Discernment: Pursuing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful

Discernment, an eye for what's good, is part of the believer's transformation process.

Something inside me freezes when I hear the word discernment. Whether I'm making a major purchase, giving advice to a friend, or standing in a voting booth feeling as if I'm taking a test I haven't studied for, discernment is the quality that's lacking and the thing I long for. We want good things for… Continue reading Discernment: Pursuing the Good, the True, and the Beautiful

6 Books for Friends-in-Training

And this is the power and the gift of friendship: when hearts collide, lives are altered.

“I want to keep it handy in case I need it,” she said, matter-of-factly. She wasn’t talking about a flashlight. Not a package of tissues. Not a cell phone – they hadn’t been invented in 1978. She was talking about Isaiah 55. “I liked it,” she went on.  “So I memorized it.” “Come, all you… Continue reading 6 Books for Friends-in-Training

You Can Shatter the Habit of Comparison

You and I, too, can embrace the better habit of resting in God's love while delighting in the glorious comparability of all that he has made.

When is the last time you walked into a room full of women and just fully enjoyed everyone? The talkative and the more reticent? The natural leader and the sweetheart with the gift of helps? The carefully coiffed and manicured and the all-natural girl without a speck of makeup? My natural tendency is to compare,… Continue reading You Can Shatter the Habit of Comparison

A Joyful Life of Listening for the Echo of a Voice

As we find our voice in Christ, we learn to know and sing the music of our soul.

I came of age in an era when all the truly devout and discerning were in search of "the dot." Certain that there was one particular place, vocation, spouse, role, and educational path for me in the mind of God ("the dot"), I agonized, prayed, agonized some more, listened for a clear voice of direction,… Continue reading A Joyful Life of Listening for the Echo of a Voice

Loving and Listening to God in Every Season

Predictable and yet ever new, the cycling of beauty and fruition, the presence of thorns and the dirt under my fingernails together corroborate the peaceful truth that heaven and earth conspire in declaring the glory of God.

In every season, my garden speaks, reinforcing in leaf and humus Scripture's messages around patience and diligence, inviting me to rejoice with the arrival of every cucumber and blazing pumpkin and to lament with the erect skeletons of sunflowers, their heads bowed at season's end. Predictable and yet ever new, the cycling of beauty and… Continue reading Loving and Listening to God in Every Season

Wonder 101: What Your Kids Can Teach You About Delighting in God

The embedded the spiritual practice of noticing God at work in the beauty around us sharpens our prayer life and leads to worship in the present moment.

My grandson's favorite grape tomatoes ripen to a vivid orange in the sunshine on one of the outside rows of my garden. He literally quivers with delight when we pick them together, filling container after container with their bright beauty--and a small one to stow in his cup holder for the ride home. Children do… Continue reading Wonder 101: What Your Kids Can Teach You About Delighting in God

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 Gift of Language and the God Who Speaks

Language is a gift from God through which we sing and pray and, using the very same syntax and parts of speech, can also order a burger at the drive through or tell a story to a two-year-old.

The recent biographical movie featuring the life of J.R.R. Tolkien captures him saying, "After all, what's language for? It's not just the naming of things, is it? It's the life blood of a culture, a people." Language and the way we use it reveals our thinking and our character. The structure of a language reveals… Continue reading The Gift of Language and the God Who Speaks

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?

You Can Cultivate Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World

In a lonely world where isolation is the norm and competition is the default, the deep connection of friendship is a rare gift.

There's Abby, my resource, the friend I call on when I need advice--or a place to vent; There's Sandi, my ministry colleague and voice of reason; the friend I laugh with and work alongside; There's Lori who sets the example for me:  hard-working, huge-hearted, and the friend with whom I have grown into mothering. There… Continue reading You Can Cultivate Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World