13 Quotes That (If Applied) Will Help You To Overcome Obstacles And Achieve Greatness

When life gets you down, it’s easy to give up, scrap an idea or fail to see a greater opportunity when it presents itself. It’s in those moments when a little...

Make Depression A Thing of The Past and Live Your Life.

How to deal with depression, is a question that millions have to deal with not on a day to day basis but every waking moment of their lives. As the night...

How to be a Good Critic

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. What is the shortest word in the English language that...

Work-life balance. Yes, it’s a thing.

I had a rambling conversation with a colleague over a beer. Conversations after work on Friday should be rambling. We’ve known each other going on two...

FOR THE LOVE OF…..

Why Do Kids Exasperate Us So?! I’m talking to all you moms and dads out there! What is it about kids that have the capacity to make us want to run away and...

4 Life Lessons I Have Learned From My Angel Wife

On August 28, 2011, I met the most beautiful, kind, and fun person that I have ever known. I first noticed her in church and was stunned at how beautiful she...

5 Harsh Realities You Must Accept to Dramatically Improve Your Life

Ambitious people are a dime a dozen. Most people doubt themselves. All of us — in some shape or form — are stuck in la la land. One of the most difficult yet...

What Are A Few Life Lessons From This Year?

3 Lessons I Would Like to Share With You How did this year go for you? Was it a good year? Or was it a difficult year? Did you have any life lessons which...

Paying Attention to Details

Stop moving so fast. “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”  —Charles R. Swindoll Life can get pretty busy. Each...

Is Fate your friend or enemy?

Do you believe in fate or destiny, what would you choose? Fate does not care about my plans,for it knows what is meant to be.It tells meeverything happens for...

Passing The Baton On To My Kids…

ave you watched those relay races where the first runner sprints towards the 2nd runner ahead and hands over the baton?  Parenting, I felt in many ways was...

Gog

Run to the mountain; Seek refuge in shallowsThe hordes of the enemy, Gog, lie in wait.But when they advance, our Sovereign shall see.His anger will burn at...

This is why I Stopped, Following Successful People

And created my own definition of success. There is a secret recipe for success. And it is cooked up to perfection by all success-propagating self-help gurus....

One tip on how you can improve your relationships

Relationships are super important to me. They always have been.  The desire to connect with people is deeply rooted in the core of who I am and impacts all...

Too Soon You Died

Over my time of eight years in the funeral and cemetery industry, I personally handled the arrangements for over 1,000 individuals. But few would affect me...

The Fat And Festive Season Is Here, Lighten Up

Most of us eat, drink, and spend far too much around the holidays. It can be overwhelming and even oppressive for some. We want to look our best, be our best,...

How to Reach the Right People

What I learned about marketing after trying to do too much Do you want to win over the world? That’s the dream we buy into when we have something to say or...

Not So Jingle Bells

Blinking lights decorate the streets like stars in the night sky. Houses glow with a calm spirit. Fellow tourists walk from shop to shop. The sound of hoofs...

Make Your Purpose A Part Of Your Life

The purpose of life is a life of purpose Do you wake up each day dreading the idea of spending another day at work? You might even feel the need to be a part...

Master Your Focus Wisely. It will make you Happy and Attractive

Find out about the many benefits that mastering your focus has Where focus goes, energy flows. — Tony Robbins Are not you tired of multitasking? I’ve noticed...

Are You a River or a Rock?

When you think of your life, are you a river or a rock?  Imagine a flowing river, as you sit and watch birds swim in it, small fish flutter by, while insects...

How Do I Keep Losing Me?

Seriously, where has me been going? (+Gratitude) It happened again. I finished the project. I didn’t let up at the end and allow my momentum to fizzle out...

The Most Valuable Present is Not Always Under the Tree.

On his knees, staring down into the murky water, Bobby sobbed, “Please bring daddy back to us.” Despite, The wooden planks of the small pier biting into his...

Why I Love My Family’s Christmas Traditions

The Christmas traditions in my family are likely older than the traditions in most other families. There are two specifically that have been practiced every...

Precious Breaths

Your problems aren’t as big as they seem. Snow was everywhere. The air was cold and dry, stinging my nose with every inhale. I was already behind schedule as...

The Old Man’s Song

This song is solace -the song of an old manLet me restI’ve been traveling alone for a long time.My feet, worn outMy heart has agedMy mind is satisfiedMy...

8 Signs of a Successful Life That Have Nothing to Do With Money or Fame

You’re told you need to set goals. You’re told you must be driven to make it to the top. The truth is, you don’t have to do anything. Contentment provides...

A Tear Fell From My Eye

A tear fell from my eye And in that tear, I saw My husband absent from me My dad, I could no longer see The grave had filled my soul With grief and pain, it...

I Care What You Think – I Can’t Help It

I have a problem that I’m not sure how to deal with. It comes up so seemingly and so often that my entire day can be thrown off by it. The problem lies in the...

Good News For You

You Are A Special ‘One of A Kind,’ Kind of Person. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he...

Author Spotlight: Sandy Peckinpaugh

See more of Sandy’s work here.

I wake up every day knowing that my mission is to help people like you, heal your past, take charge of your future, and “Breakthrough to Happy.”

I’ve experienced more life challenges than I could have ever imagined. I first discovered the power in storytelling when I wrote my book, Rosey…the Imperfect Angel after the birth of my daughter. Julianne was born with a severe facial defect, a bilateral cleft lip and gum. It would take numerous surgeries to repair her face and through the process I learned life can throw the unexpected your way, but that’s how we navigate life.

The fairy tale caught the attention of news media throughout the country. My daughter and I appeared on national television talk shows, national morning news shows (including ABC, NBC and Fox), radio programs, and in newspaper articles and magazines throughout the U.S.

Finding love in the second act of my life… After 25 years of marriage and the untimely loss of my husband, I reconnected years later with a man I had met in Up With People when I was just 16! We married in 2011 and I plan on living happily ever after… And, want to help you find your happily ever after too. 

Visit Sandy at SandyPeckinpaugh.com.

Bring your questions for @sandypeckinpaugh to #PubChat on Twitter on Wednesday, December 19th at 8 pm Central. 

10 things you should do to end (and start) the new year strong and inspired for success

Position yourself for success in the new year by taking a few vital steps now! “You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.”  ― John Irving As you might have already noticed, most people are in their ‘autopilot end of year state’...

Life lessons I learned from my cat

I’d dare say that my cat is the most awesome cat in the entire world, yes, I’m biased, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Apart from being super cool and easy to live with, he doesn’t seem remotely bothered by my incessant desire to make him dance with me to Taylor...

If You Have Nothing Nice To Say, Don’t Say It At All

Noted…but why don’t we say the nice things either? People often advise that you should keep your mean thoughts about others to yourself. And I happened to learn this lesson quite well one fine afternoon in kindergarten. Our class had been assigned the task of...

Turning Negatives Into Positives

We all have days that test our patience. And today started out like that for me.  Chasing my two-year-old son around the house this morning trying to get him ready was one thing.  But turning up to daycare only to be told he can’t attend today because he was sent home...

How to Be a Likable Person without Compromising Who You Are

If there was any skill you wish you could improve on, what would it be? Your jump shot? Honing in on your eye for photography? What about that F-major chord that looked so easy to play online? Chances are, you didn’t consider your ability — or inability — to listen....

Wisdom

Speak up my sonSpeak the truth to menDon’t hold back a wordTell it time and time again I know your but a boyAnd early in your walkBut I will fill you withThe way in which to talk I know of the fearAnd doubt within yourselfBut you’ll learn strengthTake my word down...

A writer’s wanderlust

I enjoy using my own personal books on writing for lesson ideas in my middle school writing classes. One of those books is Bill Roorbach’s Writing Life Stories. It’s a book I ordered for myself a year or so ago to find ideas on memoir and biographical writing. There...

A Christmas Carol Tale

“Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.” “War is cruel!” The elderly man threw aside The Examiner...

Forget Conventional Success

& create your own path What is success? A high-level career, a six-figure income, holidays in Bali, a big house, marriage. Society keeps throwing these images of success in your face. You know what your life should look like, and which boxes you have to tick for...

Give Yourself The Gift of Done

There is good reason that the Publishous community has touted and embraced the talent and work of Jon Acuff . Acuff is a New York Times bestselling author of six books! That’s right, of six books! The name of his most recent book?  “ Finish: Give Yourself The Gift Of...

Make Depression A Thing of The Past and Live Your Life.

How to deal with depression, is a question that millions have to deal with not on a day to day basis but every waking moment of their lives. As the night falls, only misery and agony consume their thoughts. For you know that sleep only brings forth a new day of...

read more

How to be a Good Critic

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: ABCDEF? It is FEEDBACK However, feedback is a double-edged sword. A positive feedback...

read more

Work-life balance. Yes, it’s a thing.

I had a rambling conversation with a colleague over a beer. Conversations after work on Friday should be rambling. We’ve known each other going on two decades, we both lead agencies, and we’ve both seen many changes in our personal lives since we met. Mixed in with...

read more

FOR THE LOVE OF…..

Why Do Kids Exasperate Us So?! I’m talking to all you moms and dads out there! What is it about kids that have the capacity to make us want to run away and scream and pull our hair out! What is it that we have mean thoughts that are wholly wrong, but in the face of...

read more

4 Life Lessons I Have Learned From My Angel Wife

On August 28, 2011, I met the most beautiful, kind, and fun person that I have ever known. I first noticed her in church and was stunned at how beautiful she was. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Later that day I saw her again at another church meeting and couldn’t...

read more

What Are A Few Life Lessons From This Year?

3 Lessons I Would Like to Share With You How did this year go for you? Was it a good year? Or was it a difficult year? Did you have any life lessons which will help you next year and years to come? Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions before? Most...

read more

Paying Attention to Details

Stop moving so fast. “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”  —Charles R. Swindoll Life can get pretty busy. Each day holds a new challenge, stretching us in ways we didn’t think were possible. With every task thrown in our...

read more

Is Fate your friend or enemy?

Do you believe in fate or destiny, what would you choose? Fate does not care about my plans,for it knows what is meant to be.It tells meeverything happens for a reasonso forget about colluding with destiny. Fate has a higher purpose, a direction a goalwhich if I am...

read more

Passing The Baton On To My Kids…

ave you watched those relay races where the first runner sprints towards the 2nd runner ahead and hands over the baton?  Parenting, I felt in many ways was similar to that. The parent in a constant sprint towards their child, passing over all their wisdom, guidance...

read more

Gog

Run to the mountain; Seek refuge in shallowsThe hordes of the enemy, Gog, lie in wait.But when they advance, our Sovereign shall see.His anger will burn at our enemies hate. He will not act too late to summon a swordAgainst those who scheme to plunder his people.He’ll...

read more

This is why I Stopped, Following Successful People

And created my own definition of success. There is a secret recipe for success. And it is cooked up to perfection by all success-propagating self-help gurus. There are many versions of this recipe but the most popular one can be the below. · Take a shiny, new brass...

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Good News For You

You Are A Special ‘One of A Kind,’ Kind of Person. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 It is the Christmas season. Celebrate! Not only the gift of God’s dear Son,...

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The Blue Square of Homelessness Continues!

I have just listened to an article on the radio about homelessness. The guest was explaining why he felt it was good to give money to people who are begging. It reminded me of a blog post that I wrote in March. Homeless Blue Squares! - Rachel DodmanAs I write this, I...

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Letting Go

Deepening awareness in my spirit Knowing what is important now, Present to this sacred moment Feeling where it is in time. Ripples of truth from within Insights into who I am, Letting go of my past follies No need to think of them again. Living with these present...

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Animal Magnetism: The Healing Power Of Pets

Blizzard-like conditions slowed our progress during the long ride home from the hospital, where I’d just had a lumpectomy to remove a malignancy in my right breast. It was February of 2016. Alternately freezing and sweating from the cranked heater, my stomach roiled...

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Falling Star

The first to hit the floor was a pale blue sphere laced with silver swirls and dusted with glitter. The plastic ornament bounced on the hardwood with a hollow knock and rolled until it came to rest against a chair leg, leaving a faint trail of sparkles. The tree...

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When God Came to Earth

What comes to mind when you think of Christmas? For me, it’s Jesus.  You may have heard the expression—Jesus is the reason for the season. Indeed He is but we’re celebrating much more than a child born in a manger! We’re celebrating who He is and what He did! And what...

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The Fullness of Grateful

A close friend said I was wrong: one cannot be both grateful and unhappy. I thought for a minute. Then he said, “if you’re not happy, you are not experiencing the fullness of grateful.”  I appreciated his statement. We defined terms: happiness vs joy. Some see those...

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eBay Kindness

I’ve been on eBay since 1997, which seems like a pretty long time ago, 21 years to be precise. If you go back 21 years in the other direction, it would be 1976, the bicentennial, and that is a REALLY long time ago… Anyway, a couple of years ago I was trying to amass a...

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How To Make Your Writing More Engaging

attract and keep your audience If you build it, he will come.Field of Dreams You want views, and reads, and fans for your writing. We all do. You’ve been posting for a while now, but not seeing the results you want. You’re not too discouraged yet, but you definitely...

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One tip on how you can improve your relationships

Relationships are super important to me. They always have been.  The desire to connect with people is deeply rooted in the core of who I am and impacts all that I do. I love heart to heart talks over coffee with kindred spirits. I’m more heart motivated than head...

read more

Too Soon You Died

Over my time of eight years in the funeral and cemetery industry, I personally handled the arrangements for over 1,000 individuals. But few would affect me the way that my very last case would. The call arrived from the hospital that we had a body to pick up. There...

read more

The Fat And Festive Season Is Here, Lighten Up

Most of us eat, drink, and spend far too much around the holidays. It can be overwhelming and even oppressive for some. We want to look our best, be our best, and celebrate our best.  This overloaded carousel, of course, churns up masses of conflicting choices. And,...

read more

How to Reach the Right People

What I learned about marketing after trying to do too much Do you want to win over the world? That’s the dream we buy into when we have something to say or sell.  It’s appealing to have an office 10 feet from your bed. The thought of having my car’s tires dry rot from...

read more

Not So Jingle Bells

Blinking lights decorate the streets like stars in the night sky. Houses glow with a calm spirit. Fellow tourists walk from shop to shop. The sound of hoofs thudding on soft snow patter past me as I sip on creamy hot chocolate with whip cream and a dusting of...

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5 Easy Ways to Plan Your Blog Posts & Novel

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Benjamin Franklin Are you a meticulous planner, or do you let your ideas and characters drive your novel? I have written posts in the past about the perfect structure for a post. Although I follow this, I don’t...

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How to Let Haters Make You Stronger

The more you create and share online, the more likely you are to encounter people that disagree with you. And sometimes they are quite rude about it. We all have those comments from time to time. I’ve had my fair share, and I expect to get more. The first left me...

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How to Succeed in Today’s Ultra Competitive Job Market

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.- Steve Jobs Everybody wants a rewarding job. We all want to make a lot of...

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5 Simple Ways to Boost Productivity

The key to achieving insane levels of productivity is motivation, the phenomenal experience that drives you towards achieving your goals. And the science behind motivation is dopamine. So find a way to hack your dopamine and you boost your productivity automatically....

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What Am I Musing On?

An amusing discovery I went to the library looking for Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art”. The girl helping me could only find books entitled “The Art of War”. I kept correcting her. I ended up ordering a copy online. That was a couple of years ago. I read...

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My Sexy Christmas Car and the Gift of Forgiveness

"Change is the only constant in life,” said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, and it was clear to me that I was ready for a change. “I’ve been driving the van since the kids were in diapers, ”I complained to my husband. “They’re practically grown, they don’t need me...

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The Art of Shutting Up and Listening

I tell these tales not to boast about what I have done and am doing but to show the miracle of what happens when you shut up and listen and ask questions. I met this young guy at a meeting in Malaysia where a bunch of us were talking strategy and was instantly...

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Life lessons I learned from my cat

I’d dare say that my cat is the most awesome cat in the entire world, yes, I’m biased, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Apart from being super cool and easy to live with, he doesn’t seem remotely bothered by my incessant desire to make him dance with me to Taylor...

read more

If You Have Nothing Nice To Say, Don’t Say It At All

Noted…but why don’t we say the nice things either? People often advise that you should keep your mean thoughts about others to yourself. And I happened to learn this lesson quite well one fine afternoon in kindergarten. Our class had been assigned the task of...

read more

Make Your Purpose A Part Of Your Life

The purpose of life is a life of purpose Do you wake up each day dreading the idea of spending another day at work? You might even feel the need to be a part of something bigger and more meaningful.  If you’ve failed to discover and build your life around your life...

read more

Are You a River or a Rock?

When you think of your life, are you a river or a rock?  Imagine a flowing river, as you sit and watch birds swim in it, small fish flutter by, while insects bob and weave through the current. The river picks up branches of trees, leaves, and other travelers of...

read more

How Do I Keep Losing Me?

Seriously, where has me been going? (+Gratitude) It happened again. I finished the project. I didn’t let up at the end and allow my momentum to fizzle out leaving another unfinished project on a dusty pile of broken dreams. I Even Knew What I Was Doing Next I have a...

read more

The Most Valuable Present is Not Always Under the Tree.

On his knees, staring down into the murky water, Bobby sobbed, “Please bring daddy back to us.” Despite, The wooden planks of the small pier biting into his knees, he didn’t care. This small pier jutting out over the water behind his house is Bobby’s sacred spot. When...

read more

Turning Negatives Into Positives

We all have days that test our patience. And today started out like that for me.  Chasing my two-year-old son around the house this morning trying to get him ready was one thing.  But turning up to daycare only to be told he can’t attend today because he was sent home...

read more

How to Be a Likable Person without Compromising Who You Are

If there was any skill you wish you could improve on, what would it be? Your jump shot? Honing in on your eye for photography? What about that F-major chord that looked so easy to play online? Chances are, you didn’t consider your ability — or inability — to listen....

read more

Living with my ACOA issues, one day at a time.

ACOA: Adult Children of Alcoholics. Last week my Big Red Book came in the mail. It is an ACOA publication that has been around since the late 70’s early 80’s. I have heard from others that it has helped in their healing, even though it is a “rough read.”  They said it...

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Wisdom

Speak up my sonSpeak the truth to menDon’t hold back a wordTell it time and time again I know your but a boyAnd early in your walkBut I will fill you withThe way in which to talk I know of the fearAnd doubt within yourselfBut you’ll learn strengthTake my word down...

read more

Why we Spend endless hours on Social Media

Pull down the mask! We are found in an era where it almost feels like we are living two lives. We have our normal life which we live in and we have the social media life! In recent times, I have come to realize that some people tend to focus more on their social media...

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Christmastime in Manhattan

Sidewalks overflow with teeming mobs Darting in and out of overloaded shops, Windows of electronics, clothes and jewelry Boldly draw these throngs into their midst. Raw scents of chestnuts permeate the air Music of the season plays in every corner, Lights, bows and...

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The Untold Story of Why I Hate Tom Cruise’s Face

>>Disclaimer>> this is not an attack on the celebrity Tom Cruise. This is my own story.  I was barely 13 when I met him.  My friend and I were at the beach, while on summer vacation, and these two older boys got out of an old Chevy pickup and walked...

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I’m giving myself this gift for Christmas

This time last year, I felt like I was in a pretty good place for mid-December. I had 6 months of social media content prepared and scheduled in advance. I was putting the finishing touches on my free challenge and launch scheduled for late January and early February...

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Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t – A Book Review

Looking for a credible guide to the ins and out of writing?  Interested in learning some helpful tools from a 30-year veteran of the industry,  so you can be on your way to writing the kind of captivating work that people love to read? The name of the book? “Nobody...

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Prodigal

There once was a masterof a prosperous housewith two sons he lovedfrom his lifelong spouse. His sons worked with himall through their youth.He showed them his waysand taught them with truth. When they came of agethey were two different men.One wished to leave.One to...

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Why I Love My Family’s Christmas Traditions

The Christmas traditions in my family are likely older than the traditions in most other families. There are two specifically that have been practiced every year for over a hundred years. There are other, younger, traditions that sprang up to serve their purpose for...

read more

Precious Breaths

Your problems aren’t as big as they seem. Snow was everywhere. The air was cold and dry, stinging my nose with every inhale. I was already behind schedule as I rushed out the door, my twin brother frantically waiting to leave.  This wasn’t normal. Keith and I were...

read more

The Old Man’s Song

This song is solace -the song of an old manLet me restI’ve been traveling alone for a long time.My feet, worn outMy heart has agedMy mind is satisfiedMy journey is the color of sunset.This weak vessel still carries a young soul -soul inhales knowledge, exhales...

read more

A Tear Fell From My Eye

A tear fell from my eye And in that tear, I saw My husband absent from me My dad, I could no longer see The grave had filled my soul With grief and pain, it stole And caused my heart to cry A tear fell from my eye And in that tear, I saw The waves overwhelmed me Those...

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Christmas During The End of Days

Light among the darkest days We may be people who celebrate the season of light in the darkness, but we still have work to do.  We should celebrate holidays, but we should also reflect upon others in distant realms. Even if they are of another faith, or color, or...

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A Little Book For The Tired And Overworked

“You don’t really go home, do you, Fred?” Mike, my colleague, asked me. “Yes I do,” I replied. “Come on, admit it, you sleep in the office.” “What, no way. I went home late last night and I came early this morning.” “O my Lord, do you even sleep?” Mike asked. “A...

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Put Your Plans Where Your Faith is.

Let me start off this posts by saying how happy I am that I have graduated. Its been a long road made even longer by school irregularities but all is well that ends well. Now I can focus on other things like going for my passport or following up on it. Put your Plans...

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Tomorrow: A parable of belief, faith, and doubt

We believe in tomorrow, but we are always in today. We are all acting in faith in tomorrow with no tangible proof it exists. Most of us believe in tomorrow. Most of us take it for granted and think nothing of making arrangement to do different things in this nebulous...

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Did you know that the Lord’s Prayer has been answered!

Many people today recite what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer not knowing or understanding that it is a prayer that has already been answered by God. “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said...

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The Way That Seems Right

But where does it lead? How often have you heard this quote, “To thine own self be true?”  It’s a famous quote from William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. In those times it had a certain meaning but it’s been reinterpreted in a different way in our present culture. What...

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Morning Darkness

Sitting in shrouds of morning darkness Listening to resounding silence, Few lights mar my present view Comforted by being all alone. Emptiness in morning meditations Letting whatever comes just pass, Calmness soothes my heart and soul Peaceful beginning as time...

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How To Overcome the Stress of the Christmas Season

Is Christmas time a time of stress and frustration for you? Christmas was a time of angst. yes angst. I fretted over what to buy the relatives and my kids. I stressed over the food production. I got angry when things didn’t go as I planned. Through all the joy of the...

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1 Reason Criticism Crushes Writers

Sometimes criticism crushes me. A one-star review wrecks my day. An online barb served up via Twitter knocks me off course. A comment via email throws me for a loop. Why do I get stuck so easily by random strangers and their words? Because I’ve confused my art with my...

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Three ways to begin writing again after taking a break

For the last two months, I have been beyond the far-reaching tentacles of the internet. In West Java, Indonesia rice is found and eaten in equal abundance, flourishing tea plantations are plentiful yet internet connection only thrives in sparse patches. I chose this...

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The Christmas Refuge

It was a fortnight before Christmas. In a small village near the coast, a little girl turned off her flashlight. She used it to secretly read under the covers when it was past her bedtime. Alyssa sat up straight in bed, thinking that she could hear reindeer flying...

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You are Not Your Social Media Profile

What you see on my profile is in no way an adequate description of who I am. I mean, c’mon, I only get 200 or so characters in my bio, and that picture is tiny.  Whatever you think of the people you meet on social media, and whoever you think they are, is most likely...

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That Christmas Gift You Never Wanted Might Be Good For You

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time you get what you need.” — The Rolling Stones Christmas is the time for giving. It’s also the time for receiving — awful gifts you may not necessarily want. I had an instance of this occur to me very...

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Private stories Shared In Public Places

It was cold and rainy. I had several errands to get done in a short amount of time. I was in a hurry. My first stop involved a return of a purchase I had made. The customer service line was long. When my turn arrived, I asked the sales associate, “Aren’t you cold...

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5 ways I “ruin” my kids, and why its ok

I love my kids!! They are my entire world. And I am slowly, but surely ruining them. I tend to lose my cool over relatively insignificant things. If you are mad at your kid, you can either raise him to be a nose tackle or send him out to play on the freeway. It’s...

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How I Learned The Surprising Truth About Santa

My Wish For You — May Your Days Be Merry And Bright When I was a little girl, I was told that Santa brought the tree on Christmas Eve. Late at night while we were all tucked in our beds dreaming of toys and sweets, he would slide down the chimney with a beautifully...

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The Best Christmas Gift My Grandpa Never Gave Us

I made my Dad cry From the time I was 8 till I was 15, I lived in an old farmhouse out in the country. I attended a suburban school district, very forward looking and head and shoulders above the schools my official street address said I should have attended....

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How little baby Jesus grew into the world’s big problem

His final instructions launched a global offensive Our six-hour journey by canoes through Pirahhna-infested waters of the Amazon brought us to a village dubbed “Belen.” In Spanish, it means “Bethlehem,” the town in Israel where Jesus was famously born in a stable more...

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Letter to my daughter at Christmas

Dear Daughter, You were born two months early, and I wasn’t so sure either one of us would survive. But here we both are, eleven years later, and as Christmas draws near, my heart is writing this letter to you. Many times, I have commented that it is not easy being a...

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Why that thing you are avoiding is robbing you and others

I kept avoiding it.  I knew what I was doing, but it’s easy to convince yourself of almost anything.  The problem was, this thing I was avoiding, became a roadblock to even starting a certain project.  The real issue was that I knew that I had to have a potentially...

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Grandpa! You Are Embarrassing Me.

Families were all gathered huddled in small circles waiting for their future concert musician to come out. We had just finished Landon, my eldest grandson’s Middle School holiday concert. He is a violinist. Playfully, I reached over and tapped Bently, who is six, and...

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Stop Thinking, Start Doing

You’re a filthy liar. You know it and I know it. You claim you’re content with life. “I have a decent job, a home, and a family who loves me, what more could I ask for?” The answer is…a hell of a lot. I don’t write about personal development because I believe in being...

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A Friend of Depression

This is a story about living with depression. Yet this is not a story about living with depression. It is not me that lives with depression. Yet it is me that lives with depression. Depression does not affect me daily. Yet depression does affect me daily. I am not the...

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How to Not Starve on Relationship Breadcrumbs

They Just Wanted Peace… Thomas just wanted peace in his home. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? He lived in constant fear of his wife leaving. All she had to do to get her way was yell at him, and he’d capitulate. Even if he knew it wasn’t the right thing, he did...

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How to Stop Being so Sensitive

Photo by Asdrubal luna on Unsplash Everyone has their own reaction to criticism, slights, and bad news.  Some of us are naturally more sensitive than others.  However, becoming very upset due to a perceived insult isn’t something you’re born with. It’s a skill that...

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What the Fog ofPMS Reduces Me To…

Add The Fibromyalgia, and Hypothyroidism. I know when it’s coming…it feels like the clouds are descending, gloom awaits,  Havoc simmers just below the surface… My brain during PMS is quite a mess! It seems that I cannot compute the simplest of tasks… Even...

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Give Yourself The Gift of Done

There is good reason that the Publishous community has touted and embraced the talent and work of Jon Acuff . Acuff is a New York Times bestselling author of six books! That’s right, of six books! The name of his most recent book?  “ Finish: Give Yourself The Gift Of...

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Why You Must Stop Searching for a Soulmate

Are you unhappy in love because you’re desperately trying to find your soulmate?  There’s a better way!  You don’t have to spend your entire life looking for love.  In fact, true love might be right in front of you, but you’ve been blind to it. Open yourself to love...

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Hanging Up on Abuse

Ending the call does not make you the bad guy. Working at a call center was a different sort of experience.  One fall, after moving back to my hometown I got a job at a call center close by. I had been scrambling to find some sort of employment and it was getting...

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Can You Write With No Heart

I’m not able to write fiction if my emotions are shut off.My Gold Mine As a Writer? Emotions!Can one write fiction when emotions are absent?medium.com I’m not a robotic human, with a frozen heart. I feel (profoundly, sometimes). I’m made of amazement, joy, anger,...

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The Anonymity of On-line Dating

She remained glued to her laptop and gazed at the profiles like one of the HR professionals, looking for an immediate replacement. Finding a right guy scrolling up and down was about choosing a person whose political opinions are neutral, a wanderlust, an avid reader...

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3 Ways to Deal with your Unwanted Gift

At this time of year, we may or may not look forward to the idea of giving and receiving gifts. Whether you are religious or not the tradition of giving gifts is steeped in history and closely associated with Christmas to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by...

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The Fascinating Ritual of Christmas

There is something about the Christmas season that is so mesmerizing and also, endearing. How did it come to be that for a solid month large swaths of the world become intoxicated with the same seasonal spirit, preoccupied with the same seemingly frivolous pursuits,...

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I laughed in spite of myself

No one was allowed in Grandma’s attic.  “Bats and rodents live up there,” Mother cautioned.  “Then, why do you keep all those boxes up there?” I’d ask.  “We have nowhere else to keep them,” she’d reply.  That worried me. All the months those ornaments and memories lay...

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Welcoming the Law Of Attraction Into Your Life

Whenever we want to change something about our lives, we look to others for a solution. What if you were empowered to alter your course and in effect, be your own genie in a bottle — with the ability to manifest every dream you have from this point on? Throughout our...

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A writer’s wanderlust

I enjoy using my own personal books on writing for lesson ideas in my middle school writing classes. One of those books is Bill Roorbach’s Writing Life Stories. It’s a book I ordered for myself a year or so ago to find ideas on memoir and biographical writing. There...

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A Christmas Carol Tale

“Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. “Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!” he said. Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.” “War is cruel!” The elderly man threw aside The Examiner...

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Why and How I found Jesus

Was He lost or was I? As a child I knew Him. I knew Him well. I would sing songs to Him, I would pray with my parents every night. I knew He protected me. I knew He was with me. But something happened. I wandered away. Like the people on the shore who were listening...

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5 Reasons Why Writing a Novella Makes You a Better Writer

The Power of the Novella “The advantage of the novella is that you can hold the whole thing structurally in your mind at once.” — Ian McEwan What do A Christmas Carol, Animal Farm, Wool, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Fahrenheit 451 and Of Mice and Men have in common? They...

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America’s Persona

Sun shines brightly in pale blue sky Clouds painted with pink and gray, Knowing mysteries will be revealed Thoughts begin racing through my mind. Stirring emotions with these thoughts What persona is my America wearing? Once strong character seems to be lost Riches...

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If It’s Worth Sharing It’s Worth Finishing

Have you ever started a big project and lost steam midway through it? I have. Lots of times. If you’ve ever written a book or developed a course, you know what I mean. If you’re looking for hope to carry on, I’ll offer you some in this post. First, let’s look at...

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The Gift of Falling

I looked up at the little colorful rocks above my head. They were of different sizes and shapes. The question was “Which one do I reach for?” I could feel my arms muscle straining trying to hold my weight as I considered my options. I hadn’t made up my mind when my...

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Entitlement on Earth

Make A Holiday Gift To Yourself, One That Saves The Planet Entitlement is the one thing we too often feel at Christmas. It’s a holiday of excess: Black Friday, too much eating, drinking, materialism and commercialization. This is ironic, because other than celebrating...

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Forget Conventional Success

& create your own path What is success? A high-level career, a six-figure income, holidays in Bali, a big house, marriage. Society keeps throwing these images of success in your face. You know what your life should look like, and which boxes you have to tick for...

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Christmas Pearls

Sometimes, my partner, Dave, blows me away with his wisdom.  Some days he is a pain in the ass, when he tickles me, chases me around the island in the kitchen with his cold hands, or pokes fun at me, but I pester him as well. We have a great relationship when it comes...

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Getting older when only you realize it

I don’t always think about getting old. It is my body that constantly reminds me that I am. When I dream or fantasize about doing something it is not my present body or mind that is in my dream. No, it is a younger me with a fit body and fit mind.  Every morning when...

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How To Blog Your Way To A Career

Blogging has been a widely known concept for quite some time now.  While they may not know the technical ins and outs of how it works, most people have heard about blogging in pop culture. Julie and Julia is a good example of this. It’s a movie that originated from a...

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How to Change Your Outlook and Reframe Your Perspective

Even if You Can’t Change Your Circumstances Maybe you can’t change your circumstances, but you can always change your attitude regarding your circumstances. Sure, sometimes you do need to make drastic changes when it comes to your health, career, or living situation....

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Contentment

Awareness of all within myself So deeply and completely felt, A peaceful feeling of contentment Full acceptance in this moment. Once important thoughts no more Gone to ethers of the past, Letting go of disturbing tensions No longer grasping for more and more....

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Drug companies will kill you, one way or the other!

When I was younger I didn’t know anything about medications and I don’t think too many other people did either. When you went to the doctor he/she gave you some medicine, which you hoped would take care of what ailed you. Most likely you didn’t even know the names of...

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Be Simple and Be Used

I was sitting in a room in a Middle Eastern country teaching a bunch of Jesus-following Muslims about business and how to take an idea and mold it into a plan when the hairs on the back of my neck began tingling. I glanced across the room and one young man was...

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How you can change in desperate times

We always want to strive for what’s best for us.  There is nothing wrong with having the desire to have what’s the best, for you and for your family. Whatever the circumstances might be, to improve in your life, change has to be persistent. People will often point...

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Success Requires These 7 Traits

There are certain traits everyone needs in order to succeed. This list will help you identify them and inspire you to inject them into your life. I write as a follower of Jesus to help other followers of Jesus. While this list is universal in application it is...

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My top 3 reasons why owning a dog is the best

For my whole life, I have always had a dog (or two). They have been my constant companions throughout many ups and downs. And they have each had unique personalities that have greatly blessed my life. I love dogs. I can’t help it. Here are my top 3 reasons why having...

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To My Followers: Thanks for Your Belief in Me

As authors, we are nothing without an audience. On Medium, our core readership is a self-identified group: followers. It is they who make our words mean something. Otherwise, it's "one hand clapping." So one thing right up front: To all my followers, old and new:...

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The Making of a Great Story

Stories are a wonderful escape from the real world. Even if someone is recounting part of their day, if it is done correctly, I can be drawn in, wanting to hear every detail. It’s the sharing of experiences and the emotions and revelations of the characters. The...

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A Christmas Story All Year Long

She must have always loved the star, for she saw it when no one else could. I sat beside her in her living room, admiring her Christmas tree. I asked her, “Are some of these ornaments from your childhood?” “Oh yes”, she answered, “many of them.” “My family always goes...

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Opening Heart

Emptiness felt within my being Wondering why I feel it here, “Empty of what”? I ask myself, How shall this emptiness be filled? Perhaps renewed feelings of love Love more deeply for all beings, Stronger compassion to be felt For those invisibly passing by. Eyes wide...

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Love across the Berlin wall

Love across the Berlin Wall “Did you hear the news on the radio, Sam? The Berlin wall will fall this week,” said Anna peeking towards Sam avoiding the barbwire on top of a bullet-ridden Berlin wall. “Yes, I have heard Anna. Finally, we will get rid ourselves from this...

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Jigsaw

The first I went thru the motions, Just took my turn, Never really realize The slow and steady burn. When it was over And he had had enough, I was getting started, Although the road was rough. Though he had fallen out of love, Needed to start on a whim, I had had 7...

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Want to Be More Productive? Eat Healthier

“Indeed, the best way to think of willpower is not as some shapeless behavioral trait but as a sort of psychic muscle, one that can atrophy or grow stronger depending on how it’s used.”  — Jeffrey Kluger I recently tried an interesting experiment on myself. My...

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Oceans Applaud When Streams Sing

Together we are whole In Spring it is lovely to be next to a stream and hear the rhythmic melodies and watch the current gently rise up to kiss the rocks. In winter snow caps are held tightly in place despite the constant chafing of icy waters.  Streams are formed by...

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Salvage Yourself: Dealing With A Troubled Past

Are you letting the past hijack your soul? One December a few days before Christmas, I set out to drive 140 miles across England. The weather was chilly and dry as I set off. This was long before mobile phones and even before the internet. Weather reports came after...

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How to be a Top Writer on Medium

And you don’t need to write brilliant articles every day for this. I discovered it quite by accident, a little more than a year back. I was a struggling writer in Medium then and my invisibility as a writer was dissipating at a snail’s pace. Some posts did well. Some...

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Be Part of the Solution in a Gender Equal World

How to neutralize gender bias through your writing. Gender equality is a fundamental human right. Despite this, unconscious bias continues to form an invisible barrier to equal opportunity affecting those we care for most in life — our families, friends and...

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Our $50,000 Hospital Bill

I can still remember the horror as I got the email notifying us.  The total that we owed was over $50,000.  This can’t be legal! How could they think it’s reasonable to expect a young couple like us to pay that? Our shock turned to anger, which turned to despair. We...

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Are You Available?

“I want you to go to (a certain Central Asian country) and meet with this guy we’ll call Henry and see if you can come up with a way to get a movement started where businesses will fuel the advance of the Kingdom in this really difficult place to see Jesus openly...

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The Battle for River Neckinger

“I am reminding you, Richard, If you win this case for us, you will definitely be made a senior partner here. Also, you can carry on with your profession as an attorney,” said Mark Chelmsford sipping a cup of hot latte. “Yes, I am aware of that Mr. Mark. You are...

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Why I Don’t Need Balance in My Life

Everyone says “balance” is the key: I disagree Lately I have come to understand balance. At least I have come again to understand balance. I knew it before — but forgot it.  And I don’t think I need it. After two months of heavy study of God’s Word, and art to go with...

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Gut Feelings: How Our Digestive System Affects Our Mind

The Gut-brain Connection, Autism and the Microbiome, & Addressing SIBO Naturally ver heard of the gut-brain connection? There is actually something going on when you have a gut feeling, since your gut actually affects your mood, intuition, and cognition....

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The Most Important Changes That Happened to Me

How 30 days of painting yellow changed me When I first decided to campaign about human rights I had no idea what I had signed up for. Through the 30 days I learned a lot about the plight of those caught in slavery and about myself by studying God’s Word and painting...

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Character vs Reputation

Today I read a tweet sharing a variation of the quote by the American basketball coach John Wooden, the original quote I believe is, “Worry about your character, not your reputation. Your character is who you are, and your reputation is who people think you...

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The Truth About Physical Abuse

It started with a cigarette burn. He enveloped me in an embrace, and the next thing I felt was the searing pain of his lit cigarette. He swore it was an accident, but when I looked the next day, there was a perfectly round hole in my back surrounded by red, swollen...

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When God Gave Me a Second Chance

It is true there are seasons in life. Sometimes in between seasons, there is a crucial point where we need to push hard to get through. Mine was when I worked as an operational manager at a bread factory in Perth, Mills Bakery. I had been working in Mills Bakery for...

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Five Humorous Quotes to Keep Us Sane

A little levity is good for the soul. Humor holds nuggets of wisdom. Dust off these quotes. Shake them. Laugh! Catch the glimmer of wisdom in each of the five quotes. Scripture tells us that laughter is good for us as a medicine. Laughter is the medicine prying open...

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What in the Word!

The rain in November surely took no breaks and followed into December. The first two days were wet, raw and cold. The snow is melted, leaving everything barren, except for a few random patches of snow that refuse. As I said my farewells to social media and a few other...

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Which obscure sin tops the charts right now?

If you are like many progressive believers, or the spiritual-but-not-religious type, you may not spend much time thinking about (cough, cough) sin. Oh, you’ve heard about those classic Seven Deadly Sins, if not in Sunday School then in that 1995 movie Se7en. That film...

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Before you go, make sure you don’t miss these:

Morning Darkness

Sitting in shrouds of morning darkness Listening to resounding silence, Few lights mar my present view Comforted by being all alone. Emptiness in morning meditations Letting whatever comes just pass, Calmness soothes my heart and soul Peaceful beginning as time...

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The Christmas Refuge

It was a fortnight before Christmas. In a small village near the coast, a little girl turned off her flashlight. She used it to secretly read under the covers when it was past her bedtime. Alyssa sat up straight in bed, thinking that she could hear reindeer flying...

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Natural Freedom

Strong feelings of peace and love Pervasive warmth in my spirit, Not sure from where they come Just enjoying pleasant sensations. Waves washing through my heart Unexplained but deeply felt, Calmness as this day progresses Beauty in still blooming flowers. Nature’s...

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Why Can’t I Get Everything Done?

Recently I was asked to help a collegue get her work/life schedule in order. The best system I know about is the Getting Things Done, GTD, approach. Since she is a, “ just give me the facts” sort of a person, I developed a lite version of the GTD system. The barebones...

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Hark! The Angel, Harold, Sings

Celebrating The Christmas Story — Old Tales Told A New Way We’ve all heard the timeless tale of the coming of the Christmas Child. But what if the people who wrote those stories got it wrong? What if they missed some important information? What if someone else was...

Growing up in dysfunction is hell

My Dad is an alcoholic. Not the happy-go-lucky kind of alcoholic that has a few drinks, then laughs the night away watching old home videos while his kids play on the floor. And not the fall-down-drunk alcoholic that you see on the streets, tripping over his own feet,...

Never Ask This Question When You Start Writing A Book.

Want to make sure you never finish your book? Want to cripple your creativity at the start of a new project? Want to ramp up your anxiety and hinder your true writing voice? All you have to do is ask one question as you start writing a book. Here it is: “Will this...

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