Travelogue: Europe 2019 – Part 1

Germany : Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria, Munich Travel is an important part of experiential education. I fully support this educational philosophy. Of course, I believe in reading and listening and watching, but there is nothing like doing or seeing first hand to drive home a lesson. This is, after all, where the dreaded practice…

Tangible Reminders of our Well of Joy

The best way to maintain our attitude of joy is to remain close to Jesus, through prayer, scripture, and fellowship, but sometimes, because we are human and have human failings, we need tangible reminders of the well of joy we have access to at all times. Each person reacts to different stimuli. Lee in my…

Writing to Break Chains (and to bring joy)

In many ways, the story of Strength to Stand‘s heroine, Lee Russell, mirrors my own. I began my Christian walk filled with love and joy, but over time, the troubles and contradictory messages of this world siphoned my joy away. I went through life living for myself. I had no higher purpose and therefore little…

More than Meets the Eye – A Book Review

More than Meets the Eye tells the story of Evangeline Pearson Hamilton and Logan Fowler, two young people with tragic pasts. Each has chosen a very different way in which to deal with the past, and that is where they meet. Evie has managed to turn her losses into strengths. She has chosen to live…

Paving the Path of Life with Joy Part 4

So what can we do to ensure we don’t get caught in the traps life sets for us? #1. Pray  maintaining a close relationship with our Lord Jesus is the best defense against Satan’s pitfalls. Pray specifically the armor of God on yourself. He gave us these things to defend against the devil’s schemes. We…

Paving the Path of Life with Joy Part 3

Jesus felt joy. He received it from the Holy Spirit and praised God with it. In John 15, Jesus entreats us to remain in his love, follow his commands and receive his joy in ourselves that by doing these things, our joy may be complete. He wants us to have joy, but how can we…

Paving the Path of Life with Joy, Part 2

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV Peter quoted these verses of David in Acts 2:28 on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to the apostles. From them we glean…

Paving the Path of Life with Joy

4 Show me your ways, Lord,    teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,    for you are God my Savior,    and my hope is in you all day long. Psalms 25:4-5 NIV All of us have a life paved with circumstances, decisions and choices . Paved with our experiences. Each…

Chosen Pain

Today I participated in a 3K Color run/walk the high school Student Council organized to raise funds for Riley Children’s Hospital. As I contemplated what to wear at a too early 7:30 am, I mulled over the reasons why I had volunteered to participate in this activity. As a former patient at Riley, I relished…

Nailed to the Cross, Resurrection Day by Rend Collective

Here they are again––my favorite Irish band. Rend Collective’s latest album, Good News, is my favorite thus far. Their distinctive folk sound is as appealing as ever with the eclectic mix of instruments–Jingling Johnny, anyone–and the unique blend of their voices, but the lyrics have always been what drew me to this group. From their…

Winter Jam 2019

I attended my first Winter Jam two Fridays ago in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. My friend suggested we take three of the teen girls from our Wednesday night outreach group. It was a good decision. The experience was an incredible outpouring of love and worship to Jesus Christ. It was also a call to experience…

The Unlimited Plan

I remember my first cell phone. As a matter of fact, I use it in my classroom for “phone” conversations in Spanish. The kids hoot when I show it to them. It was a Nokia bar phone. The numbers are so tiny and the display about an inch square. Not nearly enough by today’s standards….

What the Wind Knows: A Book Review

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon is a book I am excited to review and recommend . I listened to the audiobook version and was entranced, both by the amazingly intricate storytelling and by the voice of the narrator. It was a perfect combination. But you don’t need the narrator for this to be…

Hiding from God?

Spring has officially begun, but winter is having a hard time giving way to the new season. Here in Indiana there have been many frosty mornings. The frost is beautiful, all furry-white on last fall’s blades of grass, the trees and buildings. When the sun comes up, the frost’s time is limited. The warmth of…

The Power of the Wind

In Indiana the spring is traditionally windy, but the past few weeks have been exceptionally so. A recent bought of wind blew an entire patch of shingles right off our house. It organized them into a fairly neat pile in our back yard, which was generous, but prevented the shingles from doing their jobs. What…

No One Ever Asked – A Book Recommendation

Wow! I can’t say enough about the depth of this book. Katie Ganshert said in an interview that she felt compelled to write it. I’m so glad she did. No One Ever Asked is a contemporary fiction account of the transfer of students from a primarily black, lower income school district to a predominately white,…

Most Impactful Books of 2018 (In my opinion-for me)

I know it’s past January and most articles, blogs, news stories and other media forms generally do their review of “The Best” or “The Most” from 2018 earlier than the middle of February. Oh well. I’m a bit slow. The reason I thought of this topic now is that my local library did a 100…

Spiritual Superbowl

Are you an armchair Christian, or do you answer the call to develop your talents and join the game? Read this post on the Spiritual Superbowl.

Growth as a Priority

I posted that my word for 2019 is growth. I’ve also recently written a post about priorities. In this blog, I want to combine these two concepts and let you know how they’re connected in my life, and how I’m doing. Maybe I can be an encouragement to you. When I chose growth for my…

Priorities–What are yours?

You may have heard the admonition, “You need to work on your priorities.” Or, “Your priorities are messed up. You need to decide what is more important.” But what does it mean to prioritize? Why should we? The dictionary definition of prioritize is: to designate or treat something as more important than other things. Another…

What Gets Our Attention

Who or what get your attention? How do they get it? Is God seeking more of your attention? How does he tell you?

Lost Your Umph

Jesus takes our pre-Christian selves, pulls us out of the world, forgives our sins, cleans us up, teaches us to love, then sends us back to be salt, light, yeast, and seed for those left in the darkness.

Growth for the New Year

So I think I told someone that I found out about the One Word idea last year, but I realize that’s incorrect. This is my fourth year using My One Word instead of New Year’s Resolutions. First of all, if you’ve never heard of My One Word, it’s an idea that began in the church…

New Year of JOY

Happy New Year! That’s the traditional wish at midnight when New Year’s Eve turns into New Year’s Day. For some, that’s a tall order. Happiness, after all, can be difficult to find. And once found, hard to maintain. It’s slippery. It tends to slide through our fingers. The harder we try to hang on, the…

How Long Do We Wait?

I’ve written about waiting before. Waiting is something most of us do not do well. During this Christmas season, let’s revisit the topic. Waiting has been part of Christmas before the word “Christmas” was coined.  The Israelites waited hundreds of years for the Messiah. During this time of profound silence, God gave hope to an…

To Herd or Not to Herd

From the beginning of human history as much as archaeologists and anthropologists can surmise from artifacts and other evidence, humans, like many animals, had preferred herds. What I mean by that is, excluding the occasional hermit or mountain man type, humans tend to settle near each other. Whether it be in a cave, a tent,…

Acceptance: So that or Because

My Sunday School class is going through Louie Giglio’s study Goliath Must Fall. We are on Session 3 which deals with the Giant of Rejection. Now, if you know me, you’d probably say that I’ve never dealt too much with the problem of rejection. All through my childhood, adolescence, and high school years, anyone looking…

All my Hope

I love Crowder. I love how he displays humility, brokenness, joy, and hope, all while pointing to Jesus Christ – his (and my, and I hope, your) Savior. I was first introduced to Crowder at Passion (find out more about Passion here)when I served there as a Doorholder. He had no inhibitions as he interacted…

Welcome, Jennifer Slattery, guest blogger with Six Ways to Change the World

Sometimes it feels as if darkness has overpowered light, sorrow dominates joy, and confusion and fear infiltrate peace. Watching the news play out before me, or perhaps even sitting with a hurting friend, can make me feel powerless. Ineffectual. But Scripture tells me this is a lie. In Christ, I–we–have the power to transform our…