• Engage

    To Tell the Truth: Integrity and Social Media

    The United States has just past through a particularly contentious news cycle. What about in your country? Are people working out problems or are they viciously debating issues and name calling? I wrote this post several years ago, but its message still seems necessary today: Are you like me? Controlling my words is an area where I have to be vigilant. Lately negative social media posts are on the upswing, and lies and exaggerations are not uncommon. The “share” button is another potential pitfall. I am convinced that words matter—whether spoken or written. Psalm 34:12-14(NET) challenges me: Do you want to really live?  Would you love to live a long, happy…

  • Impact

    Rebellion and Exponential Evil

    “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment, and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, when God brought a flood on an ungodly world, and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, having appointed them to serve as an example to future generations of the ungodly, and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men, (for while…

  • Heartprints

    Am I Who You Think I Am?

    Have you ever read any statistics on how social media is affecting our sense of identity? In a world where we can post who we want others to perceive we are, we can end up with an online-induced case of plural identities. Not only does this create confusion, it also is exhausting to maintain. My daughter, Kari Ciliberti, recently in a paper on this very subject, cited “Mary Aiken’s, an expert in cyberpsychology, comments on the feedback loop of one’s cyber self, saying,  “… The cyber self is always under construction, physiologically and digitally. Even when …sleeping, the cyber self continues to exist. It is always on- evolving, updating, making…

  • Engage

    It Is Well With My Soul

    On September 7, 2016 – 450 high school students from Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee came to their beloved Latin and Bible teacher’s home to sing and worship with him and his wife outside his window. Their teacher, in the last weeks of a long battle with cancer, had no treatment options remaining. The subsequent video of this event has gone viral with an estimated 35 million hits having been picked up by the national news -ABC, Good Morning American and CNN. Early Friday morning, September 15, 2016 Mr. Ellis slipped quietly from this life and into the Presence of the Lord whom he loved to worship…nor more pain,…

  • Engage

    Out of the Abundance of the Heart–Flows Road Rage. And Other Stuff.

    In this morning’s traffic, my husband apparently violated one of the most important unwritten rules of the road: he changed lanes into the very spot that another driver intended to move into. Suddenly this large pickup truck zoomed up alongside us just so he could dangerously cut us off, then slammed on his brakes. To teach us a lesson, I suppose: Don’t you dare get in my way! I’m the most important person on the road! A few minutes later—from a safe distance—we watched him tailgate the person in front of him. He was clearly an angry and aggressively hostile driver. We did not have to wonder what was in…

  • Impact

    Time Savers, Life Takers

    Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken You have the watch, we have the time –African proverb Well, Apple has the watch anyway! Mac has taken a bite out of the apple with its heart measuring, health monitoring, run pacing—and, oh yeah, time telling—watch. There’s a whole new world of time savers available in any language from IOS to Android to Windows.  And there’s all those other tech time savers like DVRs, online banking, texting, caller ID, and navigational tools, Yes, and Evernote and Dropbox too, both of which have cost me more time trying to figure out how to use than they ever saved me. That’s my problem, I’m…

  • Engage

    The Rescue of “Emmanuel” and a Christ Play

    The days before were particularly cumbersome and discouraging, pressure filled and crowded.  It was easy to become myopic, self-focused and SO tempting to giving into being overwhelmed. Circumstances dominated, recent concerns trumped joy and the slithering down into the place of “why try?” was imminent. I hate that place. So, early that morning, when I walked into our kitchen and checked the emails, while the water was boiling for tea, I was not expecting anything more than my status quo of struggle.  The crisis of a compromised pregnancy and delivery was still happening thousands of miles away for our dear friends recently returned to their home country. I read through…

  • Engage

    The Tyranny of the Expected Response… What lies beneath?

    A farmer sits on his front porch. Just inside the screen door the phone rings. And rings. His neighbor asks, “Aren’t you going to get that?”   The farmer spits and leans back, “I bought that phone for my convenience. And right now…it’s not convenient.”   Not so long ago…if someone phoned you and you didn’t answer…they just called you back.  Then, If someone emailed you…you responded within a day or two. All was well. Then came instant messenger and Facebook messaging. We see you are logged in on Facebook so we kind of expect you to respond… Then came a river of  tweets rushing by…I know you’re always checking…

  • Engage

    Are you OK without your Facebook, twitterfeed, instagram…? A report from the front.

    True story. Last weekend a group of teens gathered in a nicer than average home in the American suburbs to celebrate the fifteenth birthday of a pretty, popular teenage girl. We’ll call her Miranda. Miranda, her mom and her grandma had knocked themselves out for days making tasty food, decorating the pool, deck and house, and devising a hilarious line-up of games and activities. They even had some movie choices to watch before they settled in for the sleepover. Confident she had everything to  keep the girls enjoying themselves for the duration, Miranda’s mom greeted each girl at the door with a promise of great fun and a gentle reminder…

  • Engage

    A Heart of Thanksgiving

    I love this time of year. I especially love how time turns as we head towards Christmastime. I have especially enjoyed reading the “…thankful for…” tweets and Facebook posts from my friends. Wordless pictures on Instagram simply thanking God for everything filled my days with smiles. God made such creative people!    I didn’t do any social media things this year. I decided after last year’s Thanksgiving, to skip it this year. What you need to understand is that I fell into the trap of trying to find the most creative way of communicating my thankfulness for the wrong reason. I saw that I played the part of feeling thankful…