April 27, 2009

What to Write, What to Write - Kimberley Payne

When God first called me to write, I was so excited and ready to do His will. But I didn't know the first thing about the business of writing (besides the fact that I enjoyed it and kept a regular journal). So when I saw an advertisement in testimony magazine for the God Uses Ink (now Write! Canada) conference, I felt led to attend.

At this conference, I excitedly signed up for every class and booked one-on-one appointments for every spare moment. I couldn’t get enough! I learned all about writing for children, writing for newspapers, writing for magazines, writing for publishing houses etc.

From there, it was a process of elimination. I tried just about everything.... I tried writing poems, writing for children, writing articles, writing songs, writing book reviews, writing short stories etc. I liked it all but felt torn and unfocused. I needed to narrow my love of writing into where I best fit.

I took two excellent on-line courses; a devotional writing course (by Inscribe’s own Marcia Laycock) and a children's writing course. From these, I learned that writing for children was too tough for me, yet devotional writing felt natural.

In the meantime, I wrote a nonfiction book on health and fitness, articles on health, a weekly faith column for mainstream newspapers, and I started a novel. Through all this, I learned that I don't mind articles but only if I'm invited to submit. I don’t want to interview people. I don’t like research. I don't want to be a journalist. I like to write songs but feel that'll be in the future. And so on.

I am glad to have the opportunity to pursue my interests slowly and discover in my own time where God wants me. I also pray and ask for guidance daily. If you are called to write, there are many opportunities to use your gift – have fun and enjoy exploring your call!

Kimberley Payne

April 25, 2009

Come and Stori - Marcia

In Papua New Guinea most of the people speak a pidgin language, a trade language, called Tok Pisin. When my family and I moved there we spent the first while learning how to speak it. I loved that time because of the many phrases and words that made me smile.

For instance, when someone invites you to visit he or she will say, “Yu mas cam na stori wantaim mipella" - "You must come and story with me.” Because the written word is a relatively new thing there, verbal communication is vital.

Telling stories is their way of understanding the world and people around them, their way of relating what is in the depths of their hearts. A man who had lived in that country a long time said, “you don’t just blurt information here, you must build on it, make it into a drama, give it life.”

I once watched a Papuan friend tell a story to a small group. We were sitting in a half-circle, the story-teller squatting in the middle. His head swivelled as he made eye contact with those on both sides, often repeating parts and using his hands with emphasis to make sure they were getting it all. His audience leaned forward, intent on his words, even though it was a story they all knew well, an old folk tale that had been told and re-told for many generations.

I have heard it said that there are less than thirty unique plot-lines from which to choose when writing fiction. With such limited material, I once despaired of ever doing anything unique. But, like that Papuan man who kept his audience spellbound, I have discovered that it isn’t so much the story itself that captures people, but the way in which it’s told and the unique perspective of the teller.

Jesus knew this when he told stories to those he sat with in the markets and houses of Palestine. The stories he told weren’t anything new. They were simple stories about fishermen and farmers, about the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. But as He told them He allowed them to see with His eyes, giving them a perspective that took them to depths they had never gone before. In a sense, He told them what they already knew, but in such a way that they drew in their breath with fresh understanding. He allowed them to see with His Father’s eyes and the view was suddenly astonishing.

We too can open the eyes of our readers to the wonder of our world and our God. The Apostle Peter, as he was preaching, once said “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2Peter 1:16).

We have not seen Jesus face to face on this earth, but we have seen his majesty. We’ve seen it in the world around us, in the people around us, and most astonishingly in our own lives. As believers we have had the longings of our hearts satisfied, the drama of our lives given meaning, and that which was once dead brought to life. That is the story we can and must tell, over and over, in all the plot lines and all the turns of phrase.

It is a simple truth, the essential truth, the only story. May He find us faithful.

April 23, 2009

Revival -- Are we still waiting for the fire?

Revival is talked frequently among Christians. Do we still hope for its imminence? Are we prepared for the renewal of the Holy Spirit to permeate our souls with His almighty love and peace? People offer various meanings and take different approaches to revival. To some it may mean a rekindling of church growth, to others a personal renewal of faith, and to still others, a deeper intimacy with God.

It has been said that revival is not the imposition of religious intensity but rather, a full expression of the loving heart of our Father God. The vision has been cast; it is up to God’s children to grasp it, seek His face and wait upon Him for direction and guidance. But what are we waiting for? Fire to fall, an outburst of souls seeking salvation, or youth to rise up and take the lead?

We must ask whether revival has to be what we search and wait for. If our Christian walk demands a turnaround, must we work and prepare for something to happen to restore the foundational Christian faith? What ever happened to the basics of Christianity taught in our churches? The integral need for a returned faith is unequivocally, love. A restored love for God and His standard for Christian living will bring about a renewed faith in the Gospel, an awakened spirit of holy living and a desire to grow closer to Jesus Christ. Getting on track with holiness, making amends and seeking forgiveness will follow as a result of a pure and sincere heart. Psalm 37:28 says, “For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake His faithful ones.”

We can learn a lesson on intimacy from Scripture. Paul openly and honestly expressed his love for God: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” (Phil.3:10) This is a valuable verse to memorize. When a person is new in their faith, there is an eagerness and desire for servanthood. That freshness can be maintained when we pursue righteous living. In order to pursue righteous living we must seek God’s will and direction in life. It is when we stray from God’s way that we become lost and confused. The apostle Paul was diligent and strove to persuade people to follow Christ. He had seen the Lord!

What is revival to you? Whether we define revival, renewal or awakening, the basics of Christianity are the foundation on which we must build our faith. We must then win the lost for him. Revival ought to bring us back to the foundational truths. Let’s talk about Jesus more. Don’t fall back—come back.

Jan Keats

April 22, 2009

What Do You Write? - Bonnie Way

Someone once said that going to a conference is like getting a drink from a fire hydrant. There is so much to learn and process in such a short time. Spring WorDshop was like that. I took notes like crazy and left feeling that I had so many ideas, I didn’t know where to start. I’ve been doing more freelancing and writing lately, and seeing some success, but the conference was still a huge encouragement and inspiration.

One question that always comes up, especially among writers, is, “What do you write?” As I stammered out my usual vague answer (“fiction, long and short, nonfiction because it pays, some poetry—in other words, a bit of everything”) and listened to a few other equally vague answers, I thought, “I need a better answer.” I was among writers here—why did I still find it hard to talk about what I write?

This conference, I actually came prepared with business cards to exchange with writers I chatted with and wanted to keep in touch with (thanks to Kathleen Gibson, who gave me that tip about ten years ago at my very first Fall Conference). And I did exchange a few cards with a few other writers. As I left this conference, I decided that I needed to come prepared with an answer to “what I write” as well.

It’s a question that we writers face anytime someone asks us “What do you do?” and we answer, “I’m a writer.” Somehow, we’re a species of professionals that are rather a curiosity to others. Maybe because we’re rare. Maybe because of the romantic glow that surrounds the writing profession—the idea that we just sit at our desks for a few hours a day, churn out bestsellers, and earn millions like Francine Rivers—or at least enough to pay the bills, as Sigmund Brouwer says.

So what do I write? I’m currently a contributing writer for Suite 101.com, where I post short articles on a variety of topics, from parenting to travelling. I’m also working on travel articles and book reviews for a variety of publications. I’m the editor of FellowScript and try to write a few articles about writing for other writing newsletters. And I’ve also written a few novels, which I need to polish and submit.

How about you? What do you write?

April 17, 2009

God Morning

(Photo: Georgia Sunrise, ya'll. Taken last October on our way back from Florida)

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail one morning. About an hour later she sent another e-mail with the subject line - Sorry.

When she had sent her original message she had misspelled her salutation. Instead of starting out her greeting with Good Morning, she had ommitted one of the o's in Good and the result was of a divine nature - God Morning. She felt bad and chastised herself for her mistake. Au contraire...I was so thrilled to receive such a wish. And I told her so! I recall it being a day of all days when there seemed no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. And I also recall smiling and feeling a tad spiritually revived when I saw that God Morning greeting in my inbox!
Too often my day takes off at lightning speed. Since I have been feeling better, my schedule seems hectic once again and more often than not, the week is over and I am left dizzy with little scratched off my to-do list.

Every so often my friend's morning greeting still rings wonderfully in the chambers of my noggin'. I am reminded that without God, there would be no morning; no glorious sunrise; no divine blessing.
When I get the God Morning nudge, I am reminded that every breath I take; every move I make; every bird that heralds the springtime, comes from God. I'll do nothing, achieve nothing, accomplish nothing until I start my day with the Lord. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to have another go at revamping that wretched to-do list. With God at the top of the list I'm sure to have a sunny day! A blessed God Morning to you all, too! X

April 15, 2009

The Tuner

The Tuner

With overalls and velvet crafted
box of tools he came
and touched my discord
pain and sour notes
faded keys heaped and
bruised in sharp contrast
to his gently pacing metronome

Soft of heart, he pried my
protesting crusted hinges
ashamed to let him see
inside, taunt strings
and broken chords

Deft fingers gripped
and burned my felts
softened notes
made harsh, by jolts
upheaval, moves
and clime extremes

He waited then touched again,
sharp then flat, black notes
clanged and tumbled
clunked and struck his hands
and pierced his feet
Slowing pace, he tapped

Alpha and omega pass
He tightened. Bleeding
smiling, tapping half notes
listening, tapping whole notes
smiling, tapping, gently
touching, softly whistling

With prophetic grace
my chords collimate
alongside his silent scales
while deaf ears strain
to hear the symphony.

© Elsie Montgomery

April 13, 2009

Powerful Defender - Elizabeth Bunyan, Part 4 - Nesdoly

The story so far
  • Part 1 - The place is England, the time 1660. England's experiment with parliamentary government has ended with the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658 and the return of King Charles II from exile. One November night Elizabeth Bunyan's husband John, a dissenting preacher, is arrested for holding religious meetings unauthorized by the Church of England.
Read Part 1

  • Part 2 - John's imprisonment drags on. But his conscience won't allow him to promise to stop preaching. When things look blackest he discovers pardons are being issued in honor of Charles II's coronation. John asks Elizabeth to go to London and seek such a pardon for him.
Read Part 2

  • Part 3 - Part 3 - Elizabeth goes to London with John's petition for a pardon. But Lord Barkwood won't issue one. Instead he tells Elizabeth to take his case to the local judges at the next assizes in Bedford.
Read Part 3

Illustration from 1894 edition of Pilgrim's Progress

POWERFUL DEFENDER - a story of Elizabeth Bunyan
(Part 4 of 4)

Blind Mary gently patted Elizabeth’s hair and dress with her thin, sensitive hands. "You look wonderful, Ma," she said. "I will pray for you." Then the others hugged and kissed her goodbye, and she was on her way, walking toward the Embankment and the courthouse.

It was finally the August day Elizabeth had looked forward to and dreaded since returning from London. John had been ignored, no one else had come forward, today the judges arrived and it was all up to her.

"We must believe that this is how God wills it," John had kept encouraging her.

When Elizabeth arrived at the courthouse, the crowd was thick, with many already assembled. Elizabeth joined a line to await her turn. Through the long morning and into the afternoon, she inched forward as one after the other presented their petitions to the judge. When she got closer, her hands grew clammy and she felt her heart begin to pound. Too much was riding on the next few minutes.

She rehearsed again what she planned to say: Your Honor, my husband John Bunyan has been jailed these nine months for a crime he has never been tried for or pleaded guilty to. No, ‘crime’ was too strong. He has been jailed these nine months for a mere oversight, a misunderstanding –"

"Next," the clerk’s voice cut into Elizabeth’s thoughts. The judge looked coolly down on her.

"My name is Elizabeth Bunyan," she began, surprised at the strength in her voice.

"Judge Hale," he said, giving her a nod.

"I am here on behalf of my husband, John Bunyan. Here is his petition." She handed him John’s petition. "He has been in prison these nine months for a misunderstanding – for something he was never tried for or been found guilty of."

When Judge Hale looked at her she saw kindness in his eyes. "I will do the best good I can for thee," he said. "But I fear I’ll not be able to do anything."

Elizabeth’s heart dropped at his words. She opened her mouth to say something more, but the clerk was already calling out, "Next!"

She stopped at the jail on her way through town.

"How did it go?" John asked.

"I gave the petition to Judge Hale," she began. "He was kind, but he said he didn’t think he could help us."

"We must have faith. God can work the impossible,"

"Also," Elizabeth went on, "there were crowds of others with petitions. The place is so busy. Thy case may well get lost in a sea of papers."

"Perhaps we should give it to other judges as well," John said. "Here, take these." He handed her several more packets.

If only John were allowed to speak for himself, or someone else took up his cause, she thought again, as she made her way home. Please, send us some help, Elizabeth prayed all the way home.

The next day, Elizabeth went out again. She took up a spot along with others on the Embankment, near the courthouse. She wasn’t sure what she would do with the petitions she clutched in her hand. But as the carriages carrying the judges drew near, she had an idea. It was daring, but what did she have to lose? She elbowed her way to the front of the crowd, stepped up to the carriage and just as the door opened, tossed a petition inside.

A red-faced judge emerged and scanned the crowd. Then his eyes locked with Elizabeth’s.

Around her she heard a murmur of the bystanders.

He picked the petition off the carriage floor, deliberately unfolded it and skimmed its contents while she waited hardly daring to breathe. Then, looking straight at her with angry eyes and speaking with barely suppressed rage, he said, "This John Bunyan is a convicted person. He cannot be released unless he promises to preach no more!"

Elizabeth felt her face go red under the scrutiny of the judge and the bystanders. How could they not see that John was no criminal, that he was a far better risk to be pardoned than the thousands of real criminals who had already been freed by the king’s pardon? Instead, all these powerful men seemed to have made their minds up about John.

But for so long Elizabeth had been sure that the king’s pardon would be the means of John’s release, she would not give up now. Somehow these judges must be convinced that John was innocent and belonged at home with his family.

The next day was another day of public hearings and Elizabeth was again in line at the courthouse, clutching another of John’s petitions. When it was her turn, she saw with relief that kindly Judge Hale was on the bench.

"And what can I do for you, young lady," he asked, not showing any sign that he recognized her from the days before.

She stepped forward with her petition, but before she had a chance to say anything, another official, a sly man, took the paper from her.

"This is John Bunyan’s wife," he explained to the judge. "He is a high spirited fellow who’s been convicted by the court. Don’t even consider freeing him."

Judge Hale gave her a regretful smile and dismissed her with a wave of his hand.

On her way out of the courthouse, the high sheriff stopped her. "How did it go?" he asked.

"An official took my petition,"she told him. "He said John was a condemned man so I never even got to say a word to the judge. But they are wrong. They tricked him into an indictment. He’s done no crime."

"There, there," the sheriff said in a kind voice, patting her on the shoulder. Elizabeth heard the sympathy in his tone and her eyes fill with tears. She hurried away before she shamed herself by weeping in front of them all.

The next few days Elizabeth busied herself at home. House duties had been neglected the last few days, the garden was ripening fast and there was much to do. But as busy as she was, she couldn’t stamp out the fearful thoughts of facing another winter without John. As the days wore on, and she knew the court sessions were drawing to a close, her prayers grew ever more desperate. Oh God, let John speak, she prayed, or send someone powerful and persuasive plead his case.

The last day of the assizes dawned and Elizabeth was at home attending to the children’s breakfast when there was a knock at the door. It was a young man, a court page, who handed her a message:

"A hearing has been arranged for thee before the judges in Swan Chamber this afternoon one hour after noon. Bring John’s petition. His Majesty’s High Sheriff of Bedford."

The remainder of the morning was a blur of activity – getting ready, making arrangements for the children, stopping by the prison to tell John. She forgot all about eating and when at last she was called in to the courtroom to face the crowd of judges, justices and gentry, she couldn’t tell whether it was hunger or nervousness that made her tremble.

She spotted Judge Hale and stepped over to where he sat. "My Lord," she said shyly, "I make bold to come once again to your Lordship, to know what may be done with my husband."

Judge Hale looked at her with kindness and recognition. But his voice was resigned. "Woman, I told the before, I could do thee no good; because they have taken for a conviction what thy husband said at the sessions. Unless there be something done to undo that, I can do thee no good."

Elizabeth felt her indignation rise. "My Lord, he is kept unlawfully in prison. They clapped him in there before there was any proclamation against the meetings. The indictment is false too. He never admitted his guilt and he did not confess."

One of the justices, who had been listening intently, broke in, "My Lord, he was lawfully convicted."

His assertion made Elizabeth furious. "It is false!" she exclaimed. "For when they said, do you confess the indictment, he said only that he’d been at several meetings where there was preaching and prayer and that God’s presence was there."

There was a moment of silence. The whole room was electrified at her bold response. Then another angry, and familiar voice boomed out. "What! Do you think we can do whatever we want?" Judge Twisdon’s face was red with anger. "Your husband is a peace breaker and is convicted by the law!"

But Elizabeth would not let Judge Twisdon have the last word. "My Lord," she said, looking straight into the angry man’s eyes, "he was not lawfully convicted.!"

"What?" It was Judge Twisdon again. "Will your husband leave preaching? If he will do so, then send for him."

"He dares not leave preaching as long as he can speak."

Twisdon threw back his head in disgust. "See here, what should we talk any more about such a fellow? He is a breaker of the peace."

"He desires to live peaceably," Elizabeth insisted, "and follow his calling to support his family. Moreover my Lord, I have four small children that cannot help themselves and one of them is blind. We have nothing to live on but the charity of good people."

But Judge Twisdon scoffed. "You make a show of your poverty."

"Why don’t you let him speak for himself," Elizabeth pleaded. "He preaches nothing but the Word of God."

"He? Preach the Word of God?" Judge Twisdon looked so angry, Elizabeth thought he might strike her. "His doctrine is the doctrine of the devil." Looking over toward Judge Hale he bellowed, "Send her away!"

"I am sorry, but I can’t do thee any good." Judge Hale took his cue from Twisdon. "Bring the statute book. Here, I’ll show you the three things thou canst do."

But a great despair swept over Elizabeth, caught in her throat and flooded her eyes with tears. She had failed. She strode from the room, trying to muffle her sobs.

Elizabeth didn’t visit John until the next day. "I have failed thee," she blurted as he came to meet her in the common room.

"No," said John, comforting her. "That is not what I heard. Those that were there said thou wast magnificent, that thou spokest like a different person, with passion and persuasion."

Elizabeth looked into his eyes through tears. "But I failed to convince them to release thee, Why would God give us this hope and then leave us with only failure?" She began to sob.

John took a handkerchief from his sleeve. "There, there my dear," he said as he wiped her eyes, "they’ve said no more about banishment or the gallows. We thought this was God’s way, but we cannot know His plans."

"But how will we survive the winter?" Elizabeth asked.

"I have news on that front," John said with renewed vigor. "I have met a man in here who knows how to make long tagged laces for boots. He will teach me. We can sell them to the hawkers. And who knows but God may provide another opportunity to appear before the courts. If He does," John went on, with a twinkle in his eye, "I will have no one speak for me but my shy wife."

A reluctant smile crept over Elizabeth’s face. Her performance in the courthouse yesterday had surprised no one more than herself. Surely the God who had heard her prayers and had given her the boldness of a different person would continue to hear her prayers through the coming winter, and spring and summer...


John Bunyan was released from prison eleven years later, in September of 1672 but was jailed again for six months in 1675. During his time in prison he wrote many books, one of which was Pilgrim’s Progress. This fanciful allegory was an instant success when it was first published in 1678. By 1688 eleven English and five Dutch editions of the book had been printed. Today it has been translated into over 200 languages and dialects and is one of the most popular books ever written.

After his release from prison, John Bunyan continued working as a popular itinerant preacher and pastor. He died in 1688 at the age of 60. Elizabeth died about five years later.


© Copyright 2005 by Violet Nesdoly

Blog: promptings
Daily devotions for kids: Bible Drive-Thru

April 09, 2009

A Relevant Faith - Pamela Mytroen

Jesus asked Simon Peter to go out into the deep water and let down his nets for a catch.

“Master we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything,” responded Peter (Luke 5:5). He was tired, grumpy and worried about how he was going to pay his bills. And here’s Jesus, a carpenter, not a fisherman, telling Peter what to do.

Peter knows it’s the wrong time of day to fish. If they didn’t get anything all night, how would they catch something now? But, in the same breath, he responds with “But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (5:5).

They fill two boat loads with fish and they both begin to sink. It didn’t make any sense to fish at this time of day or in this depth of water. He knows at once it is a miracle and he falls to his feet in the presence of holiness saying, “Go away from me Lord, I am a sinful man” (5:8). Just a few short minutes ago he was tired and grumpy and lacking in faith. Now he is overwhelmed by the power and presence of God.

That day Peter chose to leave everything and follow Jesus. He left his trade, his family, his friends, and his reputation. He gave it all up to learn from the great Rabbi.

What about providing for his family while he followed Jesus? Perhaps that big haul of fish would have taken care of their financial needs for a time.

Jesus cares about all the details of our lives. When he asks us to follow him he will provide everything we need. Our response is to surrender and trust. And a dose of humility like Peter’s, recognizing that we are in the presence of an awesome God, is a good idea, too.

It’s okay to tell God how we feel. Peter felt tired and hopeless and he told Jesus that. However, in the same breath he agreed to obey Jesus.

Peter faced issues that we still struggle with today – feelings and faith. He was honest with his feelings, yet stepped out in faith. And he was likely concerned about his family, another timeless heartbeat, yet he put Jesus first, trusted Him and followed. He’s a powerful example for me today.

Pam Mytroen

April 08, 2009

Whispers and Shouts — Lynda Schultz

God sometimes whispers. At other times, He shouts.

Just before four in the afternoon on Palm Sunday, a tremor of 4.3 magnitude rippled through Caracas. On the thirteenth floor where I live, the movement was quite impressive. About four hours later, a shock of 4.0 shook several other states within the country. There was no damage, but there were people who fled to the streets “just in case.” Smaller aftershocks numbered into the dozens. Of course, nothing we felt here compared to what happened just a few hours later as an earthquake of over 6 on the scale ripped through central Italy. Buildings fell. Over 200 people died and thousands have been left homeless.

The “shaking” of the earth on Sunday reminded me of the role earthquakes played in the first Easter. Matthew 24:45-54 describes what happened when Christ died. The sun hide its face, the earth shook, the graves were opened, and the holy dead came back to testify. Every time I read these verses I am reminded of a devastating quake that struck the city of Popay├ín, Colombia while I was living there a number of years ago. The city was destroyed and the movement of the earth was such that the dead in the cemeteries were tossed back to the surface. Unfortunately, they stayed dead and could give no testimony to the need to flee hell, or to embrace heaven. On the morning of Christ’s resurrection, the earth shook again as the angel descended to move the gravestone from the entrance to His tomb—another powerful testimony.

There are no coincidences, not even in the natural realm. God continues to speak through His creation. In the case of a depressed prophet, His voice was not heard in the earthquake, but in a quiet whisper (1 Kings 19:11-14). God knows when we need a whisper and when we need something stronger.

Paul tells us in Romans: "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth" (8:22) as he describes the earth's eager anticipation for liberation from the effects of sin, and its ultimate restoration to what God has always intended it to be.

The shaking of the earth during this particular week of the year has served to remind me why Christ took upon Himself my sin, and those of the whole world, on that terrible, wonderful, day so long ago. The earth shook then, in response to the consequences of sin and as testimony to the truth that sin has a remedy, and his name is Jesus.

May God give us this Easter, the once dead in sin who are now alive in Christ, the opportunity to testify for our Liberator.

April 01, 2009

Some Small Stuff by Brenda Leyland

"Don't carry a grudge;
while you're carrying the grudge,
the other guy's out dancing."
Buddy Hackett

I used to get grumpy about the rude and careless drivers let loose out in traffic. No doubt you can picture it. There's some guy butting into traffic, weaving in and out like he owns the road, cutting people off. That action would irritate me to no end, and as the proverbial steam came out my ears, I'd yell 'genteel' words really loud at him. 'You stupid idiot' rolled too easily from my otherwise kindly lips.

Can he hear me? Does he care? No! He's long gone in a puff of diesel, totally oblivious to my warm feelings. And, should he be aware, he's probably displaying his own colourful sign language to indicate just how much he doesn't care. So, who is left irritated with an upset stomach? Me... certainly not the guy with the bad driving habits!

One day, it finally clicked on my lightning quick mind, this whole thing probably falls under some of that "small stuff" Richard Carlson talks about in his book Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. And why allow myself to get so irate? I can't do anything about the other guy's choices; I can only do something about my own. Which means I can choose to quit badmouthing the guy -- even if he can't hear me -- and I can let go of the right to be offended at his lack of consideration. Just let it go.

This decision has completely changed my commuting experiences. I'm so much more relaxed and driving out there, even in traffic jams, is a much more enjoyable. For me, it's been another stepping stone in my journey to making my life more beautiful and more in tune with Kingdom love.

Want to come along for the ride?

Brenda writes to inspire women to live more beautifully. She writes a monthly newsletter for Mary Kay consultants. When she's not sweating the small stuff, Brenda's enjoys blogging, sharing heart-to-heart conversations over coffee, and spending time with her newly-retired husband.