Category archives: Faith

How To Break Free From Fear And Angst

A little while ago, my friend told me the world is pretty much doomed. I used to walk around believing that. Like, it's just a matter of time, before the ground beneath us quakes and we all go under. But, then I prayed. Like, a thousand times that I wouldn't be so afraid. And I talked to my friends and mentors about my fears. And we prayed together. And I began to rebuke all the spirits of fear in my life. Fear of the future. Fear of scary things happening to my kids. Fear of persecution. Fear of shooters. Fear of bad guys breaking in. I started soaking my mind in some comforting Scriptures. Things like, The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all the universe! (Psalm 103: 19) God, You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your win[...]

On How I'm Learning to Be Steady in an Unsteady World

When I was in college, I remember sitting alone in the old A-frame "BSU" building. (BSU stood for Baptist Student Union. I don't know that any of us were consciously baptists. That's just what they called it.) Anyhoo. I was sitting there waiting to meet with the BSU director because, if I remember correctly, I was on a worship team, and so the director thought it would be a good idea to meet with the ones in positions of leadership, to make sure our souls were doing well. And I must clarify--I wasn't a worship leader, myself. I mostly just played guitar and sang a bit out of tune, but they were desperate for help, so I thought it would be "cool" to join in. By the way, I think that was the last time I actually felt cool, when I was carrying my guitar around campus. Now, I occasio[...]

When It's Hard to See the Way Before You

Child, lift up your head. Raise your eyes up to the hills and look to the horizon. There’s new light breaking in. Hold it there, in your gaze. Let it warm your face. You’ve got these eyes that can see by faith, the unseen. Everything that can be touched and held is perishing but there are things that keep breathing and remain. Truth. Hope. Peace. Love. I’ve seen the way you struggle here, like a child in the long black night, crying out for momma. Holy Spirit, draw us close. Teach us a song to sing. Open your faith-eyes, my love. Let your eyes adjust to the light. Some distance from here, there’s an ocean, deep, and waves that can’t stop pounding on the shore. Those swells grab hold of shells and glass and little bits of coral, then tumble them around until all the edg[...]

The One Thing That Can Keep You Stable Today

Isn’t it strange how you can be going along in life, just plugging away at all your regular things you do, like sweeping cheerios and dried peanut butter toast up off the floor, and loving your kids and trying to stay connected to your spouse, all the while this anxious stuff is quietly piling up there inside your chest? At first you're blissfully unaware. Because you’re busy and so you think you’re doing just fine. Meanwhile, you skim headlines on the news and your friend writes to tell you her world is falling apart, and a few friends ask you to do them a favor, and the kids keep making messes and you can’t find that one bill, and you’re laying there in bed at night, tired as can be, but for the life of you, you just can’t fall asleep. And this happens more frequently until one[...]

Of Tornadoes and Parades

Today I wanted to write to you about the Maple Syrup Festival parade. But, last night tornadoes came to my friends and family in Arkansas. I laid in bed with my phone in my hand, after I was done checking on my Ma and Pa. They were hunkering down in a closet and I couldn't sleep. I could only whisper prayers, and hold my phone tight, as if I was holding on to my parents, because I hate tornadoes and I wanted everyone to be kept safe. And this morning, I awoke to find that somehow, my people, the ones that I know and love were all kept safe. But, they have friends that have lost their homes and I know of one woman who lost her husband and two of her girls. Our hearts break. So, it doesn't feel right to talk about parades. And it's hard to know what to think about God when torna[...]

Why You Really Can Cease Striving (And Get Some Soul-Rest)

I see you there, crumpling up that sheet of paper, tossing it into the waste basket and wondering if anything good will come out of your life. Or if there will just be this broken record, repeating "failure" and "you don't measure up" and "you don't deserve anything good." I see the way you try. The way you keep getting up and dressing up and showing up and hoping that things don't screw up, again. You get so tired. You're running out of energy and it's had for you to enjoy your life. Do you mind to sit down for just a minute and let me tell you some things? Some true things? Some things that could perhaps restore your soul and give you some hope? Some things that could help you keep going and maybe even set you free? You really can cease your striving. You need soul-rest.[...]

Seeking To Find

I go out looking for You, to find You. You, who are Love, can do nothing but loveNothing but.And You are always whispering Always shouting it outThat You are real and You are hereI think I see. Only dimly, I see at firstWalking this earth half-blindBut then the clouds shiftAnd the light bends this way and thatAnd for one sheer brilliant second I see clearly.Your red-hot crimson loveSpilling downHealing this heart of mine.You are real and You are here.So I believe.  There at the kitchen tableAnd later on my pillow in the dark of nightI stretch my hands up toward YouAs if to touch Your faceAs if I could feel You on these fingertipsYou who made these handsAnd these eyes and all that I seeAnd can't seeYou are real and You are hereI feel You now.You were always all around meAnd I knew[...]

What I'm Naming This New Year

Have you ever named a year? I've never done it. But, I've heard of it, how you can name your new year something that you hope you will become. I think I'd like to name this new year, "Brave."Brave because I'm not. Mostly, I'm not. Not when I turn on the news. Not when I think of my babes and the world that they'll grow up in. Not when I look at our country and think of all the debt and all the mess we're in. I'm just not all that brave. But, I've been learning how to trust God more. Because He's awful big. He's bigger than the world. So big, in fact, that He holds us in His hands. And He's been doing something in my heart, something new. So that when I hear about the shootings, and the sexual abuse and the slow stripping away of freedoms, I hear this voice and it's gentle but firm. "Maggie[...]

A Prayer from a Needy Place

I need You, Lord. Every hour I need You. More like every moment. Though sometimes I walk around in this stone-cold stupor, oblivious and unaware.But, right now I feel it, my desperate need. That God-ache that no other thing will satiate. Just You, Your love, Your Spirit filling all my soul-holes. All my sore and hollowed out empty places. I'm parched and You come to let me taste and see. That You, in all Your glory are good. You are good but You're not tame. I should fear You, the way all the wild life fears a roaring lion. You are strong and You are fierce. But, still You're good. And I need You. I have always needed You. Oh God, please come. Could You come right now? Your voice, it shakes the wilderness. Like loud claps of thunder and bolts of lightening, it rips open the sky. Your excla[...]

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