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    Theology of Self-Care

    Is self-care selfish or unspiritual? Some churches and Christian circles say “yes.” And while today’s popular self-care strategies may have a bent toward self-serving interests, a biblical perspective of self-care is holistic, worshipful, and others-centered. Self-Care Involves All Aspects of Ourselves God designed us as complex, whole persons (Ps. 139:13–16). We do not—like a computer or machine—consist of parts, but encompass spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and relational aspects in our intricate design. When we take care of ourselves, we can’t just target one aspect of ourselves. We need take a holistic approach to self-care. After my husband and I married, I moved from Lubbock to Dallas. In Lubbock, I…

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    Resolve to Remember

    From New Zealand to New York City, the world celebrated the beginning of not only a new year, but a new decade on January 1, 2020. Something exciting stirs within us at the prospect of something new. We are drawn to the fresh start and clean slate it provides. Whether the first page of a new journal, the fragrance of a new car, the butterflies of a new relationship, the opening chapter of a new book, or the scent of a new baby, “new” evokes a feeling of hope. We seek to make the most of our new opportunities, whether big or small, and begin to reflect on what’s to…

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    New Year: Looking Back and Forward Through the Lens of Struggle

    It’s easy to look back at the previous year through the lens of struggle—to look only at the difficulties, the disappointments, the dark places—and then jump to inappropriate conclusions. My husband and I have had more than our fair share of “hard” this past year with tough ministry decisions, medical treatments for our newly adopted son, and the death of a sibling. Friends have faced equal if not greater challenges as well. The list of those struggling is endless.   Thus I’ve been pondering on the struggle and the hard lately, but not in the way you might think. For churchgoers who think the Christian ideal is “health, wealth, and…

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    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…

  • Impact

    What A Friend We Have in Jesus!

    In a recent blogpost titled, “Jesus will never unfriend you,” Pastor Patrick Thurmer explores the theme of the Son being the “friend of sinners” (see Matt 11:19; Luke 7:34). As the author notes, based on 1 Timothy 1:15, Jesus left the glories of heaven to offer Himself on the Cross as an atoning sacrifice. His intent was to make salvation freely available to eternally condemned “sinners.”   Pastor Thurmer draws attention to Facebook, where individuals one barely knows can either be “friended” or “unfriended” with the click of an on-screen button. In sharp contrast to this languid and watered-down notion of “friendship” popularized on social media, Jesus’ commitment to redeem…

  • Heartprints

    The Tale of a Traitor

    There are many wonderful heroes and traitorous foes in the pages of the Bible. Both good and bad share in the human frailties that come from being made of dust. Noble heroes of faith surrounded by their unbelieving, accusing and deadly opponents are found in every book. However, tucked in the corner of a bigger story we find some who pose in the OT as worshipers of Jehovah or in the NT as Christ followers. They would fade into the background of the story if not for the amazing crossroads where their half-hearted faith meets their whole-hearted greed or hatred. Judas Iscariot was just such a man. Speaking of Judas,…

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    Who’s behind the sheer curtain?

    I pray a lot but sometimes I wonder if my prayers bounce off the ceiling. Does God really hear? Does He really care? Do you ever feel that way? The first weekend of this month I was looking forward to speaking in Dubuque, Iowa, by way of Cedar Rapids, at the Emmaus Bible College women's conference. But I wasn't looking forward to getting there. Earlier this year on a similar occasion, my flight to that area of the country was suddenly and without explanation cancelled, leaving me to hopscotch around several airports, running from gate to gate, and arriving several hours after my first speaking session. I dreaded a replay…

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    Cleaning up, again!

    It’s that time again. Monday, trash day. This week it fell my job to roll our large trash bin to the curb anticipating an early morning visit from the rumbling truck with it’s robotic arms ready to clasp my trash to it’s bosom. I had just been reading about spiritual disciplines and the ancient practice called “Examen of Conscience.” As I journeyed out the driveway rolling my trash bin I was struck with some amazing parallels. Every week, without fail, we clear out the wastebaskets, kitchen garbage, and other unnecessary things around the house dumping them with abandon, ready for our faithful garbage collectors. But I wonder, am I as…