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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…

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    Impact

    The Clarity of Death

    “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). My father died recently. He was always sharp, quick with a pun or a play on words, an accountant by trade who worked until he was seventy-seven years old. He was a student of the Bible for almost sixty years. He did a lot of reading, writing, and “sparring” (personal debating) over the years, quoting folks like Barnhouse and Spurgeon in the process. But dementia overtook him these last few years. He could no longer…

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    Why Work?

      Cultures flourish and deteriorate based on how they answer these questions: Why do people exist? Is there some greater meaning to life? What’s our purpose in the here and now? Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” If we’re honest, we all want to know the why. So what if someone told you, “You were born to work.” Seriously? We understand the need to work, at least in terms of providing financial means for individuals and their families. And clearly “born to work” isn’t referring to living in captivity, so there must…

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    No More Masks

                  As the days grow shorter and golden leaves fall from trees, we pack up Halloween decorations in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although a few costumes may linger in photos on the fridge, everything else is set aside for another year. However, there’s one thing that few of us ever put away: the everyday masks we live behind. We all have masks of one sort or another. Reasons vary. For some, our masks protect us from going too deep or being too real. For others, masks allow us to live more boldly as the alter ego we espouse. Still others crave physical and…

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    What Should I Do with Rejection?

    In an unfamiliar city, my family and I were searching for a quick meal before heading off to the airport. We spotted a restaurant that looked like it would work so we entered and asked for a table. We were promptly seated….and then our waitress arrived. In a rough and hoarse voice, she barked, “Do you want me to harass you and give you a hard time?” I was shocked and horrified. In an uncharacteristic manner of my introverted self, I quickly replied, “No, we don’t want that!!!” She said OK, and proceeded to take our orders. As other waiters and waitresses continued to badger their customers (and customers badgered…

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    Heartprints

    Enjoying Halloween??? – Culturally Acceptable and Spiritually Divisive

      I did a definition search on the word “hallow.” The basic definition is, holy. I searched for the meaning of the suffix “een.” IIt is considered to be a contraction of the word “evening.” It seems to have in its definition the meaning of “not something” Evening is the time between day and night. It is neither. So what do Christians do with a holiday that is not holy but is between? October 31st has been dubbed Halloween. The name fits well. It is not truly holy, but it is not completely evil either, and considered by some even neutral. Some use this holiday to decorate in a fall theme,…

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    To Tell the Truth: Integrity and Social Media

    The United States has just past through a particularly contentious news cycle. What about in your country? Are people working out problems or are they viciously debating issues and name calling? I wrote this post several years ago, but its message still seems necessary today: Are you like me? Controlling my words is an area where I have to be vigilant. Lately negative social media posts are on the upswing, and 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(NET) challenges me: Do you want to really live?  Would you love to live a long, happy…