Sacred Gathering

By |2020-05-27T13:32:26-04:00June 3rd, 2020|

Our group of friends reunited for a long weekend together on the shores of a beautiful lake. The days were spent playing in the water and sharing meals, but it was the evening conversations I treasured the most. As darkness fell, our hearts opened to one another with uncommon depth and vulnerability, sharing the pains of faltering marriages and the aftermath of trauma some of our children were enduring...

The Saddest Goose

By |2020-04-20T13:50:42-04:00April 23rd, 2020|

Why is there a football in the parking lot? I wondered. But as I got closer, I realized the greyish lump wasn’t a football: it was a goose—the saddest Canada goose I’d ever seen. Geese often congregate on the lawn near my workplace in the spring and fall. But today there was only one, its neck arced back and its head tucked beneath a wing...

Healing Words

By |2020-04-09T16:54:33-04:00April 14th, 2020|

A recent study has shown that encouraging words from a health-care provider can help patients recuperate faster from their ailments. A simple experiment exposed volunteer study participants to a skin allergen to make them itch and then compared the reactions between those who received assurance from their physician and those who didn’t...

Two Are Better

By |2020-03-04T12:08:10-05:00March 6th, 2020|

In the 1997 Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, two women fought to stay on their feet as they hobbled toward the finish line. Exhausted, the runners persevered on wobbly legs, until Sian Welch bumped into Wendy Ingraham. They both dropped to the ground. Struggling to stand, they stumbled forward, only to fall again about twenty meters from the finish line. When Ingraham began to crawl, the crowd applauded...

Gifts from Above

By |2019-12-05T17:07:56-05:00December 6th, 2019|

According to an old story, a man named Nicholas (born in ad 270) heard about a father who was so poor that he couldn’t feed his three daughters, much less provide for their future marriages. Wanting to assist the father, but hoping to keep his help a secret, Nicholas threw a bag of gold through an open window, which landed in a sock or shoe drying on the hearth...

Just a Touch

By |2019-10-23T07:53:17-04:00October 24th, 2019|

It was just a touch, but it made all the difference to Colin. As his small team was preparing to do charitable work in a region known for hostility to believers in Jesus, his stress level began to rise. When he shared his worries with a teammate, his friend stopped, placed his hand on his shoulder, and shared a few encouraging words with him...

Lincoln’s Pockets

By |2019-08-12T17:12:31-04:00August 15th, 2019|

The night US president Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater in 1865, his pockets contained the following: two spectacles, a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a handkerchief, a leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate bill, and eight newspaper clippings, including several that praised him and his policies...

The Power of Encouragement

By |2019-08-07T13:41:15-04:00August 10th, 2019|

When he was a young boy, Benjamin West attempted to draw a picture of his sister, but he succeeded only in making a mess. His mother saw his creation, kissed him on the head, and remarked, “Why, it’s Sally!” He would later say that it was that kiss that made him an artist—and the great American painter he would become. Encouragement is a powerful thing!

The Best Strategy for Life

By |2019-04-29T13:57:33-04:00May 9th, 2019|

As we watched my daughter’s basketball game from the bleachers, I heard the coach utter a single word to the girls on the court: “Doubles.” Immediately, their defensive strategy shifted from one-on-one to two of their players teaming against their tallest ball-holding opponent. They were successful in thwarting her efforts to shoot and score, eventually taking the ball down the court to their own basket...