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    Different but the Same

    Most nights I go to bed anxious. Anxious about the turmoil across our country and our world. Anxious about the place where my little boys will grow up and the challenges they will face. The past few months have shocked us with pain, turmoil, and anger. They have marked us and made us. Life will look different, even after we return to our normal routines. As I worry about the unknowns ahead, I’m reminded that Solomon told us, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Our problems are unique, but they are not new. Just take a look at the Bible’s history. Anger turned to murder within the…

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    Discernment for Our Time

    “These are the numbers of the divisions of the armed troops who came to David in Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul over to him, according to the word of the Lord….Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” 1 Chronicles 12:23, 32 (ESV) Truly we live in a day where believers should seek to be like the sons of Issachar – to understand the times and act accordingly. In this passage, the tribes of Israel are coming to David, to establish him as the rightful king of Israel. Saul’s reign was over and now the time had come for David,…

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    To Tell the Truth: Integrity and Social Media

    COVID-19 mania grips the world right now. And I have noticed a great many posts on social media during this season that include unkind words, poorly documented “facts” or just plain false information. I wrote the bulk of this post several years ago, but its message seems more necessary than ever today: Are you like me? Controlling my words is an area where I must exercise vigilance. Lately negative social media posts are on the upswing. Lies and exaggerations are not uncommon. The “share” button is another potential pitfall. I am convinced that words matter—whether spoken or written. Psalm 34:12-14 challenges me: “Do you want to really live? Would you…

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    Theology of Self-Care

    Is self-care selfish or unspiritual? Some churches and Christian circles say “yes.” And while today’s popular self-care strategies may have a bent toward self-serving interests, a biblical perspective of self-care is holistic, worshipful, and others-centered. Self-Care Involves All Aspects of Ourselves God designed us as complex, whole persons (Ps. 139:13–16). We do not—like a computer or machine—consist of parts, but encompass spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and relational aspects in our intricate design. When we take care of ourselves, we can’t just target one aspect of ourselves. We need take a holistic approach to self-care. After my husband and I married, I moved from Lubbock to Dallas. In Lubbock, I…

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    Teaching Tip # 3

    Relationship! Relationship! Relationship! From the Garden to the final judgment, God is all about relationship.Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in perfect relationship. When God walked in the evenings with Adam and Eve in the Garden, He didn’t come to check up on His creation, He came with a desire to fellowship with the only aspect of His creation made in His image. As parents and teachers, we need to start as early as possible teaching our children to have a personal relationship with their Father God. It is too easy to teach children what they should and should not do as though they can do something to…

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    Tips for Teaching #2

    I believe that today’s tip can help us better prepare our children for the difficulties of standing strong in their faith Tip number two: Encourage children to embrace their struggles. According to Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, by Tim Keller., our culture is one of the few around the world that believes that suffering is to be avoided at any cost. Most cultures see suffering as a normal part of life and essential for becoming healthy productive adults. Though suffering is uncomfortable, and scary, it is also unavoidable. Our task is to help our children see past the difficulties. Suffering is a gift to help us grow in our…

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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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    Welcome to My Messy

    My life is messy. Let me just start today by putting the truth out there. Of course, you wouldn’t know my life is messy just by looking at me. Like all of us, I know how to keep going in hard times and I cope when I need to. I used to guard the truth of my life, and I would continually makeover appearances of my exterior life so people wouldn’t ask questions about my internal struggles. Although not everyone goes to extreme lengths to conceal what they fear might look “off,” most of us don’t want others to see our behind-the-scenes messy truth. Since I’m being honest about my…

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    What is Art, Anyway?

    When my dear friend Laura Helms told me about integrating her biblical worldview with how she teaches high school art, I was fascinated and asked her to write about her approach. For the last nine years I have had the privilege of teaching visual arts in the public school system here in Texas. Each year I start off with one question on the board: “What is art?” Students give a wide range of answers but they usually land somewhere near the phrase “art can be whatever you want it to be.” This year I laid out an assortment of objects ranging from pottery to paintings to piles of trash that…

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    Heartprints

    When Obedience Isn’t A Product of Faith

    I'm a parent of two beautiful young ladies. My oldest is studying to be a family counselor. My youngest is an RN, working in administration, overseeing the functions of an entire department of a hospital. I am very proud of them and their achievements. I love who they are as sweet caring people and I admire the way they have worked hard to get ahead in life. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Desiring to raise our girls in a Christian home, we taught them that God’s Word says for children to obey their parents. We had consequences when they didn’t. Obedience seemed easier for our oldest. Our younger…