Our Restless Lives

I was recently flipping through a copy of Good Housekeeping and scanned the editor's opening letter. She described being at an "improbable place: a women's retreat" for part of a Saturday. "Ironically," she wrote, "the topic was time—how to think about it, handle it, make peace with never having enough of it. And I discovered that ...

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The Conservation Conversation

I love the old hymn "All Creatures of Our God and King." Whether spiced up by David Crowder or belted out in the King's English, my soul is forever thankful to St. Francis of Assisi. When his 12th century refrain pops onto the screen in our sanctuary a burgeoning desire for God have me fearlessly belting out the lyrics.

Thou rushing wind that art so strong ...

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Honoring Moms in a Whole New Way

Last month, I guest-lectured in a Women's Studies class at Bethel University. My topic was How Motherhood Shapes a Woman's Soul, but I ended up talking more about how motherhood sort of mirrors God, how being a mom (or hearing from moms) helps us understand God, his relentless love, his willingness to forgive and his patience with the whiney little complainers that ...

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Do Your Thing

Tracy is a thirty-something mom living out her faith. The embodiment of her compassion has curly hair, mocha eyes and a healthy appetite—a six-week old foster child she keeps as a volunteer in a Christian crisis care organization. Last month, I visited Tracy for a few days. I watched her care for this sweet baby boy, marveling and worrying like a true mother. Her ...

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Choosy Leaders Choose (Like) Jesus

Samuel showed up on a Wednesday evening about the time we were beginning our fellowship meal, insisting he and I sit at a table by ourselves. He told me that he was possessed by a demon that had plagued him for much of his life. Some of his family members experienced the same thing. He made a fist around his ear lobe, indicating the kind of excruciating pain it caused.

But ...

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The Crazy Dark Days

Leadership is lonely.

We know that. We've been told that a zillion different ways from a million different leaders.

But, have you ever had one of those days that is beyond just lonely? One of those days where it feels so dark, like the world is closing in and you want to just walk away?

I call those the dark days of leadership. The days when the shades of gray ...

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Can We Serve Too Much?

Every few weeks, my husband and I get together with a group of friends. Since we all met at church—and since we were the brainchild of our teaching pastor and his wife—we might look like a "small group," but that's not quite right. We get together and eat and drink and talk. And talk and talk. Whoever hosts gets to choose the topic of discussion—or ...

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Woe Now! 3 Questions for Leaders

I'm a lover of the future. Some live for tradition; my heart beats for the what-ifs and what's-to-comes in life. So when I found myself using all my mental strength to analyze my future status of my current positions of leadership, I thought it was just part of my personality. Then God interrupted, via Nancy Ortberg.

Ortberg's book, Looking for God, closes ...

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When Ideology Trumps Theology

I'm a glutton for punishment. I could have decided to slouch along the sidelines of ministry and watch the many controversies within the church zip past. Perhaps peeking over the pew on occasion and catching a slight breeze off the mini-tornadoes of debate that exist under the umbrella that is American Evangelicalism.

Public prayer, the roles of women, the role of ...

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Leadership and Betrayal

This month I took our four-year-old daughter for her annual checkup. She was scheduled to get two shots that day. I came prepared. My purse was stuffed with lollipops, magic tricks and a whole host of distractions.

The visit went well. At first. The doctor applauded her efforts to write her name and jump on one foot. She pronounced her a healthy, vibrant little girl. ...

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