Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer

Prayer begins with simply showing up, committing yourself to the discipline of focused attention toward God and away from yourself.

"Let's try again," I said, starting the music and extending my hands with a hopeful smile. Who knew that it would be so hard for a class of first graders to agree together on clapping the beat of a simple song? For some, the process was as natural as breathing, but not for everyone. By… Continue reading Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer

My Turn to Be the White Person in the Black Room

"The disciplines of prayer, spiritual direction, and soul care are needed in all communities." Barbara L. Peacock

I have a long list of spiritual giants to whom I've looked for inspiration in my following life. Names like C.S. Lewis, Teresa of Avila, Madeleine L'Engle, and Eugene Peterson come to mind, and it's likely that you also have a list, different from mine, but comprising familiar names from church history or Christian culture.… Continue reading My Turn to Be the White Person in the Black Room

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

A Time to Preach, a Time to Teach, and a Time to Beseech

Paul recongnized that there's a time to preach, a time to teach, and a time to beseech.

Sunday Scripture One of the greatest gifts of my life is my grown up kids. We have fun together, and we also engage in conversations about important topics. I can feel my role in the family changing as our youngest moves toward independence and our three older sons take on increasingly responsible positions in their… Continue reading A Time to Preach, a Time to Teach, and a Time to Beseech

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

What to Do When You Think You’ve Found the Perfect Church

As the old saying goes, if you think you've finally found the perfect church, run like crazy before you ruin it.

Church has been the influence that has pushed me, challenged me to a greater faithfulness, and stretched me outside my comfort zone. It has also been the pebble in my shoe, the sandpaper which has knocked off some of my rough edges. There's no doubt about it:  Church can be difficult. By definition, church is… Continue reading What to Do When You Think You’ve Found the Perfect Church

A Reasonable Response to the Miracle of Resurrection

Even with a ham in the oven and the house mostly presentable, my Easter bonnet is all askew this year. Is it possible to celebrate Easter in isolation? Can we really observe the highest holy day of our church calendar without rousing hymns and communal breakfasts and the perfume of Easter lilies in the sanctuary?… Continue reading A Reasonable Response to the Miracle of Resurrection

Spiritual Formation at Mid-Life and Beyond

There's no age restriction on spiritual growth.

My son rolled his eyes in disdain as he vented his outrage. “Doesn’t she know she’s a grown up? There’s nothing cool about an old person trying to act like a kid!” Leave it to youth to give us the straight and unvarnished story. We’ve all witnessed the desperate measures of the middle-aged, stuck in… Continue reading Spiritual Formation at Mid-Life and Beyond

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