I thought faith would be easy. It’s not.

A friend sent me a free trial of one of the food services. They sent us all the ingredients and recipes for three lovely meals for my husband and I. All I had to do was prepare it. The first recipe included a clove of garlic and called for a mortar and pestle. What? Why would I have a mortar and pestle? Another recipe called for lemon zest which meant...

Squeaky wheels and birds in bushes

My father-in-law knew all the idioms that have become American Proverbs. The squeaky wheel gets oil. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Don’t cry over spilt milk. You have to know when to which. I didn’t always understand them or how they fit but he seemed to pull one out for every situation. Do you remember the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Remember...

We’re on a mission

The organization we’re with has a purpose statement for the area we’re assigned to. We have an overall mission statement but in our singularly focused area of ministry, we also have a statement defining our purpose. It says, in part: “The primary purpose of an Adult Rehabilitation Center is the spiritual regeneration and rehabilitation of men who have undergone a process of disaffiliation from those significant ties, which enable individuals...

Delighting in the strength around me when I’m weak

Tell me the story simply, As to a little child, For I am weak and weary, And helpless and defiled. It isn’t the body that is weak but the spirit. Tired and weary as the old hymn says. Made weak from the news, real and fake, weak from uncertainty, and even weak from caring. But I take heart in the strength of Jesus. He puts others in my life to...

Because the small things matter

There was a moment the world seemed to feel bigger and smaller at the same time. Bigger, in that we seemed to be on our own, our great big country with its big ideas and advancements enjoying the American dream. Smaller, in that we didn’t have immediate access to the rest of the world. Technology changed that. Reporters appear on screen live from Russia offering commentary on our recent election. Sporting events are telecast...

All she wanted was peace and quiet

Mama’s whisper was the level of most folks regular voice. There was no whispers from her in church that everyone around didn’t hear. With people in and out of our house, laughter and activity always around, and all mama wanted was peace and quiet. At the end of the day, she wanted to sit in her chair in the corner of her living room and read the newspaper. There is...

Is God only good when we are spared from tragedy?

  It seems every town will have its moment of tragedy. We know them by name: Newtown, Columbine, VA Tech and now our town that lives in the shadow of Miami made headlines last week as a lone gunman opened fire in the baggage terminal of our airport. Ten days before, we’d made several trips to that airport picking up family for the holidays. It’s a relatively small airport for...

Can peace be found in this noisy world?

Calvin’s is maturity. Matt’s is perseverance. Richard said his word is “love….love for myself” and I think that might be the bravest love any of us can have. It was in our New Year’s Eve worship and we spoke about one word to be a focus for our new year. We just spoke a minute or two, a simple suggestion but after we said the Lord’s Prayer together a few...

Rescued and Redeemed

  I saw his grizzled face, breadcrumbs around his dry mouth, as he offered a smile that looked genuinely happy to see me. I returned the smile that probably showed more concern than joy. He didn’t look well, not like the last time I saw him. He was much thinner, unkempt, but his eyes eager to be seen, to be welcomed ‘home’. He’s not the only one I’ve seen worse...