“Failure Is A Beautiful Gift Wrapped In An Ugly Package”

fail

I remember seeing an announcement a few years ago for the first Epic Fail pastors gathering, and wondering if the idea was an Onion-inspired joke. No pastors I knew - and I knew a lot of them from my time working at Trinity International University and then serving a Chicago-area church networking ministry - wanted to apply the word "fail" to themselves or their efforts. The leaders gatherings and pastors conferences I've attended over the years were all about ministry success. In those … [Read more...]

In The Cross-Hairs Of Middle Eastern Current Events

candles

"All's fair in love and war" the old saying goes, but true love is focused on the good of the other and filters itself accordingly. During the past few hundred years, Western civilizations fought their wars in the name of a king or on behalf of a country, with conventions (at least in principle) that were supposed to guide their warfare.Those old boundaries, the kind found on maps, don't matter quite so much anymore. Al Queda and their assorted ideological and spiritual cousins like ISIS, … [Read more...]

My Regret: “…But I Never Said Anything.”

lily of valley

I would not typically consider sharing a post someone left on my Facebook wall, but the words below from an old friend are timely in light of the mean-spirited words about suicide that have been written by a few bombastic internet trolls in the wake of the death of Robin Williams earlier this week. I shared a bit of Don and Kathy Groesser's story here and here a while ago. With Don's permission, I am sharing his brave, honest confession exactly as he left it on my wall. May it give each one of … [Read more...]

Heading To College With A Bit Less Baggage

move in

As I shopped for school supplies for my soon-to-be sixth grade grandson at Target last week, I passed by a mom and her daughter doing what looked to be the "stocking the dorm room" shopping trip. The young woman was eagerly scanning the aisles for just the right towels. The mom was pushing the overflowing cart behind her, watching every move her daughter made as she readied for her big launch.There are lots of nostalgic articles and reflections at this time of year written by parents who are … [Read more...]

The Saddest Day Of The Year

The Western Wall, once part of the wall surrounding an outer courtyard of the Temple, is all that remains of the Second Temple, and is a place of longing and prayer today.

On this date in 587 B.C., the temple built by Solomon was destroyed by the Babylonians. On this very same date in 70 A.D., the temple rebuilt on that site was destroyed by the Romans. On our first visit to Israel in 2009, my husband and I dropped our bags at our Jerusalem hotel. We were exhausted from a long day of travel, but knew we needed to stay awake for a few more hours in order to combat jet lag. We started walking, no particular destination in mind, and soon found ourselves in … [Read more...]

If Only We Could Have A Discussion About Our If Only’s

Happy August, friend! As miserable as last winter was for those of us living in the area of the country caught in the clutches of the Polar Vortex, this summer's mild temperatures and abundant sunshine have almost erased the memory of mountains of snow andFrozen-like temperatures.(Well, almost.)Though we're in the second half of summer, many of us are shopping for school supplies and looking ahead to autumn's schedules.For those of you involved in planning upcoming Bible studies, … [Read more...]

Pop Goes The Blessing Bubble

bubble

I've known a small handful of people who've had lives remarkably free from trial, reversal or loss. One woman I used to know had her entire life mapped out using the blueprint of the American Dream, Conservative Christian Version, from a very young age. Her life has gone pretty much the way she'd planned it: marriage, two kids, a dog, lovely suburban home, stable career, a bit of travel, a cozy group of friends. It was pretty amazing to witness over the years. If your life unfolds precisely as … [Read more...]


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