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    Sometimes There Aren’t Words

    Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when we sit with others in their grief.               when others try to comfort us in ours. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when life comes crashing down around us.               when darkness and despair close in. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when anxiety and doubt and shame condemn us.               when regrets of the past rear their heads and gnash their teeth. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when betrayals bite and false denials scream.               when the unrelenting hand of fear squeezes with clenched fingers. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when the world goes crazy.               when people don't seem…

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    Heartprints

    Tips for Teaching #1

    I want to share some tips that will hopefully help us better prepare our children for the difficulties of standing strong in the faith. Encourage children to ask the hard questions. If they aren’t asking, ask them! Teach them how to wrestle with the Word of God to find the answers. We tend to shy away from the questions that are hard to answer or maybe can’t really be answered. Learning that we can’t demand answers but must be humbly thankful for the revelations God gives is a hard lesson to teach and even harder to learn. I was recently talking with a woman who grew up in a Christian…

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    Engage

    Why Silence?

    Silence, like the practices of Sabbath and slowing, offers an exit ramp to get out of the fast lane – a chance to press pause, take deep breath-break, renew, restore, be still and get quiet. On the spur of the moment Friday afternoon, a young mother of three young children, also a teacher of preschool, called me. She blurted out when I answered the phone – “I need some silence!” She then asked if she could come to our guesthouse and just sit in some silence alone. Her husband would keep the children. “I can’t even think; my head is spinning.”   Silence, an across the board need, is necessary to…

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    Is Working Less the Right Christian Response to Society’s Over-Work?

    “I really try to put away my work phone on the weekends.” “I really want to be fully present with my family this weekend and not focused on work.” Twice in the past week, I’ve heard these phrases from well-meaning Christians. I’ve also said similar things myself lately. Yet the more I think about our approach to work, the more I realize that our thinking might be flawed.   As American believers surrounded by a society focused on over-work, we want to stand out. We don’t want to be slaves to our jobs and servants to our paychecks. We want our faith to be central, reflected in all we do.…

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    SLOWING

    The exit ramp for souls starved by activism is slowing. Slowing? How will I get anywhere if I do that? How will THE LIST get completed if I don’t work as quickly as I can? My high-energy, multitasking, activist self used to driving in the fast lane pushes back…slow down? My soul responds, “I’m dying in here…I need some rest; I need some space; I need to be replenished – if you don’t slow down, your list may never get completed.” Adelle Cahoun in The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook matches the desires we have with certain spiritual disciplines. Example: I may be totally disenchanted with always living every minute filled to…

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    1 Corinthians 14: Are Women Really Supposed to Be Silent in Church?

    What does the apostle Paul mean when he says women are to keep silent in the churches? Many see this as a prohibition against females saying anything in the gathered assembly. But is that what Paul intended? We find his instruction about such silence in 1 Corinthians 14. Let’s begin by taking a look at the context:  1.    Notice the topic is spiritual gifts. Paul’s readers, the church in Corinth, are to be eager for the gifts, especially that they might prophesy. Note there are no gender limits given on any gifts. And read his words in light of three chapters earlier, where Paul assumed women would pray and prophesy in…

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    What’s Next?

    It’s quiet here. Maybe it is where you are too. The Christmas tree stills stands in the corner, but no one rushes to turn on the twinkling white lights anymore. Its trunk, once adorned with gifts, is bare. With the hustle of Christmas coming to a close, our homes grow still. Often our souls do too as if to take a deep breath. And in the silence, we ask questions. What’s next? It’s a question I’ve asked a hundred times this year and one that I’ll ask each day leading up to New Year’s. Perhaps you’re asking questions of your own. Maybe it’s been a year filled with joyful surprises.…

  • Impact

    The Voice of a Father

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Christmas. The scent of a beautiful green tree filling the house decorated with colorful balls, shining lights, shimmering tinsel, and topped by an angel. Decorations generously spread from room-to-room, symbols of wonderful family memories passed down from generation-to-generation. I love Christmas and all it represents. One thing I get tired of, though, is pundits who annually quote Bible verses they don’t understand about peace on earth and good will toward men when they have no grasp of how to fill that longing… The human heart cries for deliverance from suicide bombings and ceaseless streams of refugees risking their lives in rickety boats…

  • Impact

    The Sign of Silence

        Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Four-hundred years of silence. Not a sound. Not a word. Not a prophet. Not a spokesman. Not the screeching of a chair or the clearing of the throat as a speaker mounts a rostrum. Nothing. Just silence. And the nation was getting restless. Oh, they had enough through what God had said previously to live with hope and anticipation. They had His covenants and His promises and His faithfulness. He had kept many of His promises already. He had released them from Egypt and returned them to the Promised Land; He had delivered them from Babylon and once again restored them…

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    Spiritual Plagiarism: How We Steal God’s Glory

    I never cheated in school. I was always too afraid. Afraid of a big scarlet "F" on top my paper. Afraid of an ominous visit to the principal’s office. Afraid of the terrible consequences listed in the class syllabus. But lately I'm learning that plagiarism isn't confined to the English classroom or the inventor’s office—it threatens our spiritual life too. In his book Prayer, Tim Keller summarizes the essence of sin as failing to glorify and thank God (Romans 1:18-21). He explains: Think about plagiarism for a moment. Why is plagiarism taken so seriously? It is claiming that you came up with an idea yourself when you did not. It…