Daily Articles

Modes of Spiritual Growth

With acknowledgements to Bernard of Clairvaux.

In Sickness and in Health

When does a person think about health? For me, this question surfaced when I was sick, when I was far from healthy. For years I thought I was a healthy person. My doctors had declared how healthy and strong I was for my age. Then, very much to my surprise, I discovered that I had cancer. Health flew from my mind and disease and debilitation and death took health's place. The plain and simple fact that a biopsy had found a significant cancer in my body immediately effected my identity. My sense of self was instantaneously altered . I became, from that hour of discovery, different. I was no longer healthy. Who was I? I was no longer even myself, but a cancer victim, and might soon become a cancer survivor. Whatever the outcome of this dread discovery, I thought I would never be the same.

Husbands, love your wives – build hedges

Shortly after I married his daughter, my father-in-law gave me one of the most treasured gifts I have ever received -- a book titled Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It.

From the precepts found in the book, I learned how building “hedges” is important to a marriage. Just as in Scripture, hedges are a protection and direction against infidelity, a leading cause of marriage failure in America.

Get Back Up

Psalm 30:1-2, KJV
I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

Divorce Proof Marriage

Divorce-proof Marriage?

No marriage can be made absolutely divorce-proof. No marriage is without difficulties and crises. Yet, a strong and intimate relationship can be built through what I choose to call crisis survival. Pain and suffering can provide creative growth. Romance and moments of ecstasy are wonderful, yet the stressful experience can also provide a setting for blessing. There is truth in the cliché, "No pain, and no gain." Some of us flee from discomfort and never discover the benefits of "seeing it through" and forging even closer bonds in the shared traumas and trials.

The following seven building blocks are designed to nurture divorce- resistant partnerships:

1. Build each other up.

When Heaven Goes Silent

The emergency room was deathly still except for my husband?s anguished weeping.

Tearless, I held our little son Timmy's chilling body to my breast, trying to warm him, unwilling to let him grow cold. Bruised from futile resuscitation efforts, he was naked except for a rough blanket wrapped around him and secured with a diaper pin.

The mortician peeked in. He was waiting. I wanted to run into the night with Timmy's body and hide him somewhere where I could keep him safe.

Grief and Depression: The 6 T's of Moving Through Grief

One of the most moving scenes in musical "The Man from La Mancha" came as Don Quixote dying was roused by his lady Dulcinea to hear the words of the song, The Impossible Dream again.
"Tell me the words," he asks.

"But they are your words, my Lord," she responds.

He remembers then and sings the magnificent song that embodied his dream.

For years at funerals and during times of loss and grief, I have shared with those who are in the midst of their mourning these special blessings God gives us to cope with our sorrow and pain. They are Tears, Talk, Touch, Toil, Trust, and Thanksgiving. In my heartbreaks, my own words of comfort return to me as a benediction of grace. It was as if I heard an owl say, They are your own words, Philip. Listen to them.

Holy Hope

I am convinced that God never ceases to form, reform, and transform all of creation. I am further assured and reassured that God in Christ works to lift our personal burdens and set us free from the chains that bind us. I therefore believe:

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE

To the extent that we assume our own responsibility, our serenity and joys increase. This response-ability is ours and belongs to no one else. It is also the basis for our personal morality and social ethic. As God's earthly flock, we are not to be condemned for our natural human weakness, sickness, or waywardness. But we are accountable. We have the choice to be willful or to become willing and allow our divine Shepherd to tend us. We can always turn and return to God for health and salvation.

The Awakening for Women

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shutter once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

Bring the Family Together

Matthew 12:25 KJV
…Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

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