{re}fresh

Month: January, 2018

First Love

by Rob Dunne

Image by Heart Bible
Flickr.com_6287240997_53ff1460da_CC BY ND 2.0

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” Revelation 2:4

My wife Kellie and I have been married for over seven years. Most people will say that the honeymoon period is long since over. I disagree. Every morning, I look forward to waking up next to her. After a long day at work, I anxiously await seeing her when I arrive at home. I cherish the time we spend discussing the events of our respective days. On these cold winter nights, lying close to one another at the end of the day is warming and comforting.

Maintaining intimacy doesn’t come easily – Kellie and I put work into our relationship. For instance, we have a weekly date night. Once a week we sit down and ask each other questions from a book entitled, “The Navigator’s Council”. Though the questions are the same each week, they often spark interesting and thought provoking conversations. Spending time with each other in these ways strengthens our intimacy.

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Strength through weakness

by Mindy Kiker

Eggshell by Johnathan Cohen
flickr.comphotosjonathancohen3989435608_CC BY-ND 2.0

Who wants to be a weakling? Most people I know want to be strong. So this shocking revelation from Paul is perplexing:

I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

I looked through the door cracked open to see an upside-down kingdom of God that functions on opposite principles to the world. The counter-intuitive advice found in Paul’s bold statement of humility challenges my orientation of self-sufficiency, self-confidence, self-promotion . . . self-everything! Paul was not trying to cultivate his own personal powers. Instead, he willingly divested himself of strength.

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Givens

by Wendy

Words by Rich Mason
Flickr.com_43109486_3ed3e4866b_CC BY-ND 2.0

I am uncomfortable with “words for the year.”  Actually, I despise them.  This year I struggled with concepts Jesus is teaching me, trying to fit them into the “here’s my word for the year” box. I even adopted other writers’ and prophets’ words. It didn’t work.  Page after page of discarded blog posts dropped into the recycle bin.

Until now.  Read the rest of this entry »

One Word for 2018: Hope!

by juste buzas

Image by David
Flickr.com_brokentaco_2781330996_f9260fea91

“The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread?  The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”  (Psalm 27:1)

One afternoon not long ago, I stood on my front porch and watched the beginnings of a thunderstorm roll through the sky.  The sky was wild, exhilarating; alive with color and movement.  I was caught up in the rush of wind and action, struck with wonder at the battleground set before me.  It was as though the place in which I stood was the dividing line between storm and stillness.

To my left, the sky was ominous.  Layers of gray and black rolled together as one, threatening force.  An occasional drum of thunder grumbled from within the darkness.

To my right was brilliant sunshine.  Billowing white clouds set high against a glorious, blue sky.

The stage was set.  The battle was at hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Centered

by Dawn Aldrich

Image by Natallo
Flickr.com_25593058045_abdbaf3ccf_CC BY-ND 2.0

May He keep us centered and devoted to Him, following the life path He has cleared, watching the sign posts, walking at the pace and rhythms He laid down for our ancestors.

1 Kings 8:57-58 The Message

 

“What good is an island no one can find?” grumbles a pirate sailing upon the Black Pearl.

“What good is a compass that’s broken?” asks his mate. “It doesn’t point north!”

“Who’s looking for north?!” retorts Captain Jack Sparrow. Read the rest of this entry »

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