Great News!

By | 2019-02-27T16:09:37+00:00 February 28th, 2019|

The article in the local newspaper was short but heartwarming. After attending a faith-based program on building stronger family ties, a group of prison inmates were given a rare treat of an open visit with their families. Some hadn’t seen their children in years. Instead of talking through a glass panel, they could touch and hold their loved ones. The tears flowed freely as families grew closer and wounds began to heal...

Out of the Mouths of Babes

By | 2019-02-22T15:51:30+00:00 February 27th, 2019|

After watching ten-year-old Viola using a tree branch as a microphone to mimic a preacher, Michele decided to give Viola the opportunity to “preach” during a village outreach. Viola accepted. Michele, a missionary in South Sudan, wrote, “The crowd was enraptured. . . . A little girl who had been abandoned stood in authority before them as a daughter of the King of kings, powerfully sharing the reality of God’s Kingdom...

Working off Bad Information

By | 2019-02-22T15:41:41+00:00 February 26th, 2019|

On a recent trip to New York City, my wife and I wanted to brave a snowy evening and hire a taxi for a three-mile ride from our hotel to a Cuban restaurant. After entering the details into the taxi service’s app, I gulped hard when the screen revealed the price for our short jaunt: $1,547.26. After recovering from the shock, I realized I had mistakenly requested a ride to our home—several hundred miles away..!

The Spirit of Fika

By | 2019-02-22T15:34:03+00:00 February 25th, 2019|

The coffeehouse in the town near my house is named Fika. It’s a Swedish word meaning to take a break with coffee and a pastry, always with family, co-workers, or friends. I’m not Swedish, yet the spirit of fika describes one thing I love most about Jesus—His practice of taking a break to eat and relax with others. Scholars say Jesus’s meals weren’t random. Theologian Mark Glanville calls them “the delightful ‘second course’” of Israel’s feasts and celebrations in the Old Testament...

Quiet Awe

By | 2019-02-20T16:55:07+00:00 February 24th, 2019|

My life often feels frenzied and hectic. I hurry from one appointment to the next, returning phone calls and checking items off my seemingly infinite to-do list while on my way. Out of sheer exhaustion one Sunday, I collapsed into the hammock in our backyard. My phone was inside, as were my children and husband. At first I planned to sit for just a moment or two, but in the undistracted stillness, I began to notice things that invited me to linger longer...

Living in God’s Story

By | 2019-02-20T16:39:35+00:00 February 23rd, 2019|

Ernest Hemingway was asked if he could write a compelling story in six words. His response: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Hemingway’s story is powerful because it inspires us to fill in the details. Were the shoes simply not needed by a healthy child? Or was there a tragic loss—something requiring God’s deep love and comfort..?

He Holds Our Hand

By | 2019-02-20T16:30:09+00:00 February 22nd, 2019|

The little girl who navigated the stairway one Sunday at church was cute, spunky, and independent. One by one the child—who appeared to be not much older than two years—took the steps down to the lower level. Descending the stairs was her mission and she accomplished it. I smiled to myself as I pondered the daring independence of this courageous toddler...

Living Sacrifice

By | 2019-02-19T16:55:00+00:00 February 21st, 2019|

My great aunt had an exciting job in advertising and traveled between Chicago and New York City. But she chose to give up that career out of love for her parents. They lived in Minnesota and needed to be cared for. Both of her brothers had died young in tragic circumstances and she was her mom and dad’s only remaining child. For her, serving her parents was an expression of her faith...

Send It in a Letter

By | 2019-02-19T16:43:19+00:00 February 20th, 2019|

Like most four-year-olds, Ruby loved to run, sing, dance, and play. But she started complaining about pain in her knees. Ruby’s parents took her in for tests. The results were shocking—a diagnosis of cancer, stage 4 neuroblastoma. Ruby was in trouble. She was quickly admitted to the hospital. Ruby’s hospital stay lingered on, spilling over into the Christmas season, a hard time to be away from home...

Shelve Them and Move On

By | 2019-02-15T16:30:15+00:00 February 19th, 2019|

I’m reminded of some wise advice a radio broadcaster friend once gave me. Early on in his career, as my friend struggled to know how to deal with both criticism and praise, he felt that God was encouraging him to shelve both. What’s the essence of what he took to heart? Learn what you can from criticism and accept praise. Then shelve both and humbly move on in God’s grace and power...