When following Jesus hurts….

Left on their own, vine branches harbor disease and grow spindly, then die. They head off in wrong directions. God’s good nature is to prevent that. But, sometimes it hurts.

We are pruned.

What blocks victory

There’s a stretch of time between God calling Gideon a mighty warrior and Gideon acting like one.  Gideon had questions. Gideon needed proof. An angel of the LORD met him and Gideon made excuses. Perhaps that is what happens when a culture drifts away from intimacy with God. They forget Who God is. What He…

How do Introverts become Bold?

Be bold. Be confident in the gifts you’ve been given. Don’t be afraid to use them. Don’t. Hold. Back.  I’ve heard them all. OK extroverts. Me, speaking in front of people? Praying out loud? That’s me being bold. That’s me coming a few clicks short of a nervous breakdown in order to wield this gift…

If you say so Jesus

Luke 5:1-11. Jesus told Simon to put his nets down into the deep water. And, Peter’s response was a reluctant one. “Master, we have worked all night long, but we have caught nothing.”  Um, Jesus. I just did that. You actually saw me cleaning up my empty nets before you borrowed my boat.  But, after…

Heavenly Sigh

What happens when the Great I am sighs? What happens when the One Who knows us so intimately, who holds time itself within His grasp—takes a moment, looks up, and sighs? By the time Jesus was called upon to heal a man who couldn’t hear and had a speech impediment (NRSV), he had already healed…

Potato Salad, Payday and the Kingdom of Heaven

Oh, behold the church potluck dinner. You think it’s a gathering of people bringing food. To share. To do that churchy word “fellowship”. Let’s get real. Bubbling up underneath the surface is a pile of people sizing each other up based on their potato salad. You know I’m right. There is nothing more horrendous than…

False Humility: Closeted Pride

I watched a snippet of a video from a self-proclaimed prophet the other day. What strikes me as odd is the widespread declaration of blessing and breakthrough on whole groups of people, without the call to repentance or discipline. Or humility. And I wonder if blessing without discipline is really what the American culture needs…

A Confession Isaiah 53:5

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. Upon Him was the punishment that made us whole. Whole– complete, lacking or wanting nothing. Nothing left undone. God’s sacrifice of His son Jesus didn’t almost…

Scattered Rags Isaiah 30:19-22

The other day, my teenage son sat down on the couch and tearfully poured out his heart about the approaching shift from high school to college. So many lasts. So many firsts.  And I wonder how things will turn out. If my husband and I said enough, did enough, held on tight enough, let them…

Mercy, Target, and Back to School….

If anyone wants to have a taste of Hades, just go to Target during the back to school sale.There is no fire or brimstone, but there are people acting like all of life depends on getting the .50 pack of crayons for their baby. I almost got ran over by a woman pushing a shopping…