b2ap3_thumbnail_Happywoman.jpg

 

Even when we are going through difficult life circumstances, we can still experience happiness. Author and Bible teacher Lisa Harper reminds us that happiness doesn't depend on life's circumstances, but is more dependent on the posture of our heart towards God. 

Click here to listen to the podcast of Jo Bender's interview with Lisa Harper. Or, join Jo live every Friday at Noon on AM 900 / 90.7 FM. Listen to previous podcasts of Connecting Faith on myfaithradio.com

 

During the month of July, we gals at Heart Matters want to lift the voices of other women who write beautiful blogs.

I'm delighted to re-post a beautifully written blog by Hannah Sorvik Fordice.

 

“I don’t know who I am! I’m like cat here, a couple of no-name slobs. We belong to nobody and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.”
— Breakfast at Tiffany's
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_static1.squarespace.com.jpg
 

"Did you hear a cat too? Or am I crazy?"

 

My husband and I paused on the sidewalk, our dog Valkyrie, anxiously pulling us backwards toward the river. There in the middle of the sidewalk behind us was the tiniest orange kitten mewing forlornly. My hubby crouched down and low-and-behold that wee kitty ran right up to him and started purring. 

 

The little dude was probably only 5 weeks old and covered in dirt. We waited for awhile to make sure that momma cat wasn't hiding in the bushes or out on a quick hunt but no one ever showed. So we took a few steps forward and our new furry friend followed right on our heels. We casually walked home, with neighbors gaping at that strange couple walking their giant German Shepherd and small orange kitten. You know, totally normal. 

 

When we got home we washed the kitten off in the sink, wrapped him in a towel, and gave him some cat food, which he consumed so fast that I had to wonder when his last meal was. My hubby held him, all bundled up, and stroked his ears and he purred his way right into the type of sleep one only experiences when completely safe. 

 

I can't help but think that me and that kitten have a lot in common. I may not be feline, covered in hair, or orange (except that one time I used tanning lotion wrong), but I am in so many ways seeking safety, sustenance, love and ultimately a forever Home (capital "H"). 

 

If there is one thing that I have learned over the last five months it is that none of us are invincible and none of us get to escape from this life unscathed by suffering. The more loss I experience the more my size in relation to the world seems to shrink. I have gone from the belief that I am a lion, king of the jungle, to the belief that I am a kitten, vulnerable and lost.

Continue reading

 

When the hope of heaven fills your thoughts, the Light of My Presence envelops you. Though heaven is future, it is also present tense. As you walk in the Light with Me, you have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.

 Sarah Young

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_paddle-board.jpg

 

The fact that I’m a novice paddle boarder was made very evident the other day.

 

The sun was finally out, the lake wasn’t busy yet, and I didn’t have anywhere to be. So I enthusiastically ran to the boathouse and grabbed my white and aqua paddleboard. It was a recent purchase, and I had only been out a couple of times.

 

I made my way out onto our dock with the paddle in one hand and the board precariously under my arm, the nose occasionally shifting forward and hitting the steel deck sending out a resounding “boom,” (so much for trying to be a discreet rookie). I carefully lowered the board into shallow waters and made sure to follow my instructor’s directions of starting out on my knees for two minutes until I got my sea legs.

 

We had bought a tippy paddleboard as they go faster and my daughter and I like speed. The water was a little rougher than the other times, but I adjusted pretty quickly. Soon I was sailing along enjoying the sunshine, yelling out to nearby fishermen if I paddled over a school of fish to let them know the hot spots they were missing. I happily watched the ducks and the loons keeping me company. I admired the variety of houses and trees along the shores.

 

Yes, I was paddling right along, happy as a puppy with a ball, with the sunshine burning down on me.

 

At some point, the fact that it was really windy hit me. I decided it would be wise to turn around as I had already gone a good distance.

 

That’s when I started to realize I might be in trouble. Turning the paddleboard around, which I had found incredibly easy before, was not working. At all. Anything I tried. Eventually I was able to maneuver back around by making a very large circle with just minor adjustments.

Continue reading

b2ap3_thumbnail_images.jpg

 

Do you struggle sharing your faith with others? What if it were more about having a conversation and asking questions than memorizing a script.  Author and Missions Director Holly Melton, of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), reminds us that it's important to God for help, and trust that the Holy Spirit will equip us with the words to say. 

 

Click here for a link to the podcast of Jo Bender's show. Or, catch Jo live every Friday afternoon for Connecting Faith at 12 noon on AM 900 / 90.7 FM on Faith Radio Network/KTIS. For more podcasts of Connecting Faith, Live the Promise with Susie Larson, Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and more, go to myfaithradio.com

The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, it is hello, goodbye…until we meet again.

—Jimi Hendrix

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Waving-Goodbye-007_20170617-032435_1.jpg

 

One of the advantages of advancing years are all the memories that are stowed away in the heart. Like treasures that have been carefully tucked away up in the attic, we brush the cobwebs aside, lift the trunk lid and memories come spilling out.

We recently returned from a trip out East. Since many of my favorite memories from childhood have their roots firmly planted in my hometown in Pennsylvania, the few days we spent there were a pure gift.

Staying with my uncle and aunt, I dragged them down to the banks of the Allegheny River where my grandparents had lived. Past the home where my little family had lived. Up to Jakes Rocks to hike. Downtown to eat Greek at The Plaza. And we even made a pitstop at Bon Ton to stock up on Pittsburgh Steeler gear.

Each memory tied to my past. Yet, they were brand new memories-in-the-making, as well.

As we pulled away to head back home, tears streamed down my cheeks. Standing in their driveways, my uncle, aunt and their neighbour, who just happens to be my second mom, Mary Blick, whom I had just spent a lovely morning with, waved goodbye… I was undone.

Soon after, it was time to say goodbye to our son in Cleveland. Wasn’t it only moments early that we had hugged hello?

We made a stop to see friends in Michigan. There were warm embraces with every family member upon arrival. Our time together—a blessing—as if no time had passed between visits. Then before we knew it, we were hugging once again. Goodbye.

Hello, goodbye.

Isn’t that life in a nutshell? A series of hello’s and goodbyes?

Continue reading