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    “Together, We’ll Get Through This” and Other Soul Reflections

    Steven Curtis Chapman’s new video release, Together (We’ll Get Through This), captures the realities, faces and images thus far, of COVID-19. The lyrics offer a compelling trajectory of hope in persevering together. Listen to it as soon as you can and be encouraged. The sudden onslaught of this virus and subsequent quarantine came with the words—take cover, shelter in, wash your hands, wear a mask. It also came with new fears, confusion, strange feelings, unfettered emotions and an odd kind of inertia. We found ourselves enmeshed in the sheltering in, the shut downs and closures; no access to loved ones in nursing home, obsessive hand washing and face masks; high…

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    Why You Need to Put Yourself in a Time-Out

    Have you put yourself in a time-out lately? If your kids are grown you probably haven’t used that term in awhile. Even if you have young children you’re probably thinking I’m asking that question wrong. Kids are put in time-out, not grown-ups. Possibly you have neither kids nor nieces nor nephews and have no idea what I’m talking about. A time-out is the imposed temporary suspension of activities for a short amount of time with the intent of calming, reorienting, or disciplining a child.  Why am I asking if you (as an adult) have had a time-out lately? Consider your current need for quiet and refreshment for your soul. Do…

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    Soul Care at the End of Life

    We are embodied souls. Our souls live in a body that touches, tastes, sees, hears, feels, and thinks. Our soul and our flesh are not separate entities. They are intertwined. When someone is at the end of life, we take care of the physical body; however, the soul needs care as well.   Several ways to care for someone’s soul at the end of life exist. Each individual will have particular ways that care needs to be administered; however, some general ways occur. General ways to be considered include ministry of presence, art of listening, skills of coping, and maintenance of relationships. The ministry of presence is a gift to…

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    Soul Noticing 101

    Because the “heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of His hands” (Psalm 19: 2-3) and because the Lord Jesus put His Spirit within each one of us who believes (I Corinthians 6:19) we know it is possible to be aware of Him deep within our souls. We know He will never leave us but sometimes we fail to even acknowledge or notice Him. Oh,how He longs for us just to come and sit in His Presence; deep down inside we want that too. The problem is that we are distracted 24/7 and forget to notice Him and His presence all around us, within us…

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    A Morning Prayer

    Soul care requires us to realize our utter dependence on Christ who said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing,” (John 15:5). Today I read this morning prayer by John Baillie (1886-1960) and felt its message was perfect to share with you: O God my Creator and Redeemer, I may not go forth today except You accompany me with Your blessing.  Let not the vigor and freshness of the morning, or the glow of good health, or the present prosperity of my undertakings, deceive me into a false reliance upon my own strength. All these good gifts have come to me from You. They were Yours to give and they…

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    Comfort For Those Harsh, Spiritual Cold Days

      While most people find the holidays uplifting, I find them hard and distracting. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmastime, and I enjoy all the festivities. However, after all is said and done, I find myself troubled, burdened and undone.    I don’t get it, but this season in my life never fails. With these harsh, spiritual cold days, a profound loneliness soon follows. The battles with the self begin. Discouragement engulfs me and it latches on to me firmly. Yet, my desire for a deep relationship with God remains.    Lord, are you still here with me? I read the devotion; I read your Word. I listened to…

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    Even You Need Rest

    Hey, friend. When did you last take time for soul care?   I know. It’s not a vacation-guilt-trip we’re after here. But summer is almost over. The ministry year is planned. (Or, maybe you’re really stressed because it’s not!)  As one who’s learned the value of taking care of my own soul (and paid the price for not doing it), let me encourage you to get out your calendar & find time. Make time. Cancel something if necessary. We can’t afford not to. Ruth Haley Barton spoke to a group of leaders in my area a few years ago from her book Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. A friend…