• Engage

    On Story: With Eugene Peterson

    I just finished reading Bono’s autobiographical tome, Surrender, and was delighted to find out that the great lyricist was a friend of the late Eugene Peterson. Peterson pastored for thirty years before becoming professor of spiritual theology at Regent in Vancouver, B.C. In my last post I shared excerpts from a conversation I had with him about rest. What follows is what he told me about “story”—excerpted from a conversation we had while he was still a prof and I was starting out as one.  SG: In the academic environment it’s easy to intellectualize everything. How can we keep from developing the kind of mentality that would view the Trinity as…

  • Engage

    Give the Gift of Good Listening

    Few doubt the power of a good listener. This is why we have counselors, spiritual directors, coaches, and (in the missions world) debriefers. Basically, we pay people to listen because effective listening is a learned and precious skill. And a gift from God. I recently had the privilege of being debriefed. I recounted something I was wrestling with to someone who listened actively and non-judgmentally. As I processed aloud, I found I could release the angst that incident had produced and find clarity. I realized I could let it go and no longer dwell on it. Telling one’s story in a safe place brings resolution, healing, and growth. This requires…

  • Engage

    How Do We Love God with Our Whole Minds?

    Today, I’m happy to feature as my guest columnist Ver-lee Cheneweth, my intern for the past year. You might remember meeting her last August when she shared about her journey relating to racism. During Texas’s February 2021 snowmageddon, all schools, including the seminary I attend, closed for a week. Doing schoolwork in subzero weather was ridiculous, so I chucked it for some recreational reading. Obviously, enjoying a compelling book snuggled beneath a downy comforter was the only sane way to pass the time unvexed. After reading Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez, however, I fumed, saying, “Dang it! What the heck is wrong with us? Why can’t evangelicals think…

  • Engage

    Fighting the Empathy Famine: Listening and Learning

    A little honestly here: I’m overdosed on listening to partisan pundits. I try to wrap my head around their perspectives and spot the strengths and flaws of their thinking, but I’ve retreated for a while. Instead, I focus my energy on four things: Listening to and comforting those I know whose spirits are crushed, without minimizing their experiences (Prov. 18:13-14). By listening, I have learned of the constant stress my black friend and co-worker feels as she raises her son and daughters. She shared that in the last two weeks she got lost in an upscale neighborhood in my suburb north of Dallas. Late for an appointment, she asked a…

  • Engage

    Choose to Listen

    After a lovely dinner with old friends, my husband turned to me, “Cindy, you hardly let me get a word in all night!” His comment took me by surprise. Had I really dominated the conversation so much? Oh dear. These were my former colleagues whom I hadn’t seen in more than thirty years. “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. I totally got carried away with all the catching up,” I feebly mumbled. My apology sounded lame even to me.

  • Engage

    Thanksgiving: Not Only for Giving Thanks

    Canadians recently celebrated Thanksgiving, while Americans will be celebrating it later this month. Does your country have a specific day for giving thanks? While many Americans associate Thanksgiving with Pilgrims and Native Americans, it was Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving a national holiday in the midst of the Civil War. In his October 3, 1863 proclamation, Lincoln spoke to a fractured nation and proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving. Not only that, he asked for prayers for “the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and…

  • headphones for listening

    Listening: An Antidote to Polarization

    Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. James 1:19 (NET) I visited the National Museum of African American History & Culture last week—I and thousands of other people—and the experience overwhelmed me. The upper floors of the museum celebrate the significant contributions of African Americans to every sector of our culture. But the three-floor basement of the museum documents how the powerful have dominated the powerless in our country. For example, when enslaved people were finally freed in the U.S., compensation was given—but not to the slaves who had put in a lifetime of uncompensated labor. Instead, slave…

  • Heartprints


    I was recently given a list of 301 things I am in Christ. I was blown away by all the things God says about those who follow Him. Then I was reading Lysa TerKeurst’s Blog. She mentioned her favorite gift from a friend was a box of Scriptures typed out with her name in them, things that God has done for each believer. It got me to thinking about many people I know both young and old who suffer from identity theft. I am not talking about the financial kind either. Spiritual identity theft! Satan attacks daily beating down the most vulnerable with his lies about who we are. If…

  • Heartprints

    God’s Power Tools – #5

    God has given us a voice to speak forth His written Word. With our voice we are to proclaim the wonder of the Creator. The love of Christ compels us to give voice to the Good News of God’s salvation. Our fifth power tool, our voice, is an old tool but it has an amazing power to capture the interest of those we want to listen. “Until very recently in human history, most people could neither read nor write . . . spoken language was the only practical way to warn someone that there might be a snake in a nearby bush. Perhaps as a result, human hearing and speech…

  • Engage

    Offering the Gospel to This Generation

    Are high school students interested in the Gospel? They may not think they are, but underneath the outward façade when compelled to consider, the answer is YES!  After spending a week, as an adult guests, in the highly charged atmosphere of a Young Life camp in the mountains of Colorado – we saw firsthand the hard fought ground leaders had plowed for a year before bringing their group of kids to camp yield a positive response to the claims of Christ. Arriving on 7 different busses 450 high school students from 4 different states were saturated for a week in an atmosphere of fun, acceptance, laughter, being lead, music, lively…