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Layer Up!

Layer Up!

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Continuing education excites the life long students at heart. While some inwardly groan at the thought of sitting for a long period of time listening to lecture after lecture. Find a happy place with a little bit of lecture and a little bit of realistic experience and then life is good!

A few weeks ago I was invited to join a diverse group of people sharing in the desire to learn more about survival, first aid and firearm skills. We had a long day, enough information to make my head spin, practical first aid training and firearm training with the finest instructors.

As we drove back to the hotel, my mind replayed the day and all the information that was shared. New information and skills built upon previous knowledge and experience.

One of the exercises was to properly pack a puncture wound. No one wants to be the one to step up and go first. After a few seconds of awkwardness, I stepped up and began to pack and wrap our instructor’s “puncture wound.” When I finished, he gave me a raised eyebrow and said it was done very well, as if you had done this before. HA! Nope. Years of wrapping sprained ankles for Mark and my son allowed me to expertly warp his arm. I did learn a new skill to twist the bandage on top of the wound to give additional pressure to stop the bleeding.

We also took some time at the firing range. We had former Navy SEALs and professional marksmen to instruct, correct and refine our skills. Over the last 10 years I have spent some time at a firing range. I started out slow, once a year, with a trusted brother-in-law. Overtime, my cautiousness of a firearm grew into respect for the power of the weapon. During the last few years I have taken several courses of safety, awareness and skills for handling a firearm. Each time, the one thing I was struggling with was discussed and worked on. While I was at the latest workshop, we did a drill that focused on what to do when your gun jams. Previously, I had no idea what to do. I simply set it down, stepped back and let someone else who knew what they were doing, fix the jam. Because of the experts who were there to help us, they showed us how and performed drills on how to fix a jam, without losing focus, while keeping an eye on our target. To say the least, the training was very beneficial. I walked away more confident and loaded with new knowledge on handling my firearm.

Each trip to the shooting range and each class I take, my knowledge, understanding and skills deppen. With a variety of “Continuing Education” options, it can be beneficial and doesn’t have to be dreaded. Layer up your knowledge of what interests you. There is always something new to learn.

During the last several months, I’ve joined a Bible study group during the week. Life is busy and schedules get complicated. Yet, adding Bible study to my weekly schedule has proven beneficial.

At the moment we are studying the book of Revelation. My first response was an inward groan. I’ve studied the book of Revelation several times over the years. I have a difficult time translating and understanding the imagery of the contents. I get stuck on the imagery and miss the significance. I went in with my understanding up to this point, willing to layer on information to see if it would make a little more sense to me.

After a couple of weeks, I had learned more and understood what I did not understand before. I have added several new layers to my understanding and knowledge of Revelation.

Knowledge, understanding and growth occurs in layers. Along with life experience, each new layer  deepens my wisdom as well.

The areas we layer up knowledge are our passions and interests. Interests can also change over the years. A diversity of interests ignites a stronger desire to  layer up.

My friends, what are your passions and interests? What do you want to layer up your knowledge on? May you have an inner desire to lay up on Jesus. All knowledge and wisdom is an intricate part of who you are. Who do you want at the core and soul of your being? I tried me and it didn’t work out so well. I am layering up to have Jesus more and more be at the core and soul of my being. Give it a try and layer up on your knowledge of Jesus.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, layering up together, in HIm.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Unfailing Hope

Unfailing Hope

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Ever asked someone so many questions that they asked if they’re being interrogated? Or get the glassed over eye look? Yeah, I get that a lot from my kids. Usually includes several eye rolls! I like to ask questions, with an occasional, here we go again, mumbled in the background. It’s okay. One day they will appreciate it! 

When something strikes my interest, the questions begin. When meeting someone new, the basic questions are asked. What do you do? How big is your family? What do you do for fun? Etc. At times, I keep questions to myself, observe and come up with a conclusion that can be confirmed in additional conversations at a later time. 

Searching out answers to our questions enhances knowledge and wisdom. You can Google just about anything and have an answer within seconds. Gone are the days of sifting through reference books and microfiche at the library. (I just dated myself!!)

Several times, while teaching, my students would ask me a question that I did not know the answer to. Instead of making something up, I told them, “I don’t know. But I’ll find out and get back to you.” 

At times, for whatever reason, an answer can not be found. Rationality, common sense and personal experience forms an opinion that best answers the unknown. Sometimes spot on, sometimes out in left field!

My sweet, intelligent friends, we don’t have to have the answers all the time. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” You don’t have to have an answer for everything. It’s impossible anyway! There are a few, “Why?” questions I’ll never have the answers to. 

How do you handle questions that you don’t have the answers to? Well, let’s start with a few you can answer. (Please take a moment and give some thought and answer these questions.)

What’s your name?

How old are you? JUST KIDDING!!

Anything exciting happened today?

(entire teenage eye roll!)

What is your disposition at this moment? Happy, joyful, anxious, nervous, easy going?

What life circumstance is occupying most of your thoughts and emotions? 

Is it a glass half empty or glass half full kind of day?

Where is your hope on a scale of 1-10? 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest.

Frustration has a tendency to kick in when I don’t know the answers or life circumstances aren’t what I’d thought they would be. Frustration ignites giving up. Giving up fuels hopelessness. Hopelessness is a dangerous place to be. 

A 6 six year old girl was having a no good, very bad day. As I walked up to her it was evident she was upset. I asked why she was so sad. She went into a dramatic explanation of such sadness. Trying to reason with a rather dramatic six year old was futile. Encouragement, rephrasing from a different point of view or numerous hugs, the response was still “Whoa is me, I’m so mistreated.” At this point, only the precious six year could work her way out of hopelessness. 

A variety of life circumstances and unanswered questions could leave me hopeless; if I chose to be. The thing is, life circumstances and unanswered questions don’t have that much power over me. It’s my decision to choose hopelessness or hope, no matter the circumstance. 

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14

Who is the Word that became human? (Jesus)

Where did He make His home? (Among us. In us. All around us.)

What overflowed from Him? Unfailing love and faithfulness

Let’s pause and look at unfailing love and faithfulness for a moment. Can you name one thing that has never failed? I can’t think of a thing. My pen exploded after using it a few times. I snagged one of my favorite tops after having it for over a year. Something may fail instantly or may last for a long time before it starts breaking down. Everything has failed at one point in time. God’s love is UNfailing. His love never breaks down, never stops working, always loves no matter what. Never ceasing. 

His faithfulness is relentless. If I were Him, I would have given up on me a long time ago. His faithfulness to me, to who He created me to be, gives a hope that is unfailing. What if we lived in His unfailing hope every day of our life? Instead of Whoa is me? Try; Okay Lord, my hope is in knowing and believing you’ve got this. You see something I don’t see. Let me lean into the hope of knowing Your greatness, peace and comfort. This may hurt right now, but I have Your unfailing hope that You will bring me through this and I will live in the hope You have for me. 

“….Love always hopes.” I Corinthians 13:7 God’s hope is unfailing. May I live in His unfailing hope every moment, every day. No matter the circumstances. No matter the life delay, may I rest in His unfailing hope. May I rest assured that my everyday hope is leading to my eternal hope in Him. 

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, relying on His unfailing hope together, in HIm. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Winter Chub

Winter Chub

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Recently, I was wondering why my jeans were feeling a little tighter. I was hoping it was because I had been doing different exercises and my legs were stronger and getting a little bigger. That might be part of it, but I’m pretty sure it’s my winter chub settling in!

Spring, Summer and Fall are my favorite times to be outside, especially to ride my bike or walk. I’m one of the weird ones that like to work up a good sweat! Sweat out all of the nasty poisons in my body and breathe in the fresh air. Life is good!!

The stationary bike gets a break in the summer but is put to good use during the winter months. I was doing pretty well getting in a few rides a  week. Unfortunately, I began to slack in my exercise routine and now the chub is catching up with me. 

I think we all can agree that life is busy. Too many times this winter I’ve pushed working out aside to do other things. Bad idea!! Over the last couple of days, I’ve told myself, “Enough is enough! Step away from the cookies and go for a ride or walk!” I’m a slow learner and lack self-discipline with sweets. They are my weakness! But seriously, I’ve gained too much and it’s time to do something about it! Time to clean out the snack drawer and empty my chocolate secret hiding places!! Time to head to the bike instead of the refrigerator! It’s time!

Several times in the Gospel, people approached Christ asking what they needed to do to follow Him. One young ruler couldn’t handle His answer and walked away defeated and disappointed. You see, he did all the right things, said all the right things, kept all the commandments. Looking from the outside in, the young ruler was a good man and did many good things. But the one thing Christ asked him to do was incomprehensible. Jesus said, sell all our possessions, give your fortune to the poor and come follow me. But Lord, I can not, replied the young ruler. 

I’ve often wondered what was rolling around in his head at that moment. He may be thinking he’s done all the right things, why are you punishing me by telling me to sell everything I own, everything I’ve worked so hard for? I’ve said and done all the right things. Should I be allowed to keep my possessions? 

There lies the problem. The heart of the young ruler was still wrapped up in his possessions and not surrendered completely to Christ. He was doing all the right things for the wrong reason. In all you say and do, do for the glory of God. If you do anything for any other reason or purpose, it’s the wrong reason. 

My older brother was once a hot head teenage boy, and at times, got himself into scuffles. Being 6 years older than me, I learned what not to do to get grounded or have mom and dad upset with me.  Many of my life lessons are learned by seeing what not to do. Here, I’ve learned not to put my heart into worldly possessions or actions. I don’t want to walk away from Jesus with my heart in the wrong place. I want to walk towards and with Jesus. What does that look like for me? What, in my heart, do I cherish more than Him? What distraction chub do I need to get rid of?

At some point in our spiritual walk with Christ, we need to tell our distraction chub enough is enough. It’s time to do something different. It’s time to have a heart check and take a step closer to Jesus. In all I do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus. 

Truth be told, I didn’t make exercise a priority and now my winter chub is saying enough is enough. My distraction chub is saying enough is enough, I need me some Jesus!

“Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.” 1 Cor. 10:31

Tonight, a very sweet, wise, follower of Christ friend, shared words of encouragement with me. She probably has no idea how powerful her words of encouragement were, but she helped shed some distraction chub and nudged me a step closer to Jesus. 

My friend, the winter and distraction chub have no power over you. The Jesus that lives in you, defeated Satan to return to this earth and send the Holy Spirit. That same Jesus power is within us to defeat our winter and distraction chub. Encourage one another and build each other up. 

Whether you eat or turn and make a beeline for the bike, live your life in such a way it glorifies God. From the littlest, non-noticed actions to the everyday routine of life, do it in such a way that encourages someone else and brings a bigger smile to Jesus’ face. He delights in you already. Join Him in His delight over you.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are shedding chub together, in Him. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.