The Challenge of Faith and Forgiveness in a Christian Family

"If the Lord thinks you need punishing, you can trust him to see to it. He knows where to find you. If he's showing you a little grace in the meantime, he probably won't mind if you enjoy it." Marilynne Robinson

I'm watching a miracle unfold in my family. Four sons, imperfectly parented, are growing into healthy, responsible, and strong young men. Two of them have even gone on to become imperfect parents themselves, and somehow, by grace, we just keep on forgiving one another for offenses, both big and small, with the understanding that family… Continue reading The Challenge of Faith and Forgiveness in a Christian Family

You Are NOT at the Mercy of Your Feelings!

“Things happen which would not happen without prayer. Let us not forget that.” ~Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday Scripture Autumn has landed in the Northern Hemisphere, and with this seasonal change comes early darkness, chilly mornings, and the subtle warning that winter is on its way. Of course there's the compensatory aroma of apple pie and the eye-popping beauty of bright foliage, and the truth is, I have a choice to make… Continue reading You Are NOT at the Mercy of Your Feelings!

Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer

Prayer begins with simply showing up, committing yourself to the discipline of focused attention toward God and away from yourself.

"Let's try again," I said, starting the music and extending my hands with a hopeful smile. Who knew that it would be so hard for a class of first graders to agree together on clapping the beat of a simple song? For some, the process was as natural as breathing, but not for everyone. By… Continue reading Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer

Sure Fire Signs to Help You Spot the Real Deal

Are YOU the real deal? Do you give evidence of a lively faith in your worship, your rejoicing, and your God-based confidence?

(And Be the Real Deal) Sunday Scripture Because we have been friends since we were teens, and because we were teens during the Cold War, my friend Judy and I have a long standing tradition of greeting one another with, "Hail, Comrade," and making frequent references to Soviet-era spy terminology that are funny only to… Continue reading Sure Fire Signs to Help You Spot the Real Deal

Marriage in Midlife: A Crisis or an Opportunity?

"One of the gifts of midlife is learning to recognize our own limitations and then extending grace to ourselves and others." ~Dorothy Littell Greco

An Author Q and A with Dorothy Greco It couldn’t have been original with me, but one life goal, scribbled into a journal as a teen, comes to mind often in this season of midlife. In adolescent, loopy handwriting, I inscribed the words in hope. GOAL:  Organize your life in such a way that when… Continue reading Marriage in Midlife: A Crisis or an Opportunity?

Listening In to One Side of a Father/Son Conversation

I love it when our kids call home. Often, it becomes a three-way (or even four-way) conversation, but sometimes our sons call and ask specifically to speak with their dad. When that happens, I know there's likely a decision in the pipeline, or they're working through a wrinkle in a relationship and want to vent… Continue reading Listening In to One Side of a Father/Son Conversation

How to Engage Faithfully in Our Fractured World

Two words have a way of melting hearts and building a bridge between people--no matter how marked or seemingly insoluble their differences: "You Matter" When we manage to see a beating heart behind words that inflame our anger or challenge our patience, we begin to engage faithfully as Jesus did when he wore out his… Continue reading How to Engage Faithfully in Our Fractured World

Pray for a Focused and Uncluttered Heart

Everything begins with the heart. Whatever we love most will become evident by the way we spend our time, attention, and resources.

Sunday Scripture Long ago there lived a great king with great wealth and great power. He had everything anyone could ever desire until, one sad day, his beloved wife died. The king set about the building of a majestic tomb, a memorial in her honor, and every day the king devoted himself to the task… Continue reading Pray for a Focused and Uncluttered Heart

Have You Made the Decision to Love the Local Church?

The local church reminds me that we are lovely because God loves us--and not the other way around.

There's a piece of very good advice circulating these days, and I followed it several decades ago without even realizing it. Hearing it set to the music of wise words, I can see how much energy it has saved me over the years. It goes like this: Make the Decision Once. Of course there is… Continue reading Have You Made the Decision to Love the Local Church?

What Does Suffering Have to Do With Hope?

Faithfulness in the moment is our highest, and sometimes our most difficult, calling. Our assignment in times of waiting, wondering, and every form of suffering is to follow the path of hope.

Sunday Scripture My youngest son leaves for college at the end of August--or at least that's the plan. College in the age of COVID-19 involves a certain amount of uncertainty. To date, four of his seven classes have been declared "remote," but no one has even come close to answering his questions about how one… Continue reading What Does Suffering Have to Do With Hope?