faith

The Significance of Jesus’ Wounds: A Promise for You

It is Good Friday. This is the day we look to the cross to see the Lamb of God taking on the weight and shame of our sins. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, ESV) By the time the sun set on that fateful day, Jesus’ body bore the wounds of our [Read more...]

The Sacred Connection of Flavor to the Heart

I haven’t had a bite of my grandma’s coconut cake in over twenty-five years, but I can still taste it. It is remarkable how deeply connected our taste buds are to our hearts. Never does a bite of coconut cake pass my lips that I don’t think of her. I think Grandma’s coconut cake was the best on this side of heaven. As the knife sliced through the three-layer cake, the smell of vanilla and [Read more...]

Time-Tested Bible Stories for the Modern-Day Disciple

The first stories in the Bible were (likely) recorded in the second millenium. You don’t need a calculator to figure out that is a lot of years! Yet these ancient Bible stories hold great meaning for the modern-day disciple. The stories in God’s Word can instruct, inspire, heal, and encourage. For today’s #FridayFive, we will look at five issues modern-day disciples face and [Read more...]

5 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Easter

I grew up thinking Lent was what you pulled out of the dryer between loads. The churches we attended in my early years never mentioned this practice of preparing for Easter by fasting and praying. In my early twenties, I told a Catholic co-worker she had a little something on her forehead. I wondered how she could miss that big black smudge across the top of her head. It was Ash Wednesday. Cue [Read more...]

Today Is the Day to Believe What I Don’t Believe

“Mama, how many years will it be until 3000?” My middle child was apparently deep in thought in the back seat. I replied, “Nine hundred eighty-four.” Very matter-of-factly she said, “I don’t believe it.” We spent the rest of the car ride doing math in our head and debating the fact that 3,000 minus 2,016 does, in fact, equal 984 years. I was unable to [Read more...]

Sharing Love = Sharing the Gospel

“Preach the gospel always, if necessary use words.”  ~St. Francis of Assisi I’m a therapist at a hospital. Recently, we had an irritable, uncooperative patient who was putting everyone on her floor on edge. She yelled at every staff member who came into her room. She not-so-politely asked me to leave and not return. At first, I thought of her as an inconvenience. When it was time for me to [Read more...]

Dealing With the Doubt Behind the Discontent

Do you remember what a tumultuous mess you were as a thirteen-year-old girl? With the basic needs of food, shelter, and health met, you still wanted more. You craved relationship and pushed the people you loved away. Everything was going right, but your heart still felt twisted up and wrong. Unsettled. Discontent. Puberty is a beast. My emotions have returned to that of a thirteen-year-old girl. [Read more...]

Finding Comfort and Strength in the Names of God

When your last name is Smith, there is a lot of pressure to pick a good first name for your kid. Common names like John or Mary result in complete anonymity. John Smith? There are a blue million of them (no offense to any John Smith’s out there). With each of our three children, we struggled to find just the right name to go with their common surname. It was late into each pregnancy before [Read more...]

When You Want to Quit

Discouragement gathers like storm clouds on the horizon. When the early morning sun breaks through the slits in the blinds, I fight the desire to bury myself deeper under the covers. I am exhausted and spent. I have little to show for my pursuit of God’s call on my life except dark circles under my eyes and a pile of neglected laundry in the corner of my room. I am on the lookout for big [Read more...]

How Do God-Sized Dreams Become Reality?

“One must from time to time attempt things that are beyond one’s capacity. “ ~Pierre Auguste Renoir I am an absolute chicken. I am not one to take risks. I don’t wear trendy patterned fabrics. I eat vanilla ice cream. I have no desire to try “dangerous” sports like wakeboarding or skydiving. I like comfortable and certain. There is, however, a dreamer in me who thinks about big, new [Read more...]