Category Archives: authors

ALWAYS: A good word for hard times

Friends:  It’s been a rough week. I won’t go into details here, but if you’re a praying person, I would appreciate your prayers, especially for our Lucy. In the midst of everything, I don’t have many helpful words. But I happened to sign up for iDisciple last week, and this morning I read a really solid piece of writing from Stasi Eldredge.  (She and husband John are both wonderful writers. Look them up!)

Here is her devotional post entitled “Always”.  I’d just link to it, but I’m not sure you can get to it since it’s subscriber content. I couldn’t find it on her blog, as it is obviously not brand new. But since this past week was also the 9/11 anniversary, this piece seems especially appropriate.

I stopped getting the newspaper years ago because my heart couldn’t take it.  I would open it up and weep.  I didn’t know my tears were intercession, but they were.  They were then and they are now.

It’s been a week.  2:50pm a week ago today the first bomb went off, exploding our sense of safety and so much more.  I find myself today so very sad.  How are you doing?  My prayer is that my tears and yours join in the intercession for the many to aid in their healing and to bring the presence of Jesus. Continue reading

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Self-Discipline: As a Little Child?

SYTN book goodI attended a parenting class last week. Self-conscious as I was going into it, I was not the oldest person in the room. There was a fair amount of graying hair–various educators, as well as other grandparents, were in attendance. We were drawn to the free two-hour session by its title:  “Say Yes to No: Teaching Kids Self-Discipline.”  (It was based on the book to the right, which you can learn more about here.)

Our Lucy, bright and funny and energetic, is still a typical three-year-old: willful, testing her limits, testing our limits, asserting her own will. I know we need to get a handle on that, but instead I have found myself having PTSD (preschool temper & sassing days) flashbacks, along with the feeling that I never did know quite how to handle this stage.

My epiphany–although I couldn’t articulate it until just now–has been the realization that while self-discipline and self-control are largely the same, disciplining a child is not at all the same thing as controlling her.

And therein lay my greatest parenting failures. Continue reading

Existential conversations with my three-year-old

Lucy with Husky the dog, her current inseparable companion

Lucy with Husky the dog, her current inseparable companion

Lucy still spends much of her time either being an animal (favorites right now: wolf cub, tiger or puppy) or talking to her army of stuffed animals. But more and more she also takes time to ponder her own history.  Many of her sentences begin, “When I was little…” or “When I was a baby…”.

Since I will sometimes tell her a story from my own childhood, she recently was trying to grasp how she fit into that scenario: “When you were a little girl, did you know me?”  No, Lucy, when I was a little girl, you were not alive yet. Your daddy was not alive yet.

(silence for a moment)

“When you were a little girl, I was pretendin’ to be dead?!”

Continue reading

The Hollow World of “1984”

1984 posterOur theater company, all for One productions, is entering tech week for our upcoming stage production adapted from George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four…so naturally it’s the subject uppermost in my mind, even on a Sunday.

We’ve had some great conversations as a cast while working on this script. One thing we’ve wrestled with is the hopelessness in the story. all for One does not typically choose to tell hopeless stories. So why are we doing this one?

We’ve identified several aspects of the story which audiences today may relate to:  loss of privacy; the narrowing of language; and revisionist history.  We’ve talked about the fact that other countries–notably North Korea–are already experiencing a hell on earth which is quite similar to the world described in Orwell’s book.  Continue reading

“Didn’t we feel on fire?” (Easter Morning on the Emmaus Road)

[From Eugene Peterson’s The Message]

That same day [the morning of the Resurrection] two of them were walking to the village of Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

 He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?”

Continue reading

Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 6: Fixed-Hour Prayer

godsbooklover-gravatar991Prayer means many different things to different people, and there are many kinds of prayer. Let us say, for our purposes, that to pray is to address oneself to Deity. For most Christians, this is a practice in which they engage at least occasionally; for many, it is part of their daily routine.

Praying Hands statueAt times, prayer may flow out of what one is reading, or out of one’s life circumstances. At times, our hearts are beyond the ability to form our own words. At such times it is good to have the words of others as a guide, as we discussed in Week 2, Puritan Prayers. We are exhorted to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) and many of us find that very hard at the best of times.

How might we better incorporate prayer into our daily routine?

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 5: Online Devotionals

godsbooklover-gravatar991Each Wednesday during Lent, I am suggesting some resource or activity which can assist the Christian in his or her spiritual growth. We’ve looked at a news magazine, a collection of prayers, several excellent books, and some recording artists. This week, I want to acknowledge my own tremendous debt to a variety of online resources, all of which are free.

If you would like a daily devotional delivered to your inbox, the choices are vast. Here are a few I’ve used in the past couple of years:

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Digging Deeper for Lent, Week 4: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs

medieval hymnWhile music is not everyone’s preferred tool for spiritual growth and renewal, nor even for worship, it has its place in centering one’s thoughts on God, and can also be a teaching tool, both for doctrine and Scripture memory.

Since the apostle Paul instructs the early believers to sing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (see Ephesians 5:19 NIV), today I will offer my own recommendations for a bit of each of these three, from a variety of recording artists.

Continue reading