Right from the outset, the years of parenting grown children should come with a big sign hanging over them, a huge and joyful banner that reads: Welcome to the Season of Reorganization! Suddenly, a house that was stretching at the seams with every bedroom full of stuffed animals and noisy life finds itself with three… Continue reading Parenting Adult Children? Welcome to the Season of Reorganization!
How Will You Overcome the Challenges Life Throws at You?
Among the pesky distractions that accompany an online ministry are the hackers who invade and imitate, even going so far as to steal accounts for their own nefarious purposes. Of course, all I have to do is open my Bible or read a few missionary biographies to put my own ministry woes into proper perspective.… Continue reading How Will You Overcome the Challenges Life Throws at You?
What Does It Mean to Be “Fully Alive” as a Human Being?
There's nothing like a slow and careful read of a "familiar" text in the Bible to make me feel as if I've never seen it before. I'm working on 2 Corinthians 4 in the car, and the sticky part for me is, as usual, one of Paul's lists: hard pressed but not crushed; perplexed but… Continue reading What Does It Mean to Be “Fully Alive” as a Human Being?
How Can We Avoid Putting a Bandaid on Others’ Grief and Pain?
When Jesus singled out Peter, James, and John to sit with him in the Garden of Gethsemane, his instructions to them were brief and straightforward: "Remain here and watch." He asked them to stay in a particular place and be on guard, to be awake and be with him. Mark 14:35-36 describes Jesus's pleading prayer… Continue reading How Can We Avoid Putting a Bandaid on Others’ Grief and Pain?
Do You Trust God to Meet You in Your Wilderness Journey?
I printed maps for my students showing the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and colorful arrows tracing Israel's itinerary as refugees and fugitive slaves. I wanted them to see the utter impracticality of the route--and yet it was chosen by God on purpose, and Scripture tells us in no uncertain terms that God led Israel into… Continue reading Do You Trust God to Meet You in Your Wilderness Journey?
How To Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Time When You’re Hardwired for Hurry
“Do you always read to your kids like that?” she queried. My friend was referring to my rendition of a Dr. Seuss classic delivered at tongue-twister speed from a rocking chair in the church nursery: “Would you like them in a house?Would you like them with a mouse?Would you eat them in a box?Would you… Continue reading How To Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Time When You’re Hardwired for Hurry
Create the Right Conditions for Spiritual Growth: Trust the Recipe
Bread dough the color of molasses yielded to the pressure of my working fist. Fold, press, turn, repeat, and soon I lost count of how many times I had kneaded the fragrant lump. With the recipe calling for three hundred repetitions, I began to wonder... Three hundred? Really? Switching to the heel of my hand,… Continue reading Create the Right Conditions for Spiritual Growth: Trust the Recipe
On What Are You Basing Your Value, Your Hope, and Your Being?
One of the best features of the church I call home is the perpetually shifting hats I get to wear. Recently, the flu sidelined several of our families, effectively gutting the Sunday school. I teach the ladies, and since the mums were all home with their sick kids, I got to teach the only healthy… Continue reading On What Are You Basing Your Value, Your Hope, and Your Being?
Give Thanks! Sing Praises! Solid Disciplines Foster Strong Habits
My first few substitute teaching gigs in the fall always generate a bit of anxiety--butterflies over the unknown, anticipation of challenges, always the possibility of conflict. To my great surprise, on my first day of school, as I inserted my key into the car's ignition, the words of Isaiah 12 rushed into my mind, and… Continue reading Give Thanks! Sing Praises! Solid Disciplines Foster Strong Habits
Do You Ever Wonder if God Has a Reason for Your Suffering?
Now that winter with its "firm, business-like cold"1 has arrived here in Maine, bare branches open up the landscape for a good view of the horizon, but the sun does little to mitigate the monotonous gray or the hard-as-iron ground under my feet. I'll admit that most days I take to the basement exercise bike… Continue reading Do You Ever Wonder if God Has a Reason for Your Suffering?