• Engage,  Uncategorized

    How Easter helps us Deal with Doubt

    True confession: Sometimes I doubt. I doubt lots of things. From nominal things like a beauty product’s guarantee to transform my skin (it probably won’t) to more consequential things, like whether or not a politician is telling the truth (ummm….you be the judge). A degree of doubt is certainly normal and healthy, as the alternative would be gullibility. But what about when our doubts move beyond distrusting imperfect products, humans and institutions to doubting our faith? Doubting Scripture? Doubting the very thing Christians all over the world have set their hope on?  True confession: Sometimes I doubt.  These under-the-surface doubts regarding my faith rose to the forefront just after my…

  • Heartprints

    Change is Inevitable

    When these kinds of changes come, we will feel like a ship tossed on a raging ocean of emotions, doubts, and fears, unless we have an anchor for our soul and a safe harbor to sail into for a respite from the storm. Jesus is that safe place for all of us.

  • Engage

    What CAN I Do?

    Many of us have experienced seasons of illness and injury––either our own or someone we love. Often these excruciating times of pain, fear, and doubt engulf us like a suffocating suffering. We wake up every morning in painful uncertainty and lay down each night in the same state. Daily we withstand a raging storm––everything circles around but nothing is clear. Movement requires pushing against unyielding barriers. We want to hope for complete healing. We want to throw off the heavy chains encasing us. We want to be released from physical and emotional burdens so we can regain strength and enjoy life again. But sometimes the hope we cling to feels…

  • 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…

  • Engage

    Welcome to My Messy

    My life is messy. Let me just start today by putting the truth out there. Of course, you wouldn’t know my life is messy just by looking at me. Like all of us, I know how to keep going in hard times and I cope when I need to. I used to guard the truth of my life, and I would continually makeover appearances of my exterior life so people wouldn’t ask questions about my internal struggles. Although not everyone goes to extreme lengths to conceal what they fear might look “off,” most of us don’t want others to see our behind-the-scenes messy truth. Since I’m being honest about my…

  • https://clipartxtras.com

    The Problem of Pain

    Pain is not partial. It rears its ugly head in every home in every neighborhood in every city on every continent. It is not a respecter of age, race, or gender. Pain is almost always caused by loss. Pain can be brought on by a medical condition resulting in a loss of health. It can be caused by the loss of a relationship through a disagreement, a divorce, or the death. Sometimes a person is attacked physically, emotionally, verbally, or mentally and this develops a loss of safety. The opposite of someone attacking would be someone neglecting and this ends in a loss of nurture. The list could go on…

  • Engage

    Harvey and The Over-Spiritualization of Suffering

                       Hurricane Harvey pounded the gulf coast of Texas in an epic storm of biblical proportions. Five days since Harvey made landfall, over 13,000 people have required rescue, and over twenty have died. My entire immediate family lives in Houston. The six of them live in a subdivision in the city center, just minutes from areas that experienced catastrophic flooding. The school district has postponed the first day of school to September 5 (more than one week later than the scheduled start date). Based on the media coverage of Harvey, I feared my family would spend days stuck on the upper levels…

  • Engage

    Give Thanks for a Little

    "Give thanks for a little, and you will find a lot." — West African Proverb I tore those simple words out of a health and wellness magazine a year or two ago and hung them on the fridge. After a while they started to blend in, feeling ordinary just like the other papers and cards and magnets cluttered around them. I'd glance at them occasionally, but their poignancy seldom stuck with me.  The page hung that way for weeks, and even months, until I started reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts Devotional. The book’s challenge to count my blessings and daily write them down—until I reach one thousand of them in…

  • Divided Highway

    Spiritually Bipolar

    Here’s another confession. I’m bi-polar when it comes to my spiritual life. On the one hand I can be very self-condemning: I’m a rotten worthless sinner who can’t do anything right. I wrote a song once called Failure the lyrics to which expressed how I often feel: I confess that I’m a failure This sober truth, it haunts my life Decisions made that were unwise I’ve messed up my own, and others’ lives Too many times… Yes, I beat myself up a lot. And, yes, I know Jesus loves me, but I have often asked, “But does He like me?” I fail time and time and time and time and…