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

Pay Attention to What You are Doing Right

"This is what gratitude does. It makes us spot and sing and shout our messy blessings for anyone to see." ~Jamie Sumner

I must have written the words long ago and on a really bad day, but I found them recently, scrawled on a page torn from a notebook and paper clipped into a pile of scribbled notes:  "Homeschooling is one more way for you to imagine you have failed your children." Chances are pretty good that… Continue reading Pay Attention to What You are Doing Right

Strength and Comfort from an Ancient Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

When Elisabeth Elliot's second husband Addison Leitch was dying of cancer, he suffered intense physical pain. Even more devastating to both of them, though, was the crisis of faith that accompanied his final suffering. Elisabeth wrote that the weight of sorrow from witnessing his daily despair was one of the deepest trials of her life.… Continue reading Strength and Comfort from an Ancient Prayer

Spiritual Formation at Mid-Life and Beyond

There's no age restriction on spiritual growth.

My son rolled his eyes in disdain as he vented his outrage. “Doesn’t she know she’s a grown up? There’s nothing cool about an old person trying to act like a kid!” Leave it to youth to give us the straight and unvarnished story. We’ve all witnessed the desperate measures of the middle-aged, stuck in… Continue reading Spiritual Formation at Mid-Life and Beyond