• Engage

    Motherhood is a Ministry

    Recently, while visiting with a college student, listening to her explore her thoughts, hopes, and questions regarding career, ministry, and motherhood; I could tell that her aim was to get it right. When I pitched the idea that motherhood is a ministry she responded by saying that she had never thought of it that way. So here we are. Perhaps you too can be encouraged to know motherhood is in fact, a ministry. You can call it a job if you’d like, it certainly isn’t an idle pastime. In my own journey as Mom, I have organized my time in various ways. I have homeschooled, never left the house, worked…

  • Engage

    3 Promises for Your College Student

    College years often bring challenges to faith and convictions held since childhood. Christian parents, who have worked so hard to prepare their kids for campus life, ask themselves: can my daughter withstand the inevitable temptations? Will my son be faithful to church and/or a campus ministry? Will there be a strong Christian community to encourage him? These questions are not just for students who are headed to college but also for those whose immediate plans don’t include leaving home. These issues frequently surface at young adult age, no matter where they are. The Bible is full of promises for believers. Here are three that are especially relevant to young adults,…

  • Engage

    Celebrity-Driven Christianity?

    Aspire to lead a quiet life (1 Thess 4.11). “It’s the seemingly unimportant people who determine the course of history. The greatest forces in the universe are never spectacular. Summer showers do more good than hurricanes, but they don’t get a lot of publicity. The world would soon die but for the loyalty, creativity, and commitment of those whose names are unhonoured and unsung.” —author James Sizoo   For seventeen years I served as editor-in-chief of a magazine for Christ-followers. In that position I constantly faced pressure from myself and others to gain followers by running a big-name profile on the cover. But I had to resist the temptation, because I…

  • Engage

    Adequacy Is Found in God’s Unlimited Resources

    For most of my life, I’ve worked in areas of my strength. I knew where I would excel and picked jobs accordingly. But this month, I started a new role, a position that I did not seek but which became clear I needed to fill. I felt prepared in many ways since I’ve assisted my boss (my husband) for the past eight years. But now I’m in charge and I’m painfully aware of my inadequacies. Greater responsibility increases the potential for failure and disappointing others. How will I do what is expected of me? My life verse feels apropos at this moment: Not that we are adequate in ourselves to…

  • Engage

    Ministry to the Broken-Hearted

    There is no opportunity for ministry as powerful and as necessary as ministering to the broken hearted. As Christian leaders, we know this is part of the calling we have in caring for the people with whom God has entrusted us. Yet this kind of ministry may come with considerable personal sacrifice. To weep with those who are mourning and comfort those who are afflicted over a period of time can be spiritually and emotionally exhausting. Frequently those who are the comforters need comforting themselves! Watching the suffering of those we love is not an easy road. Yet I am convinced this is by far one of the most vital…

  • Engage

    Do I Serve to Please Others, Myself, or God?

    I shut the cover on my laptop after facilitating a zoom webinar. Was I good enough? Did I say the right thing? They must really think I’m stupid. That was surely a waste of their time. I hope they still like me. The Holy Spirit quickly asked me the same question posed by the apostle Paul: Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ! Galatians 1:10 I know that God has called me to sincerely and deeply love others and help them…

  • Engage

    One White Woman’s Thoughts on Being Multi-Cultural

    “Before you go and live in Guatemala to study Spanish, you need to read this book,” my friend advised. Easily detecting my time-is-of-the-essence-say-it-like-it-is-I-can-do-this-on-my-own base culture, she knew I needed a multi-cultural “crash course” before my extended stay in Guatemala. As she is a second-generation missionary having served more than fifty years in Latin America, I heeded her advice, and I’m glad I did. Unknown cultural blinders fell from my eyes when I read her recommendation, From Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate Cultures. The multi-cultural information gleaned from this book not only made me aware of what I had been doing wrong while serving in U.S.…

  • Engage

    Leadership and Friendship—Are They Mutually Exclusive?

    With whom can you be yourself—totally raw and without filters—without expectations? Someone recently asked me this question. Several names came to mind, but I realized my list was short. This person advised, “You need these types of people in your life, people who will listen to you without expectations or judgment, with whom you can climb down off the mentorship and ministry pedestal.” Regardless of the world in which you work or serve—corporate, construction, education, marketing, medical, ministry, research, restaurant, the arts, or the home—being a leader can make finding raw-and-without-filters friendships difficult. Why is that?   First, leaders are visionaries. They lead the charge. They think outside the box.…

  • Engage

    Meditations on COVID-19

    Catherine of Siena has a particularly relevant story as our world faces what could be the Black Death of MMXX. One hundred seventy years before the Protestant Reformation, the plague of the day swept through Siena, and by AD 1349, half the population was dead. Half. Fifty percent. Not one percent. Not two percent. Fifty. In some places even sixty percent. They didn’t have tests. So maybe somebody exaggerated. So let’s just round down to fifty.   In the middle of this—the first of several such pandemics—Catherine was born. Her parents’ twenty-fourth child, Catherine lost a twin at birth. A younger sister after her died as well, making Catherine the youngest of a…

  • Engage

    You Were Meant for Today

    You were Meant for Today! It was quite a shock when I found out I was pregnant, for the third time, nearly 5 years after having given birth to my last little bundle of joy.  To complicate matters, we received the news just weeks after we announced that we would be moving from our beloved community, leaving behind a life of ministry and part-time jobs that I loved.   Suddenly, I had to come to grips with the idea that I would now be going backward. Or, at least that is how I interpreted the situation. Of course, I have pursued motherhood out of a calling and it has been one…