Walking last night in my new neighborhood, I smiled at passing cars, picked up trash, and spied out the woods and pond across the street, hearing red-winged blackbirds colareeee to each other from among the cattails. Dust quickly coated my toes a gritty grey, and a speeding pick-up truck sucked birch saplings after it, and…

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Shiny black swimsuits draped from hangers on each finger. Thirteen of them, to be precise. With a $10 promotional gift card that came in the mail, and needing a replacement bottom for my swimsuit, I hit the clearance racks.  It was my husband’s idea. When your man notices that your swimsuit bottom is too frayed…

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A summery twilight spills sharp sunlight on my new neighbor’s trees – the green hues popping vividly against the blue sky behind. Inside, I type on a make-shift computer desk of two coffee tables and a bookshelf. Preschooler fights bedtime behind me, and the teens are off to camp. Caramel-, mocha- and chocolate milk-colored paint…

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They came in droves.  Cars pulled up on the grass at the side of the road, or turned into an abandoned gas station across the street. Moms with kids, dads with sons, single college students, and teens on bikes. In ninety-degree weather with sweat beading across faces and arms, they marched up and down the…

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“…Be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things..”   (Hosea 2:21a) “…And you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you…”   (Hosea 2:26b) Join Ann, Michelle and I today to stop, see and count God’s gifts! Surely you have done great things, oh Lord, my God.…

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Sprinklers scatter rainbowed droplets, fruit juice popsicles melt into sticky purple smiles, and school-age children are home in force. Play dates, park days, and soccer van trips easily fill the week.  Preschoolers often find themselves in a sea of unaccustomed activity in June.The euphoria of having their school-age siblings around all day, every day, suddenly…

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Japanese-synthesized music lilts in the background, and I munch almonds beside a cup of reheated coffee. My tousle-headed preschooler is in bed, and the older kids help at our church’s summer Vacation Bible School program.  Last night panic gripped my chest. I had been researching part time jobs and considering one especially. This one would…

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Talk about a potential for ministry burn-out!   In the ancient Middle East between 792-753 BC, the Creator called Hosea into ministry with an unusual assignment. Marry an unfaithful woman. Know that she will repeatedly cheat on you, and lapse into prostitution. But love her and invest in her anyway.   As the ultimate Teacher,…

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“Smell! Do you smell that?”  We were standing at the open deck door, our toes hanging over the white edge. He sniffed fiercely, his tiny shoulders rising with the effort.   “Rain! Doesn’t it smell good?”  The wind blew droplets into our faces and we inhaled the moist earthy scent of rain. Hints of hot…

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It’s a striking image.  A stately government official in his mid-eighties, perhaps with distinguished silvery hair, standing on the banks of a large river, dressed in flowing Middle Eastern robes. His colleagues and lower-ranking staff have suddenly fled and hid themselves in the long grasses, terrorized by a presence they can’t see or explain. An…

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