‘Spiritual Growth’ Category Archive

How to Make Your Mind a Better Place

“Bad tapes”.   That is the phrase a good friend used to describe when people have unhealthy thought patterns repetitiously swirling around in their head.   Remember mixed tapes from when we were kids? Okay, all my 80’s and 90’s friends know what I’m talking about. All of my iPod generation friends are going “mixed tapes – does that have something to do with Scotch tape?”  No, forget it, I’m dating myself and its embarrassing.  … … Continue reading

Four Ways to Respond When Healing Doesn’t Happen

My husband’s sister died of breast cancer when she was just thirty-six. I was pragmatic about her diagnosis at first. I was a nursing student back then, and I knew the statistics: most people do survive cancer. At first, it seemed my sister-in-law would be a survivor. The cancer was treated and wiped out. But it came back, and then it metastasized. The blow of this was long and crushing, and it seemed to come… … Continue reading

Here’s One Thing That May Be Stunting Your Spiritual Growth

I’ve often said in jest, but somewhat seriously also, that one of the blessings of getting older is your vision starts to go. Now you might think that an odd thing to think, but in many ways not being able to see all those wrinkles daily taking over your face, is a blessing. That is, until you get your hands on a magnifying mirror and “Wowzer!” The reality that time has passed—years, maybe even millennia—is clearly… … Continue reading

5 Ways Cancer Blessed My Life

Eight years ago, at the age of thirty-five, with a wife and three young daughters, I heard words that inspire a whole different kind of fear: “Michael, I’m sorry but you have colon cancer.” Tests would show that it was stage III. I had a world of suffering to go through to beat that nasty monster. Multiple surgeries, chemo, an ileostomy, fatigue, depression, pain. A new kind of suffering. By the grace of God I… … Continue reading

Sometimes There Are No Words

Sometimes there is just nothing to say. There are some things that happen in life that words won’t heal. There are some things that take our breath away that only silence can breathe life back into our lungs. They are the things of life that are beyond someone giving a kind word, a positive hopeful thought, a story of so and so who went through this and that and made it through, a good sermon,… … Continue reading

A Weed By Any Other Name: 5 Reasons for Unlikely Gratitude

My husband and I made a big mistake last fall. Huge. We neglected to apply an autumn round of lawn fertilizer. The lawn looked fabulous then, but once the frost broke we had a yard full of dandelions. I’m not talking about a couple here and a few there. I’m talking a bumper crop of the vile weed. So off I went to the hardware store to buy the biggest bag of weed and feed… … Continue reading

What Do I Do When My Plans Don’t Work Out?

“What do I do now?” For a lot of us, it’s a question that marks more than a moment — it marks a season. We find ourselves in a place we never meant to be in, a place that looks completely different from what we’d planned for our lives. And we don’t know what to do. Sometimes that means you’re single and you thought you’d be married by now. Sometimes it means you thought you’d… … Continue reading

3 Arts That Will Help You Bring Up Conversations About Jesus

For a number of years during my commute to work, I would enter the highway at the same toll ramp almost every day. I would impatiently wait in the line of cars, wanting to get through the tollbooth as quickly as possible. As I waited to pay, I would see an anonymous hand reach out of the booth and go back in, then repeat this mechanical motion for each vehicle. Most commuters did not even… … Continue reading

What to Do When You Don’t See Answers for a Cancer Diagnosis

There are no words in any language that adequately express the emotion felt when hearing the phrase: “There’s a large mass”, no way to express the feelings that wash over the heart and mind when these words are spoken over the body of a two-year-old boy. But, I know I’m not the only one who has heard words like this and Chase isn’t the only one to carry cancer like this. How many times have… … Continue reading

5 Ways Jesus Taught Us How to Pray

“Pray continually.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 My niece is a senior in high school. In a few short months, she will walk in procession with the rest of her class to receive her diploma. It seems like yesterday she was a baby asleep in my arms. As a child, she loved to talk with me. She started the minute she saw me and continued until I left. She told me stories of her day, tattled on… … Continue reading