Why Does Evil Exist in the World?

" I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you." Habakkuk 1:5

Sunday Scripture Why is it that the big questions float to the surface unexpectedly? It's not when I'm sitting alert with open journal and quiet mind, but rather when I'm pushing a shopping cart or a vacuum cleaner hose; when I'm mixing cookie dough or scrubbing a pot, that a face comes to mind or… Continue reading Why Does Evil Exist in the World?

The December Book Talk Where Reading Friends Pause to Ponder

Persevere

Farewell, 2020!Welcome, 2021! If I've learned anything from the year we've just experienced it's the need for (and the importance of) compassionate listening to those who are different from me in any number of ways. As a majority culture, rural-dwelling woman on "this side" of fifty, it's tempting for me to throw everything I don't… Continue reading The December Book Talk Where Reading Friends Pause to Ponder

The November Book Talk: Where Reading Friends Give Thanks

All that hath life and breath come now with praises before Him.

I've added a hymnal to the pile of books I tote between laundry room and dining room table on the daily. Starting at page one, I've been working my way through the familiar and the unfamiliar and then recording a line that stands out to me in my journal. Playing hymnal roulette is not even… Continue reading The November Book Talk: Where Reading Friends Give Thanks

The October Book Talk: Where Reading Friends Love to Gather

God delights in giving us pleasure, and reading is among life's greatest gifts.

Movement outside my window is a continual distraction this time of year.  Leaves floating down in vibrant shades of turmeric and cayenne pull my attention away from the pan on the stove, the recipe on the counter, the book I’m trying to read. The autumn foliage is breathtaking on this country hill, and I’m reminded… Continue reading The October Book Talk: Where Reading Friends Love to Gather

A Life of Reckless Abandon for God

"God will not fail to do His part, which is ultimately the only part that matters." Elisabeth Elliot

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot When I began reading Elisabeth Elliot's books, I kept a dictionary nearby — her vocabulary far surpassed mine. During the mid-90’s while I was raising babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, Elisabeth had a daily radio program, so I arranged my mornings around Gateway to Joy. On the one occasion that I attended an event where… Continue reading A Life of Reckless Abandon for God

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

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

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