In Death, Heroes Inspire: In Memory of Nabeel Qureshi

“Heroes aren’t supposed to die!” My heart yells in the deep place where only God sees. Death from this life is certain… cancer doesn’t play favorites… and yet heroes are supposed to be victorious… right?

My little girl self still believe this. I can’t help but hope that light will always overcome darkness, that wrongs will always be righted, and the hero will defeat the evil. Perhaps because in my child-like faith, I know there is eternal victory, death has no power over me… and yet… the living still suffer the heartache of being here without those who have gone on ahead.

At just 34 years old, Nabeel Qureshi, had become one of my heroes because he wasn’t afraid of questions. Sounds simple, I know. But really and truly, he asked questions and sought the truth, even when all he had known and been brought up to believe was challenged. I admire his courage to face the possibility that what he thought he knew could be wrong. His passion to understand and pursuit of truth came at great personal cost. In heroic fashion he lovingly and kindly opened doors whenever he could in order to let the of truth light in so others could see for themselves.

My sister teaches the hero journey through story and film. Her method is brilliant and she probably doesn’t realize I’ve been listening to her, and I finally understand. Heroes sacrifice themselves to rescue the people they love. In death, heroes inspire us to live well. I don’t like it… but we need it.

I know that Nabeel is with Jesus. In his death, he inspires me and many others to not just live well, but to love greatly.

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My question to you: who are your heroes?

If you are having trouble naming any, perhaps its time you let someone like Nabeel inspire you to let some light in so that you can see things for yourself.

Be brave, dear ones. We need more heroes and you never whose hero you may become.

*If you would like to know more about Nabeel, read his story “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus“. He reads it himself in the audiobook.
For more information visit Ravi Zacharias Internation Ministry site or read the brief bio with a link to one of his final vlogs at Christianity Today.
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One Weed at a Time

Dusk came.
The reddish sun had already retired, But I still had light for a good 15 min.
Anyone with a garden knows that every little bit helps.

So I grabbed my gloves and a bucket – prepared for hand to leaf combat with the little invaders creeping up under my tomatoes.

It's amazing how something so simple can be so satisfying. With every weed I threw in my bucket another burden rolled off my shoulders. As Prayers bubbled up and spilled out of me as I cleaned the beds of our small garden, so too the Master Gardener pulls the "weeds" from my heart.

This week. That conversation. Her heart. His pain. My hope. Their safety. Will I? Can they? How can we? But what if…!?

Deep breath. Exhale.

The sweet smells of summer..
Warm dirt.
Tomato leaves.
Blackberry breeze.

Deep breath. Exhale.

My bucket is full.
And my burdens are easy.

There are still some weeds.
I still have some burdens.
But with the weeds away the plants can focus on their purpose! To grow and thrive and be beautiful and be fruitful.

My own weeds have been traded in for thankfulness.

My bucket is full.

WONDER WOMAN (2017) movie review

Possibly – one of my favorite reviews! LOVE THIS! ❤️

Splatter: on FILM

Daughter of the gods, Diana, born of clay and hope, has a bleeding heart for humanity and a savior complex from the get-go. Needing a mission, she’s finally empowered to leave when the fight comes to her in the shape of the self-proclaimed “above average” Chris Pine.
He’s a freedom fighter and a spy who inadvertently lands on the isle of Amazon women and finds a comrade at arms in Diana. It’s beautifully filmed and acted with Robin Wright training young Gal Gadot for battles. Dialogue strains in scenes, but excellent actors make even the smallest of roles memorable.
I believe DC will succeed in winning a broader audience with this film’s 13 rating, lighter nuanced tone, fresh-faced buzz, and killer action sequences. It’s a win.Each sequence makes sense. The pacing works. It’s fun from minute one. Yes, it is challenging to remove the feminist lens from a film…

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Poland… the Beautiful, the Hospitable 

Poland.

Our western history colors this land with sadness. Oppressive leadship and communist influence are the first impressions, at least from the American perspective.

However, happily, my business trip over 2 weeks and 3 cities is pulling back the shroud and educating me on a lively and colorful people who are hospitable and hard working. 


I think, it’s possible, the people here don’t mind the rest of the world thinking they are grey and have little to offer. When, in fact, they are thriving and the cities are pulsing with art, music, and industry. 


I predict this country won’t be hidden for much longer. There is too much happening for them to be ignored!

Honest, Necessary, Chocolate Chip Cookies

When life is a little more than I can handle… or I’m feeling “whelmed” (you know, neither under now or just… meh.)

Or as in this case, my co-worker does me a huge favor, so, as a thank you, I asked him what kind of cookies he wanted. His response, “Chocolate chip!”

 

 

I am MORE than happy to oblige.

I turn to my favorite, and most used, chocolate chip cookie recipe in the Rothsay Minnesota Cookbook. This book is a life essential for me… seriously HOW do you survive without one!? GO! Add it to your eBay search.

Your life will be better, happier, and when you are out marching, protesting, or scanning social media to see which of your friends need some cookies after hanging out at the airport late at night, or maybe they just need a reminder that TODAY has more than a few reasons to smile… not the LEAST of which is THIS cookie recipe… THEN… YOU TOO can go to THIS RECIPE!!!

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God bless you, Mrs. Harley Nord! You have made my life better.

*Note: My recipe change for you inter web viewers

Recipe Adjustments

  • 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup coconut oil instead of shortening
  • “No nuts” is ALWAYS an option… use more flour and chocolate chips or replace with another grain for flavor and texture.
  • Weather & elevation pending… you will need another 1/2 – 1 cup flour! (That is the science behind great baking.) My house is around 250 feet above see level and in the rainy Seattle winter I need around 3/4 to get the right consistency.

While the first batch is in the oven be sure to put the coffee on! Enjoy!

Cookie

 

 

 

Montreal – The Beautiful Frozen City

Montreal – The Beautiful Frozen City

The iced over St. Lawrence Seaway is enchanting and ominous. For the winter months, the beautiful, bustling, industrious, metropolitan city is clothed in white. Aged bronze rooftops, chimneys spouts, and architectural domes standout between the ancient buildings strategically preserved amidst the shiny glass and concrete sky rises. 

This is real COLD.

The locals seem to know how to navigate the labyrinth of underground malls so as to avoid the frigid open air as much as possible. The Tourists seem to think better than to visit in January. Many of the local shops agree with them and are only open May to September. Such as this lovey shop which sits on the corner over looking the seaway. Should you happen to stop by when it is open, please let me know how it was! 


Ice, snow, quiet, still… I love Montreal! The beautiful city mingled with history, tradition, and mystery unveiled in the Spring. 

WANDERLUST

Wanderlust.
Some people may have a tendency to look down upon those of us with the aforementioned condition.

They may think wanderlust is the cause of instability, lack of commitment, and flighty-ness in the individual. Although there is some evidence for this, but what if it actually is a reflection of our Maker? Part of our beautiful nature which God has impressed upon us and it is ours to discover? 

My heart stirs to explore, discover, and understand the works of our Lord from different perspectives. 

This is what wanderlust means to me.

Answered Prayers… My Prayer Box Part 2

Denby the Shire Cat was curled up on his blue fleece blanket. Pandora was streaming just the right music. A small candle cast a lovely glow across my vintage sowing machine desk. My space was set with a perfectly warm and pensive mood. With tea in hand, I began to read.

One by one…

I read and reflected.

Hundreds of little prayers written on 2 inch slips of paper.

Folded, dated, and oft forgotten.

The year from my heart unfolded in front of me… heartache, tragedy, death, and loneliness was balanced by the joys and delights of healing, forgiveness, strength, patience, provisions, and much more!

I was AMAZED at how much God cares for the little things in life. I prayed: big and small, asking for provision for someone, healing for another, encouragement there, conviction here… and God answered! His gifts of peace, healing, work, encouragement, inspiration, and hope. The answers came in ways I I couldn’t have thought of filled up and filled the calendar in front of me. In His Mercy, things often didn’t go the way I would’ve chosen… for His Glory and my good. Sometimes, He said a straight up, “No. That is not the road I’m taking you.” In a several situations, it was months later that I was shown a hint of why the Lord chose certain things.

This made me stronger.

Not every prayer was answered. For many of those, I don’t know if I’ll ever know how a situation resolved, but many of them I added the date and dropped back in the box, knowing that those situations are still on my heart and I am excited to see how and when God will answer them.

He took my pain, loneliness, and concerns and gave me hope, peace, and direction. Throughout this time of reflection my faith was watered and bloomed! I wait with renewed hope and anticipation over all that He is going to do this next year… I might even need a bigger box!

May Jesus show you His handiwork in, through, and around you!

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Happy New Year!

My Prayer Box

I have a box standing ready at all hours of the day or night… waiting to receive.


It is my Divine Post Office. Several times a week throughout 2016, I would stop by and drop in prayers. Sometimes with tears and a troubled spirit, I would struggle to write the little prayer on the scrap of paper. Other times with joy and delight, I would drop by to post a note of thanks or celebration. 

Whenever my heart was overwhelmed or overjoyed, I came knowing the Lord would be listening. With determination and trust, I would date and drop the little paper into the box, slip the latch in place, and be on my way, more often than not lighter and strengthened to face the trials and triumphs of the day. 

Between today and tomorrow, I get to go back and read through the full box of papers and reflect on all that God has done with my heart and life. 

I’ll let you know how it goes…