Prayer, Creativity & Faith

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The Advocate

It’s funny how God speaks… sometimes He uses my own words to break through the clutter in my mind because I am really not listening. Last November (and the months leading up to it), I created twelve months of prayer prompt calendars so I could have the full 2019...... More »

  Bobby is not our first child to go to college. His sisters attended several colleges, in fact, plus lived in a few different apartments. Moving, our kids starting something new—been there, done that. Taking Bobby to Nashville (5.5 hours away) is no big deal, right? Seriously, he is...... More »

I am already anticipating a mob of angry people reacting to this headline, so let me start with this: Pinterest is not bad. In fact, it can be pretty wonderful. I’m as guilty as the next person of getting lost in time, clicking and pinning and planning and thinking....... More »

11 Bad Ways to Study Your Bible

I struggled with this piece, because really, I could write it in one sentence: The only bad way to study your Bible is to NOT DO IT. See? Easy and simple. Done. But nothing in life is ever that simple, is it? And studying the Bible is a complex...... More »

Have you ever looked at a familiar verse in an unfamiliar Bible translation? Most of us have a preferred version, but reading it in a different translation often sheds new light on its meaning. It may reveal nuances, clarify details, or otherwise point us towards a deeper understanding. As...... More »

If we could read people’s minds on Sunday mornings, we’d see all kinds of interesting thoughts… I’m tired. This is my only day to sleep in. People at church are hypocrites. They won’t even notice I’m not there. The ceiling would cave in if I walked through those doors....... More »

Prayer is no excuse

Periodically, the internet becomes collectively outraged at those offering weak platitudes (“our thoughts and prayers”) in the aftermath of whatever the newest tragedy is, whether it’s the latest shooting or natural disaster or terrorist attack. (I also hate that we have to apply the label “latest;” I hate that...... More »

When prayer loses its meaning

Dear sweet girl, You lie there in the angle of light bent around the door, in that sheltered, private spot where the light illuminates your papers, but your parents, in the living room downstairs, can’t see you from where they are reclining. The white-painted posts from the stairs...... More »

“Love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus said (Mark 12:31). Who among us wouldn’t agree with that statement? When I’m sitting in a pew on Sunday and my pastor teaches that concept, I nod my head in agreement. When I’m having quiet time and I happen upon that verse, I...... More »

How to pray without ceasing

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV). Impossible, right? Maybe in the olden days, when every task directly affected your family’s survival—of course they prayed, because if the crop died,...... More »