All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. I began volunteering in the nursery at church in fourth grade, started babysitting when I was 11 years old, and nannied a little Japanese boy during my college years.
I absolutely loved caring for babies and children.
After Tom and I were married for a few years, we decided it was time to start a family. I was beyond excited. Imagine my heartbreak when things didn’t happen the way I thought they would.
We all have our stories of the desert. My first journey began when I was 17 and all that I knew of my childhood family was shattered. The labor pains leading up to this time began years before, but this was when things really derailed. It was my senior year of high school. I was living on my own trying to make sense of everything that was flipped upside down.
The pain I felt was the only thing in my view.
A dear friend of mine once said to me, “God isn’t up in heaven, scratching his head and wondering what’s going to happen to us next.” This simple statement struck me to the core and was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in my journey.
I’ve often found myself thinking back to that statement and taking comfort in the fact that God is not confused about my future. Read more
The sun rises in the east to begin a new day – even if you live in Michigan and experience weeks on end of sunless grey skies. The splendor of colorful new growth abounds in various forms following a season of rain. These are things I thank God for. While not specifically asking for them, I trust they will happen because I believe Him as the Creator—the one who gives life and makes all things new. Read more
I recently heard the word “glory” defined as God’s infinite and intrinsic weight and worth. God and His glory are what life is all about. Glory is the thread that runs through life and all of eternity.
Genesis 1.1 says, “In the beginning, GOD…” When it all started, when there was nothing, God was. He always has been. Psalm 90.2 says, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 19.1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” In Psalm 148 creation praises Him. In Philippians 2.10 it says that “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of God the Father.”
All of this is not for a needy or egotistical God. What he says is true of his character. Read more
The horrific events that occurred in Boston yesterday call out to us to wrestle with trust in the face of trauma. Coupled with life that is filled with times of loss, the issue of worship and trust in the face of tragedy is a difficult one at best. How do we worship in the face of loss? If God is powerful enough to stop tragedy, why doesn’t he? How do we cultivate trust amid traumatic times? Read more
This past weekend Dan wrapped up our time together by giving us a large vision of worship. More than just our time together for an hour each weekend, Dan called us to see all of life as a chance to jump into the offering basket.
I love the bigness of that picture, and I love the completeness of the worship we are called to in Colossians 3.17 – to give everything we say and everything we do as an offering of thanks to God. Big! Epic! I mean, God is big, and the story he’s unfolding in creation is epic. So it makes sense that we should aspire to offer back a big and all-inclusive offering. Read more
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3.12-14).
Have you ever been around someone who is starting a journey? Perhaps it’s a journey to lose weight, maybe a journey to stop smoking. Or maybe the goal is simply to live healthier all around. There is always the first phase of making the goal and getting excited to start. Then there is the second phase, or “reality” as I call it, of actually going out and changing your habits to reflect your new journey.
If you’re anything like me, the first phase always seems easier than the second. Read more
For the last several years, my wife and I have had the privilege of leading the marriage prep ministry at Ada Bible Church. We love being involved in this ministry. Among other reasons, it’s given us the opportunity to spend time with a wide array of couples and the chance to see just how differently each couple approaches their relationship with one other and with God. And in the course of attempting to serve this wide array of people, we have learned a tremendous amount that has blessed our own relationship.
Among the many topics that we discuss with them is the importance of healthy conflict resolution. Let’s face it – all relationships have conflict, and not just marriages. Whether its spouses, coworkers, siblings, or fellow churchgoers, conflicts will inevitably arise as people grow closer and as they attempt to live life together.
But while conflict may be inevitable, the methods of resolution vary wildly. Read more
I grew up revering my dad. He was a godly man who loved his family. He was an engineer by training, but more than that, he was the spiritual leader in our home and a wonderful dad. He loved to laugh, play with his three kids, was committed to his faith and church, and he loved his family. He was one of those good Midwestern boys who would do anything for anyone and was a man of his word.
To this day, I admire him (he is with his Lord now), and I want to become more like him. I have kids of my own, and I hope to model the kind of love he exhibited to my family and those around me. Read more