mcoutu


Walls torn down to studs
When you repair a storm-damaged house, you may need to first strip it down to the bare frame. Sometimes God has to strip us down to basics, too. That was only one of several life lessons provided last week from a seemingly unlikely source: high school students. My husband is […]

Lessons Learned from Students


Count your many blessings
It’s Thanksgiving Week and many of us are busily preparing for family get-togethers, a big holiday meal, and perhaps parades or football. And, of course, Black Friday shopping. You may be excited to see family and view the cooking and preparations as fun. Or it may be stressful because certain family […]

Are You Counting Your Blessings?



"The Lion from the tribe of Judah has won the victory."
We visited the zoo on Saturday. My brain kept going back to a Simon and Garfunkel song from college days, “At the Zoo.” “It’s all happening at the zoo,” the lyrics say. “The monkeys stand for honesty. Giraffes are insincere. And the elephants are kindly but they’re dumb.” The numbers […]

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!




Maye it was for a moment like this...
The biblical story of Queen Esther is beloved by many people for its intrigue, heroism, and demonstration of God’s faithfulness. The king’s adviser plotted to destroy the Jewish exiles living in the kingdom. Queen Esther’s cousin Mordecai urged her to go to the king and ask him to save the […]

Things I learned from Queen Esther


Make lemon pie out of life's lemons
Sometimes you’re late and sometimes you’re early. Being early can be an advantage. Several weeks ago, I hurried to a meeting, thinking I was late. I arrived about 10 minutes after the announced meeting time, but no one was around. Finally, it occurred to me to check the meeting notice. […]

Making lemon pie when you get lemons




"Whom shall I fear?"
A speaker on the radio this week said the Bible includes 366 references dealing with fear. The number 366 caught my attention. That means there is one verse about fear for each day of the year, even in a leap year. When I tried a search for the word, I […]

“Fear Not” Every Day of the Year



A couple of my friends enjoy mowing grass. They love being out in the sun and riding around on their tractors to keep their lawns tidy. Me? Not so much. We have nearly two acres, and the frequent rains this summer has meant the grass needs to be mowed frequently. […]

Singing While You Work


Spring has finally arrived in northwest Iowa. I know because the hummingbirds and orioles are here. (The temperature hasn’t made up its mind, however.) We have more birds this year than we have since we moved here, probably because our trees and bushes are getting big enough to provide safety for […]

Enjoying the hummingbirds and orioles