Turning Over a New Leaf

Turning Over a New Leaf

Autumn greetings, my friends and readers! I write today to share with you about a change in course my life has taken. You have met with me for many months, even years, here at Living in the Word. We’ve thought about lots of topics together concerning our lives, our world, and the way God and the Word speak into who we are. This writing and interacting with you has changed my life in significant ways. Actually, this writing has been key to God’s guiding me into the new season I’m entering. I began blogging at the urging of a friend. I wasn’t sure about my next steps as a writer, and starting a blog seemed a good way to explore where I was going and to keep my ideas fresh. The regular writing soon became a place to look within and decide what...

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Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Sometimes the happenings of this world feel beyond what the heart can bear. A beloved comedian’s tragic death. Reports of horrific conflict and genocide in the Middle East, with many of the victims children, their pictures transported thousands of miles across oceans to verify the reality of carnage. Closer to home, a teenager is killed and racial tensions once again flare. And this moment, a family gathers at the deathbed of a dear husband, father and grandfather whose body succumbs to cancer, none ready to part with him. Tragic pain. Heartrending loss. Inner and outer turmoil that the spirit in its purest place knows don’t belong in this world, really. As parents we shudder and push through our days. As love-invaded friends of God we offer silent...

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The Biggest Piece of Jesus

The Biggest Piece of Jesus

I was sitting at a baseball game for one of our boys last week and chatting with my mom, who had come to watch the game. She shared with me about a dream she’d had the night before. In the dream, she was with an extended family member of ours who has recently moved to another city, and they were visiting a church in the area. As they were celebrating the Lord’s Supper and my mom’s turn came, there were only crumbs left and she felt like she couldn’t partake. We smiled at the odd course that dreams often take. The next day, as our church celebrated the Lord’s Supper and I sat next to our 8-year-old, the dish of unleavened bread came down our row, and just as he always does, Derrin took a few seconds to survey the contents and pick the...

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The Real Beauty of It All

The Real Beauty of It All

Every summer our family spends a week with extended family, where about 14 of us gather in one big cabin in a small mountain town to play, sleep, and eat together. We watch hummingbirds from the kitchen window, walk many times a day down dirt roads to visit the lake, throw rocks in the river, and catch fish. It’s a slice of idyllic life and a time we look forward to all year. We spent the 4th of July together in this spot, and in the flurry of packing I forgot to include our copy of Good Dirt. We have nine kids between the three families, ranging in age from 7 to 19. Several are teenagers, and last week as we got two or three days into the week some of them were needing to slow down and consider their words and their attitudes. It seemed apparent that even...

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Glad Places

Glad Places

I have just returned home from bringing two of our boys to church camp for the week. Our other son is already away for a second week of training for a children’s evangelism ministry he’s taking part in this summer. And so, the house is quiet. We brought a neighbor boy and two nieces along to camp, and all the way home as I drank in the blue Colorado sky with forests of evergreen and aspen, roadside streams and meadow flowers stretching mile after mile, I thought about each of the kids and each of their little personalities and passions, their gifts and their callings. We read Good Dirt and the Bible this morning after final packing, and the passage we read from Luke 20 talked about a vineyard and unfaithful workers who mistreated all the  servants sent by...

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Summer Reading for Crazy Busy People

Summer Reading for Crazy Busy People

Summer greetings to you, my Living in the Word friends! June is underway and it is time to talk about summer reading. In past years I have offered lists of my own recommendations and have also shared with you the reading choices of authors, pastors, and publishing world friends. This year I’ve decided to do something different. Instead of talking about several books I’d like to talk about just one. And more, I’d like to invite you to read it along with me this summer and discuss it here periodically at Living in the Word. The book? It’s one I purchased a few weeks ago and am just getting into. It’s not long. It’s not a difficult read. It’s not fiction, but I think we can manage an easy nonfiction book over the summer,...

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