• Engage,  Uncategorized

    Shame, Jesus, and Me

    This month I’m honored to invite my friend and teammate Christian Williams as my guest blogger. I love being in Christian’s company because one minute she’s making me laugh so hard I’m crying and the next she has stopped me in my tracks with a thought-provoking reflection. Christian is a Dallas transplant (Native Arkansan) and DTS student who loves communicating truth and building safe, authentic, purposeful communities. She feels God’s pleasure most when using her imagination, storytelling, teaching, and living in intentional relationships which yield growth and transformation. Dub: (verb) to give an unofficial name or nickname to (someone or something). I dub everything. From my period- I call her…

  • Engage

    Disciples Admit Their Sin

    Thailand is known for overloading its vehicles.[1] An overloaded vehicle cannot function properly and is dangerous to the driver and others. Likewise, unconfessed sin overloads us with unnecessary burdens so we do not function as God intended us to function. Confession unloads us.[2]   “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate…

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    Find Healing for Hurting Hearts

    What’s on your New Year’s Resolution list? If your list is a lot like mine, it includes returning to pre-holiday healthier eating habits and making time for exercise several times a week. Those are common resolutions regarding physical fitness. Not so common are resolutions pertaining to our emotional fitness. But I have a book recommendation that might help with your 2020 emotional goals: Healing Every Day: A 90-Day Devotional Journey by Mary DeMuth.

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    Keeping Grace at the Holiday Table

    When my husband and I would visit my parents, we liked to take bets about how long it would before my Dad would bring up the subject of the driverless car. After all, he was a transportation engineer for more than 3 decades, so he couldn’t help himself. It was fun for us to exchange knowing glances when the conversation really picked up steam, and Dad never disappointed.  Time with family can be so fun.  It’s often predictable.  I have highlighted a pleasant, recurring theme in my family, but I definitely have some recurring behavior that I unleash when I’m with my family that isn’t so sweet or benign.  So…

  • Impact

    Joseph, used by God to preserve a remnant

    Title: Joseph, used by God to preserve a remnant Aim: To recognize that God’s purposes exceed our plans. Scripture: Genesis 45:1–15   Joseph’s disclosure, Genesis 45:1–7   Genesis 41:53-57 leaves the impression that life was busy and absorbing for Joseph, both personally and professionally. It became even more so as the seven years of drought and hunger began, for Pharaoh directed his starving population to go to Joseph for the food they needed to survive.   The famine extended even to Canaan and affected its inhabitants. Moreover, chapters 42–44 reveal that as the situation worsened throughout the Fertile Crescent, Jacob was forced to send his remaining sons (except for Joseph’s…

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    Surviving Abortion: An Interview

    “One out of every four women has had an abortion,” Jane* explained to me.[1] She sat across the table looking down at the coffee cup between her nervous hands as she shared her heart and the heavy burden she’d carried for a number of years—she was a survivor of abortion.  No, her birth mother had not tried to abort her. She, rather, had aborted two babies many years ago.  She explained the circumstances, the scenarios, and her guilt. I listened and cried with her, saying little. I gave her space to tell me the details of her story. And then I told her that I loved her and that Jesus…

  • Impact

    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…

  • people walking

    Forbearance: A Greater Grace

    When our kids were little and we traveled “over the river and through the woods” to visit extended family, a sense of dread would begin to well up in me the closer we got to their doorstep. Our family, like many, was messy. Old wounds, new offenses and unrealistic expectations often sabotaged our fantasies for a fun and festive time. Until we remembered to pray. Not just to pray a general prayer, but we had to remember to pray for a very specific thing: forbearance. Forbearance is a posture of grace. It recognizes that we all have limitations and failings and thus are apt to disappoint, frustrate and anger others.…

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    No More Masks

                  As the days grow shorter and golden leaves fall from trees, we pack up Halloween decorations in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although a few costumes may linger in photos on the fridge, everything else is set aside for another year. However, there’s one thing that few of us ever put away: the everyday masks we live behind. We all have masks of one sort or another. Reasons vary. For some, our masks protect us from going too deep or being too real. For others, masks allow us to live more boldly as the alter ego we espouse. Still others crave physical and…

  • Heartprints

    Christian Cliques – A Problem to Overcome

      What we want and what we get are often two very different things! You would think that inthe church of all places we would easily find community. However, our churches often consist of a large group ofpeople coming together for worship but leaving in cliques. New comers may be welcomed in word while excluded from our conversations and activities.   Even Jesus had close friends with whom He spent more time than He did with the large crowds that came to Him for healing or to hear Him preach. Was that a clique?  By definition a clique is “a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons; especially:one held together…