Hope in Christ is an anchor for the soul.

Musings: March 2019

One thing so often leads to another, and, in retrospect, it takes a conscious effort to trace the trail of God’s active participation in our lives. Here’s a fresh example:

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In August of last year, I wrote a piece about praying for our teens because that’s something I do. (A lot.) When Desiring God picked it up, a reader in Maryland wondered if I might be available to speak at a women’s conference she organizes every spring. Following a series of delightful surprises, I boarded an airplane in Portland, Maine one Friday morning in March and spent a glorious Saturday teaching the women of Faith Evangelical Free Church of Mountain Lake Park, Maryland.

My photography doesn’t begin to do justice to their good work of making the entire church portray their nautical theme. It was an absolute privilege and joy to share truth from the Word of God about our need for hope in Christ as an anchor for the soul. 

On the Blog

March Book Reviews

Your Invitation to Embrace a New, True Life — When Michelle DeRusha and her family visited the Portland Japanese Garden in the Pacific Northwest, they observed the masterful application of open center pruning, a process that yields, over time, a tree with uniquely healthy and beautiful form. For DeRusha, the image of branch-by-branch relinquishment became a metaphor for the stripping away that happens on the way to one’s “true, essential self,” (19) and the outcome of her pondering is the gift of her latest book:  True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created

A Deep and Delighted LoveValerie Elliot Shepard has combed through her parents’ letters and journals and the resulting treasure is Devotedly: The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. While the story of their courtship has been told in Elisabeth’s classic Passion and Purity, it is now possible for readers to trace the unfolding romance from love’s first stirring at Wheaton College in the late 1940’s all the way through the birth of their daughter Valerie.

When You Expect Nothing and Get the Gift of Everything –Singer, songwriter, and author Michael Card describes words as “clumsy bricks” we attempt to employ in defining concepts. While they enable us to have thoughts and conversations about God and about intangibles such as hope and love, ultimately, meaning cannot always be contained within syllables. In his biblical study, Card has found this to be particularly evident with the Hebrew word hesed, and his latest book (Inexpressible: Hesed and the Mystery of God’s Lovingkindness) is founded on the mystery of this unique word.

The Life and Legacy of Susannah SpurgeonWhen Ray Rhodes, Jr. was investigating topics for his dissertation, he followed his life long interest in Charles Spurgeon and began to research Spurgeon’s marriage and the spiritual element of his relationship with his wife of thirty-six years, Susannah Spurgeon. Surprisingly, his interest led him away from “the prince of preachers” and toward a more focused attention to the life and legacy of the woman behind the great man. Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles H. Spurgeon describes an unlikely pairing from the beginning. This is is a story about a life that took place just inches from the spotlight, and yet, likely, changed the course of church history by serving and loving one of God’s key players in the building up of His church. 


Guest posts

A partner in prayer, another set of eyes, a companion in trouble:  these are the benefits of spiritual friendship.I was so pleased when April Yamasaki invited me to guest post on her blog. Since I enjoyed her book, Four Gifts: Seeking Self-care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength, I wanted to write about self-care . . . and since I had just finished reading Janice Peterson’s Becoming Gertrude: How Our Friendships Shape Our Faith, it was great fun to write about spiritual friendships as a self-care strategy. The conversation over at April’s place was terrific, so I invite you to come on over if you haven’t already. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Ash Wednesday is a day to grow in our understanding of where to take our struggle with sin.

Parenting Lessons from the Ashes — Teaming up with Desiring God is always a great experience, and this time, I’m sharing memories of Ash Wednesday, filling up that concept with some history, some spiritual practices, and some story telling from my parenting life here on this country hill.

In Christian circles, we’re fond of talking about finding God, until we realize that He has been there all along.

Surprise! God Has Your Best Interest at Heart!  Mary Geisen is a long-time friend in the blogging community. She is well known for her hospitality, and, I have a feeling it will soon be a well known fact that she is a newly minted grandmother! It was a joy to share my own story with the friends who gathered for #TellHisStory in March. Click here to join the gathering . . .

Random Ponderings

What if the font we’re reading makes a difference in how easily we recall what we read? As someone whose eyes take in at least four books a month, I really want my brain to take in the content as well. Sans Forgetica: A font scientifically designed to help you remember your study notes. Sans Forgetica is a font that has been scientifically designed to aid memory retention. Apparently the missing parts of letters and the comparative difficulty in reading it forces the brain to press in to the reading process, making the content “more sticky” to the brain.

I typed the sample above on their site,  because I’ve been working on Philippians 1 this winter with the crew at Do Not Depart. I’m wondering how long it will be before someone publishes a San Forgetica Bible! After all, Scripture memorization is hard work, and we need all the help we can get.

It’s true! I do thank the Lord upon every remembrance of you–and I won’t forget that! Thanks for reading and for the continual encouragement of your reading, sharing your thoughts, and introducing your friends to Living Our Days,

Michele Morin


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68 thoughts on “Musings: March 2019”

  1. Looks like a wonderful conference you attended, and the books all look great as well. On a separate note, I read that same study, and I have always wondered when someone is going to follow through with a teaching curriculum of teaching resources in the fun fonts.


  2. How very interesting to read about fonts and especially Sans Forgetica. My brain can use all the “forcing” it can get some days!


  3. A Sans Forgetica Bible…interesting concept. 🙂 I might could use that for Philippians 1; it’s not coming easy. I’m so happy to see your writings getting picked up elsewhere. You really have a beautiful gift, Michele!


    1. Oh, thank you, Lisa. That means a lot, because I have so much respect for YOUR writing ministry.
      And I’m finding the same thing about Philippians 1. Gotta do some heavy reviewing today because I’m getting confused between Philippians 1 and Ephesians 1.


  4. Look at that photo slideshow!! So glad you got to go share at the conference, Michele. Praise the Lord for what He is doing. And thanks for the forgetica tip!


  5. We went to breakfast this morning with our son. He described to us a show he and his son watched together about “tricks” our brains play on us. That Sans Forgetica font seems like one of those “brain tricks”. Thank you for the information. I will have to check it out! 🙂


  6. Wow, you’ve had a busy blogging month! What a joy to see new avenues popping up for your writing ministry. I loved the way the conference organizers worked out their theme! I helped with that kind of thing where we used to live for about nine years, so that catches my eye. 🙂 And another neat venue of your ministry.

    I read an article on memory a while back – I wish I had remembered (ha!) to keep track of it. But it was on this same idea, that memorization works best not just by rote, but by getting the brain to work a little more for it. They didn’t mention this font in that article – neat to see this application of that thought.


    1. Yes, it was a busy and challenging month for all kinds of reasons. I’m trying to work on doing a “new thing” every month this year, and in March it was flying to a location for ministry. I had no idea how different air travel has become since the last time I flew (1989!).


  7. Hi, Michele! Glad to have found you…. I’ve been seeking out mature female Christian voices and appreciate your writing. I’m hoping that finding more like-minded and same-season bloggers will get me back on the wagon of writing myself! I’ve used you as my first entry of those of us who are “still being carried” (Is. 46:4). : – ) Thanks for the Sans Forgetica info, too! So interesting!


  8. So much to take in here, Michele! I prayed for your speaking engagement throughout the month, so I’m glad to hear it went well. (I also love the story of how it came to pass that you were asked to speak.) That font makes my eyes hurt but I can see how it would aid in memory retention. 🙂


  9. WOW! You have been busy, indeed! What wonderful things God is doing through you! Very interesting tidbit about the font, too!


  10. Michele,
    Wow your ministry is taking off in all kinds of exciting directions! Amazing what God will do with us if we simply say, “Here I am, Lord; use me.” Sans Forgetica…since I am queen of the skimmers, a Bible or any book in this font would help this already faltering brain remember what I just read lol. Enjoyed your musings, as always.
    Bev xx


  11. You are such a blessing here on the blog that I get to visit, and I know those women were very blessed also as well as any blog you guest on. You are an easy read with rich information. Thank you, and thanks for visiting Peabea Scribbles.


  12. That’s so wonderful that you were able to share more about Jesus to ladies that I’m sure were eager to be able to listen to parts of your heart through your lessons. The book that stands out most that is love to read is about Jim and Elizabeth Elliot as I’m sure it wouldn’t disappoint!! #inspirememonday 🙂


  13. Wow! Desiring God saw your article and asked you to speak! That’s VERY impressive, Michele! And I used to listen to Michael Card’s music a lot back in the 90’s. I didn’t know he also is an author. I’ll have to check that one out, because his music always brought out such compelling truths from Scripture in inspiring ways. I’ll be pinning!


    1. It was fun to actually meet the young woman who read the DG article and suggested inviting me to the conference, so I had lots of fun experiences, the biggest of which was witnessing the working of the Spirit of God through the Word of God.
      Blessings to you, Beth!


  14. I’m glad your time at the conference went well! I love how God can work in such a way that one thing leads onto another and takes us to places we’d never have expected! The font looks interesting too. I am also trying to do the Philippians 1 challenge so I’ll need to give it a try!


  15. What a wonderful experience to speak, and those women were beyond blessed to hear you! So grateful for the amazing ways God works things out for His glory!


    1. They were just such an amazing group of women. So much thought and care and attention to detail went into the details of that conference. It was a humbling experience to come waltzing into a beautifully decorated church building to share truth and to connect with those dear sisters.


  16. It’s fascinating to me the differences fonts can make in retention, in reading ability and more. Who would have thought that writing letters a specific way would make such a difference?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Awww! I love this! I was honored to have you as a guest for Tell His Story. The community is better because of people like you. And I am thrilled you had a chance to speak for those lovely women in Maryland. What a blessing for all!


  18. I loved the photographs, Michele. What a great premise for a conference, using a nautical theme like that! I’m glad you enjoyed speaking, and I’m sure the attendees were blessed by your words. I really enjoyed this post, there are so many great reads linked to within it, I need to bookmark it and come back! I’m also really pleased to see that there is a book highlighting Susanna Spurgeon’s contribution to her husband’s ministry. So often the women behind the great man get forgotten! Thank you so much for your support of the Hearth and Soul Link Party!


    1. I was so amazed by all the hard work and creativity that went into that day of blessing for women. What an honor to be part of it.
      And yes–I want to do some research on other women behind the great men who wrote books and preached to thousands while a faithful wife packed the suitcases and raised their sons and daughters to love Jesus.


  19. Oh wow. How do you manage to fit everything in? It sounds like it has been super busy for you. Some lovely reads to look over and congratulations on speaking at the conference. It’s a real skill being able to vocally capture listeners ears (and hearts). Thank you for joining us for the #dreamteam x


    1. I’ve been teaching the Bible most of my life in one setting or another, so it’s really become my favorite thing to do. I love the study and then I love the excitement of sharing what God gives me with eager listeners.

      Liked by 1 person

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