An Open Door for the Gospel

Profanity and raucous laughter shot through my bedroom floor. I prayed for relief from the noise downstairs. “Who is this neighbor, anyway?” I wondered.

The next day I sensed God nudging me to find out.  In the summer heat of southern Oregon, my neighbor had his front door open.  As I approached, the middle-aged man inside looked up from his TV set. A half-empty liquor bottle rested beside him.

“Hi,” I said cheerily through the screen door.

“Hello,” the man replied. “I’m Cole. You must be the gal who lives upstairs.”

“That’s right, I’m  Jane.  I’m working in the area this summer doing my college internship as a park ranger.”

As our conversation in the doorway progressed, Cole asked, “What do you like to read?”

“The Bible,” I ventured timidly. Cole’s eyes widened. “I want to talk with you about that sometime.”

My heart surged as I realized God was providing me with someone who was open to hearing about the good news of Jesus Christ.

But back in my apartment a cloud of doubt rushed in. I was no Biblical expert, and only three weeks remained before it was time to go back to college. How could I make a difference in such a short time? Continue reading “An Open Door for the Gospel”

The Ultimate Cure for Perfectionism

I’m my own worst critic. Part of the problem is that I’m there to witness every one of my mistakes! Sometimes I attempt something and fail to perform as well as I think I could have. Other times I berate myself because I think I should have done something but didn’t even try. Either way, I am well-acquainted with that voice in my head that loves to remind me that I’ve fallen short.

th[10]That pesky internal companion has pressured me to perform “perfectly” since I was very young. As a child, I was driven to get straight A’s. My parents never overtly demanded honor roll achievement. Yet looking back, I recognize that they were perfectionists in their own right, whether it was striving for flawless Christian behavior, plowing the straightest corn rows, or keeping an immaculate house. I definitely inherited the perfectionist gene. Continue reading “The Ultimate Cure for Perfectionism”