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    Vindicating Vixens: What about Michel, wife of David?

    Since the publication of Vindicating the Vixens, I’ve received messages suggesting additional women in the Bible we’ve probably seen through negative eyes when the biblical text does not present them that way. Often I agree. But sometimes I don’t—as is the case with those who think we should add Michal, daughter of Saul and wife of David, to the list. We find her story in 1 Samuel. To set the scene, Saul is King, and the shepherd-boy David has defeated Goliath. So King Saul offers David the elder of two daughters, Merab, in marriage. David declines with “I’m unworthy,” so Saul marries off Merab to someone else (1 Sam 18:17–20). King…

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    Running Towards Giants

    All my life I have heard the story of David and Goliath preached with an emphasis on personal application. "Defeating Your Giants" or "Five Stones of Faith That Lead to Victory"  -These typical homilies are focused on encouraging believers to slay impossible giants in their own lives. However, I believe it is time to take a fresh look at this age-old passage.    I had the privilege to hear Bob Sjogren, president of UnveilinGLORY ministries, speak and he suggested something quite strange. While Goliath is usually presented as a stumbling block best avoided, Bob suggests that we run towards our giants in the name of God’s glory. Personal giants are…

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    Confessions of a Control Freak

    Recently, I got to be the crazy lady at the car wash. Ever wonder what happens if you go through an automated car wash without putting your car in neutral first? You go flying through that baby like a bat out of the netherworld. I kept thinking, "Hmmm, I don't think I've ever gone through a car wash this fast before" and, "Gee, I sure am catching up to that other car quickly." The attendants turned off the car wash and had me pull my car back out and try again—in neutral. I gave the attendants their adrenalin rush for the day. Me? I got so tickled about the whole…

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    Is Working Less the Right Christian Response to Society’s Over-Work?

    “I really try to put away my work phone on the weekends.” “I really want to be fully present with my family this weekend and not focused on work.” Twice in the past week, I’ve heard these phrases from well-meaning Christians. I’ve also said similar things myself lately. Yet the more I think about our approach to work, the more I realize that our thinking might be flawed.   As American believers surrounded by a society focused on over-work, we want to stand out. We don’t want to be slaves to our jobs and servants to our paychecks. We want our faith to be central, reflected in all we do.…

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    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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    A Lesson from the Vacuum: What it Taught Me About God

    His eyes flashed with anxiety. What is the whirring sound coming from the living room? They asked. My eight-month-old looked to me for reassurance. “It’s okay,” I said. “Daddy is vacuuming.” Immediately, the words sank deep into my soul. The lesson I was trying to teach my son is one I needed to hear myself. Daddy holds the vacuum. At two-and-a-half feet tall, a towering four-foot purple vacuum with the word Shark written on the front seems to threaten your very existence. It might just suck you up along with the dust bunnies on the rug. Isn’t that how we feel about life sometimes? The storm whirls around us, large…

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    Strong Support of Friends

    Surround yourself with people who will give you strong support. That’s what jumped out at me from 1 Chronicles 11-12. David as King became powerful because God was with him. And, one of the ways God was with him was by sending strong, noble, and faithful men to surround David. Are you a leader of a work team, a family, or a small group? Surround yourself with people who will give your leadership strong support like David’s “Mighty Men” did. 0

  • Heartprints

    Wanted: Nobodies and Nevergonnabe’s

    Truth: God delights in using the weak, insignificant, least of these people to fulfill His kingdom’s purpose. While the world looks for the strongest and the bravest and the biggest and the best and the most accomplished; our God, seeks the weak, and the weary, and the poor, and the “insignificant,”and the lowly, and the unseen and the least of these.  He empowers them to accomplish things beyond human comprehension. This is one of the many things I love about God. King David started out as a lowly shepherd boy, the least in size of all his brothers. So insignificant that his own father didn’t even beacon him from tending…

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    Maundy Thursday: A Covenant of Hope

    The room was dark, somber, even gloomy. Heaviness clung to the air and caught in their throat. The disciples didn’t understand what would transpire in the following hours. But they sensed a growing somberness about Jesus and growing uncertainty within themselves.  For the past several days, Jesus increasingly talked about his death. And now, as the gathered round the Passover table, the theme emerged again.  Jesus picked up the bread and broke it—his body, he said. Then he passed the cup, telling them to each take a drink. This wasn't like the other Passovers that the disciples had celebrated since youth. There was something new and different about this one.…

  • Impact

    The Profitable Wilderness

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Wilderness Wanderings Series: Learning to Live the Zigzag Life What would it be like to be left out of your own family? To be unvalued and know it because you are not invited to major family events. You are sent on menial errands to help other family members who then tell you to “shut up” and not make any problems.   How painful can it get? Do you think you could grow to be a leader coming out of that kind of rejection? Of course you can, but what kind of a leader would you be? Man’s Look, God’s Look   It…