This is the Way, Walk in It
After twelve years of living and serving on a tropical southeast Asian island, my husband and I decided to return to the USA and transition into a new phase of ministry. I agonized over this decision for months. It consumed every prayer and conversation for I knew whatever path I chose would affect others. How thankful I am that God was my guide all those years ago (Psalm 48:14) and that he still leads me in the way I should go (Isaiah 48:17). Life has contained other big decisions like this one as well as many smaller choices such as whether to volunteer in the church nursery or teach a…
What Anchored the Puritans in Hard Times
As we finish out 2020, what should our response be to the circumstances we find ourselves in? Some of the circumstances are hard while others are pleasant. Whether we are in hard circumstances due to our choices, someone else’s choices, or results of a fallen people or creation, we can rest assured that God is sovereign over them all. No amount of whining, complaining, arguing, finger pointing, demanding, or sulking will bring us the joy or peace (well-being of soul) that we long for. The Puritans that helped found our country can give us some insights on how to respond to hard times. The Puritans had a strong moral consciousness,…
Christians and the “you do you” Culture
“You do You” is a pervasive saying in the culture today. It is particularly popular on social media and definitely popular in a culture where we are asked to make decisions daily that are unusual or unprecedented. Here are some examples. “I’m not planning on wearing a mask in public, but you do you.” “I chose life and I will be having my baby, but you do you.” “My child is encouraged to choose whatever gender he/she wants to be, but you do you.” What I think people are really saying is, “I have made up my mind about the right thing to do in this situation. I will not…
Choose to Listen
After a lovely dinner with old friends, my husband turned to me, “Cindy, you hardly let me get a word in all night!” His comment took me by surprise. Had I really dominated the conversation so much? Oh dear. These were my former colleagues whom I hadn’t seen in more than thirty years. “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. I totally got carried away with all the catching up,” I feebly mumbled. My apology sounded lame even to me.
You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
We have all heard the saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” but most of us don’t really live like we believe it. There are so many areas of our life where we try to live life without any consequence. That is after all the implication. If you eat the cake now, the end consequence is that you won’t have it later. Could there be an area of greater need to believe this truth than the area of our imaginations? I think not. Imagination is a wonderful gift from God. It is the place where most of us live. Ted Dekker, in his book, The Slumber of…
Two Roads Diverged… Which Will You Choose?
Another guest post by my friend and former student Joy Dahl. Thanks, Joy. Have you ever been watching someone in a mall or store, you glance away for a split second, and when you turn back that person is gone? It’s as if they vanished into thin air. Your eyes scan the area searching, searching… Anyone with young children experiences this regularly. Absence triggers panic as we frantically look for our lost ones. Peace doesn’t return until everyone is accounted for. Kids or no kids, a similar panic engulfs each of us when our circumstances swirl. A lost job. A contentious marriage or dating relationship. Bills that can’t be…
Six hundred stones plopped and splashed as they hit the surface of the Sea of Galilee and then sunk, never to be retrieved again. Each rock signified something of importance. Some represented long-held unforgiveness and bitterness toward a family member or friend. Other stones symbolized a wayward son or daughter, or even a spouse. And yet others signified unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Though the meanings of each rock differed, the lasting results were the same. As passengers aboard the Israel tour boats released their stones from their hands, they also released emotional and spiritual burdens from their hearts. As I threw my stone into the Sea of Galilee, I quietly…
A Singular Resolution
I could sell tickets to the prize fight in my mind. Endless choices pummel my thoughts. I hang punch-drunk on the ropes in a stupor. A life of freedom in Christ seems concealed somewhere amid the alternatives. We fight the pugilism of satan, the world, and the smallness of our thinking. We juke around with itsy bitsy choices which merely perpetuate an itsy bitsy existence. Strategies of marketing leave us stranded in aisles and choosing between low-fat and whole-grain. Strategies of media shipwreck us with technology as we send strangers the snapshots and sayings of our so-called lives. God guides us beyond the ring, instructing us to filter the myriad…
Five Time Killers
Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Time is like money: invest it well early in life, and you will gain great returns later. Waste time early in life and lose fruit later. Wasted time is never resurrected; invested time never dies. Avoid the five time killers… 1. Anger: anger runs a spectrum from disappointment to murder. None of this is fruitful. Much anger is self-imposed. You’re hemmed in by unchangeable circumstances or God hasn’t given you the gifts to get where you want to go or you grew up in a flawed family, and you respond with burning anger. Anger takes time. Every moment you spend angry is a…
When Life Hands You Bananas. . .
My friend Jonathan Baker handed a banana and a knife to every student in his Bible classes at Puebla Christian School in Puebla, Mexico. He told them to cut up their bananas any way they wanted. Junior high boys pretty much decimated theirs while other students cut their bananas into large pieces. Then Jonathan passed out cellophane tape and told them to put the bananas back together again. It was, of course, a mess. The students who had made neat cuts with their knives were able to reassemble their bananas, but even with tape it was clear they were in parts. The mashed bananas, needless to say, were hopeless. Even…