• Heartprints

    Taking Thoughts Captive and How to Teach it

    Thoughts are a part of life. They happen. We can’t control when or what thought might pop into our minds. There seem to be as many thoughts that come from outside us as those that begin within. It is no different for our children. From the earliest age of forming thoughts, outside forces impose images in our minds that provoke an emotional response. Imagination is a wonderful gift for without it we could not begin to relate to the God we cannot see or touch.  Sadly, in a fallen broken world our imagination can be an instrument used to overwhelm us. I compare my thoughts to a massive school of…

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    Confessions of a Control Freak

    Recently, I got to be the crazy lady at the car wash. Ever wonder what happens if you go through an automated car wash without putting your car in neutral first? You go flying through that baby like a bat out of the netherworld. I kept thinking, "Hmmm, I don't think I've ever gone through a car wash this fast before" and, "Gee, I sure am catching up to that other car quickly." The attendants turned off the car wash and had me pull my car back out and try again—in neutral. I gave the attendants their adrenalin rush for the day. Me? I got so tickled about the whole…

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    Burned Out on God: The Secret Struggle of A Seminary Student

    Working with students has been one of the deepest joys of my life. This month, I am pleased to feature guest blogger Katie Rawlston, who shares from the heart about her journey through student burnout. “Katie, what do you do for fun?” The blank expression on my face revealed that I had no immediate answer. In a meeting I had requested with Dr. Michelle Pokorny, assistant director for Spiritual Formation (at DTS), I had zero words. As a sixth-year student in the Th.M. program and still twenty-plus hours from graduating, I only knew I had a problem: burnout. I also knew I needed help navigating the solution. I had neglected…

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    Wisdom in Waiting- A Timeless Truth

    In a world of instant everything, a third world country appears to be backward, deprived, even antiquated. They seem slow in their thinking, in their decision making, and especially in their everyday living. A person who visits these countries where living is harder, might verbally give thanks for modern advances while they secretly enjoy the slower pace. Modern cultures have life easier, faster, and more productive. Technology has advanced our ability to do more but sadly reinforces our tendency towards impatience. Impatience comes naturally to all who have a sinful nature. Just try to get a baby to wait when they are hungry or when their diaper needs changing.  In…

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    The Problem of Pain

    Pain is not partial. It rears its ugly head in every home in every neighborhood in every city on every continent. It is not a respecter of age, race, or gender. Pain is almost always caused by loss. Pain can be brought on by a medical condition resulting in a loss of health. It can be caused by the loss of a relationship through a disagreement, a divorce, or the death. Sometimes a person is attacked physically, emotionally, verbally, or mentally and this develops a loss of safety. The opposite of someone attacking would be someone neglecting and this ends in a loss of nurture. The list could go on…

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      God has a kingdom.  Jesus came to herald the coming of that kingdom, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.” Luke 4:43 Net Bible. When Jesus sends out the seventy, He tells them to say, “The kingdom of God has come upon you!” Luke 10:9b  Net Bible. Interestingly in that same passage Jesus makes this comment as well, “The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16 Net Bible. Do you…

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    When Suffering Gets Personal

    As a ten-year-old, I lay awake the night before Easter speculating about what would be in my Easter basket. Would it be fluorescent marshmallow chickens, chocolate bunnies, foil-wrapped Hershey eggs, or a surprise? We expected my college-aged brother to arrive home sometime during the day on Easter, too. I had prayed for him as I often did for family members, that God would see him safely home. God answered that prayer, “No.” Pounding at the front door awakened me to early Easter morning darkness and the news that my brother and his friend had been killed by a drunk driver. Agony overtook two families.   When we observe suffering in…

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    Praying for Heroines

      Do you have any special women or girls in your life that have made a difference? Let’s take a moment to focus on our heroines.  Time to give them some prayer support. When I was growing up many women were housewives, stay at home moms. They were somehow lesser than the working women by our cultural standards. There was even a popular song with lyrics like these, “Oh, such are the dreams of the everyday housewife you see everywhere any time of the day; an everyday housewife who gave up the good life for me” The song begins with her looking in the mirror and seeing that time has…

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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.…

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    Life Interrupted: Lessons from a Teen Pregnancy

    Mary’s story has always fascinated me, but never more-so than a few years ago in a darkened theater. I went to the movies with a friend, and we watched as a young woman portrayed the confused teen who found favor with God. My own life had been freshly interrupted by God. Mary’s confusion echoed my heart’s response. The friend sitting next to me gasped as she saw Mary’s surrender: “Oh God. I can’t believe she said yes.” That’s the rub. A young Jewish girl agreed to have her life forever altered to be part of God’s purposed story. The account we read in Luke is short and yet so much…