But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

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Every year on Mother’s Day I stand before our church family and say something. I love the women in our church so much. It’s a gift to look into the crowd and into their eyes and to know many of their stories very well. And because I know those stories, I know what I say must speak to...

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Where I live in Parker, Colorado our county has entered Phase One of re-entry from Sheltering-At-Home from Covid-19. Our Governor calls it “Safer-At-Home” and we are now allowed to gather in groups of 10 or less. Our church elders, staff, and lay leaders spent last week praying over and...

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Tuesday, 28 April 2020 04:13

The High Stakes of a Hard Heart

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You know what’s terrifying? 

A hard heart. 

It’s something I experience many times a day. I should apologize, but I don’t want to. I should get off my phone, but this is interesting. I should pray, but this sugar will give quicker relief. I should go help, but I’m...

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Shout out to all the parents who have kids at home trying to do school these days—so basically all of you. It’s no small thing to adjust your normal life and work load to include being responsible for your children’s education too. 

Our family has been homeschooling for 12...

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Saturday, 21 March 2020 09:53

2020's Favorite Soap Pump

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Who knew back in December that I was the lucky winner of 2020’s favorite hand soap dispenser? I battled for it at our small group Christmas party, securing it after two steals. It felt like the right thing to have in the guest bathroom of a pastor’s house.

And here I am three months...

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Wednesday, 18 March 2020 06:39

For Weary Women in a World of Opportunity

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Our girlhoods were full of promise, weren’t they? For us girls born in the seventies and eighties, our coaches, teachers, and parents cheered for our bright and unprecedented futures. They celebrated new realities that they barely glimpsed on the horizon when they were young.

Our mothers and...

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Monday, 16 March 2020 06:34

What Does it Mean to be Rooted in the Gospel?

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To be rooted in the gospel is to be like the banyan trees of the tropics. The trees’ roots are many. They shoot out from all over and reach down toward the nutrient-rich soil. The trees thrive because of their many roots and the luscious soil. The soil is just right—exactlywhat these...

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Saturday, 14 March 2020 06:25

Christian Hope Changes Everything

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We Have Every Spiritual Blessing

We who are rooted in Christ also have every spiritual blessing in him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). We need not fear because we already have every blessing. Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that before the world was even formed, God the Father chose...

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We Want to Be Ourselves

Engage in a casual conversation with just about anyone today and you’re likely to hear, “I’m a seven, wing eight; how about you?” Followed possibly by, “I don’t know my number, but I’m an ISFJ.” Personality tests and types...

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A Compelling Reason to Cherish Women and Girls

Cheers to my sisters around the world! March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD). If your social media feed is like mine, it’s full of pithy encouragements about being strong women, having girl power, and growing pride in our gender. 

IW...

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What if one Sunday morning, worship service underway, police officers marched into your church building, handcuffed your pastor, most of your congregation, and took them all off to jail?

This scenario is almost impossible for us in the West to imagine, but it’s a reality for the Early Rain...

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(***this review contains all the spoilers***)

  imageWho read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens? I’m pretty sure it’s most of you. It was the bestselling book on...

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Tuesday, 07 January 2020 14:05

Book Reviews: June - December 2019

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Boy do I regret not keeping up with these book review blogs! I now have about 40 books to report on from the second half of 2019. In all I believe I read 79 (that includes audio books, which is about 40% of my list). You can see the posts from the first half of 2019 here and here. I love sharing...

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Thursday, 19 December 2019 01:21

The Christmas Village: Why Are We So Mesmerized?

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The postman is delivering mail to the red brick Victorian on the hill. A boy and a man emerge from the toy store with a pile of wrapped boxes. A red Volkswagen bug inches down the cobblestone street with a tree strapped to its roof. And a gaggle of girls glide across the frozen pond. 

Our...

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Saturday, 14 December 2019 02:00

Come-to-Jesus Soup

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You need this recipe. One of the first times I served it in Okinawa, Japan a young man in our church said, "This soup could bring anyone to Jesus." Obviously, only the Holy Spirit can do that! But we've called it Come-to-Jesus Soup ever since.

No joke: when my dear friend served the soup to her...

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Christmas means that you and I are adopted sons and daughters of our Creator, King, and Savior. Our kind God does not stand far off. He came down—Immanuel, God with us—to rescue and redeem you and me.

Christmas is such good news. The best news! We were condemned, enslaved and without...

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Sunday, 24 November 2019 06:08

People Pastoring People

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This morning at church someone walked in with dishes to return to a friend who had made her family dinner. Another person hugged each young adult as they streamed into the sanctuary. Another brought donuts and vacuumed up the crumbs. People held one another’s babies, hugged across rows, asked...

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What do you want your kids to be like next May? The new school year will culminate nine months from now—what do you envision your kids to be like when we arrive there? 

Chances are, you’re expecting them to pass and move on to the next grade. Maybe make the honor roll while...

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Monday, 16 September 2019 10:49

This One's for the Men and the Boys

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I have four daughters and a granddaughter. And I’m a woman who regularly teaches other women. So when I read the Bible, I do so as one seeking wisdom for women. Not just women, of course. I do my best and ask the Lord to help me see what his intended message and meaning is in every passage...

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A friend and colleague is speaking at a retreat next month about transitions to and from the mission field. Her audience will be missionaries currently serving overseas and the topic will be all about transition. Anyone who has ever served overseas knows that transitions happen early and often! She...

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I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a five or six year old daughter working 12 hours a day. I can’t fathom what it would be like to send her into a textile factory, at daybreak with a teeny lunch in a kerchief, knowing she wouldn’t emerge until sundown. I can’t...

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What if the diagnosis is cancer? 

What if my child is violated?

What if my husband is unfaithful? 

What if there is a terrorist attack? 

What if I never get married? 

What if this plane goes down? 

What if I just can’t keep it all together?

The what-ifs of this world press...

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I’m on pins and needles. It’s because I’ve got kids who are trying out for a spot on the team and auditioning for a role in the play. It’s all knots and cold sweats and wanting to say just the right thing.

Shallow assurances come to mind first: 

“You’ll do...

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Sunday, 28 July 2019 13:53

On Suicide: We Are Our Brothers' Keepers

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“After years of fighting and fighting, it is finished. . . . I will be released because my suffering is unbearable.”

A seventeen-year-old Dutch girl wrote these words just days before ending her life. She sought suicide by euthanasia and starvation because of the oppressive grief and...

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019 09:02

Is Self-Care Wrong for Christian Moms?

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Have you ever been to a baby shower where you’re asked to give the mom-to-be your best mothering advice? As a pastor’s wife this happens to me a few times a year and each time I wrack my brain for a good answer. 

I don’t want it to be so sentimental that it’s not...

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