When we are given more than we could have imagined.

When we are given more than we could have imagined.

Last Thursday evening, my husband and two youngest kids and I met up with 7 other people we didn’t know, climbed into a van with our duffel bags and our good intentions and drove to the border town of Mexicali Mexico to build something. I’d been busy enough in the weeks leading up to our departure that I quietly panicked as we crossed the border at 11pm, realizing that I hadn’t checked Google News for the current drug cartel activity in this particular town. Egad! We had hastily put our precious children into the unknown hands of a young missionary team from our church and for a moment I wondered if I’d properly said goodbye to our elder children, if you know what I mean. The fact that this was my first mission trip was a slight embarrassment that I had to...

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The truth of a father who loves.

The truth of a father who loves.

Recently I had the privilege of hearing two brilliant pastors on different ends of the country speak – live – and directly to me as if they had read the whole messy complicated backstory before their talk began. First, I listened to Pastor Jim Samra’s teaching all the way from our former church in Michigan (thanks to live web streaming) while I primped and coiffed for a sweet Sunday family adventure. Dr. Samra is beginning the new season, teaching through the first Book of Peter. Today he disassembled the tricky idea of whether we choose God or if He chooses us. And as Jim does with uncommon brilliance, he gave us an insightful example of the truth. He simply said that when two people express their side of any relationship story, they often sound...

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Embarking on new adventures and finding our own old footprints

Embarking on new adventures and finding our own old footprints

Sometimes when we forge new paths, we find footprints we ourselves left decades earlier. Our family is moving back to Southern California from the serene and naturally beautiful Western edge of the mitten state. (Hold up your left hand.) I spent my childhood in Michigan, so I have a deep fondness for the lakes and the uniqueness of this state’s magnificent geography and sweet fun-loving people. I left LA 20 years ago when my eldest was less than 2, believing that I wanted to raise my kids in the values-orientation of the Midwest rather than the maniacal superficiality of the Hollywood State. To be true, my point of view was skewed by my own untamed lifestyle in the 80’s and 90’s, and it was impossible for me to imagine any healthy upbringing for my children...

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Avatars, Voices and Jesus.

Avatars, Voices and Jesus.

Last week on NPR I heard a fascinating interview with a psychiatrist who uses avatar therapy to quiet the negative voices in people’s minds and free them from the burdens imposed by fear, doubt, anxiety, insecurity (etc.). I’ve since read that this sort of therapy is even used to treat clinical schizophrenia. Fascinating, isn’t it? Talk about theater of the mind!! Apparently this avatar therapy challenges the patient to describe in physical detail the way this personified voice looks, sounds, and behaves. The doctor creates a digitally embodied replica of the voice, and  “brings the voice to life,” and he himself plays the role of the voice. He also plays the role of psychiatrist, so he’s got a big job. Anyway, the patient directly addresses a...

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Do we see that we each have the power to change this?

Do we see that we each have the power to change this?

Here are a few interesting dots to connect. Yesterday CNN covered loads about their own media industry. Wait, is that a circular reference? No matter. They featured a shouting panel of experts arguing whether or not we should vilify the writers of Glee who predictably leveraged the public debate of guns in schools to desperately elevate their ratings. An equal number of arguments expressed moral devastation as those expressing the show’s right to be current. Immediately following that story was a follow up to the true story about the young woman who was raped after passing out at a party, and then committed suicide after the horrendous assault was publicized on social media. I confess to seeing a connection in these two reports and their tragic realities. The...

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