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

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

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

Sunday Scripture ~ Luke 12:48

God will not hold you accountable for what you do not know. This is good news. It is true of the unreached people groups from Operation World, and it is true of you and me in our earlier, perhaps untaught, and perhaps more reckless, less scripturally grounded years. Everyone to whom much was given much will… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Luke 12:48

Stillness on the Way to Peace with God

The waters do indeed rise and the flames may come close enough to singe us, but the power of God endures.

With a steaming cup of tea in my favorite mug and an open Bible, I turned to a fresh page in my journal and prepared to take advantage of an empty and quiet house. Funny how stillness without is no guarantee of stillness within. A dozen tasks on my to-do list suddenly began competing for… Continue reading Stillness on the Way to Peace with God

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

Sunday Scripture ~ Philippians 1:6

God promises to complete the work He has begun in you. Philippians 1:6

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."  (Philippians 1:6 ESV) The work of salvation is ongoing, and this is good news for those of us who daily feel the rub of our own shortcomings against the… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Philippians 1:6

Self-Discipline: A Wholehearted Yes to the Call of God

A right understanding of discipline requires a right understanding of the God we follow, for any effort in that direction is truly a "wholehearted yes to the call of God."

Child #1:  "But I don't want to do my spelling lesson." Child #2:  "I really don't feel like cleaning my room." Parent:  "I'm not asking you to want to. I don't expect you to feel like it. I'm asking you to do it anyway." There was a season in which conversations like this were standard… Continue reading Self-Discipline: A Wholehearted Yes to the Call of God