{re}fresh

Combating Identity Theft

by Rob Dunne

Image by Got Credit
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CC BY 2.0

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17

I have gotten myself in to the habit of checking my bank account often. Looking at our recent transactions, I questioned Kellie about a couple of charges. Neither one of us could remember making the purchases. Two of them were made through Amazon. Reviewing that account, I determined that we had not made them. Someone was attempting to hijack our identity!

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Grab It By The Tail

by Rob Dunne

Image by Mohd Fazlinhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/phalinn/2984934822/in/photolist_ CC BY 2.0

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”       Joshua 1:9

I enjoy hiking. Prior to getting married, I often climbed Sleeping Giant Mountain where I would spend hours talking with God. On one occasion, I decided to leave the beaten path.

Walking further and further in to the woods, I discovered a nice secluded spot. There was a natural rock wall that was perfect for sitting on. Excitedly, I sat down, opened my backpack and took out my journal.

Shortly thereafter, my focus was broken. An adorable chipmunk scurried past me and leaped off of the rock wall. It seemed odd to me that a chipmunk would willingly draw that close to a person when he could have taken a different route.

As I pondered this, the leaves beside began to rustle.

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Be Still

by Rob Dunne

Tiny House by Rendered
Flickr.com/photos/destinationdiy/9276497549/in/photolist-f8JtwV

Tiny homes are fascinating. Kellie and I recently had the opportunity to stay in one. Located in the hill country, we’d lie in bed at night and enjoy a clear view of Orion and the Big and Little Dipper. In the morning, the backyard was visited by a few skittish deer grazing on vegetation. What I found most appealing was the silence. It was far removed from civilization and a place where you could actually hear yourself think.

Before he became king of Israel, David was a shepherd. He spent days and nights watching over the family’s flock. If David was anything like I am with my dog Bailey, he probably held two-way conversations with the sheep. However, the bulk of his time was likely spent in communion with God.

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Out with the Old

by Rob Dunne

flickr.com/photos/nevilleslens/14534754156/in/photolis_CC BY NC ND 2.0

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

My wife Kellie and I recently undertook a DIY project…painting our kitchen cabinets. It was, by far, our most ambitious home improvement project to date. Truthfully, it is not for the faint of heart.

The first step was to remove the doors, drawers and all of the hardware. Next, we removed the contents of the cabinets or covered the insides with plastic. Of all the steps, this was the most difficult in my opinion. Both of us used an electric hand sander and the dust went everywhere! After sanding, you use a tack cloth to remove all of the dust.

In addition to the cabinet frame, there were twenty-one doors and seven drawers. We put two coats of primer and two coats of paint on all of it. Once they were all dry, the hinges and new hardware was placed back on everything. Lastly, the doors were hung and the drawers slid back in to place. In the end, our kitchen got a much needed facelift and Kellie and I are quite pleased with the results. However, it was a lot of work!

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I Double Dare You!

by Rob Dunne

Dare by Peter Blanchard
Flickr.com_5009977284_1f38f2fa20
CC BY-ND 2.0

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts 9:5

“I double dare you!” Those words were frightening as a kid. It meant a peer was goading you into doing something stupid or dangerous. If you had the guts to accept the challenge and successfully accomplished it, you were a hero. Fail to meet the challenge and you were the embarrassment of the neighborhood; At least until the next sucker was challenged.

I am not a farmer. It is my understanding, however, that farmers who still use beasts of burden like oxen to plow their fields use a goad. A goad is what helps the animal maintain a straight line or is used to increase its pace. It is an instrument that causes discomfort to make corrections.

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Sabbath Rest

by Rob Dunne

Image by Bart Soverijns
Flickr.com_35732976723_507847d286
CC BY-ND 2.0

[B]ut in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Leviticus 25:4

When I was in high school, relatives from Ireland came to visit us. They spent a week with us, a week with my aunt and a week with my uncle. Then they enjoyed several weeks of sightseeing. All in all, they were on vacation for a whopping six weeks! Now that is what I call a vacation!

Here in the United States, we have forgotten the importance of downtime. Rather than taking weeks off for vacation, we take one week or a few days. Making matters worse, we bring work with us. That drive is not healthy for the body, mind or soul.

God understands the importance of rest.

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Spring Cleaning

by Rob Dunne

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

My wife Kellie and I decided to do a liver cleanse. Some practitioners recommend doing this in the springtime to cleanse our bodies of toxins. They probably realize that we abuse them from Halloween to Easter. Therefore, we need to give our bodies a fresh start through diet and supplementation.

Like our bodies, our minds also need to be cleansed. Even if you were fortunate enough to have two parents completely sold out to God, at some point in your life, you were exposed to the things of this world – media, entertainment and people who do not share your Christian beliefs. Whether we realize it or not, these things have an impact on our lives.

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God’s Perfect Plan

by Rob Dunne

Image by CJ
Flicker.com_33080776472_85fb27c052 CC BY-ND 2.0

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

My wife recently lost her grandmother, aka Mimi. Mimi lived to be ninety-seven. Prior to her passing, the nursing home workers told us how much they loved her and the joy she brought to their lives. At the funeral home people paying their respects frequently commented on how happy she looked in all of the photographs celebrating her life.

Death is one of those events that makes you stop and think about your own life. You realize how short life is, and for me, I question whether I am using my limited time wisely, wonder whether or not I am living up to my God given potential. Does God have a plan for my life and if so, am I fulfilling that specific plan?

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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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Good News!

by Rob Dunne

Image by Darren Tunnifliff
Flickr.com_4232232092_2be61c1467_CC BY-ND 2.0

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; 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 1:31-33.

I try very hard not to read or watch the news. To a certain extent, I believe the media intentionally fills its headlines with bad news. The result is that we as consumers of media are in a constant state of fear or anxiety. News can give us a sense of hopelessness.

Two thousand years ago, God sent the angel Gabriel to give Mary and the world some good news. When Gabriel first appeared to Mary, she responded in fear. Unlike the fear that we may experience when watching the news, this fear was warranted. Imagine what it would be like for a supernatural being like an angel to appear in your room. Mary was justified in her initial response.

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