What It Really Means To Not Be Ashamed

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

I always thought being unashamed was bold evangelism. Wearing our Christian T-shirts and jewelry out in public. Truthfully speaking up when someone asks our religion. It seems I was wrong – it’s much more than that. Over the past few months, God has been challenging me about being a good example of Christ. During my prayer time the other morning, He brought the phrase “not ashamed of the gospel” to mind. Not surprising, since it’s one thing I’ve been praying each week over the students I work with. His whisper to my heart was quite convicting: Before He could answer my prayer for the youth, I needed to be truly unashamed about my own relationship with Him. Then others would follow. His words seemed odd, because I thought I was already unashamed. Turns out, I really didn’t know myself like I thought. Because when He asked me to lay prostrate in the parking lot that day, I was embarrassed. When He asked me to ignore all the other people in the sanctuary and simply enjoy His music, I was embarrassed. When He asked me to raise my hands in praise as I walked around the building, I was embarrassed. When … Read More

Praise God for Pink Eye!

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

Ever had one of those weeks where EVERYTHING went wrong? That was me last week. It started late Sunday afternoon. Our oldest daughter came running into the house holding her finger, while the other two kids trailed behind her yelling, “She’s hurt! She’s hurt!” Somehow, a poorly landed handstand had ended with one knee smashing a finger into the concrete, ripping a huge tear in one of her violin string-fingers. The sight of the torn flesh made me queasy. My husband took over and before long announced that the cut was bad enough to warrant a trip to the ER. I was due to be at worship team practice in a few minutes, but off to the ER we went instead. A couple hours later, our daughter and I returned home with a heavily bandaged finger that thankfully was neither broken nor stitched nor glued. Now, Mondays are our busiest days. The kids attend their local homeschool co-op, where I lead an afternoon class. Following that, we have other extra-curricular activities that just happen to fall on manic Monday. So imagine my disgust when I woke up with a stuffy nose and mildly sore throat. “Oh great!” I thought to … Read More

Rocked By Insecurity

Jewel ZymurgyFaithLeave a Comment

These past couple of weekends I allowed the old familiar tapes of doubt and fear to play and replay over and over again in my mind. There were situations that had come up with my daughter that really, as I look back at them now, can be described as fairly normal teenage growing points…and they had gained space in that oh-so-negative place my brain that looked at situations through the lens of fear and past hurts rather than health and truth. However, because I recognized that in reference to this relationship (that means so incredibly much to me) that I was utterly failing—I began applying that feeling of failure to more and more places and relationships in my life. The mental message seemed almost inconsequential at first. The idea of “I’m not good enough” seemed both familiar and insignificant enough that I hardly gave it a thought and in what I thought was my own determination, just brushed it away. But like the dripping of a leaky faucet, the constant trickling soon became an issue that I could ignore no longer. Before long that message had managed to permeate throughout the corners of my mind. There I began to notice … Read More

Why Bother

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

I’ve had a bit of a bad attitude lately. It’s hard to admit that, but it’s true. I’ve felt defeated, discouraged, and simply like “why do I even bother?!” (I’ve even said that outloud.) I’ve attempted kindness and grace only to have it discarded. I’ve attempted courtesy and just had it overlooked. I’ve attempted to try harder, do more than what was asked if me, but it was only to have my efforts completely dismissed. It’s hard to have a good attitude when that happens. Have you felt that way lately? Have you felt like you’re doing the best you can, really giving it all you have and either no one notices, no one cares, or it doesn’t change the circumstances one bit? Do you have the “why bother” attitude like me? While in the midst of my pity party and bad attitude, God reminded me of why I need to bother, and why I need to do my best to have a good attitude while doing it. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take … Read More

Radical Obedience: When Loving God Is Hard

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

Is ‘disappointed’ the right word for how I feel? I stand still in the shower, water as hot as I can handle, and let my tears mingle with the spray. Leaning my head against the tile, I try to keep quiet so my family won’t notice. Because they couldn’t possibly understand how alone I am. I try to pray and let You hold me. You see my struggle to put feelings into words and You wait patiently as  my jumbled thoughts come out in spurts. I just don’t understand. You’ve asked me to do some pretty radical things, and yet so far, nothing good seems to come of it. Why have You challenged me with these things? What is the purpose of my looking so foolish in front of others? This year You’ve put me in some very uncomfortable situations, prodding me out of my comfort zone and calling me to be courageous. But I don’t feel any closer to You. I don’t see the beauty in it. I don’t feel anything special. Right now I don’t get how these things achieve anything for the Kingdom. You’re so patient as I speak my concerns. It’s not that I’m resentful, or … Read More

The Mistakes of My Mouth: REDEEMED

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

Our words have great power. With them we can encourage or discourage. We can bring the light of praise or the darkness of harsh criticism. We can build up or we can tear down. We can foster spiritual life or death with our words. There are so many GOOD things God wants us to do with our tongues: Praise God’s righteousness (Psalm 35:28) Speak wisdom and justice (Psalm 37:30) Sing of God’s Word (Psalm 119:72) Cry out to God (Psalm 66:17) Shout with joy over God’s great works (Psalm 126:2) Bring life with gentle words (Proverbs 15:4) Patiently persuade rulers (Proverbs 25:15) And then there is my personal favorite: With all the good things our words can accomplish, it is no wonder that the enemy seeks to attack our mouths! If he can get us so wrapped up in selfishness and jealousy that we spew ugly, angry words, then he has completely kept us from our intended mission. God intended for us to speak life to a dying world, but we allow Satan to thwart our destiny. But there is hope. We CAN overcome this destructive sin through repentance, surrender, and worship. We must become angry over our missed destiny. … Read More

The Importance Of Sharing Your Story

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

I chose a seat at the front of the room, instead of the podium that was set in place for me.  I had known about this day, months in advance, but being the center of attention makes me uncomfortable no matter the circumstances.  I chose to sit instead of stand in the presence of my peers, because it made me feel like one of the ladies, rather than the focus of the day.  Immediately upon arriving, I requested the glider rocker that was placed in the back of the room. My request was denied because although I was their guest speaker, apparently I’m not THAT important.  The rocker was reserved for nursing mothers, and nursing mother I am not.  I decided that in lieu of nursing a baby that wasn’t mine, or standing at a podium that made me feel more important than I actually am (not important enough for the comfy chair, nor important enough for the podium) I settled on the uncomfortable folding chair. That dinky chair seemed more appropriate, and less uncomfortable that the other two options.  That chair ended up being my “just right” bowl of porridge (although I actually prefer cereal.)   I grabbed a tissue from the brand new box I had placed at my … Read More

The Stirring, The Longing, The Awakening

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

“I feel it in my bones – You’re about to move…” They say during autumn, the air is crisp. And it’s true. I breathe it in deep, savoring the fresh smells of the morning. The chill nips at my skin as the sky lightens with the sun. Golden leaves drift over the ground, flipping and fluttering in the breeze. All around, I can feel something stirring. It’s the sweet treasure of autumn. And it’s the anticipation of You. I think if how You yearn to come to us. Your Word says that You come to rescue us from sin and bondage. That You come when we call for help in times of trouble. That You come when Your people lift their voice in praise. That You come when to us we ask, seek and knock. But this longing … it’s different. You’ve already rescued so many of us from sin. You’ve answered cries for help. You’ve gloried in our praise. You’ve answered our prayers. And we are grateful! Yet You desire more for us. Your bridegroom heart beats wild! I see You pacing, patient and yet impatient. Ever waiting, ever watching, ever wishing to break free. The Great Lion of … Read More

The Mistakes of My Mouth: EXPOSED

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

When our oldest was about 10 months old, I slipped while carrying her down stairs, landing on her tiny leg. She cried for a bit, but cheered up with a bath and a little ice cream. However, if she put any weight on her leg, she screamed in pain. We rushed her off to the emergency room where they performed x-rays on her tiny body. They found nothing wrong. We drove back home and put her to bed, but the next morning, she still wailed any time she put weight on her leg. Obviously, something WAS wrong. That morning, we took her to her pediatrician, who ordered more x-rays, finding a tiny dent-like fracture. The orthopedist put her in a cast for three weeks. While it may have delayed her walking for a bit, she was as good as new at the end of her three weeks. Our daughter obviously had an injury. We could have treated the pain with Tylenol, but that would have caused a long-term problems with an untreated fracture. Instead, we kept searching until we found the cause of her pain. When we found the cause, we were able to treat it. Isn’t this just like … Read More

Freedom in Soccer

Jewel ZymurgyFaithLeave a Comment

My daughter has always enjoyed the sport of soccer. I remember vividly the first season she played on a team. She had always been a scrappy little chick who ran her heart out which makes me smile as I think back on that time as she first joined team sports. She was on a recreational (a “just for fun”) all-girls team and since she was in single digits and it being the first time she played on a team, it was chaotic to say the least. I have a history of playing soccer in my past so I quite enjoyed watching as my child seemed to have the energy and reserve of an atomic energizer bunny as she chased down the ball and/or tried to score. Just remembering that time makes me laugh. However, being as young as they were it was basically a free-for-all where ever the ball happened to be. There was a lot of pushing, there were many tears and many, many times when the kids would grab the ball with their hands and throw it. Often after one of those mentioned offenses, a child would look over to their parents on the sidelines with a hurt … Read More

When Jesus Finally Made Sense To Me

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood, Trials1 Comment

Months of planning had gone into one little camping trip with friends.  It seems so silly to plan months in advance to sleep outside on the dirt, but Alaskan summers are something we long for, and time off from work is much desired during the season where the sun doesn’t set.  If you want to take a day off in the summer time, you must ask long ahead of time, otherwise you’ll blink and it will be dark and snowy again.  A two hour drive, deep into the woods was on our agenda, and I looked forward to nothing more than a raging bonfire, and s’mores shared with some of the best people I have ever know. There’s just something about quality time spent with incredible people around a fire, that renews my soul.   It was the weekend before our big camping trip when I started to miscarry. Suddenly this trip we had planned so far ahead of time, seemed a little less ideal for me.  I didn’t want to deal with that out in the middle of the woods. I didn’t want to be a mess physically or emotionally in front of anyone. I didn’t want to be away from home.  My home is my … Read More

Are You Appreciating God’s Architecture?

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

The other day I was listening to the radio and pondering God’s architecture. Specifically, human beings, and how God is personally invested in each one He creates. The scripture says He knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. (Psalm 139:13) That means we are so much more than a plan in the back of His mind that He threw together! Architecture takes careful thought. It’s not simply about building a structure – there are aspects of art and science to consider. There is a process to planning the design and putting each piece together in the right place at the right time. The architect must be intentional in order to create a magnificent structure that can fulfill it’s purpose. God built us all strong. Sturdy. Stunning. It makes me smile big when I think of how I am a work of art shaped by an amazing Creator! That I was made – with hands of love – into something special. I’m not ordinary; I’m unique. And I’m cherished by the Master Architect!  Then my pondering turned to reflection. I felt God questioning me. Was I appreciating all His architecture?    What about that person at work who is constantly annoying, … Read More

Nothing Can Separate You from His Love

Madison RosserFaith1 Comment

Do you ever feel like obstacle after obstacle arises when you are trying to accomplish a goal? Maybe your goal is something as big as landing a new job or as “small” as getting dinner on the table before 9 p.m., but for whatever reason, life seems to be working against you. We’ve all been there. Obstacles, however, are so beautifully incapable of thwarting God’s love towards us. His love is relentless, sure, steady, and constant. I was reminded of this truth as I read through the following passage in a Bible study last week. Romans 8: 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it … Read More

The Mistakes of My Mouth

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

Has your mouth ever gotten you in trouble? Have you ever wept at the utter meanness of something that just rolled off your tongue? Have your words ever wounded someone you love? I am guilty. My words have tripped me up again and again. My resolve to speak kind words melts away when the frustration builds at having my agenda thwarted once more. Before I know it, I have raised my voice to bark orders. Earlier this year, I started writing a Bible study to define womanhood from God’s perspective. Life forced me to put it on hold for several months until just recently. The topic of taming my tongue has been heavy on my heart recently, so imagine my surprise when I reopened the file to find that I had left off with this verse…. I almost laughed aloud at God’s impeccable timing! He knew exactly when I would return to the Bible study and what I would need to study. So I dug in with eagerness, hoping that God would finally deliver me from the trap of my own tongue. As I was studying for the book, I looked at James 3, which addresses the mouth that tries to … Read More

Overwhelmed By Acceptance

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Redemption, WomanhoodLeave a Comment

Just a couple of days ago I was listening to someone read and unpack a few verses and my heart and mind were just overwhelmed to the point of tears. I’ve heard the story before… It’s just that the words didn’t seem to come alive in my mind the way that it did with me this time. …the Word shared was so incredibly personal to me… We read about the Luke 7 woman— Luke 7:36-50 “When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them off with her feet, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, … Read More

The Value Of Encouragement

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


I was having one of “those” days, where everything felt like a giant “mom-fail.”   I had made plans to help a friend fix her hair for her family portraits, but I also needed to run to Costco which made me late for my visit with my friend.   I went to Costco hungry (mistake number 1) so not only was I late to help my friend, I blew the budget too.  -FAIL   My friend was willing to come over a little later than we discussed originally, which gave me just enough time to get in the door with the groceries before she arrived.  My house was a disaster already, and then the explosion of my hungry Costco loot only added to the chaos.  There were boxes, and food items all over the place, and as I struggled to hurry up and put things away, I heard her voice from downstairs.  Welcome to my mess sweet friend, welcome to my mess.   As she made her way up the stairs, my toddler met her at the gate.  My friend said hello, and my toddler growled in return.  I was embarrassed to say the least.  What kind of mom has a toddler … Read More

Gear Up: GOD’s WORD

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

Misconceptions are funny things. You don’t know you have them until they are corrected. I really thought that the armor of God was put on by saying a few words in prayer each day. Now I understand that this armor is a lifestyle of becoming more aligned with Christ’s character. It is a result of constant prayer, repentance, humility, and most importantly, of seeking the face of Jesus. The final part of our armor is unique it is the only part that is offensive. All other parts are for protection and defense, while this one is meant to attack, take ground, and cut down the forces of evil. I have always wondered why God didn’t arm us with catapults, tanks, and missiles! After all, Satan and his cohorts are relentless in their attack. Wouldn’t a few spiritual atomic bombs be more effective? What I have learned about this simple sword has convinced me otherwise… As a student, I attended schools where English grammar was a big deal. From first grade on, I remember diagramming sentences. Even in high school and college English, we had to reassemble our sentences on those lines that look like scaffolding and rocket ships. I didn’t … Read More

Send Me

Jewel ZymurgyFaithLeave a Comment

Where is your mission field

So many times I go through my days without even a consideration that everywhere I go I have the opportunity to be a light and to share the gospel. I catch myself thinking that those who are called to the mission field are those who go to Africa to build schools and feed the hungry…they go to be a loving presence to tribes of people who have never heard the name Jesus…they learn new languages and live in a place away from the home they grew up in. Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” It all seemed like such a great calling…to be one of those people who can be sent out and moves with the presence of God in those around you. To share with others about the amazing God that loves beyond measure, that provides and sustains everything we see around us. The opportunity to worship and praise a good good Father. The chance to feed, teach and love on those who otherwise would not know Him through you. To fulfill the great commission—what an incredibly gallant calling! Isaiah … Read More

Voice of God: Hindrances to Hearing Him

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

Why is it so hard for some people to feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit? While part of it may be inexperience or personality, part of it may also be the things we do, whether intentional or unintentional, that can block the connection. We’ve discussed tips on how to hear His voice and knowing it was really Him talking to us. But even when we do those things properly, we can still miss His whispers in our soul. What Hinders Us From Hearing Him? The Noise of the World. We have to let go of the things of this world that seem more interesting that the things of God. Entertainment has become an idol. We want to participate in that sporting event, watch that new movie at the theater, scroll through our Twitter feed, see who is going to win that reality TV show. There are so many enticing things to grab our attention, we don’t have the time – or the desire – to pay attention to God. The Lure of Relationships. We’ve all encountered situations where we’d rather spend time with human beings than with God. People are all kinds of entertaining and exciting. Why pick up … Read More