{re}fresh

Month: January, 2017

Ready Your Ears in 2017

by Mike McKinniss

4225081605_77b51eb120_z

whisper” by cortto under license CC BY 2.0

Like so many of my fellow Americans, I was to varying degrees mesmerized, horrified, surprised and bewildered at much of the political events of the year 2016. And although I consider myself a conservative—not always a safe thing to confess these days—I like to pay attention to the action on both sides.

Early in the year, I was astounded that so many Americans were feeling the Bern. Given our long history of successful free market enterprise, I assumed even those on the political left would never support an avowed socialist. I believed from the start Hillary would be the Democrats’ nominee, but not because the party would feel the need to secretly undermine its own primary process and effectively lock Bernie out.

Further, it seemed with each week a new billow of smoke arose from the Clinton camp. And although no singular fire was discovered, the closer we came to election day, the more embarrassed I was feeling that we might elect a president with so many obvious smoldering embers trailing in her wake.

And speaking of things that smolder, I was stunned by the rise of The Donald. Read the rest of this entry »

Fruition

by juste buzas

seedlings-of-maple-by-retemirable_flickr-com_13210640674_aa3cb20394_CC BY-ND 2.0

seedlings-of-maple-by-retemirable_flickr-com_13210640674_aa3cb20394_CC BY-ND 2.0

For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness and justice and praise to spring forth before all nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word].  (Isaiah 61:11)

One word for 2017:  Fruition.

According to Vocabulary.com, “Fruition is a happy word: it’s derived from the Latin, frui, meaning ‘to enjoy’.”  It means “the condition of bearing fruit; something that is made real or concrete; enjoyment derived from use or possession.”

My young daughter loved planting seeds. She meticulously extracted the seeds from apples, pears, watermelons, oranges and bananas.  Yes, even bananas with all their goo and mush.  She’d carefully nibble away the fruit and set aside her prized, life-filled seeds.  Then out to the front flower garden she’d trot. 

Plastic shovel in hand, she’d dig deep – plowing, tilling and tending the soil until it was rich, moist and free from stone.  She’d sow her seeds with careful tenderness.  She’d water them, watch them and wait.

Time and again, my daughter planted.  Time and again, nothing grew.  She continued her work – day after fruitless day.  Tilling.  Sowing.  Watering.  Watching.  Waiting.

Then, one day. Read the rest of this entry »

One Word 2017: Harvest

by Dawn Aldrich

Winter Apple by Justin LaBerge Flickr.com_15932703399_6966b1480b_CC BY-ND 2.0

Winter Apple by Justin LaBerge
Flickr.com_15932703399_6966b1480b_CC BY-ND 2.0

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fileds! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35b

The New Year approaches without pause; a natural course marked by a wintry blanket tucked in around the corners of a slumbering earth.

While silence falls outside, one word swirls like the wind inside my mind: harvest. A strange word, I think, for a snow-fallen day. But, there it is. Unshakable. Stubborn. Lingering. It’s an answer to my annual question, “What’s my one word for the new year, Lord?”

“Harvest,” He replies.

Like every season, it’s an appointed time; one that can be marked on the calendar. But, unlike the growing season, it’s a very limited time marked by urgency and the flurry of hardworking hands. For if the ripened fruits are not harvested before winter, the fruits will die and many will grow hungry. Harvest work must be done NOW. There is no “later”.  Read the rest of this entry »

It Is Finished

by Rob Dunne

It is finished by Leslie Richards_Flickr.com_15061235211_49ee486f1a_CC BY-ND 2.0

It is finished by Leslie Richards_Flickr.com_15061235211_49ee486f1a_CC BY-ND 2.0

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30

Trial work is hard. It starts days before jury selection with the drafting of motions, preparation of exhibits and meeting with witnesses. The jury selection process is exhausting as you meet with dozens of potential jurors and ask them the same questions for days on end.

Though exhilarating, the trial itself is demanding.

And when it comes to the closing argument, which is a summation of the case you have presented to the jury, time is a critical factor. You must be cautious to reserve some time  for rebuttal. Perhaps the most nerve wracking part of the trial is waiting for the jury to deliberate and render a verdict. Once that happens, the weight of the world is lifted from your shoulders and you can finally rest. Read the rest of this entry »

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