Standing Beside You, Teaching What Is Good

"Mentoring is a discipleship relationship that focuses on equipping younger believers for the work of ministry so that they grow in maturity and unity in the faith with the ultmate goal of glorifying God."

My granddaughter's ponytail falls in blonde ringlets, and her wardrobe manifests all the many moods of pink and frilly. Having been a girl of a very different stripe, and then having raised four rowdy sons, I am in quiet awe of her unmitigated girliness. Together, we have made jam, blown bubbles, and painted messy pictures.… Continue reading Standing Beside You, Teaching What Is Good

It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

The discipline and delight of steady and methodical Bible reading is life changing.

My ten-thousand-steps-a-day routine is a lot easier to accomplish in June than in January, the month when we all set our intentions for the year. The green world beckons, the garden needs tending, and our mowing business is in full steam ahead mode. (On a recent six-lawn Wednesday, I passed the ten thousand step mark… Continue reading It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

Strength and Comfort from an Ancient Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

When Elisabeth Elliot's second husband Addison Leitch was dying of cancer, he suffered intense physical pain. Even more devastating to both of them, though, was the crisis of faith that accompanied his final suffering. Elisabeth wrote that the weight of sorrow from witnessing his daily despair was one of the deepest trials of her life.… Continue reading Strength and Comfort from an Ancient Prayer

The Freedom of Choosing an Unhurried Life

Accept your limitations. Accept Jesus's easy yoke. Learn the "unforced rhythms of grace."

It's true that our greatest strength can also become our greatest weakness. In this mothering life, it's a great mercy that I can fold laundry, listen to a podcast, and monitor dinner on the stove, all while pondering the introduction for my next book review. The real question is, "Can I stop the multi-tasking when… Continue reading The Freedom of Choosing an Unhurried Life

Enneagram Three: You Are More than What You Can Do

We are all ever so much more than what we do.

Oblivious to the hum of classroom activity, I turned page after page as silent reading time flew by. In the fifth grade, I was riveted to the story arc of Helen Keller’s life. Only just barely old enough to fathom the complexity of getting an education without sight or hearing, my laser focus had found… Continue reading Enneagram Three: You Are More than What You Can Do

Hear, Do, Know: The Christian’s Clear Assignment

“To listen to one word and go out and obey it is better than having the most exalted ‘religious experience,’ for it puts us in touch with God Himself—it is a willed response.” Elisabeth Elliot

My young friend’s question was as deeply earnest as it was misguided: “I know I need to read and pray every day, but isn’t it just hypocritical to go through the motions on days when I’m not feelin’ it?” It’s not hard to trace this line of reasoning to its source. In Western thought, a… Continue reading Hear, Do, Know: The Christian’s Clear Assignment

Creating the Conditions for Spiritual Growth

I cannot make spiritual growth happen on my own, so I'm trusting the recipe.

Bread dough the color of molasses yielded to the pressure of my working fist. Fold, press, turn, repeat, and soon I lost count of how many times I had kneaded the fragrant lump. With the recipe calling for three hundred repetitions, I began to wonder— Three hundred? Really? But switching to the heel of my… Continue reading Creating the Conditions for Spiritual Growth

Breakfast for Your Body and the Bread of Life for Your Soul

Let Jesus's invitation to "Come and have breakfast" change your morning routine as you incorporate habits of holiness into your day and live your way into the daily welcome of God's presence and his love.

Sunday Scripture After a long night of empty-net fishing, seven discouraged disciples turned their boat toward shore. The surprise of an early morning Jesus-sighting and the gift of an unexpected and bountiful catch turned their day upside down, and their shore-side picnic with Jesus is one of my favorite New Testament images.  What's not to… Continue reading Breakfast for Your Body and the Bread of Life for Your Soul

Chew on the Truth–and Transform Your Life

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:2

Because of his size, our St. Bernard can't be trusted with just any bone or chew toy. Large and practically indestructible, his favorite toy stays in the family room where it can keep him occupied on family movie nights. Sometimes we have to adjust the volume on the t.v. to accommodate the sound of Tucker's… Continue reading Chew on the Truth–and Transform Your Life

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