In my mother's final days, I sat at her bedside and read aloud through the Psalms of Ascent. Originally written for ancient pilgrims travelling to the temple, Psalms 120-134 may also be read as psalms addressing our journey through life. They speak of family and community, work and rest, suffering and rejoicing, sin and God's … Continue reading How to Pray for a Loved One Who is Dying
As my one word for 2017, "Create" turned out to be an apt summary for my year. As I sought to be open to what God might create in me, that led to new blog articles, new ways of doing ministry, new connections both on-line and in real life, and the creation of a new … Continue reading My Year of Creating and a Free Gift For You
Merry Christmas, and God's rich blessing for the coming new year to all of my dear readers! May the many glittering lights of this season remind you of Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, the Light of the World today and every day. If you ever experience FOMO--the Fear Of Missing Out--today's article is … Continue reading The Best of 2017 From April Yamasaki
Two years ago, I wrote my 22 best practices that have helped me survive and thrive through 22 years of pastoral ministry. Last year I added one more practice to the list which should have been there from the start: taking regular sabbaticals which have been generously provided by my church and have also been … Continue reading What is the Secret to Flourishing?
Where I live in B.C., the smoky haze is finally clearing, and I can actually see some blue sky this morning! Yet as a province we're still in a state of emergency due to wildfires continuing to rage out of control in some areas, with more evacuation orders issued over the weekend. So I've been trying … Continue reading How to Pray Against Racial Hostility
In his work on the book of Psalms, Glenn Pemberton* says that lament makes up 40% of all psalms. Yet when he looked at the hymnal for the Churches of Christ, lament made up only 13% of the psalms included in their hymnal. For the Baptist hymnal he examined, it was also 13%, and for … Continue reading 6 Reasons Why We Need Lament
O God, this new day opens before us with promise and opportunity. It is your gift to us; help us to make it our gift to you. The day lies before us like a page waiting to be written. Save us from scribbling over it with meaningless marks and idle doodling. Help us to write … Continue reading Prayer for a New Day of Promise and Opportunity
What does it mean to pray for our enemies? For the terrorist taking many lives in response to other grave wrongs, for the known or unknown assailant afflicting apparently senseless violence, for the thief who breaks into your house in the middle of the day and steals your things and sense of safety, for the … Continue reading How to Pray for Your Enemies Even When You Don’t Want To