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I Have a Rare Disease #RareDiseaseDay

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In January 2000, I woke up with one eye dilated. When it didn’t go away, I called the doctor who saw me immediately. There was concern that I could have a brain tumor. That was scary. The nurse called around to find an ophthalmologist who could see me right away. The eye doctor tested some eye drops in my eyes and determined I had a neurological disease called Adie’s Tonic Pupil. He prescribed some eye drops that I could use to force my pupil constrict and he added, “You can look it up on the Internet. If there are any new treatments available, let me know.” Jaw dropping. Back in 2000, the Internet was less helpful than it is today. But that’s when I discovered NORD, the National Organization of Rare Disorders. They listed Adie’s Tonic Pupil or Adie’s Syndrome as a rare disorder affecting fewer than 10,000 people. I ordered the report from NORD...

Where Did You Get the Idea for Your Most Recent Book, Chosen?

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When most people read the biblical narrative of the birth of Christ, they see a perfect, holy family fulfilling God’s perfect plan. When I read the biblical narrative of the birth of Jesus, I see a teenage girl who got pregnant and everyone thought the worst about her. Her own boyfriend assumed she’d been unfaithful. The gossip and public shame became so great the poor girl left town to visit her cousin. She stayed with her cousin three months. An angel helped straighten things out between the engaged couple, but then they were called upon to travel several days to Bethlehem at the very time Mary was to give birth. They were poor and the town was full because of the census. They had to give birth in an unsanitary barn. Then, to make matters worse, an angel told the young family to flee to Egypt because this newborn baby was on Israel’s Most Wanted List. King Herod had it out for the...

Ninety-Five Affirmations for a Life Empowered by Grace

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Five hundred years ago, a young monk struggling to reconcile church practice with what is actually found in Scripture, nailed to the church door a document containing ninety-five statements he was prepared to defend from Scripture. Martin Luther’s 95 Theses began to shake things up in the church. In today’s vernacular, Luther posted his manifesto on social media for public debate. Posting these statements in public opened a dialogue that ultimately changed the course of church history and marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. While the Catholic Church promoted the idea of performing good works to earn eternal life, the Protestants maintained that grace alone was necessary for salvation. Protestants began to break away from the Catholic Church to form private churches. Because Martin Luther opened a discussion that changed the course of history, we commemorate the day he...

Growing in Grace: 31 Verses for Daily Meditation

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As we approach Easter, I hope you’ll enjoy this list of 31 verses on grace. Use it as you wish. You might mark each verse in your Bible, journal about each verse, pray for God to deepen your awareness of grace, doodle about the verse, or use other creative means to interact with God’s Word depending on your interests and talents. There is a link to a free PDF of the verses at the bottom of the page.   Growing in Grace: 31 Verses for Daily Meditation My Strength Comes from God’s Grace, Not Rules to Live So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. Hebrews 13:9 God’s Grace Changes Lives This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and...

Growing in Grace: 31 Bible Verses to Doodle or Journal

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As we head towards Easter, I thought it would be a nice time to focus our hearts on God’s grace. With a blog named “Crazy Grace,” you’d be correct to assume grace is an important theme to me. I live with bipolar disorder so I have a messy, imperfect life. Thankfully, God’s grace has me covered. I screw up royally, but God picks me up and sets me on the right path again. For the month of March, I assembled a list of 31 Bible verses on grace. You can use them how you wish. If you’re not sure what to do, I’d suggest using a verse each day to doodle or journal on. Even simply marking each verse in your Bible would be a nice way to reflect on them over time. Whether you’re a writer, artist, or however you engage God’s Word, use this opportunity to embrace grace. Download the free PDF here. FREE PDF   Be sure to share your daily doodles on social media to bless others. #CrazyGrace...