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Suicide in America

Suicide in America

Several years ago, there was a mediocre movie made by M. Night Shyamalan, called The Happening. It was a horror-thriller sort of film, involving hundreds of senseless murders. Yet the twist in The Happening was that the linked-together killings were committed not by a...
Come fill me again

Come fill me again

I opened the door to a familiar place. Although it’s dark, I know it so well I make my way to the windows instinctively. Pulling back the curtains, the sun streams into the room highlighting a million dancing dust particles taking flight. I grab the sheets covering...
Bearing witness

Bearing witness

Have you ever felt paralyzed by the injustice of this world? I have. There are days when I just want to stand up and scream with the inequality all around me. As I listen to people sharing their struggles, I often feel powerless to make a difference. It sometimes...
We all bow

We all bow

Often, when I hear God, I look at my life and allow his Holy Spirit to search me, then bring confession and repentance to him. I have to say lately, God has been speaking to me on the issue of worship. And I know why. My people, he says, have made me different from I...
Did you expect your call to include power and authority?

Did you expect your call to include power and authority?

I am frequently asked the question, “How were you called to ministry?” Most people ask that and expect the St. Paul experience—a light from heaven, thrown off my horse, blind and now I see. They also want a short, sweet and definitive response. Frankly, I dread that...
The emperor moth

The emperor moth

L.B. Cowman was a missionary to China in the early 1900s. Her missionary service was cut short when her husband became very ill, causing them to return to the United States. She cared for him for more than six years before he died. In her devotional book, Streams in...
Hurt or harm

Hurt or harm

Jesus likened the relationship of those who follow him to that of a relationship between a branch and a vine. Branches do not live independently of the vine. An organic union exists whereby the vine nurtures, supports and facilitates the growth of the branch....
Ink marks and crimson stains

Ink marks and crimson stains

The telephone rang at 7:00 a.m. and the staff hurried to Mamie Eisenhower’s bedroom. When they knocked and entered, they discovered big black spots all over the sheets, covers, pink dust-ruffle, headboard, everything. To be exact, they were “dabs and blotches and...
Why “walking” with God?

Why “walking” with God?

You have probably heard or read this somewhere before now: “walk with God,” or “walking with/in the Spirit.” There are plenty of resources that thoroughly describe what this means. Even more, there is an abundance of voices that list steps on how to do this in your...
One great distinction between managers and leaders

One great distinction between managers and leaders

All great leaders are good managers, but not all great managers are good leaders. This is not an article that lifts up leaders and devalues managers. Management is an essential function, and managers are highly valued members of the team. There are differences,...
Where is God leading me to change?

Where is God leading me to change?

Where is God leading me to change? If we don’t know the answer to this, then it’s difficult to move forward towards wholeness in the discipleship journey. In his book, Failing Forward, John Maxwell provides a helpful insight into the reasons why people change. People...
Living in the “what is”

Living in the “what is”

I couldn’t stop pacing the floor of my son’s hospital room. It was Sunday night and Andrew, age four, hadn’t eaten since Friday. Everything he put in his mouth, including ice chips, came right back up. At this point, he had nothing left in his...
Resurrection relationships

Resurrection relationships

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the great hinge of history. The risen Christ is nothing short of the way Christians understand the entire universe God is bringing toward restoration. It is hard to overstate the scope or importance of the resurrection with lofty...
Kirche or ekklesia?

Kirche or ekklesia?

In his book Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend, Andy Stanley reminds us that the original word for church is ekklesia. Ekklesia means a gathering of people united by common identity and purpose. Men and women meeting at the union hall of...
Freeze!

Freeze!

I took this picture two weeks ago while on a walk with my dog, Rollie, where we often see rabbits running through the brush and the grass. When we happen upon them, they usually freeze, waiting to see if we notice them and trying to decide where the closest escape...
What is a true Wesleyan?

What is a true Wesleyan?

To be a true Wesleyan is to understand and “recover” the personal faith of John and Charles Wesley. Wesleyans are Methodists, or as originally quipped, method-ists. John Wesley was an ardent believer in the Scripture: “Let all things be done decently and in order”...
Why God can say “Praise me!”

Why God can say “Praise me!”

Why God is the only being who can say, “Everyone praise me!” and it’s gloriously good for all. One of the most common complaints I get against Christianity focuses on the seemingly needy God of the Bible. No, he doesn’t need food or money, but God is over and over...
Socks, shoes and a lot of love

Socks, shoes and a lot of love

A friend told this story some time ago. It seems a little boy about ten years old was standing before a shoe store on Broadway, barefoot, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “Say, little fellow, why are you looking...
Replacing filters

Replacing filters

I’m a fixer. When things break, I want them fixed. I move into assessment and action quickly. I’ll sometimes try tackling a fix for things I have no business touching. Plumbing, roofing and electrical, to name a few. This winter, my furnace wasn’t heating the house. I...
How I overcame perfectionism

How I overcame perfectionism

Do you ever have that “stuck” feeling? You know that feeling you have when you have plenty of things you need to do and decide, but you don’t know where to start. Ugh, I hate that feeling. I would describe myself as a “recovering perfectionist.” It was (and still is...
Duck, duck, joy! 

Duck, duck, joy! 

“No! I don’t want to be a flower girl! I want to be a duck!” announced my then three-year-old Hannah defiantly. My husband, always the mischievous influence, pronounced, “Then you shall be cousin Laina’s flower duck.” He then started coaching her on how to waddle,...
How to “make time” for the people in your life

How to “make time” for the people in your life

More people in your life than time to see them is a fortunate tension. The tension is a blessed one because we’re fortunate to be loved, needed, wanted or candidly, have anyone seek us out and want some time. That’s not overly self-deprecating, it’s a healthy...
A new story for a new year

A new story for a new year

It’s been more than three years of battling anxiety over health problems for our precious boy. Andrew was born 10 weeks early in 2014 with an unconnected esophagus and spent 13 weeks in the NICU. While he is doing well today and has a fully connected esophagus (thank...
Without incarnation there is no Christmas

Without incarnation there is no Christmas

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:1-3, 14)....