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    A Good Lookin’ Bag of Bones: Keeping Up Appearances

    Believe it or not, Americans lie about how often they go to church. According to a 2013 Huffington Post article [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-mcswain/why-nobody-wants-to-go-to_b_4086016.html ], although more than 40 percent of Americans claim to go to church weekly, less than 20 percent actually do.   Am I the only one that finds this funny? Christians lie about going to church in order to look good. Why would we do this? Call it funny, call it sad, but call it me. No, I've never lied about going to church, but I have definitely misled others about myself. My husband and I lived and worked overseas in a Christian ministry for 12 years and every month…

  • Heartprints

    GOOD GRIEF: Seven Steps to Embracing Emotions- #1 Be Honest!

    Grieving the big losses in life: death of loved ones, loss of health, homes destroyed by catastrophes, marriages ending in divorce, jobs ending, and other great losses can be devastating. Our feelings are better managed at such times if we have learned to trust God in everyday losses beginning at a very early age. What you teach your child as they let go of bottles, pacifiers, and security blankets, or how to accept the loss of broken toys and moving friends will make a difference in how your child faces the bigger losses that come through death, tragedy, and disappointments. Too many times as parents and teachers we miss the incredible opportunities…

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    Around the Table: Why Gathering Matters

      Gathering is nothing new. All throughout sacred history, women and men have been gathering around tables to celebrate, reflect, feast, and remember. From Israel’s inception the sacrificial system ushered people into God’s presence and then around a table as they often enjoyed a meal as part of their offerings and festivals. In the book of Ruth, Boaz sat around the table with his workers, inviting an unknown Moabite woman to eat of his bread. In Psalms David celebrated God’s banquet table. And in the New Testament, Jesus gathered around tables with friends and sinners, and then he instituted his memorial supper around over the Passover meal as he and…

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    How to Glorify God at School (Part Two)

    Last year—at about this time—I wrote about Anna starting junior high and how students can glorify God at school. You can read about it here. What about us as parents? What about those of us who anticipate challenges that will in no doubt bring trials, problems and difficult situations at school? Every year I meet with Anna’s new teachers to talk to them about LVAS, the FM system and the struggles my hard-of-hearing student will have in their class. No matter how much I try to prepare them, problems always arise. It never fails. For us, starting a new school year means dealing with apathetic attitudes, stares and questions. Each…

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    Vulnerable yet Safe– 5 Levels of Sharing

    So often the pendulum swings a bit too far. My mother, who was true to her generation, taught us to keep quiet about the family business. Her concern was appearances; she didn’t want others to think badly of her.   I never remember people praying for one another in my home church for anything other than illness, and usually those were for other people rather than their personal health issues. Who knows how many sick Uncle Joes and Aunt Marys were lifted in prayer at my church—not that there is anything wrong with praying for sick Uncle Joe and Aunt Mary! But where were the prayers for marriages, for spiritual growth,…

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    10 for 10 – Marriage Learnings

    Today my husband, Craig, and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary! We have learned much, are still learning and will learn new things. Below are 10 things that I have learned in the 10 years I’ve been married to my best friend. 1. Seek your identity in Christ first. Your identity is not rooted in your marriage nor who you are married to. Yes, your marriage is a significant part of your identity as is your spouse, but that is not where you identity is (or should be) rooted. If your identity is based in Christ (and is continually deepened) your defenses will fall, confidence and compassion will increase…

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    How to Glorify God at School

    Just got home from taking my student to walk her schedule and practice opening her locker at her new school. Despite all the fears that come with her disability—you can read about that here—I feel so thankful for God’s faithfulness in Anna’s life, as she gets ready to start junior high in a few weeks.   One of the challenges Anna faces this year has more to do with her desire to glorify God at school than anything else. I told her glorifying God can produce all sorts of blessings, but it can also lead to bullying. She didn’t even blink.   Instead she asked, “What am I suppose to…

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    Father’s Day Memories of my Daddy

    My father, who passed away 30 years ago at 63, was a quiet and thoughtful man, a person of great integrity and spiritual maturity. As Father’s Day approaches, I think of him and the life lessons he taught me through his strengths—lessons that have served me well as a person and often as a leader.  Daddy loved the Word of God. He never led us in family devotionals, much to my mother’s dismay, but he many nights he read us Bible stories at bedtime. Often when I found him deep in study in his chair, I would ask him what he was reading. He usually responded by taking me in…