Announcing my latest book:
Even More Humble Beginnings
— Daily Meditation Moments
So chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline …. Regardless of whatever you put on, wear love. It is your basic, all-purpose garment. Colossians 3:12,14
Happy New Year! Happy New You!
For many years, I looked for boots to wear with long skirts and dresses. Because of my hard-to-find shoe size, this winter I spent hours visiting different websites to find the perfect pair. Well, let me tell you, when you wear a size 12, nothing is perfect … the specifications of the boot circumference doesn’t measure to fit my calves … the heels are too high for me … the color is too dark, too brown. Then I found a pair and placed the order.
My new boots arrived the day before my birthday (December 30), and I proudly wore them with a long denim skirt to my volunteer job at the hospital and felt so stylish—until I looked in a full-length mirror. Then I realized they were just plain, tall leather-looking rider’s boots that did little for my skirt. But my feet loved them.
Today is a good day to check out your spiritual wardrobe. Dress in your finest compassionate, kind, humility-laden, quiet strength garments and graciously move into the new year.
Lord, may our lives be blessed by the love we show for others. Amen.
The Donut Theory
Meditations and Inspiration
for the Church Office
Linda has combined “Incidents I, II, and III” for this new book (published by Westbow, a division of Thomas Nelson). She’s added facts about donuts and how they relate to the stories in this inspirational and informative book of meditations for those who work in the church office…and for those who are curious about what goes on in the church office.
Soft cover: $13.95, plus postage (Multi-purchase price available for non-profit groups.)
Hardback: $30.95 (A great gift; includes postage)
E-book: $3.99 (For quick, easy meditation reading)
A reader says about “The Donut Theory” …
What can I say? As soon as I got home and finished my chores…I started Linda’s book…I just finished! I love it! Funny, heartwarming, insightful, inspirational, professional, helpful, timely, spiritual, thought provoking and just darn well written.
Linda’s, insights into the working day of a church secretary are positively scary at times. Anyone from our profession who reads your book will be saying “I hear dat!” From one softhearted, controlling, sensitive, obsessive compulsive, overachiever to another, Brava! God bless you. —DM, Sun City West, AZ
A “bite” or two of The Donut Theory…
God in Every Direction
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road. Psalm 19:8
“Look back and thank God.
Look forward and trust God.
Look around and serve God.
Look within and find God!”
As a farm girl from Iowa I learned the global directions as part of daily living—“I’ll be in the north field until noon” or “Go half a mile south and turn right and you’ll find the schoolhouse.” However, since I moved into Sun City, the sun has come up in the north. I’m 90 degrees off most of the time when I try to figure out where I am. Perhaps it is because the first time I came to Sun City, I flew in to visit my parents and the airplane must have made a 90-degree around the airport before landing.
I’m grateful for my G.P.S., but a bit embarrassed that I have to use it to find my way around my own neighborhood.
In our work and in our relationships we need to figure out where we are and then how we can make things right. We can look back and see how we’ve created challenging situations. We can look forward to better days, opportunities to change. We can look around and see where we can make a difference in someone else’s day, and we can look within for satisfaction.
In my relationship with God, I don’t have to worry about which direction to seek him, and better yet, I’m never lost!
Dear God, thank you for your global positioning at all times. Amen.
He made the storm stop and the sea be quiet. Psalm 107:29
I grew up on a farm in Iowa. During tornado season, Mom watched the southwest skies for dark clouds churning up a storm. “I don’t like the looks of those clouds,” she’d announce and march my brothers and me down to the damp cellar to wait out the storm. I’d hover on the step above the dirt floor, with my arms wrapped tightly around my knees, and listen to branches of the elm tree slap against the tin roof of the coal shed outside the cellar door. Mother, holding the kerosene lantern, watched for a streak of sunlight to appear under the cellar door, and when she’d declare, “Storm’s over!” I’d bolt out of the cellar like a chicken fleeing the coop. The cellar was far scarier than any storm.
I’ve created a few internal storms during my workdays. One time I was in such a hurry to get to an appointment, I ran 500 copies upside down on the backside of a bulletin. I mentally kicked myself around the office the rest of the day for wasting paper, copier ink, and my time.
The all-time worst punishment I inflicted on myself happened when I failed to review the agreement on a copy machine before the lease expired. I missed the ninety-day notice needed to opt-out of the lease, and no matter how much I argued with the leaseholder, the office was stuck with another year of payments on the worthless machine. That storm seemed like a week-long low-pressure system stalled out in my head.
Just like Mom who took me to the cellar to wait out a storm, God guided me through a stormy day in the office with an extra dose of grace and an understanding, forgiving boss who said, “Linda, stop beating yourself up! Everyone makes mistakes.”
Dear Lord, help me remember that human error and
self-worth are not related to one another. Amen
More Humble Beginnings
A daily devotional offering readers a quick start to a daily meditation routine.
$12.00 USA, plus postage. Order from Linda at
Message from a reader:
I’ve never gotten into daily meditations, but with Daily Meditation Moments, I can get quick way to start my day and I am enjoying getting to know you through your stories. Judi
Other book available:
Single Editions of Incidents from the Church Office—52 Meditations for Support Staff and Volunteers is available and are a great gift for church staff and volunteers. $8.00 per copy (includes postage).
Order directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bulk orders for churches – $4.00 per copy, plus postage. Contact me for shipping rates for multiple copies.
Personal checks or PayPal payments accepted.
Start a PayPal account: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/make-online-payments
Books compiled and typeset by Linda Gillis:
An Advent Journey to the Manger Through Daily Meditation, Written by the People of
Peace Lutheran Church, Peoria, AZ. Published by Gilmark Creations, 2015
A Lenten Journey to the Cross through Daily Meditations, Written by the People of
Peace Lutheran Church, Peoria, AZ. Published by Gilmark Creations, 2016
Copies available through Bookstore.
Published in national magazines and anthologies:
Guideposts and Angels on Earth Magazine Articles:
“7 Great Walks in Our Favorite Cities” (Web: 12/2008)
“Lost and Found” (Angels – 11/12 2008)
“Surprised by Love” (GP – 08/2007)
Other published work:
“Surprised by Love” in A Cool Drink of Water (Guideposts 2010)
Straddling the fence Published: September 28, 2011, The Sun Newspaper,
Sun City, AZ
I’m sitting on the political fence in Washington, D.C. – the one that divides the Republicans from the Democrats, the right from the left. I watch eyes shooting hate darts at their neighbor across the aisle. When I stretch my neck, I can see congressional representatives straining to dig their heels deeper into the mud on the chamber floor. No one seems willing to budge or to ask a non-partisan tow-truck driver to free them from the muck. The mudslinging clouds my view, and I resemble a Dalmatian hound. In my mind I can hear the late Paul Harvey saying, “And now for the rest of the story – things will never change in our society until everyone quits thinking it’s their way or the highway!”
I eavesdropped prior to the session being called to order and heard conversations by legislators. Some talked about their best-selling political books, but they didn’t appear to have reviewed the Constitution of the United States since high school civics class. Across the room, I hear a booming voice coming from an old-timer who is preaching to a deaf choir.
I wince when a debate gets heated, and I hear “Obama this, Obama that.” I wonder what happened to the concept of respecting the office by using Mr. or President, regardless of how much you like the officer? I glance around and observe a freshman in the house pulling his hair out while trying to figure out what the heck is going on, and at the same time, a bald senior counterpart is nodding off in his chair. I see a bill die and become litter in the combat zone surrounding my fence.
I hear a call for the roll of members to vote on a bill, and see children playing hide-in’-seek; others are revising the old telephone game – you know, the one we played as kids, someone whispers a sentence to the next person, and when it gets back to the author, it has a new meaning.
Outside the chamber doors, a three-ring circus entertains lobbyists on the prowl to find a legislator to recite their plea on the floor. In another ring, men and women in Congress are holding committee meetings, defending themselves at a hearing or sneaking off for an intimate social visit. A few public servants are hanging out in the hallway, nearly breaking their necks as they shake their heads in denial for forwarding e-mails before checking www.snopes.com.
I see President Obama fielding the same foul balls of the political games that have played for decades in D.C. On my iPod, I watch politicians acting in campaign commercials that will play for over a year before Election Day. I’m tempted to call them on my Blackberry and ask if they can please stop making more promises until they fulfill the ones they made during the election that sent them to D.C.
When I climb down from the fence and go home, I see hope for better days dying on the branches of the trees that our fore fathers planted; fear withering in the souls of Americans out of work. Frustration shows on the face of a young man who works at a minimum-wage job with no benefits. He needs surgery, but Access told him he isn’t sick enough to get on the program. I pick up the newspaper and read about U.S. citizens who are afraid to leave their home for fear of being harassed by law enforcement agents, because they look like illegals coming over the border. I watch segments on Fox News of soldiers hugging their mothers, wives, husbands, children as they are being deployed to Afghanistan for the second, third, fourth time.
In my own neighborhood, I hear whispers, “Will the government take away my Social Security check? What about Medicare?” I’m thinking it’s about time I call my representatives and senators and invite them to join me and the other 300 million citizens who continue to straddle the political fence in America.
Linda Gillis Sun City
Contact Linda if you have an interesting story she could write for you at email@example.com.
“Journaling 101 for Smarties”