Refresh and Renew

Refresh and Renew

During a recent family vacation, I was often reminded of how much my mind is constantly processing in “information overload” mode. I found it so difficult to slow down my mind and put my internal high-capacity motor in “idle” mode. It’s so very hard to do!!! Maybe it’s hard for you as well. It usually takes me at least two to three days at the beginning of a vacation to start to decompress and slow down my thoughts and behaviors. I’ve learned that you have to…

change lives

Does Telling Bible Stories Change Lives?

Recently one of our SIU national partners and leaders from the Global South (made up of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America) told me that he had taken the time to count over 700 stories in the Bible. He then said, “I feel ashamed as I have only memorized 36 of these Bible stories word for word in my native language and in four other local dialects. I should have memorized many more by now if I want to be more effective in my work to change lives.” Poof, my bubble of Westerner pride in having memorized three short, English-only stories burst in comparison to what this inspiring leader was sharing. He went on to say…

Prodigal

The Return of the Prodigal

In oral cultures as we train and equip indigenous grassroots leaders to share the Bible orally, we encounter young men who have experienced the loss of a father. Living in remote communities, under difficult conditions, their families have seen all types of persecution and suffering. They have witnessed genocide, sickness, and destruction which took many fathers’ lives. These leaders are now orphans and as such…

Great Value

The Pearl of “Great Value”

Have you ever lost something valuable to you…like your checkbook? Your wedding ring? Your car keys? Or your wallet? I think I’ve lost every one of those items at least once in my life. The feeling of not being able to find something valuable that’s been lost is one of the worst feelings I’ve experienced. OK, being pulled over by a police officer for a traffic ticket is pretty awful too. Perhaps you are like me when this happens. You search and then search some more. You retrace your steps and question your actions and just when you are about to give up…

real peace

Real Peace, is that Possible?

At this time, when there is so much civil hostility, intolerance, and anger in this country toward those who offer differing views and opinions, I understand why some people may be searching for and wanting to find peace. What’s interesting is that…

treasures

Treasures in Heaven

Living in the United States, I am consistently bombarded with advertisements about all the “things I’m missing out on that will make me and my life better.” Such as a recent TV commercial showing a person saving thousands on purchasing a new car for themselves vs. the neighbor next door who didn’t save that much while buying gifts for others.
That’s quite the message: Let’s just take care of ourselves with expensive toys and forget everyone else. What a sad, selfish perspective that penetrates our culture—and that way of thinking is opposite of what the Bible instructs.

power of story

The Power of “Story”

At Christmas, more than any other time of year, storytelling plays a major role in our lives. Children never tire of hearing the age-old stories that make the Christmas season so special. And when we gather with family, we love sharing stories of Christmases past and the feeling of nostalgia that these stories bring. In my family …

Unsung Hero

Be an Unsung Hero

Are there any “unsung heroes” in your life? You know, those who have worked faithfully, persistently behind the scenes to help you become who you are today. Perhaps a teacher believed in you when you didn’t believe in yourself. Or a coach encouraged you to strive for more. Or a family member took the time to help you achieve that impossible goal. In my own life….

Your Uniqueness and Courage to Act

Do you realize that God made you unique? Out of the 7.4 billion people currently alive on the earth (as well as the 108 billion or so who have lived and died before us) not one other human is (or has been) exactly like you. That uniqueness completely overwhelms my mind. It gives me a bigger perspective of how our creative and loving God has made each of us truly unique from the moment He designed us in our mother’s womb.

The Immeasurable Value of “Time”

Someone asked me the other day what is the most precious asset I have? I responded with the answer “my time”. How I spend it and the relationships I build is what matters most to me.