• Heartprints

    A Cross at Christmas

    Christmas, for many, is a magical time of twinkling lights, singing, brightly colored packages, cookies, candy, parties, and laughter. However, for others, Christmas is shrouded with the stark reality of a cross they have to bear. Some will face things like roaring fires that ravage neighborhoods, hospital rooms, funeral homes, broken relationships, drunken relatives, or deep sorrow as they look in vain for the faces of those who are missing from their lives.

  • Heartprints

    A Deeper Look at Suffering

    No one escapes suffering. NO ONE! Suffering entered our world with the first sin.  Choosing a sinful desire over God’s will resulted in suffering.   With sin came death. Death, by definition, is separation, ultimately the separation of God and man. We often focus on the separation of soul and body. Because of sin we suffer all kinds of separation. Daily we face the ugliness of disease, divorce, dysfunctional families, and of course the possibilities of tragic accidents.  There is just no way to truly prepare our hearts for the depth of suffering we may encounter. The journey from birth to death can be a long suffering. There are countless ways…

  • Nan Maurer

    What Happened in Eden Won’t Stay There

    Today I am happy to share this space with guest blogger, Nan Maurer.  The Oct.1, 2017 news about Las Vegas was bewildering. “Why would one man take so many lives in such a deliberate and brutal way?” Social media exploded with professional and amateur pundits playing debate games of blame and defend: It’s because of the NRA. It’s because of the mentally ill. It’s because of politicians. Sadly, unexplained tragedies happen all over the world. In July of 2011, a gunman killed 85 at a youth camp in Norway; in March 2015, a German co-pilot flew a passenger jet into the French Alps and killed 150. What happened in Vegas…

  • Heartprints

    Helping Kids Process Traumatic Events

    Living in an information saturated world means we often get bombarded with news events. I recall crying when I read the news on Sandy Hook and feeling sick to my stomach over the events in Paris. And now, the latest terrorism in Orlando leaves us all stunned—CNN is calling it the “deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.” How do we respond to such events? And, how do we help our children process difficult news when we struggle to make sense of it ourselves? Be careful of media exposure—Whenever possible, avoid letting children under 5 view any traumatic news. Many psychologists also suggest that children between the age of 6–11 should…

  • Engage

    A Letter to Orlando

    My phone buzzed with the breaking headlines from Fox News, “Deadliest mass shooting in American history… It could take several days to identify all of the victims.” I sighed in disbelief as my husband explained, “There’s been another shooting, this time at a nightclub in Orlando.” I had a different blog post written and scheduled for today, but last night I deleted it from the queue. Another time perhaps, but not today. Today we must not talk politics, or point fingers, or have arguments, or agendas. Today we must simply mourn. What happened yesterday could have occurred anywhere…in my town, in a nearby school, in a local theater, even in…

  • Engage

    Making sense of the senseless

    It is painful to imagine the tragic reality that smacked us all in the face last week. Senseless murders of innocents.   We can relate to sitting around a table with bibles open and listening to a pastor lead us in study; laughter, questions, smiles and nods. The scene is familiar.  In Charleston, even though welcoming a new person, evil lurked in that heart. Death is far from their thoughts. Dylann Roof himself, feeling the kindness, considers relenting, resisting evils wicked whispers. Then, shoving aside those kinder thoughts, he reaches for the gun. Chaos and confusion descend and the acrid smell of gunpowder fills the air.  Moments of heroism as…

  • Engage

    The Necessary Sovereignty of God

    "Everything is necessary that He sends and nothing can be necessary that He withholds." John Newton This quote from our pastor's sermon  on Romans 8 last Sunday are hard words and require untmost dependence in the absolute  goodness of God and trust in His sovereign care, especially when what you think is necessary is withheld. Otherwise you would go mad to think that the sovereign Creator of the universe is powerless to stop or thwart evil. Modeled by God when He sacrificed His son on the cruel, terrible cross, Christ's death was necessary. And, it was not necessary for Him to withhold Jesus's dying on the cross. Where would be…