The Challenge of Faith and Forgiveness in a Christian Family

"If the Lord thinks you need punishing, you can trust him to see to it. He knows where to find you. If he's showing you a little grace in the meantime, he probably won't mind if you enjoy it." Marilynne Robinson

I'm watching a miracle unfold in my family. Four sons, imperfectly parented, are growing into healthy, responsible, and strong young men. Two of them have even gone on to become imperfect parents themselves, and somehow, by grace, we just keep on forgiving one another for offenses, both big and small, with the understanding that family… Continue reading The Challenge of Faith and Forgiveness in a Christian Family

What Does it Mean to Be Relentless?

The relentless see. The relentless look at what is visible and, by faith, connect the dots all the way to Good News about a kingdom that is strong and unshakeable.

Sunday Scripture The taste of disillusionment is bitter, and few there are who have not experienced it at some point in life, for God often behaves in ways that puzzle us. His infrangible decrees leave us breathless and wondering, and while it's our default to view New Testament characters as cardboard cutouts, it's clear that… Continue reading What Does it Mean to Be Relentless?

Can I Walk by Faith if My Faith is Small?

God is not interested merely in what I do.  Motive is everything in the kingdom of God.

Sunday Scripture We don’t know who he was because he didn’t sign his name. Was it fear that drove him to anonymity in an age of persecution? Or was it humility? Whoever wrote the letter we now refer to as “Hebrews” certainly knew the Old Testament scriptures, and in chapter eleven he’s connecting the dots… Continue reading Can I Walk by Faith if My Faith is Small?

Prayer for a New Year

It's tempting, Lord, to put my faith in your gifts, rather than in you alone...

It's tempting, LORD, to put my faith in your gifts Rather than in you alone. Good health enables early rising, satisfying productivity; Strong legs:  a swift gait; Clarity of thought:  a coherent paragraph; An understanding friend:  the comfort of being known. I wonder though, Could I share the Story? Advance the Kingdom? Or even get… Continue reading Prayer for a New Year

How Parenting Exposes Our Need for Faith

Do I believe Jesus can rescue my children? Do I trust him to work redemptively in their hearts? I want to.

Whether we’re making meals, changing diapers, or shuttling kids to baseball practice, parents are doers. Always in protective mode, we apply sunscreen and Band-Aids as needed, and when we hit a wall with a need we can’t meet ourselves, we consult with the experts. Long before parents could ransack Google or WebMD for medical advice,… Continue reading How Parenting Exposes Our Need for Faith

Sunday Scripture ~ Proverbs 3:1, 2

"My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you."   (Proverbs 3:1, 2) Obedience from the heart is the first evidence of belonging. We don't remember God's laws and keep his commandments in order to become God's… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Proverbs 3:1, 2

What if Christians Became the Best Advertisement for Jesus?

What if Christians' irresistible faith became the best advertisement for Jesus?

The philosophical underpinnings of Christianity point the way to a community where each one competes to show maximum honor and respect to the others. The Bible describes a rule of life that values individuals as carriers of the image of God and the church gathered as a place to be refueled for maximum impact when… Continue reading What if Christians Became the Best Advertisement for Jesus?

Evidence of Grace in the Cycling of Seasons

I will bring what I am learning about patience from this cycling of the seasons to my navigation of a life of perpetual change.

When my thrifty mother-in-law made mincemeat, she would start with the venison roast from a deer who may have had the audacity to nibble on her tulip leaves.  From there, she would improvise, adding whatever needed using up on that particular day:  a batch of jam that didn’t “set up” just right or an over-abundance… Continue reading Evidence of Grace in the Cycling of Seasons

How to Do the Hard and Holy Work of Faithful Friendship

Spiritual friendship involves caring, accepting, serving, encouraging, and practicing hospitality.

"So who's mentoring whom here?" my friend asked with a mischievous grin. Good question! When friends challenge one another with shared books, Scripture reading, and transparent prayer, everyone is sharpened and restored in a way that uniquely shows the love of God. Janice Peterson calls this "spiritual friendship," and has reached back into her long… Continue reading How to Do the Hard and Holy Work of Faithful Friendship

The Marks of a Sinner’s Saintly Story

Story has a way of capturing the imagination. Biography brings theological principles, life lessons, and spiritual wisdom to life as I bear witness to the grittiness, lived-out in a transformed journey. Poor choices and besetting sins become cautionary sign posts that might just keep me from going over the same cliff. Karen Wright Marsh shares… Continue reading The Marks of a Sinner’s Saintly Story