In Abundance or Affliction

By |2018-12-19T15:24:48+00:00December 23rd, 2018|

Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts encourages readers to search their lives each day for what the Lord has done for them. In it, she daily notes God’s abundant generosity to her in gifts both large and small, ranging from the simple beauty of iridescent bubbles in the dish sink to the incomparable salvation of sinners like herself (and the rest of us!). Ann contends that gratitude is the key to seeing God in even the most troubling of life’s moments...

Mosaic of Beauty

By |2018-12-14T11:02:48+00:00December 15th, 2018|

Sitting in the courtyard of the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, Israel, I was overwhelmed with the beautiful display of sixty-seven mosaics containing the words of Luke 1:46–55 in as many languages. Traditionally known as the Magnificat from the Latin “to magnify,” these verses are Mary’s joyous response to the announcement that she will be the mother of the Messiah...

Thanks for Being You!

By |2018-11-26T14:03:22+00:00December 3rd, 2018|

When I served as my mom’s live-in caregiver at a cancer center, I got to know Lori, another caregiver who lived down the hallway from us with her husband, Frank. I would chat, laugh, vent, cry, and pray with Lori in the shared living areas. We enjoyed supporting each other as we cared for our loved ones. One day, I missed the free shuttle that took residents to buy groceries. Lori offered to drive me to the store later that evening...

Honoring God with Thanks

By |2018-11-23T14:26:51+00:00November 30th, 2018|

The doctor wasn’t frowning, despite talking to my husband about his recent cancer diagnosis. Smiling, she offered a suggestion: start each day by giving thanks. “For at least three things,” the doctor said. Dan agreed, knowing that gratitude opens our hearts to find encouragement in God’s goodness. Thus, Dan starts each day with words of praise. Thank You, God, for a good night’s sleep. For my clean bed. For sunshine...

Getting a Grip on Gratitude

By |2018-10-12T12:38:42+00:00October 29th, 2018|

The years of weariness caused by chronic pain and frustrations with my limited mobility had finally caught up with me. In my discontent, I became demanding and ungrateful. I began complaining about my husband’s caregiving skills. I griped about the way he cleaned the house. Even though he’s the best cook I know, I fussed about the lack of variety in our meals. When he finally shared that my grumbling hurt his feelings, I was resentful...

Marvelous Maker

By |2018-07-19T12:41:43+00:00August 19th, 2018|

As an amateur photographer, I enjoy capturing glimpses of God’s creativity with my camera. I see His fingerprints on each delicate flower petal, each vibrant sunrise and sunset, and each cloud-painted and star-speckled sky canvas. My camera’s powerful zoom option allows me to take photos of the Lord’s creatures too. I’ve snapped shots of a chattering squirrel in a cherry blossom tree, a colorful butterfly flitting from bloom to bloom, and sea turtles sunning on a rocky, black beach...

Saying Grace

By |2018-06-18T16:13:46+00:00June 25th, 2018|

For many years, I’ve enjoyed the writings of British author G. K. Chesterton. His humor and insight often cause me to chuckle and then pause for more serious contemplation. For example, he wrote, “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the play and the opera, and grace before the concert and pantomime...

Praising God’s Goodness

By |2018-05-15T12:32:10+00:00May 17th, 2018|

Someone in our Bible-study group suggested, “Let’s write our own psalms!” Initially, some protested that they didn’t have the flair for writing, but after some encouragement everyone wrote a moving poetic song narrating how God had been working in their lives. Out of trials, protection, provision, and even pain and tears came enduring messages that gave our psalms fascinating themes.

The Art of a Grateful Heart

By |2018-03-16T15:17:28+00:00March 19th, 2018|

On our wedding day, Martie and I gladly vowed to be faithful “in good times as well as in bad, in sickness as well as in health, for richer or for poorer.” In a way it may seem strange to include vows about the bleak reality of bad times, sickness, and poverty on a cheerful wedding day. But it underscores the fact that life often has “bad” times...

It’s in the Attitude

By |2018-01-12T08:51:38+00:00January 22nd, 2018|

Regina drove home from work discouraged and tired. The day had started with tragic news in a text message from a friend, then spiraled downward in meetings with co-workers who refused to work with any of her ideas. As Regina was talking to the Lord, she thought it best to put the stress of the day aside and made a surprise visit with flowers to an elderly friend at a care center...