• flowers on a mountain
    Poetry

    Embraced

    Embraced Take me in your arms, Dear Father, Let me rest, safe in this place. Encompass me with endless mercy, Wrap me tight with love and grace.   Keep me from the weight of sorrow. Ever pressing down on me, Let me feel your safe, sweet harbor, Offer now this sweet reprieve.   Sustain my weary soul, blessed Savior. Restore my faith these trials have crushed, Remind me that you love me dearly, Soothe me with your tender touch.   Listen to my prayer, Lord Jesus I cry out, “Please rescue me!” Lest I falter in this journey, Turn my feet to follow thee.   Infuse my mind with your…

  • Blog

    Fear-Chatter Continues

        As we spring courageously from the tip of fear we launch ourselves into a world of authenticity, truth and freedom. Risky but rewarding! Authentic living begins where the tip of fear ends! Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design  Where fear ends-life begins He was a large, intimidating figure in contrast to my petite 15-year-old frame. The only teacher who taught the required math class I needed to graduate High School. As I entered the room the smell of fear still hung heavy, mingled with stale air from the previous class. I took my assigned seat, instantly coveting those who sat further toward the back. Startled, I looked up.…

  • Blog

    Living Fully Present

      Over the past few months I have been in transition. A bit of culture shock as I have left my home in the Philippines and have re-entered my passport country, the United States; for a much-needed sabbatical. I have never been very good at transitions. For some reason, even if I know they are coming and I think I have prepared for them, I still struggle. This transition has been no different. Transitions cause me a great deal of personal, inner reflection as I assess what I am leaving behind and begin to anticipate what I am yet to embrace or going towards. For several weeks now, I have…

  • Blog

    The Fear Of Imperfection

    My mind’s eye can see what I want. My heart knows what will make something look picture-perfect. Is this perfectionism or striving towards excellence? Separating perfectionism from excellence:  Lately I have been seeking the answer to this question: “What is the difference between perfectionism, or striving towards excellence in my work?” As I have churned this question over in my mind, like shells tumbling in the rolling tide, I have begun to see a clarifying difference that separates these two thoughts.  As I took a discovering look at myself, I realized, that there are times that the motive for my work stems from a deep-rooted need to gain value, acceptance…

  • Blog

    “Who do you say that I am?”

    “Who do you say that I am?” “Then He asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16 NLT) Who do you say that I am?  As I write this simple question, my heart seems to have stopped. Tears threaten to crumble the dam, that I mindfully erected, long ago.  A protective dam – one that holds all my sorrows, my unmet- unvoiced longings, my fierce disappointments and my unanswered prayers are all kept at bay from connecting with my one-true heart. But today, I am faced with this one question, and this dam of…

  • Blog

    A Touch of Mercy for The Oppressed

    Over the past seven years I have traveled to many local places throughout Manila, Philippines. Drawn to all things cultural and Filipino, I find delight in: a simple trike ride through local streets, a walk through the center of a neighboring Barangay, a trek along steep pathways where simple clapboard homes teeter precariously along cliff edges, a ride on a crowded unairconditioned train in which I am sandwiched shoulder to shoulder with the locals whom I have grown to love, a handkerchief covering my face from the polluted black belch of a jeep-nee I am riding in, the church that meets outside whose congregants greet me warmly with smiles that…

  • Blog

    Stop the Masquerade: Unveil the Masks

       “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde  Unveiling the Masks By continuously covering up God’s good and perfect design, we are shouting out the message; “God, your masterpiece is not good enough.” “God. You messed up when you made me!” As Christ followers I don’t think any of us would really believe that message; yet we subconsciously say it when we masquerade as something we were never meant to be, in order, to gain the appeal and approval of others.  “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…

  • Blog

    Fake, Fraud or Real: Personal Mask Assessment

      Hidden Identity:  During my elementary years my mother and I would often take trips to our local Salvation Army. It was always a highlight for me to get away from our country home and spend the day in our small city; as bargain hunting at a thrift store was one of my favorite activities. I loved to leisurely browse the racks for a new outfit, a great book title, a fun handbag or a new-to-me pair of shoes. Until one day, as I was engrossed in looking through the over stocked isles of used clothing, shoes and books; my eyes spotted another classmate. As our eyes locked, I was…

  • Blog

    Learning to Live Out of Our True Selves  

      As I step softly into this new year many questions have already begun to occupy my mind. What keeps me from living freely out of my unique, God-created design? What paralyzes me from living out of my true, authentic self? What has me repeatedly running to others to earn validation, applause and approval? “The greatest battle we face as human beings is the battle to protect our true selves from the self the world wants us to become.” E.E. Cummings  Living Out of Our True Self:   The true self are those parts of you that are authentic, and flow from living out of the true identify you have…

  • Uncategorized

    Fear of Authenticity: Listening to Wrong Messages

    When we are afraid of being seen for who we really are, we create appealing façades to hide our true-selves. We learn to promote someone who is likeable, agreeable, valuable and desirable. And we cover over areas we consider to be flawed, blemished or that may be rejected.  In this process of masking we learn to deny God’s standard to live freely out of who He created us to be and we appease the standards that we think others are setting before us; leaving us vulnerable to the enemy’s attack. We often deny our true ideas or opinions We hide our real feelings and emotions for fear that we will…