As we have opportunity, we should do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of faith. Galatians 6:10

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Frankly Phyllis

The Wow of Spring

April showers bring May flowers, but we do have to wait it out, don't we? I get antsy this time of year because part of me can't wait for spring. What's your favorite season? I enjoy them all, but if I had to pick just one, spring would win. There's a wow in spring I don't find any other time. It goes way back. My parents drove us eight miles across town every spring to see the thousands of purple crocuses at Northwestern University where my dad taught. I can still hear his spring wows, "See that splashy yellow forsythia!" and "The mock orange bush is waking us up this morning!"

Fast forward to the year my radio-hosting travels took me to four separate springs in one year: Missouri to Michigan to Minnesota to Alaska. Each location experienced the season differently, and I wasn't bored once with so many jonquils, tulips, and lilacs to see! I practically got whiplash turning from one dazzling display of God's creative genius to another. If God can wow us with the scents and scenes and hope of spring, just think of what else He does to keep that awe in place for us. Have you discovered your wow? Maybe you had it once but lost it along the way to where you are today.

I hope the April offers of Woman to Woman will help restore some wow to your life. On "Loving Your Addict" you'll meet my friend Debra Jay, who, along with her husband Jeff, wrote the best-selling book Love First, which helped revolutionize the field of intervention. After Deb asks, "Do you want to live this way the rest of your life?" she follows up with the how-tos of helping your addict get free from the bondage of addiction. You'll be encouraged to hear that 85 percent of addicts who experience a "Love-First" intervention embrace the recovery process.

How about a free makeover this spring? That's what you'll get from four women on our Easter show. Women from faith backgrounds other than Christianity describe their lives before and after Jesus. These women offer enlightening peeks at their spiritual makeovers, and I hope they'll inspire you to look afresh at your own Easter reflections and celebrations.

If you parent or work with teens, you're probably open to all the encouragement you can find! When moods go up and down, how do you know what's teen behavior and what's depression? To answer these questions, Psychotherapist Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D., wrote the book Is Your Teen Stressed or Depressed? with her father, Dr. Archibald Hart, senior professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Dr. Hart Weber brings enormous hope into play, so listen for a boost of optimism.

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we'll feature stories of selflessness that will wow you. Someone once said, "Volunteers are seldom paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless," and these volunteers absolutely are! LaGayle Sosnowy talks about going far beyond the call of duty in her full-time volunteer work at the University of Washington. Internist Dr. John Eckrich discusses the founding of Grace Place Retreats to focus on keeping church workers and leaders physically, emotionally, relationally, fiscally, and spiritually healthy. And Bob and Sherry Wechsler of Elbow Lake, Minnesota, share how their son Crist died suddenly at age 28 and, through organ donation, helped the lives of 100 people.

In addition to being wowed by these powerful stories, ask God for the wow only He can give you, by opening your eyes to what He has for you. He's always calling you to Himself. He's at it all the time, but sometimes we're distracted by our own busy lives and just don't notice. St. Paul in Ephesians is really pumped up. He wants us to have God's Spirit of wisdom to know Him better so we may know the hope to which He calls us. There's a lot to wow us -- just think of His enormous power, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead! Believe in that, and you'll trust God in everything.

Even though God's strength enables us to trust Him with the results, still, for some reason, we fear and hesitate and sometimes even give up. Robert Orben's reminder helps here: "Spring is God's way of saying, 'One more time!'" With God, there's always something just around the corner. There's always some place He's leading us or a point He's teaching us.

You're closer than you think. He's wowed you before, so be open to His doing it again and again. Be aware of how He repeats Himself in sunsets and seasons. The next time you see one, don't just rush past with a sideways glance. Instead, really enjoy it. Soak up the flowers bursting from the ground and the pinks and oranges streaking across the sky at dusk. Let these things wow you and remind you of the One who loves you!

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