What Were You Even Created For?

If you woke up this morning feeling that everything in your world is better-than-good and you’re fully satisfied, this article…

The View from the Top

Perspective matters. You know that. A good leader regularly reminds herself and those she leads of the bigger picture, especially…
prayers too small

Are Your Prayers Too Small?

If it seems as though God is not answering your prayers, it’s probably not because your prayers are too big.…
Antidote to self-doubt

The Antidote to Self-Doubt

What does the self-talk in your head sound like? What do you tell yourself? Perhaps like so many people you…
Who are you becoming?

Who Are You Becoming?

If you are the same person tomorrow as you are today, your life will pretty much be the same as…
End of the Story

The End of the Story

The Bible as a true story, an epic play, a blockbuster movie, should come with a warning; Spoiler Alert! We’re…

Politics, Faith, and Fear

Politics and faith have clashed even more strongly during this election year in the United States. People on both sides…

Live Healthy, Live Whole!

It’s here! Your Prescription for Healthy Living, Loving Relationships, and Joyful Spirituality Have you ever tried to have a meaningful…
Fully Alive

Christianity in One Word

Denominations. Cultures. Traditional vs. contemporary. Grace vs. good works. Community. Just love everyone. What is Christianity really about anyway? Controversy…

4 Things To Do While Waiting

Nobody likes to wait. It’s frustrating. It feels cold. And it’s easy to let a seeming delay mess with your…

Forgiveness Is Not Enough

The forgiveness step in salvation, as wonderful as it is, is only one small piece. Jesus, Paul, and other New Testament writers present a much more radical picture of what it means to become a follower of Jesus.
He presented an unbelievably high standard of behavior, character, and service. Jesus showed that He is much more interested in your future than your past.

What’s Different After Good Friday?

How well I remember the Good Friday when everything changed for me. I had gone to church all my life, but something was terribly wrong. I knew a lot about God, but I didn’t know HIM. That night it all changed. It happened to be on a Good Friday when I met Jesus. Right then my spirit became alive, and everything else followed.

Why You Don’t Have to Fear the Future

The analogy I like the best is comparing a new year to a newborn baby.
I frequently get to be the one who helps a new baby enter the world. From time to time I wonder what kind of life that newborn baby will grow up to have.

10 Things to Leave Behind in 2014

A new year provides a wonderful opportunity to leave behind things that aren’t working.
At least briefly review your physical lifestyle, money habits, thoughts and emotions, use of time, personal relationships, and spiritual practices. Ask a few important questions about each area, and it’s likely you will find things that you can do without in 2014.

MEMO: Getting Past Your Past

Have you ever felt really stuck? It feels like something big has its claws in your brain and you just can’t move. No matter how hard you try you can’t get rid of the baggage that is weighing you down and holding you back.
We all come with a past. Some of our baggage is stuff others have done to us. Some of our baggage is stuff we have done to ourselves.
But how do you get past all that? Here’s how:

Where Do You Fit In The Big Drama?

For many people the Christian life seems difficult. You try to knuckle down and push yourself to make it work. But that’s just it: it’s work!
Seeing the Christian life as work will always make it seem difficult. It may help keep you out of jail, but it certainly won’t be much fun.
Let me suggest a much more engaging way to look at things. Rather than work, consider the Christian life as part of a very great drama. Think of what you know of the Bible.

10 Things To Look For In Your Friends

The people you align yourself with will determine your future, good or bad.
It’s important who your friends are. You become increasingly like the people you hang out with. Your attitudes, behaviors, and values naturally move closer to those of the people around you. It’s possible to know much about your future by looking at your friends.

Searching For The Fountain Of Youth

Even before Ponce de Leon spent his years searching Florida for the illusive fountain of youth, men and women have searched for ways to look and feel younger, and to keep from getting old. Most of us recognize that with maturity often comes wisdom, but we long for the freshness of youth.
Something in our soul understands that getting old, weak, and dependent is not our original destiny. Deep inside we sense that 70, 80, or even 90 years is not long enough.

Why Miracles Don’t Happen In a Day

God can do amazing things. He just might step in and part the Red Sea for you. I’ve seen God do it. And it can be exhilarating! But what if it doesn’t? What if you wait – and wait, and wait?
It may well have taken a long time to get where you are now. And it may well take time to make things different.

Growing Up Without Regrets

Growing up has never been easy. But in today’s culture young people have more challenges to face than ever before, especially in the area of sexuality. The basic issues may be no different, but the speed of life and the multiple pressures teens face make the risks even greater.
A few sobering statistics:

Seeing You from God’s Point of View

We’re not used to waiting. And we can get rather irritated when we have to do so.
God’s long term view is a whole order of magnitude larger than ours. Think of these Biblical examples of how long God’s friends sometimes had to wait for Him to fulfill what He had promised:

Who is Your Role Model?

Suppose you had to choose a role model among contemporary Christians. Who would it be?
Take “Christian” completely out of the equation for a moment. Who would you choose to be your role model?
Now what is it you admire about these potential role models? We have too often equated being weak with being godly. And nothing could be farther from the truth!

The Easter Story for Today

We call today Good Friday. But remember – the very first Good Friday was anything but good!
We know the end of the story. We know what happened Sunday morning. But imagine for a moment what it was like for those who loved Jesus on that Friday.
At moments like this there’s only one thing to say. In the words of the old gospel preacher: “It’s Friday. But Sunday’s coming!”

The Gift of Your Transformation

There is real joy in giving. When someone we care about is in trouble it’s natural to want to help.
But your own transformation is the most powerful gift you can give to someone in trouble.

Happy Farmer

5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

I might not say it in quite those words, but it’s really true: “I don’t care what you think!” In fact it HAS to be true, or I’m no good to you or anybody else.
For a people-pleasing person like me, that conclusion is a hard one to come to.
Here are some specific situations where it’s important to NOT care others think:

A Response to Recent Election Results

Along with millions of others I was watching the election returns on TV Tuesday night.
Different generations ARE going to see things differently. Their cultural understanding is different. Certainly there must be principles, ways of communicating, person-to-person connections, that can help make the most important things relevant for those in every culture even now.

The Benefits of Healthy Investments

Investments come in all varieties. Financial, yes, but so much more. Little things you do today make a much bigger difference in your tomorrows.
We marvel at the accomplishments of well-known authors, thinkers, politicians, preachers, sports figures, artists, or entrepreneurs. But we usually only see the end result, not the investment of blood, sweat, and tears day after day, year after year.
Here are a few ways my “investments” have paid off:

Happy Anniversary! Five Steps to a Happy Marriage

First a disclaimer: I’m not sure there are ANY five steps that guarantee happiness in any area of life, let alone something as long-term and complicated as marriage. But I DO know that there are some things that can make or break the union of two people.
Four years ago today (as I write this) I married Al Tanksley, and I’m more in love now than on the day I said, “I do!”
Here are a few things I believe have made a critical difference in our marriage,

The End of Healthcare As We Know It?

I’m frustrated – in case you couldn’t tell from the title.
Our country has the best scientific innovation in the world. The rapid explosion of knowledge in genetics, pharmacology, bio-medical engineering – just to name a few – are enough to make anyone’s head spin.
And yet we aren’t living much longer. We aren’t living any healthier. And we spend about twice as much on healthcare per person as our friends in any other country.
I believe our country is rapidly moving toward a two-tier system in healthcare.

A Big Enough Reason

Making a change is hard. Habit, routine, addiction, convenience, or a thousand other reasons keep us doing the same thing over and over again, even if it’s terribly unhealthy. Or dangerous. Or even deadly.
It takes a big enough reason to endure the anxiety, setbacks, difficulty, or even pain that may be involved in making a lifestyle change. Sometimes that reason is positive, where the outcome you wish is enticing enough to work hard for. Sometimes that reason is negative, where the pain of remaining where you are is big enough to force a change.

A Baby: God’s Opinion That the World Should Go On

As an OB-Gyn physician I’ve seen it many many times. A brand new baby comes into the world, takes that first cry, and begins the long journey of life with its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and more than a little uncertainty.
But today you’ll have to excuse a few of my personal musings. This morning the youngest grandchild in our family entered the world much earlier than planned, but alive and well.

Olympic Rings

Faster, Higher, Stronger: Your Gold-Medal Run

The 2012 Olympic Games in London have just come to an end. For these two weeks every two years I spend more time watching sports on TV than probably the entire two years between them.
Names like Michael Phelps, Usian Bolt, Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, Oscar Pistorius, and others are now household words around the world. There’s something about the Olympic Games that draws us in.

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Scary Thought

What was I going to write about? Oh yes, I remember. I just had a senior moment there.
Have you ever felt like that? Are you worried about whether it’s “just” a “senior moment”, or something much more scary – Alzheimer’s?
Losing one’s mental capacity ranks near the top on any list of fears about the future as people get older.

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