Change is Hard. God is Good.

“It is in our acceptance of what is given that God gives Himself.” Elisabeth Elliot

We came to this country hill in winter. I quit my job one day, and the next day we loaded a UHaul truck with books, furniture, and life as I understood it. Six days later, I became a mother. Change piled upon change, and for a while, who-I-was and what-was-expected-of-me in this new life became… Continue reading Change is Hard. God is Good.

Breakfast for Your Body and the Bread of Life for Your Soul

Let Jesus's invitation to "Come and have breakfast" change your morning routine as you incorporate habits of holiness into your day and live your way into the daily welcome of God's presence and his love.

Sunday Scripture After a long night of empty-net fishing, seven discouraged disciples turned their boat toward shore. The surprise of an early morning Jesus-sighting and the gift of an unexpected and bountiful catch turned their day upside down, and their shore-side picnic with Jesus is one of my favorite New Testament images.  What's not to… Continue reading Breakfast for Your Body and the Bread of Life for Your Soul

Innovative Solutions for Women’s Ministry Leaders

Women's ministry: "Intentionally provides biblically sound encouragement and spiritual driven growth opportunities.

A great gift that accompanies every invitation to speak at women's events is the opportunity to observe and to learn from leaders in a variety of contexts: What's working for them? How often do they meet? How does their leadership team function? I love working with the women at the church I call home. We've… Continue reading Innovative Solutions for Women’s Ministry Leaders

Chew on the Truth–and Transform Your Life

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:2

Because of his size, our St. Bernard can't be trusted with just any bone or chew toy. Large and practically indestructible, his favorite toy stays in the family room where it can keep him occupied on family movie nights. Sometimes we have to adjust the volume on the t.v. to accommodate the sound of Tucker's… Continue reading Chew on the Truth–and Transform Your Life

Portraits of Endurance to Jumpstart Your New Year

Let's war against doubt and discouragement with a borrowed confidence that defies our unbelief and keeps us running by faith as we trust in the carrying mercy of Christ.

Portrait #1 My friend Lori does not fit the profile for a church treasurer. With gifts that lend themselves more to giving hugs  than to writing checks, and with a ready smile that makes her a favorite with all the kids in the school cafeteria where she works every day, she has persevered in faithfulness… Continue reading Portraits of Endurance to Jumpstart Your New Year

How Do You Know if You Are Called to Be a Writer?

"Writing is hard work. Writing well is even harder." ~Andrew Le Peau

As a true fan of certainty, I am filled with longing whenever I read Old Testament stories in which God shows up in unmistakable clarity. He speaks from a bush on fire, gives audible instructions for travel, and issues a rebuke from between the squared off teeth of a donkey. Even when Samuel, young and… Continue reading How Do You Know if You Are Called to Be a Writer?

A Love Song About the Life God Has Given

"Worship happens when someone is doing exactly what he or she was made to do."

In his theological writing, C.S. Lewis described an inconsolable longing, sehnsucht, and pointed to it as proof for the existence of God. In his fiction, Lewis's characters vividly enfleshed that longing in their pursuit of mystery and their yearning for adventure. Unless we have fully anesthetized ourselves with Netflix and Amazon Prime, we all experience that… Continue reading A Love Song About the Life God Has Given

Discernment: Pursuing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful

Discernment, an eye for what's good, is part of the believer's transformation process.

Something inside me freezes when I hear the word discernment. Whether I'm making a major purchase, giving advice to a friend, or standing in a voting booth feeling as if I'm taking a test I haven't studied for, discernment is the quality that's lacking and the thing I long for. We want good things for… Continue reading Discernment: Pursuing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful

6 Books for Friends-in-Training

And this is the power and the gift of friendship: when hearts collide, lives are altered.

“I want to keep it handy in case I need it,” she said, matter-of-factly. She wasn’t talking about a flashlight. Not a package of tissues. Not a cell phone – they hadn’t been invented in 1978. She was talking about Isaiah 55. “I liked it,” she went on.  “So I memorized it.” “Come, all you… Continue reading 6 Books for Friends-in-Training

Accept the Challenge of Choosing What Matters Most

But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. (I Corinthians 12:31)

If the statisticians are correct, and American adults really do get to make over 35 thousand choices every single day, I should be much better at choosing than I am. Maybe you feel this way as well, for rarely are our decisions simple and uncluttered. Like author and speaker Lucinda Secrest McDowell, we often find… Continue reading Accept the Challenge of Choosing What Matters Most