Since this blog is now home to more than 850 posts, I regularly bring back some of the some of the best posts from the past. The term “best” is not determined by vote or views; I’m the judge and executioner. My goal is to list the most significant posts that represent the concept of “living as apprentices.” I have chosen these from a variety of categories that make up the blog.  Enjoy your browsing!

♥  I’m a Racist (Sept. 13, 2013)  “This morning I read a wonderfully warm and authentic article by a local pastor on racism which, he called ” a slippery snake that pokes its head out of the rocks and then slides back into the labyrinth of our thoughts.”  In the article he comments, “More than once, we have seen public figures look into the camera and say, ‘I am not a racist.’ Who would dare to admit that, if they were?” Well,  I’m always up for a challenge. So – I admit it.  I am a racist. And I bet you are, too.  I am also prejudiced.  And I bet you are, too. . . .”  Read more→  Link

♥    Communion in a Corral  (Nov. 11, 2013)  “Last week I watched a moving episode of NCIS. One of the story lines on this episode saw Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the “Boss” of the unit,  commandeered by his aging father to visit a dying WWII vet who had saved the father’s life during the war.  The moving story becomes even more moving when it is revealed that the airman who saved the father was a German whose  fighter plane bore a huge swastika.  The story brought not only tears but also the reminder of  a story from my own life . . . .  Read more → Link

♥  The Spiritual Discipline of Pondering  (February 8, 2014) “Recently I have developed the practice of pondering – as in “And Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (NIV).  Ponder is an interesting word.  It comes from the Latin pondus which meant “a weight” and reflects that I am deliberately “weighing” something in my mind.  Other English meanings of the word are to deliberate,  wonder about, and muse, brood, chew, or mull over. Pondering is not something that I set out to accomplish; rather, it snuck up on me.” Read more → Link

♥   On Violins and School Buses  (March 7, 2014) “The Vieuxtemps Guarneri is a violin that is 273 years old. It recently became the most expensive violin in the world, selling for an estimated $16 million. Its previous owner had kept the violin under his bed for five decades. . . .”   Read more  Link

♥  Deep Communion and Dear Compassion  (April 20, 2014)  “Anyone who has seriously turned to the Twelve Steps has been in grave, even life-threatening pain.  I know I was. But our culture disdains pain; we are always looking for a way to avoid it, medicate it, cover it up, or deny pain.  And yet pain is valuable. . . . ”  Read more  Link

♥   Parable of the Carrot (August 24, 2014)  “Gardeners know that root vegetables thrive in cold weather. However, did you know that root vegetables, like carrots, have to endure the stress of several intense freezes to create the best taste. In fact, Chef Dan Barber reports, the carrot converts its starches to sugars during those hard freezes because it doesn’t want ice crystallization which would cause the death of the carrot.  So in the end when we bite into the carrot harvested in cold weather, we taste its sweetness, “but what the plant is telling [us] is that it [didn’t] want to die.”  Read More → Link

♥   My Surrender  (June 16, 2014)   “Co-dependency.  Enabling.  I had no idea what those words meant.  But I lived them out with all my passion for decades.  After my life came to a screeching debacle, and I learned what those words meant, I wanted to die. Literally and metaphorically.  That’s when I discovered that the best of times and the worst of times can inhabit the same moment – the moment when you see who you really are and have a vision for who you want to be but have no clue how you will get from one life to the other.”  Read more  Link

♥   Where Are You? (Aug. 2, 2014) “My husband Fred has been ill for several weeks.  By the time he was finally hospitalized, a lung infection had spread to his kidneys and to his brain.  After about two hours in the emergency room, he became non-responsive.  We talked to him,  called his name, asked him questions, but he didn’t answer. . . .”   Read more  Link

♥   People, Process, and Product in the Church (Dec. 9, 2014)Marcus Lemonis was adopted from an orphanage in Beirut during the chaos of civil war and foreign invasions when he was 9 months old and grew up in Miami.  Known as the “business turn-around king,” he settles business deals with a hand-shake.  A billionaire who recently  turned 40, he stars in the hit CNBC show, The Profit,  where he puts his own money on the line to save struggling and failing businesses. . . . Read more → Link

 ♥  There’s a Lady in the House (March 23, 2015)  “When I was younger and more naive, I spent about 1,000 volunteer hours in the Lapeer County Jail tutoring inmates in reading and helping them prepare for their GED test.  (Check out my earlier blog in the category  My Journey on Feb. 20, 2013,  Remembering Jason for the story of another of those experiences.)  The turnkeys were less than pleased when I showed up because he/she had to unlock a door, walk me down a hall, unlock another door, and find a place for me to work with the inmate.  Read More →Link

♥   “The Dones” – Spiritual Refugees (August 10, 2015) “A new classification of church members is floating around:  The Dones. According to Josh Packard, a professor of sociology at the University of Northern Colorado writing in the Summer, 2015 issue of Leadership Journal,  recent studies categorize The Dones as people who are disillusioned with church. Read More →Link

♥   The Lord is My Shepherd (November 18,2015) ” The image of God as a shepherd is one of the most comforting pictures in Scripture. And Psalm 23 is probably the most widely known of the references to Jehovah Roi, I am the God Who Shepherds You. Verse 1 of that Psalm is translated in several different ways in Scripture.  Here are three of them: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”(KJV);   “God, my shepherd!  I don’t need a thing” (MSG); The Lord is my shepherd,  I lack nothing.” (NIV)  Read More→ Link

Composing a Life ( October, 7, 2015) “In 1989, Mary Catherine Bateson (daughter of anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson) wrote a book titled “Composing a Life.” Among other things, Bateson proposes that life is not a straightforward path, but more like an ‘improvisatory art.’  Read More →Link

Leadership Styles – Donald Trump and Jesus (March 31, (2016) We are suffering through the meanest, angriest, and most profane presidential campaign season in decades – maybe in the history of the United States. As the granddaughter of a state senator who also served as lieutenant governor, I was raised in the insanity of political campaigning. (See my earlier post on “The Care and Feeding of a Political Junkie.”) Watching nominating conventions and keeping up with delegate counts was as exciting to our family as the March Madness of the college basketball tournament is to basketball junkies. Read MoreLink

 People of the Lie (October 12, 2016) I was watching the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, feeling sick to my stomach. As Donald Trump continually lied, evaded, and falsely accused, I was reminded of the verses in Genesis 3 quoted above. The devil is well-known throughout Scripture as the Father of lies.   Read More →Link

♥  Following Our Moral Compass (February 22, 2017) A PBS story about Rachel Carson, new information about my father’s participation in WWII, and a comment about evangelical Christians in Sojourner came together in a “perfect storm” in my mind. Here is the result. Rachel Carson (1907-1964) combined her love for nature and biological research with a gift of lyrical writing.  Read More →Link

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