• Engage

    How to Become a Better Dad: A Daughter’s Perspective

    Last August, I received this message from a former student who wanted to become a better dad:  I’m reaching out because I have a daughter who’s about to start kindergarten. I’m also realizing more and more that I’m going to play a huge role in how she views men for the rest of her life (#nopressure). This is a huge responsibility, but it’s also an awesome opportunity, so I’m asking for some help. What is something you learned from your dad that helped shape who you are today?   Kudos to this wise man for studying how to become a better dad—and for looking to both men and women for insight!…

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    Some Things I Learned this Easter from Mary Magdalene

    Mary Magdalene was one of the eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As I reflected on her story (Luke 8:1-2; Matthew 27:55-56, 60-61; 28:1; Mark 16:1-5; Luke 24:1-11; John 20:2, 11-18) this Easter, I gleaned some insights into my life. First, her story.   Mary Magdalene was a woman from the city of Magdala who had seven demons in her. She must have endured much torture, anguish, and turmoil as she housed these demons. I can imagine how painful it was to be an outcast of society and live a miserable life. But then she met Jesus. Jesus miraculously cast out the demons and healed her. He brought wholeness…

  • Engage

    The Pursuit of Success, Part 2

    Concerned for one of her elementary students, a young school teacher bought a coat for her refugee pupil. Her concern in action eventually became a ministry with her husband and a large staff that helps thousands of refugees yearly. Another woman continues to care for her disabled son as she has for more than 3 decades. Yet another friend is a refugee from an African nation who mops hospital floors to help support her family, while she continues to study in hopes of a better job. Another believer raises her children to serve God and others. Which of these women demonstrates a successful life? I believe all of them do.…

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    How to Have the Best Moments with Your Family During the Holidays

    Sometimes the best moments in our lives happen to us out of the blue. We don’t plan them or seek them out. We go in without any expectations and we don’t try to force anything to happen. These special moments just show up—unexpectedly. So how can we have more of these moments with our families during the most stressful time of the year?   I love the holidays. I find great joy in gathering around a table with my loved ones, reminiscing about God’s faithfulness throughout the year. I get excited about all the holiday season stuff, especially the food! I don’t like the drama that comes with it all.…

  • Impact

    Authentic Relationships: Serving, Carrying Burdens and Building Up One Another

    I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found to serve.                                                                                                                                                             …

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    Make Your Heart and Home a Place of Grace

    True welcome and nurturing homes seem like a thing of the past. Our homes no longer hang signs of “Welcome,” instead they communicate, “No Soliciting.” I often tell my family before any get-together, “Leave the drama at the door” for fear of tension, confrontation or unpleasantness. When did I start avoiding messiness?   Our culture seems to encourage self-preservation as opposed to taking chances, risking and investing in others. But Jesus said, “Love each other as I have loved you.” Instead of avoiding the hard, we need to take the risk, make messes and love each other with no conditions.    This holiday season, we have the opportunity—a gift—to incarnate…

  • Engage

    The Best Christian Response to Terror

    Another beheading. More Christians raped, murdered and fleeing ISIS in terror. The enemy wants us to feel powerless. Hunker down. Circle the wagons. But Jesus always calls us to something richer and life-giving, even in the midst of death. After we’ve written a check, after we’ve gathered in our churches and prayed for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world, after we’ve signed petitions…then what? What can we actually DO in a hands on way? Jesus shows us his way to respond to needy people in crisis in Matthew 25: We give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty. We take in refugees and strangers.…

  • Engage

    A Letter to John

    Dear John,   Criticism will grow over your writings, but thankfully your reputation, as a devoted follower of Christ will endure the test of time. So much of what you have said has had an impact in my life that I could never express my gratefulness for you. And so today, I thought I’d write down some of those things—the things that I have learned from you—so that perhaps maybe with these few words, I can honor you.   I love that you accepted your position of honor as you stayed close to the Savior and walked by His side. You, the disciple that Jesus loved, figured out what it…

  • Heartprints

    1 Hour a Week!

    Does anybody have an hour this week to help me with something?  I just need someone to come and hang out with some children for an hour while their parents go hear a life changing message from God. No?…really?  Not one hour? So you’re telling me that out of the 100 plus hours that you have each week you don’t have ONE single hour that you can help care for some kids with me?  What if I told you that the Pastor appreciates it! What if I tell you that we desperately need you?  What if I told you that it’s for God?  Would that matter?  No?….. Really?  Why can’t…

  • Heartprints

    Impact, Calling, Serving…”Do You Know Your Destiny?”

    “Thank you for teaching my son why we celebrate Christmas.  Our family never knew the reason why we celebrated Christmas.  We thought it was all about giving gifts and never knew it was because of the birth of Jesus.”  Believe it our not, these words were spoken to me in January 1991 by the mother of a three year old in my preschool class.  I was surprised by what she said as she shared from her heart with such sincerity and gratitude.  You see, I just assumed when I was teaching the lesson about the birth of Jesus that the ten children in my classroom already knew the story and…