5 Ways to Tell if You’re Free Indeed or Not

October 20, 2022

They say that functioning alcoholics can actually lead a normal life on the outside – they go to work every day, have successful careers, maintain their responsibilities, family, and social bonds.

But, on the inside, the functioning alcoholic is unable to control their drinking, they hide drinking and their empty bottles from others, and become angry or defensive when someone questions their drinking habits. They are able to put on a good show, seem to have it all together, while they’re miserably falling apart.

Pastors Are Special

October 13, 2022

4 Reasons Pastoral Work is Different (and What You and I Should Do About It)

I’ve been a pastor and I’ve not been a pastor, and I have to tell you, pastors are special. There is nothing quite like pastoral work, and I’ve discovered it is sometimes difficult to communicate that effectively to congregations. If you’ve never been a pastor, you may even suspect all the anxious, recent talk about pastoral stress and burnout and the like is overblown. We’ve all heard the jokes about how pastors only work one day a week.

Thriving Through the Unexpected

October 6, 2022

“Help me not to let unexpected events throw me off course. Instead of getting upset or anxious, I want to respond calmly and confidently—remembering that You are with me.”

In the years since I found out I had cancer, plenty of people have asked me why I think I got sick in the first place. Why did this happen to me? Why does cancer happen to anyone?

The 5 Dangers of Second Guessing Yourself

September 29, 2022

The decision has been made.

Perhaps you’ve brewed over the pros and cons, mapped out your course of action for path A, B, and C (B won), or maybe you dived in head first, trusting your gut.

Now, you’re well on your way, almost to the middle. You took the job, you relocated to that city, you’re taking the first class, you had your last {insert vice} – and you’re at the point where it’ll take more work to uproot and reverse your decision than to simply stay the course.

Protect the Sheep

September 22, 2022

Often when we think of pastors, we might associate the agrarian function of a shepherd who provides nourishment and physical guidance to his flock with the spiritual leadership of the local church office. When recently asked, “how does a pastor protect the flock?” I found myself initially thinking in terms of the appeal given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:13, “Purge the evil person from among you,”—which presumably finds its foundation in the similar refrain found in Deuteronomy, “So you shall purge the evil from your midst.” The danger I began to experience in my mind as I mistook the intention of these passages was a tendency to over-anticipate evil within the camp. Whereas elders are called to deal swiftly with wolves who may be masquerading as sheep, I found myself focusing primarily on the threat of wolfl-y sheep. In other words, I had begun to view God’s people, his children, as the enemy.

Four Spiritual Tools to Build Your Brain Power

September 15, 2022

Your brain is a powerful place.

It’s the command center of all that you think, feel, and do. That means all of the functions of your emotions, desires, perceptions, ideas, and memories take place inside your brain, which contains about 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion interconnections.

Don’t Let Fear Unravel Your Faith Cape

September 8, 2022

Strong Faith When Weak

I remember when I had a serious situation that I was praying about; it was a complicated medical diagnosis.

The doctor’s report shook my family to the core.  Once we received the news, I immediately knew I needed to pull myself together and stand up fully in my role as mother and intercede on behalf of my son.

The Gospel That Rewrites Us

September 1, 2022

Although I was familiar with the word “gospel” growing up, I didn’t know what it meant. Despite sitting through countless Sunday morning services, the gospel itself was never fully articulated in context.

It makes sense that many people, even those who grew up in church, might have a muddied idea of the word. In our culture, there’s a wide array of meanings that are often attributed. It can be a music genre, a slang term for conveying something as important, or it can represent a generalized idea of religion.

4 Healing Ways to Cope with Trauma

August 25, 2022

Trauma. It’s sometimes as fast as lightning—a car careening, a gunshot echoing. Other times it’s a slow burn—repeated abuse or manipulation leaving us feeling out of control, ill-equipped, unsafe, or all the above.

But trauma always takes us by surprise. Something devastating happens, and we can’t stop it. But there are things we can do after the trauma, ways we can help ourselves heal.

5 Ways for Parents to Build Trust in the Eyes of Their Children

August 18, 2022

I Trust You, Mom and Dad.

These words in the ears of any parent – whether spoken verbally or witnessed in their kids’ actions, light up the heart and make a mom or dad feel proud, doesn’t it?

Getting your kids to trust you is hard, and it gets harder the older and wiser they get.

In a society where youth run to everything and anything BUT their parents, when your child can trust you it’s the ultimate win as a parent. Let’s face it, we may not always be their first choice to share their hurts, pain, challenges, or joys, but every parent wants to be somewhere in the number.