• Living with urgency

    Living with a Sense of Urgency

    I asked my dear friend Caren Austen to write about the life-upending diagnosis that, in a single moment of time, changed absolutely everything about her life. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 Cerebral atrophy. That was the diagnosis resulting from a recent MRI. Deterioration of the brain. After judiciously researching the diagnosis, a consultation with a friend in the medical field confirmed the most likely cause that my brain is shrinking: Alzheimer’s. A singular moment with horrific implications. At 66, I was stung as the future I had anticipated seemed to be snatched away. The time I likely would not…

  • Bible Card 1

    A Gift For You, A Gift to Give

    I am delighted to republish this 2014 blog post featuring just AMAZING 4×6 scripture-plus-photography images that you can have printed for a penny apiece on the Snapfish phone app. I just ordered another hundred to give to nurse friends to share with their patients.  Linda Tomczak, a gifted and generous graphic designer who works at Dallas Theological Seminary, has a contagious passion for the power of God’s word. A number of years ago, when a family friend was battling cancer, Linda printed out a few Bible verses and handed them to the lady, saying, “I have found it helpful to read Bible verses when I’m anxious. They remind me that…

  • Pride Month

    How Should We Think About Pride Month?

    How should Christ-followers think about Pride Month? Well, first, in case you are not aware, Pride Month is a time of highlighting and celebrating everything LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). You might have seen a few more letters tacked on—QQIAA (queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally). It’s hard NOT to notice it’s Pride Month when rainbows suddenly appear on all kinds of products and logos. Many cities have Pride marches, much of which is not safe to broadcast on the evening news because the behavior in these parades is definitely not family-friendly. How should believers think about it all? We need to pass our thoughts and judgments through the filter…

  • Speaking at Commencement

    The Commencement Address I Actually Got to Give

    In 2014, I wrote a blog post The Commencement Address I’ll Never Get to Give. Then I was deeply honored to be asked to address the eight graduating seniors of the Richardson Home School Association, where my husband and I have been teaching. He’s the high school science teacher and I am his admin, I teach cursive handwriting to younger kids, and together we teach “Building Confident Christians,” a faith-building year of worldview and apologetics. I had already written my address as a blog post, but I tweaked it some, coming in at a very-short-for-me nine minutes (because ain’t nobody goes to graduation for the commencement address, right?): We’ve taught…

  • vain imaginations

    Vain Imaginations

    Not long ago, I attended a retreat at which a college student, freshly discovering his call to an intercessory prayer ministry, spent hours every night praying by name for everyone on the retreat. The last morning when I ran into him, he said, “Sue! As I was praying for you, I received a word from the Lord for you.” Uh-oh. I’d heard this before. And every time I had taken it to the Lord, asking if there were anything to it, the answer was no. My defenses up, I smiled and said, “I’m listening.” He got a very thoughtful look on his face and said, “I have to get it…

  • Eternal perspective

    What Does It Mean To Live With an Eternal Perspective?

    Years ago, after spending his whole life on the mission field, a career missionary made his final trip home on a passenger ship. One of the other people on his sailing was a celebrity, and as the ship made its way into the harbor, all those on board beheld a huge throng of well wishers at the pier with signs and instruments to celebrate the famous person’s return. The missionary stood at the railing, watching wistfully, knowing that not a soul was there for him. He said, “Lord, I’ve served You my whole life. Look at all the recognition and revelry for that famous person, and there’s nobody here for…

  • Glorious Morning Glories

    Glorious Morning Glories

    This is what love looks like. My husband planted morning glories for me on our back fence because they are my favorite. I love that a whole new batch of brand new blooms pops out each morning, day after day of fresh beauty that reminds me of Lamentations 3:23, that God’s mercies are “new every morning—great is Your faithfulness!” This year, we had to wait long into the fall for the flowers. The green foliage was crazy lush and full for months, but there were no gorgeous “blue happies,” as I think of them, until late October. Finally they started exploding daily with beauty and color. Not long afterwards, an…

  • Engage

    A Blended Family: What I Wish I Knew Then, That I Know Now

    My friend Laura Mitchell has learned her lessons about blending two post-divorce families the hard way, and God is “redeeming the hard” as she and her husband minister to other blended families at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas. I asked her to share her hard-won wisdom. When my husband John and I married, which was a second marriage for each of us, all those 24 years ago in 1996, there were not any Christian books or teachings to help us. As a result, some of our decisions were good and some were not so good; both I will share. John had a 16-year-old son and twin 12-year-old daughters. I…

  • Helping women

    Invisible Women

    The other morning at church, I was talking to one of our church leaders as he spotted one of our three-year-olds making a run for the lobby. He called the boy’s name three times, including extending his hand for a high-five, and was ignored all three times. (I’m a boy mom. I get it. The little guy was completely focused on escaping the worship center—no room for any other thoughts!) Laughing, I asked my friend, “Hey, how are you doing with that ‘feeling invisible’ thing?” He was fine with it. But there are a number of people in our churches for whom feeling invisible is no laughing matter. It hurts.…

  • suicide

    On Suicide

    The incidence of depression, anxiety and suicide has skyrocketed as the isolation and life-disruption from Covid-19 has ravaged our world. I wrote this post in April 2013.  Over the weekend, Rick Warren (pastor of Saddleback Church in California, author of The Purpose Driven Life) and his wife Kay revealed that their son Matthew had taken his life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness. In an email to his church, Pastor Warren wrote, “[O]nly those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness…