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

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

Just Because You Feel Lost Doesn’t Mean You Are

A writing project has sent me digging for old journals. Stashed away in a box under my bed, they are a record, in smudged pencil and inky scrawl, of where I've wandered and how God's faithfulness, found in the rearview mirror, has pulled me back on course every single time. Who in the world was… Continue reading Just Because You Feel Lost Doesn’t Mean You Are

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

Is It Time to Declutter Your Soul?

As we learn to clear our cluttered tables and souls, we make room for life-giving activities and create space for listening to the voice of God.

My friend Joanne was continually clearing off her kitchen table--with little success to show for her valiant efforts. Whenever we talked on the phone, I could hear her moving about, tethered by a 1970's era phone cord, and I knew what she was doing. She was clearing off the kitchen table. Again. Even so, whenever… Continue reading Is It Time to Declutter Your Soul?

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

Jim and Elisabeth Elliot: A Deep and Delighted Love

Devotedly tells the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot's unique devotion to God and to each other.

He said:  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." She said:  "The deepest lessons come out the deepest waters and the hottest fires." And all the world still takes note, for Jim Elliot was a courageous missionary pioneer and martyr. Elisabeth Elliot was a superior… Continue reading Jim and Elisabeth Elliot: A Deep and Delighted Love

How to Keep the Main Thing as the Main Thing

At the foundation of the Christian life, we find the the cross.

When D.A. Carson had the opportunity to interview two well-known and highly influential American theologians, he went straight to the core of their long ministries with this question:  "You have not succumbed to eccentricity in doctrine, nor to individualistic empire-building. In God's good grace, what has been instrumental in preserving you in these areas?" Their… Continue reading How to Keep the Main Thing as the Main Thing

10 Ways to Reflect God’s Character

In His Image: 10 Ways to Reflect the Character of God

He placed one hand on the door frame, shifted his weight to one foot, and then placed the other small boot toe-down on the floor. Looking at his dad, he checked his hand position and then assumed the facial expression he deemed appropriate to the occasion, a conversation among "the guys." My grandson's imitation of… Continue reading 10 Ways to Reflect God’s Character

When Words Fail: Living and Lamenting through Dementia

Walking Through Twilight: A Wife's Illness--A Philosopher's Lament

It's a common experience:  the brain goes in search of a word that just will not materialize. Finally, eventually, the elusive word does come, even if it takes a thesaurus to prime the pump, and we rejoice because in conversation and in writing, finding and savoring the just-right-word to frame a thought is supremely satisfying.… Continue reading When Words Fail: Living and Lamenting through Dementia