How to Train Your Thinking When Life Throws You a Curve

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant.

My favorite way to do life involves a schedule. Always a planner, I map out the days in advance and often find myself studying my calendar as if I might be tested on it at some point. Oddly, the pop quiz usually comes in the form of a delay or some unforeseen curve that cancels… Continue reading How to Train Your Thinking When Life Throws You a Curve

Stillness on the Way to Peace with God

The waters do indeed rise and the flames may come close enough to singe us, but the power of God endures.

With a steaming cup of tea in my favorite mug and an open Bible, I turned to a fresh page in my journal and prepared to take advantage of an empty and quiet house. Funny how stillness without is no guarantee of stillness within. A dozen tasks on my to-do list suddenly began competing for… Continue reading Stillness on the Way to Peace with God

The Gift of Discovering Jesus in Unexpected Places

As it turns out, even first-century believers who lived and traveled with Jesus on dusty Palestinian roads needed a nudge sometimes to help them recognize his presence and his work.

Lately, I've been on a God Hunt, and this list is the early fruit of it:  Our house and yard were teeming with friends, gathered for a celebration, and fully present to joy. The smooth execution of this event was an obvious answer to prayer. God has provided abundant and satisfying work for our adult… Continue reading The Gift of Discovering Jesus in Unexpected Places

You Can Become a Better and More Loving Spouse

As soon as the words "I do" leave our lips, the process of radical transformation begins for both spouses.

My husband and I had our first fight in the grocery store. I am a list-shopper, and he is a browser. Stopping for nothing, I steer the shopping cart around corners on two wheels, while he lingers over a cheese display, comparing relative merits and flavors at long leisure. I was raised in a home… Continue reading You Can Become a Better and More Loving Spouse

The Best Birthday: Receiving God’s Gift of Love

Birthdays are a big deal because people are a big deal.

Every Sunday morning, we sing and celebrate the birthdays:  the toddler clutching three sweaty pennies for the bank, representing his three years of life; the grandfather who contributes a dollar to the bank and jokes about not needing much change. Birthdays are a big deal because people are a big deal to God. So we… Continue reading The Best Birthday: Receiving God’s Gift of Love

Vibrant Hospitality: Opening the Window of Relationship

"An invitation is a slight opening in the window of relationship." Leslie Verner

When we moved to Mid-Coast Maine, we set ourselves a goal of inviting someone new  to dinner every month. We gathered around crock pot roasts, mashed potatoes, home-canned green beans, and usually a pie for dessert. The elderly couple we invited for August was a delight:  we talked books, they filled us in on local… Continue reading Vibrant Hospitality: Opening the Window of Relationship

Loving and Listening to God in Every Season

Predictable and yet ever new, the cycling of beauty and fruition, the presence of thorns and the dirt under my fingernails together corroborate the peaceful truth that heaven and earth conspire in declaring the glory of God.

In every season, my garden speaks, reinforcing in leaf and humus Scripture's messages around patience and diligence, inviting me to rejoice with the arrival of every cucumber and blazing pumpkin and to lament with the erect skeletons of sunflowers, their heads bowed at season's end. Predictable and yet ever new, the cycling of beauty and… Continue reading Loving and Listening to God in Every Season

Wonder 101: What Your Kids Can Teach You About Delighting in God

The embedded the spiritual practice of noticing God at work in the beauty around us sharpens our prayer life and leads to worship in the present moment.

My grandson's favorite grape tomatoes ripen to a vivid orange in the sunshine on one of the outside rows of my garden. He literally quivers with delight when we pick them together, filling container after container with their bright beauty--and a small one to stow in his cup holder for the ride home. Children do… Continue reading Wonder 101: What Your Kids Can Teach You About Delighting in God

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!