Thursday, August 28, 2008

Making our Mark

Today I discovered that two whole intrepid phrases I wrote succeeded in getting past our editor and swimming all the way upstream into publication. Imagine that, two whole phrases! I was so thrilled I highlighted them in yellow.

If I keep at it, by Christmas two whole salm… er.. sentences may succeed in getting published.

Salmon must be born optimists. If they weren’t there wouldn’t be any left.

They swim upstream against strong currents and rapids, sometimes hundreds of miles, and along the way encounter dams, waterfalls, anglers, bears, uncertain stream conditions, and habitat degradation. Many of them die on the way…

All this so they can return home to spawn.

Then most die. (A few actually live to do it all again next year, they're called "iteroparous"--are they the lucky ones?)

We writers have a lot in common with salmon. They have to face bears and waterfalls; but we brave editors and publishers.

And like salmon we have an inner urge to keep going and never give up. We leave little pieces of ourselves, even if only in journals or on scraps of paper, in hopes they will develop into full-sized articles, like salmon only a few actually do. But we, and they, keep trying hoping that the world will be a better place because we left our mark.

Check out this video of salmon braving a waterfall.

To learn more about these amazing creatures go to:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Take refuge in Him

This morning after fretting for a while about some of the crazy things that are going on in the world and this nation, I read Psalm 5. Verses 11 and 12 caught my attention:

11 "But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield."

Amazing! The Psalmist isn't telling us to simply trust God and don't worry too much; he is actually telling us that even in the middle of the craziness of life we should "be glad" "sing for joy" and "rejoice." How can we? By loving God and taking refuge in Him.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Incredible Forgiveness

Yesterday we had the delightful opportunity to meet Gladys Staines, widow of the Australian missionary, Graham Staines, who was brutally killed in 1999, along with sons Philip and Timothy, by a frenzied mob of anti-Christian extremists.

I was shocked by this tragic event and deeply inspired by how she and her daughter Esther were able to forgive the attackers. Could I have done the same, I’ve wondered?

I was quite excited when I learned that Gladys and a friend would be visiting our area and wanted to meet us (they attend a church in Australia that prays for us and our work). Before they arrived I rushed around like the proverbial chicken, crabbed at my husband for the dirty bathroom and worried that the lunch I had planned was too simple for such a great lady.

But her friendly unassuming manner soon set me at ease.

They wanted to hear about our work and Gladys told us about the leprosy mission that she is still involved with. Her late husband, Graham, began ministering to lepers and other outcasts in India in 1965. Gladys joined him in the work when they married in 1983. After Graham and their sons were killed, she and their daughter, Esther, continued living and ministering in India for several years. Currently they are living in Australia while Esther studies to be a doctor. Gladys still makes frequent trips to India to assist in the work. Their testimony of forgiveness has had a tremendous impact on many.

In the forward of the book “Burnt Alive” by Vishal Mangalwadi, et al, Gladys states:
“I have only one message for the people of India. I’m not bitter. Neither am I angry. But I have one great desire: that each citizen of this country should establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who gave His life for their sins. Every person should know that Jesus loves him or her, and in turn they should trust Him, and endeavor to love one another. Let us burn hatred…and spread the flame of Christ’s love.”
To order copies of the book "Burnt Alive" go to


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good News!

Olympic gold is not the only, or even best, good news out there.

Read this inspiring transcript from Jonathan Hunt's interview with former Muslim, Mosab Hassan Yousef, who fled the Middle East after converting to Christianity.

Proverbs 25:25 says good news is like cold water to a weary soul. I hope you enjoy this bit of "cold water."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dirt bath solution found!

I'm happy to report that we seem to have found a solution to the cat dirt bath issue: mulch. We put mulch on all the patches of what I thought might be particularly tempting dirt. It's been almost two weeks, and so far no more dirt baths!

I had already tried to clean the cat off, after the fact, with wet paper towels and brushing. Neither worked very well. Prevention is definitely better!

We used eucalyptus mulch. Probably any chunky type mulch would do the trick. Mulch is also good for improving the soil, suppressing weeds and conserving moisture.

For more on mulching see:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Christ delights in us

Jesus Christ, our bridegroom, is as delighted with us, his bride, as we are with him!

Read what the bridegroom tells his beloved,

"How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!" Solomon's "Song of of Songs" 4:10

This mirrors what his beloved bride said previously to him in chapter 1, verses 2-3:

"for your love is more delightful than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;"

Amazing! Think about it. I'll say it again. Jesus Christ, our bridegroom, is as delighted with us, his bride, as we are with him!

1. Solomon's “Song of Songs” has been viewed in Christian tradition as an allegory of Christ's love for the church. (And in Hebrew tradition as an allegory of God's love for his people, Israel.)

2. If the use of the word "wine" in this passage does not communicate much-- or if it has negative connotations-- try thinking of it instead as anything that you think is really delicious and delightful (like chocolate, or ice cream :-); or that you turn to for comfort and escape.