courage Archives - JJ Landis
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courage, humility, make a difference, service, sin / 12.10.2016

  Explaining our Christian faith to our inquisitive exchange student has been fun. We’re reading through the book of John, a few verses after dinner each evening. He was interested to learn that Jesus was a Jew. We explained that the Jewish people waited for their Messiah, their Savior, to come. Jesus arrived in humility, which is not what people expected. He came not to be an earthly ruler, but to offer another way – something more than earthly kingdoms can provide.   What does this have to do with foot washing?   We...

courage, golden rule, grace, kids, make a difference, perspective, prayer / 09.04.2016

A friend of mine hangs out on a street corner each weekday morning, with her grandsons and other kids waiting for school buses. Some of the children lack decent housing because their home was condemned. Some are refugees from Malaysia. They are open and honest with one another on that corner, and often pray and read the Bible together.   Some days, my friend is loud and crazy with them, when there’s a beautiful sunrise for example. I believe this, as she has an exuberant personality and speaks constantly of God’s goodness and majesty.   At the corner across the street stand several teens, who are usually silent and sullen. Recently, one of the teenagers lost it, screaming at my friend for staring at him, for getting in his face. He said he hated her, hated old people, hated her God.   At first, she walked across the street and offered him some chocolate. He kept yelling, so she backed off. For the next few days, she was shaken, so she prayed and wondered how to respond.
adolescence, anxiety, beauty, courage, freedom, kids, love, make a difference, parenting, real life / 31.01.2016

[caption id="attachment_2800" align="aligncenter" width="486"] Photo by Marisa Albrecht[/caption]   Strumming starts and stops behind her closed door It’s a common sound Guitar chords Experimenting with sounds Lyrics follow Poetry Songwriting Digging masterpieces out of her stressed out, overworking teenage brain I don’t dare touch I soak in the artistry and accomplishment Songs are presented as precious gems Delicate Shining as they are At 15, she’s supposed to be full of angst. Confused and insecure. That’s what I was expecting anyway. She’s my first, so I have no idea what’s going on or what I’m doing. But, she’s completely confident in herself. She doesn’t wear...

beauty, blessings, courage, crying, disappointment, fear, grace, kids, living for real, love, pain, parenting, perspective, prayer, real life / 06.01.2016

When friends struggle, it's common to say, "Let me know if there's anything I can do for you." We say that when we don't know what to do or say. I added to that recently, "Do you want me to come over? I can." She said yes and gave me a priceless gift and many lessons.     Thank you, my friend, for letting me walk this journey with you. Thank you for saying yes when I asked if you needed anything. You let me in to see your devastation. You welcomed my presence, even...

anxiety, contentment, courage, crying, fear, kids, parenting, prayer / 14.09.2015

  I just drove past the elementary school and had to choke back my tears. The swings are still. The slides empty. The mulch undisturbed. No monkeys are on the monkey bars.   The summer humidity has broken. The temperature sits at a near-perfect 70. The corn is being cut and the breeze brings the smells of fall. If ever there could be a better “play outside day” I can’t imagine it.   So why the barren playgounds? All the children are being kept indoors, I guess.   Friday morning, it was a bomb threat.   Last night,...