Who Said Women Can’t kill Dragons?

St. Martha did it, and she didn’t even break a sweat Lazarus, Martha, and Mary often entertained the Lord when he came into Bethany. They would sit and talk, listening intently to what the Master had to say. Martha, however, was always full of pluck. After all, she...

The need to see beyond ourselves

Seeing the hearts of people ripe for God’s harvest Agrarian economies still dominate a good part of the world, so planting and harvesting are important times of the year. They impact the livelihoods of many people. How good the harvest is or isn’t impacts everyone....

A Simple Message On the Corner of Selfish and Selfless

To what end are we traveling? How do we return trust and compassion to a world divided by self-absorption? I saw her on a Wednesday morning on my way to pick up some medicine for my cat. She was standing at the corner of Central and Hillside outside of the Spangles...

Here’s the Fastest Way to Get Wiser

Thousands of years ago, King Solomon, one of the great kings of Israel, had a dream. He dreamt God came to him and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”  In his dream, Solomon considered all the things he could’ve asked for. Israel was constantly at...

A Time to Plant: A Nod to the Planter

There is a belief that I hold for all of humanity. We all have a purpose and a calling. We are here for a reason. To put this in the context of farming- each of us is called to plant or water. We may do one or the other depending on the season of our lives- perhaps...

Madcap Delinquent Prophet on a Scooter

On taking back your power My new electric scooter arrived last week, and I am already hopelessly in love with it. It’s the stand-up kind — I just step on with one foot, kick off with the other foot, and toggle a power switch that glides me forward. Wind in my hair…...

Strategies for Handling Difficult Things

Embracing the Ordeals of Life “I do strongly feel that among the greatest pieces of luck for high achievement is ordeal. Beethoven’s deafness, Goya’s deafness, Milton’s blindness, that kind of thing.” — John Berryman When I was young, I thought adults were liars, or...

A Humble Love

What the world needs now! “What the world needs now — is love, sweet love…” was the recurring line in a popular song in the mid-sixties sung by Jackie DeShannon. It was and still is one of my favorite songs from the ‘60s. This YouTube video link of the song captures...

Is there Hope in Desperate Times?

I’m in need of it right now! “They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” -Tom Bodett A few years ago, I read an account of a Lithuanian family who was arrested and...

The Hole In My Heart

Let’s get back to finding value in others. There’s a hole in my heart. It’s not a medical condition though, it’s completely spiritual. I discovered it one day out on a mountain trail running. It had been yet another frustrating week in my full-time job. Trying to...

Freedom of speech: has the blessing become a curse?

Why it matters what we do with our freedoms and liberties Freedom of speech: has the blessing become a curse? Why it matters what we do with our freedoms and liberties Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash Freedom of speech is our unalienable right. Or is it?...

The Paradox of Weakness

“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.” — Jean Vanier I grew up watching the Charlie Brown specials. When I hear the first line of, Christmas Time Is Here, even as an adult, I am...

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...

Death, Resurrection and Discipleship

Jesus tied much of his teaching to the cross, especially when it came to being a disciple. We are journeying through everything Jesus did and said. The passage we read today in Matthew presents some challenging ideas. What do they mean and what are we to do in...

Vulnerability Scares Me to Death

Facing this enemy takes courage “Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.” Brené Brown I have a confession to make; I abhor the movie, The...

Leaving My Worry Chair Behind

Learning how to trust God As a young believer, I had to learn how to trust God.  It wasn’t natural for me. It isn’t natural for any of us.  Just as toddlers exert their free will before they can say it clearly, we like to “do it by our self!” American...

Shining Through

I’ve lived with her for over forty years and, still, she gets me into trouble. I’m sure I would never fall for these traps if it weren’t for her. Well — almost never. It all started innocently enough. “I need to pick up a few books at the used-book store, dear. Would...

What Is The Best Advice To Improve My Hearing?

I’m going deaf and I do not like it one bit. “I shall hear in Heaven.” — Ludwig Von Beethoven I was speaking before seventy religious leaders in Poland. I heard the beeping in my ear when my hearing aid battery died. Standing before them I said, “I run on batteries...

When Understanding Hurts

What do you do when knowledge and understanding hurts? “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” -Albert Einstein When I was in high school, I went on a summer mission trip that held life-changing moments for me. Not only did I visit multiple countries, I...

When You Feel the Need to Justify Something

It’s usually just a poor excuse “It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.” -Aleksandr Sholzhenitsyn As a teacher, I have seen my share of excuse notes from parents. Most of them are typical, “Please excuse Bobby from school...

How Do People Come to Know Who Jesus is?

My faith journey as well as the disciples and others In 1999 I had a moment of clarity (hopefully I have had more moments since then). I remember driving under a bridge in our city and I heard these words plainly: “What are you doing, Jan? What is this life...

Parenting Rule #1: Stop looking the “gift horse” in the mouth

If children are a gift from the Lord, so is parenting I got into my car, aware of the silent radio, the opportunity to pray — again — for this errant child of mine. But when I opened my mouth to pray — rather than petitions, out came a confession. “I’m sorry, Lord,” I...

The 2 Littlest Words Causing the 4 Biggest Problems

Most relationship problems, and you could even say most sins in the world, come down to problems with this one thing. Boundaries. And most boundaries problems come down to the refusal to either hear or say one of two little words. “ Yes” and “no.” [The concepts in...

Don’t Be An Easy Target

The dart called, Doubt, can be fatal In a fight, your doubt is a target of enemy’s attack. ― Toba Beta When I was around the age of 10, my brothers and I got some dart guns. These plastic weapons had darts which had what looked like suction cup points. ...

What Jesus Said About…

I can picture Jesus walking through the countryside teaching his disciples. He gave them short little snippets to help them remember, often repeating himself. Today, his words are recorded so we read them repeatedly to remind ourselves of all he taught. Three short...

The Importance of Mindset - How to Get it Right

What do you think about? Where do your thoughts dwell? What activities are most important to you? The apostle Paul said: “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col 3:2) Our mindset governs how we live our life! Our mindset must be right if we are...

Why You Are Not Defined by Your Actions

Our neighborhood’s polling place is the local elementary school. When I voted in the last election, I saw a huge banner hanging in the school cafeteria that read, “You Are Defined by Your Actions.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I get it. The school is...

Relentless Forward Movement

Deciding to Pick Up and Move On There is something about moving forward that can’t be explained any other way than we are getting somewhere. For some reason though, so many people are paralyzed with waiting expectantly for something that there is hardly any chance of...

Is Being Positive Unrealistic?

The alternative is pricey “Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 3 — William Shakespeare It has been a while since I read Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, yet so...

Out of the Ashes

Beauty for ashes, gladness instead of mourning Fire! “Sir, Ma’am…fire!” We popped out of bed disoriented and pumped with adrenalin. In the early morning darkness, somewhere around 4 am, Susan and I ran out of our room and saw the fire’s glow at the other end of the...

Your Transformation - How It Happens

It’s good, pleasing and perfect! Transformation is a powerful reality. Transformation changes everything! The scripture we are looking at is Romans 12:1–2. Remember that Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome. This is a letter to Christians — to those who have...

Don’t Condemn Christianity Because of Christians

“I’m not a Christian because Christians are hypocrites”  “I’m not a Christian because Christians are hypocrites,” the woman said as we tiptoed carefully around the subject of religion.  Although I am a Christian, I’m not a very effective evangelist, so I...

When God Chooses to be Silent

A Modern-day Easter Story “Faith for a miracle is easier to come by than trusting the Lord when no miracle happens.”  - Margaret Graham I began digging my grave just short of two decades ago. The first thrust of the shovel into the ground came on a day that started...

The Night The Soldiers Ran Away

History Making Decisions We Rarely Hear About Jesus rising from the dead. This is the foundation of Christianity and so much has been written it seems there is hardly anything left to write. Whether you argue for or against it doesn’t really matter. There is one story...

A Black Hole Breakthrough and More Mysteries of the Universe

The first time I wrote about black holes was in 2010. This and many other thoughts went through my mind when I read yesterday about a major, seemingly inconceivable breakthrough regarding the first photo of a black hole. The author of this MIT Technology Review story...

Condemnation and Forgiveness

Without a doubt, the story of the woman caught in adultery is one of the most insightful teachings in the ministry of Jesus. There are lessons in this passage for us and even a couple of warnings if we linger over these words long enough. Here is the story They...

Seven Powerful Steps to Overcome Evil

Do not be overcome by evil… Romans 12:21 (ESV) We live in a world of evil. We see it all around us. Politicians denounce it. Social Activists demonstrate against it. We all wonder if we will be swallowed up by it. It inspires fear and can bring out the worst in...

What Loving Your Enemies Looks Like!

How did Jesus convert one of His worst enemies? How did He turn a man who was an avowed enemy of the cross and who hated God’s children with a passion executing multitudes of them by stoning into one of His strongest, most faithful followers, and a man who wrote 2/3...

Finding Truth and Freedom, and a Little More!

Sometimes we get to the teaching of Jesus and wonder what he was saying to us. What is he wanting us to learn? In this passage we find truth, freedom, faith, privilege, and promise. Here is Jesus’ conversation with the crowd. After you have read it, we’ll look at each...

Truth - Where Did You Go?

It’s still here. We just got lost in lies. Everybody takes a shot at defining Truth (capital T) at one time or another: Philosophers, poets, politicians, pundits, priests, and other people whose names begin with “p”. Also artists, scientists, and bloggers, your auntie...

Nothing Else

Living a Limitless Life Oh, I’m not here for blessings Jesus, You don’t owe me anything More Than anything that You can do I just want you I just want You Nothing else, nothing else Nothing else will do Nothing Else, Song by Cody Carnes On a recent blue sky Wyoming...

These 10 Choices are the Best I’ve Ever Made

Reflection on a daily basis — and especially during the moments of our days — is a key to living a fulfilling, contributive life. I am learning this. As a hardwired “do-er,” my life has been more about activity, checklists, and getting things done. I recently...

Moving From Ordinary to Extraordinary

“Embracing what God does for us is the best thing we can do for him” My local newspaper used to have a column called The Vent, which aired one-liners, petty grievances and jokes from readers. One day somebody wrote, “So far today I haven’t gossiped, lost my...

4 Ways to Live as Royalty

What does living in freedom look like? We are sons and daughters of our Father, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are princes and princesses, destined to be kings and queens ourselves. In fact, we are kings and queens now in our spheres of influence. Do we act...

King Arthur, Excalibur, and an Italian Saint?

The story of a Tuscan knight not quite ready for Prime Time One night in the year 1180 in a little town outside Siena, a knight by the name of Galgano Guidotti had a dream in which the mighty Archangel Michael came to visit him. “Now see here Galgano,” Michael said....

Am I Complete or Exhaustively Complete?

I could be just plain exhausted Whether early in life, mid-life, end of life, or all through life, no one will escape the pain. It may be physical, mental, emotional, psychological, or some of each. We each have our unique methods of how we deal with life. RhymeZone...

Spiritual Talk

Can someone really hear God speak? When you hear people say things like, “The Lord told me…,” do you wonder how this happens or if they really hear from God?  Do they have some mystical connection with God or are they just hearing voices? Or, is this just some...

When Jesus’ Email Gets Spoofed

To: churchgoer15@jesusmail.com; seeker 2051@jesusmail.com; godbreather@jesusmail.com; believersinjustice@jesusmail.com; lovingfolk@jesusmail.com… Subject: Help! I think hackers hit me again! Hey, gang —  Hope everyone is well these days. I just wanted to alert...

Faith, Foolishness, or a Lack of Faith?

Testing God This is a story of two people with different outlooks on life and trust in God. In the mid-1970s, my ex-husband (Let’s call him Walter) and I were missionaries with an Independent Baptist mission board raising support to go to England and start an...

What’s the Big Deal About Children?

Why are children so important to Jesus? What can we do about it? And is there something about children we need to learn in order to be all we can be? Often we overlook children, assuming, in their immaturity, they don’t have much to offer. Yet, Jesus held them up as...

While I Wait to be Rejected

Like an itch I can’t scratch, distraction is a dodgy shadow on the edge of my periphery. I pull back my arm and send a dart spinning through the dim light of a basement room. It stabs into the pale of the blank wall.  Nothing.  My eyes narrow. Nothing? Wait…...

How Can You Hear God? Here’s How!

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...

The meaning of life and purpose found at an estate sale

Everything you have worked for will be sold — cheap — at an estate sale. It sounds sad but there is a deeper meaning. It always struck me as sad when we went to estate sales. The sad reality of life is this: No matter how much or how little you attain, it will...

My Secret Names for G*D

There are probably as many ways of prayer as there are people. Most religious traditions offer forms and formalities to be followed, and most have preferred languages and liturgies. But nearly all serious theologies or philosophies admit human words simply cannot...

Are You a Pharisee?

Everyone likes to pick on the Pharisees but no one wants to be labeled as one! But there are plenty of them out there. And they tend to ruin things. How do you become a Pharisee? Could it really happen to you? The Pharisees were a good thing for Israel — at least they...

4 Surefire Ways To Gain Wisdom Now

One of my favorite Youtube channels is “Smarter Every Day” by Destin Sandlin. He’s a mechanical engineer who films himself learning something cool and then shares the videos with his audience. Obviously, Destin didn’t invent the idea of getting smarter. It’s an idea...

Quiet Your Mind

Have you taken time today to let the warm sun beat down on your face? The cool breeze on your neck? Thankfulness on your lips for all the Lord has created. I sit here in my car on my lunch break looking at the barren trees, and the melting snow in wonder. The blue...

A Life of Wisdom - Here’s How

What is wisdom? Is it attainable by effort or a gift of time and chance? If you could become wise, would you be willing to do what it takes? Who doesn’t want to be wise? There are no shortcuts to wisdom but there is a real process that can take you to that point. The...

Is My Attitude The Best It Can Be; Can It Be Changed?

Our attitude is a settled way of thinking, but can we unsettle it? Our attitude is reflected in the behavior we have towards people, places or things.  To be honest with you when in my late teens and early twenties I had it all figured out. (Maybe you did too?) Now in...

4 Keys to Effective Prayer

Nearly everyone prays — you pray. But do you pray effective prayer? 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...

Healing When You Least Expect It

After 18 years! For millions of Christians around the world, this is Lent, a season when we prepare ourselves for Easter by making sacrifices of self-discipline. The idea is to imitate the mysterious 40-day fast Jesus made in the desert before beginning his public...

Dollars and Sense, Seasons and Reasons

Dollars and Sense, Seasons and Reasons A few days ago I was looking out my window and happened to see a single robin, hopping across the snow-covered lawn as if to imply she is not ready yet to return. I have heard that all robins don’t fly South for the winter,...

This Is The Little Known Secret Of Light And Darkness

He doesn’t need the sun to do it either! It is in the Bible and can change your life. Are your dreams shrouded with the curtain of darkness?Do the curly edges of life’s purpose fold over you dimming your dreams of success?Does the cloud of darkness, defeat, and gloom...

Lent This Year is All About Self Improvement

some thoughts on being a “good Catholic” This Ash Wednesday came and went, and I got to be part of the city that walked around all evening with ashes on my forehead. A tourist on the subway craned her neck to see what the heck was on my face, and a guy with his own...

My Eyes Are Always On Something

Sometimes I just want to close them Captivate: fascinate, enamor, attract, mesmerize To be captivated, something or someone must hold you captive. Captive: slavery, confinement, shackles, bondage.  What does it take to come out from being held captive? Can I be...

What If For Lent I Gave Up Excuses

I’m relatively new to the practice of Lent, and it’s certainly been a learning experience. This year I’ve been thinking about what I might give up for Lent. Having just come off of a sugar fast, I’ll admit that I don’t particularly want to give up sweets. I’ve spent...

An Idiom of Light and Happiness

A Poem I hear the music of the light resonateIts warmth speaks to my face againI am singing in the light of the sunAbout the light that shines upon me I consider how the light shines on all things and beingsThe always differently reflecting lightIn the spark the heart...

3 Approaches to Cultural Shifts

Finding a better way to approach cultural change Culture is dynamic. Fluid. Fickle. Culture changes over time. Sometimes with extreme pendular swings. Popular culture is reflective of shared beliefs, values, and social norms.  Each swing of culture has its own...

This Mule Taught Me How To Fulfill My Destiny

When we are opened to being taught, even a Mule will instruct us! Walking past the barn I heard hoof beats. Seconds later the mule past me at a full gallop out the lane. He was free, no harness to hold him. Free, free at last. He darted out the farmer’s lane towards...

How to End Social Greed

We all hate corporate greed. No one likes being reduced to a dollar sign. No likes being treated like a sales target. We can all feel when we’re being pitched and we hate it, especially when it’s clearly disingenuous and false. The reason we hate it so much is that no...

Where Has God Been Lately?

He’s been so quiet! Tens of thousands of years ago early civilizations honored and prayed to many gods, who came in many forms. The Greeks, the Romans, and the Egyptians had several gods and goddesses for whom they built numerous elaborate temples. The ancient...

We, of the Symbiosis…

Another Conversation He could have had with the Father The dusty road in the company of his followers held some of his greatest joys during the journey. The men had a great zeal for answers, for seeking truth beyond the fish their nets brought in. He was amazed at...

No more Shame

A poem about God’s love I know you’ve always known my name,and on a cross, you took my shame,but shame has lived so long with me,I never made him go. So day by day, I’d search to doevery single thing I knew.To hide the fact shame lived with me,I couldn’t let him go....

Two Responses Of God To The Runaways

Two thoughts I’d like to hone in on with this post.  I don’t know why I told my Mom, “I’m running away from home” but I did. Yes, I ran away from my loving mother’s home. I shouted it at her. She said, “well then, you are going to need some things, here follow...

Time Is A Dot In The Middle Of Eternity

What Am I Chasing? We think we will run out of time. We don’t. We run out of us. When time ends, then eternity which is forever. When I was in my teens I had a recurring dream. I would be running after something. I don’t know what I was running after, but I know...

Four Effective Strategies to Overcome Temptation

Following Jesus doesn’t mean we won’t face temptation. In fact, we may be tempted even more as we follow him. How do you overcome temptation? What are some practical strategies, scriptures and practices to help you? Understanding Temptation James 1:14–15 gives us a...

The truth a murderer and adulterer discovered about God.

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you” (Psalm 143:8). A truth a morally bankrupt man heard that recovered his life and passion.   David wrote the above Psalm. It is a beautiful,...

Dream The Impossible DREAM

Psalms chapter 20 made our mission worthwhile. My wife and I boarded the plane for India in 1990. Our second international flight in three weeks. Arriving back home from a church conference in Korea gave us one week to pack for the trip to India. At the Korean church...

Prayer for Mercy

Deliver me not, Oh Lord,Over to those who sayThey love me yet waitFor me to be their preyThe ones who should be hereYet they lead others astray. Listen to my cry, Oh Lord,Those who lie about meDon’t listen to their prayerThey breathe out crueltyThey turn against the...

What Does It Mean to “Be Holy?”

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). I have often heard this verse quoted in the incorrect context. Many think it shows how important it is for believers to do their best not to...

Let Joshua Go!

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. One could hear the crack of the belt and wincing at the pain while Johnny’s dad did everything he could to beat the devil out of the boy. Pastor Devlin screamed at his son,...

How to Emotionally Agree with God

I recently did a post on how to come into agreement with other people; your spouse, your boss, your friends, whoever. This post presented the 3 parts of agreement, which I’ll summarize here. 1) Logical Agreement. Is this what you THINK we should do? 2) Emotional...

I Grew Up with Baby Jesus.

I Grew Up with Baby Jesus. And He’s gone missing. Where is He? I’m not up to hide-and-seek games right now. I need God to talk to me. Then, I need to be sure it is God. What am I to do if I’m not sure? How long does it take before I realize it is or it’s not? A day? A...

The Most Important Thing You Can Ever Do

Just saying that there is a most important thing you can ever do sounds dangerous. Aren’t we all different? Aren’t we all in different circumstances? So is there a single most important thing everyone can do? Jesus said there was — and if we are following Jesus we...

Reflections on God and the Tasks of Humans

I view God as a living, loving, divine, infinite power that created all matter as a reflection of itself, to be materialized and transformed for the satisfaction and happiness of all living things. God is a force for love that exists in everything. This force thus...

The Art of Apologizing

“Hold me now, it’s hard for me to say I’m sorry” -Chicago Can we all agree that it’s not easy to apologize? It takes a lot of humility to admit that you were wrong and then say you’re sorry. Some people will go their whole life without offering a single apology to...

Forgiveness Is Not Absolution

It is a form of self-acceptance I took forgiveness for granted until someone truly, fundamentally, wronged me. I judged that only people who weren’t willing to put in the work would hold onto resentment over choosing to embrace forgiveness. I made up the story that...

Never Leave Me, My Love.

A poem on Separation. Parting from you inflicts wounds in my chest.My heart is on fire, slowly dying within my breast. Nocure can heal the wound of living apart.The scimitar of separation has pierced deep within my heart. Mymind is in pain, soul walking on live...

Is Anything Really Simple?

Banging on an appliance doesn’t fix it “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Well, who has mastered this one? I would like to meet you. No…maybe not. I tend to put people on pedestals and...

From Samsara to Nirvana

“You may discover that when there is no resistance to totally being in hell, heaven opens up and samsara reveals its true nature as nirvana.” ― Joan Tollifson, Nothing to Grasp Once the wave catches a glimpse of its oceanic nature, it finds it difficult to return...

Lane-Locked

So locked in you can’t see beyond I do a fair amount of driving and there are a few routes I take pretty often in and out of town. While driving I’ve observed a common behavior. At first, it perturbed me but then gave way to some pondering. I noticed how people would...

What Is Your Impossible?

What’s your impossible? I started thinking on this subject a while back, of course, I was on a run as that’s where all deep thoughts start for me. I had just DNF’d (Did Not Finish) my second attempt at 100 miles. This time due to vertigo which came from an ear problem...

We, of the Symbiosis…

Conversation 1 “Oh! I have gained a new hitch-hiker. This one is scarred, from a war-ravaged race.” he thought, noticing his visitor. He himself was walking along the seaside; his followers, none the wiser, tramped along the sand, keeping him silent company under the...

Eternally Fallen

The realization that safe spaces do not exist There are no safe spaces and threat forever looms under the surface.  We all know this deep down and have been telling stories about it for a very long time. The awareness that we are eternally vulnerable might, in...

Life Lessons from Jesus and Zacchaeus

One of the most popular stories, especially for kids, is the story of Zacchaeus. He was a small man who had a great desire to see Jesus. His encounter with Jesus teaches us some lessons for our lives as well. Here’s the Story He entered Jericho and was passing...

Lady Wisdom, the Woman of Valor

Some believe the Bible is antiquated and that Christianity is unfavorable toward women. But what do the Scriptures say? Women are depicted positively in the New Testament most explicitly in Theotokos, the Virgin Mary (Lk 1:28). It was women who were at the Cross...

Three Powerful Reasons to Follow Jesus

How often do we do things without knowing why? How often do we pause and say, “Why am I doing this?” In fact, one of the great ways to unclutter your life is to ask that question repeatedly as you eliminate the habits and work you’ve grown accustomed to doing. So, why...

Wisdom From Unexpected Places

“You’re doing it wrong.” There I was pounding out miles at my local YMCA on a treadmill due to the below zero temperature when my treadmill started talking to me. I realize I was sixteen miles into a twenty-five-mile treadmill day but the shock of a voice coming from...

How Jesus defined Great Faith

Jesus identified only two people in His earthly ministry who He said had great faith; a Roman centurion (Matthew 8:5–13) and a Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21–28). Both of these people were outside of the covenant God had made with Israel and I believe it is safe to...

I Feel Guilty About Going to Church

It’s a complicated part of my life I’m a cradle Catholic.  I don’t remember not going to the same church that I attend now in Brooklyn, NY. My siblings and I were baptized in a trifecta that represented where my family is from, me in the Dominican Republic with...

Good Medicine, Bad Timing

On Passing Up Peace and Other Things I Don’t Know I Need “You’ll feel better after you take your medicine,” I tell my feverish little boy. He’s not buying it. Cherry flavored Tylenol®. Yummy grape Advil®, Chewable tablets. It makes no difference. His lips are sealed....

??? Questions To God… ???

A man died one day. His soul started to move wherever it was intended to. Though he died, his curiosity remained intact. Along the way, it screamed “I want to meet GOD!! I have a lot of questions for him”. If his prayers were not answered down below, they were...

God Will Test Your Patience

My Most Recent Wake-Up Call of Locking My Keys in My Car “Patience is a virtue” is a tough pill to swallow, at least during times when we need it. It’s a lesson I’ve discovered over and over but haven’t fully grasped. Maybe this most recent test will allow me to...

3 Ways To Trust Your Inner Wisdom

Inner wisdom means knowing you can trust your gut instinct. It means knowing which creative project to work on and which to park for the time being. It will give you the courage to keep working on your art even if it is doesn’t seem rational or your nearest and...

Why We Need To Forgive When They Don’t Deserve It

A woman erupted in a fit of hysteria at the retail store I managed. She and her husband were in the middle of a bitter divorce and she arrived at the store while his girlfriend was there. I had been chatting with the girlfriend, who was a frequent shopper with us. As...

What Does It All Mean Anyway?

Have you ever heard someone cry out in frustration, “What does it all mean anyway?” At times, I think many believers ask that question when it comes to studying the scriptures and trying to grasp this life as a follower of Jesus. I meet people on a daily basis who are...

The Spirit of God and Rocky Balboa

This Story is not about Sylvester Stallone (nick-named “Sly” who plays Rocky in the boxer movies). It is not about boxers or boxing. It is about the spirit that moves through Sylvester Stallone and boxers and all of Life and Creation. What do boxers and athletes and...

God Grows In Loving Soil

God is everywhereYou may or may not knowYou’ll find God in despairOr when joy is all aglow If insomnia chaffs to encumberGod’s sings in your addictionGod’s whisper is sweet slumberEven when you can not listen The birds sing in the treesAnd below humming manateesThe...

Ask Yourself the Hard Questions

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Ponder those words for a moment. I spent some time running in the mountains thinking about this verse and how it applied to me. This is one of those verses that if...

Invisible Hands Will Keep You Safe

Where we had thought to travel outwardswe shall come to the center of our own existence.And where we had thought to be alonewe shall be with all the world.~Joseph Campbell An icy wind blows through my heavy layers of clothing, chilling me to the bone. My teeth chatter...

I No Longer Fear the Darkness Within

Why Does the Inner Me Go into a Tailspin? And what can I do about it? Sometimes practical issues are hard to address. But doable. · Exercise; · Nutrition; · Adequate sleep. Check, check and check. Why, oh why am I so irritable. Inside? If it “pleases God to Reveal His...

Wise Counsel

What is your source of wisdom? How can anyone resist the pull of peer pressure? It’s easy to say, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!” But resisting the influence of others is not so easy. At times, the forcefulness of other people intimidates...

The Epitaph On My Headstone.

MY LIFE REDUCED TO DATES. She lived. She died. And? I’ve made it easy for the family. I planned my funeral. The readings. The music. Maybe the family will add something in the handout. A Bible verse. Something someone said in “fond remembrance.” “Beloved…………. I...

Our Quest for Meaning and Purpose

“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” Lao Tzu. If you are bewildered by the meaning and purpose of your life, it is because your thoughts are trapped by the aspirations of a self-serving egoic...

Light of the World

“Ye are the light of the world.” King James Version (KJV) We are all familiar with light as a spiritual metaphor.  In Christianity, the light is seen as a guiding light to help us in this world and beyond.  In Buddhism, the quest for enlightenment will end...

Is God Mean?

Every Friday night, our family celebrates with pizza and a movie. It’s a relaxing way to end the week, spend time together, and enjoy a good movie. Personally, I love comedy movies and have a small collection of favourites. In my top 10 is the movie Bruce Almighty....

The pronouns of God … Him, Her?

Changing the paradigm of God from male to female can change one’s perception of God, and of oneself. It seems reasonable enough to picture God as a divine parent, and it is understandable that a male-dominated culture would use “father” instead of “mother.” It is...

The Spiritual Value of Self Examination

What’s the condition of your heart? I mean the heart you have given to God. How are you doing in your walk of following Jesus? How are you really doing? Be brutally honest with yourself. Can you take a long hard look in the mirror? Can you allow God to search your...

So, People In Church Let Me Down (Again)

After several years of not volunteering in church, I decided to give it a go again. My heart was filled with a desire to serve in the small group. And it was not long before I was given a small group to lead. What a privilege! There were 5 other men in my group, most...

Why I’ll (Probably) Never Leave the Catholic Church

And why I’m not a good Catholic I always feel the need to qualify statements like this with “probably.” Because whenever I use absolutes, I end up doing the opposite. Like when my family was living in the Midwest, and I swore we would never move away, until we up and...

Jesus’ Perspective on Repentance

Jesus teaches that how we see and respond to God is a major source of joy and rejoicing in heaven. He said that when just one sinner repents, all heaven rejoices (Luke 15:7). Furthermore, He connects the act of repentance to a lost sheep being found and a lost coin...

When God’s Children Come Home

It was the morning after I lost everything. I sat in my car in the church parking lot trying to decide whether to go inside. Driving over there was one thing, but the idea of going in and talking to somebody was terrifying. What was I going to say, anyway? Spilling my...

Cracked Humanity

When grace punched me in the gut We’re sitting in a huge barn, an open kitchen to one side and a coffee service area to the other.  Running down the middle of the barn are three long, sturdy tables. Over to one of the walls, there’s a smattering of white...

The Day I Saw His Powerful [God].

And God can Truly Exist in any form. The tribesman described his mysterious God. a pious fear oozing from his veins,eyes burning with intense, religious fervor. His God came down from the unknown skies.red, lustrous body glittering in the brilliant sun,enormous...

The Bible is For Community

The various authors of the Bible wrote to groups of people. Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament to the entire congregation of Israel. In fact, the whole Old Testament was written for the people of Israel that they may know their history, their...

What Powerful Lesson Can You Learn from 19 Words?

A lesson from what was not a haiku First of all, let me say that I started out to give you the poem I wrote — which I thought was a haiku. But guess what? I got it backwards. Dyslexia — I guess. For some reason I thought the pattern went 7–5–7 but just as I was set to...

Transcending the Burden of the Conceptual Self

That big black Labrador walking alongside his master on a leash, wagging his tail at every approaching pedestrian on the sidewalk and licking whatever friendly human hand reaches to pat him on the head, does not have a problem. Despite the fact that his world is quite...

My Experience with Heaven on Earth

Suddenly, I was at the Pearly Gates requesting admittance, but there was a problem… Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. — Mark Twain I love movies! One particular favorite was/is HEAVEN CAN WAIT, released in 1978, I was 16 years old.  Many things...

What Does it Take to Get My Attention?

Heat….Obviously! I love the fact that Jesus answers prayer. Sometimes I wish He didn’t take it so seriously, or maybe its His humor. He does know I love a good sense of humor. Maybe too, I should be more specific. Case in point. I asked Jesus this morning to show me...

What Can You Drink That Will be Completely Satisfying?

Do you look at the wrong things to find satisfaction? Are you in search for the next biggest “high”?Do you feel you need to travel or find the best restaurant? Do you strive to tick things off your bucket list? Have you found satisfaction in the craving of...

How to Return to Life

Sometimes you have to die to live My lifeguard trainer tried to kill me. Often. Though I never used the certification, I went through lifeguard training years ago with a mountain of a man whose name escapes me now, though Mike seems right. He was renowned for his...

You Call This A Gift?

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too was a gift.” Mary Oliver “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or...

Does a Paramecium Have DNA?

Why I’m a skeptic about Darwinian evolution. For some reason I just can’t put my head around the idea that at a certain point in time there was no living thing in the universe and then — Voila! — as if by magic some primordial goo came together in some new way to form...

Depression and Faith: what is the connection?

No one is immune to depression. It can happen to anyone, at any time, place or come in any form. It doesn’t need an invitation. It is very sneaky and can seize on the unsuspecting, making them vulnerable to its woes and throes. The fact that someone hasn’t yet had a...

Thinking About Thinking

Thinking has often been considered a noble virtue. If you want to compliment someone on their ability to make good distinctions, you say that he or she is a “thinker.” If you want to praise someone’s consideration for you, you say that he or she is “thoughtful.” Yet,...

What 3 Years Of Holding A Grudge Did To Me

Each and every one of us should forgive all who transgress us. Not only will your life improve ten folds, but you can start living anew without pain and grudges. If you want to enjoy life to the fullest, then you have no choice, but to let go. It still doesn’t mean...

When Sorry Means Everything and When It’s Just Not Enough

How the Right Words Can Make All Difference When our hearts break for another, saying sorry can soothe a hurting soul. The salve of sorry is far superior to empty words, mindless chatter, and know-it-all “whys” when nobody really knows why. Words like it was meant to...

Oh God, where are you? Why have you left me?

I have been caught in the middle of what I call a “faith crisis” for almost a year and a half. It has been an uphill battle for me to retain the faith that I think I have always had. Though, I am not sure if I have lost it, or if it was ever there.  It is kind of...

Faith Moves Mountains

Rooted in faith, you can transform any aspect of your reality that is not working for you. Faith is “belief in the evidence of things not seen,” the preexisting proof that precedes manifestation, the creation of something before it exists. Naturally, it’s a loaded...

Five Keys to Overcome 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...

Those People Are Us

Sometimes healthy introspection is needed for a clearer perspective Those people! Are there people in your life who only seem to come around when they have some need? Then they act like they’re your BFF?  They may want to borrow some money, need a ride, or be...

What is a Split-Second Prayer?

My prayer life is always in progress. I read my Bible every day. I learn a little bit here, a little bit there. Jesus teaches me. The Holy Spirit teaches me.  Can we do a split second prayer and why? I read something the other day that made me have an aha moment....

Cowards, Murderers, Adulterers, Thieves, and Liars

The title of this article sounds like the next big-budget Hollywood blockbuster movie. In truth, the people described in the title are classified in a very special category in the Bible. They are actually held in very high esteem and many consider them to be heroes of...

How To Forgive Other People

A while ago my family took a trip to an indoor amusement park. While we were there, we jumped onto the bumper cars and spent the next 5 minutes bashing into one another, laughing and trying to cram each other’s cars into the corner of the ride. It was a ton of fun....

God Is The Keeper Of Memories

Several years ago I served as director of a ministry to women in a small local church. When I said yes to the opportunity I had no idea what I was getting into. I was taking on this responsibility with zero experience in a formal role. So I did the only thing I knew...

The Devil Wears A Dog Head

A bad character can turn you into a REAL dog Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but some people are just real dogs.  No, I mean it. Well, I don’t know about these days, but once upon a time, there were people that looked normal enough — except they...

How to Find Your Calling with 3 Easy Lists

God has a unique calling on each one of us, our unique contribution to the world. The powers of darkness are terribly afraid of it because when you walk in your calling, they lose real estate. The enemy’s strategy is to so grievously wound us, as early in life as...

Coming Home Again

“Maybe this isn’t home, nor ever was — maybe home is where I have to go tonight. Home is the place where when you go there, you have to finally face the thing in the dark.” Stephen King, It If you’ve never left, you’ll never imagine what coming home again is really...

What is the True Reality?

A closer look at time and the world 2 Corinthians 4:17–18 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what...

How to Fight the Beast

The Enemy Within and the Ones Trying to Get In The Beast has many forms. It has all forms. It mutates faster than flu, and there’s no anti-Beast shot. It does what it needs to do to get to you. Nicole Akers’ recent account of her experience was so astonishing that...

An Old Woman from the Village

A lesson in generosity from my year in Mexico I was standing near the front entrance to the office when I glanced to my right and saw her. A light breeze was kicking up dust, which swirled around her as she approached across the barren dirt parking area accompanied. A...

5 Proven Strategies to Handle Disappointment

Disappointments are part of life. Sometimes they seem to ruin the day — or the week. You are disappointed when your expectations are not met. So how do you overcome the disappointments that come your way? We cannot let the disappointments we experience destroy us. How...

Great Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Help for those who are having trouble sleeping. At the moment I am being blessed with wonderful sleeps. That has not always been the case. I have thought about the reasons and have a few suggestions for the nights when sleep eludes you. I read Philip Yancey’s article...

My idea of heaven

I am not sure if I really believe there is a heaven or some other form of afterlife, or not. Being raised as a Catholic and attending Catholic schools I believed in heaven, basically because the priests and nuns gave me no other choice but to believe. This was my idea...

Gold Nuggets

The Art of Gift Giving It is the middle of January and Christmas is still not only a fresh memory, but very visible. I am at the tail end of packing things in boxes to be taken to the attic and my tree continues to lie in its tree stand outside on my porch. It’s...

The “Feel-Good” Gospel

Lately, I have been hearing a lot about this so-called, dangerous, “feel-good” gospel. I have heard well-known preachers accuse other well-known preachers of preaching a “feel-good gospel.” They make the claim that those preaching such messages never mention God’s...

Eastern Philosophy in A Nutshell

For decades, I have studied Eastern philosophies, and everywhere I went I found teachings that created considerable confusion. This is not because Eastern philosophies are inherently subtle, nuanced, and infinitely complicated but because recognized teachers of...

Choosing to Acknowledge an Anonymous God

I was reading a news article the other day about Jayme Closs and the woman she met on the road, who by coincidence just happened to be a retired Child Protective Services worker. The other coincidence was that this woman had just arrived in Gordon, WI where her...

What Excuses Do You Make For Not Reading Your Bible Daily?

Everyone has excuses. I did. Daily Bible study — Do you need it? Sometimes I need to make an argument. And I need to argue with you why I feel you need to have a daily dose of God’s Word. Are you reading God’s Word every day?  I truly believe that...

How to Agree in 3 Questions

The Key We know agreement is a key to any kind of successful partnership, whether it’s in business, a marriage, or a creative partnership. Unity is a powerful thing that can weather any storm. When troubles destroy a relationship, be it a marriage or a business or...

What Will Happen If You Pray: “Lord, surprise me.”?

Astonishing tales. I had been looking at ways to interact with God. I’ve been circling and circling. Not turning around and getting dizzy but circling my prayers. Letting them go round and round in my head and in my journal.  As I continued the study Draw...

7 awkward scenes confessing sins to Catholic priests

It’s good for the soul! I waited for my turn to kneel in the dark box, divided by an opaque screen, sinner on one side, priest on the other. The goal: Confess to the silhouette of a man who had the authority to forgive me and grant me absolution.  I detected a...

Tracks in the Sand

A poem from 40 years past. I turn to see my footprints in the sand  as wave after wave rolls in.  Now, here I stand, observing.  And though my footsteps be almost gone,  they remain, and perchance someone will follow.  But if someone sees my...

A Heart of Compassion

Imagine God as a kindly grandfather Grandparents I can spot grandparents right away. It’s not the age differential but their interaction with children. Grandparents, especially boomers, tend to look younger than earlier generations and some become grandparents in...

What Can Satisfy Your Hunger?

And are you hungry for the right things? How does your hunger influence how you live? Do you build your life around it? How do you make sure your hunger is healthy and good and not destructive? We need food for our physical health. But, more importantly, what do...

Lord Have MERCY! Five Assurances He Does

You are in need of mercy. Yes, you are! We all need God’s mercy. Where is His mercy when we need it? In my pastoral ministry, I uncovered two disturbing thoughts. These beliefs hold Christians back from enjoying peace with God. One is the thought God had not quite...

How Waiting For My Big Mission Led Me Back To God

It was early 2014 when God put a seed of desire in my heart. Back then, I was running a wholesaling business from a warehouse in Welshpool, Western Australia. The desire was to get out of the warehouse and help one person at a time. This blurry desire grew and became...

How to Stretch Yourself and Not Fear

Learning to try new things I love to paint — colours are important to my life.  But lines and shapes and details have eluded me. I needed a change — something new. A long time ago I took a pen and ink course. (My first drawings are in Canada and we are...

4 Ideas To Make Prayer Meaningful and Fun

I will admit it. Praying isn’t that fun — I’m just being honest. Perhaps you don’t agree with me, but I would guess you don’t look forward to praying, at least not in the same way you look forward to things like movies, sporting events, or hanging out with close...

God’s TED Talk Transcript

eing God, I always try to create things–new and wonderful things that fit together in ways you can’t imagine. But first, I’d like to talk to you about something we all understand very well, failure. Failure and the power of mistakes. I’m going to start off by telling...

We Are Worms With Wings

Seeing ourselves in the beauty around us Have you ever seen a Monarch butterfly and a caterpillar side by side? I wonder what the conversation would be. I wonder if the butterfly would be telling the caterpillar about when she, herself, was just a caterpillar. I...

Bread. Today.

The sun shone today. After a week of rain, wind, and gloom, the sun shone and warmed the earth. I sat in my easy chair most of the day. Finally, about half an hour before the sun dropped from the western sky, I moved. “I’m going to take a walk.” I expected her to say,...

Here are 3 Barriers to Forgiveness

What to do when you don’t want to forgive Who do you need to forgive?  You probably don’t have to think long when this subject comes up. You can already visualize the person. And just in case you come up empty, let me ask you this question. If you were walking...

The Feast of The Three Wise Men

Welcome, come sit with me in my living room. Most likely, you’re aware that The Three Wise Men, whose travel coincides with the birth of Baby Jesus, didn’t arrive at that manger until the twelfth night. Well to be exact, that day is today, January 06th. In some...

The Imagery in Christ’s Manger Points to Who He Is

Baby Jesus asleep on the hay in a manger on a cold winter’s night: it’s a rather familiar scene. But if we analyze it in a deeper sense, then we can see the hidden imagery within the circumstances and surroundings of Jesus in the earliest days of his earthly life....

Why Can’t Sleep Be Addictive?

Breadcrumbs aren’t a meal After a night and day of insomnia, I finally got some sleep. Probably not enough to bring my body to a balanced homeostasis, but enough to chase away the delusion and nausea I was experiencing yesterday. Many suggestions from friends came...

How Studying the Bible Can Teach You How to Be a Good Leader

A look a Titus 1:8 It is not easy being a leader. There is much expected of you. And we can’t do it all. We have to remember that leadership is leading others — not doing it.  I wanted to learn more about leadership.  I worked through Titus using the SIMPLE...

How To Read the Bible For All It’s Worth

Spending time in God’s Word is absolutely essential for followers of Jesus! We spend time in the Bible for information, inspiration, transformation, spiritual growth, spiritual strength and power and for Jesus’ leadership in our lives. So, how do we read...

How To Fight Temptation and Exhaustion

A look inside yourself As I slammed the bedroom door and flung myself across the bed, I muttered those awful words, “I hate you. I hate you.” My emotions tore at me. I steamed. I screamed. I muttered a big protest against whatever it was that had triggered this...

Resolutions or Resolve?

Moving beyond resolutions to resolve Interest in physical fitness surges a few times throughout the year. The holiday season when we all tend to eat more than our body needs is a prime example. This carries over to New Year’s resolutions to get physically fit....

Has the Devil Really Dehydrated Your Dream?

Not If You Drink the Living Water… It is the end of 2018. What happened to your dream this year? Have you moved closer? Can you see the finish line? Or has your dream dried up? Has your vision become desiccated, shriveled, barren dust? My dream died in March...

How to Take Your Power Back

Within you is an invisible enemy that's quietly sabotaging every move you make to get ahead in life. This feeling is apathy. It’s the lowest emotional state possible, even subtler and more incapacitating than depression. You seldom hear the word used in conversation...

Dear Father In Heaven

Dear Father in heaven ev’rything point to You From the least to the best, what is right and true. It’s important for me to be reminded anew Of how You want me to be and what I should do Guide my heart so that I will always love You When I look at my husband and note...

Leaving God, and finding my way back

I don’t think I have ever known who God truly is. That is a scary thought for me to admit. I think it always been a longing of mine in the back of my mind, but I don’t think I have ever fully accomplished what could resemble a relationship with the Almighty. As a...

The Spoken Word, The Written Word

We find our words, and words are fueled and brought to life by other words. One word does not stand alone. We have the power to IGNITE them or EXTINGUISH them with the words that surround them. We create with them an image. Is it a furious, violent wind or a gentle,...

The Way of the Mystic

All sorrow arises from a lack of love and acceptance of your life situation and your current problem. Look around at what is happening in your life. Where is the negativity, lack, scarcity? What is it that you are working on and trying to achieve? What is it that is...

Combatting Compassion Fatigue

It’s not a global problem to be solved "Bad news travels fast” is an old saying and the internet enables bad news to travel faster than the speed of thought. The converse of this is good news is under-reported or ignored. A simple example is how quick gossip and...

What Jesus Wants For His Birthday

When my kids were younger, we encouraged them to make up a Christmas list each year. They would get a pencil and paper out and pour through toy store catalogs, listing all of the things they wanted. One year my son asked me, “How come on my birthday you buy me...

Once Upon a Midnight Clear

I’m a presents guy, always have been. The more presents I can get, obviously the better off I am. As a kid, my family tradition was to go to Midnight Mass and then we would get home and the greatest miracle of all was that Santa Claus had made it to our house and we...

Do you believe in Christmas?

What is Christmas to us? Holiday Music? Colorful decorations? Christmas trees? A variety of Christmas goodies to eat? Having the family all together? Christmas presents? If we believe in Christmas we believe it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the son of God,...

Joy!

Watching the faces of young people singing praise and worshipping the Lord with hands extended, I felt unbridled joy. Joy often overflows from my heart when I see genuine, heartfelt worship reflected in the faces of a new generation of worshippers — fresh followers of...

Why We Really Don’t Want Fairness but This Instead

“It’s not fair!” Said every person everywhere, at some point in their lives. Some of us live in that unhappy place of constantly striving for fairness and never seeing it. Some of us sink there when bad things happen. We see it all over our political system — the...

Was God practicing child abuse by sending Jesus?

What the first Christmas really meant. Looking at Christmas through the eyes of Easter.  I have taken exception at times to things atheists say when they sound disrespectful or arrogant. I've been disrespectful right back a few times. We are probably about...

Prayer

Oh hearer of prayerI come to you nowTo humble myselfI prostrate and bow I want to give thanksFor all that you doMy blessings each dayThey build and acrue Watching with aweI witness your waysI’m determined to serve youAll of my days I ask that you look pastAll of my...

My Truth, Your Truth, Whose Truth?

Getting to the Truth of the Matter To an untrained mind, interpreting what people say is as hard as looking at shades of color and deciphering all the pigmentation that creates it.  If you are the artist, you know what colors were mixed to get the right tones to...

3 Simple Suggestions to Help You Start Reading Your Bible

ecently, I read the amazing story of Mary Jones, a young girl who wanted nothing more than to have a Bible of her own. Born in 1864, the Welsh girl saved money for six years until she had enough money to purchase a Bible. Then at age 16, she walked 50 miles roundtrip...

Can You Imagine?

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we did this?  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 “Keep open house; be generous with your lives.” Matthew 5:16 “When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just...

Be Still and Know

Be still and know that I am God I made the earth, and sky, and sea For all majesty belongs to Me And all earth will bow the knee. Chorus: I’ll be still and know You’re God I’ll be still and know You’re God For I know You’ll do what’s best for me Obedience is the key....

Hope Smiles Brightly Before Us

Ahh, Christmas season. Personally, I love it. My family loves it. We celebrate the birth and life of Jesus Christ while we maintain Santa traditions, gift-giving, and decorations. It’s all good—as long as Christ is front and center. My granddaughter, Summer, recently...

Baptize Me in the Bathtub

A Confused Kid’s Thoughts on Religion and God When I was about five years old, I thought the Native American statue that sat behind my old television set was God. Okay so let me clarify, not like God himself — but a depiction of him.  I have absolutely no...

God’s discipline isn’t PUNISHMENT for past sins!

The truth about “The chastening of the Lord” The truth about “The chastening of the Lord” is probably the most confusing subject in the church world today. It has kept many believers in fear of something that is intended to bring peace to their...

Good News For You

You Are A Special ‘One of A Kind,’ Kind of Person. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 It is the Christmas season. Celebrate! Not only the gift of God’s dear...

When God Came to Earth

What comes to mind when you think of Christmas? For me, it’s Jesus.  You may have heard the expression—Jesus is the reason for the season. Indeed He is but we’re celebrating much more than a child born in a manger! We’re celebrating who He is and what He did! And...

What Am I Musing On?

An amusing discovery I went to the library looking for Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art”. The girl helping me could only find books entitled “The Art of War”. I kept correcting her. I ended up ordering a copy online. That was a couple of years ago. I read...

My Sexy Christmas Car and the Gift of Forgiveness

"Change is the only constant in life,” said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, and it was clear to me that I was ready for a change. “I’ve been driving the van since the kids were in diapers, ”I complained to my husband. “They’re practically grown, they don’t need me...

Prodigal

There once was a masterof a prosperous housewith two sons he lovedfrom his lifelong spouse. His sons worked with himall through their youth.He showed them his waysand taught them with truth. When they came of agethey were two different men.One wished to leave.One to...

A Little Book For The Tired And Overworked

“You don’t really go home, do you, Fred?” Mike, my colleague, asked me. “Yes I do,” I replied. “Come on, admit it, you sleep in the office.” “What, no way. I went home late last night and I came early this morning.” “O my Lord, do you even sleep?” Mike asked. “A...

Put Your Plans Where Your Faith is.

Let me start off this posts by saying how happy I am that I have graduated. Its been a long road made even longer by school irregularities but all is well that ends well. Now I can focus on other things like going for my passport or following up on it. Put your Plans...

Tomorrow: A parable of belief, faith, and doubt

We believe in tomorrow, but we are always in today. We are all acting in faith in tomorrow with no tangible proof it exists. Most of us believe in tomorrow. Most of us take it for granted and think nothing of making arrangement to do different things in this nebulous...

Did you know that the Lord’s Prayer has been answered!

Many people today recite what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer not knowing or understanding that it is a prayer that has already been answered by God. “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said...

The Way That Seems Right

But where does it lead? How often have you heard this quote, “To thine own self be true?”  It’s a famous quote from William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. In those times it had a certain meaning but it’s been reinterpreted in a different way in our present culture....

How To Overcome the Stress of the Christmas Season

Is Christmas time a time of stress and frustration for you? Christmas was a time of angst. yes angst. I fretted over what to buy the relatives and my kids. I stressed over the food production. I got angry when things didn’t go as I planned. Through all the joy of...

Private stories Shared In Public Places

It was cold and rainy. I had several errands to get done in a short amount of time. I was in a hurry. My first stop involved a return of a purchase I had made. The customer service line was long. When my turn arrived, I asked the sales associate, “Aren’t you cold...

How little baby Jesus grew into the world’s big problem

His final instructions launched a global offensive Our six-hour journey by canoes through Pirahhna-infested waters of the Amazon brought us to a village dubbed “Belen.” In Spanish, it means “Bethlehem,” the town in Israel where Jesus was famously born in a stable more...

Be Simple and Be Used

I was sitting in a room in a Middle Eastern country teaching a bunch of Jesus-following Muslims about business and how to take an idea and mold it into a plan when the hairs on the back of my neck began tingling. I glanced across the room and one young man was...

Oceans Applaud When Streams Sing

Together we are whole In Spring it is lovely to be next to a stream and hear the rhythmic melodies and watch the current gently rise up to kiss the rocks. In winter snow caps are held tightly in place despite the constant chafing of icy waters.  Streams are...

Are You Available?

“I want you to go to (a certain Central Asian country) and meet with this guy we’ll call Henry and see if you can come up with a way to get a movement started where businesses will fuel the advance of the Kingdom in this really difficult place to see Jesus openly...

Why I Don’t Need Balance in My Life

Everyone says “balance” is the key: I disagree Lately I have come to understand balance. At least I have come again to understand balance. I knew it before — but forgot it.  And I don’t think I need it. After two months of heavy study of God’s Word, and...

How to Not Starve on Relationship Breadcrumbs

They Just Wanted Peace… Thomas just wanted peace in his home. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? He lived in constant fear of his wife leaving. All she had to do to get her way was yell at him, and he’d capitulate. Even if he knew it wasn’t the right...

Why and How I found Jesus

Was He lost or was I? As a child I knew Him. I knew Him well. I would sing songs to Him, I would pray with my parents every night. I knew He protected me. I knew He was with me. But something happened. I wandered away. Like the people on the shore who were...

Success Requires These 7 Traits

There are certain traits everyone needs in order to succeed. This list will help you identify them and inspire you to inject them into your life. I write as a follower of Jesus to help other followers of Jesus. While this list is universal in application it is...

A Christmas Story All Year Long

She must have always loved the star, for she saw it when no one else could. I sat beside her in her living room, admiring her Christmas tree. I asked her, “Are some of these ornaments from your childhood?” “Oh yes”, she answered, “many of them.” “My family always goes...

The Most Important Changes That Happened to Me

How 30 days of painting yellow changed me When I first decided to campaign about human rights I had no idea what I had signed up for. Through the 30 days I learned a lot about the plight of those caught in slavery and about myself by studying God’s Word and painting...

When God Gave Me a Second Chance

It is true there are seasons in life. Sometimes in between seasons, there is a crucial point where we need to push hard to get through. Mine was when I worked as an operational manager at a bread factory in Perth, Mills Bakery. I had been working in Mills Bakery for...

Five Humorous Quotes to Keep Us Sane

A little levity is good for the soul. Humor holds nuggets of wisdom. Dust off these quotes. Shake them. Laugh! Catch the glimmer of wisdom in each of the five quotes. Scripture tells us that laughter is good for us as a medicine. Laughter is the medicine prying open...

What in the Word!

The rain in November surely took no breaks and followed into December. The first two days were wet, raw and cold. The snow is melted, leaving everything barren, except for a few random patches of snow that refuse. As I said my farewells to social media and a few other...

Which obscure sin tops the charts right now?

If you are like many progressive believers, or the spiritual-but-not-religious type, you may not spend much time thinking about (cough, cough) sin. Oh, you’ve heard about those classic Seven Deadly Sins, if not in Sunday School then in that 1995 movie Se7en. That film...

Doubt and Fear

Now is the time when you have to learn to embrace new friends again. These friends are going to come with names like Perseverance, Character, Hope, Faith, Courage and above all Love. As we begin to move into the person, we were created to be these new friends are who...

Redemptive Reconciliation

The power of transforming freedom If you love something, set it free, if it comes back, it is yours, if it doesn’t, it never was. This sentiment, or some variation of it, was popular in the seventies — the Me Generation. Inevitably, someone put a cynical spin on...

Hark! The Angel, Harold, Sings

Celebrating The Christmas Story — Old Tales Told A New Way We’ve all heard the timeless tale of the coming of the Christmas Child. But what if the people who wrote those stories got it wrong? What if they missed some important information? What if someone else was...

The Need to Come Away And Rest Awhile

Seasons often compete. In October the artist mixed his colors and painted a layer of hues upon the trees, but late summer rain kept dampening them and they melted and ran against the sky. Later, a top coat brushed over them and they did begin to shine, golden,...

Belief is No More Than a Simple Matter of Choice

Belief is incredibly powerful. It can do so much good. Belief in positive things can change our lives, right down to our character. I wish I believed more. I don’t know that this feeling ever goes away. Whether it’s belief in ourselves, a bright future, our loved...

Sometimes We Need a Friend, Not a Verse

The book of Proverbs is not your to go book in the Bible when you’re in a tiff with God. However, at times when you have not been reading the Word, it’s your best starting point. When we find ourselves in a tiff with God, it is because we grew distant. He did not. He...

False News and Fact Checking

How can we know something is true or false — not just in the media but in everyday life? If it’s things in general related to public life, several fact-checking sites exist where you can, well… check to see if something is factual. One of the more popular sites is...

Attitudes don’t Change by Magic

I’ll never forget one of my first days at Navy boot camp in February 1985 when my chief (called CC) got in my face and at the top of his lungs yelled, “Horner, you better change your attitude!!!!!” Calmly I looked at this saint of a man and said: “did the Navy issue...

Making the Impossible Possible

As I was reviewing my first ninety days in my current position it began to dawn on me that the quotas I was required to hit were going to be nearly impossible. I stepped into a position where I thought there were some established processes in place and that it was...

Breaking Chains

One link at a time Imagine for a moment being chained. How do you think you would feel? Incapacitated? Crippled? Claustrophobic? I watched a close loved one be handcuffed and I immediately felt paralyzed and helpless. The power of empathy can be overwhelming....

How to Fix Everything

There is one particular quality that overrides all of our other faults combined. If we just cultivate this one quality in our lives, all our other faults will take care of themselves. Really? Instead of focusing on improving my weaknesses, I can learn this one thing...

How Thanksgiving Dinner is Kind of Life-Like

Although I love Chinese food (or American Chinese food, rather) I hate going out to sit-down Chinese restaurants on dates with my wife. You know, the kind where you only order one entree and maybe get some rice to go with it? I always get sick of only eating that one...

Begin with Thanksgiving

Three thousand years have rolled through the pages of time. Yet, one man’s name blazes through Biblical pages because of how he began his prayers. It is one thing to have a name listed along with many others in scripture. It is quite another when noted exactly what...

Lying Memories

How accurate are our memories? I was recently reminiscing about a string of difficult circumstances from a few years ago. I remembered how lost and unsure I felt about certain decisions I was making. As I thought about it some more, those same unpleasant sensations...

Today, I Found My Life’s Purpose

I have always felt that I was given this chance at life for a reason. A purpose. Today I figured out what that purpose is. My life’s mission is to help you balance faith, family, finances, physical & mental health, and fun. That statement has taken me nearly 30...

Traveling Above the Frey

The Jetsons were one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid, especially the spacecraft where George zipped in and out of traffic with clear space all around. Of course, I was thinking about this as I was driving (or rather crawling) in traffic on my way home from...

Behold the Miracle of Love

A Love Poem In the promise of a wonderful Spring I thought I sensed a miracle In the fragrance of white blossoms Ere blooming, still invisible Was it in the expectation of new beginnings? A dream that slipped along the edges of my eyes? Maybe it was the star-like...

First You Have to Open the Front Door

After many years of going to my wife with a shirt and pants in hand asking “does this match?”, I finally solved the problem. Yep, no more color questions for this guy, I finally figured out how to make sure my shirt matches my pants. These problems and many others...

What A Bible Story Tells Us About Great Leadership

It was the hour for serving wine, and I knew the king would be waiting. But I couldn’t shake off the depression that enveloped me like a shroud. I couldn’t pretend to be happy. I fulfilled my responsibilities, serving his wine as I always did. I believe in carrying...

Getting Out of Bed-The Self Help Series

Throw off the covers when the alarm clock goes off, stomp into the bathroom, grumble through your shower, consume large amounts of coffee and a little food, rush out the door, honk your horn and shake your fist at the other idiot drivers, screech into the parking lot,...

Are You Thankful?

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Are you thankful? Each Thanksgiving, I think it’s good to take stock of all we have to be thankful for in the midst of all the hoopla of the weekend — food, family, friends, football, and Black Friday. Sadly, a holiday set...

Your Worst Enemy Is Also Your Best Ally

Does that title seem strange? That’s because so often we really don’t know who our real enemy is. Let’s discover that first. Not Other People We often confuse people who hurt us with the enemy. But they are not our real enemy, even if they think they are. When people...

Hope Grows. Soft.

It’s a new experience for me, stroking the hair of a woman who is not my wife. I promise I won’t make a habit of it. Still, it is a new experience I will not soon forget. I didn’t intend to do it. The young lady came into the rehearsal hall wearing a cap, which wasn’t...

Extreme Opposites

Standing firm against the current Polarization is the current buzzword used to describe the toxic political and social environment of America. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground based on the loud rhetoric that shouts down any differing opinions. Even a sense...

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

When God Gives You A Playground “Go out and play.” I can hear my mother saying it. I can hear me saying it to my children. We wanted to hear those words. It meant our chores were done. It meant responsibility for certain things was not to be carried by us. It was a...

The Good News About Sin; Seven Statements

Looking at seven statements God makes about confessed sin. But first, let’s talk about sin. How long has it been since you heard anybody call sin, sin? Sin is not a forgotten word; it’s an avoided word. The word, sin, is short and very direct. In the effort to be an...

Why Yellow Has Come to Mean Light and Action

Help stamp out human trafficking I am advocating against human trafficking. I am trying to get the word out so this is not hidden away. Let’s admit it is happening. Let’s Break the Chain of Abuse. This month I joined IJMCanada — International Justice Mission Canada to...

One Clap, Two Claps, 50 Claps

Just My Mind’s Wanderings Okay, this picture is not my brain. When I first started writing on medium I tried to figure out the process, the algorithm (I used the word). Realizing I had the potential to be paid for things I wrote, my interest rose even higher. I could...

Am I Walking What I’m Talking?

I could have shown you the fat mouse we caught in the trap; the one whose leg was still flailing, trying to escape, but sorry, the camera wasn’t my first thought at the time. When my husband went to flush it down the toilet it revived and tried swimming and I was...

How Amazing it is that God Creates Powerful Encounters?

Telling my #storybystory We met while curling. For those of you who haven’t heard of this game — it is played on ice with rocks or stones. You slide the rocks down the ice toward the target. The team captain is called the skip, next is the vice, then the second and...

4 Simple Strategies To Strengthen Your Marriage

I have been married for more than 26 years. That doesn’t make me an expert, but I have learned a few things in the past couple of decades about making relationships work. If you’re married then you know it’s not always easy to get along. It takes some effort. Here are...

Strange Convergences

Random thoughts curiously fulfilled One day when I was in high school, a curious question popped into my head: What must it have been like to be an early Christians bringing the Gospel to Rome? I have no idea why I wondered, nor do I recall actually speculating on it,...

Stretch Marks and Scars

And the Beauty that Grows Beneath I’m 36 weeks pregnant, down to those final, uncomfortable weeks. Eager to give Baby an eviction notice. Last night, I was praying when a kick stretched the dry skin on my belly more than usual. My prayer about other areas of our lives...

Fresh Mercy

Every morning God’s mercy is fresh and new Have you ever smelled fresh-baked bread as it comes out of the oven? I remember mornings in the Philippines when I’d walk by a bakery and smell the fresh pan de sal rolls baked fresh every day. It makes me hungry just...

Lest I am called a Bible Thumper

I used to think that I would lose my creativity in Faith. The more content I created, the more my faith was more pronounced in my Faith. It has been the most conflicting part of this journey, trying to figure out where the two are intertwined, and why my Faith finds...

The Descent

Finding my range I was a soprano. I sang at church for years. I wasn’t that good. Some said I was great. Some said I was gifted. Some said I was “anointed” (I know what that means). I had a few professional lessons. I was nervous when I sang in front of others. My...

Have You Lost Hope in Humanity (Especially Teenagers)?

3 Pointers for Renewing Your Faith Ok, so that headline was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But honestly, it’s been a tough week. I was thinking I’d take a break from posting. But today I heard a talk that was packed with so many great lessons, I had to write about it. Rabbi...

My Husband’s Journey From Agnosticism to Faith

We were separated by a kitchen counter no wider than two feet, but we might as well have been separated by an ocean as vast and cold as the Arctic. His words were widening the gulf between us, causing my heart to sink. “We can’t marry unless we have the same belief...

Bible Stories About Confidence

Are you a Christian in the workplace who struggles with confidence and you have been praying for a solution? Then this article is for you. Many times, you grapple with finding your voice as a member of the team. You have the skills and the expertise, yet like other...

Forgiven Many Times Over

My interpretation of the White Chocho’s visit We drove to the mountains to be one with nature and to celebrate my birthday. Both feats were equally accomplished, thank you very much. In a blog post on my website, I’ll share amazing pictures of scenery. Today I’ll tell...

Ten Mindful Quotes For A Positive Lifestyle

I have a mind to read quotes. Why? Because quotes rattle around in my brain till the thought strikes home. Word nuggets! That’s what they are, digestible chunks of knowledge encrusted in gold and silver for our brains. Only one component needed by us, the WISDOM to...

Prayer and Work Go Hand in Hand

A motto of St. Benedict’s was “Ora et labora.” The Latin phrase with a somewhat catchy rhythm translates as the command, “Pray and work.” (I’m glad I’ve got a handle on this notion since I go to a Benedictine college campus.) This simple little sentence carries with...

What If I’m Not A “Real” Christian?

I have a cross to bear, and her name is Stacy. We met when we were both in tenth grade during gym class. Our group was walking back to the school after outdoor basketball, and I wasn’t paying attention and ran directly into a gate. My nose slammed against the handle...

Religion vs. Religion

Has our belief disunited us as a species? From the beginning of civilization, religion or belief has existed. The belief in a God, a Divine Power, who is in control of everything that is created, is something that has provided aid to the development of the human mind...

What Good Will My Prayer Do?

A Challenge Reconsidered In November the writers and artists group I am engaged in is raising awareness of abuse and slavery. The team is called chain breakers and they will be challenging people to pray and focus on scriptures that enhance the dignity of people. I...

Aiming High or Choosing Discontent

When Refusing to Settle Means Refusing to Live Well Many years ago, a German family left their home and emigrated to Argentina. They missed the Fatherland and longed to return. And so, they determined to live their days on German time. They awoke when the sun rose...

Forgiveness When It Is Impossible!

Last week, we dealt with forgiveness in the ordinary circumstances of life. We have opportunities to forgive people all the time. When people are rude to us, when they spread rumors and put us down, when they ignore us or say things that hurt our feelings — these are...

What a One-Year Sabbatical Can Do for a Family

A person sure can learn a lot in a year! As I’m looking at the calendar, I have mixed emotions as I realize that my year-long sabbatical from banking is about to come to an end. At once I am: amazed at the things that I’ve been able to accomplish, critical of myself...

Yes, Who I Am Is Relevant

A Lesson In Self Awareness “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and...

You Need to Stop Lying

Lying is a defense mechanism when we feel cornered, our judgment, love or capabilities questioned or for the simple fact that we want attention. I recently failed an exam.  I have never failed an exam. I have always been top of my class. When I did Design Analysis and...

The Right Connection

I love fall. The morning air is crisp, the trees begin showing off their autumn wardrobe, and apple picking is once again a popular weekend activity here in north Georgia. But there’s another kind of fruit that’s in season all year round — the fruit of the Spirit:...

Understanding Love through Corinthians

Love bears all things (regardless of what comes), believes all things (looking for the best in each one), hopes all things (remaining steadfast during difficult times), endures all things (without weakening). 1 Cor 13:7 Loving others in this manner will only grow out...

This Story Takes My Breath Away

It’s a conspiracy, literally! Years ago I spoke at the memorial service for my maternal grandmother, Gene Wenzel. A few days before, I was sitting on a park bench with a yellow legal pad on my lap and a ballpoint pen in my hand trying to write what I would say. At...

Junior Bear and the Banana-nites of Nanerville

Some of the stories in the Bible seem too unbelievable. It’s these stories that cause many people, young and old, to question the truth of God’s word. The story of Jonah is one of those stories. Everything seems very plausible until he gets swallowed by a whale. That...

How Forgiveness Transforms Your Life

Everyone has been offended. Everyone has been insulted and hurt. Sometimes life comes at you like a brutal machine. It’s easy to get buried in feelings of anger and bitterness. I have witnessed the ruin caused by such experiences and I could easily been a victim as...

What Commandments did Jesus want us to keep?

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:10 How many times have you heard someone quote the verse about why we need to keep the Ten Commandments? Over the years, I have heard it...

Purified by Fire

How can a person purify their heart? No one can purify their own heart. No one. We can try but we’ll fail. We fail because we don’t have the right material to work from to develop a pure heart. We’re flawed. Each of us is born with a selfish nature — a self-will. This...

Understanding Love through Corinthians #3

It does not rejoice at injustice but rejoices with the truth (when right and truth prevail) 1 Cor 13:6 Have you ever been caught in a position in which your friend was wrong, but you still defended them and feigned blindness to their wrongdoing? You chose your friend...

The Ultimate Guide To Prayer

“Prayer is and remains always a native and deepest impulse of the soul of man.” — Thomas Carlyle Given the increasing chaos that surrounds us in today’s world, the importance of prayer can’t be underestimated. We‘re’ spiritual beings in material bodies. We need to...

Regret Ruins Your Happily Ever After

Say the tough stuff sooner rather than later “Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind — even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed...

Speak Life Into The Midst of Chaos

His face was red with rage. Flinging his arms around, stomping his feet, yelling right past me deep into what had happened to him. I stood firm, knowing his anger was not at me. What would bring order out of this CHAOS that clutched him in a vortex of defeat? How...

The Jesus Scandal

The Bible tells the story of a scandal in the making that gets little to no attention today. It is a story often told to children in Sunday school classes with little understanding of what actually happened. This is unfortunate because the impact of the event at that...

Understanding Love Through Corinthians #2

Love is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked (nor overly sensitive and easily angered); it does not take into account a wrong endured. 1 Corr 13:5, AMP. To be rude is to lack manners, to disrespect, to be discourteous. When you disrespect someone, you...

A Junior Bear Story for Parents

Understanding the Bible is hard for adults, never mind for children. ​ All too often, we ignore certain Bible stories ourselves because they make us feel uncomfortable. As Christian parents, we have a job to do; a calling that God has placed on each of us: To bring...

A Dramatic Truth My Boys Needed to Hear

When my boys were very young, I used to cradle them in my arms and look intensely in their eyes. With a dramatic voice, I would say, “I have something to tell you, and you must never ever forget it.” Their eyes would open wide, and they would nod their heads in...

Did the Prodigal Son Repent?

Luke 15:11–32 Many people have been taught that the Prodigal Son’s confession of sins to his father was an act of repentance, but it wasn’t. The Greek word for repent is metanoia, which simply means “a change of mind.” The Prodigal’s confession wasn’t intended to seek...

Water, The Life Giver

The hotter it gets during the summer, the more difficult long-distance runs become. It doesn’t matter how early you start running, at some point in the run it is going to get blistering hot. Relief from the heat comes many ways, but my all-time favorite involves...

4 Possible Reasons God Tells us “No”

We don’t think like God does I just didn’t believe it. If you love someone they can say no? That can’t be right. I love the book, Boundaries, by Townsend and Cloud, but I struggled with that concept. My black and white thinking told me, if someone loves me, they want...

How Did We Get Here?

It was the first thing I thought when the words came out of nowhere. Well, not nowhere, since my friend spoke them with his own mouth, but I wasn’t sure what the catalyst for the thought had been. I’m still not sure. “Why didn’t you become a preacher, Paul?” I’m...

Would You Like Prayer?

How one question totally changed everything…The tears started to flow, as I sat there in silence. The young lady sitting in my back seat started to pour out her heart. Shame, Bitterness, and Anger plagued her for years. All the emotions she had been holding onto for...

3 Conversations We as the Church Need to Have

Church is the place where we come together as a people and celebrate all that God has done for us. Yes, we celebrate our salvation, but the cross was meant to be the beginning of our freedom. God has done miraculous things in all of our lives and continues to do so....

10 Convincing Reasons to Live the Abundant Life

Following Jesus means we live an abundant life (John 10:10). What is an abundant life? How would you describe it? There are as many ways to describe an abundant life as there are reasons to live the abundant life. Here are a few (both descriptors and reasons): A life...

What David discovered after he committed adultery and murder

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you” (Psalm 143:8). David wrote the above Psalm. It is a beautiful, heartfelt prayer that we should all pray regularly for ourselves. David was a godly...

He Came

A poem about faithfulness memories rise, envelop my mind, lifted high, I touch the sky. others take me to dark places, empty spaces echoes ricochet off solid walls. am I alone; left on my own? in the stillness I hear his heartbeat I knew it was him, the collector of...

Do the Hard Stuff

I first started running in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and to run a hill meant you went to Mount Trashmore (yes, it really is made of what you think) or to a couple of high bridges that allowed Navy ships to go upriver to ship repair yards; otherwise, all of our running...

Do Just One Thing to Find Purpose and Fulfillment!

Do you believe that if you have just one single priority you could find fulfillment and purpose in your life? What one thing could make such a huge impact? The follower of Jesus has a very simplified priority system! In fact, it can’t be any simpler. There is one...

4 Favorite Quotes to Make Your Day Better

4 Favorite Quotes To Make Your Day Better. We desire the world to change for the better but not everyone is willing to change themselves. Quotes help us make the change with bite-sized phrases. Quotes distill the wisdom of writers and speakers and yes, thinkers....

Does Jesus Plead our Case before God? Part 5

This is the final piece in the Does Jesus Plead Our Case Before God series. Catch up on all the pieces here. (Link will open in a new tab.)  As your advocate, Jesus isn’t defending you against God because He isn’t your adversary or enemy. Both of them want you to know...

Spiritual Accountability is NOT a Ponzi Scheme

The treatment of God’s people has long been on my mind concerning spiritual accountability or spiritual parenthood. In many instances, it looks like a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is a type of scam where a so-called businessman pays initial investors with funds from...

Does Jesus Plead our Case Before God | Part 4

Satan is called the accuser of the brethren. He misuses and perverts God’s law to rob and condemn believers. He does so by making them feel disqualified of their rights and privileges in Christ. He also distorts the truth about how God feels and thinks about them....

Loving People Isn’t Always On My Agenda

I was due to catch an early flight to Nashville. I was tired and grumpy. I didn’t feel great and couldn’t wait to get on the plane and sleep for a couple of hours. Thankfully I wasn’t seated next to a “Chatty Cathy.” When I arrived in Nashville, I had an hour wait...

Hope From A Stranger Part 1 – J.R.

My name is Andrew, I have been an part-time Uber driver now for a little over a year. After watching an encouraging video from one of my mentors’ @GaryVee my mind begin to race with ideas, and this is when the idea was born! Throughout my experiences I have run into a...

Foster Hope

Trading an Octopus for a Dalmatian The jangling of “the” two a.m. phone call hammered through the sleep fog enshrouding my being. Again. I groaned. My husband clattered the receiver and dragged it to his ear. Groping through his own fog, he found the word: “Uh . . ....

What Are You Looking At?

The jaunty little runabout pulled by a chestnut mare sped along at a good clip, its spoked wheels flashing in the evening sun. The bench seat, with room for only two, bounced a little on leaf springs designed to smooth the ride in places where the road wasn’t always...

What Does My Future Hold?

Are you like me? So focused on where you want to go…even though you have no clue where that “somewhere” is. Wanting more out of life, but not knowing where to begin… Plagued with doubt and confusion due to not knowing where the path is? Looking around and seeing...

Does Jesus Plead our Case before God? | Part 2

Jesus, as our advocate, keeps our hearts focused on the fact that He alone paid the price our sins required. We should never ever forget He is the propitiation for our sins. However, not ours only but for the whole world. When our hearts are established in what Jesus...

Does Jesus Plead our Case before God? Part 1

For many years as a young believer, I heard several ministers quote 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” They would go on to describe a...

Born a Maker: What It Means to Be Creative

Some people are born with creative brains. Their minds spin tales and imagine worlds the rest of us can barely comprehend let alone replicate. Others have gifted hands as well. They create things as if out of nothing from found objects, various mediums, and materials....

Faithful in Every Generation

During the brutal 1941 winter that hindered Nazi Germany’s invasion of Moscow, my grandmother — who lived in the Soviet Union — converted to the Christian faith. Seeing as indoor baptisms weren’t common in those days, she was baptized outside in some icy body of...

3 Ways to Live a Top of the Mountain Life

After a long climb, I finally hit what I was hoping was the summit. I came around a sharp turn on the trail, and as I came out of the trees and looked to my left, my breath was taken away. The sheer beauty of the pristine lake with the snow-capped mountains was worth...

Can your divinity help your creativity?

I’m a Buddhist so you might find it a bit weird for me to talk about the concept of divinity. But this summer it has been my new favourite word. What is divinity? This depends on your religious and philosophical points of view. If you look up “divinity” in the...

5 Great Responses When You Are Looking For Answers

We have all been there. Lost our job. The marriage went kaput. Best friend(s) left us. What could go wrong, did! Be careful not to react. Instead, put structure into a response to the difficult and trying circumstances you face. The Psalmist, King David reminds us not...

7 Effective Keys to Endurance

To follow Jesus we need endurance. In fact, for almost every good thing in life we need endurance. We need endurance because life is hard. Following Jesus comes with opposition. It requires faith. It requires some work! Endurance brings great reward. Paul urged the...

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

As my regular readers know, my posts are all about our true identity in Jesus — the identity God created us to become. But let’s take one giant step backward. How can we understand who we really are in God if we’re confused about who God really is? In order to...

Who or what determines your “Worth?”

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.” Luke 15: 11–21 The prodigal son believed that both his father and the God they believed in could not forgive him of all his sins. He was wrong on both counts....

Does Religion Breed Hatred, Bigotry and Violence?

I have always thought religion was a belief in a higher being or a set of principles which guided a person through life. I was raised a Catholic and I was taught to love God and everyone else. I knew people of various Christian sects as well as people of the Jewish...

How to Grow Your Faith When it Seems so Small

What happened? You used to believe God for anything. People would even come to you and ask you to pray. But lately, you feel like your prayers are going up as far as the ceiling and just staying there. Everyone has times of doubt. But there are things we can do to...

The Power of Acceptance

The Pharisees in Jesus’s day as with most religions around the world work off the principle that a person’s obedience to God brings them His acceptance and blessings. Jesus refuted this view by teaching that it is God’s acceptance that gives birth to a heart and life...

Why Would Jesus Make Thomas Wait?

A question about the disciple labeled “the doubter.” This week our church started a new series called “Room for Doubt.” We are going to spend the next few weeks looking at questions people have about Christianity and fleshing out some answers. Today’s sermon was...

How To Stand Up For Yourself - Do Not Do This

The Tin Lunch Box — A Nearly Absolutely Mostly True Memoir We try, God knows, to teach our children to be strong, self-sufficient. To stand up for themselves and what they know is right. I tried to instill these virtues in my son. And my parents tried hard to teach...

Why You Need to Run From a Toxic Relationship

How One Night Changed Everything It was the summer of ‘79. My senior year in sight, I was picking up extra cash working part-time at a local Winn-Dixie grocery store. That’s where I met him —an older guy who worked in the produce department. Okay, he wasn’t that much...

Jesus vs. the Pharisees

One of the characteristics of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day was their obsession with pointing out the sins of people and their lack of holiness. The woman caught in adultery and the prostitute who washed the feet of Jesus are just two examples of Pharisees exposing the...

What can a Christian learn from Vince Lombardi?

The Super Bowl trophy is called the Lombardi Trophy after legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers to 5 championships. He also coached the Washington Redskins close to a championship and most likely would have succeeded if his...

How to Tell when It’s a Season to Heal

Do you ever get confused by the weather? Do you ever think the weather itself is confused? I’m looking out the window watching the rain fall on a completely sunny day! Yes, it’s dumping rain at the same time the sun is shining. Does it do that where you live? It does...

What Does The Face of God Look Like?

The first time I met God was in a trailer park. I was six years old, and our new neighbors invited me over to their trailer to look at their Christian pop-up books. There were fascinating stories about Jesus and Moses and Noah that I’d never heard before. Admittedly,...

Slowing Down in a Hurried World

Maybe you can relate to feeling overwhelmed and spread too thin. For many years I ran myself ragged trying to do all the things. In my quest to find contentment, approval, and a sense of worth, I pushed hard, stayed up late, said yes to all requests, and ended up...

I’ll see your Prayer and Raise You One

As he plummets to earth he thinks, maybe this was a bad idea. It’s his first solo jump and he’s dropping through some nasty turbulence that blows him all around. He feels like a leaf in a hurricane. What was he thinking? He isn’t ready for this. The world looks...

It’s Only a Tree

I live in a neighborhood with big houses and beautifully manicured lawns. It’s quiet here except for occasional airplanes that can be heard overhead. People in my neighborhood are friendly and I often wave to them as I pass by on my way to school, or the baseball...

Why You Don’t Want to Be the Good Guy

You don’t want to be the good guy in interpersonal relationships. It’s counter-intuitive, but you really don’t. What?!? Are you saying I should be the bad guy? No, of course not. In the world’s scarcity mindset we fall into so easily and often, those are the only two...

How to Find a Mentor

The Good Old Days Are Gone There was a day — you need to know this — when your grandmother would mentor you by taking you aside and telling you, “Listen, Honey, you are making a big mistake! You are pulling your own house down around your ears with that talk!…” …Or...

Five Life Hacks for Followers of Jesus!

As a follower of Jesus, we are not called to be ordinary. We are to called to be life changers. So what can we do to be life changers right now? Jesus followers were changed by following him. You are being changed by following him. Here are five simple things you can...

Ask Anything…Really? Really!!

Can it truly be possible that we can ask anything in prayer and we will get it? Yes, and no! Here’s what Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and...

Art and History Are Under Attack More than Religion

Atheists attempts are removing any mention of religion from public view is destroying history and art. (This post will be offensive to some). There is a cross on a WWI memorial in Maryland that may have to come down. A few atheists are offended because people in that...

How Essential is the Word of God?

“Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth.” — Jesus (John 17:17, ESV) Jesus prayed this simple prayer for us. He asked for us to be separated (sanctified) from the world for God’s use and glory. This is the call for every follower of Jesus. As I look out on our...

The Unlikely Love of an In-Law

My earliest daydream memories are of my future wedding. Not necessarily the decor or even the location, but I remember dreaming of the man. He was taller than me. I remember him tilting his chiseled chin so he could gaze into my soul with those dark, captivating eyes...

5 Steps to Help Anyone with Anything

We’ve probably all heard snippets of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s first Christmas album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories, but do you know the theme of that album? If you buy the CD, there’s a story woven between the song lyrics. God sends his tiniest angel to Earth on...

Problems are a Good Thing

Being delivered from my problems isn’t always best for me. Truthfully, I’d rather not endure difficult stuff, but I know each trial provides an opportunity for me to trust God and be refined. Life examples… When one of our dogs bit our daughter, resulting in a trip to...

4 Provocative Quotes From The Book That Helped Change My Life

Which books and stories have changed your life? Sometimes the change is enormous, like a lightning bolt. Other times, it’s almost unnoticeable at first, but like a snowball rolling down a hill, its impact continues to grow until one day you look back and realize that...

Remember Who the Real Enemy Is

“Be watchful. Your adversary prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. “— Peter Who is your enemy? The nasty coworker who gossips about you behind your back? The parent who let you down when you were little? The friend who betrayed your trust?...

Wherever You Go, There You are

You Can Never Escape Yourself — But You Can Change It’s such a simple thing, and yet, a profound fact of our existence. Especially when you consider how much time some of us spend trying to escape or ignore that one simple truth. We think life will be better if we can...

My Father Walks with Me

I told the Lord, “My journey’s long.” He said, I chose the length I told him, “But I’m faint and weak.” He said, I’ll give you strength. No matter what my words—God heard while listening patiently. But what has meant the most is this: my Father walks with...

The Waiting Places

Soul Growing Can be Slow Growing Our grandparents were taught, “Patience is a virtue.” We don’t buy it. We have instant messaging and instant access to entertainment. We expect instant likes on our Instagram posts while supper cooks itself in a new Instapot. For us,...

A Christian’s Super Power: Forgiveness

There’s one quality of Christianity, a central feature actually, that other world religions just don’t have. And the world lacks completely. In fact, being able to do this one thing separates Christians from the rest of the world. That thing is Forgiveness. Being...

What Do You Do When You Have Lost Something of Value?

It’s frustrating to lose something important, isn’t it? “I just can’t find it anywhere,” I said as I looked at my husband while turning my den upside down. These past two days I have been on a hunt, a hunt for my personal binder that contains my income and expenses....

Are You Hopeful When In Transition?

The company was closing its doors in our city. Boom! I was in transition. Twenty-two years! Down the drain or so I thought. It was a great job with good pay and outstanding benefits. Not the type of work I wanted to be doing though. The company made the decision. For...

Do Prayers Really Work?

I was brought up praying All my life I’ve been told to pray. I was educated in Catholic schools and there we prayed several times during the day. As students we were usually told what to pray for and I admit most, if not all of us, paid no attention to how or why we...

Why You Should Stop Being So Worried

Is Your Burden Actually Too Heavy For You? Are you stressed out all the time? Is your life being disrupted on all sides by circumstances you can’t change? Are you stuck in situations that are driving you crazy? If so, you might want to consider some advice from Peter....

How to Get Unstuck in 3 Questions and 2 Steps

Judith MacNutt, wife of Francis MacNutt, tells a great story about a circus elephant she saw back-stage. The massive animal stayed in its circle, held by a chain around its foot staked at the center of the circle. The huge creature easily could have ripped that chain...

Lean Hard

She was in pain. Our Golden Retriever, Precious, had torn her cranial cruciate ligament. Surgery was unavoidable. The procedure went better than expected, but her sad, brown eyes spoke volumes — the operation had taken a great deal out of her. A bright pink cast...

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

How a Former Muslim’s Story Changed My Life College is a place where people go to lose their faith. At least, that tends to be the case among Christian teens: According to multiple sources, roughly 70% of formerly Christian college students graduate with a diploma…and...

On Fearing and Hope

I can remember only a handful of times when a book made me cry. I’d be reading away, minding my own business when, without warning, the author grabs hold of my heart-strings and just yanks. I teared up at the end of A Prayer for Owen Meany. I was choked up a few times...

Here is Wisdom

listen Almighty, hear my soul Peace alludes this mortal realm Shall the flame of mortal love be stilled To only in thy presence dwell? My son, here is wisdom My doctrine shall drop as the rain My speech shall distil as the dew As the small rain upon the tender herb...

What Does it Mean to Trust God?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight. — Proverbs 3:5 Have you ever been told to “trust God?” People who believe in God like to say this a lot, to themselves...

An Exciting Way to Challenge Your Creativity

Are you ready to push the limits? The last month has been one of change — in my thinking, in my reading, in my writing and most of all in my decision to try to spend more time with my creative side. After running and organizing a small Vacation Bible School this...

Now that I’ve Quit My Job, What’s Next?

A little over a year and a half ago I retired rather abruptly from a job I loved. I had planned on hanging in there a while longer. I was a director at a nonprofit that did a lot of good for a lot of people. We helped the homeless, single moms, working poor and a host...

The Christian Myth of God, Hate, & Divorce

Several years ago my wife and I were having a particularly difficult time in our young marriage. In hindsight, I can see my part of our problems. But in that season, everything was her fault as far as my mind was concerned. I was in my mid-twenties, miserable with my...

Leave Room

I knew it was too heavy. I had packed my suitcase with everything from clothes and shoes to toiletry items. Not to mention my pillow. The additional things I bought while we were in Florida did nothing to help the situation. The airport scale told the story: my...

When Just Plain Like is Not Enough

We Need to Love More Even When We Don’t Like It You know what I love about Facebook? Yes, the connecting and sharing is great. I get joy from reaching out to my followers on Walking Deeper and I love the interaction there. My personal page is also a great way to...

Weight Loss of the Heart

The weight loss showing on the numbers on the scale were nothing to the weight loss coming off my heart. Don’t get me wrong the physical difference was significant. However, compared to the emotional and spiritual difference there isn’t even a comparison. It took...

Forgetting My Best Friend

Imagine the wisest friend you have in the world, somebody who only wanted the best for you and always knew the right thing to do in any situation. A friend loyal to you in every way who you can cry to and laugh with and be yourself. I am blessed with a friend just...

2 Corinthians 1:4 | Morning Verses with Mike

*** In this video I mention a movement. Please go to www.FightWithMichelle.com to see the story. Pray, Share, Donate. *** 2 Corinthians 1:4 “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same...

How You Will Boost Your Creative Self

How you and I can be the creative people God made us to be It was time. It was time to start painting again. For some reason, I have not picked up a paintbrush or pencil, except for my Bible journalling, for a long time. Yesterday I decided to express myself with my...

Make the Impossible Possible

Breathe! That’s what I kept telling myself as I was chugging up yet another steep incline. I know I’m supposed to breathe, it most certainly will make the steep ascent much easier, but for some reason on these steep parts of mountain trails, I tend to start holding my...

Are You Distracted?

How often do you have a phone in your hands when you’re driving? I didn’t realize it had become a habit for me until the “Hands Free Law” went into effect in our state at the beginning of the month. The new law “prohibits motorists from holding phones and other...

1 Kings 17:24 | Morning Verses With Mike

1 Kings 17:24 (NLT) Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God and that the Lord truly speaks through you.” No one knows exactly who wrote the book of Kings. It is the story of Solomon’s rule and the downhill slide afterward....

On Distracted Minds and Callous Hearts

The first sign that my mind is distracted and my heart is turning callous is I stop reading my Bible consistently. After that, it’s a domino effect in other areas of my life. I find I’m less patient. Less kind. Less loving. Less hopeful. Less everything. I really...

Do You Want More Optimism In Your Life?

Here Are Five Choices Choices Made, Make Us. Pastor David Jeremiah says; “No one drifts towards holiness.” Since this statement is true, we then must be intentional about our faith and lifestyle. Therefore, my wife and I practice these five choices. We do this, not...

You Have Value-My Journey through Self-Hatred

The truth is you have tremendous value. I have struggled actually believing this. Well, truth be told, I have no trouble believing you have tremendous value. I have trouble believing I have tremendous value. Can you relate? I’ve been asked by people I trust to share...

When Is NOT Speaking The Truth in Love Okay?

Several years ago I took a class called “Speaking The Truth in Love.” The premise of the class was that if you care enough about people and they are making wrong decisions, you need to let them know it. You need to be upfront, direct and truthful, for their own good....

Small Parts in a BIG story with Huge Influence

I have been reflecting lately on the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Especially, the account of the event found in the Gospel according to John, chapter 6. The gospel of John gives some insight into the miracle, that we often overlook, but it holds such a...

The Lady in the Church

“ Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.” ~Daniel Pink CHURCH SERVICE I recently visited a small...

What a Wonderful Way to Visualize Scripture

 A look at Ephesians 6:10–20 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the...

No Fear, Just Faith

Almost one month after my friend, Cheryl, lost her battle with stage 4 cancer, I was amazed at how God was continuing to use her faith to help others. — — — — — — — Cheryl’s diagnosis had shocked her just as much as everyone around her, but she faced it head on and...

Ephesians 2:4 & Ephesians 2:5 | Morning Verses with Mike

Ephesians 2:4–5 (NLT) “4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” Ephesians is another book...

What Your New Life Really Means

What changes when you become a follower of Jesus? The short answer — everything! We have a genuine new life! Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) In the scripture preceding...

Holy Hemorrhoid! A Unique Look From God’s Perspective.

Even a short Bible passage can teach valuable lessons. This short passage from Acts 13 teaches us much about parenting. It also teaches us how to be better children of God, because sometimes we can be Holy Hemorrhoids (pains in God's butt). The God of the people of...

4 Steps to Authentic Relationships

This morning, as I look out on our deck, I see a glorious new day with radiant sunshine. It speaks of promise. Each day brings beauty and the prospect of hope. However, the visual beauty is marred by something ugly. As someone who finds beauty restorative, I find this...

Time to Schedule a Check-up

I’m not a big fan of doctor’s appointments. You either? Recently I had a routine physical — the kind that involves a fasting blood draw. Not a big deal until I realized my appointment was scheduled at 9:45. Ugh! No breakfast or coffee for me. As I answered the nurse’s...

3 Steps to Stop Sabotaging My Life

How do we keep from sabotaging ourselves? I’m old friends with self-sabotage. We go way back. When I was 8 or 10 or so, my friends and I rode bikes (bicycles, not motorcycles). Constantly. All the time. On road and off-road. Especially in the fields and canyons around...

Seven Verses For Your Eternal Encouragement

Psalm 11 New International Version For the director of music. Of David. 1 In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. 2For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the...

My Journey of Faith-Inspired by Tom Kuegler’s Post

Tom Kuegler recently wrote about his journey of believing and not believing in God, and then still kinda not knowing, but maybe. It was one of the most honest and vulnerable things I’ve read on Medium. Stories like that are what make Medium so good. As I read I...

7 Essentials for a Strong Marriage

Marriage is the most intimate relationship we commit to. Sadly about 50% of marriages end in divorce. Even more sadly, in the church, the number is nearly the same! What does it take to make a marriage work? To make it rich and satisfying? Books have been written, so...

13 Life Rules David Remembers in Adversity

Reflections on Psalm 9. If any writing is to fortify the spirit of resilience within you, consider this prayer from the embattled victor. If any writing resounds with the qualities of faith, hope and love in the Old Testament, listen to David as he pours out his heart...

I Don’t Believe in God Anymore, Do I?

When I was young, I used to go to church every Sunday. I loved it, too. I used to be the star student in Sunday School — I was the one who took a page of notes (FRONT + BACK) during the service.. My teacher beamed every time I turned it in. The recognition made me...

How God Remodelled Me From the Inside Out

A look at the renovation God has made in my life This has been such a journey since 2001 when I said yes to Jesus. Did I have a lot to learn! The truth is: We all have a lot to learn and all of us can Grow Through God's Word. Look what I didn’t know: The Bible: That...

The Economics of the Gospel

God’s Gospel economy differs from any economy you or I know. By our count, it doesn’t appear to add up. It doesn’t make sense. It seems to good too be true. Simply put, God’s Gospel economy is this: Jesus, by His life, death, and resurrection, took our sin. In...

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...

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...

The Time I Saved a Sparrow

I call the sparrow my miracle bird, because its survival seemed nothing short of miraculous. As a teenager, I loved (and still love ) all kinds of animals. The morning I saved a sparrow I was at the barn where I boarded my horse. It was a wonderful morning in early...

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...

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...

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...

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 - or even start a new tradition 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...