Even my Christmas Chicken is Sideways
Sometimes life feels sideways. Recently, my husband and I parted ways to attend various Christmas activities at our respective places of work. He was fortunate enough to take our three children with him to his event while I sat through a quiet adult evening. When my husband came home, he informed me that the front door to our house had been left wide open for the duration of his two hour trip. I am happy to report that we did not acquire any new neighborhood cats during that time. I came home from my event later in the evening to find our decorative Christmas chicken lying on its side in…
Mental health has taken center stage because people still struggle in a “not normal” new normal. Our mental dialogue can actually drain us of positive outlook and both mental and physical strength. How do we disempower our insecurities?
Thankfulness As Our Purpose
As the calendar winds down on another unprecedented year, we gladly enter this joyful season of giving and thanksgiving. Many of us feel a gentle nudge toward understanding God’s call to purposeful daily life. Have you ever asked God about His will for your life?
When I was younger I thought a revival was a 3-night event where all the church folk would come together and sing longer than normal. I later came to understand revival as awakening the church ultimately to win others to Christ. My husband and I are inner-city missionaries so I have been thinking about, praying about, and meeting about revival for a while now. But if I can be honest for a bit—I am tired. Although we have been at this for three years now, at times it seems the lingo of “revival” is still as nebulous and undefined as it was when I was a little girl. It almost…
On the Anniversary of Dad’s Death
“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, “that it may go well with you and that you will live a long time on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3). Today is the anniversary of Dad’s death. Dad was a complicated man, to say the least. Recently I was talking to a Christian brother and, essentially, said that when we die it might be said for any of us believers: “He was a Christian… and he was a mess in many ways.” We never outgrow our desperate need for Christ. Anyone who knew my dad knew he had struggles, but they also had no doubt…
God the Holy Spirit (Part V): The Paradox of the Paraclete
If believers do not seek the Holy Spirit for His sake alone then He will seek to comfort, correct, and guide them.
The Devil Made Me Do It
In 1985, Richard Ramirez, a Satanist, killed fourteen Californians. Ramirez claimed evil spirits made him mutilate the elderly, women, and children. His savagery even terrified his trial judge. What do we make of this monstrosity? Or of racially motivated violence, where even Christians misappropriate Scripture to deny the basic human dignity of those they deem inferior to them? The testimonies of Christ and the apostles give evidence that demons work by seducing us with pride, greed, and lust. But can we hold demonized humans responsible for the sins committed under demonic influence? Who bears ultimate responsibility for 9/11 or the Nazi genocide of Jews? Satan, or those who commited the…
Who Do You Say I Am?
Most of us know the greatest stories ever told. Noah, his ark in the flood, and the promise of the rainbow. Moses parting the Red Sea as the Israelites escaped from Egypt. The baby Jesus lying in the manger with shepherds and wise men paying honor to the newborn King. The empty tomb on Sunday morning. Often in stories our focus is on the action or the players or the outcome. But the stories of the Bible have another purpose––to turn our focus to the Author of life. To fix our minds on God. Renowned theologian A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing…
Fear or Faith at Work?
What’s the most challenging aspect of living out your faith at work? Some of us work at home or with other Christians, so being salt and light, and talking about our faith, come naturally. But many of us work in places where talking about Jesus and faith are discouraged. And some workplaces are downright hostile to Christians, so speaking openly could mean the end of our employment. For all of us, shining the bright light of Jesus in a very dark place can feel scary––even dangerous. The average worker faces situations and decisions every day that test the boundaries of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). Fear is real. We’re…
Holy Spirit Hot Spots
I just finished teaching a study of the book of Acts to a group of women at my church. I am so grateful to God for inspiring Luke to write that book, using his giftedness to write it so carefully and full of wonderful details. We approached our study of Acts not as a book of history but as the work of Jesus Christ by His Spirit through His Church. That is still continuing through today. And, we likened the work of the Holy Spirit to the firepower of a volcano. His work in the lives of individual believers is like “hot spots,” those places on earth where lava erupts…