Blessed Are Those Who Are Nice

As our roots go deep into disciplines of worship, study, obedience, and hope, we begin to see that we are being held in relationship with Christ, and this is where true virtue lives.

When Jesus set the parameters for a blessed life, they must have landed with surprise on the ears of his hillside congregation. The Beatitudes are even more counter-cultural today, for the 21st-century church conveys blessings of a different sort: Blessed are those who keep up appearances; Blessed are you when you look good and say… Continue reading Blessed Are Those Who Are Nice

The Treasure Buried in Your Weakness

We are uncomfortable with the poor, the mentally ill, and the unlovely-unloveables who do not enhance our Instagram stories. Having been sold a narrative that includes gleaming smiles and answers to prayer that arrive just in the nick of time, we need a theology that is formed by Jesus's teaching in the Beatitudes.

The phone rang, and it was bad timing, but I answered it anyway out of habit. A friend from church was looking for some very specific information, so the call was quick. We accomplished the purpose and the call ended. But the phone rang again. My friend had heard something in my voice, and she… Continue reading The Treasure Buried in Your Weakness

The Secret to Contentment in a Discontented World

Paul shares the secret of Christian contentment--the mark of a fully mature believer.

Secrets have a way of grabbing our attention, particularly if the secret comes with a promise of something good. If I claimed to know the secret location of a buried treasure or to possess the secret for permanent and effortless weight loss, the world would beat a path to my door. Paul claimed to know… Continue reading The Secret to Contentment in a Discontented World

Your Invitation to Embrace a New, True Life

Let go of your false self to uncover the person God created.

Soon, I will take up over-sized loppers with wooden handles that should have been oiled last fall, and, once late winter begins to move toward almost-spring, I will snip branches from our feral and fly-away forsythia bush. Bare branches in a sturdy vase will eventually give way to bright yellow blossoms--except for when they don't… Continue reading Your Invitation to Embrace a New, True Life

Reading as a Way of Life

Reading as a Way of Life

I never leave the house without a book . . . BUT one busy Wednesday when an unexpected medical appointment pushed an already derailed schedule even further off track, I jumped into the driver's seat of our car, headed down the bumpy hill of our driveway, and only then realized the horrible truth. In my… Continue reading Reading as a Way of Life

Pastoral Ministry: The Courageous Calling to a Faithful Love

Pastoral Ministry: The Courageous Calling to a Faithful Love

Ministry professionals rarely lead with their weaknesses. We want church leaders with plenty of personality, charisma, and confidence. Missionary letters and reports may dip into Brené Brown vulnerability territory for a paragraph or two, but the overall theme is generally a litany of accomplishments and success stories. The 21st century church largely agrees that blessing and… Continue reading Pastoral Ministry: The Courageous Calling to a Faithful Love

The Beauty of Sacrifice and the Joy of Giving

When our children learn to live generously, they become world changers in a changing world.

It's the terminal milestone on the parenting journey: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." III John 4 Even so, there are a good many ways of measuring its achievement. It's what we aim for and pray for, but how do we know that are children have made the leap from… Continue reading The Beauty of Sacrifice and the Joy of Giving

Biddy Chambers: A Sacramental Life

Biddy Chambers: A Sacramental Life

Published in 1927, My Utmost for His Highest has sold more than 13 million copies and has never been out of print. Over the course of its 90+ year history, it has been translated into 40 different languages, and Oswald Chambers's unique and timeless wisdom is quoted far and wide. However, until recently, little thought has been… Continue reading Biddy Chambers: A Sacramental Life

It’s Not About You — And It Never Was!

There's always a certain amount of eye-rolling that goes on in a household overrun by teens and young adults. My husband and I are amazingly un-cool. His humor is entirely "Dad-jokes." My questions and observations are overwhelming evidence that I'm over-thinking everything.  But here's one tiny bit of wisdom that has been passed down without… Continue reading It’s Not About You — And It Never Was!

Living Beyond First Person: How to Really Benefit from Personality Inventories

We were the fun department:  Human Resources. We all had cute accessories and big hair. (Hey, it was the 80's.)  After the whole department took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, we gathered after work to discuss the results. Our facilitator began by dividing us into two seemingly random groups tasked with the answer to… Continue reading Living Beyond First Person: How to Really Benefit from Personality Inventories