How Can You Tell It’s the Real Thing?

One morning my computer screen and phone blew up with messages about my urgent email asking for money while I was on a trip. “What???” After initial confusion, I realized someone had cloned me – wreaking havoc with my life and reputation. Those emails appeared to be from me, with all the markings of legitimacy. But they were false. Beware of counterfeits. Caller ID on my landline phone often indicates a friend of mine is…

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What I Would Love to Say to All the Leaders

Everywhere I look chaos reigns.  Our world has spiraled into confusion, contempt, and confrontation when our better selves would choose compassion, courage, and community.  Desperate for change, we seek leadership — on every level.  But what kind of leaders do we need today for home, church, workplace, school, town, government, and country? And what could we possibly say to such people of influence?  For myself, obedience begins by praying…. “The first thing I want you…

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Enslaved No More

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5.1 Do people celebrate Juneteenth where you live? Perhaps this year, more than ever, we should realize the significance of this day of remembrance. For years now I have paused on June 19th in order to remember the unbelievable genesis of this holiday. On this day in 1865 Union…

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Faithful to Provide?

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4.19 One of the greatest tragedies during this pandemic has been the loss of jobs, business closings, charities and ministries hurting, and greatly reduced income for many, many people – including the elderly and disadvantaged populations. It’s no wonder many staying at home are filled with concern instead of calm Do you find yourself struggling financially and fearful…

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No Fear of Bad News

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112.6-7 It’s that time again – the nightly news on television. With a mixture of curiosity and dread, I often feel like standing in front of our TV before watching and loudly proclaiming “Jesus is Lord!” Just to remind myself of who is truly in control of this world. So I…

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On Those Days You Feel Abandoned

My heart breaks every time I think of Christ’s lament from the cross: About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,  lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).  Matthew 27.46 NIV Because there is nothing quite so painful as the sense of being abandoned by someone you love and trust. To understand the extent of Christ’s pain, we need to remember that He had often pointed out…

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12 Things I Would Tell That Bride Who Was Me

Our 36th wedding anniversary is later this week and we plan to celebrate quietly on our 74th day of pandemic quarantine. By God’s grace, we are still talking to each other! Making time to look back and remember – to look forward and hope. As I glanced at the photographs of my younger self, I thought of all the things I could tell that young woman now. She knew almost nothing about marriage and mothering,…

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6 Ways You Can Be a Spiritual Mama

While still in my thirties, I realized I was an ‘older woman.’ I had stumbled upon the mandate in Titus 2 about older women living in a way that honors God, “They should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women…” It was easy to dismiss this as something for my mother’s generation, until the Spirit spoke into my heart. No matter your age, there are always younger women. And…

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Have You Lost Track of God?

Have you ever taken your eyes off a child for a moment, only for them to become lost? No matter how long the separation lasts, the horror of their disappearance time-stamps your brain with trauma. Thirty years ago, my best friend Maggie Rowe, experienced this when her young son Jordan wandered away from his family during a visit to Plimoth Plantation near their Massachusetts home. Though he was found safely with a staff, Maggie still…

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Don’t Drive with Your Eyes Closed, Mama!

As I was driving through Seattle traffic, a loud siren blew, prompting me to immediately utter a short prayer for the first responders and those in crisis. From the back seat came a panicked little voice “Don’t close your eyes, Mama!” I had just married, moved to Seattle, and adopted three littles who were suddenly horrified at their new mama praying while driving in traffic. I assured my kids I didn’t close my eyes when…

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We are the Wounded 

“Just assume that everyone within the reach of your words is wounded.” These were my words to the writers and speakers attending my seminar entitled “What Your Audience Desperately Needs.” Because it’s true. We all carry soul wounds. Scars from childhood family skirmishes. Scratches from professional rejection. Scabs from physical trauma we never saw coming. Limps from having fallen one time too many. What are your souvenirs of suffering? And what do you do with…

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Can We Be Light in this Darkness?

We hang a Moravian Star in our front bay window yearlong, and of course we are especially mindful of keeping it lit up during this season of darkness, social distancing, and isolation. Into such dark times as we are experiencing Mike and I desperately long to “shine like stars” into our world, somehow even whilst being almost totally invisible. I love this paraphrase of Christ’s words delivered during the Sermon on the Mount: “You’re here…

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