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    Embracing the Lonely Seasons

    Alone. Most of us cringe just seeing the word by itself on the page. We may welcome alone time for a few hours. We may seek out a solitary retreat. But few of us relish being alone for long periods of time. Even worse, that lonely ache you feel in a crowd. You might be surrounded by others at a gathering. You might put on a smile at the party. You may even lift your hands in worship at church. And yet you feel painfully alone. Like it or not, most of us will go through seasons when we feel alone. The ache of loneliness will tug at our soul…

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    Stop Saying Christianity Doesn’t Make You Happy

    This week, a Gallup Poll has reported pretty dismal mental health ratings, adding to a year full of statistics about depression, suicide, porn, stress and substance abuse. 2020 stinks, and the world doesn’t know how to handle it. So can we please stop adding to the problem by saying that Christianity doesn’t make Christians happy? I know, I know. When we say this, we’re trying to explain that we–and our happiness–aren’t the point. We’re reminding one another that our faith doesn’t protect us from life in a broken world. We’re saying that the abiding joy in Christ is substantially different than flurries of happiness that may come. These theological truths…

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    Turn Your Radar On!

    April, May, June, July…the time of year for women’s retreats, Mother’s Day teas, and other activities that draw newcomers to your events. You’re familiar with the term “designated driver.” I want to invite you to become a “DESIGNATED ENGAGER.” Let me tell you why… For several years, I was active in women’s ministry at my church. When I attended an event, I knew just about every woman there. I usually had responsibilities at the event and/or hung out with my friends so I didn’t really notice the newcomers very much. I assumed they would jump into the mix and connect on their own. But then, I became the newcomer! It was a vastly…

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    Frail Woman, Fierce Faith

    I remember sitting on her emerald and cream flowery sofa. She appeared frail with her coiffed white hair, arthritic hands, and five-foot frame. But as she spoke, I noticed something fierce gleaming from behind her gentle demeanor. This woman—widowed, aging, and often forgotten—possessed great faith. Now as a married woman myself, I hold such women in high esteem. It’s difficult to be a widow. In Paul’s day, it was downright dangerous. Consider the description he gave the Ephesians regarding the widows entrusted to the church’s care. “She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day”…

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    God of Insignificance

    God celebrates smallness. He invites to Himself amidst our insignificance. Like a silver chord woven into midnight-colored fabric, God’s goodness gleams in the places where we feel isolated and unimportant. Trace the thread through the pages of Genesis. You’ll meet a man named Joseph—chosen by God yet consigned to slavery and imprisonment. Peer into Ruth. Once a pagan, then a proselyte, this widowed woman followed harvesters around trying to gather enough grain to feed herself and her mother-in-law. Go into the gospels. You’ll encounter men who earned their living as laborers—casting nets, cleaning fish, and eventually catching souls.   Scripture’s finest figures spent most of their lives in humble positions.…