• Engage

    Practicing A Four-Letter Word

    “The answer is on the Danube.” A friend encouraged me with these words as I explained my husband’s and my plans for a summer vacation along the Danube River. I laughed at her statement. She repeated with more emphasis, “The answer is on the Danube.” As it turned out, she was right. Let me explain. My husband and I just finished an extremely intense, challenging, and difficult season of our lives. That season had included many accomplishments and successes, but it had also included sickness, medical expenses, heartache, and loss. And it had been three years since he and I had “run away” together for a bit of respite. What…

  • Engage

    God, What Do You Want Me to Do Today?

    What would my schedule look like if God was in charge of it? Bill Hybels presents this probing question in his newest book Simplify. Somehow I haven’t been able to shake the idea from my mind. What if my day was ordered by, around, and for God? What if he was what I sought the most as I went throughout my day? We’re not the first people to resonate with such questions. Throughout scripture we meet brave men and women whose desire for God dictated how they lived—both in life-determining decisions and in daily to-dos. The writers of Psalms often penned their prayers and struggles with placing God before everything…

  • Heartprints

    4 Reasons to Re-Evaluate Your Scheduled Devotion Time

    I vividly remember one of my childhood Sunday School teachers talking to my class about our time spent with God. “When is the best time of day to do your devotions?” she asked. After quickly raising my hand, I replied, “Whatever time works best for you.” “No, that is not correct,” she said. “The best time is the morning. You should start your day with God.” While I agree that we should make spending time with God a priority, I’ve never thought that meant we all had to get up earlier in the morning.  And actually, my grumpy-morning-zombie-self usually better exhibits the fruit of the spirit throughout the day when…

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    The Place of Joy

    As you read this post, perhaps your turkey is roasting in the oven. Maybe you just finished crimping the edges on your grandma’s apple pie. Perhaps you’ll whip potatoes into pillow-y clouds just before guests arrive. Today our bustle embodies all the feelings of fall. Our full schedules and full tables leave us feeling festive and sometimes a little frazzled too. Amidst all the gatherings and baked goods, it’s easy to forget what truly gives us joy. When life turns busy and my turkey nearly burns, I start scrambling from one thing to the next—often shuffling others out of the kitchen and shutting them out of my schedule. Without even…