Category Archives: Life

I didn’t grow up wanting to be involved in missions.

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I didn’t grow up wanting to be involved in missions.

I never had any intention of looking into that line of ministry.

I knew I wasn’t equipped to do that sort of thing.

I remember missionary families visiting the church my family attended when I was ten or twelve. They were only in the states for a week, and it was mostly because they needed prayers or financial assistance.

They would give a talk on Sunday morning, we’d donate our collection that week to them, and they’d be gone. It didn’t feel very real to me.

As I progressed through my teens and into early adulthood, my view of missionary work remained fairly constant. I had no real encounters with anyone who made me change my mind.

Flash forward to last year. A really dear friend of mine made the life-altering decision to venture into the mission field after college graduation. I knew her heart was there after several conversations on the topic, but I was blown away by the intense dedication she had to reach the lost.

She recently made a whirlwind trip back home for a family affair, but she shared with our church some very interesting things.

1) The percentage of unreached people in other parts of the world is RIDICULOUS. We take the gospel for granted. It’s a luxury. This pamphlet offers statistics about the unreached people in just one part of the world. It  is truly eye-opening.

2) Our hearts need to break for the lost. We should feel just as devastated that someone doesn’t know the hope of Jesus as we are that the Heat lost the NBA finals.

3) Sometimes the most influential relationship is the one we try the least to form. One of the greatest breakthroughs she shared was with her language tutor. They are together often, but my friend’s goal has not specifically been to share the gospel with this lady. It has just popped up into normal conversations they have.

It’s easy to become disconnected from the other side of the world when we are sitting in our cushy, air-conditioned living room. It’s time we became a little more involved in changing the world for Christ.

I Bet Our Baristas Would Be Happier…

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What if we were thankful for our blessings 365 days instead of just on Thanksgiving?

It would change our interactions at the coffee shop. Instead of snapping at the barista for messing up our order and making us late to work, we’d be grateful to be standing, happy to be alive, thankful for the job we’re about to go to, and maybe even happy for the fact the person on the other side of the counter has a job to help feed his or her family. Being thankful everyday would greatly shift our perspective.

Think about this: The very basis for a time of thanksgiving was created when the Pilgrims wanted to celebrate surviving a harsh winter and the year’s harvest. I was reading some information to my fifth graders the other day about this, and I believe the article said only about twenty of the original people from the Mayflower were still alive at the celebration dinner.

Can you imagine? After sailing to a new world, setting up Plymouth colony, building shelter, and establishing a new way of life, the Pilgrims had earned their time of thanksgiving. They had literally started with nothing.

You and I are great at reflecting during the holidays. All of the pretty lights, saxophone-driven music, and family gatherings do that to us I suppose.

But, what if Thanksgiving is more about getting us to say “I’m thankful” for only one day? What if the whole point is to launch a whole new attitude toward life?

I bet our baristas would be a lot happier…

How To Be Like a Secret Millionaire

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Last night, hubby and I came across a show entitled Secret Millionaire. It’s a really neat show where millionaires visit rough neighborhoods in various cities and volunteer for however long they are there. The episode we saw focused on mainly on the children of this specific town, so it really caught my attention. Several of the things that the millionaire came to realize in the show are notions that can be applied in our everyday lives.

Don’t get caught up in the notion that you have to be “well off” to make a difference. Let me point out that while on the show, the millionaire only has around $45 for the week for spending money for their meals. The most important thing they do is get into these organizations and ‘get their hands dirty.’

Sure, at the end of the show they get to surprise those people with checks and buildings and land. But, that’s not the point. The point is to make a difference. How can you do that?

-Volunteer at an after school program somewhere
-Pick up trash in your community
-Smile at the cashier at the grocery store
-Ask someone how they are doing

Don’t underestimate the difference that you are making.

The Reset Button

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I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. To get a better mental picture, imagine Gollum from Lord of the Rings when he’s fussing over his precious. Yeah, I even looked like him too.

Luckily, when I was driving to the grocery store, I decided that the rest of my day did not have to resemble the morning I had started out having. I choose then and there to hit RESET in my mind. Don’t worry, my eyes were still open and on the road. Although, there was this truck going 30 mph on a 50 mph road…anywho.

Sometimes I forget that I can choose to feel better. I just said a quick prayer and TA-DA! My day got off to a rough start because I slept later and lazed around in the bed. This always makes me grouchy, which is odd because you would think it would be quite the opposite. However, whenever I stick to a morning routine, know matter what time I get up, I find that my attitude is remarkably better.

Question: What do you do to hit reset in your life?

The Balance Beam

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I’m in full on attack mode today. What am I attacking? I’m glad you asked dear reader. Here is your answer: my grody house.

It seriously needed a deep cleaning, and that’s what I plan on giving it. It’s like a layer of dust/nastiness settled in on it sometime when I was wasn’t looking. Why wasn’t I looking? Thank you again for asking my little, attentive readers. I was focused on my writing. When I am working on a writing project (such as a novel), I find that I just bury my head and ignore whatever undesirable things appear in my house.

I don’t want to stop writing because if I do, then it is hard for me to refocus whenever I complete the task. So the little things add up, and before I know it, I have to spend the entire day cleaning or whatever. This is not a very smart way to operate as a writer.

Pete Wilson wrote on his blog the other day that whenever we make a decision to do something, then we “cheat” something else. For instance, if I write all day, then I cheat at housecleaning. Or, if I choose to spend the night ‘unplugged’ from my computer, then I cheat my writing.

Finding balance in what you want to cheat is key. This is where our priorities kick in and persuade us. If I have a writing deadline (these are self-imposed, but I try to stick to them as much as possible) and haven’t managed my time well, then unfortunately precious things get cheated. In turn, I feel guilty for cheating them.

If I just plan ahead and keep balance in mind, then I don’t have to rush and feel guilty for it. Balance is tricky, but I know that with a little effort it can be achieved. This way we don’t cheat the things that matter most.

Coming Attractions

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(Photo Credit)

Welcome to summer fine readers of this blog! Doesn’t that picture above look lovely?

Summer. When I think about summer, I am reminded of long, lazy fun days out of school…whether as a kid or now as an adult. For me, summer represents the chance to do anything you want. It’s a chance to try something new. It’s a chance to get back on track. It’s a chance for fun.

And, it’s not only for the students and teachers who are out. Even you too can have a great time this summer. 🙂

Here’s some things you can expect to see here at The Recreational Word Slinger this summer:

  1. Starting next Monday (June 4th), I will begin a new series called: “The Pioneer Woman Experiment.” If you don’t know who The Pioneer Woman is, shame on you. Go here to learn more. Each Sunday night in June, I will be experimenting with a recipe from her new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, which I bought myself for my birthday. I will include my own pictures and comments about the food…I can’t include the actual recipe because that would be a breach of copyright law, and I’m in no mood to go to the big house anytime soon. 😛
  2. Once a week, I will do a series called: “Ask the readers.” This will be where I…you guessed it…ask you guys a question! This is an example of what it won’t be: what is the meaning of life? Nope. This will be more along the lines of giving me a thumbs up or down about a recent movie.
  3. Finally, I want to try and do 2 more author interviews like this one I did in January. I’m starting to build some relationships with fellow authors, and I think it’s important that I help promote them, so they might do the same for me when the time comes.

So, that’s what we’ve got coming in June and for July. I hope you will enjoy the ride!

The Old Apple Pie Trick

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There’s an old trick that people use to sell houses. If you bake an apple pie before you have open house, then it supposedly will sell quickly. Why?? Because the smell of apple pie is homey. And smell goody. It takes us back in time to our grandmother’s kitchen. Or to an old café you used to visit with your parents. It’s nostalgic.

But, notice that I said trick. Not all of those houses will smell like apple pie all of the time. Some of those places are musty, old creakers. Some of them have been through a lot of wear and tear. You can’t mask what’s underneath with apple pie.

Sometimes, I do this. Not bake apple pies to try and sell houses. I’ve never even made an apple pie before. No, sometimes I try to mask what’s underneath with the pleasant aroma of good.

And I bet you do it, too. The world tries to tell us it’s ok to be fake. Get plastic surgery. Slap on smile on that face. Just get people to like you and you’re golden.

Pastor Pete Wilson writes about this very dilemma here. He challenges you and me to choose to be real over being liked.

Ouch. This is tough for a people pleaser like me. I HATE when I have two options on my plate, and both options will be disappointing to someone. That bothers me.

But, Pete’s challenge resonated with me. I would rather be real than fake. I would rather be real than a dishonest version of myself.

And, if I’m honest, I would rather be real than liked.