As humans, we’re creatures of habit, aren’t we? We have our special spots in the car and at the dinner table. We have our certain pew at church. But when a loved one dies, those spots become empty. Your friend’s chair is unused. Mom’s house stays undecorated. Grandma’s signature dish is missing. The arms that … More Death and Christmas
God still loves me. Those are the only words in the chorus of “Naomi’s Song.” Usually, as I song-write, I try to derive my lyrics straight from scripture. But as I was wrestling with Naomi’s story from the book of Ruth, I couldn’t find clearly spelled out in the narrative what truth she based her … More Whispering Worship Through Our Pain
Loss hurts. In these past few months, I have cringed as friend after friend suffered loss. Three couples have miscarried. Several church friends and my neighbor have suddenly lost a parent. Cancer killed a 26-year-old cousin of my husband. Smaller losses hurt too: pets, jobs, friends. As I have wept with those who weep, my … More Why Naomi’s Song?
Metaphors rock. In English class you may have learned that a metaphor is a comparison between two objects that does not use “like” or “as.” Ug. How un-poetic! A metaphor happens when words form two separate images in your mind and then meld them together into one fascinating new picture. And I especially love this … More Why Under His Wings?
I freeze. Our family’s future has been uncertain for well over a year now. We live as legal aliens in a Middle Eastern city. As such, our visas, apartment, schooling etc. all depend on my husband’s employment. We’ve been riding a roller coaster of yes-you-can-stay and oh-wait-no-you-can’t. And it looks like this July we’ll be … More When Facing a Future of Unknowns . . .
Christian, B.I.C-C.R., don’t bicker. To illustrate, let’s pretend. Jesus Himself used made up stories to illustrate his teaching points, so I think that legitimizes our strategy. Let’s pretend that we own and manage a store in a small town in America. It’s a town of thousands, but not tens of thousands. It’s a store with … More Build Intentional Cross-Cultural Relationships
There’s a stark contrast between a covenant kept and a covenant broken in Jeremiah chapters 33 and 34. First, a covenant is broken in Jeremiah 34. Knowing Jerusalem itself would soon be under siege, King Zedekiah and all Jerusalem with him “repent.” They remember that they had been breaking God’s law all along by keeping … More Covenant Breakers vs. Covenant Keeper
When some men at church invited my husband to join a weight loss challenge, I was sure he would turn them down. We had never dieted, not exercised in years, and were just recovering from a herniated disc in his neck. To my surprise, he accepted the challenge, googled diet and exercise plans, and handed … More Food: Learning to Love What’s Good for You
Nowadays, I can rarely make it through a worship service without tears. Sometimes it’s the songs, sometimes the sermon, possibly communion or often the quiet meditation time at the end. It has become necessary for me to go to church with Kleenex tissue packets in my bag! Before you all rush me to the psychiatrist … More Why wet worship?
From Acts 19:11-20 (ESV) And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke … More Envying the Extraordinary
On one hand, the decision was easy. Everything: finances, family stress levels, our son’s crushing feelings of defeat, being expatriates, the advice of friends and family. Everything seemed to clearly point to one solution: try homeschooling. On the other hand, the decision was excruciating. I was directing our children’s church ministry. I led worship songs … More My Demotion to Homeschooling
Today is Mother’s Day. (At least for Americans and Filipinos.) My thoughts are drawn to my Korean friend. She and her husband have never been able to have children. Most would not consider her a mother. Today, she is flying down to Africa, where she and her husband support a kindergarten full of African children. … More Mother’s Day 2014