• anxiety

    Be WHAT?

    During a recent sermon, our pastor was teaching through Jesus’ healing of a leper, who threw himself on Jesus’ mercy and implored Him: “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. (Luke 5:13) I was struck by Jesus’ command, “Be cleansed.” Huh? How does a leper, afflicted by an incurable disease that isolated him so terribly, just . . . “be cleansed”? How does one obey a command like that? Further, how does one obey similar seemingly impossible commands, such as: Be not afraid. Be strong. Be…

  • Engage

    Daring to Hope in 2021

    No one misses 2020: the ultimate year of loss for our generation. But as the chapter page turned to 2021, I wondered how I could muster up hope. So I decided to go back to the basics of spiritual renewal: creating and committing to a healthy rhythm of life. We all have different passions and interests, but the need for healthy rhythms remains universal.

  • Sad girl

    The Game You Will Never Win

        Why do we torment ourselves by playing The Comparison Game?      It’s part of human nature – evaluating the looks or accomplishments of others and comparing them with our own. We may not even realize we are doing this, until the dark emotions of discouragement and discontentment begin to churn within us.  As someone once said, “To compare is to despair.” We can quickly determine how we measure up with another in importance, our giftings, accomplishments or the Cute Outfit Quotient. It’s been called the “sidelong glance” – instantly sizing up someone out of the corner of our eye, or being sized up ourselves. Social media doesn’t help us…

  • pocket watch

    Waiting with Hope in a Gelatin World

    I’ll be honest. National and world affairs burden my heart. Yes, the world changes constantly, but in recent years the Arab Spring, Brexit, and the election of unexpected leaders in a number of countries have rocked our world. Just last week elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe led to violence. What issues weigh on your heart? I work with refugees. While refugee admissions are at decades long low in my country, there are 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, according the UN Refugee agency. The dire circumstances of so many burdens me. What people inhabit your personal concerns? Wayward children, a sick friend? Do you have significant personal desires that…

  • Engage

    Walking in Circles

    A wiser woman once told me that, much like the children of Israel, God sometimes leads us in circles. We learn and relearn life’s lessons as we walk through similar circumstances again and again. If you look at the geography, there wasn’t much room for the children of Israel to wander in the wilderness. Instead they trod the same paths over and over again for forty years. And amidst those circular trails, they learned dependence, obedience, and trust. I’m not suggesting that the circular seasons of life are punishment. Israel wandered in the wilderness because of their disobedience and unbelief. But I also know that God disciplines those he loves…

  • Engage

    Fake News Isn’t New (Ezra 4; Nehemiah 4-6)

    Fake news isn’t new. It’s been going on for years. You can find several examples in the Bible even. In fact, fake news is sprinkled throughout the books of Ezra and Nehemiah—always with the purpose of discouragement to stop or distract God’s people from doing the work He gave them to do. Ezra 4:16, 22 — a letter to King Artaxerxes from those who had power over Judah before the exiles and their leaders returned to the land to rebuild. “We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates…Why let this threat grow, to the detriment…