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

Lessons from C.S.Lewis: Becoming Fully Human

Lessons from C.S. Lewis: Becoming Fully Human, Joe Rigney, Biography

In my senior year of college, I took an English elective on the writings of C.S.Lewis. The professor, Dr. Kaye, was ebullient, effervescent, and contagious in her love for the Oxford don who spun words into gold. Her instructions for the final exam were simple but ominous: simply bring a pen and plenty of paper.… Continue reading Lessons from C.S.Lewis: Becoming Fully Human

Motherhood: Learning the Ropes of Joy

Motherhood: Learning the Ropes of Joy

Motherhood, for me, started out like a tightrope walk. To keep my balance and maintain my place on the tightly stretched wire, I read all the books, analyzed all the angles, second guessed all the decisions, and the only thing that saved my sanity is that Google had not been invented yet. I'm still in… Continue reading Motherhood: Learning the Ropes of Joy

Drawing Out a Handful of Light

Wounds Are Where Light Enters

Wendell Berry poured this wisdom into the mouth of one of his fictional characters: “Telling a story is like reaching into a granary full of wheat and drawing out a handful. There is always more to tell than can be told.”  (Jayber Crow) This is always the nature of story, and in Wounds Are Where… Continue reading Drawing Out a Handful of Light

Decoding the Beauty in the Universe

Decoding the Beauty in the Universe

If it is true that, as we age, we become even more of whatever we have been all our lives, then Luci Shaw is becoming more and more difficult to “shelve.” A poet and essayist well into her eighties, she continues to tackle topics ranging from quantum mechanics and the incarnation to the haecceity** of… Continue reading Decoding the Beauty in the Universe