We gathered as a family for 11 conversations. There were countless distractions. An antsy five-year old present for each one. A few nights where we played catch up. And little messes to stop and clean. But we did it. And I’m thankful. As we talked about what it means for Jesus to be born into us, right now, in all our current realities, we spoke confessions of jealousy. Of stubborn pride. Of the desire for human compliment over godly affirmation. We invited God to enter relationships and insecurities and abilities. We wondered together about what God wants to give us […]
There’s an uncomfortableness when initiating meaningful moments. Not sure why. But surely you know the feeling I’m talking about. The moment when you want to pray for someone, but you hesitate because it feels awkward. Or when you think it would be good to take a conversation to a deeper level, but you’re afraid others won’t join you. Or you gather as a small group and you hate to interrupt the social, and you’re not quite sure how to transition to the devotional. Maybe these moments are awkward because we wish they would initiate themselves, naturally occur without us trying. […]
If you’re looking for an intentional way to welcome Jesus into your heart and home this Christmas, I share with you these Advent thoughts intended to initiate heart talks between you and God, and with those you celebrate. Experience Christmas new through welcoming Jesus to be born — not just in a manger, not just unto the world — but born into you and all your joyful and broken realities.
There’s a harvest to reap on this earth. And we are the laborers. Sowing seeds of love and grace. Praying for the Giver of Life to nourish and grow. Gathering believing hearts to be welcomed at the feast. We’re always sowing, whether we realize it or not. The question is What are we sowing? Are we planting seeds of judgment that turn people away. Are we planting seeds of bitterness that take root and choke out life? Are we planting seeds of division that hinder and block the Light? Or are we planting seeds of hope that offer promise to those […]
To harvest is to gather. To recognize what is ripe and to collect and enjoy the fruits of a season. And then we feast. We let the sweet and savory crops satisfy us. And we give thanks for what’s been given. Oh that we would be a people who do this with love! That we would recognize this fruit of the Spirit that has grown and ripened in the season we’re living right now. That we would collect our experiences and memories of the love given and received. Of the seeds planted with grace, and the witness of love growing […]
Today I yelled at my children. I mean YELLED. Like at the top of my lungs with a really ugly face. Suddenly, their bickering had reached a limit with me and I simply couldn’t hear another whine or argument. So to set them straight, I screamed out my frustration, threw a book on the ground and stomped my foot really hard. Wondering how effective this method was? Well, one child stormed off into the woods, one started crying and another reprimanded me. (I’ll let you guess which child did what). Oh I really hate these moments. The ones where I […]
A tradition passed down through generations. Ordinary white eggs about to transform. They are gently wrapped in colored silk and immersed in water and vinegar. Funny how this Easter tradition of dying eggs involves vinegar. And it was vinegar that last touched the lips of a dying Jesus. Stained. From ordinary to beautiful! And so are we. Gently wrapped in grace, immersed in love. And stained. Marked by the blood that covers our sin and gives us life. Transformed by the stain of Christ. From ordinary creatures to redeemed children of God!
I’m seeking God more intentionally these days in the matters of our family. Matters in how we are loving and relating with one another. How we are shaping each other. And when you seek God, you will find him. I’m knocking quieting through prayer and fasting and he has faithfully opened the door to truth. And even though it’s a promise he gives us, I’m still a little surprised when it happens. I held my bible in my hands with a confidence that where it fell open, there would be a word to dwell on. I needed the thoughts and […]
Funny how something intended to connect can make you feel so disconnected. Our world is getting bigger and smaller at the same time. Bigger because we are expanding beyond our closest communities and engaging broader, more distant places and people. Smaller, because suddenly those far off places don’t seem so far off anymore due to easy and frequent communication. Facebook has quickly dominated our worldwide social scene. It’s telling people’s stories. It’s changing the experience of the missionary. It’s connecting people with similar journeys who wouldn’t otherwise find each other. It’s a tool for encouragement. It carries messages and begs […]