• Two aspects of trusting God illustrated by Nehemiah
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    Two Aspects of Trusting God

    Has God placed something in your heart for you to do? It could be correcting sinful behavior in your own life. It could be serving someone else. It could be speaking up in a situation where a voice with biblical principles needs to be heard. Whatever it is involves two aspects of trusting God. (1) You must trust him as you step forward and do your part. And, (2) you must trust him to do his part in the areas over which you have no control. Those two aspects of trusting God are necessary to act on what God has placed in your heart to do. Esther’s story in the…

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    Missing My Crowd: A Palm Sunday Lament (but can we really choose trust?)

    It’s just wrong to spend Palm Sunday and Easter at home. I wished I’d been on my way to church yesterday instead of listening to a sermon on line. I so missed seeing our kids waving palm branches. Singing praises and hosannas in a room full of voices blending so strongly that my own is submerged in a sea of praise. My morning began with a silent reading about a day of praise. Jesus riding in, gently, peaceably down the Mount of Olives through the Beautiful gate and the streets of Jerusalem. What was missing yesterday was the crowds. Can you imagine lining up behind Jesus 6 ft. apart? Walking…

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    4 Truths to Overcome Fear

    We can learn a lot of things from our experience with the novel coronavirus and how it has affected our lives. We can learn the value of considering others as more important than ourselves as we choose to let self-sacrifice win over self-centeredness. We can learn how to be creative during our “shelter in place” time. We are learning how to love our neighbors from six feet away whenever we are able to do so. We’ve repeatedly scrubbed our hands, sprayed doorknobs and light switches with Lysol, worn gloves to go to the grocery store and wiped down every item brought into our house, and disinfected even our mail. And,…

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    A prayer to the Creator in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak

    May our sons in their youth flourish like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like stately corner pillars that are carved to adorn a palace. May our granaries be filled with every kind of produce. May our sheep increase by the thousands, and by the tens of thousands in our open fields. May our oxen pull heavy loads of produce from the harvest. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls. May there be no one exiled into captivity. May there be no cries of distress heard in our public squares. How blessed are the people for whom these realities are true! How blessed are the people whose God…

  • Heartprints

    1 Way Parenthood Is Like Noah’s Life of Faith

    Judah, my middle child, is a rocks, sticks, leaves, tree-climbing kind of boy. On one of our Fall walks a couple years ago, He picked up an acorn and with an excited smile, said, “Look!” As he handed them to me for safe keeping. What I thought were simple, brown acorns, the kind with tops that look like hats, he thought were beautiful seeds of possibility. A Simple Seed I began to think about how I felt like that acorn. Tossed. Un-noticed. Set-aside from the hustle of busy, important people, going to busy, important places, doing busy, important things. Did my holding a fist full of acorns matter? But then,…

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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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    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…

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    What a Day of ThanksLIVING Looks Like

    “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father . . .” (Ephesians 5:20). That’s a pretty tall order: all the time? for all things? Seriously? When I was first challenged to obey this scripture, some 44 years ago, I thought that surely it wasn’t translated properly. Or maybe there was a footnote. Or an asterisk. Surely some kind of loophole, right? Nope. It means just what is says. We can continually give thanks for all things because if God is truly in control, then everything He allows us to experience comes with His permission-and thus He has a plan.…

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    “Don’t You Care?”

    The refugees were fatigued and distressed. Now trapped, they could not escape. Impassible mountains surrounded them on one side and impenetrable forts on the other. In front stretched the Red Sea, preventing their advance. Closely behind marched the enemy, preventing their retreat. There stood millions of Israelites in shock, unable to understand why God had paraded them like royalty out of Egypt and now guided them straight into a watery grave. Fear drowned their souls in despair. Many cried out to God, “Don’t you care that we are dying?” The disciples were fatigued and distressed. Now trapped, they could not escape. Towering mountains surrounded them to the east and hills to…

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    Blessed are the Bankrupt

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . (Mt. 5:3) What stunning, shocking words! What king announces his rule by calling the poor in spirit to him, the bankrupt, those with no resources who bring nothing to him? Only one. The King who is lowly in heart, who offers a light burden because He is not bent down by the weight of pride. Amazingly these are the first recorded words of discipleship Jesus uttered. Jesus requires bankruptcy to enter His kingdom… That’s what it means to be poor in spirit: spiritual bankruptcy, a total lack of resources to do what ultimately…