How to Create a Prayer Closet

I was dumbfounded at the difference between sitting in that little closet in the near-darkness versus just a few feet away, on the other side of the door, in the bedroom itself.

The Contemplative Life

I’ve always been intrigued by the writings of monks and priests—Thomas Merton, Brennan Manning, Brother Lawrence. Manning used to spend months alone in a cave, with no companion except God, and though part of me cringes at the idea of such solitude, another part of me understands it. I live continually with a relentless longing to beContinue reading “The Contemplative Life”

The 2016 “Let’s Put an End to Facebook Christianity” Challenge

Let’s talk honestly for a minute about the growing prevalence of “Facebook Christianity”—you know, those 101 ways we equate burying ourselves in social media with interacting with God. Just one example: those posts that claim that a Like = Amen, or that a Comment = a prayer—or, better yet, a Share = a hundred prayers. It appears that all weContinue reading “The 2016 “Let’s Put an End to Facebook Christianity” Challenge”

For Those Who Battle with Winter Depression

Do you dread the winter months because you periodically find yourself in meltdown mode, hiding under the covers and feeling useless and defeated? You’re not alone. (Please forgive the background noise; it was breezy that day!)

A Word About Fasting

My husband is at a monastery for a few days this week. Those who know him would find this comical: he’s a long-haired, tattooed hippie with a disreputable past who loves his motorcycle and ragged jeans. Even so, when I talked to him last night, he said the monastery felt familiar. The reason for thisContinue reading “A Word About Fasting”

The Trouble with Hoarding

One of the things that the Old Testament manna represents is the basic necessities of life, which God provides when we seek Him above and beyond anything else. The Message puts it this way: “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will beContinue reading “The Trouble with Hoarding”

To Those Who Have Been Missing Their God-Time

“Do not always scrupulously confine yourself to certain rules, or particular forms of devotions,“ said Brother Lawrence. He said this as one who knew how to “practice of the presence of God”—that is, to enjoy an ongoing, never-ending, easy lifting of the heart and remembrance to God, which invites and sustains His constant presence. HeContinue reading “To Those Who Have Been Missing Their God-Time”

Coldplay, Autumn Leaves, and the Voice of God

The other day, while I was sitting on my cozy, screened-in back porch, the wind suddenly began scuttling through the trees (which were fat and fragrant with autumn leaves), and the sound was like rushing water. If I’d closed my eyes I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. The sound nearly took theContinue reading “Coldplay, Autumn Leaves, and the Voice of God”

What Do We Mean by the “Voice of God”?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the voice of God. We Christians speak often of God’s voice, but some of us would be hard pressed to explain it. I’ve heard stories of people hearing an audible voice, but God has never spoken to me that way. Even so, I began hearing Him many yearsContinue reading “What Do We Mean by the “Voice of God”?”

The One Thing You Should Not Pray About (at Least for the Moment)

My next word of caution as we hash out the topic of fear versus fearlessness is about prayer—and it’s probably not what you think… Let’s assume you’ve made up your mind to “Fear not,” just like Jesus said. If you’ve read the last couple of posts, you now understand that, as soon as you haveContinue reading “The One Thing You Should Not Pray About (at Least for the Moment)”