The Heart at the Start

The Heart at the Start

Surveys suggest that 83% of North Americans want to write a book. A worthy ambition. However, a lot of blank space whitens the pages between “want to” and “done so.” Most people not only don’t finish their first chapter, they never even pen the first word. They just don’t have the heart to start. As…

Winning Crowns in 2020

Winning Crowns in 2020

Somehow I doubt if the psalmist David enjoyed many trouble-free years in his tumultuous life, but my husband reminded me a few weeks ago that Israel’s greatest king praised the provision and providence of God during the year. “You have crowned the year with your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance” (Ps. 65:11). Despite…

Launching into the Deep

Launching into the Deep

In a Door-of-No-Return moment, the Lord of the Rings character Samwise Gamgee halts in the middle of a field. “If I take one more step,” he announces hesitantly, “it’ll be the farthest from home I’ve ever been.” But at his companion Frodo’s encouragement, he takes that next step. And basically launches into the deep. He…

The Fall of Eden

The Fall of Eden

A year and a half ago, Chile pranced on the cusp of the First World. In complacent security, the country hovered near the apex of prosperity, about to scale the summit of Mt. Ambition. Just ahead, the mirage shimmered. Then, instead of the “happy copy of Eden” our national anthem lauds, we watched the Fall…

He Was There All the Time

He Was There All the Time

Of course, you remember the classic meme where a woman reviews her life by means of a series of footprints on the beach. She wonders why God disappeared at the most difficult moments of her life, but it turns out He carried her then. He was there all the time. Recently a dear friend spoke…

Back to the Beginning

Back to the Beginning

My writing ministry file, labeled 20:24:28, holds almost 400 digital pages right now. The other day, as I finished my blog series on story motifs, I scrolled back to the beginning of the document and discovered some interesting points that I should review more often. In a lot more areas of life, it’s a good…

Keeping the Windows Clean

Keeping the Windows Clean

My mother-in-law (AKA Mrs. Cleanhouse) has always had an obsession with washing windows. Smudges and fingerprints I never would have noticed, she attacked with more than a vengeance—a passion. No wonder her solarium grew lush and verdant. The secret lay in keeping those huge windows clean. Last week I talked of stained clothes, today it’s…

5 Options at a Gift Exchange

5 Options at a Gift Exchange

Amazing. Heartbreaking. It was the funniest thing, really. At a ladies’ tea, one woman introduced herself by sharing about her spiritual gift. Then, the next fifteen women ALSO announced that they possessed that exact same gift of teaching. You would have thought we were at a Yankee Swap gift exchange. Should I laugh-out-loud or call…

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

Though I can’t confirm the science behind it, I do believe in a phenomenon termed the Butterfly Effect: The idea that small choices and changes can add up to destiny. Chaos Theory posits that “something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.” The tiniest…

Thank You for Your Service

Thank You for Your Service

Let’s learn to serve. And please, let’s also learn to say, “Thank you for your service.” Many people in my church used to have the notion that ministry is a high-falutin’ position occupied primarily by preachers and missionaries. Forget that, I said. The Biblical concept of ministry is service, sometimes in a spiritual arena, but…

How to Have a Good Fight

How to Have a Good Fight

In the sobering face of the recent demonstrations of civil unrest in the country where we’ve lived for 35+ years—a weekend of street fighting and near-war—I’m changing my original introduction to this post to ask, What are we fighting about? What’s a good fight? If not all battles are bad, what makes one good? “I…