Defining Moments

Many years ago while visiting my friend, I observed her reading a storybook to her 4-year-old son.  During the story, Kaleb asked his mom what one of the words meant.  She stopped reading, thought for a moment, then told him a very basic definition using words and ideas that the little boy already understood.

Years later, when I began defining words for my own children and students, I realized how challenging it is to explain big words to little people. Continue reading


These are a Few of My Favorite (Online) Things

Now is a great time to declutter our e-mailboxes.  Don’t be afraid of missing out on important things.  Instead, find and focus on your favorite things. Continue reading

Gain Perspective

Here is the framework I am using to gain some perspective this year: stop looking in the mirror (too much love of self), look up to God (love God), and look out for others (love people).  Is this a reasonable perspective on life? Continue reading

What’s Important?

We were gathered together near a roaring fire when this general topic was broached:  What is important to you?  What do you value in life?  Some answers were spoken at the time, but other answers came to mind later. Continue reading

New Year, New Screensavers

As I get ready to boot up my laptop (after keeping it closed for 30 days), I think that now is a great time to add some spark to my screen.  I’ve made some new screensavers – landscape for computer screens and portrait for mobile devices – to inspire and encourage me in my goals for the new year.  And I’d like to share these free gifts with you! Continue reading

Got Gratitude?

The basic definition of gratitude is the quality of being thankful.  Huh.  Several advisers say that you will be happier if you write in a gratitude journal for five minutes every day in order to lift your spirits.  Huh.  But this simplistic definition and minimal worldly strategy miss the point of gratitude entirelyGratitude is not about me, how I feel, or what I have. Continue reading

What about a Thanksgiving Tree?

If you’re brave enough to walk through the stores this season, you might be overwhelmed with the plethora of decorations available for  Halloween or Christmas.  But it’s hard for retailers to promote consumerism for a holiday whose purpose is to be grateful for the life God has already given you.  You will find a few things to buy for Thanksgiving, but here is my suggestion for making your own Thankful Tree decoration, either for your Sunday School classroom or your own living room. Continue reading

How Can I Pray for You?

We are instructed to pray for others.  We want to pray for others because we care.  But sometimes asking the question, “How can I pray for you?” solicits an “organ recital” from others that distracts us from our prayer ministry.  Here are some things to keep in mind in order to pray for the sick and those struggling with medical issues. Continue reading