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Writer’s Cove

Writer’s Cove

Preserved by Purpose: You Have to Do Your Part

“You didn’t tell us we had to do that.”   During the first weeks of school, I hear this phrase at least once per day per class (probably an average of 15-20 times a week) from my college English Composition students.   A few years ago, I heard it so much that I started to doubt that I’d given clear instructions on ... Read More »

Preserved by Purpose – Leaving Baggage at Home

“Everyone’s got baggage.”  True or false?  Some may say that they have no baggage because God or 6 weeks with a psychotherapist took care of that.  There are so many different types: emotional, physical, spiritual, financial and sexual.  Some baggage that we carry is the result of our poor decisions while others are a result of us being victimized by ... Read More »

Preserved by Purpose – Forgiving the Unforgiveable

  It’s been nearly 10 years since the world was horrified at the deaths of 10 teen-aged girls at an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania.   Rather than seeing the normal images of grief-stricken family members promising revenge for the killings or violent acts of retaliation, in 2006 the world watched in amazement as the Amish families illustrated Christian idea of forgiveness.  ... Read More »

Preserved –Daddy’s Girls: DNA Goes a Long Way

“Frank Jr” was what I was called as a child because between me and my 3 sisters, I was the one most like my father. From how I walked (I can thank the strong Riley family genes for being pigeon-toed) to my love of cooking, I was a carbon copy of my father. I thought I might outgrow it but ... Read More »

Preserved by Purpose – Soaring above the Haters

“I thought she was my friend but what she wrote about me on Facebook proves that she was never my friend.”  I listened intently as my student explained how baffled she was that a friend who was once close to her was now writing vicious things about her online.   She said they didn’t have a fight but noticed when she ... Read More »

Preserved – Remembering to Forget

“I can’t remember to forget you.”  This very simple phrase came to mind a few years ago as I struggled with forgiving and forgetting wrongs that I  believed that had be done to me by someone with whom I once shared a close friendship.  In fact, I remember being bothered because it seemed as though  the harder I tried to ... Read More »


Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.                              Psalms 119:97, NIV As I’ve visited numerous hotels throughout the years during my travels, I’ve found comfort in opening the nightstand drawer and finding a Bible within, especially during those times when I’ve ... Read More »

Preserved – Handwriting on the Wall

Like others who have enjoyed the excitement of working in broadcasting, I have also experienced the discouragement of being fired from an on air radio broadcasting job.  I remember being shocked and disappointed the last time it happened in 2003.  Even though I knew that broadcasting could be unstable, I remember my mixed feelings of confusion and frustration at the ... Read More »

Preserved – Taking Lent One Step Further

A number of years ago, I got a great surprise in the mail:  “Dear Shewanda L. Riley, Our records show that you haven’t yet registered for the benefits of AARP membership, even though you are fully eligible.”   I re-read the first line a few times to make sure I was reading the right thing. I thought, “ AARP?  Isn’t that ... Read More »

Preserved by Purpose – Character Still Counts!

With so much in the news lately about leaders falling from grace and others condemning their actions, one question remains: How can you avoid getting into a similar compromising situation? It’s not as simple as saying, “I would never ever do____________.” Sometimes we may find ourselves unknowingly in a compromising situation…and unsure of how to handle it. Sure, prayer always ... Read More »