Will This Be Your Summer of Growth?

Does the sunshine and warmth bring to mind lovely gardens full of blooming flowers and ripe vegetables? If you are ready for some growth in your own life, why not begin here: Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3.18 Such spiritual growth is a process called sanctification — one that lasts a lifetime, and even into eternity. But along the way, great strides can be made,…

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5 Tips for When You are Discouraged in Your Calling

(NOTE: I originally wrote this for writers who felt discouraged, but honestly, the principles can apply to whatever you are called to be and do. Hope these tips offer hope as you move into the Summer!) You got excited. Inspired to write. Motivated to minister. Challenged to pursue dreams. And, for a while there – surrounded by kindred spirits cheering you on – you could almost taste the success. A book published. A conference keynote…

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12 Things I Would Tell That Bride Who Was Me

Today is our 37th Wedding Anniversary and Mike is visiting family in Seattle and I am home in Connecticut. But we really are still together — and yes, even throughout a very challenging pandemic year. I am in such a season of looking back and hoping forward, so I’m going to re-post what I wrote last year on our anniversary. May these words encourage you today. As I glanced at the photographs of my younger…

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When Joy & Pain Dwell Together

It is difficult to experience two opposite emotions simultaneously. I’m reminded of the classic Mary Tyler Moore TV episode featuring the death of Chuckles the Clown – where Mary can’t help but laugh uncontrollably during the funeral. She grieves the loss of her television co-worker, but she is also overcome by happy memories of the joy he brought. My recent journey home to spend time with family was – as journeys often are – a…

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My Own Gift from the Sea

This week I gathered my weary body and soul and joined with the two friends that have known and loved me my entire life (that would be my sisters) for a few days at the seaside.  Honey, there is nothing quite like ocean waves, shells on the shore, and sand between your toes to restore a soul. Early mornings looking out at the vast expanse of emptiness (not really empty) brings me Calm, Serenity and…

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ReVisit Your Childhood Story

What is the backstory of your life? In a book or movie, the backstory refers to the history behind the current situation — basically what happened before that sets into motion what is happening now. To share your story, it is important to process and understand your early life. Today I’m visiting my hometown in South Georgia and will reunite with Mama, my two sisters, and a dear Aunt after a two-year absence, due to…

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When We All Hit a Wall – at the Same Time

I was describing the royal funeral procession to my husband, “Charles and Anne first, then Edward and… you know, the other brother, what’s his name? Was married to Fergie. In a sex scandal. What was his name? … Oh yeah, Andrew.” Of course I know the names of Queen Elizabeth’s children. But my mind is very slow on the uptake these days. Feels like I’m slogging through mud sometimes. And please don’t ask me what…

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A Shocking Peace

Last week a fellow Christian author and his wife and grandchildren were murdered, along with the workman at their home. This godly doctor, father, and friend to many who wrote “Angels in the ER” is now amongst the angels. Recently Dr. Robert Lesslie penned these words on his blog, “One day when I depart this body and find myself in the presence of the Lord, my time, however it will be measured, will be filled…

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For All Those Agonizing Moments…

A dozen years ago I had the great privilege of spending time during Lent in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. In the Easter story, Jesus’ time in the Garden is one that pierces my soul every time I think of all He encountered. So it was especially poignant to be there amongst the olive trees and in the shadow of the Church of the Agony.  Gethsemane means ‘pressed down’ and that’s exactly how Christ felt…

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What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

Do you ever just want more? More peace. More purpose. More power. Your desire is calling you deeper. Not to just know all about God but to know Him intimately. That desire from within is a hunger for more of God. The Almighty. The King of kings and Lord of lords. Creator and sustainer of the universe. The One who spun the stars into space and counts every hair on your head. The Man of…

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Words to Fight Life’s Battles

What if evil hijacked your youth and held you captive for years and years? When escape to a new life was finally achieved, you would vow to stay as far away from your former captors as possible, right? Well, maybe not. Maybe you would choose to return to your land of captivity and “conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12.21) Patrick was a sixteen-year-old teenager when he was abducted. There were no milk cartons broadcasting…

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Our Pieced-Together Past Year

One year ago our whole world changed. I remember mid-March oh so well. I had spent the last 3 weeks of February in bed with a horrible flu and bronchitis (!) but was finally back teaching at the high school. Already the news flashes of this novel “coronavirus” were becoming more and more alarming and I decided that I wouldn’t accept any substitute days after Friday March 13th. Just in case. We had invited friends…

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