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

Have You Made the Decision to Love the Local Church?

The local church reminds me that we are lovely because God loves us--and not the other way around.

There's a piece of very good advice circulating these days, and I followed it several decades ago without even realizing it. Hearing it set to the music of wise words, I can see how much energy it has saved me over the years. It goes like this: Make the Decision Once. Of course there is… Continue reading Have You Made the Decision to Love the Local Church?

The Story You Have is the Story Worth Telling

Don't forget the things which you have seen with your own eyes." (Deuteronomy 4:9)

I'd never taught with laryngitis before, and it was enlightening, because in losing my voice, I realized what an important tool it has been to me in the communication of content and the conveyance of mood and emotion. A class on parenting is nothing without a few accounts of real life encounters, and even though… Continue reading The Story You Have is the Story Worth Telling

The Gift of Discovering Jesus in Unexpected Places

As it turns out, even first-century believers who lived and traveled with Jesus on dusty Palestinian roads needed a nudge sometimes to help them recognize his presence and his work.

Lately, I've been on a God Hunt, and this list is the early fruit of it:  Our house and yard were teeming with friends, gathered for a celebration, and fully present to joy. The smooth execution of this event was an obvious answer to prayer. God has provided abundant and satisfying work for our adult… Continue reading The Gift of Discovering Jesus in Unexpected Places

Mothers and Daughters Finding Their Way to Common Ground

No matter where your mother/daughter relationship has been, the path leading forward can encompass rebuilding, restoration, and repair.

We painted the room pale purple, her favorite color. A white lace curtain framed the window overlooking our busy backyard, and our wide-open door of welcome signaled a new beginning for my mum. She would be safe. We would know that she was eating three times a day. And maybe this would be the setting… Continue reading Mothers and Daughters Finding Their Way to Common Ground

When You Expect Nothing and Get the Gift of Everything

Ultimately, meaning cannot always be contained in syllables.

There's an old hymn that we don't sing much any more, but it's worth re-visiting because the final verse puts words around the futility of language in expressing the inexpressible: "Could we with ink the ocean fill,And were the skies of parchment made,Were every stalk on earth a quill,And every man a scribe by trade;To… Continue reading When You Expect Nothing and Get the Gift of Everything

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

Adoption and the Journey Toward a Surrendered Heart

Review of Surrendered Hearts by Lori Schumaker, the story of an adoption journey

The collision of lives is mysterious and unpredictable. Friends meet at a gathering and are bonded for life. A man and a woman from random backgrounds are introduced to each other and eventually share grandchildren. Adoption is a choice that puts this miracle of connection on display in unique ways that seem to defy race,… Continue reading Adoption and the Journey Toward a Surrendered Heart

The Gift of God in Exchange for Ashes

Sit on a wooden bench (behind a goat) for a day long bus ride through the Andes.  When the bus stops, the only way forward in 1952 is to rent a horse for an excursion over steep mountain trails with muddy puddles up to your knees. You'll know you've reached the village of San Miguel… Continue reading The Gift of God in Exchange for Ashes

Beloved Differences Bring Us Together in Hope

Review of All the Colors We Will See by Patrice Gopo

Conversations about the laws that govern chemistry might be one of the most spiritual things going on this week at my dining room table. Homeschooling chemistry involves revisiting the Periodic Table of Elements with its jagged line separating the metals and the non-metals and the tiny numbers that define and describe unseen properties of pure… Continue reading Beloved Differences Bring Us Together in Hope