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I Am a Quilt

These days I feel like I’ve been thrown in the washing machine, twisting back and forth, back and forth, agitation at every turn and then holding on as the spinning makes the blood rush to my head and threatens to spin my life completely out of control. But then comes a pause. A signal ending the cycle. A reminder that “though I am surrounded by troubles…the Lord will work out His plans for my life – for [His] faithful love…endures forever” (Psa. 138:7, 8 NLT). And I remember. Somewhere along the way I started thinking I was a prom dress […]

the-final-layer-with-pens

Painting Layers

I find a misty well rising in my eyes these days. Stinging. Breaking. Falling. Like my heart. It’s because every tear holds a face, and every face holds my heart. Tears drip onto pages of my life and the colors bleed together, making forever indistinguishable what was once separate. I suppose this is what makes endings so hard. It seems that between the beginning and ending of things there is the messy bit called the middle. And, it’s in the middle where the tears and faces and hearts all bleed together like colors on the pages of my life. Endings […]

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A Creative Adventure in Faith

Have you ever had someone recognize something in you that you couldn’t see or thought was insignificant about yourself? If so, it was probably someone who knows you really well like a parent, close friend, or mentor. But, what if it was a total stranger? Someone you have never met, but who was put in your path by no contrivance of your own. Things like that never happen to me. But, last month, it did. I’ve been wanting to write a post about the whole thing, but on top of it being rather busy around here and being sick, I felt […]

Katie Ngoma

Stories: Katie Ngoma

  We first met this courageous lady as a group of us gathered around her bed in the post-surgical ward of a local Korean owned hospital. Hooked up to an IV that she monitored herself, she smiled wide at us while recounting the events that led up to her fifth (and thankfully, final) corrective surgery following the botched Caesarean section that brought her first and only child into the world. From that day we have watched her miraculous recovery and fearless confidence in God. For those of you who will understand this reference, she is the “Trish Watson” of our church […]

desk landscape

Stitching Line upon Line

“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) These days have been filled with stitching.  Needle pierces fabric; a tiny sword piercing flesh, “penetrating…the deepest parts of our nature.” Needle goes down, pulling crimson thread behind. Sword piercing flesh […]

happy thanksgiving

Today is for…

Today is for… I’m stirring early on this day. But, today is not the day I thought today would be. Today is not for pancakes and sipping coffee from under blankets. It’s not for filling the ears with Christmas and the screen with floats and yardage. It’s not for enjoying us in a strange place where exotic birds call at dawn and sun beats down on dusty streets. It’s not for grateful sentiments on napkins and over mantels. There will be no fireplace, no cozy sweaters, no snow here today. No, today will not be the day I thought today […]

chairs in a circle

Days and Words and Hearts

These days have been filled. My home has been filled with visitors. Chairs filled with faces. The air filled with words. I listen to the words that come from the faces in the chairs, and what I hear is hearts. I think we suppose that words come only from the mouth, but they really come from the heart. Each face is a heart, and each word is entry into it. Heart faces speak words. Seeking. Hopeful. Impoverished. Broken. They don’t say these words, but it’s what their words are speaking. I don’t know what to say to such big words, but I know all […]

Lisa and ladies

What is a missionary, and am I one?

As I sat with a few ladies in the home of one of the women in our church, laughing and crying and sharing life, I couldn’t help but pause in the midst of it to observe the scene before me. We sat in an 8’x8’x8’ “living room” with white walls, long past their pristine beginning, in red upholstered chairs with oak arm rests and legs, like you’d find in a doctor’s office waiting room. There was a mini fridge in the corner and a 12” analog television, complete with bunny ears, and a small DVD player attached to it sitting on […]

Waving Maize

As I sit in the corner of my apartment and gaze out the window across the property to the maize standing tall and green, waving to passersby as the wind rustles its stalks, I am struck by the pleasantness this life can hold. It is a quiet day, and the sun is shining warm while a cool breeze dances along swirling leaves upon the pavement. It is the sort of day that novelists and film directors spend their efforts trying to capture. It is the sort of day that people strive to stockpile their vacation days for as they toil […]

Created to be Formed

These days have been filled with deep unveilings, unveilings of deep-rooted selfish tendencies, distorted frames of reference, judgmental attitudes, deep-seated fears, and the overall ugliness of depravity. If we are all honest, these days are universal, and I think they are what we spend the vast majority of our lives trying to avoid. We don’t want our true nature to be exposed. We don’t want people to find out who we really are behind closed doors and in the deep recesses of our secret mind. So, we set out to ensure it is never exposed, and we tell ourselves, “I’m […]