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    Fear or Faith at Work?

      What’s the most challenging aspect of living out your faith at work? Some of us work at home or with other Christians, so being salt and light, and talking about our faith, come naturally. But many of us work in places where talking about Jesus and faith are discouraged. And some workplaces are downright hostile to Christians, so speaking openly could mean the end of our employment. For all of us, shining the bright light of Jesus in a very dark place can feel scary––even dangerous. The average worker faces situations and decisions every day that test the boundaries of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). Fear is real. We’re…

  • Heartprints

    4 Ways to Encourage Strong Faith

      Colossians 2:4 “…I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments that sound reasonable.”   It used to be that we could feel pretty safe about the influences in our children’s lives until they hit college age and were exposed to a more diverse culture. It seems, however, that radical views are coming into play as early as 3rd grade. And, by middle school, many church going children have decided they do not believe in God.    Some religions are more obvious in how they contradict Scripture; but, many religions have an element of truth which make them seem feasible which makes them dangerous. In fact,…

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    No More Masks

                  As the days grow shorter and golden leaves fall from trees, we pack up Halloween decorations in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although a few costumes may linger in photos on the fridge, everything else is set aside for another year. However, there’s one thing that few of us ever put away: the everyday masks we live behind. We all have masks of one sort or another. Reasons vary. For some, our masks protect us from going too deep or being too real. For others, masks allow us to live more boldly as the alter ego we espouse. Still others crave physical and…

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    Sit Among Your Weeds

    Today I start with a confession: I’ve been struggling. I know situations won’t always turn out the way I think they should, and often things are much more difficult than expected. But for the last six weeks my life has been like wading through a sulfur mud pit, taking on darts from a hidden adversary. I’m not one to air my dirty laundry for all the world to see, but I admit that my challenges encompass overwhelming obstacles, disheartening misunderstandings, and nagging frustrations: damage to my car a vandalized fence discord in key decisions new doors of opportunity remaining closed heirloom crystal pitcher––broken favorite blue shorts––ruined expensive new spring bulbs…

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    Heartprints

    Praying for Heroines

      Do you have any special women or girls in your life that have made a difference? Let’s take a moment to focus on our heroines.  Time to give them some prayer support. When I was growing up many women were housewives, stay at home moms. They were somehow lesser than the working women by our cultural standards. There was even a popular song with lyrics like these, “Oh, such are the dreams of the everyday housewife you see everywhere any time of the day; an everyday housewife who gave up the good life for me” The song begins with her looking in the mirror and seeing that time has…

  • Heartprints

    In the Shadow of Christmas is a Cross

      Christmas, for many, is colored with twinkling lights, the sound of singing, bright colored packages topped with elegant bows, cookies, candy, parties and laughter. But for others, Christmas is colored with the stark reality of roaring fires that ravage neighborhoods, hospital rooms, funeral homes, broken relationships, drunken relatives, and memories of those whose faces are missing from thier lives. As we teach our children about Jesus, God’s greatest gift to the world, we must not forget to teach them that the manger was shadowed by a cross. The Messiah in the manger was destined to be a man of sorrows acquainted with all our grief, bearing all our sin…

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    Five ways to have a richer, more joyful vacation

    Vacation offers the possibility that, for at least a week or two, it really *can* be “all about me.” Relax and indulge in what we want to do when we want to do it. But, if we were to pursue a vacation with Jesus at the center, might we actually find more joy? What would it look like? Here are five ways you can have a richer, more joyful vacation: Plan and Pray Part of the fun of vacation is planning what to do. Even letting the kids help pick out places to see and things to do. It ramps up everyone’s expectations and anticipation of the fun to come.…

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    Unhurried

    The house sits quiet and still. The presents lay in the corner, waiting to be set in their places and hung on their hangers. The tree stands dim, hoping to be lit a few more times before it’s placed back into its box. There’s something about the pregnant pause between opening Christmas presents and ringing in the New Year that beckons us to slow down. There are no more gifts to purchase. There are no more hams to glaze or pies to bake. There’s no rush to pull down the tinsel or rearrange the house. This last week of December calls us to reflect on the way we lived in…

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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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    The Art of Sacred Reading – Lectio Divina

    Resurgent interest in the ancient art of sacred reading as a way to nurture our spiritual lives is compelling. Lectio Divina – a Latin phrase for divine reading, spiritual reading or sacred reading – has been used for over 1,500 years. Lectio Divina comprises four elements: lectio (we read the text), meditatio (we meditate the text), oratio (we pray the text), and contemplatio (we live the text). But naming the four elements must be accompanied by a practiced awareness that their relationship is not sequential. Reading (lectio) is a linear act, but spiritual (divina) reading is not ‑any of the elements may be at the fore at any one time.…