Monday, December 31, 2018

Change Can Bring Blessing in the New Year: Devotion Ten

Happy New Year! As we anticipate celebrating tonight and honoring a new year with all of its possibilities, I find myself reflecting. A new year is a gift; just like newly fallen snow without a print, we too are offered a fresh chance to start over. New Year's resolutions are about intentional changes we'd like to see in our lives. I hope the following devotion inspires you to think about such changes from a biblical perspective. Changes that God is prodding us to make can usher in new blessing — and I can't think of a better gift for the new year ahead!

Day 10
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
In this verse, Jesus reminds us of the true gift of faith: life. God wants us to have abundant life on earth and eternal life with him. So often society equates following biblical principles with denial and a list of rules. The reality is that God wants to gift us with greater blessings through his guidance. Just as we teach our children rules for safety and success, God wants to do the same for us. As we follow the Creator who made all things, we have the secret to a better life. It doesn’t mean that our lives will be perfect or without struggle. It does mean, however, that we have an advantage when we listen and obey. Ultimately, obedience means we aren’t denying ourselves anything other than a life that’s less than our best—and that’s a sacrifice worth making! Is there a change God has been prodding your heart to make? Listen and obey today. See what blessings your obedience brings.
Further Reading: John 1:4; Acts 2:28

I hope you have enjoyed my devotional series this fall! I have shared 10 of the 31 devotions from my e-book. If you'd like to receive all of these illustrated and professionally edited devotions for free, follow the prompts here to have them delivered right to your inbox! And stay tuned for my new series on life purpose coming in January!
Want more inspiration for the New Year? Read this.

Monday, December 17, 2018

4 Don't-Miss Ways to Rediscover Christmas

Christmas is next week! As that reality creeps in, and amidst the flurry of preparations, I'm sharing some favorites from my site that can help us rediscover the heart of the season...and therefore experience Christmas' greatest blessings.

1. My favorite Christmas article, published on iBelieve:

Culture tells us that Christmas is about consumerism; how do we as parents find a more redemptive message and teach it to our children?

2. The Christmas episode of Chaos to Calm:

Hear two pastors share their own Christmas traditions and what has held the greatest meaning for them.

3 & 4. My favorite guest posts on Christmas, courtesy of author Laura Sassi:

As an educator and mom, Laura shares fun ideas to interact with our children of different ages around the nativity. 


Tune into my next post, which will be on New Year's Eve. I will share a final devotion to conclude this fall's devotional series. Stay tuned following the New Year as well, as I will be launching a new series on living our life purpose. What a powerful topic as we look to intentionally begin a new year! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Secret to a Good Night's Sleep: Devotion Nine

I've found there are two seasons that can be particularly hectic for parents: The end of the school year and right now! While the holidays often hold much joy for our families, we can be also be left spinning to keep up! Whether you need help putting your to-do list aside at night or are struggling with something heavier on your heart (like the loss of a loved one or worry for a child), this devotion is for you this Christmas.

Day 18

“I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety.” Psalm 4:8
Sometimes the chaos that consumes our days spills over into the nights as well. It’s one reason I keep a pad of paper on my bedside table; once the day winds down, a flood of to-dos for the next day often comes to mind. I feel relief when I write them down, for then I’m sure that I won’t forget them. But it makes me wonder: Are there bigger things that we need to sign over to Jesus? Are there burdens weighing heavily upon us for which there are no easy steps or tick lists? Once my head hits the pillow, sometimes my prayer is a confident statement rather than a petition. “Lord, I cannot work on this anymore today. I entrust it to your care.” Knowing that God is holding it—and me—allows me to rest better in the arms of Jesus and surrender to the welcome of a good night’s sleep. Today, entrust all of your concerns to God’s care.

Further Reading: Psalm 55:22; Matthew 11:28; 1 Peter 5:7
Remember, if you are enjoying this series, you can receive the whole collection of 31 illustrated and professionally edited Chaos to Calm devotions free to your inbox by following the prompts here! I will share ONE more devotion on New Year's Eve to close the series. Stay tuned next week for some Christmas favorites to put you in the holiday mood and remind us of the true meaning of the season!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Unfailing Hope: Devotion Eight (Plus Bonus Devotion!)

The season of Advent began yesterday. Every year, it feels like the enthusiasm to celebrate Christmas creeps sooner and sooner, perhaps even starting after Halloween. As much as I love Christmas' promise, the season of Advent is one of profound spiritual meaning and offers a healing of its own.

Advent is a season for those waiting for the promise, for those grasping for a light to come in the darkness. It knows the pain and fear of the almost but not yet. It therefore also knows the power of the hope that is to come. The following devotion challenges us to consider how Christ's promised light can meet us in our parenting.

Day 11
“In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:4–5
Being a responsible parent means we must parent even when we sometimes feel like a child and are in need of a tantrum! It can push us to our breaking points, when every ounce of patience, will, and emotional energy feels spent. We feel like we’re not enough. But the good news is that we simply weren’t designed to be enough. In our darkest times and weakest moments, the grace and light of Christ can shine the brightest. I’m discovering that parenthood at its best is not something to muster and surmount; it’s an act of surrender. When I end and Christ begins, my family sees the miracle. One little light is enough to find our way in the darkness; Christ’s light can and will find us, and it has the power to lead us through. Today, cling to that light as you parent; allow it to shine upon any place you feel hopeless or discouraged.
Further reading: John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 12:8–10

Remember, if you are enjoying this series, you can receive the whole collection of 31 illustrated and professionally edited devotions free to your inbox by following the prompts here!

Bonus! I also wanted to share a devotion from a pastor friend. He wrote it several years ago on the same verse from John with a fatherly tenderness and insight that's worth sharing. Here is Pastor Ian Rankine's reflection. Advent blessings!

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:4

I have four small children, and there are times at night when someone cries and I have to get up out of bed and stumble through the dark to see what is going on. In the bedrooms, with their room darkening blinds, there are times when the darkness is palpable. So dark in fact, that although I can hear the crying, I have no idea which way up the child is lying in the bed.
I have a wristwatch that has a little light on it. When I push the light button on my watch, even as dim as that light is, it gives me just enough light to see by to find out what is going on with the little one. 
It is truly the dimmest of lights, but when it is on, the darkness is cast aside. 
Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.” He is “The Light of all mankind.” 
If even a tiny light on a wristwatch can dispel the darkness around it, consider the power and extent of the brightness of this One who is the Light of the World. 
Whatever darkness you may find yourself in, or whatever darkness may be inside you, it cannot overcome the light of Christ.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

God's Promises for You: Devotion Seven

While challenges are inevitably a part of life, faith gives us a special reserve to power through them — and come out better. Faith's reserve is a gift from God as he seeks to partner with us. One of the ways that we can receive this gift is by standing upon scriptural promises. The following devotion explores how God's promises can not only supply us with strength, but with joy too. Read to find out how! (And don't forget to look up the verse from Habakkuk below — it's a favorite!)

Day 13
“For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
I once heard a pastor distinguish between happiness and joy. Happiness is situational and a feeling that is often fleeting, he said. Joy comes from a deeper, richer perspective. It is based upon unchanging principles or truths that bring satisfaction and even elation. Faith offers us many of these things. We have promises to stand on when we are fearful or full of doubt. We have an unconditionally loving Presence to guide us when we feel forgotten or alone. We have meaning and purpose endowed upon us by our Creator, which we can remember when we feel ineffectual or disappointed in our journeys. God’s gifts aren’t meant to just make us feel better; they’re meant to infuse us with strength. This strength extends beyond our own, picks us up when we’re down, and makes our feet steady even on the heights. Where are you in need of a promise of God today? The joy of the Lord can be your strength.
Further Reading: Psalm 96:6; Habakkuk 3:19; Ephesians 6:10

Come back next week for an inspiring Advent devotion, as the season of Advent begins this Sunday! In the meantime, watch for more inspiration on my social media channels. And remember, if you are enjoying this series, you can receive the whole collection of 31 illustrated and professionally edited devotions free to your inbox by following the prompts here!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Giving Thanks: Devotion Six

This week, in honor of Thanksgiving, our devotional theme is giving thanks. Stay tuned to the end of the post for more encouragement on building this important spiritual muscle! And remember, if you are enjoying this series, you can receive the whole collection of 31 illustrated and professionally edited devotions free to your inbox by following the prompts here!
And this post wouldn't be complete without a big thank you to author Laura Sassi for being my guest last week. Laura's post wasn't just featured here, but a version also appeared on the TODAY Show Parenting Team. Her appearance included a giveaway for her newest children's book, Love is Kind. Though many registered, I'm thrilled to pass along the name of the winner who took advantage of a bonus entry: C. Mallon! Watch for an email from me to claim your prize!

Day 31
“I will thank you forever, because of what you have done. In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.” Psalm 52:9
Staying mindful of our blessings is an important way we can bring calm to any chaos moment. How easy it is to focus on our problems rather than foster gratitude in the moment! James 1:17 says, “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” God has blessed each of us richly. Acknowledging our blessings and thanking God for them has the power to hold our hearts in perfect peace, regardless of our circumstances. The goodness of God has inspired praise for centuries. When is the last time you recounted the ways God has been faithful in your life? Choose three things to be thankful for today and watch the fruit it transpires ... even better, do this with your children!
Further Reading: Psalm 107:1; Philippians 4:6–7

Want more encouragement on being thankful? Read my article for my writer's guild, "Lift Your Perspective, Change Your Life." Also, don't miss last year's endearing Thanksgiving post. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

BONUS: TODAY Show Parenting Team Feature!

I'm excited to report that this week's post with best-selling author Laura Sassi was picked up by the TODAY Show Parenting Team for their Grinch/Kindness Challenge! Please visit me over there and click "Vote Up!" — and leave a comment to let me know you stopped by! Thanks, friends!


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Guest Post and Giveaway: Celebrate WORLD KINDNESS DAY with LOVE IS KIND

I'm delighted to welcome back author, educator, and dear friend Laura Sassi. Laura is no stranger to my show nor website. Here are her words for us in honor of World Kindness Day today as we celebrate her newest children's book, Love is Kind:

After reading LOVE IS KIND with children, one of the takeaways I share is that every day is a gift. As children and adults, we can choose to live that gift in a spirit of love and kindness (as Little Owl chooses to do in LOVE IS KIND) or not. The kids and I ponder what our choices will be and marvel at how wonderful it feels to both receive kindness and extend it to others. We also acknowledge that love can take many shapes and forms; showing kindness is MUCH bigger than just giving someone a box of chocolates (as Little Owl wants to do in the story). Kindness, we conclude, is its own gift and much better than even the tastiest box of chocolates!

Where does this gift of kindness and love begin? It begins in our hearts — and in the hearts of our children. And it’s never too early nor late to nurture it. One easy way to do that is to let children brainstorm concrete ways that they can show kindness each day.  

In celebration of World Kindness Day today (and really every day should be kindness day), here’s a list of ways to be kind — gathered just for this post — from kids from across the country! Thank you to each one of them for their ideas, and may they jumpstart a nice conversation with your own children!

50 (Almost) Kid-Thought-Of Ways to Show Kindness 
  • If someone is feeling lonely, I can go over and sit with them.
  • If someone needs a friend, I can play with them.
  • If I want something, I can say “please.”
  • If somebody doesn’t have a friend, I can say, “Come and play with us.”
  • If somebody is sad, I can can cheer them up.
  • Tell someone you love them.
  • If someone is feeling sad, I can go over and hug them.
  • I can be kind and clean my room.
  • I can smile at my worst enemy.
  • I can donate food to someone who doesn’t have any food.
  • If someone new moves onto my block, I can welcome them.
  • I can hug family.
  • I can help my Mom carry in the grocery bags.
  • When someone is sick, I can bring food or tea.
  • I can let my little brother pick the first piece of cake.
  • I can give someone a compliment.
  • I can stand up for someone who is being picked on.
  • I can help animals. 
  • If someone hurts themselves, I can go see if they’re okay.
  • If someone falls, I can help them up.
  • If someone is bleeding, I can get them a bandaid.
  • I can help my Mom and Dad around the house and garden.
  • If someone drops their school folder, I can help them put the papers back in.
  • I can help my little brother or sister reach something up high.
  • I can help my Mom and Dad make dinner. 
  • I can play with my grandparents.
  • If someone drops their trash, I can pick it up for them.
  • I can follow my Mom’s directions.
  • I can clean up after myself.
  • I can be a good listener.
  • I can help a friend if they fall and get hurt.
  • I can play nice with my dog (and my little sister).
  • I can share toys with others. I can take turns.
  • I can be patient and wait my turn.
  • I can do my chores and follow rules.
  • I can think of the feelings of others before I speak.
  • I can try to put others first.
  • I can encourage a friend to do their best.
  • I can ask someone who looks lonely to play.
  • I can include others.
  • I can help shovel the neighbor’s sidewalk after a snowstorm.
  • I can tell someone they look nice today.
  • I can give a friend a hug.
  • I can share toys with my friends in class.
  • I can share toys with my baby brother even when I don’t want to.
  • I don’t have to race to be the first to get everything. 
  • I invited a girl from school that others don’t really like to my birthday party. When they spent time with her, they had fun with her.
  • A friend of mine is having a lot of trouble at home because her parents are not happy, so I try to invite her to my house a lot so she can relax and have fun with my family.
  • I gave some of my birthday money to a fundraiser at our school for kids who don’t have fun things for their recess.

The latter few ideas are my favorite — so cute! Want to learn more about Laura's book that inspired this list? Watch here. And to win your free copy, register here. All entrants must be US residents with a street address (no PO boxes) for shipping purposes, please. I will announce the winner this coming Monday, November 19th, on my website! That means you will have until next week to register, and watch for bonus entry options! (Please note: I will not give your information away to any third parties, but you will receive an optional invitation to subscribe to my website!) Good luck! Want more encouragement on kindness? Don't miss my devotion this week. Thank you, Laura!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Growing Kindness: Devotion Five

Did you know that tomorrow is World Kindness Day? In honor of its international celebration, I have TWO special days planned for you this week!
First, enjoy this week's installment of our devotional series. Kindness often starts at home by what we model as parents, so I hope this devotion encourages you to tap into Christ's reservoir of support as we seek to grow kindness''s not always easy, but Christ is here to help!
Second, I'm welcoming back best-selling author Laura Sassi to my website tomorrow to reflect upon ways that children themselves can be kind. She's polled children coast to coast for practical ideas in honor of her new book, Love is Kind, which I will be giving away to one lucky reader! Don't miss it!

Day 16
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
As parents, we often deal with fruit. Like the fruit a toddler has lovingly smeared all over the floor. Or the fruit a school-aged child refuses to eat and possibly hides in interesting places (such as the under the table, which happened to me recently). But this passage is about the intangible fruit that our actions produce. On bad meltdown days, I might not want to think about it! Ultimately, however, I want all that I do to edify the family I am working so hard to build. That means I want to consider the teachings of Jesus before I respond, even if that means locking myself in my bedroom for a brief minute of composure first! God will multiply every small act of humility. What’s more, God will provide us with the strength to do it in the first place. If we’re intentional, those actions will also trickle down into the choices our children make in their daily lives too, reaping an abundant harvest. Today, do at least one thing for your children specifically in the name of Jesus.
Further Reading: Psalm 90:17; Hebrews 13:20–21

Remember, if you are enjoying these devotions, you can receive my entire devotional series in ebook form sent right to your inbox for free by following the prompts here. And come back tomorrow to read an endearing post from Laura and win your free copy of her new book!

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Power of Habit Setting: Devotional Four

I heard a radio program recently highlight the most important indicator of success. It wasn't persistence, creative thinking, or excellent schooling or training. It was habit setting. Our habits demonstrate what we're regularly moving toward, and they should be reflective of our goals. If someone were to observe you for any given 24-hour period, would they discover what's most important to you?
The following devotion is about making regular scripture reading and prayer a habit. It's about soul time. It's a lifeline that God offers us, and that's important.

Day 9
“Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8
The only time chaos doesn’t exist around us as parents is when everyone is sleeping! Thus, even though it is very hard to wake up earlier, I try to be up every morning before my children. I treasure this time to intentionally begin my day and feed my soul before I need to care for others. I like to start by reading a devotional and Scripture and then end in a brief prayer time. I am amazed how God can magnify the benefits of this small sacrifice of time. I discover directives essential to making decisions that day. Or perhaps a word of God meets me exactly where I have been fearful, offering encouragement. One mom once told me that her best inspiration comes when she’s in the shower. When do you get yours? First thing in the morning, while snuggled up in bed, feels like a great time to start to me. Apparently, the psalmist agrees. At least one day this week, have a morning devotional and see what you discover.
Further Reading: Psalm 5:3; Mark 1:35

If you're looking for a devotional, try my free ebook by following the prompts here! This devotion is a sample from it. Another great resource for scriptural reflection is my 11 Affirmations to Build Your Faith from last week. I hope you are enjoying this series. Tune into my social media channels this week for more inspiration on this theme, and stay tuned next week for another devotion!

Monday, October 29, 2018

11 Affirmations to Build Your Faith

In last week's Devotion Three, I promised to share some scriptural affirmations with you this week. These affirmations are a nice segway in between devotions. They provide fodder to dream and step out in the spirit of last week, and they remind us of scripture's power, which I'll address in next week's devotion.
I've often heard it asked, "How can I get more faith?" Maybe you're going through a difficult time, and you want to believe but you're faltering. Faith isn't something you have to muster. Instead, it's something that needs to be fed. If you're facing discouragement or risk, you need to surround yourself with biblical affirmations of hope. Let statements like the below be your daily diet, and see what happens to your faith!

11 Biblical Affirmations to Build Your Faith:

1. I will not surrender to my fears. Isaiah 41:10
2. I will take one day at a time in obedience; I will live in the present moment and not worry about the future. Matt. 6:25-34
3. I claim the biblical freedom to trust that God is powerful enough to work all things for my good. I will not be preoccupied with worse case scenario thinking. Romans 8:28
4. God is my Provider. I draw confidence and strength from how he has provided for me in the past, and I continue to look to him for the future. Philippians 4:19
5. I will do what is within my control to the best of my ability and leave the rest to God. God's hands are capable and his promises are for ME. Hebrews 10:23
6. I am NOT alone. God sees my struggle and will come alongside me. I will look for signs of his presence and grace today. Deut. 31:6
7. I am LOVED by God. Romans 8:38-39
8. I will always remember who I am and WHOSE I am. If God is for me, what can stand against me? Romans 8:31
9. I do not expect my path to always be easy. I am equipped and well able, and I will grow through every experience. James 1:2-4
10. I am called to be brave. 1 Corinthians 16:13
11. I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 

Stay tuned next week for Devotion Four! And did you see my meme for affirmation #11 on Facebook? "Like" or "Share" it! Want more biblical inspiration? Check out my "Resources" tab for two free printables!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Dare to Dream: Devotion Three

We continue our devotional series this week with another sample devotion from my free ebook. Each week I've encouraged you to look inward; this week it's about your dreams. Watch my social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for an inspirational meme associated with healthy risk-taking. And if you want your own copy of this free devotional ebook, follow the prompts here.

Day 5
“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.” Ephesians 3:20–21
Are you in the habit of dreaming? Perhaps you dream for your children since, as parents, we want to give our children every advantage. But it’s also important to remember to continue dreaming for ourselves too. As weighty and wonderful the task of parenting is, it is not all of who we are. We are also children ourselves—children of God. Imagine the plans God has been dreaming for your life as his child. Naturally, we might shrink away from these plans if they involve change or risk. But these elements are often the food of faith. If things are certain, then we do not need faith at all. Rather, I believe God desires us to live an adventure. Prepare for surprises and to be amazed when you start taking the limits off of what God can do with and through your life. Today, take time to cast a dream for your life and consider the power of your example as your children observe it.
Further Reading: Joshua 1:9; Mark 10:27

Next week I'll be sharing a biblical mantra of important affirmations to remember whenever you are stepping out. If you're looking for more inspiration in the spirit of this devotion in the meantime, this a favorite and so is this. If you want to inspire dreaming in your children, read this. Finally, to find out how my dawdling toddler encouraged me to consider my dreams and call, read this!

Monday, October 15, 2018

What Are You Thirsty For: Devotion Two

In order to be grounded parents, we need to consider our own hearts. Our hearts inevitably affect family decisions, which was the devotion topic last week. This week's devotion invites us into honest reflection. Scripture uses the metaphor of thirst to inspire us to think about what we truly yearn for at the most basic level.

Day 3
“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1
It’s easy to understand thirsting for water, but there are other things we thirst for that might not be so readily transparent. We must dig deeper into our hearts to discover our thirsts. Options might include popularity, approval, success, or wealth. While these things are not necessarily wrong, when they’re taken to the extreme as a measure of a person, they become chains rather than gifts. We can think less of ourselves, causing our self-esteem to falter based upon whatever rubric we envision as the ideal. Self-worth, by comparison, never falters because it’s based upon God’s approval of us. We are his intricately made creation, endowed with purpose and crowned with his unconditional love. Faith affords us the option to climb off the hamster wheel of comparisons and enter into a new kind of judgement of ourselves—one that is freeing. That’s something to thirst for every day! Today, consider what God says about you.
Further Reading: Romans 8:38–39; 1 Peter 2:9

Watch my social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for an inspirational meme associated with this theme! And if you want your own copy of this free devotional ebook, follow the prompts here.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Protecting the Intangibles: Devotion One

Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing devotions from my ebook. My hope is that each devotion will spark further reflection. The ebook's goal is to open the spiritual reservoir of God's provision and guidance as we parent. That provision is waiting for you today. Feel free to share your responses and journey in the comments; I will respond to every one. And if you want your own copy of this free ebook, follow the prompts here.

Day 1
“You bestow on him blessings forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.” Psalm 21:6
Chaos in our lives can be driven by comparison games. It’s easy to become busier and busier as we compare our schedules with others. There are often good intentions behind these efforts. Schedule-wise, we don’t want our children to fall behind, miss out, or fail to reach their full potential. The problem is that these tangible activities can choke time for the ones with intangible rewards. Spending quality time and planting godly seeds in our families are not always activities that pop on a page, but their rewards are far richer. True inner fortitude can’t be measured by how firmly a child kicks a ball; lasting happiness can’t be found at the end of an expert recital. By investing in what God measures as worthy, we can experience greater blessings and joy, often when we least expect it ... and with no regrets later on. Today, tally three intangible blessings that you want to impart as you parent.
Further Reading: Psalm 1:1–3; Psalm 119:1–3

Monday, September 17, 2018

7 Tips to Get the Most out of the School Year

Another year brings another round of new experiences for our children. Ultimately, children are not at school to compete with one another, but to more fully discover who they are. They mature at different rates, and their learning arcs vary. As a parent, I want to walk alongside my children’s unique journeys and give them every resource and tool in their own becoming. To that end, here is a checklist of new adventures that I hope school children might tick off this year:
  1. Investigate sparks. Discover something interesting about a subject that you didn’t know before which sparks a desire to learn more outside of school.
  2. Get to know someone you’ve never really spent time with before, teacher or student.
  3. Find a special spot on campus. Realize what makes it special to you and return to it.
  4. Embrace character growth. Look out for an example of a sacrifice or tough choice you’ll make but that you feel proud of.
  5. Try a new food. (For some kids, this might be the hardest adventure of all!)
  6. Look for a new leadership opportunity. How can you use what you enjoy or are good at to help others by being a leader?
  7. Set a growth goal for yourself and later demonstrate how you reached it!
A friend of mine said that she was going to print this list out and challenge her children to do each of these things this year. I plan to do the same and hope you will too! For a specific prayer to pray for your child, check out this post. Cheers to a great new year!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Watch My Sermon, "Living Loved When You Feel Rejected," Now!

It's wonderful to be back writing you after taking a summer break to be with my family! While school schedules are now undoubtably busy, I wanted to pass along this link so that you can watch my most recent sermon. If you missed church recently or are just looking for a little inspiration, I invite you to tune in on this timeless topic!

Watch HERE

This June 2018 sermon draws insights from NYT bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst's newest book, Uninvited. It concluded my church's "Book and a Bible" series at its contemporary service called WAVE. You will find other sermons in this series (which included other NYT bestselling books) here near the bottom of the page or here on my church's Vimeo page.

P.S. Tune in next week for a back to school special post!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Last Sermon of the School Year

The gift of a good friend is a beautiful thing. But what happens when instead of rejoicing in a deepening friendship, you find yourself feeling left out and lonely? In our hyperconnected digital age, this can happen more often than we admit. And it is real. Some have felt so alone and brokenhearted that they are even willing to end their life.

While I hope that the church is a safe place for all people who are suffering, even more powerful is the God who maintains it. Christ’s wounds have the power to heal, his promises are sure footing to stand on, and his unconditional love can inspire our greatest confidence in whom God made us to be. When the world robs and depletes, Christ offers us the free gift of abundant life through faith and community.

Join me as I preach my final sermon for this school year this Sunday, June 3rd at 5 PM at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, NJ. My message will conclude the church's Book and a Bible sermon series as I pull insight from a third New York Times bestseller — Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited. You, friend, are definitely invited, whether in person or through my on demand sermon to come.

TODAY Video Clip