Tag Archives: Friday’s Friends

Friday’s Friends

Occasionally, I like to share thoughts from other wise sages. Today’s is from one who isn’t so much a friend, but my brother. Literally. My older brother … Jon.

So here is his thoughts on …

STUFF … How to handle it all … by Jon Estes

Stuff is important, or some stuff is. Growing up, we had stuff. Stuff we used and stuff we did not use and stuff we were not allowed to touch. In the mid-’70s my parents bought new living room furniture. Even then as a preteen to teenager, I thought the sofa was ugly, so being told not to touch it or sit on it did not bother me. It did though cause me to think. To think about stuff.

My favorite, contemporary theologian made the following statement… “God does not mind us owning stuff but He does mind stuff owning us.” – Dr. V. Bauchum

I still have stuff in my life but it is mostly just stuff. Important when I need it, unimportant when I do not. I have refused to let stuff own me. Do not misunderstand what I am saying. There is stuff in my life that I see as valuable and precious. I would hate to lose it or see it broken but I refuse to set it in a cabinet to look at or in a drawer to remain unused. That just seems silly. An example would be a pen given to me by a dear couple I value greatly. It is a very expensive pen and due to the cost, it is not one I would have purchased It looked expensive, it wrote excellently, and it made a statement to people who know and appreciate fine writing instruments. I have loaned it to people to write something but I waited till they were done and made sure I got it back. Not because of the pen and its intrinsic value but because of the value I put on the people who gave it to me. When I used the pen, I thought of this family.

Did you catch the past tense there? Yeah… past tense. A few weeks ago, I dropped the gifted pen and it hit the ground in such a specific way that it broke the barrel. I still have the pen but I do not carry it as it is in two pieces. I still enjoy the pen. I see it broken and it now brings different thoughts to my mind. It not only reminds me that God has put precious people in my life (for which I am eternally grateful) but God has put me around people who are broken. They have been hurt or are in a situation that makes them feel like there is no escape. I want them to know God is bigger than any hurt we have and more than capable of carrying us through any situation that we face. You see… We are not “stuff” to God. We are His favorite creation. He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place so that we could be offered something we could not earn… Salvation.

Let us make a commitment to put the “stuff” behind us and begin walking right with God.

Hebrews 12:1 – …let us throw off all the stuff that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…

Stuff can be cool… God is always awesome.


Check out Jon’s page here.

Friday’s Friends

It’s back. That wonderful end of the week where we we recommend another blogger, an insightful writer, and a thoughtful challenge to your journey with God. There are so many out there – way too many to even scratch the surface if I even tried to read them all – much less trying to recommend them. But that is not the case for today. Today is a special artist. Today, I am thrilled to introduce to you Katherine.

Katherine’s writings are from the heart. They are a bit more cerebral than what you read from my jumbled ramblings. And they are always God honoring, tender in her relationship connections, and give a deep, Christ-centric world view in a world that has people with world views that are often way too surface.

Oh, and the weird thing – this talented writer is my niece – the eldest daughter of my eldest brother.

Today’s article was her first for 2022 – ‘Since Last Year’s Turning’ …. a reflection on the New Year

I have been changed by the gentleness of Jesus. It was the kind hand of God that led Dane Ortlund to write Gentle and Lowly, and me to read it. This book has transformed my understanding of God as well as my approach to parenting. As I took it in, deep down, I began to see my own frighteningly sharp edges being smoothed away. I bless the Holy Spirit for his abundant aid.

I am more hopeful for my children. Through being in a church that loves them unconditionally, working through some therapy sessions, and experiencing a life lived next to other struggling, learning, growing, praying, helping, mothering women here, I am more confident in God’s presence with me and the wisdom that is mine as I am in Christ. I am more free to have bad days and not despair.

I am more aware of the astonishing gift that is every breath that I breathe. This last year held death and grief for so many. I am more careful to drink in the fullness of a beautiful moment, especially one that is shared. I am more eager to leave behind the land of shadows for the land of light unending — but full of gratitude for a pilgrimage not devoid of stunning pinpricks of glory, lighting my way and warming my face.

I am more excited and confident about continuing our homeschooling journey. Kindergarten at home (and at co-op weekly) has been a dream that I had hesitated to dream.

I want to be more faithful in tending to my writing craft. I am hopeful that a fresh commitment to small time blocks of journaling and blogging with good prompts will nudge me into growth and confidence, as well as light up corners where my gifts are needed. I feel an undercurrent of motivation to keep going and to see what is in store. 

I am so much more hopeful and encouraged by my husband, his health, and our marriage. I have seen good change this year all around, and his tenderness, hunger for God, and obedience to him are stunning. I know God has never left him, but how good it is to see him be sure of that again. We are, together, more engaged with our Bibles and Sunday worship. What a dream to be walking in step with this crowning priority. Our ministers are filled with light and truth, and their sermons are rich with true spiritual food. We are a mercied people, indeed.

This new year simply feels brighter, roomier, and cleaner. It doesn’t feel easier or less scary, though. In fact, a few recent days have held some heavily stormy feelings, words, and moments. But when the sun shines brightly again, the coming in and the going out of the day thrilling me with their glory, I see the steadfast love of God in brilliant color. I am endeavoring to stop and glory, too. To jump right in whenever I witness creation singing and dancing for joy in doing what it was made to do. What an honor to be sought out and dearly loved. God will always have me, he will always and ever delight in me. How can I not turn back to the faces in my home and my community and not stand amazed at their worth, and humbled that I should be the one to witness it? I get to nurture this same hope, to bid this same wonder to keep growing wider in all of us. I get to show them that our tender King is radiant, too — and we who look to him will be like Him, shining ever brighter evermore.

You can find her on Facebook or her WordPress page – These are a Shadow … theseareashadow.wordpress.com

Friday’s Friends (#4)

Increasing Number of Earthquakes. Plague of Locusts. Apocalyptic Fires. Wars and Rumors of Wars. Israel Peace Treaties. It’s all sounds so … Biblical.

Are these headlines showing us signs of the times? Or is it all just coincidence?

Society today seems to be getting worse and worse. And in a world overflowing with information on topics that seem so trivial (like today, 9.18, is National Cheeseburger Day … or … how a home-cam shows one owner’s cat misses her so much during the day) or so divisive (way too much politics and diatribe out there) – it’s refreshing to find a news outlet that takes a Biblical worldview. And in this case, it focuses on articles that touch on discerning the signs and times in related to end times.

Today’s Friday’s Friend is End Times Headlines.

From their website … “End Time Headlines is a blog site that was founded, owned and operated by Ricky Scaparo with the intent to be a “once source” location for those wanting to be informed of happenings around the globe in light of the End Times from a “Biblical Perspective”. ETH is a collaboration of aggregated news from various sources. ETH attempts to provide reliable and reputable sources in reporting, with the intent to maintain integrity and trust with its readers, Therefore ETH always provides links to the original sources of the headline as they are reported on the blog.”

It’s not overwhelming. For now, articles are very selective. Though, if this is truly getting close to, well, the end, I could see more articles linked.

I don’t know. We could be getting close. A lot of signs point that way. But in the end, I think we’ve all asked the same question to God, “is this the end?”

His answer … that’s not for us to know, we just to be sharing the gospel, the message of love and hope found in Jesus. So I will read about the how some think it is ‘the end’ … but I will keep sharing and keep loving and keep serving (and keep writing muddyshoes) as if He could return today or wait another thousand years.

Friday’s Friends (#3)

30 seconds a day. Okay, maybe 45. That’s all this simple yet powerful little email devotional takes to read. But it includes Scripture, it gives a simple challenge, and I read it in an Australian accent (and that makes it all the more cool.)

I first heard Christine Caine at a Passion Conference in Atlanta. Her zeal and actions behind A21 inspire thousands to fight modern day slavery and human trafficking. Her ministry has aided in rescuing thousands from slavery, not to mention the even more important message she shares in the true delivery through the Gospel of Christ.

The daily devotional is not a blog but more of a quick reminder to put First Things First, which is the name of her daily devotional email.

Here is today’s (8.14.2020) devo …

First Things First with Christine Caine

Don’t Forget to Reset

“Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?” (Jeremiah 2:25, MSG).

I love to think of my times with God as a reset. Whenever I notice myself complaining, agitated, or just flat out being rude to others, I recognize that it’s probably because I’m not spending enough time with God. Because when I take the time to get away and be with Jesus, love quite literally pours out of me! It’s the way I was meant to live, and this is something that applies to each of us.

Today, make it a priority to spend some intentional time with God. Whether it’s a quiet moment in your closet or bathroom, while you’re on your way to work, early in the morning, late at night, or at a coffee shop — slow down, quiet your mind, and focus your heart on the presence of God. I believe you’re going to be amazed by what He will do in and through you!

So subscribe to her daily devo email here. Or you can check out her podcast as well. The only caveat, please don’t snitch if you see I’ve used some of her ideas on my blog … I’ll try to give credit but preachers often forget to tell where we get our material.

Have blessed day and take time to be with a Jesus. You won’t regret it.