A New Hunger

I opened my Living Bible like a child opens a present, eager to enjoy what was inside. I was enjoying an oasis after a hard semester push of college teaching. The quiet of my parent’s house was the perfect overture I needed. On this day, I had no agenda. I only wanted God’s Word to speak to me. I turned the pages until my eye caught a chapter title, an underlined verse, or some other word or phrase. That’s when I saw it. Know what his Word says and means. 2 Timothy 2:15, TLB Suddenly I realized what was lacking in my pursuit to know God’s Way. I needed God’s Word to be my map, my compass, my process and my destination. I realized it was my responsibility to know what God’s Word said

The Girl and the Window Fan

My bedroom was on the second floor of our two-story, traditional Kansas City house where I grew up. We didn’t have central air, but I had a window fan. Often at night, before turning into bed, I stood in front of that fan, an awkward, hopeful, insecure teenage girl and cried because no one would hear me over the whir of the blades. That is, no one except God. I can’t tell you how I knew that, but I did. I knew that God was listening. I poured out my heart to him, my angst about feeling like a misfit, my fears that no dream would ever come true for me and that, just like no one ever chose me for any team, no one would ever choose me for anything else, including dating and marriage. One da

Shaping Your Heart

Before spiritual formation was a buzz word among Christians, I think it was what I hungered for early in my commitment to follow Jesus. Somehow, I knew my heart was a canvass for God to work His art upon and wanted his brush strokes to define everything about me. However, I was waywardly inept in making it a priority. If something offended me, I responded. While I wanted to blame it on genes I didn’t ask for or the bite of the fruit Eve took; I knew it was a limp excuse. The first step that I learned on my own was to take an offense and my reaction to it, to God. Sometimes it was for confession and repentance. Sometimes it was out of confusion. Sometimes it was my need for comfort. I l

The Lord is My Gardener

Do you have a gardener? A gardener is different from a landscape service who comes in to mow and trim and get to the next job as quickly as possible. A gardener loves things into bloom. A gardener fusses over the details with the focus of a parent. A gardener makes beauty a lifestyle, not just a job. So when I heard our Associate Pastor, Dr. Jeff Ross, speak about Jesus as our personal gardener during his Lenten series, I started thinking about what that meant to me. But when he asked if anyone had ever written a paraphrase of the Twenty-third Psalm using this garden analogy, I started writing one. Growing with you! Debbie

Spring Up!

The two words on the outside of the roughly-made card caught my attention. It was Lisa’s 2000 Easter card. She loved making cards and sending them to friends she supported and who supported her. Spring Up! was all it said on the front. I thought it was a cute way to express what we all think about doing, especially as we are tired of the rain, snow, cold weather, and its capricious attack on the expected seasons of our lives. However, I didn’t remember nor was I prepared for the inside message. It was all Lisa in her innocent, child-like expression of bold truth. Resurrection truth in four words. Command and invitation married in hope. Present and future reality seamlessly expressed. If Ea