A Prayer for Lent

A Prayer for Lent
God, help us find our confession; The truth within us which is hidden from our mind; The beauty or ugliness we see elsewhere But never in ourselves; The stowaway which has been smuggled Into the dark side of the heart, Lead us into the darkness that we may find what lies concealed; That we may confess it towards the light. – Michael Leunig Photo by Flickr CC User:dfaulder This poem is an excerpt from Ruth Haley Barton's post: "Lent: Help us Find Our Confession," which... [More]

On growing and abiding in joy - 7

On growing and abiding in joy - 7
Many years ago, our family visited a cherry orchard (*). Row after row of green trees laden with small red orbs stood before us. The sun warmed our bodies. We climbed ladders and picked one red cherry at a time, careful to not crush each one. It made me appreciate how much time and effort it takes to pick enough cherries to fill a small basket. No oranges or apples grew on the cherry trees. Obvious, right? Yet more often than I'd like, I sow seeds of ingratitude and expect joy to result. Or I ... [More]

5 Things I learned in February 2016

5 Things I learned in February 2016
Taking a little break from our Joy Series. In no particular order, we have books, a movie, an easy recipe and relationship advice...and linking with encouraging Emily: 1. "Research... has shown that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved. " - Emily Esfahani Smith, The Atlantic Read about how kindness and generosity are keys to... [More]

Five Minute Friday - Morning

Five Minute Friday - Morning
I'm taking a little break from our Joy Series so I can write for five minutes, fingers flying on the keyboard on a word picked by our gracious hostess Kate Motaung. I won't edit unless it is a typo then I hit publish without agonizing too much over mistakes. Call it a practice shot against perfectionism. The word: "Morning" Start. "Weeping may last the night, but joy comes in the morning." - Psalm 30:5 Last month, I met with strangers to pray. A woman, Jenny, after first praying before I came i... [More]

Who is Joy's secret friend? - 6

Who is Joy's secret friend? - 6
Joy's friend hid in the shadows as we explored joy in this series. Deep biblical joy can't exist without its friend: endurance. ********* When I visit my girlfriend M., she sits on her sofa with a puffy wrap around her knee. On the other end of the wrap, a small machine hisses and whooshes; it helps decrease her pain. She injured it playing her favorite sport: basketball. The physical therapist assigned little exercises, such as tightening her thigh muscles, which reflexively lift the knee. Sh... [More]