The Sunshine Blogger Award

Welcome to Real Life. Happiness is being nominated for an award!

Why did you start blogging? To inspire. My blog is called Real Life. Some would say our work-eat-sleep-repeat existence is real life. And I guess it is, because survival is real. But I want more, don’t you? God’s planted this something more desire in our hearts.[1] Jesus came to give us an abundant life. That’s the life I’m talking ‘bout. My blog is a reminder, an invitation, an inspiration to an extraordinary Real Life in Christ.

Who is your favorite blogger? I’ve listed a few below. Most recently, the wife of a blogger friend launched her own “my life with girlie” blog about their special needs daughter. Her posts grow my heart.

What keeps you going and motivated? God gave me a passionate desire to encourage others. That’s why I write. I didn’t start writing until my late 40’s. So, my skills aint the best, and I get discouraged. Still, I love it. When I write, I enter that parallel universe where I lose all sense of time…

Grandma's Gift

Welcome to Real Life. Some gifts never stop giving.

“Peggi, can you come over?” my grandmother asked by phone. “I want to give you something.”

I was a young wife then. My grandmother, the once robust matriarch, had grown frail after a recent by-pass operation. As I entered her kitchen, I noticed a box and some newspaper on the counter. She opened a cupboard.

“Peggi, I want you to take my china,” she said. My heart sank. Her china was gorgeous. I loved it. I felt deeply honored. But accepting her gift meant closing the door of an era.

“No! Grandma, you’ll use these dishes again,” I protested, fighting to keep that door open. Oh, the culinary delights I devoured on these dishes while safe and warm in childhood’s womb. I picked up the sugar bowl. And I saw my younger self in a gaggle of siblings and cousins. We huddled around our treasure on my grandparents’ dining table in the basement. We sucked our index fingers, dipped them in the sugar bowl, and licked off the sweet crystals. Sugar…

Kneeling at the Manger (with Job) | Job 38-42

Welcome to Real Life. It’s Christmastime. So, I took Job with me to the manger.

Where are you, God?
Why are you punishing me when I did nothing wrong?

Why won't you answer me?
I just finished reading the book of Job. Through most of it, he questions God. With good reason, for God allowed Job to lose everything—children, wealth, health, respect.

Finally, in chapter thirty-eight, God speaks. He doesn't directly answer Job's queries. Instead, he throws down a few questions of his own.
Where were you when I laid earth’s foundation?Who kept the sea in its boundaries and said, “This far and no farther will you come”?Have you ever commanded morning to appear and dawn to rise in the east?Have you visited the storehouses of snow?Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind?Would you condemn me to justify yourself? “I am nothing. I cover my mouth with my hand. I repent in dust and ashes,” Job replies.

My own response mirrored Job's. “I stand in awe. I am almost nothi…

Ministry Spotlight: Kamila Burgess, Building Hope in the City

Welcome to Real Life.  Today's post is the first in a new Ministry Spotlight Series. Join my conversation with . . .

Kamila Burgess, Refugee Program Assistant
Building Hope in the City

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.  The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33–34 NIV)
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your position at Building Hope in the City.

I work with refugees and immigrants. I manage The Hope Center, coordinate volunteers, and direct the Refugee Mentoring Program.

The Hope Center is a community center where we provide three levels of free ESL Classes (English as a Second Language) taught by Tri C. We also offer tutoring to those applying for U.S. citizenship. The Center is the only place that provides free childcare (nursery and preschool) so mothers can attend classes. These children have never experienced an…

Autumn in the Neighborhood | November 2017

Welcome to Real Life. It's autumn in my neighborhood. Chilly. Dark at suppertime. Winter is on its way. Before creation naps in blankets white and grey, the leaves wave their vibrant farewell!
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
(Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)

One of Those Days | Colossians 3:15-16

Welcome to Real Life. I awoke this morning tired, sad, and mean.
“I've had the sort of day that would make St. Francis of Assisi kick babies.”
― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul I'm having one of those days. Actually, two of those days. Yesterday, wasn’t great either. I made some stupid mistakes at work. Then, last night, I offended my husband. He went to bed without speaking to me.

If I felt brave enough to face the mirror, I’m pretty sure I'd find an “F” for failure scrawled in permanent marker across my forehead. I'm ready to quit everything and hide in a corner of my attic.

Instead, I grab a cup of coffee, sit at my desk, and open my Bible. (Thank God for deeply ingrained routines.) The first verse I read is,

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
(Colossians 3:15 NIV) “How can I let your peace rule when I feel so unpeaceful?” I ask my God. As I'm writing the question …

Imagine Jesus | Gospel of John

Welcome to Real Life. What’s God like? My late friend Bob pictured him as the bald “Mr. Clean” from the detergent bottle.

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. –A.W. Tozer
Jesus Christ. He’s my savior, my friend, my God. I know him. But not well enough. I want to know him better. Though I’ve never seen his face, I will one day.

John saw his face. As apostle and intimate friend, he knew Christ as well as a person could. In his Gospel, John uses imagery to help us know Jesus too.
WORD In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:1, 14 NIV) Words express reason and thought. Our words reveal who we are, what we’re like. We think in words; our essence is the sum of our thoughts. As a writer, words are my medium. Words holds power to infor…