• Release your expectations of acceptable outcomes
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    Release Your Expectations of Acceptable Outcomes

    The headline I recently read was this, “Sinkholes leave Florida neighborhood looking like cratered wasteland.” People of a Central Florida neighborhood are stuck in a nightmare after a dozen sinkholes opened, forcing the evacuation of a bunch of homes. Residents said the holes burst open as water started exploding into what looked like a geyser shooting out of a now-empty pond. Central Florida is sinkhole alley with porous limestone resembling Swiss cheese close to the surface. The holes in the limestone existed long before the neighborhood was built. Apparently, no one called in geologists to extensively examine the underlying soil and rock before all those houses were constructed. What strikes me is…

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    But, I’m Not Sorry; Navigating an unrepentant heart.

    Recently I behaved in a way that was sinful.  I lost my temper with someone I love because I was furious. I confided in my husband and as usual, he gave sound counsel. “You need to call her up and say that you’re sorry,” was his simple advice. “Well,” I said. “Here’s the trouble. I’m not sorry.” What do you do when you’re not sorry? Check yourself before you wreck yourself. This is one of my favorite silly sayings. But, to “check myself” is not actually good enough. “Self” is the issue.  If left to myself, I might justify my behavior. This is where humility and the transforming power of…

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    The Keys to Emotional Healing: Part 1

    After seeing God bring about major transformation of emotional healing in a number of broken people, I asked Him what was happening when He healed people’s hearts. I wanted to understand the process. His answer was simple and profound, but never easy: “grieving and forgiving.” Both of these emotional disciplines are necessary to move from the place of sustaining a wound to the soul, to the place where that wound no longer controls and diminishes us—because it has been transformed into a healed scar. Grieving means moving pain and anger from the inside to the outside. Tears are God’s lubricant for that process, and what a gift of grace tears…

  • Bomb explodes in Munich
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    The Problem With Heart Bombs

    In August 2012, a construction crew in Munich, Germany discovered an unexploded bomb from WWII. Munitions experts weren’t able to defuse it, so they evacuated 3000 residents and detonated the 550-pound bomb. This was just one of tens of thousands of unexploded bombs that were dropped over Germany during the war and eventually buried, all of them posing a threat. When construction crews start building, they need to identify buried bombs and deal with them before they explode and cause all kinds of chaos, havoc and pain. The problem, you see, is that bombs don’t go away. They go off. And that’s why it’s a good idea to cooperate with…

  • Heartprints

    Authority! How is That Working for You?

    God blesses His people with authority. But how well are we wielding it? One of my high school teachers was disciplining her children over a broken vase, not sure which one had broken it, she told them that God had been watching and knew which one of them had done it. The daughter told her mom that God hadn’t talked for a long time and she was counting on that to continue. What we think about authority makes a difference in our relationships. 1 Peter 2:12 says that we are being watched.Our actions often result in how others judge God. This is true, especially with children. Look at the human…

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    Searched

    Every time I step into the airport security line, I feel a little sick to my stomach. There’s something so unnerving about the possibility of having my bags searched. I know these practices keep our skies safer, but they still intimidate me. Fortunately I’ve only been escorted from the line once.  After a spending a week in Minnesota with a girlfriend—enjoying a reprieve from the Texas summer heat—I packed my suitcase and prepared to re-enter the hundred-degree temperatures of my home state. Before we left I picked up a wild rice pancake mix for my parents made from the famous Minnesota staple. As my bags passed through the x-ray machine…

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    Evangelicals and The “Happy” Imperative

           Some grow up convinced that feeling unhappy, uneasy, and uncertain is unnatural. American media promotes that being uninvited, unattractive and unintelligent is unnecessary. Even some evangelical circles will contend that feeling unwanted, unworthy, unlovable, and remaining unmarried is unacceptable.        Expectations for happiness run high for many evangelicals. Some even believe a marriage that does not offer a lifetime of bliss has no purpose. Well-meaning Christians sometimes nudge unhappy spouses towards divorce in the name of, “God wants Christians to have happy marriages.” But in Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas contests that God intended marriage to cultivate holiness more than happiness.        But some…

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    Handling the Commotion in Emotions-Growing in Supporting Others

    In 2015, Barna Group did research on factors changing women’s relationship with churches.[1] One of the factors researched was the amount of support women felt they received at church. Sixty percent of women felt no support or not much support at church. The lack of support women feel at church is a sad fact. I think we can increase the percent of women that feel support. One way to increase support for women is to become more attentive to emotions—our emotions and other’s emotions. Emotions can create commotion deep within. Because we are embodied souls, God uses our emotions to let us know what is going on in our souls.…

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    Where is our Hope?

    Injustice. Anger. Murder. Mourning. (Repeat.) It seems the newsfeeds do not change—same story, just different day and different city. Additional protests lead to counter protests: #BlackLivesMatter, #WhiteLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter. Confusion and anger fuels more anger. I read and watch social media posts and videos from various viewpoints. It disappoints me that many posts are full of blame, anger, should-haves, and could-haves. And so the cycle continues… Injustice. Anger. Murder. Mourning. (Repeat) Blame and anger are normal stages in the grief process. But it seems many people stay in those stages and never move forward. Why? They want justice. They want vengeance. Many simply want change, change for the better. And so…

  • Impact

    Blessed are the Bankrupt

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . (Mt. 5:3) What stunning, shocking words! What king announces his rule by calling the poor in spirit to him, the bankrupt, those with no resources who bring nothing to him? Only one. The King who is lowly in heart, who offers a light burden because He is not bent down by the weight of pride. Amazingly these are the first recorded words of discipleship Jesus uttered. Jesus requires bankruptcy to enter His kingdom… That’s what it means to be poor in spirit: spiritual bankruptcy, a total lack of resources to do what ultimately…