• Heartprints

    No Fear…”Seeking My Favorite Things”

    What are your favorite things? According to the familiar song, “My Favorite Things” written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, these are a few of Maria’s favorite things.  Julie Andrews, who portrays Maria, in the award-winning musical “The Sound of Music” gives a list of some of her favorite things to help the Von Trapp children from being afraid of the storm.               “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,              Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,              Brown paper packages tied up with string              These are a few of my favorite things.”   As the song continues, the lyrics are uplifting and fun.  In the movie, Maria whisk through the music with delight to…

  • Engage

    The Last Mile of Life

    Everyone faces life and death crossroads. And everyone’s experiences differ. This year in particular has impacted many of us as we or a loved one walk the last mile of life. Today my emotions remain raw while this season of incredible loss for me and my family wears on. I don’t have facts and figures to try to make sense of it all. Instead, I’d like to share a few thoughts from my heart.

  • Heartprints

    Almighty God “Hear Our Prayer”

    Has your prayer life increased these past few weeks?  Perhaps you are praying for things you have never prayed for in the past. Maybe you have been praying for a hedge of protection, a spirit of hope, a heart filled with peace, a mind filled with God’s Word, an attitude of trust, the list goes on and on if you are like me. Our faith has been stretched and our lives have been turned upside down.  Many of us have had circumstances in our own lives that have rocked us to the core, but most can say that they have never experienced a rocking quite like this during their lifetime. It is during…

  • Engage

    Sometimes There Aren’t Words

    Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when we sit with others in their grief.               when others try to comfort us in ours. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when life comes crashing down around us.               when darkness and despair close in. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when anxiety and doubt and shame condemn us.               when regrets of the past rear their heads and gnash their teeth. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when betrayals bite and false denials scream.               when the unrelenting hand of fear squeezes with clenched fingers. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when the world goes crazy.               when people don't seem…

  • Angels, feathers, and the need for comfort when experiencing grief

    Angels, feathers, and the need for comfort when experiencing grief

    During a recent Bible Study, I listened as a woman shared about her Christian friend whose godly mother had recently died. This sorrowing woman was grieving and needing comfort. To help with her grief, she drew from something she had heard in the culture—that her mother had now become an angel and was present with her, communicating with her. As we talked about this, looking into what was true or not and how to help someone grieving like that, our discussion encompassed three different issues. 1. Do Christians become angels when they die? 2. Can our loved ones in heaven see what is happening in our lives on earth and…

  • Engage

    Hope Deferred—Observations from Hannah’s Story

    She pushed herself up from the table and left the room. She did not have much appetite. The day had been long, and she could take the painful and provoking comments from Peninnah no longer. As she walked towards the temple, tears poured from her eyes and slid down her cheeks and nose, making a wet trail in the dust. Her lips moved as she prayed, but she did not utter a sound as she pleaded and begged the LORD for a child. To make matters worse, the priest believed her to be not grieved, but rather, drunk. (1 Sam. 1:7–14) Hannah suffered much because of her childless state. Many…

  • Engage

    Let My Tears Flow

    This month I am thankful to have guest blogger, Marnie Legaspi, instruct us on how to appropriately minister to those who grieve.  “Sister, I have cancer.” My stomach dropped. My body felt numb. My brain whirled with worst case scenarios. I tried to be brave. Every fiber in my being wanted to believe my thirty-eight year old brother was playing some kind of cruel joke. Who jokes about cancer, though? No one. The carcinoma that grew inside my big brother’s body advanced quickly, ravaging him within a mere six months. As I literally watched the tumors grow and protrude through his skin, my grief often came hard and fast leaving…

  • Heartprints

    In the Shadow of Christmas is a Cross

      Christmas, for many, is colored with twinkling lights, the sound of singing, bright colored packages topped with elegant bows, cookies, candy, parties and laughter. But for others, Christmas is colored with the stark reality of roaring fires that ravage neighborhoods, hospital rooms, funeral homes, broken relationships, drunken relatives, and memories of those whose faces are missing from thier lives. As we teach our children about Jesus, God’s greatest gift to the world, we must not forget to teach them that the manger was shadowed by a cross. The Messiah in the manger was destined to be a man of sorrows acquainted with all our grief, bearing all our sin…

  • Impact

    The Comfort of Christmas

    Comfort, comfort my people, says their God Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned . . . Isaiah 40:1-2   It’s Christmas time, for many of us our favorite time of the year.   This is the season of brilliant lights and beautiful color, of celebration and laughter, of holiday parties and family traditions, of rich memories and precious anticipations. There is no season like Christmas.   Yet for many of us there’s another side to Christmas, a dark and colorless side, a season of painful memories and family struggles when those who should have brought us joy have…