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

Portraits of Endurance to Jumpstart Your New Year

Let's war against doubt and discouragement with a borrowed confidence that defies our unbelief and keeps us running by faith as we trust in the carrying mercy of Christ.

Portrait #1 My friend Lori does not fit the profile for a church treasurer. With gifts that lend themselves more to giving hugs  than to writing checks, and with a ready smile that makes her a favorite with all the kids in the school cafeteria where she works every day, she has persevered in faithfulness… Continue reading Portraits of Endurance to Jumpstart Your New Year

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