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

Jesus Always Has Something to Say to You About Your Life

Jesus always has something to say to you about your life.

Sunday Scripture Criticism is hard to hear. Even if it is well-intentioned and comes from someone who is qualified to critique my work, it has taken a long time for me to learn that criticism is more helpful to me than praise, because it will, ultimately, result in improvement and growth--if I receive the criticism… Continue reading Jesus Always Has Something to Say to You About Your Life

Do You Have the Right Facts but a Wrong Heart?

Forgiveness travels back to us on the road of repentance, and even though Isaiah is a prophet who majors on grace, he does not fail to inform his readers about the need for obedience.

Sunday Scripture Really? What were they thinking? The Sunday school lesson for my fours and fives featured the life and ministry of John the Baptist. "Perfect," I thought. "He's Jesus's cousin, and two of my little guys are cousins. They'll love that. But what about this...?" "Repent!" That was John's message, and an abstract concept,… Continue reading Do You Have the Right Facts but a Wrong Heart?

Sunday Scripture ~ 1 Peter 4:8

"And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.”  (1 Peter 4:8 NKJV) Fervent love is a choice, and it comes with effort. The word fervent means "to be stretched," and has also been used to describe a runner, straining toward a finish line. Some versions render the… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ 1 Peter 4:8

Two Reasons to Give the Church Another Chance

When my husband and I were still a “young couple,” we used to laugh over an imagined scenario at our church: “What ever happened to that young couple with all the boys?” “Haven’t you heard?  They divorced – someone said that they just grew apart, that they didn’t know each other anymore.” “No!  They were… Continue reading Two Reasons to Give the Church Another Chance

Blessing Management: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (Conclusion!)

Last week a huge windstorm felled both trees and power lines, leading to widespread power outages throughout the great state of Maine. By some miracle of grace, we came through the storm with our lights still burning, but my oldest son was without electricity for several days. Since he and his family came here to… Continue reading Blessing Management: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (Conclusion!)

Musings — April 2017

Returning from a family vacation (and a blogging break!), it's great to be rested and to have stored up some delightful memories with my patient husband, our two youngest sons, and with dear friends who love us so much and so well that they even welcomed our big slobbery dog!   On the Nightstand Not… Continue reading Musings — April 2017

The Broken Reaching Out to the Broken

Six years ago, Ann Voskamp took the dare to dive deep into a lifestyle of gratitude.  Could she record one thousand gifts from God and let her heart be changed by the knowledge of all the ways that God loved her?  She wrote about the dare in her first book, and suddenly the Greek word… Continue reading The Broken Reaching Out to the Broken

Oil and Dew: Two Reasons to Give the Church Another Chance

When my husband and I were still a “young couple,” we used to laugh over an imagined scenario at our church: “What ever happened to that young couple with all the boys?” “Haven’t you heard?  They divorced – someone said that they just grew apart, that they didn’t know each other anymore.” “No!  They were… Continue reading Oil and Dew: Two Reasons to Give the Church Another Chance

“Are We O.K.?”

  Early in our marriage, my husband and I stumbled onto a means of cutting to the chase in determining the state of our union.  Protracted silences, a perceived "mood," a brusque response, or an air of impatience always triggers THE QUESTION:  "Are we o.k.?"  Of course, the success of this little drill presupposes a level of… Continue reading “Are We O.K.?”