My “State of the Writer” Address

I figure it’s about time to write a “State of the Union” address as a writer. My last book has been out almost two months, and I’m getting a few “So what’s your next project?” questions from readers. So…What am I doing next? Writing another series? Sitting back and raking in all the dough I’ve collected from my first two series? Wrangling through a movie deal with a big Hollywood producer? No, no, and no. Here’s the deal: I love writing. I enjoyed every minute of writing the six books God has allowed me to have published. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be picked up by a publisher as amazing as Thomas Nelson. I am humbled and honored and elated to have been able to work with them and to...

Location, Location, Location

Psalm 1 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I don’t know how many times I’ve read it, and yet I still find something new every time I look into it. Psalm 1 examines the difference between the man (or woman) who is blessed and the man (or woman) who is wicked. And what is that difference? Location, location, location. The blessed man takes up residence by streams of water (Ps. 1:3). He is compared to a tree who, planted by that water, has roots that sink deep into the earth and branches that stretch into the sky. Rather than wither away, it produces fruit and prospers. What does the water represent in this Psalm? The man (or woman) whose delight is in the law of the Lord (Ps. 1:2a). The blessed person is so delighted in the law (the word of...

The Most Important Conversation

As I sit at my desk and write this, I am listening to my 13-year-old daughter chat it up on FaceTime with her best friend, Jessica. This is after she spent about 30 minutes chatting with her best friend/cousin, Mercy. Ellie will talk to her friends anytime, anywhere, for as long as she is permitted.They might be an hour away, but these girls are still in our house often - thanks to the wonders of technology! These conversations are rarely ended by the girls themselves. They are almost always ended by parents coming in and saying, “Enough time on the phone,” “Time for homework” or “Go to bed!”. The girls would talk all night if we let them. These friendships are important, and it seems like they never run out of topics of...

It’s the Little Things

I love talking about “big” stuff: future plans, dreams, ideas. I remember, when I was younger, wondering what “great” things I’d do for God. I was up for just about anything, as long as it was big and important. As I have matured in my relationship with God, I have realized that desire, while being pretty self-centered, can also hinder me from doing the things God actually wants me to do. For example: I stayed home with my kids until they went to school (then, I went to school with them!). During my years at home, I sometimes felt like I wasn’t contributing enough to the kingdom of God. I spent my days changing diapers and reading Dr. Seuss and mixing baby food into watery rice flakes. I remember really struggling during...

Think of the Starving Children in Africa…

Remember when you were a kid and you hated what your mom served for dinner, and she’d say something like this: “I know you hate broccoli, but there are starving children in Africa who would love this meal.”? I hated that speech. I know, Mom was right. But you know what? I still hated broccoli (still do – there’s not enough melted cheese in the world to make that veggie palatable*). I still gagged it down. I would have gladly given every serving of broccoli to the starving children of Africa. But that wasn’t an option. And knowing I had more food than they did, didn’t change my taste buds or my rotten “you can make me eat it, but you won’t make me like it” attitude. I don’t make my kids eat...

The “F” Word

There’s a word that Christians rarely use in conversation. I’ve never heard it in a sermon or song, never read it in a devo. It’s a word that makes us uncomfortable, offended. It just isn’t polite for Christians to discuss. The word? Fat. Don’t worry, this isn’t a “beat you over the head for eating that donut” blog. It isn’t a plea for advice on how to lose weight, either. It’s a confession. I am thinking about the “F” word right now because my clothes are getting uncomfortably tight. I either need to lose weight or buy clothes in the next size up (neither my budget nor my pride will allow for the latter!).  What I DON’T need is a diet. God has convicted me time and time again that...