The Craft of Coffee

Comment

The Craft of Coffee

I can’t hide the fact that I love coffee. Whenever someone says that I can’t give up coffee for a month because I’m addicted to it, I just look at them, grin, and agree.

Comment

Made for More

Comment

Made for More

LURKING IN OUR MIDST IS A GREAT THIEF. He is the enemy. Can you see him? Do you hear him calling your name? Is he tantalizing you with forbidden fruit? Eve, the mother of all creation, knew him as the serpent. Cunningly, he deceived her by offering eternal life, but in turn, she found death. Presently, you may be deceived by the unnecessary pressures of measuring up: wearing the best clothes, driving the newest car, having the most fit body, and the list goes on. If you are facing these unnecessary pressures, you are not unaccompanied. Women throughout the ages have been warring with the enemy. The modern church is not alone in the battle of true femininity. From the days of Eden until present, Satan still seeks to destroy the beautiful design of women. We find ourselves with tainted hearts and mixed desires. Within us a war is raging. Our desires are contrary to our nature, and thus, we constantly fight the battle over truth and pleasure. Find a place of solitude, and seek to unveil the freedom found in being the woman God desires and has designed you to be. May we find ourselves refreshed as we being to unlock the life-giving freedom God offers in His design for women.

Comment

Jesus Paid Enough

2 Comments

Jesus Paid Enough

This person had done so much to ruin me that I didn’t know if I had it in my heart to forgive. Over the previous months, I had gone through many messy steps to try to attain healing. 

2 Comments

A Love Story Charge

Comment

A Love Story Charge

SOMETIME BETWEEN WATCHING from a third floor balcony as he played in an open fire- hydrant with a crowd of children and saying goodbye a summer later, I realized I could love this guy. Sometime between the phone call from Indiana and the stroll through Central Park a year later, I knew I loved him. And sometime between that moment when our strolling stopped as he reached for my hand and when I walked down the aisle toward him, I knew that our love was deeper than I’d ever dreamed love could be.  

Comment

Gather: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Comment

Gather: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Every cook needs a chocolate chip cookie recipe. One that is delightfully full of chocolate chips and with just the right texture. If you enjoy chewy cookies with slightly crisp edges then this is the recipe for you. These gems are perfect for school lunches or a mid-day coffee break. This particular recipe is best prepared in advance to allow plenty of time for chilling. Enjoy!

Comment

Keeping Relationships Simple

Comment

Keeping Relationships Simple

CS Lewis said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” In other words, life without friendship is reduced to mere survival. We can function, we can make do, we can go through the motions yet we are alone without friends. This is simply not part of the design for mankind.

Comment

Rich in Simplicity

Comment

Rich in Simplicity

My parents gave me the gift of an authentic, homespun heritage. I treasure it, but I didn't always feel this way. As a child, I often felt we were dull and unrefined, perhaps even a bit too "backwoods."

Comment

Uncommon Ground

Comment

Uncommon Ground

I walked into my Hebrew class not knowing what to expect and not imagining the diversity that I would find there. It was still one of my first weeks in Jerusalem and I didn’t have a clue about what life was like in a city filled with so many extremes! Glancing around the room, I was surprised at the mix of people, cultures, religions and skin colors. Over the course of the next few weeks people came and went, but the way our lives brushed up against each other in a stuffy classroom in Jerusalem left an impact on me that will last forever. I learned so much more than language in that classroom.

Comment

Gather: Old-Fashioned Blueberry Waffles

Comment

Gather: Old-Fashioned Blueberry Waffles

Who can resist a golden stack of freshly made waffles? We are excited to share these fantastic old-fashioned waffles bursting with fresh berry goodness. Round off your Saturday morning breakfast with a side of bacon and eggs for the perfect way to start your weekend! 

Comment

Blending In or Standing Out?

Comment

Blending In or Standing Out?

We've probably all heard it at one time or another. Something new or exciting would come along and we would get swept up into it. With much enthusiasm we’d tell our parents about this new thing or new idea. Then, with the wisdom granted them through many more years of experience, they would see right to the end of this “new fad” and try to dissuade us from jumping on board too quickly. 

Comment

Out of the World and into a Community

Comment

Out of the World and into a Community

There are a lot of reasons why a person would want to stay in the world. Entertainment, wealth, and independence entice some people, but not me. At a young age I knew I was different from other children. Their petty games and ideas didn't interest me. I spent my time trying to convert my friends and asking my school's principal if we could wear school uniforms. I think I longed for structure. As I grew up I lost some of that nagging desire and moved on to a normal childhood of normal interests. I loved movies and would frequently memorize every word. After school a friend and I would spend hours acting the scenes out in her front yard. 

Comment

A Starting Point: Four Tips for International Travel

2 Comments

A Starting Point: Four Tips for International Travel

International travel. The very phrase holds connotations of adventure and excitement and respite from routine. Planning it can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before. There are the obvious things to consider, like checking into visas and shots. But after that, the list of choices you have to make turns into a web and it’s hard to know where to start first. I’m no professional traveler, but I am one of those nerdy people who likes to write down the things I’ve learned. So here’s a starting point if you’re looking for one.

2 Comments

Intrepid: Life is Either a Daring Adventure, or Nothing

Comment

Intrepid: Life is Either a Daring Adventure, or Nothing

There was the possibility of a tornado dropping down out of those amazing, blue-green, billowing clouds, but it was still incredible! The storm suddenly came ripping across the local park where we were gathered for VBS, bringing sheets of rain and winds so strong that it sent everyone running for the nearest four-sided, solid structure (which was the now crowded bathrooms). There’s papers flying and everything’s in chaos, but for a fleeting moment, I spread arms wide and broad-side the gusts and pricking rain, letting the forces of nature swirl out of control around me.

Comment

A Place of Refuge

Comment

A Place of Refuge

March 1671 Eggiwil, Switzerland

The early morning fog hung like a wet cold blanket around the Shank’s farm. Christian hurried along the steep gravel path towards the house. His foot skidded and the milk in his pail sloshed over the edges of the bucket. “Really?” His little brother Peter muttered. “Like we didn’t need that milk.”

Comment

The Way of Surrender

Comment

The Way of Surrender

In the last few months, God has asked me to surrender some pretty big dreams and desires. I struggled for weeks about one dream.I did not want to surrender it. I allowed myself to be miserable for days until I realized i would not know true peace until I was willing to surrender. Just as God promised, peace flooded my soul when I finally gave in and surrendered my dream.

Comment

The Call of a Disciple

Comment

The Call of a Disciple

Honestly, I was pitying myself. Not throwing a big pity party, but definitely feeling bad for myself and for our family.

A brand new nephew had just been born and we were all absolutely delighted. We’d been looking forward to this day for so long! A cousin for our children, a new baby in the family; what could possibly be more exciting?!

Comment

All is Grace

Comment

All is Grace

"In this world, ye will have trouble. But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 33:16

In March of 2008 I stood in a little bathroom in Honduras, the white light stark and harsh on my features as I stared at my face in the mirror, baffled by how normal I looked. I expected something to be different. Something to show that my world was falling apart and the happy future I had taken for granted had warped and then vanished into a void of unknown fear and pain. My eyes looked darker than usual. Slightly puffy from crying. But now, I had moved to a place beyond tears. My main emotion was horror. And yet, the sadness in my eyes was almost unnoticeable, even to me. I braced myself and left the bathroom, trying to settle my mask even more firmly so the sadness didn't show because my siblings didn't know yet what was going on.

Comment

Purge Me With Hyssop

Comment

Purge Me With Hyssop

What is it about the coming of Spring that makes us throw open all the windows in the house and commence to scrubbing everything from the ceiling down? We become invigorated by the notion of a spotless house and we're spurred on by the warm scented  breezes flowing through the trees. We can't wait to purge our belongings to eliminate unwanted or unused junk. Cabinets get organized, the windows are washed sparkling clean, and the refrigerator no longer has science experiments lurking in the depths. We collapse onto the sofa, clutching our favorite coffee drink, and we breathe a deep sigh of relief and contentment. Finally, our home is purified. We can relax and enjoy life.

Comment

Reading: For Knowledge, For Pleasure, With Wisdom

Comment

Reading: For Knowledge, For Pleasure, With Wisdom

I don't really remember learning to read; I only remember loving it. I devoured the Elsie Dinsmore books and the Nancy Drew series and as for Anne of Green Gables, oh, how she spoke to my soul. Books old and new, fiction and non-fiction, fantasy, mystery, Christian fiction, poetry—I read them all. Eventually, I became an English major and read still more and still more widely. However, my discernment lagged behind. As I learned to treasure excellent writing, it became my main criteria in choosing a book. I reveled in all the new reading possibilities open to me without thinking much about controlling my thoughts or how those books might be influencing me. I looked down on those who consumed only ‘mediocre Christian fiction’ and thought they were better for it.

Comment

Trust or Control: Part Two

Comment

Trust or Control: Part Two

In the second half of this two-part series, Dorcas guides women to the root of the issue of control. Where does it come from? How does it manifest in our lives? Sharing her own experiences and wisdom from years of seeking the Lord, Dorcas identifies the matriarchal spirit that is devastating the lives of so many women and their families, and provides answers for healing through Jesus Christ.

Comment