• Graveyward B/W

    The Clarity of Death

    “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). My father died recently. He was always sharp, quick with a pun or a play on words, an accountant by trade who worked until he was seventy-seven years old. He was a student of the Bible for almost sixty years. He did a lot of reading, writing, and “sparring” (personal debating) over the years, quoting folks like Barnhouse and Spurgeon in the process. But dementia overtook him these last few years. He could no longer…

  • A close up of a birdDescription generated with very high confidence

    Worship While You Wait

      Waiting is the hardest thing I am ever asked to do. If I am waiting for something good, then it is difficult because I am so excited and can hardly wait for the party or the present or the event to happen. If I am waiting for something bad it seems even harder. I don’t want it. Yet, I know it is coming so I just want it to happen already. How good are you at waiting? When it comes to children and waiting…well, if you are a parent, you know how draining that can be on everyone. In my last blog I talked about the importance of waiting…

  • Heartprints

    What is Christmas Without a Christ-child?

    The future of our world depends on steady hearts and strong hands from the next generation.   The next generation always comes to us first as a child. The children we teach today will be the future leaders of our homes, our churches, our country, and our world. They are valuable even when many times they don’t feel that value. Christmas is a perfect time to emphasize the importance that God has placed on children.  “The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.”  — Ray L. Wilbur, third president of Stanford University “Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.”  — Wess Stafford, President…

  • Engage

    The God of Friendships Past

    My husband's mom died last week, and the body of Christ has proved its "family" love in multiple ways. Kelley and Mary brought loads of food; church people who did not even know us hosted two different lunches for strangers; folks sent flowers and money to causes my mom-in-law loved; some sent cards; many delivered hugs. And my friend Mary DeMuth provided this guest post. I'm delighted to welcome her as a featured columnist: I drove by a restaurant that reminded me of a dear friend. She used to invite me over, grab takeout teriyaki, and we’d eat and laugh over chicken and steamed veggies. So when I passed a…

  • Gospel Infographic

    Back to School Prayer Acrostic

    A couple weeks ago, my son bounded down the stairs before I left for work, proclaiming, “I am so excited!” “Why is that?” I asked. “I get to start Kindergarten,” he proudly proclaimed. Then he marched over to our fridge calendar and showed me how many days until the start of the school year. My older daughter, on the other hand, isn’t so sure she wants summer to be over. She’s nervous about a new class and fears it won’t be as fun as last year. Whatever your situation—starting school, packing a child’s lunch, or slowly sipping pumpkin lattes—chances are you’ve got a lot on your mind. Yet, no matter…

  • left hands, no wedding rings

    All the Single Ladies

    Two single friends recently attended a teaching about an independent study of biblical femininity. Most of what they heard was fine, but the presenter was apparently so enthused about God’s design for the female body that she elevated the roles of wife and mother beyond what was appropriate. My single friends, one of whom is old enough that she will probably never marry and will definitely never have children, were shocked and angered. The over-enthusiasm for marriage and family meant that as single women, they both felt the shame of being “lesser-than.” I knew what they were experiencing. For many years, much of the teaching in the church has (unintentionally,…

  • Heartprints

    A Bucket List of Questions on Spiritual Topics

    Let’s talk for a moment about the proverbial summer bucket lists. Maybe yours include sidewalk chalk, sprinklers, and blueberry cobbler. Perhaps they include something bigger like a special family vacation to Yellowstone National Park or snorkeling in Maui. Either way, we all know time is finite. Consider this: You have only 13 summers left before your kindergartner goes off to college, Just 8 more summers with your 5th grader, and Only 4 more summers with your freshman. How will we make the most or our summers? What memories will we create? For my family, this often means pulling out our Cuisinart ice cream maker for numerous concoctions. I can tell…

  • woman praising God

    Reflections of a Female Seminary Professor

    Sipping on coffee, I was sitting in the café of a church in a Dallas suburb where I’d just spoken, when I noticed a man’s military boots in front of me. As I lifted my eyes, I saw the desert fatigues. And then my pupils met his. I knew this man! “Justin!” The soldier standing in front of me was someone I had loved and mentored in my job as a seminary professor. He was one of my artistic geniuses, eating up every word I’d had to say about how to tell a story. I jumped up to greet him. What a wonderful surprise! But what I had assumed was…

  • Engage

    The Right Time Came

                                      But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father” (Gal 4:4–6, NLT, italics mine).   I love receiving Christmas cards. Have you noticed how elaborate, creative, and decorative Christmas cards have evolved? Some even have…

  • Heartprints

    How Patriotic is Too Patriotic?

    This month I’ve been thinking about what patriotism means to many Christian families in our country. When my husband and I moved to Texas 7+ years ago, I experienced more culture shock than anticipated. Have you seen that bumper sticker that says “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as quickly as I could”? Well…that wasn’t on our car. Some joke that “everything is bigger in Texas.” It’s surprising how sometimes even little things contribute to that perception. I opened the mailbox one afternoon, and out popped our new car insurance cards. They were 4 times the size of any other I had ever seen thus far in…