Ash Wednesday has come and gone, the first Sunday of Lent was yesterday, and I still haven't decided what to give up or add for Lent this year. One year I gave up listening to the car radio, and learned to appreciate the silence as I drove. Another year I added a jigsaw puzzle, although … Continue reading Fast from Complaining, Feast on Appreciation
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
"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
I paid a visit to one of our church seniors who has not been able to participate in worship as she once did. Yet while she feels physically weak in some ways, her spirit remains as strong as ever, for when I asked, "How are you?" she said, "I'm so grateful that I hardly know … Continue reading Thanksgiving Sunday Gratitude Journal
last updated August 15, 2019 One summer I introduced a preaching series on Philippians with a sermon I called "How to Pray for the People You Love," because that's what the apostle Paul does in the opening verses of his letter. Some years earlier, Paul had planted this church in the city of Philippi, and … Continue reading How to Pray for the People You Love
last updated August 16, 2019 I was surprised to learn from a parent in my congregation that sometimes her young children would repeat phrases from my prayers at church in their own prayers before bed. On Sunday mornings when we thought they weren't paying attention to worship--when they were looking at a kids' book, or … Continue reading Teaching Children to Pray
As our small groups wind down for summer, some look forward to well-deserved rest, some plan to serve as hosts for our summer coffee times or meet informally for a mid-summer picnic, some are deciding now what they might study together come fall. If you're interested in a topical study, I can happily recommend the … Continue reading Resources for Small Groups