Uncomfortable Reading to Explore Your Own Heart of Darkness

"Like a running blaze in the plain, like a flash of lightening in the clouds. We live in the flicker.” Joseph Conrad

This summer, two of my sons spent the better part of a long weekend at my house working on their trucks. One came equipped with tools, the other with his wife and two delightful children. In telling the story of those three days, my grandchildren would report on story time, art projects, and the mingling… Continue reading Uncomfortable Reading to Explore Your Own Heart of Darkness

What if Your Loneliness is an Invitation from God?

"The answer to our loneliness is love--not our finding someone to love us, but our surrendering to the God who has always loved us with an everlasting love." Elisabeth Elliot

Soon I will discover what it is like to be alone in the house after my husband leaves for work. There will be no sleepy teenager glued to his bed and in need of resurrection. For the first time in twenty-one years, there will be no homeschooling routine to wrestle with--a change I welcome, but… Continue reading What if Your Loneliness is an Invitation from God?

Finding the Way to Forgiveness and Hope

Fiction with a redemptive story line shouts, "Even here. Something is happening."

The summer of 2020 will go down in history marked by disappointing vacation adjustments, angst over schooling arrangements in the fall, and violence and unrest on so many fronts we're beginning to lose track. I wonder what story you are living, what uncelebrated milestones you have passed, or what ungathered grieving you have walked alone.… Continue reading Finding the Way to Forgiveness and Hope

Women of Faith: The Stories of a Lifetime

"Sometimes your heart needs a water bottle, a walking stick, and warm companionship." ~Maggie Wallem Rowe

The following life comes with no promise of smooth roads, clear landmarks, or luxurious destinations. At times, it seems as if a Christian world view actually complicates our lives. Suddenly, we are culpable not only for right actions, but for pure motives as well. In a full life with limited time for friendship or fellowship,… Continue reading Women of Faith: The Stories of a Lifetime

How to Live in a World of Difference

We bear witness to the gospel from a position not of strength but of weakness. ~Tom Lin

During the week following the horrific death of George Floyd, I was traveling to meet my brand new grandson. Snatches of news and heartbreaking social media posts were my only connection to the "real world," and in the quiet hours of holding a newborn, this slow processor of current events had all the time I… Continue reading How to Live in a World of Difference

Hope for the Hearts of Saints and Scoundrels

"Repentance is not just a tweak." ~Nancy Guthrie

One day, I stopped apologizing for my boring salvation story. While it's true that "I once was lost but now am found," there was no dramatic Damascus Road turnaround for me, no potty mouth to disinfect or cigarettes to snuff out. The real miracle, though, was that God landed with grace in the unseen muck… Continue reading Hope for the Hearts of Saints and Scoundrels

Frederick Buechner’s Beautiful and Terrible World

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." ~Frederick Buechner

First impressions are usually lasting, and that was certainly the case with my introduction to Frederick Buechner, which came through a Luci Shaw poem. She quoted these nourishing words in a season of seeking intimacy with God:  "Beat a trail to God long enough, and he will come to you on the trail you have… Continue reading Frederick Buechner’s Beautiful and Terrible World

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

Practical Steps for Nurturing a Vibrant Household of Faith

Parenting is a risky business. Like a high wire act without a net, we hang on to Truth, keep our balance, and trust for equilibrium, but, ultimately, our children are free to choose their own paths. We do not determine their spiritual direction or their response to God's claim on their lives. Nevertheless, wise parents… Continue reading Practical Steps for Nurturing a Vibrant Household of Faith

What to Do When You Think You’ve Found the Perfect Church

As the old saying goes, if you think you've finally found the perfect church, run like crazy before you ruin it.

Church has been the influence that has pushed me, challenged me to a greater faithfulness, and stretched me outside my comfort zone. It has also been the pebble in my shoe, the sandpaper which has knocked off some of my rough edges. There's no doubt about it:  Church can be difficult. By definition, church is… Continue reading What to Do When You Think You’ve Found the Perfect Church