Faith

Some Life Lessons of a Fugitive on the Run

Meditations on Psalm 7 When you are being hunted by the law, there is no safe place. You always need to be on your guard. There is no one who you can ultimately trust. Even your closest comrades may sell you out if the price is right. Have you ever felt like that? I...

What Church Can Be

Another quiet night’s sleep was shattered… …by the midnight alarm. The claxon went off in the small, New England lighthouse on the rocky Massachusetts coast. Another ship had run aground in the night fog on the rocks. The men and women in the small, dingy lighthouse...

How to use Prayer as Your Insurance Policy

What could be better than the comfort of knowing that you have an insurance policy that is always going to work for you regardless of the direness of any situation? I mean, an insurance policy that requires no application, enrollment eligibility questions or credit...

How to Move from Scarcity to Abundance

A Night on the Town Janet and I were at a local restaurant recently. The waiter wasn’t complaining, but it’d been a really lousy Sunday. He was struggling with some things in his personal life, his customers had been grouchy, and he really needed the money he didn’t...

Dear Summer

Letters to my granddaughter Note: On February 15, 2018, I committed to write every day to my 10 year-old granddaughter, Summer, who lives with my wife Carla (Goggy) and me (Geep). The compilation will comprise The 365 Days of Summer, designed to be her Valentine’s Day...

Cling to the Truth | A poem about trust

When your day ahead is foggy and your way is less than clear. When you know in your heart you’re not alone, but it feels like no one’s there. Just cling to the truth with all your might. For we walk by faith and not by sight. And then just rest, in what is true. For...

When you Suffer, Where Do you Turn?

Meditations on Psalm 6. David cries out to the Lord! What is his trouble? We do not find out until the very end of this song. It is people who are against him that bring him such emotional turmoil. (verses 7–9) His world is literally in chaos. He lacks close intimacy...

2 Practical Ways to Put God on the Throne of Your Life

A Chat with a Friend A while back I had a good Christian friend named Nate who had a small boat we’d take out on the Rappahannock River here in Virginia. We had some great conversations out there on the water. After one of these outings, when we got back to his house,...

Our Spiritual Journey — Where Are You?

Where are you on your spiritual journey? I find myself periodically trying to ascertain where I am and what comes next. The questions I ask myself can be useful for you as well. How is my Prayer Life? I am constantly looking at my prayer life. I am constantly...

A Pastor’s Office as a Life-Giving Tomb

A Pastor’s office is no ordinary office. It is a tomb for the dead. Those crushed by their repeated slip-ups and beaten to death by their consciences; those pierced by the sharp tip of their transgressions and bled dry by the Law’s constant demands; those dead in...

Without Purse or Scrip

Will you help me? I have a friend I will call Ben. Ben is a native of South America and currently lives much of his time in Spain, where most of his family lives. Ben is cultured, multi-lingual, kind, BYU-educated and a returned missionary. He is a mechanical engineer...

Sounds of The Thunder

A Tale Of Faith I come to you in times of despair again, My Lord, My holy spirit climbs this ladder of anxiety of some sort. My mind sees the magic and wilfully lets my vision distort, Derive this meaning to my ever-strong hold, a remedy to now resort. Peace, you have...

5 Ways to Birth Life in Everything We Say

It’s been several years since my own mom passed into Jesus’ physical presence in glory. Shortly afterward, my brother had a dream where the Lord told him, “She likes the accommodations up here.” Yep. That’s totally something my mom would say. Mothers have a special...

The Cure for Your Self-Worth Problem

I’ve had some identity problems lately. No, no one stole my social security number and spent all the money I don’t have. My identity problems stemmed from the struggle of not being able to figure out the equation for calculating my self-worth. Call me selfish (I’m...

The Power of Psalm 23 in Your Life

Psalm 23 is one of the most well known passages of scripture we have. It brings comfort to those who are suffering. It brings peace to lives in turmoil. But it gives us so much more! I have to admit my first memory of this psalm is not very flattering. The Lord is my...

When you are in Trouble, Cry to God for Help!

  Psalm 3 -A psalm of David. (When he fled from his son Absalom.) The Background to this cry for Help. David had sinned. David had sinned grievously.(see 2 Samuel 11) God’s prophet had pronounced judgement on David’s sin, but forgiveness for the man.(2 Samuel 12:1–13)...

Prayer is Anticipation, a Longing of the Heart

Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore all things, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. Acts 3:21 Political intrigue. Human trafficking. Addictions of all kinds. Mental illness. Murder and rape. Child molestation. Global warming....

The Power of the Presence

When I am confronted with a plumbing problem I become stressed. I hate plumbing issues. I simply cannot find success at fixing them myself. When I call a plumber to come and take care of the problem, I relax and trust the expert to fix the problem. I know the presence...

Hindsight

It’s hard to be told what to do so often. Even worse the ‘what-you-should-have-done’ when it is too late. Thankfully, we older folks have the special glass called ‘hindsight’. We can use the magnifying glass of sorts to help us out. You have to watch the glass though,...

News Flash: You Are Enough

Have you ever judged yourself as not good enough? Always coming up short of what is expected or needed? This is a common battle that many — including myself — have experienced. The issue of inadequacy, of not being “enough” for their loved ones, haunts our minds. The...

The 3 Sides of Agreement and the One Thing that Prevents It

Agreement is powerful. We all know that. Jesus himself said, “Truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19) But what we may not know is there are 3 different sides of...

My Love Relationship with My ‘Father’

Oftentimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t known my Father. You see, I look at people who are just going through life on their own, without the security of a Father who always has their best interests at heart. And I cannot help but be amazed at...

Your Physical Senses are Tricking You

Life is harmonious The external pictures of the material world can seem frightening and bleak. Sickness, violence, political strife, natural disasters and profound poverty to name a few. Is it possible that these are not our reality? At the least, they are not our...

The Road to a Well-Nourished Life – Repair Shops Galore!

This is the fifth and final in a series of posts, documenting my journey from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts to my current state of wholeness and wellness today. It is written for you, the reader, who believes God is still there, yet is stumbling in the...

Books for Inmates

It’s been a busy couple weeks for Dishonor. I was given the opportunity to speak at a local church and share my story. After the service, two individuals made donations to help share copies of Dishonor. Then the floodgates opened… Shipping I fulfilled a request by...

God Is Always With Us

…especially now God’s light shines through our dark noon By which we receive the comfort of grace So that our darkest night Feels like the rising sun Simply because God is always with us

The Wonder of You

The Wonder of You. From ignorance to knowledge, From foolishness to insight, Can it be true that I can look up and be known? that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a Father of compassion and mercy, Seated in the heavens yet present with his people….. From the...

Is there a Supreme Sovereign Ruler of the Cosmos?

Psalm 2 If Psalm 1 is about men choosing the way of righteousness or wickedness, this Psalm is about God’s choices. This psalm is traditionally grouped with other psalms celebrating the coronation of a king in Israel, but its message is also clearly prophetic. It...

How to Live in Blessing

Is there a glaring contradiction in the Bible? God loves his people Israel, but he sends them into exile. That seems like a strange kind of love. Or take Jesus lamenting over Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a...

Five Powerful Steps to Build Spiritual Endurance

Endurance is a key part of spiritual health and strength yet most people struggle in the area of endurance. Is there a way to build endurance to work through the trials we face as we follow Jesus? God’s word provides us with all we need to thrive as we follow Jesus...

The Good Lord’s Wife

I read in my Bible of the Lamb’s wife How that the King Would return for His bride Spotless and pure I want to be a good wife to the Lamb To serve and to respect To greet and fellowship with my Lord At dawn’s crack I want to be the good Lord’s wife To be clothed in...

How to Believe in a World that Mocks Faith

Wild animals surrounded him. This was not looking good.  They were all looking at him and making their wild animal sounds. “How did a respectable English scientist like me get here,” thought Uncle Andrew. “What did I do to deserve this?” Indeed, when he could avoid...

7 Powerful Words To Focus Your Spiritual Expectations

Are you following Jesus? What are your expectations? We all need encouragement but is there something more — something unexpected and profound? I have seen many people begin to follow only to stumble and fall. Some were able to get up, others simply failed. What are...

Not What I Wanted - What I Needed

It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. An x-ray and ultrasound confirmed there were two large fibroid tumors in my uterus. At least I had an answer. No wonder I always felt full whether I ate or didn’t. It only made sense to do a little research of my own, while I waited...

“God, I can’t do today” is a statement of faith

I’ve been saying it more and more often. “God, I can’t do today.” “Today” in that sentence might mean the whole day, or it might mean a specific part of it; it might mean some gargantuan task or stack of tasks; or an impossible deadline or person. “God” in that...

Hurry Up & Wait

How do you react when you have to wait? I’m not very good at it, and try to avoid it when possible. Recently, when I took my car in for routine maintenance, I chose to get a loaner car instead of waiting 90 minutes for the technician to complete the service. After I...

If you are Love on Earth, you will be Broken

Every Christian and many a skeptic has asked this question: why did Jesus, as God, have to pay for humanity’s sins against God? Why the elaborate setup? Why the suffering? Couldn’t God just call it even? If He’s so merciful, powerful, and forgiving, isn’t He big...

Does God listen when we pray to Him?

I have been a Christian for most of my life. I used the word ‘most’ because, although I was born into a Christian home, and raised by Christian parents, it wasn’t until I became an adult that I truly developed a personal relationship with God. In my Christian walk and...

Are Some Prayers Too Trivial for God?

Different Christians have different ideas about what is or is not an appropriate prayer. One friend told me, “I only pray about major things, like the world situation or a terminal illness.” Other Christians pray for the weather to be sunny for a church picnic or for...

How One Grudge-holder Learned How to Forgive

Forgiveness is possible for anyone Have you ever given an apology you didn’t want to give? How did that go for you? You know what I mean, you mouth the words, but inwardly you carry on another conversation. Maybe I’ll outwardly forgive them, but I’m holding onto this...

How to Find Life That is Beyond Your Imagination

Jesus said many startling things about the Kingdom of God, about his life and his mission. Here is another. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life...

It’s Worth Getting the Road to Happiness Right

Psalm 1 Blessed- Happy… Who does not want to pursue happiness? The cry of my heart yearns for happiness. I have an unquenchable desire to be happy. I confess when I’m in significant pain, the question that bombards me so often is “Why me?”  I want happiness- not...

Are You Tired of the Daily Grind?

We are busier beyond what we can handle. The blur of activity of the daily grind becomes a badge of identification stating “I have so much to do and it all matters.” We become addicted to busy-ness. Our time is filled with caring for our families and making a living....

The Road to a Well-Nourished Life- It Started In the Dark

This is first in a series of posts, documenting my journey from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts to my current state of wholeness and wellness today. It is written for you, the reader, who believes God is still there, yet is stumbling in the dark, wondering...

Discover Your Path to Spiritual Life

Where does spiritual life come from? How do we get it? What role do we play in gaining and growing spiritually? We all have a desire to truly live a full and rewarding life. When we have spiritual life we experience the abundant life that Jesus promised us. Where...

When Trying to Change the World Doesn’t Pay the Bills

I suck at vulnerability I’m just going to put myself out there. If you have read anything I have given to the world, it probably had little to do with me and a lot to do with a certain topic. Fact is I suck at vulnerability — even with myself (weird right?). It’s not...

3 Tips to Persist Through the Freeze and Bloom of Life

Our spring weather this year has taken us on a roller coaster swinging from warm 70 degree days to several nights of hard frost. But isn’t that the way life often goes? Things go smoothly, then there’s a sudden change followed by another twist and turn, dogged by...

The Joys of Faith-walking

Compare your making your way to work with walking.  How much do you see along the way there driving? Taking public transport? Not much. The drivers doing idiotic maneuvers in range of your bumper surely holds your attention enough…or the ‘barely there’ atmosphere of...

13 Things I Must Learn as a Pilgrim

I am drawn to the words of the Psalms because There I can find out how to be happy. Psalm 1 God is Sovereign. He is in control. Psalm 2 God is my Protector . Psalm 3 Knowing God gives me joy. Psalm 4 God hears me when I pray. Psalm 5 God is full of mercy. Psalm 6 God...

10 Ways to Serve Others Well

Your passion is pastoral care. When asked to shepherd a new Christian or a Christian who has hit some rough spots in life you consider it a privilege. You never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit and your role in the life of someone that God brings into your...

5 reasons for Gratitude on Easter

What’s under your rocks? When the stone was rolled away on the tomb where Jesus was buried, suddenly new opportunities were born. One of the blessings of going to a small church is being a substitute teacher Sunday School teacher. The fifth & sixth-grade teachers were...

Can You Trust God To Answer Your Prayers?

How trustworthy is God? Can you really trust Him to answer your prayers? My experience recently confirmed my life verse: “Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5–6. It is not...

Impossibly Possible

“You need a new roof.” They were not words I wanted to hear. We were having an entirely different issue addressed, when the handyman noticed missing shingles and other damage to our rooftop. I knew our roof was original to the house, and would need to be replaced...

4 Lessons from Overcoming Risk

“Do you have rocks in your head?” Although it’s a startling question, I knew what the person had in mind. My friend referred to my experience of zip-lining. Rick and I ventured out to try something new, which included eight zip lines through the treetops, two rope...

How to Escape the Abnormal Normal with 5 Positive Steps

We Grow Up Thinking It’s Normal It happens to all of us. We all grow up in a household, our family of origin. Every family has different strengths and weaknesses. Even if our brains know better, how we grew up is all our hearts know. Good or bad, how we grew up is...

11 Laws for Spiritual Success

Would it be helpful if there was a definite set of guidelines that would guarantee spiritual success — laws, like the law of gravity that would ensure you would thrive spiritually? What would you do with such a ‘list’? Are you willing to commit yourself to spiritual...

Easter: With Writing…The Same, Differently

The Easter story….again Lent, the cross, the resurrection, and …. Then, back to real life. Eating, drinking, and back to work. The heady questions of life are back again, how to live them out every day?   And how does my ‘writing’ make it different this time?...

Are the Gospel Accounts Reliable?

Introduction The Christian faith and doctrine has been under heavy scrutiny over the last few centuries. One of the most significant portions of the faith that has been under this scrutiny is the historical reliability of the New Testament text; particularly the...

“Stop Trying so Hard to be Accepted; You Already Are

Everyone needs to belong You see it all the time. There, in the corner of the room, looking down, sits another one. You can tell she’s not having a good time. She hardly looks up. But then again, why should she? She feels invisible. According to Abraham Maslow, all...

What Are the Ways I Can Completely Belong To God

It’s Not An Easy Job — It takes work. Our church in Arizona has been working through the book of Ezekiel. Yes — that book. I haven’t spent much time studying that book. Even our Pastor admitted that in the last 30 years of preaching he has never preached from Ezekiel...

Sixteen Bible Quotes about Hope

Daily defend yourself against despair. Although there is debate as to HOW to fix the brokenness in society, the fact that society is broken is not. In my profession, I’m up close and personal with the good, the bad, and the ugly of humanity every single day. While...

When Grace Shook the World

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” (Luke 19:38–39) These were not proclamations by angels, but shouts of praise from ordinary people as Jesus rode through the crowd. The sounds had barely faded as Jesus...

What’s the Best Reason for Praying?

A Simple Message about Prayer Why Do We Pray? This is probably the most asked question put into searches on prayer. People might say we pray for protection, good health, strength, and comfort; a good job, a better relationship, a new friend; housing, food, shelter....

God’s Scientists & Thinkers

When God and religion are mentioned, people automatically associate them with miracles and judge the believers to be irrational. When one mentions science, people automatically associate it with mathematical proofs and atheism. It is quite surprising that a limited...

Weathering the Ups and Downs of People You Love

If you are a born lover of people, you take on many of the cares of people around you. When your best friend has woes, you commiserate. When your adult daughter has boyfriend issues, you listen and clamp your mouth shut. When someone you care about is hurting, you...

Why Serving in the Church Can Impact a Life Every Day

Can you make a difference in someone’s life every day? How can this be possible? Is serving in the church really the answer? Before we get to that, though, we must answer some more questions. What is the church supposed to look like? How is it intended to function? Is...

The Outrageous Exchange

He didn’t have to do it. Great drops of blood stained the ground as he agonized in prayer. He cried out, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,” (Luke 22:42; KJV)  An angel strengthened him for what was to...

What is your home base?

Remember playing tag and having a refuge of home base? It was only place where you were safe. You couldn’t be tagged “it.” Home base was a refuge of security for the fast ones who got there first. Maybe home base was a large tree or someone’s front porch. Sometimes...

When Your Heart is Heavy and You Have So Much to Say to God

Dear God, You alone know exactly how I feel right now. I cannot vocalize the contents of my heart to anyone else, and that is why I am choosing to write to You. Lord, my heart is heavy and full of so many uncertainties. This journey has been difficult, and through it...

What is Your Stumbling Block to Finding Peace and Joy

What pattern is your life aligning itself to? As I walked along a path in the forest deep in thought, I didn’t see the tree root sticking out of the ground. As my toe hit it, I came back to reality and felt like I might fall. Thankfully I had a walking companion who...

Persistence Pays Off!

What gets your attention? In the last 24 hours, has anything made you stop what you were doing, shift gears and do something else? It happened to me today. The morning routine began as usual — feeding the pets, making coffee, and reading my Bible. That’s when I...

A Surprising Way to Connect with God

How to Use The SIMPLE Method of Bible Study While reading the 4th lesson in Lent my eye caught, “put in everything”. I am trying to remember that. I want to watch that I am ready to put in everything every day. Using the SIMPLE Bible Study Method I will look at a...

You Need to Know A Valuable Way to Remember Scripture

Do you want to go deeper in your understanding of God’s Word? For years my Bible stayed on the shelf. When hubby did a crossword puzzle I sometimes would look something up for him (before Google). Otherwise, I only heard God’s Word when it was read from the pulpit....

What to do when Hope turns to Despair

Ever been there before? Have you ever gotten to that point where you thought all the efforts put towards achieving your goals were going to pay off and then suddenly your hopes are dashed with a loud thud? I have been there. And I must tell you that it is not a very...

What My Dog Taught Me About God

Several years ago we had a wonderful dog named Caesar. He was a delight in our lives. He was loving, well behaved and intelligent. He could communicate with us his desires and understood much of what we said, so much so that we had to spell some of his favorite things...

How to Have Victory over Shame

The Most Secretive Prison in the World It isn’t in some subbasement of some 1960s era non-descript government building in some closed dictatorial regime. But it is the most populated prison in the world. “Wait a minute, that doesn’t even make sense!” you say. “How do...

When Talking to God Becomes a Way of Life

“I live in a spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk about, when I lie down and when I rise up. And the answers are always coming.” ~George Mueller I believe prayer is a lifestyle. Something that becomes a part of who you are every day without exception. Thoughts that are...

Considering Pathways to Praise God

The pathways to praise God are all around us — we just have to open our eyes and hearts to engage them. One pathway to praise is to look at creation and marvel at the detail of it. From the stars of the Milky Way to the tiniest seed, there is wonder in creation....

Why Did the trees of the Fields Clap Their Hands?

A closer look at Isaiah 55:12 “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12.NIV).” I love the way God can speak to us through Scripture....

Three Powerful Ways to Avoid the Clutches of Satan

A look at Mark 11:27–33 “They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority...

Do You Long For Peace in a World of Turmoil?

Do you long for peace in the world of turmoil? When the mind races, the heart loses peace. How can a peace co-exist with turmoil? I witnessed an example of this while hiking along a mountain stream. At the end of the trail, a waterfall tumbled off a rugged cliff from...

When Dark Days and Nights Make Life Really Hard

I’m not a scholar or a theologian, but I do understand the importance of good theology in order to suffer well. If you don’t believe God is good, that He loves you unconditionally, and that He is Sovereign, then when darkness descends upon your life you may become...

What Does God Think of the Sin of Pride?

How a picture of Humpty Dumpty showed me pride I am doing a challenge experiment in drawing — to make my mind expand but also to hear God at the same time. I try to do this in my writing too. I put 33 dots on a piece of art paper, outline them and then colour. Then I...

Where I Find Safety

It’s no secret our world can be a dangerous place. We want to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I can’t guarantee anyone’s safety but I found something we can do. There’s a place we can go to find safety. I learned this from an experience many years ago and...

How Important is Your Relationship With God?

A Story of Adoption I read a wonderful blog post today about an uncle who had adopted his nephew. That made me think of a good friend who had adopted her nephew too. Isn’t that wonderful? To reach out and love someone that much to add them to your family. These...

What to Do When the Pain Won’t Go Away

The Pain We Hide from Ourselves None of us want to admit it, but we all have it. Or have had it at some point. Emotional pain that just won’t go away. Sometimes we think we’ve stuffed it, but then — bam — something seemingly innocent happens and it all comes crashing...

When Your Heart is Choked By Hurt

The Hurt The darkness was thick and suffocating, like a heavy blanket had been draped over my entire body. I had been sitting alone in my office for several hours, contemplating my circumstances, knowing full well I should have chosen my words more carefully. Anger...

Faith Training for Life

One foot, then the other, is carefully clamped onto skis, ready to jump into action. Fingers grip and re-grip the ski poles. Determination in their eyes as they view the run from the mountaintop. A deep breath. At the electronic sound, the athletes shove off down the...

How Can I See Beauty Here On Earth

A way to see God by really looking I have 5 minutes to write my thoughts on “Beauty”. The prompt is from Five Minute Fridays. When I think of the word beauty I see all of God’s creation. There is so much to see. I haven’t traveled the world much — I’ve been to Europe...

A Lent Blindsided by Grief

On the first week of Lent, we mourned mass shootings, bombings, and crashing planes, along with endless other worldwide losses. We mourned migraines with a traveling spouse, a children’s diagnosis, losing grandparents, and relationships brought to the brink, along...

How Can You Lesson The Burdens In Your Life

A look at life through my creative art I love to draw. But lately I felt hemmed in when I painted. I decided I’m letting my inhibitions go and see where God leads me. I want to draw freely. As always I pray first. Then I put down 33 dots ( Idea from Meg Konovska) and...

How Can I Get Better At Relating With God?

How to Battle Darkness In an online Bible Study, we are reading for Lent a passage a week about Jesus’ work and life up to the time of His Resurrection. This week we are working on Mark 9:14–29. I chose mark 9:28–29 to take a deeper look. My Bible Journal from 2016 —...

4 Steps to Break up with Jealousy

Jealousy isn’t pretty. It usually starts with the comparison game. I look with longing at another person’s personality, success, or abilities. Discouragement takes hold, and soon I’m battling bitterness. If I’m not careful, negative thoughts convince me to stop...

We Have 2 Decisions

The Choice is Ours Our lives are truly binary. We make decisions every day, and ultimately, they end up being between one of two choices. Heaven or hell. Good or evil. To eat healthy or unhealthy. To cheat or not to cheat on our spouse. To buy another unnecessary item...

Are You Overwhelmed by Too Many Choices?

Have you ever wondered how many choices we make in a day? It has been suggested that thousands of decisions are made, ranging from simple to complex. We decide what to wear and eat, where to drive and what lane to be in, how to communicate (by text, email, phone call,...

5 Lessons I Have Learned From Observing Lent

Confession I must start by confessing that I belong to a denomination that doesn’t typically observe Lent. However, over the past several years, I have noticed a growing number of people participating in this tradition regardless of what their denomination does. As a...

How Dehydration Can Dry Up My Spirit

A lesson on thirst for body and soul We spend our winters in Arizona. The weather is lovely with sunny days most of the time and very little rain. As a matter of fact as of the date of this podcasting there has been no rain this year. That makes it very dry — very...

How to be Creative and Grow and Learn about God

A look at Bible Journaling After many years I have finally started to call myself an “artist”. It hasn’t been easy. I still don’t feel like an artist. But as I draw, and use watercolours it is getting easier to show my work and say that I am an artist. Last year I...

Why Did Jesus’ Life Go From Adulation to Execution?

Why we need to be transported back to the first century to find the real story of Easter I’m joining Five Minute Friday today with the word prompt “why?” “Why?” I think this is the most asked question in our lives. From the everyday: Why can’t you remember? To...

Why I Gave Up on Prayer (Part 3 of 3)

And how I made it back My temper was short. I said hateful things to my wife. Lost my temper at my kids. I was generally irritable and not fun for my family to be around. They walked on eggshells around me, and my wife felt very alone. Thinking back on it, I’m a...

When All You Need is Grace

Ever thought you might need a little more grace? What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Have you kept it a deep dark secret? “God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart.”  (Psalm 44:21) Do you feel like your life is shattered into pieces...

Why Instructions are Important

Have you ever attempted to do something without the instructions? Sometimes I have success but other times I fumble and get frustrated until I read and reread the instructions. The other day I decided to bake a favorite recipe for baked oatmeal, one that I’ve created...

How to Talk to Your Heart with 4 Simple Questions

It’s Not All in Your Mind The problems in our mind often lead to bad fruit, but the root of our problems is often not in our mind at all, but in our heart. We often have this false idea in the Western world that the battle’s all in the mind, that it’s all about how we...

Shame is NEVER Good

Here’s why and what to do instead Shame has been around for a long time. We’re familiar with it. But that doesn’t make it good. Shame is never good for any reason. Shame is bad. Shaming words get thrown around without regard to the damage they wield in the human soul....

How to Change Your Attitude This Year

And keep those “blue Mondays” away Much has been written about making plans for the New Year. There is a day in January called Blue Monday. It’s obviously a myth but like all those mythical sayings some people take it to heart. Supposedly Blue Monday happens when we...

Why the Church Matters

Do you feel you can follow Jesus all on your own? Are you tired of bad experiences at church? Can there be a better way? Does the church even matter today? I want to help you understand and help the church (especially if it’s a messy church). What is the Church? The...

How to Live Life With Joyful Intention

How many of you know the life path you want to travel? How joyful is that path today? I believe with your vision in place, you can live life with joyful intention, regardless of your circumstances. Is the joyful life the one you are currently living? If not, what...

How to keep the dam from overflowing when a quarrel starts

A lesson on communication with God and others “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” That’s from Proverbs 17:14   Bible Journaling Janis Cox Matthew tells us in chapter 5, “Settle matters quickly with your...

7 Powerful Steps To Spiritual Maturity

Have you ever watched the life of a ‘saint’ and wondered how they attained such spiritual maturity? Have you ever wondered if you would ever get there yourself? If you are doing what you think are the right things, why does it seem that you are making no progress?...

Why I Gave Up On Prayer (Part 2 0f 3)

And how I made it back I was furious at myself for being naive enough to believe God would actually reach down with some kind of cosmic hand and guide my car into a safe path, or actually manipulate my digestive system into rejecting unhealthy food, or force us into...

Standing There

I was afraid to walk into my pain, but I saw you standing there. Your arms opened wide so I’d slip right inside; I could feel how much you cared.  My tears fell like rain, again and again, but you gathered them all, as you felt all my pain. I know who you are, for...

Boast for Life. Boast in the Lord

Life eternally with God Now more than ever do we get to see the intricate details of peoples lives. Through social media, we get to see all kinds of the weddings. Births. New cars. New clothes. New houses. New jobs. Vacations. And the list can go on for days of the...

Jesus is Calling You: Follow Me!

Have you heard Jesus call: follow me? These were the words he used to call his first disciples. Jesus used these two simple words to transform lives throughout the ages. He continues to use these words today. But what do they really mean? When we go back to scripture...

Why is that smartphone addictive and making you anti-social?

The dangers of the smartphone and screen time. I have been running an online study of God’s Word on Facebook and this month we are looking at Proverbs. I love the way God shows each member of our group different things to look at. This morning during the sermon a...

Slowing… Learning to Savor the Moment

Each of us have the same 88,400 seconds per day. How we choose to spend them significantly impacts the quality of our lives and the people around us. What kind of day, month, year do you envision for yourself, your family, your creative endeavors? Choosing a...

Why I Gave Up On Prayer (Part 1 of 3)

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And that may be true. The thing is they don’t tell you about the in-between. About what happens from the time crisis strikes and while it is ongoing. Raised in a Christian household, I was always taught the importance...

My #1 Fear In Starting My Own Business

On the morning of November, 3rd, 2000 I was a Senior in High School who was wandering into the next season of his life. By that evening, everything had changed. I knew what I was going to do with my life and no one could change my mind. Or, so I thought. Here’s my...

You Have Spiritual Gifts – How to Discover Them

Have you ever wondered what your spiritual gifts are? Have you wondered if you have them? How should you use them? This is a mystery to many but it need not be a mystery to you! You have at least one spiritual gift if you are a follower of Jesus. You can discover that...

Why I Decided to Quit my Job and Pursue My Dream in 2018

On a Friday night in early March of 2016, I found myself exhausted on my couch after a week’s worth of triathlon training. Early that winter, I decided I was going to chase down another Ironman finish in the summer of 2017 and was going to use the next year and a half...

Need POWER for Your Parenting?

Here’s your golden ticket to win the day — every day. I woke up the other day and began as usual with reading, meditation, prayer and journaling. Sounds textbook-perfect so far, right?? But something came over me; you know…that heavy blanket of UGH that creeps upon us...

How to Discover God’s Timing for Your Life

Have you ever wondered about God’s timing? Have you ever prayed and been disappointed because God didn’t show up right then? Would you like to be sure that God’s timing is perfect? The Bible is the story of God’s interaction with his highest creation — us. It is full...

The Musings of an Old Man

Moses reflects on God’s use of his hands. Look at these hands, worn and wrinkled. These are an old man’s hands. I can barely see the swirls covering my fingertips anymore. Of course, that may be the result of my failing eyesight. Although I’d like to believe I may...

New Wine in Old Blood Vessels

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the wineskins, and the wine will pour out, and the wineskins will be lost. Instead, new wine must be put into new wineskins.” — Mark 2:22 An excerpt from the Gospel of Mark for Monday of the...

Yes You Can be Creative  – Find out Why and How

A lesson on creativity — yes you can! When I think about creativity I think of working on something that I love to do. There are many areas that I can think of that I use my creativity. Cooking: When I’m looking for a new recipe for our meals I don’t always follow the...

How to Live Life in Living Color

A Positive Perspective Can Change the Way We Live Remember when life was easier? I’ve asked that question before and maybe you have, too. But was it really ever easier? Last week my grandson said something profound — more profound than he realized. Sometimes the...

Waiting on God

You have been asking God for something specific lately, relief from chronic pain, the path to a new job, more clarity on your writing, better relationships with family and you are not seeing any movement or direction. You know He is there, have seen His hand in the...

God’s Word-Why do You Need It?

Lessons on how God’s Word changed my life There is life in God’s Word. I have been changed and I’ve seen others changed after studying His Word. When I started my journey of faith, my daughter’s friend (around age 17) said, “What’s with your mom? She’s nicer.” I...

Get Rid of Stress – Shake It Off

A look at refocusing for 2018 As I bathed my dog the other day I could see she was going to shake. I held her down — lightly — to stop her, as I didn’t want water all over my window. I asked myself, why do dogs shake? I thought it might be because she wanted to get...

When A Friend Chooses to Die Alone

The dull ache of loneliness was miserable. I was a Midwestern-Yankee who had moved south of the Mason Dixon Line and I was learning to cope with the shock of a new culture. I felt like I had moved to a foreign country. The stress of a new job made adjusting difficult....

One Takeaway From the Irony of a Freeze in Florida

Last week Tami declared she’d be at the gym the next morning “unless Hell freezes over.” She wasn’t there. And then Florida froze over. I’m not sure what that means. It was ironic, if nothing else. But I found irony in a freeze in Florida. These are Boston ferns days...

She Was Alone in a Foreign Country; Her Name Was Violet

She was elderly, frail, and got kicked off the cruise ship. She was alone. A nurse takes a vacation I arrived at my Mediterranean destination after a long flight. I briefly met my travel group and headed off to bed. The next day, I was in the restaurant in the hotel...

How to Be Restored, Healed and Find Peace

Restore — the most important word in our Christian Faith. Reading in Psalm 23 from the (NKJV): The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of...

Moses’ Father Struggles to Believe

Even a rich spiritual history can be hard to cling to after 400 years of slavery. Standing here on the bank of the great river has always been one of my favorite places to stand. It is so easy to get lost as the minutes pass by as quickly as the current rushes....

Me, a Mentor? No, BE a mentor!

Has a mentor changed your life? Mentoring might change yours or someone else's. “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins This week I have been thinking, therefore writing, about experience. Experience is essential in life and that...

6 Things You Can Do To Reignite Your Prayer Life

Prayer is essential. Prayer gets hard. When it gets hard, don’t give up but reignite your prayer life! When we pray effective prayers we see answers and receive encouragement. It gets hard for me too so there are some things I do to help me get back on track! These...

5 Questions to Measure Your Spiritual Progress

“It’s time for a pop quiz.” What student loves to hear these words? When I was in school, and only on rare occasions, the teacher would allow us to grade our own quiz. Now, that was good! But tests help us measure our progress — even if we don’t like them. And a test...

When Our Goals Collide with God’s Plan

Did you set big goals for 2018?  If you did, how flexible are they? Most life coaches and other experts on the subject would probably argue that effective goals are not meant to be flexible. However, that is not necessarily true. Consider what Proverbs 16:9 has to say...

Have You Lost Confidence In Your Calling?

A few nights ago my wife thought it would be cool for us to watch a DVD of me speaking at my home church from eleven years ago. This was to be my calling, so it should have been a great experience - for both of us. It was excruciating…for me. She, on the other hand,...

I Never Liked New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s why I’m going to try anyway To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true...

How to Stop Living in Fear

We can fight fear and we don’t have to go it alone Have you ever lived in fear? Even for a short while? It isn’t pretty. We dwell, we panic, we become anxious, we feel overwhelmed. Fear can consume us if we let it, but I have good news. We don’t have to. In a previous...

God and Science

In the beginning, God... That the Universe has a beginning and everything created has a creator except the one uncreated God is the fundamental view of the cosmos that I carry. I further believe that this ultimate reality of the universe coming into being from...

Be a Shoulder For Someone – Encourage One Another

The rewards are worth it Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV) Have you ever had someone open up to you to share something they are struggling with? What was your reaction? As Christians we see...

How to Overcome Our Struggles With Prayer 

I struggle to maintain a strong and vital prayer life. It is easy for my prayers to become stagnant and in danger of eroding to the point of nonexistence! How about you? We know we need to pray. How do we do it? Here’s what I have discovered: 3 things I do to overcome...

Care for Others – When Life Bumps You With a Buggy

I was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store for the second time with my one item I had forgotten to get. I even had a list. I was so frustrated and irritated. As I was swiping my debit card, the lady behind me rammed into me with her cart. My heels! As I...

A Very Les Mis Christmas

It wasn't my gift that made it special A very Les Mis Christmas. Christmas in our house was marked by traditions. On either Black Friday or the following Saturday, our family would drive up to San Francisco in the station wagon, parking at the 5th Street garage. We...

Christmas is Broken… For Everyone

  Stuck in traffic, I found myself pondering the visual of a Norman Rockwell Christmas; snowflakes falling, twinkle lights glowing, gleeful children, stockings hung, all to the crooning of Bing Crosby on the phonograph. As the scene played out, I secretly wished for...

Mary, Martha, and the Manger

A Search for the True Meaning of Christmas I love the Christmas season and all that it brings. However, if I’m not careful, I can also find myself quickly getting lost in all of the holiday festivities to the point that I completely forget what it is that I’m...

The Email Address

On my worst day, God showed me the meaning of kindness. I want to share with you one of the worst nights of my life, and how God used a paramedic to help me through it: The worst day of my life On May 23, 2013, I was in the middle of a two-year paramedic program when...

Love that Transforms…It is Yours if You want It!

Have you experienced love that is so powerful that it totally changes your life? Can you say that you have experienced a life change that has finally given you peace and joy? You are destined for transformation as you accept this profound love! We throw the word love...

How a Hearing Loss Taught Me a Better Way to Listen to God

For a number of years, my kids kept telling me that I needed hearing aids. I kept telling them that they were mumbling. I could hear fine. I thought. But after much grumbling from my family, I finally made an appointment. The audiologist thought I could benefit from...

What Does Hope Look Like

How do you emotionally get through a day, a month, and a year? What gives you hope to press on through life when life looks differently than you thought it would? When life is harder than you think it should be? My early childhood and young adulthood years were fairly...

The Healing Power of Prayer to Soothe a Broken Heart

Sometimes You Get More Than a Latté The viral photo… You may have seen it. Three young men leaning out of the drive-thru of Dutch Bros Coffee, their hands joined with the woman inside the car. It was a candid moment, caught by a random iPhone. The 37-year-old woman...

5 Powerful Habits to Overcome Distraction

We live in a world full of things that are constantly vying for our attention. Do you want to overcome distraction? It is easy to become distracted by minor issues. As we follow Jesus, we are bombarded with worldly ideas as well as spiritual ideas that drive us from...

Strategies to Thrive in Difficult Circumstances

These were difficult circumstances. This was a day like no other. I was devastated by the news. It was personal and professional failure. The news meant that I would continue in the same circumstances with daily reminders of my failure. That day has continued to haunt...

Why Do Men Not Attend Church

As I look around our church I know that there are more women in attendance. A couple of reasons may be work related, or that there are more widows than widowers. Or it could be we have an old country church. But I know there are deeper rooted causes. And I want to...

Our First Christmas

We needed a tree Our first Christmas wasn’t outstanding since we didn’t have much money. We’d been married only six months, my husband had a part-time youth ministry and a full-time job, while I finished my senior year in college. I focused on studying for finals and...

Christmas Time Is Here!

Happiness and cheer? Christmas time is here…happiness and cheer? I hope so. But not because the classic Christmas songs urge it. No, I have reason to be happy and cheerful because Jesus Christ died for my sins and saved me. He’s still working on me, and I KNOW I have...

Parenting with Open Arms

Releasing our children to God is sometimes a very difficult task. I am by nature a creature of habit, so I was very uneasy about the nudging I was feeling deep inside. I could almost hear the words… Get ready. It’s time for a change. Change was not a word I cared too...

4 Keys to Effective Prayers

Nearly everyone prays — you pray. But do you pray effective prayers? Does your prayer make a difference? Does your prayer get answered? Effective prayer is answered prayer! When we pray effective prayers, they make a profound difference. While faith that your prayers...

Churches Need More Bad Pastors. Here’s Why

As a veteran pastor, I hear it all the time: “What we need is a good pastor.” No, churches do not need good pastors. They need bad pastors. Unless the church accepts this fundamental premise, the collapse of American Christianity will continue. What do people mean...

Each Day Has Enough Trouble of Its Own

Do any of you moms out there feel as worn out as I do? Are any of you wondering how you’ll survive this stressful season? Can you feel the pressure mounting? We have all of our usual responsibilities plus… Holiday entertaining Christmas shopping Parties Programs...

When Thankful Feels Like a Cliche

Everywhere around people are touting thankfulness and blessing and fa-la-la, but sometimes deep down inside it all feels fake. Maybe you’re in the middle of a heartache. The kind that you feel deep in your bones that makes you wonder how anyone in the world is...

How My Kids Taught Me What Service Really Means

Growing up in a Polish, Catholic farming community our lives were seeped in cooperation. One man grew potatoes, another fixed the machines, another had pigs, they all worked together during the evening hours and weekends while the days were spent in Detroit factories....

Jesus Was Not Nice — and You Shouldn’t be, Either

Who do you think of when you think of the word “nice”? Gandhi? Mother Theresa? How about Jesus? Most artists’ renditions portray Jesus as the sweetest, nicest-looking man, usually accompanied by lambs or children. They’re not entirely wrong — Jesus is known as “the...

Forgive and Forget? Are You Crazy?

“I thought you’d call sooner.” The cold words from a friend stung my heart. My life had been too busy, but I did call her. “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again. I don’t want to hurt our family.” Words I’d heard again and again from my alcoholic dad after another drunken...

Church Planting – Trust the Process

Church Planting I have been in the process of planting a church. Church planting is an interesting, yet fun, process. I am learning a lot. I have equated planting a church to planning your first party in middle school. You get all the music ready. You have your food...

3 Steps to Accepting a Compliment

Have you ever noticed that some people just can’t take a compliment? I invest a ton of time and energy reminding Christ-followers (including myself) of the importance of encouraging one another. But have you noticed that some people are hard to encourage? They may not...

Why have the men disappeared from church?

A look at leadership in the church. When I read some passages in the Bible I wonder if I am included. For instance in all of David’s writings, we learn that he is the David we should try to be like — a person after God’s own heart. But he is a man? Does that include...

How to Know When Our Plans Are On Track

Discerning the difference between our plans and God’s plans We Had a Plan. We, meaning hubby & me. I’d reach a certain age, retire from my banking career, then work full-time on growing and organizing our pest control business. It was a good plan — or so we thought....

Why Children Need a Firm Foundation

Foundation Check How many times have you heard a parent utter something similar to this? I’m doing the best I can as a parent. It’s not like my kid came with an owner’s manual. While many of us accept that statement as truth, if we do a little digging, we will find...

Don’t Limit Your Future By Dwelling On Your Past

It is difficult to move on from mistakes. I constantly find myself reflecting on things I wish never happened. There are painful memories that, no matter how hard I try, will never be earsed. So, I carry them with me as I journey into next chapters of my life. Before...

How to Give Thanks for the Bad Things in Your Life

The Gratitude Transaction Apostle Paul said, in Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” And sometimes I have a real problem with this verse. In EVERYTHING give thanks…really? Everything? This might...

The Law & Authority of Love

Every day, we struggle with the responsibility that freedom demands and we regularly fail. Maybe this is because freedom does have its limits. One of my favorite Scripture is this: But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten...

They Say I Have an Empty Nest

A Christmas message to young mamas and not-so-young mamas They say my nest is empty. I never truly understood what "empty nest" meant until now. It slipped in quietly while I wasn’t looking and it magnifies at Christmastime. There’s something about children in the...

The Cold, Hard Truth About Certainty

How to keep going when you don’t know for sure where you’re going. Have you ever spent hours researching something before making a decision, only to find that, by the end of your research, you are no closer to confidence than you were when you started — or worse, the...

Created Male and Female

Women’s Rights are one of the most volatile, debated aspects of our global discourse. I will also add that it is one of the most misunderstood! Most of the debate has been focused on demanding that woman are EQUAL to men (and thus have rights to equal wages,...

The Life-Changing Power of Encouragement

Words have such power don’t they? Especially words fed to us as we are growing up. The messages we hear through our teenage years have the potential to stay with us for decades to come. The words I heard the most when I was a teenager were “You aren’t good enough”. At...

Centering Quiet

I awaken early, My mind in overdrive… Striving for perfection, In a world that rewards performance. Jesus calls me gently to centering quiet. “Sit with Me awhile. Breathe deeply of My love. Feel My Presence, Let your thoughts float gently by. Take a real rest with...

How to Believe With Confidence without Having Any Doubt

Just believe. We all want security. We want to be confident, definitely not in doubt. Who doesn’t want to live to the full, with purpose and confidence? But how do you know that you are right? How do you really know what the truth is, eliminating any doubt? There are...

How to Hear God

If we could only hear what God wants us to do all the time, life would be easier! When we follow Jesus, we want to hear God! Do you get frustrated when you don’t hear God? So, how can we hear God? First Things First First, we must believe that God still wants to be...

How Can We Avoid Having Entitled Children?

Be Intentional Entitled children are something no parent wants. No parent sets out to raise an ungrateful, materialistic child who is totally wrapped up with things. Nor does a parent hope to have a child who is always striving for elusive success. Modeling truth is...

How to Become Aware of Your Limiting Mindset

I have been battling an almost paralyzing disease of the “if only.” “If only I had enough money in my business to buy that program, then my business would prosper.” Or “If only I wasn’t so distracted by my family, I would have more time to write.” Or “If only my...

The Day Noah Heard From God

Noah came charging through the field. His mind was racing faster than his feet could carry him. His clothes whipped in the wind which was blowing across his body from the west as he ran south toward home. God had spoken to him! He couldn't wrap his mind around the...

Why Each Moment Should be Your First Focus

“She smiled and said with an ecstatic air: “It shines like a little diamond”, “What does?” “This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.” — Jean-Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason Moments are Experiential Opportunities In a...

Black Friday: Read this First

Hold on to your wallet Black Friday never seems to disappoint. Every year, consumers walk away happy but overcooked as they burn a hole through their wallets as the bills come rolling in January. This year, it is estimated that over 69% of Americans (164 million...

What to Do When You Have a Critical Spirit

Can destructive patterns be successfully broken? As a child, we would run to the dinner table. It’s not that we looked forward to the family conversation, or the chance to gather together. Knowing us, we were probably hungry. There was no banter back and forth or a...

Beatitudes for a Wounded Spirit

Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Lord, my spirit is weary and hurt. I look to You for restoration of my soul. I confess bitterness towards those who have betrayed me. Remove the rancor from my heart and darkness from...

How to Know You Need Boundaries

Why we shouldn’t allow others to drain us dry You probably need some boundaries if you're tired of people who always seem to take, take, take.   People who make demands on our time and resources as if we have no life of our own and our last name is Biltmore? Tired of...

How Much Can You Tolerate Receiving?

Listening to the coaching call, this struck me, How much can you tolerate receiving from the Universe? As a Christian, I changed it to, receiving from God… Receive It’s harder than it sounds, it implies an openness, a vulnerability, a mindset of seeing and taking...

What made my husband mutter, “Yes, dear” all the time?

What made me such a control freak? I didn’t realize I had become a control freak. After troubles with a babysitter when our children were young, I assumed control. I wanted to know exactly where each child was going, whom they were with, and what time they’d be home....

I Didn’t Want to Be a Christian

My Journey to Baptism I didn’t want to be a Christian. My sister died after a difficult life that included cancer, alcoholism, and drug addictions. She was 25 when she died; I was 16. Our family had been mystified about what kicked off her dependency issues; after her...

Alzheimer’s: If you lose your mind, do you lose your faith?

How much does Alzheimer's destroy? When a person with Alzheimer’s disease loses her memory, does she lose her faith as well? My mother has Alzheimer’s and has deteriorated such that she can no longer read or fully communicate. A couple of months ago, my sister and I...

Change Everything with Radical, Transformational, Prayer

Does your prayer change things? Have you asked Jesus to teach you to pray so things change? Jesus taught many things about prayer and his most basic teaching about prayer is radical! This then is how you should pray. (Matthew 6:9) With these words, Jesus gives us a...

4 Keys to a Balanced Ministry

If you’ve ever worked or volunteered much at a church, you know there are many aspects of ministry to balance. It can be overwhelming and balls can get dropped. The Four Components of Ministry There are four major components to my personal philosophy of ministry....

How to Remain Positive in a Negative World

If you follow the news closely, you know by now that things are not well in the world. We get bombarded with bad news wherever we go. Whether you read the newspaper, listen to the radio or watch television, it’s all about the next divorce, violence, crime, war,...

Let’s Make “Thoughts and Prayers” a Call to Action

I don't want to survive, I want to live. - Wall-E You know the image. A soldier, in the foxhole, at the edge of the battle. Destruction is all around. Worn-down and haggard from months of fighting, he grasps the locket around his neck. He seems to be praying, offering...

The Truth About Lies

photo credit: utah778 on iStock How Lying Can Cost Us More Than We Think How much does lying cost? More than you probably think. Have you ever served on a jury? I have and found the experience quite fascinating. My case? The big, bad mega-insurance company vs. the...

Need a Change of Perspective?

Years ago our family took attempted downhill skiing. From the base of the mountain, I felt invigorated by the mountain air to rise to the challenge of gliding down the slope with two thin boards strapped to my feet. Going up the mountain on the ski lift, I began to...

Meeting God in the Messy Middle of Life

Meeting with God Meeting with God in the early morning hours can be a challenge. Some mornings I have a headache or I am tired, worried, not ready to be present and focused on God. What do I do? I get on Facebook or check emails and all of a sudden, 30 minutes have...

To Be Content, You Need to Kill Comparisons

Contentment is not elusive Look around and you’ll see a lot of people who are searching. All they want is to be content, yet it seems elusive. After years, I’ve found the secret. To be content you need to kill comparisons. Being a Facebook user, I love posting prayer...

What Happened when the World came for Thanksgiving

My living room transformed into a mini-UN for Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Irfan sat across from me on our “Thanksgiving Eve” international dinner at our home. We had planned a small group, but it had grown to almost 30. “But I want to know, how did you get this...

10 Principles to Strengthen Your Prayer Life

Is your prayer life everything it needs to be? When you are in crisis, do your prayers make a difference? What have you accomplished lately in prayer? Jesus is our example in prayer. His life was a life of prayer that teaches us. We can see from Jesus example the ten...

Be An Original Not A Copy

Wannabe When I was growing up and even well into my twenties I remember always wishing I was somebody else, somebody with more athletic skill, somebody who was more intelligent, definitely somebody who wasn’t a geek who had to wear glasses and couldn’t hear well. This...

The Future of Death

The Ongoing Life Lesson that began in 2013 Yesterday was a friend’s 65th birthday. She asked her friends to share the most important life lesson that, up until now, has made each of us happier, better, or stronger. I knew the answer immediately. All the emotion that I...

Holy Things Happen in the Wilderness

Ever feel like you’re wandering in the wilderness? To some the wilderness is a place uncultivated and natural. To others it’s a metaphor, a state of mind, a feeling of disconnectedness or wandering aimlessly — lost. New seasons of life can feel like a wilderness. The...

How to Regenerate God’s Power in Your Life

3 Ways to be spirit-filled How to regenerate God's power. We have a water softener in our home in Arizona because the water is extremely hard. I found my hair didn’t feel as clean as at home with our well water. Water softeners work by using resins to soften the...

When We Feel We’re Barely Holding On

Holding on to what we cannot see We can still hold on to what we cannot see Ever have that dream where you’re standing on the edge of a cliff? I have to admit, I have a fear of heights. It amazes me how window washers trust that flimsy platform ten stories up. And how...

Another Relatable Experience

Not again... “I’m tired of having relatable experiences,” I complained to Mike through a veil of tears. “You can throw any woman at me and I have a 95% chance of having gone through any experience that she has. I’ve been raped, I have bipolar disorder, sexually...

How Not to be Held Captive by Fear

The wind howled. The rain pelted. The thunder cracked. The sky grew darker. Then bang… I used to fear a lot. As a matter of fact, fear kept me from doing many things. I didn’t like to eat at a restaurant alone or even with my kids. I didn’t want to travel anywhere by...

Five Things You Should Always Pray For

The disciples asked Jesus how to pray. Have you ever asked Jesus how to pray? Have you ever wondered what prompted the disciples to ask Jesus how to pray? What did they see in Jesus’ prayer life? Jesus answered them with a template for prayer (Matthew 6:9–13). Here...

Breaking Up with Tradition

Empowering women in new ways to serve, give, and receive Where were they? Girls Night Out at church and the influx felt more like a trickle. I wasn’t surprised. It had been a good run but last year’s dwindling attendance should have been a clue. This year’s theme...

Oh No, What Have I Done?

29 October, 1989. A friend of mine came into the nightclub and told me that he overheard some cops talking in the parking lot. He heard them mention my name and that they were coming in to get me. I knew that this day would come eventually. I even told people that if...

5 Keys to Overcome Spiritual Inconsistency

Consistency is one of the most important indicators that we are growing and thriving as followers of Jesus. Life is full of ups and downs. When we continually live like Jesus, following him every day, we are truly living the abundant life and our lives prove to be an...

Flawed but Beautiful

How imperfect I am! Though I'm imperfect and flawed, I am still beautiful. I can still run three miles without stopping and have a productive workout in the gym but I’m losing my hair and my skin tone. I drive an old car with nearly a quarter of a million miles on it....

What is Prayer?

As I have spent more time with God the past few days He has shown me something I didn’t really know before. Well I guess I knew it but it didn’t really sink in. Here is the question I have been asking myself. What is prayer? I thought it was a conversation with God...

How to Overcome the Failure Myth

What exactly is the Failure Myth? Let’s break it down… First we’ll tackle the confusing mixed messages regarding failure. Optimists look at failure as a teacher and friend. believing failure teaches us things like try again, be persistent, never give up — spinning it...

Breaking Free From Soul Toxicity

How releasing this one thing can make you stronger As I pulled the car door open the stench hit me like a sucker punch. A quick scan of the front seat and back yielded no sign of decaying fast-food or a zombie apocalypse. I sped off, head half-way out the window. Go...

To the Girl Who Needs Validation

I get you. I get you because just like you, I’ve struggled with the overwhelming need to be validated every day like some parking ticket. I get you because just like you, I’ve reminded myself more than once that obsessing over my hair, my weight, and the fact that my...

Press On

Let’s face it. There are days when we all have to do hard things we just do not want to do. It’s not always easy to get up in the morning. You may have had: a restless night a child kept you up a bad dream “baggage” carried over from yesterday or any number of...

Cursed: Cain’s Tale

Here I am, kneeling in the dry, dusty soil. My head in my hands as tears turn the dirt on my cheeks to pathways of clumpy mud. The air around me feels as dry as the soil under me and the wind burns my skin, as if it is also angry with me. All in a matter of moments my...

How to Stop Jumping to Conclusions

My struggles with pride kept getting me in messes I am a jumper. Not someone who jumps out of airplanes or off bridges with bungee cords wrapped around me. I jump to conclusions. I take something I hear and within a matter of moments I have it figured out. I’m not...

Why It’s Important to Know Your True Identity

Your identity has actually become something to protect these days. Not only do we have to protect ourselves against physical crimes such as robbery, theft and violence, but even identity theft has become a real threat. But how familiar are you with your true identity?...

Runaway Mom

My teenager’s not a flight risk. But I am.  I'm a runaway mom. At age 55, I set out alone to hike the Camino de Santiago from Portugal to Spain. Like so many pilgrims, I came home both reflective and giddy, eager to share my experience about walking the sacred Way,...

What Can We Learn From a Tiny Seed?

It’s wonderful what Creation can teach us. Growth and spiritual development is evident in nature. Did you know that from one of the smallest seeds grows one of the largest trees? The seed of the sequoia is only ¼ the size of a grain of uncooked rice. And yet it grows...

How Important is a VBS for Children?

A look at my week running a VBS How rich it is to work with kids! This summer I again had the privilege to run a VBS — Vacation Bible School. We are a small church but we had 14 children most days, aged 4–8. What amazes me is the sweetness of their hearts. They want...

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