Does Ministry Kill Marriage?
The other morning I got up early to write, but while waiting for the coffee to brew, I turned on the TV. Big mistake. As I clipped through the channels, I stopped to watch the movie Freedom Writers. Again.
My friend Anita first encouraged me to see this movie, starring Hillary Swank and Patrick Dempsey. At face value, Freedom Writers is another one of those inspirational ...
Bothered by the Business of Church
I'll admit that I like to pull a Scarlett O'Hara when it comes to the less attractive side of church leadership, like getting the parking lot paved or turning in a budget. "Fiddle dee dee!" I shrug. "I can't think about that now! I'll think about that tomorrow…"
I think the business of church can be excruciating. What do you ...
Finding Strength in Rest
I saw a shooting star tonight!
I've never seen a shooting star before, and I wouldn't have seen it this time except that I was walking up a rickety wooden pier in the lake and just happened to turn my head to the right, in time to see a brilliant downward flash of light that disappeared only a second after my mind understood what it was. I'm so grateful that ...
When You Don't Feel Gifted
Who are you calling a leader?
John Maxwell says leadership is influence. Well, if that's the case, I guess I've always been a leader. I'm the oldest child of two strong-willed, independent parents, so I may even have been born a leader! If I were in a group and no one was in charge, it was natural for me to step into the role. People often looked to me for ...
The Caregiving Challenge
A few weeks ago, I attended a book launch party for my former colleague Rob Moll's new book, The Art of Dying. While words like dying and caregiving normally don't compel me, I have to admit that during Rob's reading, I was hooked. I stayed hooked during our conversation afterward as he told me how women are leading the charge on transforming the way we care for ...
Between sessions at a busy conference, I rushed through my email at a student kiosk. I clicked open an article and time stopped. Finger poised over the mouse, I read the headline about Jennifer Knapp, a million-record-selling, multiple-Dove-award-winning singer-songwriter: "Jennifer Knapp: resisting the label lesbian, but ‘in love with a beautiful woman.'" ...
The Trouble with Excellence
In an ever-growing list of words that annoy the living daylights out of me, excellence has clawed its way to the top. It's everywhere, and I'm sick of it.
Funny, because I used to love this word—when written in perfect grade-school-teacher cursive atop a worksheet or when my piano teacher (rarely) scrawled it on top of a page of a songbook. It meant something ...
My Dangerous Wonder-Woman Ego
I couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old when I first watched Wonder Woman on TV, but I remember specifically thinking,
She is awesome.
I want to be her.
She's so strong.
She's so pretty.
She quickly became my super hero. I even sported Wonder Woman Underoos until I could no longer fit in them. (Don't judge; I know you had your favorite super-hero Underoos ...
Praying for Prodigals
"Heroin? Our son is on heroin?"
Emotion washed over Laurie. How is he? How could he?
Laurie and Jason had just found out their 18-year-old son was in jail for heroin possession and use. They were overwhelmed with the shock and horror of it and with concern for their son.
As that reality began to settle in, they were overcome with a new thought: What would ...
The Gift of Curiosity
"How does a caterpillar make a cocoon?"
My three young children are incessantly curious, asking questions of nature, of people, and of God. As their mother and primary answer-giver, I find their curiosity alternately fascinating and frustrating.
"Why does Emma have two daddies and two mommies?"
I used to relish curiosity. But lately busyness and ...