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Digging Deep For the Promises

On the way home from church today we found trees blown down across the road. Huge branches blocking our path, dangerous obstacles getting in our way, preventing us from continuing our journey. One kid is ill and the wind howls outside. And all the leaves that had hung on until now, swirl in the air. […]

Las Posadas: Enacting the Paradox of Advent

Advent is a time of waiting, a longing for Messiah in a special way, looking back to the first coming of Jesus as a baby and forward to the second coming of Christ as King. Seasonal Scripture readings link both “advents,” making Advent a season of paradox. Christians celebrate an already-but-not-yet faith: Christ has come, […]

Treading Water: A Story of Domestic Violence

When you see me, you don’t know my secret. I hide it well. I share a story from shadows. My words must be spoken in whispers, in quiet places. For now.  He threw something at my head. It hit the target. Once he broke a chair and then threatened me. There was the time he […]

Fear and Faith in the Desert Places

I love Robert Frost’s poem “Desert Places.” Typical of Frost, the speaker in this poem describes a natural environment of forests, fields, and snow. But this isn’t a beautiful or peaceful place. Quite the opposite: it’s a place of darkness, cold, and isolation–it’s a menacing and threatening place. For me, the genius of the poem […]

Restoration After Exile

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! […]

Tiny Steps Towards Greatness

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:5, ESV. “You’re so brave,” she said admiringly as she slipped the receipt across the counter. I fought back the urge to laugh or cry, I wasn’t sure which. She saw me one side of me—the foreigner in […]

Small Acts of Encouragement

If I could choose one word to summarize my emotional state for the past year, it would be discouraged. On any number of metrics, from the environment to immigration to race relations, I see progress not only stalled but going in reverse.  This affects me on multiple levels. Instead of finding comfort in Scripture, I […]

Encouragement in a Time of Cynicism

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend, and the subject of her immigration status came up. She currently has protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program–an executive action under President Obama that provided legal status for those who were brought to the U.S. as children; often, they are called DREAMers. […]

Your zip code won’t make you holy

The in-between moments I fill with podcasts and Voxer conversations with writer friends as I circle the suburbs in my minivan. One conversation with a friend about moving to a city or the suburbs, lead her to write down this encouragement: your place doesn’t make you holy. Friend, I’m hear to tell you the same […]