Category Archives: Charity

Loving: More than a Just a Name

loving-movie-posterMuch more than just a name, Loving is “an absorbing, beautiful piece of American cinema” (Paul Heath, The Hollywood News) based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving. marriage-of-richard-and-mildred-loving-from-loving-movieLoving is a PG-13, 2016 movie recently released to video that has been highly rated. It’s already won 19 awards and has been nominated for 82 more, including an Academy Award nomination for Ruth Negga in her leading role as Mildred Loving. February is Black History Month. If you haven’t watched this moving film yet, February would be a great time to see Loving and start putting love into action by understanding and loving our dark-skinned citizens more.   🙂  ruth-negga-as-mildred-in-the-movie-lovingAlthough I sat through the entire movie feeling petrified that something terrible would happen to this young couple—and they did suffer many hardships for their interracial marriage (which was still against the law in Virginia back in 1958), I was able to sigh happily at the end. Their case, trying to legitimize interracial marriages throughout America, went to the Supreme Court in 1967.   richard-loving-in-the-movie-lovingIf you’re a white supremacist, I beg you to look deep into your heart and try to figure out why. What makes you think white is superior to any other skin color?  I promise you that, apart from skin tissue, we’re all the same colors underneath.  richard-and-mildred-loving-with-lawyer-from-loving-movieCaucasians, Mongoloids, and Negroids are all similar in what’s inside our bodies, brains, and hearts. When I look into my heart, I find that I’m a sinner, just like everybody else. I find that I’m imperfect. I find that very, very little of what makes me “good” has anything to do with me. Some of it has to do with how I was created in the womb, who my parents were, and all the advantages I had as a child growing up. The rest is attributable to God’s redemption through Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. The only thing I can claim is believing and surrendering my life to Christ, and even that I know is a gift of God for which I can only thank Him.   mildred-and-their-first-child-in-the-movie-lovingIf you think whites are in any way superior to any other race, on what do you base that? Certainly not the Scriptures, which teach that God created all of us in His image, that we are all marred by sin and in need of a Savior, and that the death of Christ occurred to break down the walls between us and unify us into one glorious body, the Church of Jesus Christ, the bride of Christ. mildred-loving-in-the-movie-lovingIf you separate yourself from your brothers and sisters based on race, you’re separating yourself from the body of Christ and the love of Christ. God calls us to love and humility. Will you answer that call?the-lawyer-who-helped-in-the-movie-lovingBut now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
(Ephesians 1:13-22, ESV)the-movie-loving-mildred-feeding-their-baby


Exalta’s Free Dental Day: The Joy of Volunteering

dental-director-explaining-free-dental-day-to-volunteers-exalta-grand-rapids-miIf any of you live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and can’t afford dental care, exalta-healthI’d like to introduce you to Exalta Health, volunteers-at-exalta-grand-rapids-mia faith-based non-profit (largely funded by donations) x-rays-at-free-dental-day-exaltato help with health care needs for the poor and uninsured in our area. danielarmstrongOur son, Daniel, is the dental director there, briefing-for-free-dental-day-exaltaand a couple of times every year they offer a completely free dental day. full-waiting-room-at-free-dental-day-exaltaI probably should have written this post before—rather than after—free-dental-day-exalta-dental-caretheir last free day, which occurred last Friday. dr-armstrong-explains-procedures-for-free-dental-day-exalta-grand-rapids-miHowever, if you’re interested, I’ll give information at the end of the post daniel-armstrong-dental-director-exalta-grand-rapids-miso that you can call and find out about when the next free dental day will occur. visual-screening-at-free-dental-day-exalta-grand-rapids-miThe Free Dental Day includes not only dental care, free-eye-care-at-free-dental-day-exaltabut free eye exams,  triage-nurse-at-free-dental-day-exaltasome minor medical triage,chaplain-at-free-dental-day-exalta and for those who are interested, free consultation with a chaplain. president-and-advancement-director-at-exalta-grand-rapids-miExalta Health, (these two are our president and advancement director)exalta-health-dentistrywas formerly known as H.I.S. (Health Intervention Services, belonging to HIM). fatherson-team-volunteering-at-exalta-grand-rapids-miThis charity for the poor began 20 years ago, oral-surgeon-operating-exalta-grand-rapids-miand there are now professionals from over 2 dozen areas of healthcare  retired-husbandwife-dental-team-helping-at-free-dental-day-exaltawho volunteer their time and expertise dental-care-exalta-grand-rapids-mi to serve the needs of our under-served population. free-dental-day-extractions-exalta-grand-rapids-miExalta’s motto is, “Reflecting the spirit of Christ, exalta-health-staff-and-volunteersour mission is to provide compassionate, accessible health care.” secretarial-support-and-volunteer-coordinator-at-exaltaAlthough over the past few years keeping-tools-cleaned-and-packaged-exalta-grand-rapids-miI’ve had the privilege in serving in a number of different capacities, two-generations-volunteering-together-at-exalta-health-free-dental-day-2this time I was the photographer, which was super fun. patients-waiting-for-help-at-exalta-healthIt just makes me so happy to see people come in with tooth pain smiling-patients-exalta-health-careand go out with a smile and a look of relief!  consulting-on-patient-care-free-dental-day-exalta-grand-rapids-miSo, I want to encourage you in three ways:

waiting-room-at-exalta-free-dental-day*If you need help personally and live in our area,
feel free to contact Exalta Health:

dental-hygenists-students-from-gvsu*If you have some time to invest in caring for people in need, volunteers-waiting-for-patients-at-exalta-grand-rapids-miconsider Exalta Health as very rewarding place to volunteer. teeth-cleaning-zt-free-dental-day-exaltaThey need not only healthcare professionals and clinical support, learning-about-patients-exalta-free-dental-day-grand-rapids-mibut also volunteers who can help with general supportexalta-health-support(secretarial or maintenance skills, etc.).  volunteers-for-free-dental-day-exalta-grand-rapids-miThese were the volunteers last Friday.registration-table-for-free-dental-day-exaltaAnd, they minister to a lot of Hispanics, faithful-interpreter-at-exalta-grand-rapids-miso if you know Spanish, you’d be especially valuable! caring-for-patients-at-free-dental-day-exalta*If you live in another city but are a healthcare professional or have a heart  chaplain-serving-as-interpreter-at-exalta-healthto help the poor, look around and see what you can find in your area. oral-surgeon-helping-free-dental-day-exaltaIf there’s nothing available now, volunteer-at-exalta-healthmaybe you could be the impetus to begin something.  listening-to-orientation-for-free-dental-day-exalta-grand-rapids-miIt is such a blessing to be a part of helping others in need!  🙂exalta-volunteersIn all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive
.’” (Acts 20:35, ESV) preparing-for-dental-treatment-at-exalta-grand-rapids-miFor the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor,
and to thy needy, in thy land
” (Deuteronomy 15:11, KJV). preparing-patient-for-x-rays-exalta-healthWe who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1, ESV). dr-armstrong-working-with-a-patient-at-exalta-healthAnd we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14, ESV).

David’s House Ministries: A Moving Example of Compassion

Paul at David's House MinistriesPerhaps many of you know the biblical story of Mephibosheth. He was the son of Prince Jonathan, who was King David’s brother-in-law and dearest friend. During the civil upheaval resulting from King Saul’s jealousy of David, Mephibosheth (who was only five) was accidentally dropped by his nurse during a flight and became lame on both his feet.

Mephibosheth Before David II Samuel 9:3-6

Mephibosheth Before David II Samuel 9:3-6

Later, after both King Saul and Prince Jonathan were killed in a war against the Philistines, David became the king of Israel, but rather than killing Mephibosheth (who could have been a contender for the throne), David took him in and provided for him for the rest of his life, declaring, “he shall eat at my table, as one of the king’s sons” (2 Samuel 9:11). David shows kindness to Methibosheth via www.freebibleimages.orgThis beautiful (true) story sets an inspiring example for us in reaching out to care for those who are disabled, and David’s House Ministries here in GR has brought this story to life in our present day.

Drawings by a resident at David's HouseStarted in 1987 by a retired minister and his wife, whose son
was developmentally disabled and would need care beyond their lifetime, Bedroom of one resident at David's HouseDavid’s House now is the permanent “home” (not just residence)Quilt on wall at David's House Ministiresfor 37 developmentally disabled men and women.Director of David's House Ministries (This sweet lady is the founders’ daughter and present director.)Plans for expansion of David's houseThey are in the process of trying to double this numberClearing Ground for David's House Ministriesto accommodate some of the 72 people on their waiting list.

Paul WiersmaYesterday I visited David’s House, where my friend Paul serves as a fund-raiser. Paul fell through the bleachers at a ball game when he was three and suffered a closed-head injury that left him disabled by seizures for years. Eventually, a surgery totally alleviated his problems and restored him to a full and joyful life. Conference Room Table at David's House MinistriesHe was working as an accountant at a bank until last year when he found out about David’s House and felt called to help with their mission, feeling a special compassion for the residents, as he might have suffered a similar fate were it not for his miraculous recovery.

Homes at David's House Ministries As we strolled through the beautiful homes and grounds,
I was struck by seeing God’s hand prints everywhere. Van for David's House MinistriesPaul told story after story of people from near and far who’ve been moved by God to contribute in various ways—not only their treasure, Kitchen at David's House Ministriesbut their talents and time,State-of-the-art equipment at David's House Ministries and the result is a sparkling, state-of-the-art community of homes Screenhouse at David's House Ministiresthat radiate peace and rest…a place where people are treated with respect and compassion…truly like “the King’s sons,” which they are!Preparing to build at David's House MinistriesIf you’re interested in learning more, there will be a ground breaking/prayer blessing on Thursday, June 16, 2016 from 12:00-1:00 pm One dining room at David's Houseat David’s House Ministries, with a light lunch following. Banner over door in one patient's room at David's HouseYou’re all invited! Just RSVP to Tiffany at: 616-284-4385 if you’d like to come!

Prep table given to David House MinistriesAlso, if you’re interested in finding out more, either about how you might be involved in this ministry or if you have someone who needs care, you can contact Paul at PWIERSMA@DAVIDSHOUSEMINISTRIES.ORG or enjoy pictures and information on their Facebook page: “David’s House Ministries.” Blessings!

Sparrows. Picture on wall of David's House MinistriesLift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way;
but let it rather be healed
” (Hebrews 12:12-13).

Design on wall at David's House Ministries(All photos were taken yesterday at David’s House Ministries.
The two drawings of Mephibosheth were from: #1.

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital 2016 Gala: Two Kinds of Suffering

With friends at DeVos Children's Hospital 2016 GalaReducing pain and suffering in our children is such a worthy goal
that I felt honored to be among those who gathered to support
the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation’s annual fundraiser. 2016 DeVos Children's Hospital GalaIn fact, a record-breaking 1,720 people attended and raised 1.2 million
for this year’s special project,2016 DeVos Children's Hospital President Bob Connorswhich is focusing on pain relief and palliative care for children. Filet Mignon with Maitake Mushrooms at DeVos Children's Hospital 2016 GalaThe food was gourmet, Table Centerpiece at DeVos Children's Hospital 2016 Galaand the ambience classic, Poster at DeVos Children's Hospital 2016 Galabut the testimonies of those who had been helped brought tears to my eyes.Micropreemie on thanksgiving-day-2014 I couldn’t help but think back to our own dear grandson, Samuel,
who was in this hospital’s NICU just last year. Father and Son doing spring yardworkHis has been a wonderful story of survival and thrival.Look Mom no hands! (In fact, he’s just become a true walker this week!) Posters from 2016 DeVos Children's HospitalHowever, the pain and suffering he endured now seems as nothing compared to what terminally ill children and their families face for the rest of their lives. Baby in the garden standing by himselfWhat Samuel endured was but for a little while:
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). 2016 DeVos Children's Hospital 3The families of terminally ill children face the grim reality of a life
that often has nothing to look forward to but increasing pain and eventual death.Mike and Sue Jandernoa at DeVos Hospital's 2016 GalaCould there be a verdict any harder to bear? 2016 DeVos Children's Hospital Gala 3I guess only one, and that would be facing death
with no prospects for resurrection life. Richard Breon CEO of Spectrum Hospital in GRI am thankful for every compassionate person
who helps relieve pain and suffering in children, Enjoying dinner at DeVos Children's Hospital 2016 Galabut I hope the caregivers are also able to offer hope for the life that is to come.Dan Gaydou at DeVos Children's Hospital 2016 Gala “Suffering” has two meanings: “to experience pain” and “to allow.”
Jesus taught us, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me:
for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).DeVos Children's Hospital 2016 Gala 7 I hope we are never guilty of being like the disciples of Christ,
who actually hindered the little children who were trying to come to Jesus.2016 DeVos Children's Hospital Gala 2 As we care for the little ones in our lives, may we be among those who joyfully bring them to Jesus, so that whether healthy or ill,
they will know the blessing of a future bright with the hope of eternal life.

 Children helped throughout world by DeVos Children's HospitalAnd I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:3-5)

(All of these photos were taken at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital 2016 Gala last weekend, except for the photos of my grandson, which were all taken by my sweet daughter-in-law. Thanks, Brianna!)

My Son Aaron Has Become Very Square…and I Like It!

Kids atop Coyote Hills CAI’m a huge fan of Face Book, so I was excited
when my oldest son took a job with them a few years ago. Looking out at Bay from Coyote Hills Regional ParkHowever, when he accepted a new job with Square late last summer,
I wasn’t as sure what to make of that, since I’d never really heard about Square!   Let's think. Let's talk. Square“What do they do?” I asked. San Francisco skylineSo, while we were visiting the kids in San Francisco,Checking inAaron took Alan and me on a tour of Square’s Corporate Office,
where he now works,Cafeteria buffet line at Square and out to enjoy a truly gourmet breakfast Thinking and talking over breakfast. Squareat their cafeteria!  Bay BridgeSquare’s Corporate Headquarters is at the base of the Bay Bridge, Heavy Traffic on Bay Bridge. San Franciscoalthough the traffic is really horrendous,
so Aaron usually rides the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Office with a view of SF. SquareOne of the things that had attracted Aaron to Square was that it’s a very new company (just started in 2009) with a lot of vision and room to grow. Making a call. SquareGetting a personal call from Jack Dorsey, the founder, Front staircase of Squareand knowing that Square was about to go public Rainy Day Artwork at Square(which occurred in November, 2015) probably didn’t hurt, either! Thousands of Square transactions per minuteBut, the best thing about Square is that it’s helping thousands of small businesses succeed by providing access to credit cards for payment. Early pencil drawings for SquareThe name “Square” comes both from the square shape of the credit card readers, and also from the idea of “squaring up” (settling) debts. Something Great is just around the corner...They are continuing to expand,
and Aaron has the privilege of being part of all this innovation.  Front Porch Ice Cream. Grand HavenBesides seeing that Aaron is happy, what sold me on Square was discovering that people all over the country use—and really appreciate—Square. Ice Cream treats at the Front PorchAlthough Square services have been around for seven years now,
I hadn’t paid attention, but all of a sudden I started to notice! Square used for payment at Front PorchIn fact, they use Square at our favorite ice cream shop in Grand Haven! Cedar Key Seafood FestivalWhile Alan and I were at a craft show in Cedar Key, Florida last fall,Handmade Pens by Paul. Cedar Key, FL I noticed Squares at most of the booths,Stairs at Square and when I asked if I could take pictures and they discovered
that my son works for Square, they passed along effusive thanks. Handmade Wooden ToysSquare makes it possible for “little guys”
who make handcrafted items to be able to sell their wares. Handmade QuiltsI was really touched, and it made me feel good to know that my son was helping keep alive individual enterprise and small businesses! Streets of Nevada City, CAThen later, while we were touring around Nevada City, CA with Alan’s brother and sister-in-law a couple of days after we’d visited Square’s Headquarters, Square in Nevada City, CAI discovered Square signs in the windows of many of the little boutiques. Union SquareSo, way to go, Aaron! I’m glad you’ve become Square!  Square Mosaic of Golden GateP.S.—Have you noticed how you see the world differently
when you’re looking for something in particular? Dress Shop in Nevada City, CAWhen I was pregnant for the first time,
I suddenly noticed other pregnant women (and maternity dresses). Rabbit made from LeavesWhen Alan and I started having babies,  all of a sudden
children seemed to pop up everywhere (just like rabbits!).Leaves by Jenny Handmade bird bathsNow, as a Christian, I notice people who respond like Christians. Do you? I hope people can tell I’m a believer by my behavior, and I hope believers everywhere are spreading love through “random” and very intentional acts of kindness.

Round Tuits“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35).

Bridge of Spies: A True Classic

“Our principles are engraved in the history and the law of this land. If the free world is not faithful to its own moral code, there remains no society for which others may hunger.” —James B. Donovan, 1962 (The Milwaukee Journal). Bridge of SpiesWhen I saw this movie on the “New Release” wall the other night, I thought, “Oh, here’s a spy thriller that Alan will enjoy” (assuming I probably wouldn’t, but that would be okay). I was wrong.  Alan and I both loved it! In fact, I believe it will become a classic, because it’s not only a Steven Spielberg thriller, it’s a true story!Bridge of Spies 2 Bridge of Spies is the heart-stopping account of true events that happened during the Cold War when attorney James B. Donovan (played by Tom Hanks) was recruited to serve as advocate for the captured KGB spy, Rudolf Abel.Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks) is an ordinary man placed in extraordinary circumstances in DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 Pictures' dramatic thriller BRIDGE OF SPIES, directed by Steven Spielberg.Despite terrible public pressure for him to condemn Abel, Donovan did his best to defend Abel in a fair trial based on all of our nation’s constitutional privileges.

Tom Hanks is Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan and Mark Rylance is Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy arrested in the U.S. in the dramatic thriller BRIDGE OF SPIES, directed by Steven Spielberg. I don’t want to give away any of the story if you don’t already know it, Bridge of Spies 6because the suspense and intrigue are what make it so compelling,Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks) is an ordinary man place in extraordinary circumstances in DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 Pictures' dramatic thriller BRIDGE OF SPIES, directed by Steven Spielberg.but as you might imagine, the story gets very complicated,

In DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 Pictures' BRIDGE OF SPIES, directed by Steven Spielberg, Brooklyn lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks) and his wife Mary (Amy Ryan) become the target of anti-communist fears when Donovan agrees to defend a Soviet agent arrested in the U.S.and Donovan puts his own life (and the life of his family) at risk in order to protect the constitutional freedoms of this quiet artist who has been found guilty of spying and treason.Bridge of Spies 8Despite Bridge of Spies being a 2h 21m biographical drama with no sex, profanity, or egregious violence, it’s been a huge success: 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.7 on IMDb, and it’s still playing in our local theaters. It’s been nominated for nearly 30 awards, including 6 Oscars, and has already won 4 awards for “Top Ten Pictures in 2015” and “Best Supporting Actor.”Glienicke Bridge in Potsdam:Berlin by Biberbaer. WikiThe bridge referred to in the story is the Glienicke Bridge that links Berlin with Potsdam, and I will tell you that much of the story involves trying to negotiate an exchange of prisoners between the U.S., U.S.S.R. and East Germany. The most remarkable parts of the movie for me were James B. Donovan’s integrity, courage and tenacity as he advocated for a man who was guilty, and Donovan’s passion to win the hearts of the world’s people to desire democracy through goodness, not simply justice. As he said,  “Our principles are engraved in the history and the law of this land. If the free world is not faithful to its own moral code, there remains no society for which others may hunger.” —James B. Donovan

Bridge of Spies left a veritable haystack of gold in my brain for spinning threads. How should we treat illegal aliens? Is there enough honor and goodness left in the moral fabric of our country to make other societies hunger for our way of life? Donovan understood that goodness is ultimately what draws people to desire what is good: “Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4, NASB) In most ways, Rudolph Abel was a man of excellent character and much to be admired (like so many people); yet, like all of us, he had a fatal flaw that would condemn him to death: Treason! Donovan was a faithful advocate for Rudolph Abel, just as Jesus is the merciful and compassionate advocate before the Judge of the Universe for all of us: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV). I know I’m guilty and would be condemned to death not only because I have willfully sinned at times but also because I have not been loyal to (which is treason against) the King of Kings…were it not for the love and advocacy of Christ, who has negotiated an exchange for me. How about you?

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).

(In case you watch the movie and wonder about Gary Powers:  Francis Gary Powers by Chernov : Чернов. Wiki Commons” CIA inquiry into the ordeal found that Powers had handled himself appropriately. The organization bestowed upon him its highest honor, the Intelligence Star for bravery.”—

(All pictures from Bridge of Spies and Wikipedia Commons.)


Adventures in Living: The Ten Second Rule

Clare De GraafBeing relatively new at the megachurch we attend, I was surprised to realize that the tall, slender man who stood up to share some information about the memorial service of our former pastor, Ed Dobson, is actually an elder, and that his name is Clare DeGraaf. I had seen Clare many times but had no idea what his name was or that he was the author of the book I was currently reading, called The 10 Second Rule. Lisa lent me The 10 Second Rule well before the Christmas holidays interrupted the normal flow of all things less than critical to sanity and life, and even though it’s a slender volume, it was only in the past week that I’ve been able to finish meditating my way through it.The 10 Second RuleThey say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you’re safe to do so with this one. In fact, the cover says it all: “Just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do—and do it in the next ten seconds.” Now, if you’re inspired to take Clare up on his challenge, then you’ve no need to read the book, but if you’re saying, “What??” then I definitely recommend reading his book, or at least listening to him share the concept online, which can be found here:

As Clare points out, his message isn’t really original, it’s simply a way of of helping us learn to be more prayerful and more intentional in recognizing and obeying God’s leading in our life. Below are a few of my favorite thoughts from his book and message, as close to true quotes as possible:

“Do not use the 10-second rule for big decisions, like whom you’re going to marry, where you’re going to invest, or whether or not you’re going to adopt a child. The rule is for the ordinary, day-to-day impressions we get from God to be kind to others, to keep ourselves from evil, and to do good every day.”

“One of the occupational hazards of the 10-second rule is occasionally having someone take advantage of you.” (But, we’re not responsible for the actions of other people; we’re only responsible for trying to listen to and obey God.)

“The need for certainty is the enemy of obedience.”
“Nike’s right: ‘Just do it’.”

“The purpose of my life is to make God look good.” (John Piper)

“Don’t just confess your failure. Prepare for the next time.” (You won’t be perfectly obedient, even if you’re trying hard! Look at failure as a catalyst for developing some “pre-decisions,” plans for how to handle the next situation based on God’s wisdom as it applies to your life.)

“There’s an old Chinese proverb that says this, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with the next step.’ Perhaps your next step is simply doing the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do, and then do it again and again and again. And if you do, you will discover the joy and the adventure of following Jesus in a way that you can’t imagine. He will re-ignite that spiritual excitement in you…and if you’ve been in this spiritual gerbil cage…if you’ve lost the joy of your salvation, just do the next thing that you’re reasonably certain God wants you to do.”

Sound like a plan?