Better Provocation: Spurring One Another On

"Why don't you take over the women's Bible study? Come along with me to a village to share your testimony. I'm planning a retreat for the church planter's wives and you can share the messages." As a young and tentative cross-cultural worker, my teammate's many suggestions for serving sometimes irritated me. But she believed in me and continued to create opportunities for me—all the while cheering me on. She spurred me on as we are taught to do by the anonymous author of Hebrews.

Be Merciful Over and Over

"How do I know the Bible is true? Is God real? Is Jesus really God? I think the morality standards in the Bible no longer apply today. God loves everyone, so he won’t send any to eternal torment. The Bible is a book of nice stories but not the foundation for truth so it doesn’t matter how I live my life." Help for dealing with these questions and comments from my friends and loved ones can be found in Jude’s short New Testament letter.

May Mercy, Peace, and Love Be Yours

At times, I don’t know how to pray for the world around me. The needs seem too complex, too convoluted. Relationships are conflicted and the church wars against itself. Jude, the half-brother of Jesus—Mary of Nazareth's other son—prayed for the recipients of his letter to have mercy, peace, and love in abundance. This seems like a good place to start.

Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love

Today we head into the final week of waiting for our annual celebration of the birth of Mary’s son, Jesus. We expectantly anticipate the coming—the Advent—of the Son of the Most High as she did. During each week of Advent, I focused on finding the traditional Advent themes in Mary's story.

Women and Children First

"Wake up! Gather our belongings and meet in the hotel lobby!" Banging on the door aroused us from the beds we had just settled into. Frantically we followed orders and and joined our teammates and other guests to await our fate. There we received the news we had feared.

Diamonds are Forever?

As I was leaving the office yesterday, I had a large box in my arms. I pushed open the heavy automatic door but it shut before I was fully outside. My left hand was crushed between the door and the box I was holding. The pain was quite intense but I made it to the … Continue reading Diamonds are Forever?

Grief and Love

I was standing on the banks of Lake James in Angola, IN while my friend lay dying many miles away. As the water rippled up to the shore, the waves of grief washed over me. The November wind blew strongly in my face and through my pants, harsh and cold like the disease that ripped … Continue reading Grief and Love

The Perfect Foursome

Not often does one find a couple friendship where all four enjoy and challenge each other. Mark and I were knee deep in reentry after twelve years of ministry overseas. We were settled in Mark's home town and didn't have many friends. On top of that, we were on church staff which unfortunately put a … Continue reading The Perfect Foursome