Crossing the Line

Line in the Sand


“You can waste your life drawing lines.
Or you can live your life crossing them.
But there are some lines that are
way too dangerous to cross.”
Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy


I’m going to share a series of true stories and intriguing images and I want you to think about what they have in common (actually, the name of this post is the spoiler).

Shane, Joshua, and Sarah are avid hikers.  Their love for the outdoors and world travel brought them to the Middle East in July 2009 with a goal to hike northern Syria and Iraq, and hike up the Ahmed Awa, a gorgeous mountain range that divides Iran and Iraq.

But their trip took an unexpected turn when they were seized by Iranian military forces. Continue reading


Proverbs and Ecclesiastes



I recently taught a lesson in Sunday School about Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. I didn’t really know too much about either book before the lesson, but as I researched, I was surprised that they even grouped these two books together in one lesson.

You could not find two books in the Bible so diametrically opposed to one another. Continue reading

They Might Not Need Me




They might not need me; yet they might.
I’ll let my heart be just in sight;
a smile so small as mine might be
precisely their necessity.

Emily Dickinson



I was given this poem on a small, green handout from a church lesson many years ago. Since then, it has dwelt on binder covers, on mirrors, and in journals. Needless to say, it is a favorite of mine.

I keep it so readily available because it reminds me to always be on the lookout for opportunities to serve others.

I think we can get caught up in the word “service.” We hear it and equate it with huge chores, giant undertakings, stress, and time-consumption. So we make excuses – they don’t need me, I am too busy, other people will pick up the slack for me.

But I don’t think service always has to be huge. It can be small – a hug, a smile, a note of encouragement, picking up a piece of trash. In fact, sometimes it is the small and simple things that make all the difference.

So we should always be on the look-out, be aware of those who might need our help.

Even during the times when I feel like I don’t have the capacity or ability to do very much, this poem reminds me that I can at least do a little something to serve – something that might be “precisely their necessity.”




They are starting to put ads on our blog. We do not approve these and are not getting any residuals whatsoever, so I apologize for the content. I’ll see what I can do about it.

Today is a Good Day for a Good Day

Smileys Show Happy Cheerful Faces

“People always tell me ‘Have a nice day!’
Well, what if I don’t want to?
What if I want to have a crappy day?”
George Carlin

“Write it on your heart that every day
is the best day in the year.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

So many of my friends are having bad days. I’m not talking – the baby spits up on your best shirt, kids are squabbling, someone cuts you off on the freeway, you burn the toast, you’re late to work – mild inconvenience days.  No.  I’m talking extra troubling days.  Those kind of days when hope is broadsided by crisis.  You know what I mean.

The funeral
The lay off
The accident
The grim diagnosis

These are lousy, how-am-I-going-to-get-through-this, no good, down-right bad days.  How do we deal with them? Continue reading