After two daughters, my parents were expecting a baby boy and had already chosen his name: Lance. But surprise, surprise, I was born as their third daughter, so instead of Lance they named me April after the month of my birth. Some say that the name April comes from the Latin aperire, which means to open--most … Continue reading Blossom Abundant Energy and Vision
At this time last year, I knew that my one word for 2018 would be a phrase prompted by this wonderful painting by Linda Klippenstein: Walking Strong in the Spirit. Walking Strong in the Spirit has been a great focal point for me in the past year: as I've continued to write and celebrated the … Continue reading The Top 10 of 2018 from April Yamasaki
I don't think I've ever sung or heard the song "Good King Wenceslas" in an Advent or Christmas worship service. After all, the song doesn't mention Advent or Christmas. It doesn't tell the story of Mary and Joseph, and there are no shepherds, angels, wise men, or star. There is no baby Jesus crying or … Continue reading Tread Boldly, Give Generously
In the time of Jesus, many people would go to the pool of Bethesda in search of healing. One day Jesus met a man there who was unable to walk. He may not have had a life-threatening illness, but it was certainly a life-altering condition, for it had rendered him unable to walk for thirty-eight … Continue reading How to Pray for People Experiencing Life-Threatening Illness
As my conviction grew to complete my pastoral ministry with my congregation, my questions grew too. While I felt more and more certain of the Spirit's leading to shift from my pastoral ministry to focus on my writing, I wasn't at all sure how that would work. As members, would my husband and I continue … Continue reading Who Would Be My People?
I have just four more days as lead pastor of my church where I have served for over twenty-five years. I've already preached my last sermon. I've already been blessed by many prayers, cards, hugs, gifts, fun surprises, and beautiful words. These last few days are actually vacation days for me, but they and the … Continue reading Saying Goodbye with Hello Just Around the Corner
Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer my reader survey via surveymonkey. Your responses are a great encouragement to me and help shape the way I seek to engage readers and to contribute positively to our shared life of faith. Given the volume of responses, I'm not able to include all of the comments … Continue reading What Readers are Saying
"We discovered your blog post that includes a range of prayers related to mental illness. Is there one of these that you would see as particularly appropriate for a hymnal and worship book? If not, would you be open to selecting or writing something else? Although space limits us to one short prayer on this subject, we hope that it can serve as … Continue reading If We Want to Love Well, We Must Love Long