the time limit but I try to stay within five minutes.

Marriage provides the opportunity for personal growth, for learning how to work through disagreements. My husband and I agree on many things, but at times we have disagreements.

We have learned about the importance of listening to each other. We have come to appreciate our different perspectives. We are both being refined.

Here is a simple illustration. My technique for chopping walnuts has been to place the walnuts in a plastic bag and pound them with a rolling pin. Since my husband is now retired he is in the kitchen more often and was upset by the pounding.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m chopping walnuts.”

“Why are you doing it like that?”

“I have always done it like this. My mother chopped nuts like this.”

“The noise hurts my ears.”

“I’ll try to do it while you’re not around.”

Not long after my husband came home with a nut chopper—a glass jar with a plunger that has sharp blades. My immediate reaction was that I didn’t need it. But I have tried it out and I like it. I now chop walnuts with this nice device.

Amazing Microbiome

// My women’s Bible study is studying the book of Romans. We are now on chapter twelve and it includes wise instruction on relationships.

Live in harmony with one another. Romans 12:16

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Surrendering in Prayer

Today a community of writers will take the prompt that Kate Motaung has given and  write  for  five minutes  (or sometimes a little longer).        I enjoy linking up with Five Minute Friday and seeing where the word takes us. Today’s prompt is: SURRENDER

Every morning my husband and I read a  daily  devotion  from  God’s  Wisdom for Navigating Life by Tim Keller. The verse for this morning comes from Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

My thoughts go back to the time that our son was battling leukemia. It has been almost 30 years ago. Steven’s illness was not a punishment—it was suffering that God allowed. God loved us during that difficult time; we experienced it through scripture and the community of friends that stood by us.

My husband and I fought for the life of our son with every means possible. We did research. We eventually accompanied Steven to the Cancer Research Center in Seattle where he had a bone marrow transplant. We provided his care at home.

Throughout this time we were praying. I talked with God during the long nights. I wept and cried out to him in the shower (so Steven would not see my anguish). As the cancer progressed and eventually took Steven’s life I surrendered to God in prayer.

Now, when I look back I can see how that time period refined my faith. I was talking to God, speaking to him about my pain. I saw the way Steven trusted God as we spent time in God’s word. God guided our family through a period of suffering. Steven’s sisters have grown in their faith and are now ministering to their own families.

If you are in a period of suffering the best thing you can do is pray. Lay your pain and suffering before the Lord and trust that He will carry you through, building your faith.

Click here to visit Five Minute Friday.

Seeking Peace and Focus: Quieting the Competing Voices

On Thursday evenings I look forward to seeing the prompt  that  Kate   Motaung has chosen for Five Minute Friday. I enjoy linking up with this community of writers and seeing where the word takes us. Today’s prompt is: SIMPLIFY

Sometimes the news and political controversies stir up my emotions and distract me. The “news” is posted on my e-mail carrier, on my iphone, on twitter. I had a habit of watching the news on TV while eating breakfast (a bit of a news junkie?).

This year I need new habits. My husband and I are reading devotions based on the Proverbs every morning (God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life by Tim Keller). I am eating breakfast in silence and then spending time on my study of the book of Romans.

With so many competing voices in our culture I need to focus on the Bible.

The Word of God is the best guiding voice for each day.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet . . .

Your word is a lamp to my feet

And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

Visit Five Minute Friday by clicking here.

Finding Inspiration in 2018

The young men glided and twirled across the ice. Triple axles, quads and dance sequence steps. Occasionally there was a misstep or fall. But they picked themselves up and continued on.  I was watching the  National    Figure Skating Competition on TV.

Next month the winter Olympics will begin in South Korea. I look forward with hope, that for a while the political turmoil in the region will cease. Figure skating is my favorite event to watch. The artistry of the figure skating athletes is beautiful. I am inspired by their motivation to be the best.

We need experiences, art and words that inspire and encourage.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.       Philippians 4:8

It is my prayer that I will write words of encouragement in the year unfolding before us.

Visit the Five Minute Friday community for inspiration. Today’s prompt is: MOTIVATION

Linking this post with Faith on Fire

Mary, Did You Wonder?

In the past couple weeks I have been feeding, swaddling and cuddling an infant. And I have thought about Mary. The account in Luke tells about the angel’s appearance and promise “You shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 2:31b-33

When Mary visited Elizabeth, she received encouragement and confirmation. She responded with a beautiful song of praise.

But then Mary and Joseph had to make the trip to Bethlehem. And the birth of Jesus took place in a stable because there was no room for them in the inn. Did she wonder about the circumstances of his birth, the Son of the Most High? If it was me, at this point doubt of the angel’s words might have crept in.

Mary, Did You Wonder?

The visit by the shepherds may have encouraged her once more as they told Mary and Joseph about the angels that had announced Jesus birth to them.

Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19

God’s way are often different from what we expect.

Mary is an example for us. She took note of the signs that God gave. When she was called on to trust Him she sang an offering of praise. She treasured the events that demonstrated God at work. She pondered. She thought and considered quietly, soberly and deeply.

 

Mary, Did You Wonder?

I am linking up with Five Minute Friday, a community of inspirational writers. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is DIFFERENT. Click here to visit FMF.

The Nativity Scene is from a Raphael Tuck & Sons postcard courtesy of FreeVintageArt.com

 

Advent and the Family

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son . . . John 3:16

As I think about Christmas and God’s great gift to us, I find it meaningful that Jesus came to a family. He came as an infant to Mary and Joseph, to the family unit. From the beginning, starting in Genesis, God planned the family unit.

We have fractures and brokenness in family life, but it is God’s design for nurture. Jesus came to heal the brokenness. The church family is called to be a place of healing.

My daughter and her husband are taking in two children for foster care, hoping to adopt. This is a stretching experience. We have limited insight into the heritage and health history of the children. We simply know that they need a loving home.

It gives me joy to see my daughter and son-in-law welcoming them into their home. I am blessed in being able to help. As I swaddle and feed the baby he cuddles up against me.

And so I have new insight. As part of a church family my willingness to extend love needs to be stretched. God’s desire is for us to bring healing to those in need.

Five Minute Friday is a community of inspirational writers. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is ONLY.

Thank-you for visiting.   I would be pleased to have you stop  by my  Facebook page.

Draw Near to the Savior

The Bluebird Café and Bookstore is a charming shop, located on Main Street in Hutchinson, Kansas. Whenever I visit my daughter we make a trip to this bookstore. As I walked through the aisles this time a colorful picture book caught my eye.

Christmas in the Barn  was  written by Margaret Wise Brown.   My daughter and I paged through the book, enjoying the rhythm of the words. The animals came near the birth of the babe in the ancient barn.

The pictures enhanced the story told in poetic form. After the shepherds came, the bright star shining above the barn guided the wise men to the barn. The words are a lyrical version of the story recorded in the book of Luke.

So many wonderful parts to the record of Jesus’ incarnation. I like to think about the shepherd’s response.

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us”. And they went with haste . . . Luke 2:15-16a

The shepherds saw God’s plan of salvation beginning to unfold. Now we have the Bible with the full story and the opportunity to draw near to the Savior.

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday. Every Friday Kate Motaung gives a word prompt. And then we write for five minutes. Today’s prompt is NEAR.  Visit this community and join the fun by clicking here.

Sharing this post with Faith on Fire , Booknificent Thursday and Literacy Musing Monday also.