Sunday, July 24, 2011

God Answers Prayers

The second grade teacher, Mrs. Johnson, went around the room. "If you could buy anything you wanted at the dime store, what would it be?" Most of my classmates liked the idea of a Hershey's bar. Even though I was already a chocoholic, I had a different answer: "A Big Chief tablet so I could start writing my book!"

It's been a long time since second grade, but God finally answered the call He put on my heart to write a book. The circumstances that got this book published are not normal. Someday, I may share that story, but for now, I am thrilled to have this book designed to encourage Christ-followers. Please consider buying it for yourself, for your church library, for your women's small group study or Bible class... or bring me into speak on this new topic.

You can order the book through or or through me!

The book is comprised of 52 short essays, suitable for a quick read or a devotional. One church in Texas is using it for a Bible class, so I've developed questions to ask at the end of each chapter. You have to get those from me.

Now, I'm off to find a Big Chief tablet so I can start my next book...

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Blessing of a Cat

A strange-looking cat showed up at my parents' place in the country about a year ago. They thought it was wild until it came up and rubbed against their legs. He could leap up on the roof or a treetop in a single bound. He looked hungry, so Mom kept putting food out. He would eat and eat and eat and never gain an ounce.

Soon the mystery was solved. He was a Bengal Cat, bred to look like a Leopard. He's beautiful, with burnt orange fur and black spots. He's affectionate. He looks hungry because these cats are longer and leaner than a normal house cat.

Mom was afraid he was someone's pet. So she got him to the vet's (there is only one vet in their town) to see if anyone was missing such a special animal. No, said the vet, but let's see if he has a microchip. No chip, so he became a member of the family and got a name: Tigger.

Mom and I are allergic to most cats, but not to Tigger. He's earning his keep by killing plenty of rodents. The Schnauzer, Muffin, Does Not Like Tigger. She was having a hysterical barking fit at him, and Tigger just went up and rubbed against her. Muffin became barkless. Isn't that a great lesson for us all? When our mere presence incites wrath, we can just go offer love.

May blessings like Tigger wander into your life unexpectedly and bring you love and affection.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Running the Marathon

Last month, I asked you to help me celebrate my birthday by figuratively running the Cowtown marathon with me. It was a humid day, a hilly course, and I was coming down with a stomach bug! But I finished, and thanks to all of you, raised about $900 for YouthHaven.

Why Preachers Shouldn't Talk Too Long

When I was a kid, we belonged to a non-demoninational Christian tradition. My dad was thrilled when the preacher didn’t take too long with the sermon. Dad would say, “Now we can beat the Baptists to lunch.”

A few years ago, I worked at the North American Mission Board and was required to attend a Southern Baptist Church. In the hallways, I would hear folks say, “I hope the pastor doesn’t go too long today. We want to beat the Methodists to lunch.”

The Methodists have always been so gracious to let me come to speak to their Sunday school classes… and in churches where some people went to early services, I was advised, “Don’t go over your time limit. We need to beat the Presbyterians to lunch.”

That tells me we are all more alike than different. We all like to eat lunch!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Running for a Good Cause

Normally, I wouldn't blatantly ask for a birthday gift, but this year is a little different. I had a chance to visit Youth Haven in Picacho, Arizona this past summer. It was amazing. This ministry gives kids a 100% free week of summer camp, then a weekend during the school year, and a Christmas experience, too.

About 50 percent of the children are in foster care. Many don't have running water at home, so they take long, hot showers at Youth Haven and think it's wonderful. Many of them have never been to church or heard about Jesus, and they fall in love with Him by the end of the week.

So, since I'm running a marathon on my birthday this coming Sunday, February 27, I wanted it to count for something, to support a good cause. Please consider helping me help Youth Haven and celebrate my birthday at the same time. These kinds of gifts are tax-deductible! For more information, please click on the link below.

Tucson Shootings

As a sheltered and over-protected only child, I chose a career in journalism because I thought it would be a one-way trip to adventure.

And in many ways, it has been. I've met people and seen places and ridden cars, hot air balloons and vintage planes and wagons. In many more ways, I've had a front-row seat to tragedy... and then had to meet a deadline to describe it.

The shootings on January 8 in Tucson hit close to home. The radio network at which I've been working sits 500 yards from the Safeway grocery store where "Congress on Your Corner" was being held that morning. Not only that, but twice in my career, I have been an aide to lawmakers. It feels different when you realize you could have been shot at, rather than just observe and journal the aftermath. That's a selfish thought. Here's a more altruistic one: we are supposed to be one of the most advanced societies ever... when are we going to get it right, whether "it" is mental illness, gun laws, safety... when are we doing to be enlightened enough so that we don't kill each other?

As a Christ follower, I can tell you the answer is only when we get to Heaven.

If you were listening to our faith-based radio network, you heard it again and again, "We live in a fallen world."

The good news, even for a fallen world, is that some people will search for the silver linings of this incident and find them. They are there: heroes who saved lives, heroes who sacrificed their lives to save others, a woman shot in the head at close range survives and walks and talks!

The better news, especially for a fallen world, is that Jesus offers eternal life, no matter how violently you die. People argue about how you take Him up on that offer, so read His message and decide for yourself. It starts with believing He is the son of God.

When you take that step, you're in for one-way adventure of a lifetime.