Environment, Fitness, Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Spirituality, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

SIMPLE MATH. ENDLESS SOLUTION.

I wonder if Peter was a mathematician. In his writing from 2 Peter 1:5-8, he assigns six equations. Each equation is to be solved with love.

Effort+ Faith

Faith + Goodness

Goodness+ Knowledge

Knowledge+ Self-Control

 Self-Control+ Godliness

 Godliness+ Mutual Affection

 Love Love Love Love Love Love

God calls me to calculate everything with love. Everything means everything. In practicing His lifelong algorithm, I see multiple steps. Each step builds upon another and if I miss stages of this process, my lifework becomes a fraction of goodness.

Loving God and respecting His creation requires minute-by-minute efforts. Sometimes I wish I had scrap paper to practice these virtues before I can show the world my sincere care. In 2 Peter 1-8, I’m assured that “if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Teacher, please guide me to continually practice life’s equation, solving everything with love.  From a classroom of life, I leap from my lily pad to show effort, faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, godliness, mutual affection.

Ending in love,

Christina

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love” (2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV).

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HEART UNVEILED

When face masks became popular, I needed to adjust to socially expected regulations. I recognized I must pay closer attention to details.

There are two grocery store cashiers who’ve become my bi-weekly friends. In the pre-mask era, I could distinguish between these two cashiers and greet each lady by name. With their noses, mouths and chins covered, I needed to look harder to recognize their differences. Part of their unique features was not revealed.

One of these cashiers began wearing a silvery glitter mask. When I commented on it, she proudly claimed to be a girl who loves glitter and shine, so she chose a mask that represented her personality. That identification helped me easily spot her.

I see that employee naturally shining with her upbeat demeanor and contagious laugh. Her inner smile bypasses the physical veil. This interaction made me wonder if I’ve grown accustomed to a masked version of people, including the one I sometimes wear myself. I ask for increased discernment to discover the “real” person behind the mask.

What does someone enjoy? How does somebody handle adversity? Who matters most to someone? What truly counts?

God knows everyone’s heart. He sees through masks. He created who is behind their veil. He covers us with His protective love.

Lord, grant me courage when I’m tempted to mask the goodness You’ve created in me. Grow me so that others will know me by my spiritual fruit. Guide me to be kind and nurturing to all of your creation.

Freely unmasked,

Christina 

“…deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts” (1 Kings 8:39).

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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Beaten. Shamed. Killed. Seven lives fallen into the hands of abusers.

Mark writes about a vineyard owner who hires farmhands to tend his grapes. When harvest time arrives, this winepress CEO sends a servant to collect fruit. The farmers beat his innocent employee. The owner then contracted five other servants to gather harvest. The farmhands terminated each laborer without reason.

After these five employee losses, the CEO reviewed his list of qualified candidates. He hired his son, hoping these disgruntled workers would respect the boss’s son enough to send him his father’s cash crop. Despite this bonus incentive, the owner’s son was killed at the fists of farmhands.

God hired us to care for His creation. I relate to this vineyard owner. I’ve experienced personal hurt and disappointment from others. Like the winepress owner, I sometimes feel beaten down or suffer shots to my spirit.

In Mark 12:9, the vineyard CEO finally took the farmhands into his own hands and killed them. The field owner removed his crop killers and gave his field of dreams to loyal farmers.  I sometimes need to clear my heartland, to weed out crop killers. When I plant kindness and thoughtfulness instead of resentment and discouragement, I receive God’s rate of return.

I use this vineyard owner’s pursuit to remind myself that when I eagerly work for my Creator, He will get the last word. His firmly planted word won’t return void or end in death.

Reinforcing a cornerstone lesson around the FROG Blog’s lily pad of life,

Christina

“He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others…the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous” (Mark 12:6, 9-11 NIV).

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CAPITALISM

See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!” (Gal. 6:11).

I found biblical proof that Paul used capitalization and large fonts when he wrote to the Galatians in 6:11: “See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!”

In our modern world, I picture his sizable letters as large fonts or all caps. I’m partial toward his appreciation for exclamation marks! Perhaps Paul, being a New Testament writer, originated the Times New Roman script.

I experience an eye condition that requires me to increase font size when I use the computer. There’s limited texting on my flip phone, but thankfully it has an all-caps option so I can read short messages. I can only respond by emoji or voice mail. These eyesight challenges can be faced through physical accommodations. However, it’s vital for me to focus on spiritual vision. God’s 20/20 vision is clearer than my hindsight.

Paul used considerable letters to drive his point home. The scripture that follows Paul’s message to the Galatians says, “Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ” (Gal. 6:12 NIV).

Gratefully, I’ve never undergone circumcision, but my mind and heart need spiritual flesh cutbacks. I require routine vision exams: What motivates my actions? Who do I listen to? What do I allow in my mind?

Great Opthalmologist, adjust my eyes to see Your perfect vision. Protect me from the world’s glare and help me understand Your writing. Thank you for capitalizing on Paul’s text to see from your lens on life.

WITH RENEWED VISION!

Christina

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BOOKENDS

Last week, I posted the unexpected-to-me change for my electronic marketing. (I’m still grasping this drastic twist). Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator will be published within weeks. My original plan was to post Red Paint’s incredible book cover design and schedule trailer drops. Instead, I am simply offering a sample from my most courageous work so far. Knee Deep is a collection of handwritten letters to my Creator from October 20, 2019 until July 16, 2020.

Reader, you have abundant choices. Thank you for choosing to read my posts and books. Thank you for continuing to hire me as a life coach and guest speaker.

Less is more, even less is even more. Scroll below Ian Turnell’s captivating photo to read an entry from Knee Deep: A 9-Month Whirlpool of Handwritten Letters to the Creator (will be available on Amazon, Kindle and Barnes and Noble).

With a courageous leap,

Christina

Good morning to my Storm Shelter!  

Thank you for guiding me to quiet this constant stream of input. My mind has become distracted, confused and cluttered.  I’m flooded with information overload and struggling with processing pressure. I agreed with one of my friends when she said, “Sometimes I wish the whole internet would just blow up!”

Thank you for podcasts You’ve brought to my attention. I’ve learned much from Emily P. Freeman’s, “The Next Right Thing.” She teaches how to handle decision fatigue. Regina Brett has begun a Shortcuts version of her “Life’s Little Detours.” Her uplifting ten-minute nuggets are restful treasures to my spirit.

Please help me to quickly turn down (or off!) the pressure to post, share, read and listen to the abundant information. Ironically, as an author and guest speaker, Lord, this sounds like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth. (there’s already too many mouths speaking into this world! ha ha).

Thank You for the gift of laughter. Thank You for Your time to listen to my inner podcast. Thank You for reading over 40 years of my journals and musings. Guide me to hear Your voice first, share it, like it, and quietly post it wherever you want. Place people in my path who want and need the encouraging spirit you have gifted me. Let me not grow weary by processing fatigue.

Love, Your Daughter, Christina

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ONE LINE EYE-OPENER

I heard “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor this morning and one song line stuck out. “You trade your passion for glory.” Bullseye!

I left my career in June 2018 to become a literary pastor for the Lord. I lived that year with intent, pursuing what God called me to do. Write. Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens and Worn-Out Underwear was published April 1, 2019 and the first book in the FROG Blog series published May 5.

During that 5 weeks, a team created my first Facebook page and website. Online education ensued. A sharp learning curve grounded me to the computer. Thanks to the “2020 universal “intervention” I practiced bartering service-for-service. This required more screen time.

In 18 months, through this Eye of the Tiger song, I realize I’ve traded my writing passion for glory. Not egocentrically, but in a scope of a production wordsmith.  Quotas, deadlines, increased connections wanting faster response time.

I write about God’s teaching, but there’s an underlying restlessness behind my writing that wasn’t present in 2018. A team of creative warriors join me to finish three books in the FROG blog series in 2021.

In May, I’ll return to a figurative boxing arena. Unlike my first books, I will not use mass media to promote Knee Deep, Tadpoles and Poetry Pod. This may sound naïve or unwise to the marketing world. I receive daily pushback and disagreement from literary experts and authors. However, God has guided me with instructions that make perfect sense to Him.

FROG. Fully Rely On God. If I’m not Fully relying on God, I’m trading my personal passions for His glory. That’s a bartering system that is not going to end well in His eyes.

In His eye of the tiger with my heart of a lamb,

Christina

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Eccl. 9:10 NKJV).

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A BARK COLLAR

“But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten” (Eccl 9:4-5 Gideon Bible).

Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels.com

I perk up when there are dog references, especially when the bible features canines. Ecclesiastes 9:4 grabbed my attention by the collar when I read, “for a living dog is better than a dead lion.”

Solomon wrote about wisdom from people who are alive in Christ. Like Jesus, I know my body will expire but I have immortal redemption if I keep my hope in Him. When I wonder, “What if this is it? What if everything I represent really ends when I die? What happens if I devote my mortal mission toward eternal life, only to discover that there is no heaven?

When I temporarily turn skeptic, I remember to live for the greater good now. Fortunately, logic eventually kicks in: “Christina, if you’re fully dead, how will you know? How will your misgivings matter?” I won’t be alive to discover cultural doubts.

If the world’s objections to heaven’s existence reign true, my qualms become silenced. John 14:2 provides sound truth in quoting Jesus, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”

Philippians 3:20 teaches, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

When I see creation’s intricacies, I believe that Someone cherished who and what He created. I serve a Creator who handcrafts everything, everyone. I want to be like that living dog that Solomon wrote about, working my earth assignments with purpose.

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Just as a canine eagerly awaits his owner, I anticipate my Master’s return. My heavenly Father adopted me, and I trust that He’s preparing my place in heaven. I live to be like a hopeful dog, not a dead lion.

Wagging my tail, no lyin’😉

Christina

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CAUTION UP AHEAD

They landed in the country of the Gadarenes and were met by two mad victims of demons, coming out of the cemetery. The men had terrorized the region for so long that no one considered it safe to walk down that road anymore” (Matthew 8:28-30 The Message).

Photo by AdamLowly on Pexels.com

What are the odds? Two against ten? Against hundreds? Perhaps thousands?

I have read countless stories about individuals, groups and countries fighting. Fighting for something. Fighting against something. I read about a terrorist attack in Matthew 8 (vs. 28-30).

In this passage, two demon-possessed men were coming out of the cemetery to terrorize roadway travelers. Two men. They came from tombs, not even from highly regarded offices. Two no-names with a background of bullying.

What about this region’s response? I appears that they’d become accustomed to a history of these men’s scare tactics that they allowed the past to shape their future.

Matthew doesn’t offer details about how or what these grave dwellers did to terrorize people, yet their legend lived on. I’m shocked that nobody called a strategic planning meeting to consider retaliation. Who was going to finally revolt and fight back?

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We fight cancer, abuses, poverty, homelessness. We have spiritual warfare, nuclear warfare, germ warfare. Individuals are called to action. In my own responsibility, where have I allowed myself to lie down and take unnecessary lumps?

I’m not referring to surrendering my will or facing trials and tribulations. I’m speaking about suffering simply from a place of apathy. Where have I grown uncomfortably miserable, or perhaps miserably comfortable?  

I’m jumping off this lily pad of life to answer my call-to-action. Armored under God’s guardianship, I crawl out of my inner grave to fight injustice.

Digging my way out of a tomb to get into the Light,

Christina

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POWER SURGE!

We’ve had intermittent power outages over the past week for various reasons. During one of these darkened moments, I sat by candlelight to discover a brighter light.

I utilized the lack of lights, heat, machines, etc. to practice my word of the year 2021: abundance. I willed myself to focus on abundant gratitude. I realized that in the “less,” I have more than I acknowledge.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What if today I woke up with only what I said thank you for what I got (or didn’t get) yesterday? I recognized that this power outage happened after I had showered, after I had coffee, after I got ready for work, after the sun had risen. I imagined how my morning would have materialized if the power had gone down before my electric bedside clock alarm had sounded. Instead of abundant grace, I pictured abundant gross! 😉

I chose to use the downtime to write everything that I appreciated. I vowed myself to sit through however long it took to say thank you until the power was restored. Wait! Who said anything about the power returning? Who was I to presume that electricity would be restored? It was another lesson about what I’ve come to expect and rely on.

This is an abbreviated list from that January day’s gratitude:

*candles (more than one)

*blankets (again, more than one)

*clean sweaters

*comfy chair and couch

*washer & dryer (I visualized washing and hanging laundry outside in 20’ weather)

*hot coffee

*microwave

*wool-blend socks

*soft neck scarf

*flashlight with working batteries

*many windows

Thank you, Jesus for generating your powerful provision!

Much to ponder so I’m signing off with abundant simplicity,

Christina

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BREATHING COURAGE!

Rita Reali, JC and his layout/publishing team are finishing my most vulnerable writing assignment, Knee Deep. Red Paint Spilman is busy in his art studio creating this cover while Dottie Justice, Peaches and a small circle of others are part of my advisory team. They allow me to brainstorm my diverse project ideas and offer wise input. I’m eternally grateful for them!

Knee Deep is a collection of letters to my Creator from October 20, 2019-July 16, 2020. I intended Knee Deep to be the final book in this 5-book FROG Blog series. Instead, I was thrown a curve ball and it will become third of the five.

The books I’ve published so far have required bravery, tenacity, tough lessons in the publishing world., etc. In no way was I prepared to open myself up to share some of these vulnerable letters that I write as part of my daily routine. However, in my spirit, I know I am acting on obedience that surpasses my understanding.

Photo by Tim Samuel on Pexels.com

Typically, when I launch a new book, I offer news about what’s to come. I post excerpts from each book and give updates as we near publishing. I admit that I’ve kept a low profile about Knee Deep.  I’m feverishly working to move from shaking knees into trust that overpowers my qualms.

Knee Deep isn’t a trashy piece. Nobody is getting exposed or injured (other than my honest heart). There is no PG-13 material or graphic details. Knee Deep is “simply” a collection of Creator chats over a nine-month span. (For this full story, go to www.gueststarcoaching.com under FROG Blog and see March 2020’s posts titled, “Zowie”).

Our team is deciding on the subtitle for Knee Deep. When Red Paint has finished crafting another of his spectacular book covers in this FROG Blog series, I will post that. I anticipate that posting at the end of January or beginning of February. Yes, of this year. Promise. Gulp. 😊).

Until then, I will write bi-weekly FROG Blogs. I also use my Facebook site to feature authors and resources that feature writing and creativity. You can find me on Facebook at Christina M. Eder-Author. I support positive, life giving writing, so please share only caring, kind and family-friendly material!

Thank you for continuing to cheer me forward on a FROG’s lily pad of life,

Christina