God’s love

Advent

Every Sunday, the children are invited forward at our church. It’s one of my favorite parts of the service. Squiggly kids. Tentative ones. The bosses. The boisterous. The people-pleasers. Their unabashed traits shining in all their glory. No time-crafted mask covers that beauty yet. Sigh.

What does Advent mean? the children are asked. It’s one simple question. One simple answer. Coming. And the first purple candle of Advent is lit.

This year, John and I mailed Advent candles [...]

Living in a Time of Trauma

By Guest Blogger Dr. Penny Freeman

Barbara Brown Taylor says “Pain and suffering makes theologians of us all.”

It’s true. There is no shortage of trauma these days. This summer our eyes have been glued to the devastation of hurricanes. Harvey left Houston in a state of disrepair that left me slack jawed. Irma wiped out Barbuda (an island I didn’t know existed until three weeks ago) and Maria totaled Puerto Rico the same time an [...]

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The inspiring yet heartbreaking story of one woman’s courage during wartime is the plot for the book and now the movie, The Zookeeper’s Wife. This true story, set in Warsaw during World War II, shows not only how war impacts women but also how they fight and risk all for their beliefs.

One wife’s courage saved over 300 Jewish lives from extermination. When Poland is occupied by the Nazis, zookeeper Jan Zabinski and his wife [...]

The Joys of Church Planting

One Sunday, John and I walked to the #2 subway line, headed to Penn station, caught a train to Flushing and arrived in Asia in less than 45 minutes.  Actually, we were visiting Kings Cross Church, a church plant in Queens. Only the travel time belied the fact that we were still in NYC.  It’s one of the things I love about living in this city and that I [...]

Longings, Losses and Limitations

By Dr. Penny Freeman

Today I planned my garden…

Not the one I usually do…

In fact, I pulled up to the outside of my scraggly house and assessed the outside beds and grass. Usually, as soon as we have a few good weekends in the 70s, I migrate outside as my neighbors do into the yard to rake and bag leaves or sticks blown down by the winter. I attempt to start weeding beds that are [...]

Help! How Do I Deal With My Contempt?

My last blog elicited quite a few responses asking how we should handle our contemptuous hearts. Remember, contempt is the number one marriage killer. It’s not something to take lightly.

Tackling an answer in a blog doesn’t do the problem justice. One size does not fit all. Still, I’m going to offer an approach by sharing what’s helped identify and root out contempt in our marriage. Bear in mind that this was after [...]

By |February 15th, 2017|Shari Thomas|4 Comments|

The Number One Marriage Killer

He dropped a heavy bag on the train seat next to mine. I commented on the black velvet suit draped over the top. “That’s from another life, another time,” he said with a sigh. “Besides, it’s a long story.” I told him I had an hour and half.

He had just been released from rehab and was a Christian who had journeyed far from his true home. He was getting his life back on track [...]

Under the Covers, Under His Smile.

It’s 9:30 a.m. I’m still in my pajamas. I allow the indulgence telling myself I’m just enjoying the new PJ’s I got for Christmas. Telling myself I have extra time since I didn’t work out this morning. Telling myself that twenty-seven years of child rearing allows me to stay in bed as long as I want.

I recall the winters I walked our kids to school. The baby, thermal-sack bundled under the plasticized stroller cover. [...]

The Mother Heart of God

This weekend I’m attending a baby shower for my daughter, Michaelanne, who will give birth in June. We’ll also be celebrating Mother’s Day together. I’m excited but I’m also ambivalent.

My child is entering the world of parenting from which there is no return. She has the opportunity to experience amazing joy and heartbreaking pain. She can choose to stay alive to the agony of a broken world (which we experience daily as mothers) as [...]