Showing posts from May, 2019

Practically Applying Gospel Solutions to All of Life’s Pressures

Part 2 of an interview with Shelby Abbott, Author of  Pressure Points (Read part 1 here.) Pressure Points  is a humorous, poignant, and conversational guide that invites young men and women to practically apply gospel solutions to all of life’s pressures, big or small. From navigating failure, roadblocks, and spiritual warfare to tackling relevant, hard-hitting topics such as drinking, sex, dating, pornography, and the fear of missing out,  author   Shelby Abbott encourages college students to consider Jesus in the midst of everyday struggles. With twenty years of experience in college ministry, Abbott is keenly aware of the pressures young men and women face. By addressing relevant challenges and practical hardships with gospel advice,  Pressure Points  guides readers to see and lean on the person of Jesus, reflecting on important issues in light of the gospel. From waiting on the Lord with patience, learning to fellowship with him in his sufferings, to wrestling with purp

If you don't move it and put it on a shelf, you won't miss it.

I was talking to one of my author clients about all I would have to pack up when it's time to move. I've had a library of paperback books up in my office that has grown over the years. Some are books I've read. A lot of books I've not read. Some are books I have bought. A lot of books that have come through work over a period of many, many years. Some are books I have the best of intentions to one day read. A lot of books I don't plan to read because they aren't my favorite genres, but I have friends that might. I've taken pride in my own personal library. But there truly isn't enough room in the new house for all the shelves to hold them all. In response to saying I wasn't ready to part with them yet, my author client said, "If you don't pack them and put them on a shelf, you won't miss them." Once she said that yesterday, that had me taking pictures and posting them in a couple of Facebook book buy/sale/trade g

I don't think I officially shared the news

I've been so sporadic about blogging (because I post a lot at one time) and not saying anything until I officially had something to say, that I don't think I actually said I have an offer in on a house. That's why I was taking the online course I talked about last weekend. Almost two weeks ago Mom went by an estate sale someone we knew was having. The house was about to be put on the market too. It's not as redone on the inside as some of the houses I was looking at, but the price is right and a coat of paint will go a long, long way. I don't have pictures. Maybe soon I can get some to share. As for now, I'm in middle of the waiting game. The house is on a street off of the one I grew up on. As in 2 or 3 blocks from where my parents lived for 30+ years. That house is no longer there. The Northside Baptist moved it off for a parking lot. That makes it kind of weird. Also, if the street this house is on went straight through two streets instead of making a

Don't Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean

Only Jesus Makes Us Clean Marty Machowski helps parents talk to their children about temptations, choices and consequences At some point in every child’s life, they will discover what guilt feels like after doing something they knew they weren’t supposed to do. That’s a positive thing—then they can begin to understand temptation, sin and repentance. However, those can be big concepts for young children to comprehend. Don’t Blame the Mud (New Growth Press), the new release written by best-selling author Marty Machowski , helps parents and children talk together about God’s plan for redemption. For young readers and their families, Don’t Blame the Mud paints a vivid and accurate picture of sin and God’s plan of redemption. This picture book, illustrated by Craig MacIntosh , teaches children how to recognize the lure of temptation and the truth that bad choices lead to bad consequences. Readers are introduced to Max, who takes the muddy path along the creek ho

The Bachelorette: Hannah B. - Week 3

It's week 3. How many people are going to self-implode tonight? The previews are showing some people getting a little too serious a little too quick. There's also an emergency room trip to come. Chris Harrison arrives, gives a speech about it getting real for Hannah already. He drops off the date card. "Jonathan, Matteo, John Paul Jones, Kevin, Jed, Tyler C., Mike, Cam -- Let's push our love to the limit. - Hannah" The guys are annoyed with Cam crashing the group date last week since he didn't have a date at all. They aren't to excited to have him along. Mike scoops up Hannah when they meet up. This is the strangest date yet. Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen are there to educate the men on childbirth. Why? Who knows. First up is a lesson on female anatomy, complete with a quiz. This is followed by the men walking around with fake pregnancy bellies. There is also a lesson in diaper changing and holding babies. The men have to take off their shirts

I'm Happy Today

I’m Happy Today I’m happy today Oh yes, I’m happy today In Jesus Christ, I’m happy today Because He’s taken all my sins away And that’s why I’m happy today. I’m singing today Oh yes, I’m singing today In Jesus Christ, I’m singing today Because He’s taken all my sins away And that’s why I’m singing today. I’m praying today Oh yes, I’m praying today In Jesus Christ, I’m praying today Because He’s taken all my sins away And that’s why I’m praying today. I’m sharing my faith Oh yes, sharing my faith In Jesus Christ, sharing my faith Because He’s taken all my sins away And that’s why sharing my faith. I’m happy today Oh yes, I’m singing today In Jesus Christ, I’m praying today Because He’s taken all my sins away And that’s why I’m sharing my faith.

All I accomplished was stressing myself out

I always have the grandest of plans of what I will accomplish on any given Saturday, and I always end up disappointing myself. I was going to catch up on some work stuff, but after running around town a little bit, I came home to go through electronic disclosures for the house buying process and taking an online course in home ownership. One that cost $75 to do at that. That seemed like an absolute waste of money and of time, but it was required by my lending company. The whole thing was pretty basic, but after a section warning you about being in debt for 30 years and all the things that could go wrong with your house, it asked the question: How do you feel now about buying a house? A) I'm really nervous about the whole thing. B) I'm excited about the house. Those answers are slightly paraphrased because I don't remember the exact wording. In fact, the word scared may have been there instead of nervous in the first answer.  And, honestly, I lied and sa

Paige's graduation

PaigeyBeth graduated last night. Time has flown. Such a bittersweet moment in so many ways. Instead of words, I'll just share photos, even though they leave something to be desired. I was having a hard time with the right setting to not be blurry.

Healing Spiritual Paralysis

Creatively Conquer the Crowd: A Strategy in Healing Spiritual Paralysis By Kristin Funston   Adapted from Chapter 10 of More for Mom ©2019 Abingdon Press. Toward the end of the school semester last year, life at my house became really busy, really quickly. The kids needed me more than normal, my friends schedules cleared up and they wanted to do things together, and family decided to travel in from out of town. All this came on top of work deadlines, bills, and regular busy life. Life became overwhelming, and I could barely keep up with it. I knew I’d never make it through the coming weeks without letting the kids drive me crazy or screaming at everyone in sight. Because I was busy and overwhelmed, I knew things couldn’t continue like they were, because I realized I was beginning the traumatic shift from feeling spiritually stable to spiritually anemic. I’d been so focused on how to keep things moving in my world, I drifted slowly from Jesus and the focus I had previ

The Westhill Seniors

These kids from church remember their 5th grade year with me as their teacher, but not so much when I had them as three-year-olds. It took digging around in a box twice to finally find these pictures before the banquet at church last week. I had told them that these videos would need to make their senior video. I tried to get them to the person handling the video, but was told the video was too long as it was, so none of the clips made it. They made the blog seven years ago, but here is a playlist of just their moments. I posted the playlist on Facebook for the kids and parents to enjoy. I think they were all quite entertained. And here they are today... Tatum, Collin, Thomas, Emily, Korri and Claire.

Middle Age FOMO

I've had a really, really hard time this month dealing with what I describe as "Middle Age FOMO" (fear of missing out). To be completely honest, it's not a fear though. It's just a MOMA. Middle Age Missing Out. The past few years, it's been hard to see friends just a little older than me post about their kids graduating from high school and certain milestones. It's not that I so much wish I had kids graduating, but it just hits me that I don't have it. That I've missed out on something. It's become harder and harder as my niece has progressed through high school. I've wanted to be a part of her life, but I haven't been able to be involved like I want to be. Specifically, I feel like I've missed out with her, and I won't be able to get that time back. This year with her being a senior, every post of senior year activities has made it harder and harder. The final countdown to graduation has become more and more emotionally

The Bachelorette: Hannah B. - Week 2

Since four or five people read the blog last week, here we go with week 2. Hannah wants real. Real conversations. Real relationships. Real. She does some odd rap that's odd. Luke P. already sees having a family with her. Can you say stalker material? Chris Harrison asks how the guys felt after night one. He drops off the first date card. "Grant, Luke S., Mike, Jed, Jonathan, John Paul Jones, Dylan, Luke P. - I'm looking for my Mr. Right. - Hannah" Peter thinks she has the wrong group of guys because he isn't in that group. When the men arrive at a theater, she informs them they will be doing a pageant. To prepare the men for the Mr. Right Pageant, there are three drag queens that are going to coach them. There is a talent portion and a Speedo swimsuit competition. Dylan is the first up to strut in his Speedo. He evidently impresses the judges. Jonathan struts with high socks, but still gets many a cheer. No one really knows what to do with Jo

He Has Made Me Glad

He Has Made Me Glad Gwen R. Shaw and Psalm 100 I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter his courts with praise! I will say this is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice for he has made me glad. He has made me glad! He has made me glad! I will rejoice for he has made me glad. He has made me glad, He has made me glad, I will rejoice for he had made me glad.

Every click you take

A couple of nights ago in middle of a burned out pity party about midnight, I started searching Alaskan cruises on my iPad. At the moment, I had pushed away the idea of the house hunt and was dwelling on needing a vacation. It was really just a whim and only one, maybe two websites. The next morning, my Facebook feed was flooded as if a great glacier melted with ads for Alaskan cruises. That prompted me to create this graphic here that I really hoped would go viral because I thought I was so clever in the moment. You have to sing it, by the way. I'm trying to ignore those Alaska ads during the daylight hours. However, there is something I am EXTREMELY grateful for. Last weekend I did a search for something which I shall not disclose (which makes it sound worse than it was for the purpose at the time). I am so thankful that search didn't turn into targeted ads because if someone were to get on my computer after that they would have serious questions about me. Have

The Unique Stressors Young Adults Face Today

Part 1 of an interview with Shelby Abbott, Author of Pressure Points Our modern age—saturated with technology, constant cynicism, streamlined digital communication, heavy negativity, relationship status posts, and instant information access—has shaped the way many young people deal with the pressure points of life. With the unique set of pressures students experience in their transition to college, more young adults are struggling with purpose, relationships, failure, community, and isolation than ever before. Author and college ministry leader Shelby Abbott believes that while technology isn’t itself to blame, it forces real issues to surface in the lives of young men and women. Abbott’s new release, Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress (New Growth Press) aims to confront many of these struggles, big or small, in light of the gospel. Q: What are a few of the stressors students wrestle with today’s culture that Pressure Points directly addresses? How are the