A little bit of Hygge

20170926_074742 (1)Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish and Norwegian word which can be described as a quality of cosiness that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.

If you have ever moved or done home renovation you can attest to the fact that your life is anything but Hygge….or calm…or normal.  It tends to be chaotic, full or tripping hazards and perhaps lots of fast food. Warm cups of tea get traded for on-the-go cups of coffee or other caffeine to get you through the day.  The moments you use to take to soak up nature or embrace the calm are traded for 5 minute showers to remove drywall dust.

My husband and I moved this summer and have some really tight deadlines to finish 20170926_080419 (1)projects before our lease is up.  There are many hidden blessings in this whole process which I am so grateful for.  We were forced to finish our rent leaving us in two places for 4 months.  The hidden blessing was a little extra time to do some home renovation in the new place.  Our new place while in total chaos overlooks a small lake which is quite calming.

I am a person that likes only a certain level of chaos.  I don’t handle overtired.  I can only take so many tripping hazards in my kitchen before I snap.  It’s a constant battle to remind myself to keep it together, take a break and this too shall pass.

Life at work has been equally fast paced.  Of my own doing/necessity I have taken on several large deadline specific projects.  This wouldn’t be possible without a great team to help me.  Mentally though there is a lot weighing on me. The hidden blessing is the amazing amount of grace I get. My co-workers see my weariness and bleary eyes and don’t tell me to suck it up.  They offer sympathy and try to ease my burdens.  I am so thankful that I work in a place that gives me the flexibility to not burn out and ease off when necessary without guilt.

Cup of Tea

Practicing Hygge

So in the midst of this chaos I am trying to embrace the little things.  Embrace what the Danes call Hygge.  Small cozy and enjoyable things that bring me back to sanity.  My cozy cup of tea, nature, sleep, family, Peanut Butter M&Ms. It doesn’t make the drywall dust go away and Hygge doesn’t paint the garage walls but it does make life seem a little more tolerable until the end of the chaos.

Categories: Life on the outside, Melanie's Ministry | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Former Drug Addicts Hungry for God’s Word


This was originally posted on our webiste blog.  I hope that you are encouraged by it as much as I am!  We serve and amazing God that is doing amazing things in people’s hearts and lives!!

God’s Word brings life!

If you have been around the LRI world for any length of time this is likely a phrase you have heard. Why? It is the core conviction that drives our ministry. It is why we do what we do.

Speaking these words simply lends voice to what Jesus declared long ago, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus drew these words from Deuteronomy 8:3 (read along with the surrounding context), but perhaps he also had in mind the process described in Isaiah 55:10-11 (read the whole chapter for maximum benefit).

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

It is easy to hear the second half (“not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose”) but miss the first (“making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater”). This is an image of life. The Word that comes from God creates, nourishes and sustain life. Nothing else has this power and beauty. This is not only our conviction—it’s our delight. Over the years we’ve been so privileged to hear and see this truth in action. Every time we walk away in wonder and joy saying, “Isn’t our God great!”

Former Drug Addicts Hungry for God’s Word

Meet Daniel. He is one of our Mentor Trainers, a key graduate partnering with us to spread a Movement of the Word of God in his part of the world. Among other things, he is directly training some 25 former drug addicts. They have been transformed by Christ. Many of them with HIV, quite literally knowing what it means to be brought back from death to life. They have decided to serve Christ with their lives. They are hungry for the Word of God and eager to help and train others in addiction. Daniel will spend 4 years discipling them. For two years he will train them in how to study the Bible and for two more how to preach it.

One year into the training Daniel reports, “when they get these principles they apply the Word of God very quickly and effectively.”

Recently he gave an assignment regarding the two roads in Matthew 7:13-14. The broad road leads to destruction, the narrow one leads to life. He asked them to study it for themselves then report back.

When they came back together, it was clear God’s Spirit was at work in their lives. They said, “we used to be on the road to destruction, but now we are on the road to eternal life. They spoke not as one making a simple recitation, but as one whose spirit had been revived by the light of day. They bubbled up with the God-given awareness that though following Jesus may be hard it is worth it all. They not only saw, they perceived.

One of the students, in particular, is an example of such change. His wife testifies, “He used to be a cruel man, using his leadership to control others, but now he serves with humility.” She is so happy to see his transformation that she willing supports him through her earnings as a hairdresser to give 100% of his time to serve the Lord as a pastor to drug addicts. All attending his church are former drug addicts or family members of such and become Christians when they see his transformation. His wife is so happy.

The Word of God truly brings life!

Note: I have not identified real names and places though you may have guessed. If I were to do so, you would be filled with even greater joy.

Categories: LRI, Melanie's Ministry | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Being with the big wigs

“Skitch”, how did we get here?

This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie “That thing you do”.  A story about a band on the rise to fame and right before a television performance the guitarist looks at the drummer and wonders how they got there.  Exuding a feeling of surrealism at how quickly their lives have changed.

Often I am sitting in a meeting with Executives, board members or team leaders and someone asks for my genuine input. I want to sit back and wonder “how did I get here?”. John Samuel Webster

This isn’t about popularity, fame, money or pride.  This is a genuine sense of awe of the enormous amount of trust God has placed on me through His people!  When I sit in a meeting with other seasoned wise leaders and they ask me a question or want an opinion, I want to look around and see who they are talking to!  It certainly can’t be me!

I have been humbled by our President saying things like he genuinely respects me and what I have to say. He then listens to the comments, thoughts and ideas and actually uses them!

God has seen fit to put me into areas that shape the Kingdom in ways uniquely fitted for me.  I would not have this same respect in a board room filled with stock traders.  Why?  I have no experience or insight on their jobs!  It strikes me how God uniquely places each of us in circumstances that fit exactly who we are and if we are listening and following we can impact our world.  These experiences feed into my growth and wisdom. It’s a beautiful cycle of God’s love pouring out for my good, His glory and the furtherance of the Kingdom.

My job, and your job in whatever situation you are in, is to take what you have been given and give it back.  I am amazed that God chooses me but that is just evidence of His love and grace.  May I never let it be a source of selfish pride but rather a humbling opportunity to serve him.  Even in meetings with the big wigs.

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