It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

The discipline and delight of steady and methodical Bible reading is life changing.

My ten-thousand-steps-a-day routine is a lot easier to accomplish in June than in January, the month when we all set our intentions for the year. The green world beckons, the garden needs tending, and our mowing business is in full steam ahead mode. (On a recent six-lawn Wednesday, I passed the ten thousand step mark… Continue reading It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

Creating the Conditions for Spiritual Growth

I cannot make spiritual growth happen on my own, so I'm trusting the recipe.

Bread dough the color of molasses yielded to the pressure of my working fist. Fold, press, turn, repeat, and soon I lost count of how many times I had kneaded the fragrant lump. With the recipe calling for three hundred repetitions, I began to wonder— Three hundred? Really? But switching to the heel of my… Continue reading Creating the Conditions for Spiritual Growth

Staying on Course: Happy New Year from Ninevah

The power of God to accomplish all that he purposes lands as a good news to those who believingly "take refuge" in him.

When the clock ticks down to midnight and the calendar hangs fresh and unsullied, we resolve to do great things. We'll drop ten pounds, eat our veggies, and work out. We'll crack open a new journal and read through the Old Testament by June. With iron in our soul, we'll begin a new year, a… Continue reading Staying on Course: Happy New Year from Ninevah

No Greater Message: God Is For You!

We can indeed, through the power of the Spirit, live in fellowship with God on this fallen planet he created and loves.

Given the word "God," without self-editing or over-thinking, what's the word or phrase that comes immediately to mind? If you've been schooled in the false gospel of ceaseless striving, you may come up with words like judgment, severe, or disapproving. After all, it's clear that we are not equipped to measure up on our own to the demands… Continue reading No Greater Message: God Is For You!

Making a Commitment to Blessing

Making a Commitment to Blessing

The ping of a message changed my day: "Let's take food to a friend who needs encouragement." "Well, why not?" I asked myself, and began pondering the joyful outcome that always arises from random acts of blessing. I've always wanted to be an extrovert -- or at least an optimist. Failing at both, I'm thankful… Continue reading Making a Commitment to Blessing

An Unexpected Love

Oh, how she had grown to hate him. Ten thousand offenses, both small and large, had accumulated over the years since their arranged marriage. Practical and traditional, Father had seen a prosperous match:  “Abigail, you will marry a descendant of Caleb,” he had exulted. Abigail had found no delight, no dignity in the homeland of… Continue reading An Unexpected Love

The Great Work: Encouragement

"Don't corral others to meet your needs." "Choose to be a servant." "Give yourself away." If you're interviewing a guy who wears the title "Chief Encouragement Officer" like a banner, you can expect to hear lots of sentences like these.  Here's another one:  "The goal is to get small and, in humility, to build others… Continue reading The Great Work: Encouragement

A Study in Perseverance

Determination perseveres in spite of the word "no." When Rosalie Ranquist realized that she was called to be a missionary, her rough background and lack of education led church leaders to discourage her from pursuing her goal.  Even so, in 1967 she left for Papua New Guinea and her career was remarkable in every way… Continue reading A Study in Perseverance

Come Together for the Better

Weekly we gather -- seldom daily as they did in New Testament times, the era of ravenous lions and Nero's flaming, pitch-dipped Christians, human torches to light his gardens.  Lugging our three pound Bibles and a week's worth of accumulated angst, we gather, having in common our hearts of flesh and likely the scar tissue… Continue reading Come Together for the Better

Veering into the Serene Providence

Knocking twenty-two years’ worth of dust off a resume stretches the definition of “creative writing” to its limit. After giving my time away for two decades, can I convince even myself that my skills are marketable? Am I still capable of holding my own in the workforce? The questions hang in the air like a… Continue reading Veering into the Serene Providence