• Impact

    Our Shepherd

    The 23rd Psalm is one of the most familiar and dearest passages of the Bible. It is a beautiful poem about God, the shepherd, and his people the sheep that speaks to the desires and fears of all humanity. As such, it is a lovely reminder that the LORD is a merciful and compassionate God. Furthermore, it reminds us that, like sheep, we depend on God’s care and provision for survival. (2) 0

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    Five Things I’m Learning from Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

    Today I’m happy to host Ethel Gould as a guest blogger. During her seminary arts apprenticeship, she has served as a writer for a ministry to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Here she passes on some of what she’s been learning:  A panhandler’s presence on a street corner has always brought to my mind an old story about seminary students stepping over a homeless man on their way to a final exam about Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan. But still, before I reached for the change cup in my car, I'd worry that my cash might contribute to an addiction. Then I worked for a drop-in center that serves individuals…

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    God’s Thoughts and Ways – Part X (Invitation, Refusal, Banishment)

    There is a common theme running from the Book of Genesis through the book of The Revelation. That is, God invites people into His presence (God’s MERCY), they refuse, and they are subsequently banished from God’s presence (God’s WRATH). For example, Adam and Eve could have eaten from the tree of life and lived forever in God’s presence (Genesis 3:22).  Instead, they refused, ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and were banished from the Garden of Eden, the Garden of God, where God walked with them (Genesis 3:8,23,24). Israel is invited to be with God at Mount Sinai.  They refused by running from God and…

  • Heartprints

    Authority! How is That Working for You?

    God blesses His people with authority. But how well are we wielding it? One of my high school teachers was disciplining her children over a broken vase, not sure which one had broken it, she told them that God had been watching and knew which one of them had done it. The daughter told her mom that God hadn’t talked for a long time and she was counting on that to continue. What we think about authority makes a difference in our relationships. 1 Peter 2:12 says that we are being watched.Our actions often result in how others judge God. This is true, especially with children. Look at the human…

  • Heartprints

    Suffering and All Its Glory

    There are several ways to approach teaching God’s Word. There are those who focus on teaching the principles, others on the doctrine, and still others put the focus on the words or the content of the passages. They tell the stories, they highlight the words and they emphasize the historical facts. They carefully teach the who, what, when, where, why, and even the how of the story. I have tended to use this method. Through this form of teaching I learned a lot of the characters, places, and events in the Bible. I have seen how God works and how people respond to His person, power, and promises. After over…

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    Lepers in Our World

    A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” (Mark 1:40-41 NLT) The man's name is unknown. He is just "leper" to us—unnamed and unclean. He approaches Jesus. It is an audacious step. Lepers are supposed to stay out of the way, unnoticed and unseen. There must have been something about Jesus that emboldened the leper to come to him. And the man is not disappointed. Jesus responds with kindness. He is motivated from…

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    Beware—You Are Being Chased

    This past week my husband and I were chased down. Separately, but on the same day, the same morning in fact, we were tailed. You, too, are being pursued and followed. Did you know that? Before you shut down your social media sites and seek an attorney, let me explain. We pursue new jobs, new promotions, new advancements, and new recognition. We pursue new restaurants, new friends, new fashions, and new technology. Our favorite tale of pursuit is: Boy meets girl. Boy pursues girl. Boy marries girl. And they live happily ever after… The flowers, the romance, the drama, the happy ending—love wins, and we love it. We love the…

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    The Lord is My Shomer

    The Hebrew word “shamar”  (shaw-mar) means to guard, watch, keep, observe, beware. It has a large range of uses in the Old Covenant of the Bible derived from the primary significance of keeping watch or guarding. Is it distinctly the shepherd’s word – the shepherd keeps watch-guard over his sheep. Someone that shamars is a shomer. That is, the Lord is our shomer! 0

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    When Storms Come

    When the school year finally rang its last bell, I felt confident the summer would bring lots of sunshine, happiness, and much-needed rest. Instead, we got rain—lots and lots of rain.    Thirty-five trillion gallons of rain fell (by May), and water soon flooded parts of North Texas. Many folks lost their homes, their livelihood. Perhaps the sun will come out tomorrow?   The rain eventually stopped, but my mood didn’t change.    I noticed the political tornadoes forming all over the news and social media. Along with these types of violent twisters came unkind words, hurt feelings, and broken friendships. The destruction continues, and it still moves chaotically all over…

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    Quiet Presence: Comfort Those Who Hurt

    Yesterday two dear friends called with heartbreaking news—news that will change the course of their lives. And as a “word” person, I’m profoundly aware of how inadequate words are at such times. In fact, offering comfort can be as much about what we don’t say as what we do…. An obstetrician friend told me that during his first year of medical practice, he sat with a couple who lost a baby at twenty-three weeks. Feeling at a total loss for words, he sat in silence and wept with them. He felt surprised when they later thanked him profusely saying, “You said just the right words.” He wondered “What words? I…