• Faith Reflections

    DEFINING WHAT MATTERS

    One of the things I worked on this past week during my Introvert Intermission was a personal mission statement. Sounds like fun, right? Doesn’t everyone spend their vacation working on personal mission statements? It was like taking an adventurous hike through the wilderness … of my mind. I got lost. A lot. Wide open spaces and no sign of life for miles…. You get the picture. Throughout September, our youth ministry taught on Legacy. It is hard for a 16-year-old to think about legacy. How do you think about legacy when you don’t have a ‘one-of-a-kind’ dress for homecoming and no hottie date to take you either. Your life is basically over. Screw legacy. But  a 41-year-old…

  • Faith Reflections

    STORIES FROM PINE RIDGE

    For the past four Decembers, I have traveled to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota with a team from our church. We partner with Wings as Eagles Ministries who live and work among the Lakota people on Pine Ridge. Pine Ridge is such a complex place. The land is vast and beautiful with the earth showing off her wrinkles without a hint of shame. The layers and gradations of colors in the chiseled and wind-eroded cliffs are vivid testimonies to the countless years that have passed. Oh, if these hills could speak – what stories would they tell.

  • Faith Reflections

    HOLY NUDGES

    Each year around my birthday I go on a week-long trip.  It is an annual trip I take that I affectionately call my “Introvert Intermission”.  It is a gift from my parents where I go away by myself and just enjoy the simple things like reading, the outdoors and silence. Glorious silence. My extrovert friends break out into hives when I describe it but after an incredibly busy summer of mission trips and lots of quality time with quality people, I’m usually counting down the days like a high school senior in May. A few years ago the day arrived and I hit the road to the place I would…

  • Faith Reflections

    I HURT FOR THESE PEOPLE

    The story in Matthew 15:29-39 is a familiar story to those familiar with the Bible. The passage is most well known for the miracle Jesus performs when he feeds the large crowd. When I read it recently, it wasn’t the miracle that resonated with me. It was a simple phrase from The Message paraphrase: “…He called his disciples and said, ‘I hurt for these people.'” (vs. 32) In other translations it says Jesus had “compassion” for them – the same compassion Jesus demonstrates in Matthew 9:36 when “his heart broke” as he looked out over the suffering crowds. 

  • Faith Reflections

    IT'S A BOY!

    But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 I will always remember the birth of my nephew and my niece. With my nephew, I was in the appropriately titled “waiting room” – waiting with the rest of the family for that sweet lullaby to play over the intercom of St. Mary’s Hospital. The moment the song began I started to weep with joy. What we had been waiting for – much longer than…

  • Faith Reflections

    A Life-Light to Live By

    When I was little, I always had a great fear of the dark. A paralyzing fear that would immobilize me if a strange noise was heard or my imagination went for a run. I slept with two night lights and a street light outside my window and it still didn’t alleviate my fears. Although I’m much better as an adult and sleep with no night lights now, I still have my moments of freak out. When do, I grab my flashlight in order to shed some light on the situation and keep the darkness at bay. Light makes sense of the dark. Light illuminates truth and diminishes fears.